Archive | September, 2018

Trump says Canada not in a ‘good trade position’ as NAFTA talks drag on

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that Canada cannot keep charging the United States “300 per cent” on dairy products.

In the midst of tense NAFTA negotiations between the United States and Canada, negotiators have been tight-lipped about the progress of the talks, and especially on the progress on key issues like supply management and Chapter 19.

Following a meeting with the Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump took several questions from reporters about NAFTA, as well as on sexual misconduct allegations against his Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and American relations with Poland.

On NAFTA, Trump said that “Canada has taken advantage of our country for a long time.”

 ‘We love Canada, we love the people of Canada, but they are in a position that’s not a good trade position for Canada,” he added. Trump also reiterated that the U.S. and Mexico had reached a tentative trade deal, which seemingly kicked NAFTA talks into overdrive.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has been back and forth to Washington in recent weeks as pressure mounts on the Canadian government to bring home a deal.

However, she’s often repeated the position of the Liberal government: “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

While she spoke to reporters on Tuesday, Freeland insisted that the environment around negotiations is one of “good will and good faith,” but that Canada is fully prepared to walk away from NAFTA if a deal satisfactory to all parties cannot be reached.

However, she ended on a commonly made point, saying that “one of Canada’s national characteristics is a talent for compromise.”

Canada’s supply management system for dairy and poultry products has been a sticking point in the plot of the NAFTA saga. Under the system, the government regulates production or supply of various dairy and poultry products and allocates production quotas to farmers. High tariffs make it impossible for a pizza maker in Canada, for example, to import cheese for that pizza that is not created from milk produced under Canada’s quota system.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Canada’s dairy policy and repeated this complaint on Tuesday afternoon.

“They cannot continue to charge us 300 per cent tariff on dairy products, and that’s what they’re doing,” he said.

But despite those tariffs, the United States last year ran a $474 million trade surplus in dairy products with Canada. U.S. farmers solds $636 million in dairy products to Canada while Canadian farmers sold just $162 million worth of dairy products to U.S. customers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And dairy is barely a blip — 0.1 per cent — in U.S.-Canada trade, which amounted to $680 billion last year.

The president doesn’t seem to be the only American official frustrated with Canada’s approach to NAFTA negotiations, however. In a statement released to the U.S. website Politico, house majority whip Steven Scalise said there is a “growing frustration” among Congress with Canada’s “negotiating tactics.”

He added that Canada didn’t seem willing to “make any concessions” to achieve a deal.

NAFTA talks have been ongoing for 13 months now and little is known about how much longer they’ll continue — as loosely-set deadlines continue to slide by. Freeland will return to Washington later this week to resume negotiations.


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Trudeau is campaigning to join the UN Security Council — but does Canada stand a chance?

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in New York this week lobbying to join the United Nations Security Council, even though the vote isn’t until 2021.

Trudeau begins his three-day visit to the UN General Assembly on Monday, where he will schmooze with other nations in order to try and gain a seat on the Security Council for a two-year term starting in 2021.

The members of the General Assembly won’t vote on the candidates until the fall of 2020, but Trudeau is still hoping to secure one of the two open seats, and of course, will have to win another federal election in 2019 if he wants to personally see Canada do it.

It’s been 21 years since Canada’s last stint on the Security Council, the country’s longest absence from it in United Nations’ history. So do we stand a chance now?

Why does Canada want on the Security Council?

The UN Security Council has 15 members, with five permanent seats — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. — and 10 non-permanent rotating ones.

The UN itself consists of 178 other countries that aren’t part of the Security Council, which means they can participate but they don’t get a vote when it comes to making decisions.

Being part of the Security Council means you get to vote on issues such as suspending economic and diplomatic relations between countries, imposing blockades, and authorizing the use of armed force.

Members are also more likely to receive foreign aid and World Bank loans with relatively soft conditions, according to a study from the University of Munich.

