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On the Way to the 2019 Federal Election

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‎Today, ‎November ‎26, ‎2018, ‏‎10 minutes ago
 

John Ivison: Federal government can’t save the GM plant — or change the weather

 
‎Today, ‎November ‎26, ‎2018, ‏‎32 minutes ago | John Ivison

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Liberal government was telling Canadians the economy is strong and the middle class is making progress.

That’s because it was last Wednesday, in the fall fiscal update.

Bill Morneau, the finance minister, was remarkably upbeat, claiming the government had struck the “appropriate balance” between prudence and spending; that a return to budgetary balance was merely “a question of timing.”

But the news from GM Monday that it plans to close five North American auto plants, including one in Oshawa, Ont., with the loss of 14,000 jobs across the continent, shows how quickly the best-laid schemes of mice and men go awry.

The mood across Ontario mirrored the weather — bleak and misty. There was another parallel between the elements and the closure — this country’s politicians could do nothing about either of them.

Justin Trudeau offered the equivalent of thoughts and prayers: “Our thoughts go out to the workers,” he said. Doug Ford, the Ontario premier, sounded resigned to the loss of thousands of jobs: “The ship has already left the dock,” he said.

Their comments stood in stark contrast to Donald Trump, who reacted to the closure of four plants in the U.S., the consequence of sagging sedan sales.

The president thundered that he’d been tough on GM chief executive, Mary Barra, that the U.S. had done a lot for her company and if its cars weren’t selling, it needed to replace them with cars that did. He said he had no doubt that “in the not too distant future, (GM) will put something else in” the Ohio car plant, adding “They’d better put something else in.”

The Canadians offered a stereotypically meek response, the equivalent of a quiescent shrug, amid promises to help support the affected workers.

Navdeep Bains, the shell-shocked economic development minister, said the government only found out about the closure announcement on Sunday, even though he spoke to GM about the future of the Oshawa plant at the World Economic Forum two years ago. Could this really have come as a shock, given those discussions?

Bains appeared as forlorn and helpless as the poor guys on the production line, who’d just been told they were surplus to requirements.

The only sense that the ship of state is not entirely rudderless came in a cryptic line thrown out by Trudeau during question period. “As we look to the future, we are developing a plan that will focus on new initiatives…,” he said before his microphone was cut off.

 

What that plan might look like, should it even exist, remains a mystery, but the government just last week stuck another $800 million into its “strategic innovation fund” to support “innovative investments” across the country.

An article in the Toronto Star suggested the government look at nationalizing GM Canada, deeming the prospect of the country having its own automaker “a compelling proposition.”

That sounds like the worst public policy idea since Prohibition. We tried this once and lost $3.7 billion.

GM is not shuttering these plants simply to goose the share price — though it did rise nearly five per cent, thanks to the industrial carnage unleashed on the five affected communities. The moves were taken in response to what GM called “changing customer preferences” and a decline in demand for the small and mid-size cars made at those plants.

It would not be a good use of taxpayers’ money to buy the plant and keep producing cars that people no longer want.

But is it possible to persuade GM, or more likely, another manufacturer to fill the void? Perhaps that was what Trudeau was hinting at.

That might be a tough sell. Liberal governments in Ontario and Ottawa have not been overly concerned about competitiveness and investment, at least not until Morneau’s Damascene conversion in last week’s fiscal update.

Rising personal and small business taxes, soaring electricity rates, the introduction of a higher minimum wage, more onerous environmental laws and the prospect of a carbon tax have all contributed to weaker capital spending in recent years.

But the Ford government is trying to undo some of the damage to Ontario’s reputation as a place to invest, and the recent fiscal update strives to reduce the marginal effective tax rate to competitive global levels.

This announcement should be put into context. The skies were ominous, but they weren’t falling. The Bank of Canada expects business investment to perform well: investment intentions are strong, corporate profits are high and Canada is proving successful at attracting foreign investment in knowledge industries, software design and tech services.

But that progress is uneven. The oil industry is in crisis, stymied by lack of pipelines. Meanwhile, Texan producers in the Permian basin have just announced they will produce two million more barrels a day, thanks to three pipelines due to come online in the next two years.

Fears of retrenchment in the oil and auto sectors — two of the major drivers of Canadian growth in the post-war era — suggest the government’s buoyant views on the economy are overdone. What’s good for General Motors, is clearly not good for Canada.

