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The ‘Trudeau Effect’ killing Canada !

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Hey @Trevornoah - thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you - but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.

    • Remember when you told veterans that they were asking too much? I wonder how they feel seeing you throw around tax payer $$ so you can play celebrity. How about following through on election promises? Or even caring about our own citizens? Or is that asking too much too?

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Veterans are asking too much. First Nations don’t have clean drinking water. Billions and billions in debt.

Too bad none have an American celebrity advocating for them or maybe Trudeau would care..

 

Trudeau criticized for tweet to Trevor Noah pledging $50M charity gift.

 

“ Hey @Trevornoah - thanks for everything you're doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela's legacy at the@GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can't be with you - but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let's do it," Trudeau tweeted to the South African comedian and "The Daily Show" host.

Noah said "This is amazing!" as Trudeau's tweet was shown on a big screen at the concert.

But back in Canada critics were less enthusiastic. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused Trudeau of pledging $50 million in a tweet to impress a TV personality.”

 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/trudeau-criticized-for-tweet-to-trevor-noah-pledging-50m-charity-gift-1.4202127

 

 

 

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The Trudeau government literally added a convicted terrorist to their list of guests. Think about that for a minute. What is wrong with these people?

 

RCMP knew Atwal was joining PM's trip - but did not tell Trudeau's security detail: 

The RCMP admitted that they made a mistake when they failed to inform Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's protective detail that would-be political assassin Jaspal Atwal was planning to join the PM during his official visit to India earlier this year, according to a new report by a joint committee of MPs and senators.

The report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, released today, details how the RCMP "had information that suggested that Mr. Atwal was going with the Prime Minister on the official trip to India, but did not validate that information."

"The RCMP had information that Mr. Atwal had a serious criminal record and a history of involvement in violent acts, issues which should have been identified as security risks to the Prime Minister and his delegation. The RCMP recognizes that it erred in not providing that information to the Prime Minister's Protective Detail," the report said. 

 

 

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/atwal-trudeau-report-rcmp-1.4930636

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Tory Michael Barrett wins byelection, succeeds Brown

In the end, it wasn’t even close.

Conservative candidate Michael Barrett thundered to an easy victory in Monday’s federal byelection, collecting 58 per cent of the popular vote to keep Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes solidly in the Tory column.

His closest competitor, Liberal Mary Jean McFall, was second with 35.5 per cent, according to Elections Canada’s count with more than 98 per cent of the votes in.

The NDP’s Michelle Taylor and Lorraine Rekmans of the Green Party were duking it out for the third and fourth spots, with Taylor narrowly ahead with 3.1 per cent of the ballots compared with three per cent for the Greens.

Barrett, who led the polls throughout the evening, said his victory sends a strong message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and foreshadows a Conservative victory in the general election in just 11 months.

 

https://www.recorder.ca/news/local-news/tory-michael-barrett-wins-byelection-succeeds-brown

 

The most promising statistic is that when compared to 2015 election, the Conservatives INCREASED their lead by 10% while the Liberals LOST 5 %. Definitely a good sign of things to come.

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Edited by Jaydee

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Trudeau's tweeting with the stars a reminder of the risky side of political theatre

It reminded people of everything they don’t like about this prime minister in 280 flippant characters — an impulsive, arrogant, profligate friend of the stars.

 

We’ve all been there — on the sofa, watching a charity concert, when the celebrity host urges you to dial in and make a donation toward the worthy cause in question.

You reach for the phone or computer and make a pledge. The problem in this case: the commitment was for $50 million of other people’s money.

 

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-trudeaus-tweeting-with-the-stars-a-reminder-of-the-risky-side-of-political-theatre

 

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Why Trudeau is now threatened by Construction workers...37 taps to hammer in ONE GD nail.!

 

 

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The federal government is recycling the policies of the Ontario Wynne Liberals

Justin Trudeau didn't learn from the disasters that were Wynne's irresponsible policies

In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” This déjà vu comes in the form of the failed Liberal policies of Ontario resurfacing at the federal level.

The chief policy advisor to Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, was a key advisor to Kathleen Wynne, and he now sits at the right hand of the Prime Minister (although some say the relationship is the other way round).

Whatever the dynamic is between them, these two have common cause, and instead of taking a lesson from the disaster that green economics delivered for Ontario, they are doubling down and giving more of the same to the country.

Pricing carbon

The disastrous cap and trade policy brought in by the province did nothing to reduce greenhouse gases, raised the cost of business for small and medium businesses (while often giving large businesses a break), and made energy more expensive for the customer.

 

It did all of this while transferring large sums of money to California. The federal carbon tax will do more of the same.

Canadians are being promised a rebate cheque – but as with cap and trade the money will come from our pockets in the form of higher energy prices and higher consumer goods prices (because again small business and industry has to foot the bill).

All of this will happen while big companies will get an exemption again, and there is a massive transfer of wealth in the form of investment leaving Canada and going to friendlier jurisdictions south of the border. Déjà vu.

Energy policy in general

The Green Energy Act in Ontario drove electricity prices to three times the going rate in competitive jurisdictions. It awarded contracts to wind and solar projects that were sometimes as high as five times the going rate.

 

Federally, we are seeing the government—after messing up the energy market with its policies, regulations and legislation, stepping into the mess further by buying TransMountain. Virtue signalling in Toronto, virtue signalling in Ottawa, all without results.