“There is also a prestige aspect to it,” Jane Boulden, professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada, said. “It sends an international signal that Canada is back to playing that kind of role, to put us back on the international scene.”

Until 2000, Canada had obtained a seat on the Security Council in each decade of the UN’s existence. Canada has also never lost a bid, until 2010 when Stephen Harper’s government attempted it but lost to Portugal.

After Canada announced its bid for the seat in 2016, Trudeau campaigned on a pledge that “Canada is back” on the world stage.

According to Trudeau, not only do “Canadians benefit when we have time on the Security Council,” but that “the world benefits when Canada has a voice on the Security Council.”

Who is Canada up against?

Canada is up against Ireland and Norway for the 2021 seat.

“It’s tough competition, there is no question about that,” Boulden said. “Ireland and Norway have more recent peacekeeping credentials in the last 10 years. And they have much higher foreign aid contributions.”

According to briefing memos prepared by Global Affairs Canada, Ireland is the competition to look out for.

 “Ireland is currently running for one of two open seats on the UN Security Council for the 2021-22, against Canada and Norway,” reads the December 2017 note.

“Ireland won on the first ballot when it competed against Norway and Italy for a seat for 2001-02, and Irish officials are privately confident that their campaign will be equally successful this time.”

Ireland won its last bid for a seat in 2001 by a landslide.

Ireland also commits more in foreign aid, something scholars have said could influence Security Council membership.

According to data collected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) using GNI (gross national income) as a benchmark, Irish foreign aid accounts for 0.36 per cent of its annual budget while Canada’s accounts for 0.28 per cent.

That puts Ireland as the 12th largest donor when it comes to foreign aid, and Canada the 14th.

The number of peacekeeping troops a country donates could also be a factor. The study from the University of Munich showed that the more troops a country contributes, the more likely it is to gain Security Council membership.

According to an August 2018 UN report on peacekeepers, Ireland has contributed the most troops, at 521. Canada has contributed 173 peacekeepers and Norway, 67.

What are the costs?

It can cost millions of dollars to put up a bid for the Security Council, which goes towards paying for staff salaries and wining and dining other nations.

“It costs a lot of money to campaign,” Boulden said. “There are certainly add-on costs too. Trudeau would probably not be in New York for three days otherwise. Travelling and liaising add up.”

When Canada campaigned for a seat on the Security Council in 2010, it cost nearly $1 million to fly diplomats around the world — and it was not even a successful bid.

Documents show thousands of dollars were spent entertaining foreign diplomats and U.S. officials, including a visit to a New York Yankees game with Cuban, Thai, Bosnian, Sri Lankan and Cambodian representatives. Canada also picked up tickets to take officials from Oman, Brunei, the Philippines and Italy to see the Cirque du Soleil.

Global Affairs Canada said that the government has spent $532,780 since 2016 on its campaign to land a Security Council seat — well behind the pace of the $1.9 million Canada spent over four years to win its last two-year term in 1999-2000.

Does Canada stand a chance?

Canada’s campaign to win a two-year temporary seat on the Security Council will also be under scrutiny with many questioning whether it is even feasible given the energy being expended to save the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Paul Heinbecker, who was Canada’s UN ambassador during the 2000 stint on the council, said the western group is more competitive than any other, and Canada faces a tough battle, especially in Europe.

Lloyd Axworthy, Canada’s foreign affairs minister in the late 1990s, said Canada has lost standing at the UN over the last decade and needs to work hard to regain it.

He said Trudeau needs to come up with an agenda that shows a commitment to peacekeeping, which Canada has largely abandoned, as well as foreign aid, which has been declining steadily.

“Canada still has a strong reputation in the international community and we are making a real effort, which could help,” Boulden said. “One way that we are different is that we are not a European nation. So we could say pick a Europe nation and Canada in order to regionalize it.”


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Bill Blair apologizes, corrects remark saying ‘overwhelming majority’ of asylum seekers have left

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

Border Security Minister Bill Blair has apologized and corrected a statement he made last week claiming most asylum seekers who crossed the border in a surge last year have left the country.