• Email: jivison@postmedia.com | Twitter: IvisonJ

 

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'It would not be a good use of taxpayers’ money to buy the plant and keep producing cars that people no longer want.'

Hmm, 10 million square feet of heated, covered space with heavy duty electrical infrastructure located adjacent to virtually unlimited source of water for irrigation and a large pool of potential employees to be trained at government expense

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but is there any money left, after all they just gave Chrysler a multi billion loan forgiveness.

Liberal government writes off $1.1B US loan to Chrysler, plus interest, docs show

CBC News has learned that the Liberal government has written off a loan made to Chrysler in 2009 to bail out the auto sector. The taxpayer-funded loan has been accruing interest for nine years without payments, and the write-off represents a loss of public funds totalling $2.6 billion.

Massive write-off referred to in documents tabled in Parliament without any details of explanation

Dean Beeby · CBC News · Posted: Oct 22, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: October 22

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Kind of ironic that GM is closing the plant to focus on electric and autonomous vehicles.....the kind of technology that Trudeau has been crowing about in his speech’s and the shift to clean tech...

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Perspective....Trudeau does SFA to help the true economic engine of Canada...yet promises help for GM workers. Makes one go hmmmmm  :Scratch-Head:

 

Some day these equalization payments, mainly funded by Alberta, will dry and Karmas going to be a real bitch.

E3A00810-58D6-449A-A516-A00FFB3FC5B1.jpeg

3418E7BA-7569-4160-B442-6FB84A184CBC.jpeg

Edited by Jaydee

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Love the expression......all hat, no cattle   🐮 

As a side note,, big push on locally to win the riding of Leeds Grenville which has been Conservative for the last 10 years or so. (the seat became vacant with the death of MP Gord Brown). It was a close vote 3 years ago.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in downtown Kemptville tomorrow (Nov. 27) to join Liberal Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes byelection candidate, Mary Jean McFall

Trudeau and McFall are expected to stop in at Geronimo Coffee House (146 Prescott Street) at approximately 2:45 p.m.

“Justin Trudeau and I are the only team that has a positive plan to strengthen the middle class, stand up for local jobs and agriculture industries, and provide real help for families and seniors in our region,” said Mary Jean McFall in a Nov. 26 press release. “Real change is working for Canadian families, and we can’t afford to let Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives take us back to the failed policies of Stephen Harper — policies that left too many families in our region falling behind.”

No mention of deficits,balancing the budget, or sunny ways in this round.

The liberal candidate, Mary Jean McFall, is a lawyer by trade who has been involved in running the family egg business, Burnbrae Farms (one of the largest egg producers in Canada). Recently, she is working as chief of staff for the Agriculture minister.

The Conservative candidate is Michael Barrett, retired Canadian Forces veteran who has been an elected councillor in local municipalities. He is very familiar with local issues and the rural populations.

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2 hours ago, st27 said:

Love the expression......all hat, no cattle   🐮 

As a side note,, big push on locally to win the riding of Leeds Grenville which has been Conservative for the last 10 years or so. (the seat became vacant with the death of MP Gord Brown). It was a close vote 3 years ago.

No mention of deficits,balancing the budget, or sunny ways in this round.

The liberal candidate, Mary Jean McFall, is a lawyer by trade who has been involved in running the family egg business, Burnbrae Farms (one of the largest egg producers in Canada). Recently, she is working as chief of staff for the Agriculture minister.

The Conservative candidate is Michael Barrett, retired Canadian Forces veteran who has been an elected councillor in local municipalities. He is very familiar with local issues and the rural populations.

This should be a good indication of where Ontario’s head is at....Either it’s stuck in the  land of unicorns and fairy tales or it’s looking forward to a resumption of normalcy.

Edited by Jaydee

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Looking for those votes:  How about looking after Anglophones and particular those in the west?

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Trudeau to meet federal party leaders to talk support for French Canadians in wake of Ford cuts

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with the leaders of the other federal political parties Wednesday to discuss what can be done to support French Canadians in the wake of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s recent cuts.

Meeting will also address concerns for French Canadians in other provinces

Peter Zimonjic · CBC News · Posted: Nov 27, 2018 8:18 PM ET | Last Updated: 9 minutes ago
 
doug-ford-ontario-premier.jpg
Ontario Premier Doug Ford's recent cuts to francophone services in Ontario was the catalyst for the meeting of federal party leaders. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
1 comments
 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with the leaders of the other federal political parties Wednesday to discuss what can be done to support French Canadians in the wake of Ontario Premier Doug Ford's recent cuts.