Labour legislation that was not well thought out

In September, the Federal Minister of Labour announced an overhaul of the labour laws: “Restoring a work-life balance and better protections for precarious workers, such as part-time, temporary, and contract workers, will be among the key focuses of a planned legislative changes.”

This was the same language that was floated out there by then Premier Wynne with Bill 148. The Changing Workplace review announced “an important focus is on vulnerable workers in precarious jobs in the context of employment standards and labour relations.”

The provincial legislation did nothing but make it more affordable to operate a business, forcing companies to choose between surviving elsewhere or closing shop in the province.

 

The cascading effects of the minimum wage and the inability to plan production dynamically in a way that worked for both the employer and employee was devastating for businesses leading to higher prices for goods and services, job loss, and reduced service.

So now they want to try this federally?

Focusing on social justice issues at the expense of the economy

The Wynne government lectured and legislated us. They talked to us in a condescending way as if we were children.

The federal government went into the NAFTA negotiations with a list of social issues that had no place in an economic negotiation. They sent in a representative who immediately insulted the counter-party. We scraped by with a deal that barely serves our interests.

 

Meanwhile the Mexicans, who were the victims of seriously troubling verbal attacks from the US, quietly negotiated an arrangement that protected and deepened their long-term economic well-being.

We are now busy cozying up to the most dangerously protectionist regime in the world—SOE-run China.

Fiscal irresponsibility

The debt in Ontario grew to unimaginable heights and now the federal government debt is tracking upwards fast, all while interest rates are rising.

Justin Trudeau proudly exclaims, “the budget will balance itself.”

 

Wow, if I took that approach in our family business we would soon find that there was nothing left. Perhaps the fame of Ontario as an indebted jurisdiction is something Justin and Gerald seek to duplicate nationally?

Business as the bad guy

The Wynne government was constantly portraying business people as “bad actors”: people that needed to be controlled because they couldn’t act responsibly, or be respectful of their employees’ rights.

Wynne’s failing was that she did not realize the vast majority of the companies are small, have a strong sense of the personal interests of their employees, and seek to respect those interests because it is good for all: the employee, the employer and the company as a whole.

The Trudeau government announced a crackdown on companies’ rainy day money accounts, with Bill “the South-of-France” Morneau condescendingly advising about how businesses mismanage passive investment. Like province, like country, once again.

 

Where does all of this leave us?

As a proud Canadian, frustrated with how these people are destroying the future for my kids and my employees, I say to my fellow citizens: don’t let these boys do to our country what happened to Ontario.

And to my fellow Ontarians, I say: let’s not repeat the same mistake twice. We need to stop the madness that is liberal policy.

There’s still time. Remember, Yogi Berra also said, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

https://www.thepostmillennial.com/the-federal-government-is-recycling-the-policies-of-the-ontario-wynne-liberals/

 

 

 

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REX MURPHY ON PM’S $50M TWEET.

DONALD TRUMP IS NOT THE ONLY WORLD LEADER WITH AN AFFINITY FOR TWITTER

  • Calgary Herald
  • 5 Dec 2018
  • rex murpHy
img?regionKey=Ozn8Vvv6cuevT9jggelE%2fg%3d%3d  

‘I’d like to send the world a tweet, to keep it company …” — with slim apologies to Michael Jackson and Coke. Follow the Tweet.

It used to be the money. But in our brave new Snapchatting Kardashian world, it’s the tweet. A celebrity tweet is a verbal selfie: high virtue-signalling value, ace selfpromotion, cloyingly charming. Aims for Harvey Levin (TMZ) but will settle for Samantha Bee (whatever).

It turns out Donald Trump is not the only world leader with a fancy way with Twitter.

In olden times, people used to learn about “foreign aid” (that’s what it was called in the Middle Ages) through something called the Estimates Committee (defunct or buried in Omnibus swaddling). Sometimes foreign policy was even announced in Parliament (a building in Ottawa currently under severe renovation intellectually and externally).

Modern prime ministers — well, one modern prime minister — don’t do it that way anymore. I don’t know if the PM has a Hashtags and Hipster Committee but it sure looks like that lately. For out of that Buenos Aires (sweet airs meets sunny days) assembly, launched on the taut wires of Twitter, came the following:

Hey @Trevornoah — thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you — but how about Canada pledges $50M to @ EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.

Before getting to the novelty of using Twitter as a high-stakes cash dispensary, we should explain what GlblCtzn — apart from being vowel allergic — is. Essentially, it’s a latter-day version of the ’80s rock-star-infested Save the World/End World Hunger exhibitions. It is a gathering of the celebrity-elect (Beyoncé was there) in one of their “giving something back” spasms. A lot of show, and lot of tell.

The other unknown (to most) — Trevor Noah — is one of the many unfunny late-night non-comedians. The tweet was Justin doing a texted high-five for bro-Noah’s hosting the GlblCtzn gig — a very celebrity kind of thing to do. The admiration of celebrities for each other’s caring ways is the Proust tale of our times.

The tweet itself is pure gold (pure gold, Jerry*). It had everything: Nelson Mandela, a charity festival, education for girls and women, and a $50-million flip over of Canadian public money from a rock star PM. All that was missing was a mention of Gandhi and a Lena Dunham “like” to hit diamond status.

One under-remarked aspect of the bro-gram is that it partly reads as if the PM is asking Noah if he’s “cool” with the idea (how about Canada pledges $50M?), as if it wasn’t settled already — when as John Ivison has pointed out, this “spontaneous” tweet was “planned for three weeks.” Three weeks to “plan” a tweet — someone must have called in the NEB for assessment.