In an interview that aired on Sunday with The West Block, Blair was asked about how the government has been working to deal with the surge of more than 32,000 migrants who have walked across the border over the last year and a half to make asylum claims in Canada, and whether the government knows where all of them are now.

Despite data from the Canadian Border Services Agency indicating only 398 of the 32,173 people who crossed the U.S. border irregularly into Canada between April 2017 and August 2018 had actually been deported, Blair stated the opposite.

“I will tell you that we did experience a surge of people last year,” Blair told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson.

“We found a very small percentage of them were actually eligible to stay, and the overwhelming majority of those people have left.”

First in a tweet Sunday night and then in a formal press release issued Monday afternoon prior to question period, Blair apologized and said he had misspoken.

 “Minister Blair would like to clarify that he was referring to a small cohort of failed claimant asylum seekers,” said press secretary Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux.

Blair’s apology from his tweet was included below that in the press release.

“I clearly misspoke in suggesting the majority who arrived last year have left. They have not. They await disposition of their claim. Sorry for the obvious confusion that I caused,” Blair said.

Global News made repeated attempts to clarify Blair’s comments and ask for the data his team said backed them up.

Cadieux said he was referring to people who had “left the Lacolle facility.”

When asked to provide numbers that demonstrated that, Cadieux quoted numbers from the Canada Border Services Agency saying that the number of irregular migrant removals in 2017/2018 was 240 and the removals in 2018/2019 were 214.

Of those, she said, the irregular/failed claimant removal subset stood at 125 and 127 in those same years.

“Note that not all those who have arrived in recent years have finished their processes that would ultimately lead to a removal,” she wrote in an email.

“This is what the minister is referring to when he says the ‘the overwhelming majority of those people have left.’ The others are still going through the process.”

However, the response and the minister’s remarks prompted a swift backlash from critics online.

The issue of how to handle irregular border crossings has been a lightning rod between Liberals and Conservatives over the past year and a half.

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel has repeatedly accused the government of not having a plan to deal with the surge, which has come amid an increasingly anti-immigrant climate in the United States.

Rempel has also called for the government to negotiate with the U.S. to apply the Safe Third Country Agreement to the entire border.

That agreement between Canada and the U.S. essentially states that both countries recognize each other as safe countries for people to make asylum claims and as a result, each will not consider claims made from someone who first lands in Canada, for example, but then decides to try to make a claim in the U.S.

However, that agreement only applies to migrants who attempt to cross the border at official checkpoints.

Irregular crossers, once intercepted by RCMP after crossing at unofficial points along the border, can make an asylum claim despite crossing from the U.S.

That loophole has been a major source of criticism since the surge began, and Blair told the House of Commons last week he has made attempts to discuss the matter with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

In late August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was heckled during an event in Quebec by a woman asking him when the federal government would reimburse the provincial government for the costs of dealing with the irregular migrants.

He accused her of “intolerance.”

When she confronted him a second time following the event to ask whether he respects “true stock Quebecois,” he told her, “your racism has no place here.”

Trudeau was unapologetic for his accusations when questioned about them afterwards.

“I will not flinch from highlighting when the politics of division, of fear, of spreading misinformation is actually harming the fabric of this country,” he said.

“The fact is, we have a situation where there are irregular arrivals coming across our border into Canada … People who are trying to make this sound like a crisis are playing exactly the politics of fear and intolerance.”


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Premier Ford announces intentions to form special committee to probe Ontario’s fiscal situation

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

TORONTO – Calling his predecessor’s handling of Ontario’s books “the biggest government scandal in a generation,” Premier Doug Ford announced plans for a special committee Monday that would dig further into the province’s fiscal situation.

Ford’s vow to hold the previous regime accountable came in a speech to caucus delivered days after his finance minister announced the province was dealing with a recently revised $15 billion deficit as a result of Liberal accounting practices.

“They do not just get to walk away from this,” said Ford, whose Progressive Conservatives won a majority this spring. “We will demand answers about where the money went.”

Ford said the committee will have the power to call witnesses, compel documents and gather evidence for a final report expected in December.

On Friday, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said the province will have to make sacrifices as it grapples with a $15 billion projected deficit for 2018-2019.

“Vic you helped shine the spotlight on the biggest government scandal in a generation,” Ford said to Fedeli, who was standing beside him. “We sent a team of experts, an independent commission, to follow the money.”

Ford took no questions on his plans for the committee, which are in addition to the work of the independent commission and a line-by-line audit of government spending that’s expected to be finished in the coming weeks.

The premier instead repeatedly criticized his predecessor, Kathleen Wynne.

“We’re not just going to look the other way,” he said. “We’re not going to let Kathleen Wynne and her cronies walk away from their $15-billion scandal because we can’t let anything like this ever happen again.”

The government said the committee will investigate Liberal accounting practices, decision making and policy objectives. The body will be made up of six government members and three NDP legislators.

“We expect that this committee will leave no stone unturned,” Ford said. “Boy I’d be worried to go in front of them. They’re a tough group.”

Fedeli has explained that the Progressive Conservatives had chosen to adopt accounting practices used by the auditor general and had found greater deficits under the Liberals than had been reported.

The Liberals had disagreed with the auditor general over accounting principles applied to two pensions plans and its Fair Hydro Plan, a situation the fiscal watchdog said meant the province understated its deficit by billions.

Critics have said Fedeli’s message will pave the pave the way for significant cuts to government services.

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Ottawa, Gatineau reeling after tornado tears through communities

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after a powerful tornado carved paths of destruction through residential neighbourhoods – snapping huge trees, tossing cars and obliterating homes along its way.

The tornado inflicted heavy damage late Friday as it churned across pockets of Ottawa’s west and south ends, as well as densely populated sections of the neighbouring Quebec city of Gatineau.

The storm’s bite continued to be felt across a wide swath of the region many hours later, with more than 150,000 customers still without power Saturday afternoon. Hydro Ottawa CEO Bryce Conrad compared the magnitude of the damage to the power grid to the debilitating ice storm of 1998.

The human toll was also significant. Authorities said dozens of people suffered injuries, however there were no reports of fatalities or of missing people.

The Ottawa Hospital tweeted that two people were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and two others were stable. Officials established shelters for those who couldn’t return home and they said crisis counselling would be available.

On the north side of the Ottawa River, Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said more than 700 of his citizens were impacted by the storm and about 100 people took refuge in a shelter Friday night at a local college. More than 215 buildings suffered damage or were destroyed in his city – affecting a total of 1,686 housing units, he added.

In areas lashed by the tornado, scenes of the havoc were everywhere. The winds tore the roofs from numerous large buildings, bounced large sections of metal bleachers across soccer fields, knocked over hydro poles and cracked thick trees like twigs.

 “It looked like it was something from a movie scene or a war scene,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told reporters Saturday recalling what he saw in the area of Dunrobin, where some 60 buildings were wiped out or partially destroyed.

“Literally, it looks like some bomb was dropped from the air.”

Much of Dunrobin, a semi-rural community about 35 kilometres west of downtown Ottawa, remained cordoned off by police Saturday afternoon.

It was eerily quiet inside the police perimeter of one of Dunrobin’s most-damaged neighbourhoods – and only a few trees were still standing. Personal items were strewn everywhere – a baby blanket, a life jacket, mattresses, lawn mowers, a fridge, a kitchen sink lying on the grass and even a love seat wrapped around a telephone pole.

A car, windows shattered, lay on its side in front of a house. Fluffy, pink insulation – sucked out of ravaged homes – covered the neighbourhood.

Looking at one house, the blue sky could be seen through an open door. Its roof had vanished.

Some houses had nothing left at all and lay flat on the ground, covering their vehicles.