And then the beautiful Mickey Rooney “let’s-put-on-a-show” moment: Work for you? Let’s do it.

However, back home in the land of disappearing auto plants and unbuilt pipelines, $40 price differentials and high-stakes Grewal mischiefs, it wasn’t quite the perfect hit I’m sure it was supposed to be. Some thought the idea of a prime minister tagging a third-tier late-night clone of Jon Stewart a tad “casual.” Others went for “flippant.” I don’t know if showboating was called up, but it was certainly ready and available. Aforesaid Ivison in the National Post had a full fleet of ready adjectives — all wellchosen. My own queue, among many others, contained unserious, flighty, inexplicable, embarrassing, odd, and WIG’sN, which I “acronymize” here to spare religious sensibilities.

Fifty million dollars is an expensive twitter tag, even in the best of times, and these are not (see above: auto plants, pipelines). And does the obligatory worthy-cause umbrella — it’s for “women and girls,” Beyoncé supports it — shield it from being plainly undignified? Do we know of any other world leaders who route their foreign-aid choices via tweets to talk-show chat monks?

And not so incidentally, why is it, with the world’s most famous male-feminist, always girls and women? Is this a uni-gender government? Are there no distressed, underage, education-deprived males anywhere on this troubled planet? The question is impolitic, but the gender lens obsession manifest in Trudeau’s government is more feminist interest-group politics than national governance.

If 90 per cent of oil workers were female, Canada would be Kuwait by now; there’d be pipelines running across university campuses, and oil would be described in government press releases as “milk for cars, carrot juice for jets.”

Follow the tweets. Twitterhigh-fiving Trevor Noah isn’t by any measure another Mr. Dressup Goes to India moment, but it surely reawakens the durable question of whether Canada has prime minister who happens to be a celebrity, or a celebrity who happens to be a prime minister.

*Unhip, dated Seinfeld reference.

I DON’T KNOW IF THE PM HAS A HASHTAGS AND HIPSTER COMMITTEE.

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Canada-India relations have turned frigid

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 5 Dec 2018
  • John ivison
img?regionKey=hwo5UJ%2fcCYm3xgjg9RkDqw%3d%3dNICK PROCAYLO / POSTMEDIA NEWS FILES The presence of Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted of trying to kill an Indian politician, at a reception for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, rubbed New Delhi the wrong way.

One passage of the new report on Justin Trudeau’s trip to India deals with the public testimony given by Daniel Jean, the former national security adviser, before the parliamentary oversight committee on national security last April.

It reads: “As the NSIA (Jean) stated during his testimony: ‘***’.”

The words of the statement that the now-retired Jean gave to the committee were redacted — along with most of the other interesting bits of the report.

Redacting testimony that is already in the public domain would seem somewhat overzealous for a new committee intent on persuading Canadians about its integrity.

The liberal use of the black pen became the focus of question period in the House of Commons Tuesday.

Conservative MP Peter Kent suggested the heavy redaction was aimed at preventing Liberal embarrassment over the diplomatic incident that ensued when it emerged that Jaspal Atwal, a man once convicted of the attempted murder of an Indian politician, was invited to official Canadian events in Mumbai and New Delhi.

“The prime minister should get off his asterisk and release the findings,” said Kent.

The truth is, it was not a distinguished debut by the committee. The report was redacted after it went to the Prime Minister’s Office on the advice of officials, according to Trudeau.

But it was sent back to the committee and its members, including senators, Conservatives and a New Democrat, apparently agreed to live with the contents as they appeared.

In the end, it hardly matters — the discerning reader can comprehend what’s going on, even when all six findings on the subject of “foreign interference” have been blacked out.

The report details how Jean attempted to counter a narrative in India that the Trudeau government is soft on Sikh separatism.

Back in April 2017, the chief minister of Punjab refused to meet Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, after accusing him and four other Canadian ministers of being “Khalistanis.” (Khalistan is the would-be Sikh homeland in the Indian state of Punjab.)

Jean quarterbacked efforts to address Indian concerns about Canada’s role in the perceived rise of extremism.

He travelled to India to meet his counterpart and there were also delegations by the RCMP and CSIS, emphasizing Canada’s support for a strong and united India.

Despite those efforts, a rash of stories appeared in the Indian press alleging Canadian complicity in Sikh extremism. Trudeau did not help his case by attending a Sikh event in Toronto the previous year, which featured Khalistan flags and posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a Sikh extremist leader killed by Indian troops at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984.

After Atwal’s presence at the event in Mumbai was revealed, Jean briefed Canadian media, including the National Post, suggesting elements in the Indian intelligence service might be motivated to embarrass Trudeau for being soft on Sikh terrorism. He said Atwal met with Indian diplomats from the consulate in Vancouver and Atwal’s own social media account showed he had visited the Indian External Affairs department the previous year.

Jean told the committee that he saw the briefings as “an important line of defence against foreign interference.”

The committee concluded in its report that the most compelling rationale for the almost unprecedented spectacle of the national security adviser briefing the press was that Jean was “deeply invested” in countering what he viewed as an orchestrated attempt to “shine a spotlight” on Atwal’s invitation.

The redacted report did not say the Indians had been playing games to embarrass the Canadian government — it did not have to. The inference is there.

Meanwhile, the Indians are miffed at what they see as pandering by the Canadian prime minister toward Sikh extremism.