Officials warned people not to re-enter their homes until they had been deemed safe as firefighters went door-to-door to determine whether structures were still sound. In Dunrobin, authorities said many buildings that had emerged from the tornado partially intact would likely have to be torn down.

Conrad informed people in the Ottawa area to brace for a multi-day power outage following what he described as a “cascading failure” of hydro resources.

 “Last night’s storm was devastating to our electrical infrastructure, arguably as bad if not worse than the ice storm in 1998,” Conrad told reporters.

He said there were 200 separate outages across the Hydro Ottawa network and 147,000 customers without power. Hydro Ottawa only serves some of the people left without power because of the tornado.

To put it into perspective, Conrad said the electrical load that comes into Ottawa on any given day this time of year is about 1,000 megawatts. The storm took away about 400 megawatts from the supply.

 “That’s what we’re working with – that’s why we are dark,” he said, listing off communities around the western, southern and some central parts of Ottawa.

Environment Canada confirmed Saturday that indeed a tornado struck the capital region. Meterologist Simon Legault said there was evidence of powerful winds between 180 and 220 kilometres per hour, which would correspond with an EF2 category tornado.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he would be visiting the Ottawa area on Sunday.

 “We’re going to do whatever it takes to help them get back on their feet, Ford told a crowd gathered Saturday night for his annual Ford Fest barbecue in Vaughan, Ont.

“Tonight I want to let the people of Ottawa know that we’re all thinking of you,” said Ford, who also thanked first responders and hydro crews. “We want you to know that the entire province stands with you and is praying for you tonight.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter that he had spoken to the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau and offered federal help with the storm recovery.

 “We’re with you,” Trudeau tweeted.

In Gatineau, leaders of major political parties took a pause from the province’s ongoing election campaign to visit areas walloped by the tornado.

Setting aside their political differences, Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard and Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee visited one of the most devastated parts of Gatineau together. Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault and Manon Masse, a co-spokesperson for Quebec solidaire, were scheduled to arrive in the area later Saturday.

“It’s so surprising and terrible to see the disaster the way it struck the homes,” said Couillard, as he toured Pontiac, Que.

Couillard added he was moved when he heard a story about a man in the community who had built his house with his own hands.

“And it’s completely vanished, almost completely vanished.”

Those with power were stepping up Saturday to help strangers with a hot meal, an outlet to charge their phone or a shower.

Shawna Tregunna tweeted a photo of pancakes saying she was cooking up hot meals all day.

 “Come shower, eat, charge your devices, I don’t need to know you, you don’t need to ask, show up (bring Tupperware and I’ll fill it up) and you will be welcome,” Tregunna tweeted along with her address.

She also offered to deliver food.

Tregunna wasn’t alone.

Another Ottawa resident, Erin Blaskie, tweeted out a photo of a pot of chili saying anyone without a hot meal could message her for her address.

In Kanata North, Karen Woods opened up her home to people who needed a shower or their batteries recharged.

On Saturday night, Ontario announced it was activating the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance program in areas affected by the storm.

Under the program, affected individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced property damage or loss as a result of the storm may be eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses.

“I want to assure the residents of Ottawa that our government is working closely with our municipal partners to activate the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance program where it will be needed,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said in a release.


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New mortgages up 63% among Canadians aged 73-93: TransUnion

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

The volume of new mortgages across Canada has been slowing down in recent months, amid rising interest rates and tougher federal regulations, a new Trans Union report shows. But the country’s oldest homeowners are bucking that trend – big time.

Among Canadians aged 73 to 93, the so-called silent generation or pre-war generation, the number of mortgages issued between January and March of 2018 was up a whopping 63 per cent compared to the same period last year, TransUnion data shows. Baby boomers are also getting new mortgages, although the increase in loan originations among Canada’s 54- to 72-year-olds is a more modest 18 per cent.

That stands in stark contrast with what’s happening with the country’s first-time homebuyers and younger generations in general. Mortgage originations were down 19 per cent among millennials (ages 24-38) and 22 per cent among gen-Z (18-23).

Overall, the number of new mortgages issued between January and March was down 3.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. This follows at eight per cent drop in the last three months of 2017 compared to the last three months of 2016. (New mortgages include brand new loans, loans renewed at a different lender and refinancing.)

Older generations could be re-mortgaging or borrowing against their home equity in order to “support retirement or to financially support younger generation family members,” the TransUnion report reads.

Research shows that retirement expenses tend to skyrocket around age 80, due to health care and long-term care costs.

But the pre-war generation is also joining forces with boomers to help the younger kin.

“We hear of parents and grandparents supporting their children and grandchildren, whether it’s student loans or buying a house,” Matt Fabian, director of financial services research and consulting for TransUnion Canada, told Global News.

That said, as large as the six-fold surge in new mortgages issued to Canada’s 70-to-90-year-olds may seem, the volume of mortgages in that age group remains very small, Fabian said. (The data does not include reverse mortgages, TransUnion said.)

Still, the numbers do suggest that the stricter mortgage rules introduced on Jan. 1 of this year are having a much bigger impact on newer generations.

“The stress-testing rules are about affordability,” Fabian said. Younger mortgage applicants may be either finding out that they don’t qualify or that they can’t get the amount and loan type they want, he added.

Older Canadians who have enjoyed remarkable home-equity gains in the last few years don’t have to worry about stricter standards on things like loan-to-value ratios, Fabian said.

The data also shows significant variations across cities. While new mortgages dropped by almost 18 per cent in Toronto, they remained virtually flat in Vancouver, with growth of less than one per cent in the first three months of 2018 compared to the previous year.

But new mortgage volumes rose in Ottawa (up 8.4 per cent) and Montreal (up 5.2 per cent), where relatively low real estate prices have been attracting an influx of buyers.

More credit cards and higher balances

Canadians may be having a harder time getting a mortgage, but they aren’t giving up their credit cards.

TransUnion reported a “surge” in the number of credit cards issued in the first three months of 2018, which was up 5.6 per cent year-over-year across all age groups.

“This represents a dramatic shift compared to an approximate 10 per cent decline year-over-year from [the first quarter of] 2016 to [the first quarter of] 2017,” the report said.

The average consumer now carries a balance of $4,200, the data shows. Collectively, Canadians now owe $99 billion through their credit cards.

Total non-mortgage debt still rising, although at a slower rate

Overall, the average Canadian had almost $29,650 in debt excluding mortgages in the period between April and June, an increase of almost four per cent compared to the same three months in 2017, TransUnion said.

“This is the third consecutive quarter where the quarterly change is less than the change seen in the previous year,” the report noted.

In other words, Canadians continue to borrow more, but at least the pace at which they’re piling on debt has slowed.


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Carbon pricing will cost Canadians money — it might also give them back plenty more: report

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

From 2006 to 2009, Stephen Harper was prime minister, leading a Conservative government that fended off a Liberal Party that hoped to sweep to power in 2008 on the strength of a “Green Shift” that would cut income taxes and put a price on carbon emissions.

All through that time, Mark Cameron worked as a senior policy advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), under a boss who came under heavy criticism internationally for his actions on the climate change file.

Today, Cameron has a new job, as executive director at Canadians for Clean Prosperity, an organization that works to foster political support for “market-based policies that generate growth while conserving our environment.”

It has just released a new report titled, “Carbon Dividends Would Benefit Families.”

And it argues that, far from just costing Canadians money, a federal carbon pricing plan could actually give more cash back to families than they spent in the first place.

The federal government earlier this year passed the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, legislation that puts a national price on fossil fuels.

Some provinces — including Saskatchewan and Ontario — have indicated they won’t go along with it.

For provinces that won’t fall in line, the federal government has said it will bring in a “backstop,” a direct carbon tax for those provinces that will begin at $20 per tonne in January 2019 and then rise by $10 every year before hitting $50 in 2022, the report noted.