The mood will scarcely have been improved by a story in the National Post last month that circulated in the Indian media. It quoted an analysis by the Canadian Border Services Agency that revealed a 246 per cent increase in refugee claims made by Indian Sikhs, after gaining access to Canada using temporary resident visas issued by the government.

The CBSA report cited tensions between the Indian government and the country’s Sikh population over renewed support for separatism in Punjab. “Contemporary support has reemerged around proposals for an unofficial referendum of the global Sikh diaspora in 2020 on the question of independence … As government pushback against Sikh community continues, fear of arbitrary arrest and abuse by authorities will likely prompt more Indian Sikhs to leave the country,” it said.

The upshot of such undiplomatic frankness is that Indian-Canadian relations, already chilly, have turned frigid.

The Hindustan Times, a large English language newspaper, reported Tuesday a proposed visit by environment minister Catherine McKenna to India is off and that attempts to arrange a bilateral meeting between global affairs minister Chrystia Freeland and her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj have come to nothing. McKenna’s office said they received an invitation last July to visit India but declined because of “domestic commitments” and other international travel already lined up.

An Indian source told the paper relations were at a “standstill” and predicted it would take a change of government in New Delhi or Ottawa to put the relationship back on track. (Both countries have parliamentary elections next year).

Given the Trudeau government’s stated goal of diversifying its trading partners, the failure to upgrade an underperforming $8-billion-a-year trading relationship is a missed opportunity.

 

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Except for the time with Indigenous leaders, the Meeting will behind closed doors , heaven help if the great unwashed (us) can hear what is said.

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December 5, 2018 7:00 pm

Canada’s first ministers’ meeting shaping up to be most acrimonious in years

By Joan Bryden The Canadian Press
 

Wrangling over the agenda doesn’t bode well for Friday’s first ministers’ meeting, which is shaping up as one of the most fractious gatherings of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial leaders in decades.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is bracing for a barrage of criticism from premiers upset about the federal approach to pipelines, carbon taxation, environmental assessments, GM’s Oshawa plant closure in Ontario and the oil price crisis — none of which are specifically on the agenda.

READ MORE: Liberals changing Canada Summer Jobs attestation after reproductive rights controversy

Meanwhile, federal officials privately concede little headway is likely to be made on the official objective of the Montreal meeting: reducing interprovincial trade barriers.

Indeed, the feds are fully expecting the most openly hostile premier — Ontario’s Doug Ford — will do his best to derail the meeting altogether, including potentially storming out of the gathering or possibly even boycotting it outright. Trudeau is scheduled to hold a 30-minute bilateral meeting with Ford on Thursday afternoon.Federal suspicions have been stoked by what insiders say are the hardball games Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe are playing on the agenda, demanding that it be expanded in writing to include the oil price crisis and the planned federal tax on carbon pollution.

According to sources familiar with the dispute, who were not authorized to speak publicly, the pair have not been satisfied by the federal response that the agenda already includes a discussion on economic competitiveness — a broad topic that Ottawa says will allow premiers to raise all the issues they please.

READ MORE: Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group but welcome Suzuki in carbon tax court fight

Moe confirmed in an interview Wednesday that there is “some frustration, myself included, with the agenda provided by the prime minister,” which includes having several federal ministers address the premiers on their initiatives.

He said he intends to raise the oil price crisis, the carbon tax, pipelines and repeal of Bill C-69, which re-writes the rules for environmental assessments of energy projects.

“We’d like it in writing, confirm that we’re going to discuss those items. But rest assured that the premier of the province of Saskatchewan will bring those items to the floor (regardless),” Moe said, adding that he doesn’t intend to leave the meeting early.

READ MORE: Agricultural Producers Association of Sask. hoping to join fight against carbon tax

Even the guest list for a pre-meeting dinner hosted by Trudeau on Thursday evening has become a matter of dispute. The feds proposed that it be a private affair for first ministers only, with a single notetaker present. The premiers demanded that each be allowed to bring one official.

Most acrimonious meeting?

This will be the fourth first ministers’ meeting Trudeau has hosted since becoming prime minister in 2015. And it’s certain to be the most acrimonious.

Since first ministers’ last met, the prime minister has lost several of his most reliable provincial Liberal allies — Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne, Quebec’s Philippe Couillard and New Brunswick’s Brian Gallant.

READ MORE: N.B. launching own carbon tax challenge, making new emissions plan

He now faces a phalanx of conservative premiers, four of whom — Ford, Moe, Manitoba’s Brian Pallister and New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs — have joined in court challenges to the federal carbon pricing plan and one of whom — Ford — has routinely engaged in conflicts with the federal Liberals in general.

Alberta’s NDP Premier Rachel Notley was initially an ally for Trudeau, supporting him on carbon pricing. But she parted company last summer over the failure to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project off the ground and is now crusading for federal help to ease the discount price Alberta is obliged to accept for its oil because it can’t get it to tidewater for shipment overseas. 

She and Moe sent Trudeau a letter this week, asking that the agenda for the first ministers’ meeting be revised to include the oil price crisis, which they argued is costing the country $80 million per day.

And Notley disparaged the federal government’s preferred focus on interprovincial trade barriers.

“We tend to have conversations about minor internal trade issues and then when it’s my opportunity to talk, I say, ‘Well, there’s one big internal trade issue that we have about getting our product from one province to another and to other markets and it’s actually worth 100 times the value of these other issues,”’ she said Tuesday.

READ MORE: Alberta orders 8.7 per cent oil production cut to help deal with low prices

Trudeau said Wednesday that he looks forward to “talking about anything the premiers want to talk about.”

“I’m looking forward to a broad range of discussions on whatever it is they have as priorities,” he said on his way into the House of Commons. “Including oil, of course. Natural resources are an essential part of our economy.”

“We’re going to be talking about that as well.”

Notley, Moe and a number of other premiers, including Newfoundland and Labrador’s Dwight Ball and Nova Scotia’s Stephen McNeil, also want to talk about Bill C-69, federal legislation that is currently stalled in the Senate and which would set more stringent rules for environmental assessments of energy projects. Critics maintain it will create more red tape and delays in project approvals that will scare off potential investors.

“We are looking for clarity around Bill C-69,” Ball said in an interview, adding that it’s creating uncertainty in his province’s offshore oil and mining industries.

“We know that the regulatory regime can be an impediment in attracting investment.”

READ MORE: N.B. premier still hopes to convince Quebec of Energy East benefits

In a similar vein, Biggs said he wants to talk about reviving the defunct Energy East pipeline proposal, which TransCanada abandoned last year, citing regulatory hurdles and changed circumstances.

Quebec Premier François Legault, meanwhile, said he wants to talk about continuing U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and compensation for dairy farmers hurt by the new NAFTA. In a statement Wednesday, he also said he intends to raise Quebec’s demand for federal compensation to cover the cost of the influx of irregular asylum seekers and press Ottawa on the “excessive and ever longer” time taken to address Quebec’s files.Manitoba’s Pallister is among the few premiers who appear to actually want to make progress on knocking down interprovincial trade barriers — barriers he said amount to imposing a seven per cent tariff on goods that cross provincial borders.

“I think it’s time to strike on that,” he said Wednesday.

That said, Pallister too said the meeting needs to be narrowly focused on a few key economic issues, including the oil price crisis.

First ministers are to meet for two hours with Indigenous leaders Friday morning before holing up behind closed doors for some six hours with Trudeau

 

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The truth must really hurt...lol

 

“ Today I fact check Sohi and remind him of Order in Council 2016-1047, dated November 25, 2016.

It was brought forward by Sohi’s Liberal predecessor at Natural Resources, Jim Carr, and the order compelled the National Energy Board to ignore the findings of the joint review panel and terminate the existing construction permits for Northern Gateway.

Cancelling the Northern Gateway might be the only campaign promise Trudeau ever kept.”

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December 5, 2018 3:06 pm

Updated: December 6, 2018 7:04 am

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group but welcome Suzuki in carbon tax court fight

2017-foyer-hed-serious.jpg?quality=60&st By David Akin Chief Political Correspondent  Global News 
 

The Trudeau government does not want Alberta's United Conservative Party to participate in the carbon tax hearings.

 

The Trudeau government has told the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal it should not grant intervenor status to Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party and should reject an affidavit from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in a key test case on the constitutional right of the federal government to impose a national carbon tax.

The brief, submitted to the court Wednesday by federal lawyers, argues that the Saskatchewan court should reject a request from the UCP to be an intervenor because its contribution would be “political and speculative.” It says the court should similarly reject an affidavit from the CTF because the it “has not established any special expertise in general economics or the economics of carbon pricing.”

Both Saskatchewan and Ontario have challenged the federal government’s legal authority to impose a carbon price on provinces through the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Ottawa plans on imposing a carbon tax in January on jurisdictions that don’t have a climate plan that meets its standards. Those jurisdictions include Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

READ MORE: Agricultural Producers Association of Sask. hoping to join fight against carbon tax

The case before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal was brought by the government of Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, which opposes any carbon tax. Moe has been joined by the governments of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs in opposition to the federal carbon pricing plan.

The federal government has consented to requests by eight other organizations to have intervenor status in the Saskatchewan case. They are:

  1. Saskatchewan Power Corporation and SaskEnergy Inc.
  2. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  3. Canadian Environmental Law Association/Environmental Defence Canada
  4. Canadian Public Health Association
  5. David Suzuki Foundation
  6. Ecofiscal Commission
  7. Intergenerational Climate Coalition
  8. International Emissions Trading Association

The Saskatchewan case is expected to be heard beginning Feb. 13 while a similar legal challenge brought by Ford’s government in  Ontario case is expected to be heard in April 2019.

The Alberta government of Rachel Notley has not asked for intervenor status in the case and that drew the ire of Kenney, the leader of Alberta’s official opposition.

“The UCP is stepping up and seeking to intervene because the current Alberta Government refuses to do so,” Kenney said in a statement e-mailed to Global News. “It’s telling that the Trudeau Government is happy with foreign-funded groups like the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence fighting for a carbon tax in Canadian courts, but not the Official Opposition in Alberta that represents a significant number of Albertans.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s carbon tax court challenge to be heard in February

Aaron Wudrick, the national director of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation which opposes a national carbon tax, says he was not surprised to see the federal government try to block his organization’s submission to the court.

“We were fighting this fight well before the tide turned against carbon taxes, and now that we’re winning on the political front why wouldn’t [the Trudeau government] try to minimize our impact on the legal front? Although if CTF has ‘no expertise’ in economics, it’s a bit rich for them to believe the Suzuki Foundation does!,” Wudrick said in statement e-mailed to Global News.

READ MORE: British Columbia intervening in Saskatchewan and Ontario court cases on carbon pricing

The federal government also argues that the court in Saskatchewan should reject requests for intervenor status by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and the Assembly of First Nations. It says those groups “do not address the constitutional issues before the court.”