Under the act, revenues collected from any backstop would have to return to the provinces or territories they came from.

Provincial or territorial governments could take the money, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have indicated that it could flow right back to households in those jurisdictions, the report added.

Canadians for Clean Prosperity engaged environmental economist Dave Sawyer to look at how much the backstop would cost households in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, and how much money families of different income levels would be given back.

The report found that, in almost every case, households that paid carbon taxes under the backstop would take back more money than they paid in.

This is because carbon taxes aren’t just collected from households, but from emissions by industries and businesses.

“The results show that at almost all income levels and for almost all family types, families and households would receive more money back in carbon dividends than they would pay out in carbon taxes or indirect costs,” the report said.

The cost of carbon was analyzed two ways — through the taxes paid by households in energy, and indirect costs associated with non-energy consumption.

Indirect costs were calculated by taking household expenditure data from Statistics Canada and then looking at the greenhouse gas intensity of goods and services.

The analysis found that, even when putting carbon taxes and indirect costs together (this was done by Global News, not the report), households still largely took more money back.

Here’s what the calculations looked like for two provinces, in ranges that captured median total incomes for economic families with children.

Saskatchewan — carbon costs v. benefits, incomes of $100,000 to $150,000

Alberta — carbon costs v. benefits, incomes of $100,000 to $150,000

The returns would be more acute in Saskatchewan, the report noted, than they would be in Ontario.

This became clear when looking at money returned to households per capita.

In the latter, an average Ontario household of 2.6 people would receive $350 per capita next year, while in Saskatchewan, where people use more coal-fired electricity, an average household of 2.5 people would be returned $1,075.

There were variances in how much money households would take back, particularly when looking at their incomes.

The report noted that in Ontario, a household that earned income of over $150,000 would only receive $2 more in carbon dividends than it paid in carbon costs.

However, it also said that lower-income families would receive the biggest benefits, as would families in provinces with more intense emissions, like Saskatchewan and Alberta.

For Sumeet Gulati, a professor of environmental and resource economics at UBC, the numbers looked solid so long as the federal government returns revenues directly.

He thinks that’s the best way for the feds to counter anti-tax sentiments in provinces like Saskatchewan and Ontario.

One omission he identified in the report — the analysis did not consider the increased prices of goods due to carbon taxes applied throughout a supply chain.

While he called that an omission, “I do not consider it a significant one.

 “Finally, I do not think the indirect costs are large enough to change these conclusions.”

As for whether the federal carbon pricing plan could have any effect on emissions, Gulati said it “creates incentives to reduce greenhouse emissions at every level.”

“That is the beauty of per capita lump-sum returns,” he said.

“We still pay a higher price for gasoline or other carbon-based fuels. This keeps the incentives to reduce carbon emissions alive.

“We still drive less, and buy fuel-efficient vehicles in response, but also receive a little more money at the end of the year as a rebate/dividend.”



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NDP MPP calls for Ford to denounce mayoral candidate linked to neo-Nazis

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

Doug Ford needs to offer a denunciation after posing for pictures with Faith Goldy, a prominent figure in the alt-right movement who associates with neo-Nazis and white supremacists, said NDP Anti-Racism critic Laura-Mae Lindo.

 “Anti-hate experts are calling on people not to legitimize the views of this neo-Nazi sympathizer, but Doug Ford posed for photos with her, lending what could be construed as an endorsement. It’s hard to believe this is happening in Ontario,” said Lindo.

The photos, taken on Saturday at a Doug Ford and PC Party event, show Ford and Goldy posed with arms around each other, flanked by members of Goldy’s campaign team, who are wearing Faith for Mayor t-shirts. The photo has been shared on Goldy’s social media.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network has registered deep concern about Goldy, stating that with her current run for mayor of Toronto, Canadians can “expect her to try to use her mayoral run as a platform to spread hate.”