 

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The crisis in Alberta should be top of the first ministers' agenda

"It is very careless politics, feeding forces of friction between provinces, confirming suspicions that Central Canadian mandarins are not really all that convinced that this is a national problem at all,” Rex Murphy says of the federal reaction to Alberta’s crisis.

'We bought the damn pipeline' says absolutely nothing about a real determination to get new ones built

 
rex-murphy.jpg
Rex Murphy · for CBC News · Posted: Dec 06, 2018 3:29 PM MT | Last Updated: 25 minutes ago
 
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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is dealing with a crisis and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's heart isn't in helping out, says Rex Murphy. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press, CBC, Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
 
 

Let me clear away a little brush before getting to Premier Rachel Notley's televised address from last week, the first ministers conference and the continuing outrageous neglect of Alberta's energy industry.

 

 

The federal Liberals — having dug, so enthusiastically, the pit they're in on Alberta and energy — have been offering with great frequency a most curious cartload of colourful nonsense about their proven concern for the Alberta energy industry and its workers.

 

They variously simper: "What do you mean the Liberal government doesn't care? We bought the Kinder Morgan pipeline and spent $4.5 billion to do it."

 

That's the last-line-of-defence talking point these days whenever some sad puppet has to show up on one of those infinite and infinitely dreary political panels.

 

What, in the current context, is it even supposed to mean?

Not because they wanted to

They didn't buy it because they wanted to. They didn't buy it to support Alberta oil getting to markets.

 

They bought it because their inaction, their hyper-regulation, their standing by while Green zealots conducted international campaigns against the oilsands, their non-leadership when court cases multiplied, after protests blocked and impeded Kinder Morgan's efforts to start the new pipeline.

 

They bought it because all of these factors and because, after seven years and a billion dollars trying to get just one "twin" pipeline built, Kinder Morgan cried out in pain — "Enough! Canada doesn't want a pipeline for Alberta. We give up. We're beaten. We're going." Then, our Alberta-caressing federal government steps in and buys the one already built!

 

The marijuana legislation came just in time. Break out the joints. Everyone needs to feel a little numb.

 

If the government had really backed Kinder Morgan — had stood up early on for the national interest in pursuing this project — the need to buy it would never have arisen in the first place.

 

That's why the line they are using today, the "Hey, we bought the pipeline, that shows how serious about the Alberta crisis we are" is the cheapest fudge of a hollow talking point.

 

All this is part of the melancholy backdrop that brought Premier Notley to the television screen, and her remarkable decision to cut production in the peak moment of the greatest challenge to the oil industry since the 1980s.

 

A cynical scam

Notley had, foolishly it turns out, sought co-operation with the Green-Liberal government in Ottawa — buying into Justin Trudeau's witless, made-up notion of social licence.  

She signed on to the Trudeau-McKenna soft sell, brought in the carbon (read energy) tax — and predictably it all blew up in her political face.

Alberta genuflected to the global warming ideologues, and they, once the homage had been received, the Climate Crusaders, T and M, left her high and dry.

It was a cynical scam from the very beginning. Invoked in the national interest.

And even now, when the Liberals have finally started using that phrase on Alberta getting its oil to foreign markets, it sounds rote and flat.

When Mr. Trudeau is genuinely committed something, everyone knows it. Catch him speaking at some Women of Influence conference, at one of those dread WE Days, or sending $50-million tweets to a third-string, late-night, half-funny man. You can tell he's in his element. Sense the passion.

But on Alberta oil and gas, price differentials, pipelines? On these he speaks in the unforgettable accent of all teenagers when they heard there was "more homework."

Practically unthinkable

 

The measurement of the prime minister's "I know it's a crisis here in Alberta" came mere days after, last Sunday night, when Premier Notley did the practically unthinkable. Even Jason Kenney was on side with the move — equally unthinkable in anything like normal times.

Notley pledged to keep a portion of Alberta oil and gas in the ground. She did it as a move to keep from virtually giving Canadian oil away — at a huge differential.

And then, O Irony!

Three days after her remarkable address (joined by Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe) she had to send off a letter to this same prime minister asking — this is incredible — why the "crisis in Alberta" was not even listed on the agenda of the first ministers conference.

Not. Even. On. The. Agenda.

Were energy an Ontario industry, even talking about windmills or being caught warming soup on a solar panel would be a criminal offence. And were Ontario the centre of an oil price crisis, the Trudeau government would be pushing the UN security council to have it debated. But it's an Albertan one, so it wasn't even on the agenda.

All kinds of bitterly delicious ironies surround the issue.

One of my favourites is that the so-called carbon tax (it's a tax on energy products, not an atmospheric gas), at $30 a tonne, is more than double what a barrel of Alberta oil was getting on the U.S. market in November.

Another is that the Alberta government has seriously announced that it is going to start its own railway (80 locomotives and 7,000 rail cars) if that's what it takes to get oil to market. Maybe the Last Spike was a bit of premature labelling. (Pierre Burton rotates in his crypt.)

Third irony. How can the Trudeau government possibly continue its mad tax on energy when the producing province is in such a bind that it has to impose a cut on production with Canadian oil selling at roughly the cost of a mediocre fish and chips back home in Newfoundland, and fish and chips don't even throw off any heat?

Alberta energy should be the top item on the agenda.

The carbon-energy tax itself — most precisely its cancellation 'til Alberta has pipelines and its oil is moving to markets other than the U.S. — should be the first objective of the meeting. After Premier Notley's speech it is inconceivable that it was not the only item.

For carbon taxes are not only a primary provincial and federal concern here in Canada, but they are (in very large part) roiling political waters internationally.

From Paris to Calgary

Is anyone in the PMO paying any attention to Paris in the last three weeks?

The government of France, under a charismatic, handsome, stylishly accoutered leader, recently imposed a tax on fuel, for purposes identical to those of Canada on energy.

It did so (the phrasing is so familiar), "to curtail the use of oil," and provide a fund for "green energy innovation."

The working classes of France exploded in near revolt. The most recent demonstration saw 300,000 people take to its venerable avenues over what they saw an "outrageous demand" on poor people.

france-protests.jpgProtesters wearing yellow vests, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher fuel prices, run from police during riots on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, on Nov. 24, 2018. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron, despite early defiance of the demonstrators, quickly caved.

He backed off like a kitten from a pit bull, cancelled the "carbon tax," (he says "suspended" but that's typical politician face-saving).

Alberta is not France, and Calgary is not Paris.

That still shouldn't stop the bright green minds in our PMO from paying just a little attention to events in Europe and entertaining — entertaining — the thought that maybe they too might be suffering from a little misread. A disjunction between their high-sounding eco-ambitions, their intimate embrace of the anti-energy forces, and the feelings of most ordinary people on this subject.  

Let me underline the big point — if in the heart of global Europe, where so many IPCC conferences are held, and in Paris, where the famous Paris Accord was given birth, there is a full-scale populist revolt on the very idea of carbon taxes, does that not, even slightly, suggest it might be time to review imposing by fiat the same tax on all Canada? And, most especially, Alberta?

Events of the last while in Canada will not see the wild reaction currently happening in France. But Ottawa's chill, reluctant, tepid response to the state of affairs out West has its own perils.

It is very careless politics, feeding forces of friction between provinces, confirming suspicions that Central Canadian mandarins are not really all that convinced that this is a national problem, at all. It's just Alberta.

What the PM should do

A sensible government, a serious government would not have had the Alberta crisis brew the way it has.

It would have had a prime minister spending days out West, talking not to Chambers of Commerce, but meeting with thousands of laid-off workers, surveying the smaller businesses hurt or failing.

A prime minister visiting Fort McMurray and other communities — getting a real sense of what a part of the Confederation he leads, and the people living there, are experiencing. How they rightly feel shoved off to the side in one of their worst moments, and how they feel the scales are currently weighted in favour of ideological alarmism rather than jobs.

So, "we bought the damn pipeline" says absolutely nothing about a real determination to get new ones built.

The carbon tax should be abandoned as ill-timed and useless. Federal policies on global warming and energy should be tested, not by the standards of Suzuki and Greenpeace, but by the concept of national interest. If they please the former, it is an axiom they nullify the latter.

And — surely even people in Ottawa know that having imposed NEP1 was unfortunate, but to give birth to a second NEP is an act of wanton political irresponsibility.

 

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Thanks to Trudeaus  constant divisive identity politics pitting one part of the country against another.

 

If Alberta turns separatist, the Rest of Canada is in big trouble

Holding all the power now, Albertans would get richer while the balance of the country would get poorer

Canadians don’t value our fossil fuel economy, which explains why so many are OK to trash pipelines and see Alberta tank. Only 19 per cent think it more important to pursue oil and gas development than to go green and regulate oil, according to EKOS polling. That 19 per cent figure shrinks to eight per cent for Canadians who consider themselves Liberals, six per cent for NDPers and two per cent for those who vote Green, meaning that politicians of most stripes have no interest in alienating their supporters to help Alberta’s energy economy recover.

Those figures also explain why Alberta’s sense of alienation is on the rise. According to Ipsos, fully 62 per cent believe Alberta “does not get its fair share from Confederation” (up from 45 per cent two decades ago), 46 per cent feel more attached to their province than to their country (up from 39 per cent) and 34 per cent “feel less committed to Canada than I did a few years ago” (up from 22 per cent). Just 18 per cent of Albertans believe “the views of western Canadians are adequately represented in Ottawa.”

One-quarter of Albertans now believe Alberta “would be better off if it separated from Canada,” a number that may well rise if the provincial economy founders, and would certainly rise if Albertans realized that they need Canada a lot less than Canada needs them. Without Alberta’s wealth and foreign-exchange earnings, the living standard of Canadians outside Alberta would drop and the Canadian dollar would plummet, likely leading to inflation as the cost of imports rose. Albertans, in contrast, would see their affluence rise and, because oil sales are denominated in U.S. dollars, Alberta would be largely insulated from the inflation to its east and west.

Those pooh-poohing independence claim Alberta, being land-locked, would be held hostage if it were an independent state. Those scoffers have it backwards. Alberta is today held hostage, its pipelines east and west kiboshed by its fellow Canadians. If Alberta were independent, its newfound bargaining power would certainly cause the Rest of Canada to capitulate, and speed to completion any and all pipelines Alberta needed to either ocean.