Goldy’s disturbing record includes broadcasting the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 for The Rebel. The footage showed Goldy sympathizing with the white supremacist protestors and mocking counter-protestors. Following that, she appeared on the neo-Nazi, white supremacy broadcast The Daily Stormer, which advocates genocide of Jewish people, to discuss the event.

Goldy is a proponent and defendant of the white nationalist slogan Fourteen Words, coined by the terrorist organization The Order’s founder, David Lane.

“Doug Ford’s tacit endorsement of Faith Goldy and her hateful views is deeply chilling for everyone who believes that all Ontarians deserve to feel safe and valued in their province,” said Lindo. “At the very least, Mr. Ford needs to publicly denounce Ms. Goldy, and the views she espouses.”


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Shilpa Shetty faces racism in Sydney, shares the incident in an angry post

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s latest Instagram post has got a lot of attention and if we may say so, it’s for all the right reasons. The actress who was travelling from Sydney to Melbourne was mistreated because of her skin colour. It’s not the first time that one has heard Indians facing racism in Australia, this time around Shilpa made sure to voice it out and share the incident everyone. It all started when the actress was checking in at the Sydney airport and a ground staff misbehaved with her. It all didn’t end there as the actress later had to face racism as well. In her Instagram post, Shilpa called out the airline brand and pointed out the bad behaviour of its stuff.

Shilpa wrote, “Subject: #Quantas airways @qantas

This should get your attention!

Travelling from Sydney to Melbourne and at the check in counter met a grumpy #Mel( that’s her name)who decided it was “OK” to speak curtly to “US” ( Brown people!!) travelling together ,I was flying business and had 2 bags (my allowance)and she insisted and decided my half empty Duffel bag was oversized( to check in!!) So she sent us to check it in at the other counter dealing with “Oversized luggage” ..there a Polite lady(yes this one was) said ..”this ISN’T an oversized bag, pls check this in manually if u can at another counter” ( all this happening while the counter is going to shut in 5 mins) As the manual check in wasn’t going thru for 5 mins( we tried) I went upto #Mel and requested her to put the bag thru as her colleague said it wasn’t an oversized bag.. She refused again.. Just being adamant especially when I told her this is causing a lot of inconvenience .. We had no time to waste so we ran to the oversized baggage counter and requested her to put the bag through which she did after I told her that #Rude #Mel had issues !!!…. to which another colleague joined in an reiterated my duffle wasn’t oversized and could’ve easily been checked in.

Back in 2007, when Shilpa was doing celebrity reality show, Big Brother, that time too actress faced racist remarks but she left everyone shut after winning the show. More power to you, Shilpa!



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Malaika Arora says she’s calmer post her divorce with Arbaaz Khan

Posted on 29 September 2018 by admin

Malaika Arora is truly the hottest B-town mommy. The actress has fans going gaga over her bod and she sure can give anyone run for their money. Mother to 15 year old son, Arhaan Khan, Malaika seldom does any kind of media interaction or comes to these talk shows. For a change this time around, Malaika was present on a chat show where she opened up about her life post-divorce with actor Arbaaz Khan. Malaika and Arbaaz were married to each other for good 19 years after which they ended their relationship in 2017.

Even though, the two of them have never really spoken about their new life earlier, it’s pretty evident that Arbaaz has moved on quite well. Malaika, on the other hand, spoke about how her life has changed after divorce. She admits being ‘all over the place’ earlier but now she feels at peace.

When asked about her coping mechanisms in life, Malaika said, “I’m calmer, more at ease and at peace with my surroundings. I think I was just all over the place. Now, I feel far calmer.”

Malaika also shared how it was a tough time for her when she was having her divorce with Arbaaz. She added, “There were these thoughts that went through my head. I think anyone would feel the same… What would happen? How would life pan out? Whether emotionally or professionally… The good thing is, I didn’t let anything get to me. I didn’t get hyper. I just let time take its course.”

Meanwhile, Arbaaz Khan is rumoured to be dating Georgia Andriani.


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