An independent Alberta would control access to its land mass as well as the skies above it, requiring Canada’s federal government to negotiate rights for, say, Vancouver-to-Toronto flights over Alberta airspace. Canada would also need Alberta’s agreement to have trains and trucks cross its now-international borders. Threats of tolls and tariffs could abound as needed to chasten those perceived to be wronging Alberta, whether Quebec, which exports dairy to B.C., grain interests that now commandeer rail to the detriment of Alberta’s oil shippers, or the B.C. ports that depend on commodities going to and from points east. Anyone thinking that Alberta would be unable to police its borders needs to be reminded that, for the past 70 years, Alberta’s patrols have made it the continent’s only rat-free jurisdiction.

Should Alberta become a credible threat to leave the federation, the debate would embolden Quebec separatists, make Canada seem unstable and scare off investment
 
The Rest of Canada has other reasons to avoid pushing Albertans to the point of separation. Should Alberta become a credible threat to leave the Canadian federation, the debate would likely embolden Quebec separatists, make Canada seem unstable and scare off both domestic and international investment. Alberta would have the United States as a bargaining chip, too: Manifest Destiny, the U.S. dream of controlling the entire continent, would experience a revival at the prospect of welcoming Alberta as its 51ststate, strengthening America’s influence over the world’s energy markets and, in particular, over a now energy-dependent Rest of Canada.

While history suggests Alberta would almost surely be better off outside Canada — Singapore, Norway, Taiwan, the Czech Republic and other breakaways have generally thrived — divorce would be messy, costly in the short term and unnecessary. The Supreme Court of Canada made separation plausible — separation negotiations would start as soon as a clear majority of Albertans in a clearly stated referendum voted to leave Canada. It wouldn’t take too many more blows to Alberta’s economy and Albertans’ pride for the 46 per cent who now see themselves more as Albertans than Canadians to become 56 per cent or even 66 per cent, figures setting Canada on a path to dismemberment.

 

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Trudeau's neglect of the nation has led us to this place

Dark resentments thought buried in this part of the country have been reawakened, say Donna Kennedy-Glans and Don Hill.

Dark resentments thought buried in this part of the country have been reawakened

 
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Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill · for CBC News · Posted: Dec 08, 2018 9:30 AM MT | Last Updated: 10 minutes ago
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is putting Canadian confederation at risk, say Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
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In an astonishing statement to the New York Times in 2015, Justin Trudeau declared, "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,'' and consequently that "makes us the first post-national state."
This kind of talk would have been horrifying to Peter Lougheed, Alberta's premier from 1971 to 1985. He believed in Canada. He had faith in our national institutions. But the intransigence of the federal government led by Pierre Elliot Trudeau tested that faith.

And now we have Justin Trudeau, a prime minister who, like his father, has odd ideas about the country, the world, and Alberta's place in it.

Dark resentments thought buried in this part of the country have been reawakened.

The ideas behind Canadian confederation are at risk.

Albertans are perplexed, and now many are angry. Why is our prime minister, we say, so obsessively focused on his role as heroic defender of a post-nation world and in doing so, neglects the needs of his own country?

Other national leaders (France's Emmanuel Macron, for one), have learned what happens when you ignore the wishes of your citizens. Riots reminiscent of the events of 1968 in France, triggered the country's prime minister, and soon after the president, to back away from a loathed carbon tax.

In his attempts to satisfy liberal progressives and conservatives on the politics of petroleum and pipelines, our prime minister has swallowed both the red pill and the blue pill. Canada is not The Matrix.

Waking up into Justin Trudeau's worldly view is irrational — a sign of childish naiveté at best.

Trudeau said, to conclude the interview with the Times, "I'm excited to be on the world stage." And continued, ''I think people are starting to see that I'm actually reasonably fit for this office.''

We beg to differ.

Realpolitik

The Trudeaus have never understood — or seemed fond of — Alberta or the aspirations of the West.

Our prime minister is focused on a global agenda. Meanwhile, he and his team are setting Canada against itself.

One only has to look to recent events in France and the European project, in general, with Brexit a clue as to why nations are no longer keen on abandoning their autonomy for the lofty ambitions of leaders on the world stage.

 

Brian Mulroney, one of our nation's elder statesmen, recently offered Trudeau some wisdom: It's the job of the Canadian prime minister to look after Canada first and the rest of the world next.

That may sound like America First. China first. India, too — first.

It's realpolitik.

Blind spots and willful ignorance

Pro-rationing the sale of oil from Alberta — as a mandate, not a PR stunt — is a unique weapon in the hands of a political leader. This isn't an angry mob of dairy farmers, spilling milk down drains rather than selling it below cost.

This is the government of a province in Canada saying: Enough! This madness must stop!

And by sheer neglect, Trudeau created the conditions where the only legitimate response in Alberta crossed party lines, demonstrating a unity among Albertans that he's either not seeing or is willfully blind to.

It's our oil and gas. Full stop. Canada's constitution amended in 1930 said as much: provinces own and control the resources underfoot. And selling for prices below the cost of production isn't fair to the royalty owners — it's also stupid business.

Meantime: Our prime minister's neglect, even callousness, is driving a wedge between regions and igniting Western alienation. He's playing with fire.

Trudeau and his cabinet have been preoccupied with their global vision of how things ought to be at the expense of how things are in the country. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, along with her Saskatchewan counterpart Scott Moe, had to practically beg the prime minister to give the energy crisis pride of place on Friday's first ministers conference agenda.

Is it any wonder Albertans, for the second time in a generation, have executed extraordinary measures in their legislature to protect the province from an incorrigible federal leadership?

And that raises another question.

Are we all — as citizens of this country — complicit in allowing this prime minister to go forward on his destructive path toward a post-nation state?

At what price comes his glory?

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