The session was mentioned in Trudeau's daily itinerary report, which said only that the prime minister was meeting to discuss "issues facing the Canadian Francophonie" with the NDP's Jagmeet Singh, the Green Party's Elizabeth May, the Conservatives' Andrew Scheer and the interim leader of the Bloc Québécois, Mario Beaulieu.

A senior government official speaking on background told CBC that the Wednesday afternoon meeting is being held in response to the cuts the Ford government made to French language services in Ontario.

In its fall economic update, Ford's government announced it would be cancelling a plan to build a long-awaited French-language university in Toronto and would be abolishing the position of the French language services commissioner.

Last week, after widespread criticism, Ford backed down to a degree, sticking to his decision to cancel the French-language university but restoring the position of French language services commissioner. He also named Attorney General Caroline Mulroney as a new minister of francophone affairs and said he would hire a senior policy adviser responsible for francophone affairs.

Trudeau's meeting will also address the concerns of francophones in other provinces - including New Brunswick, Canada's only official bilingual province, where the new Progressive Conservative government has just one elected francophone member.

Reaching out

Following Ford's cuts, Scheer himself was accused by some critics of failing to swiftly condemn them or demand that they be reversed.

On Monday morning, Scheer's office sent Trudeau a letter requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

The Prime Minister's Office welcomed the idea, according to the government official, and invited other party leaders to attend as well.

The official also argued that the Trudeau PMO has made a point of reaching out to the opposition in the past — most recently on the the renegotiation of NAFTA and the imposition of U.S. tariffs on Canadian goods and resources.

 

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Ford cut funding for ONE proposed French school and Trudeau goes postal with his identity politics. Notice Dumbledorf says SFA about the THREE English schools affected.

Ford is running a government on what tax payers can afford. He is trying desperately to clean up the mess left by the Liberals. He is trying to eventually balance a budget.

Meanwhile Trudeau does nothing but make grandiose promises paid for with borrowed money.

The stark diffence between a Conservative and a Liberal.

Eventually Liberals will run out of other people’s money to throw away.

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Edited by Jaydee
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1 minute ago, Jaydee said:

 

Eventually Liberals will run out of other people’s money to throw away.

But sadly their loyal supporters will still vote for them.  

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And speaking of $$$$$$....

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Yet on page 107 of the document, there is one line that quietly ushers in the expenditure of a further $9.5 billion on “non-announced measures.”

That money is now built into the fiscal framework, adding to the deficits that disappear over the government’s planning horizon.

What the billions are being spent on is a mystery. A footnote is the only hint, suggesting the provision is for “anticipated Cabinet decisions not yet made and funding decisions related to national security, commercial sensitivity, trade agreements and litigation issues.”https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-with-non-announced-budgetary-measures-liberals-effectively-create-a-9-5b-slush-fund

 

Our  money....  the liberals whims.

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I still think I've died and awoken in purgatory.

Where else could a demonstrably deficient troll like trudeau stand around pulling billions of dollars out of his butt and spending it on absolutely foolish and detrimental causes without challenge?

 

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RCMP called to probe tale of two Liberal MPs, a suburban overpass, trip to India and multimillion dollar land deal

 
‎Today, ‎November ‎30, ‎2018, ‏‎33 minutes ago | Tom Blackwell

The Toronto-area city of Brampton has asked the RCMP to look at a multimillion-dollar land deal after confidential information on the transaction was passed to local Liberal MPs Navdeep Bains and Raj Grewal, sources confirmed Friday.

City council referred the matter to the Mounties at a special meeting Tuesday, sources confirmed to the National Post.

The information received by Bains – the economic development minister – and Grewal, who recently resigned his seat because of a gambling addiction and related debts, included the price the city had offered the Ontario government for the piece of land, about $3.3 million.

After talks between the municipality and province broke down, a local company called Goreway Heaven Inc. bought the property for a similar amount and later sold it to the city for $4.4 million, according to two sources.

Goreway Heaven appears to have Liberal ties, with at least one of its directors taking part in the prime minister’s ill-fated trip to India earlier this year. About half of the directors have made two or more donations each to the federal Liberal party.

The land was sold to the city in January of this year. A month later, Goreway Heaven director Baghwan “Gary” Grewal – no relation to the MP but a former Liberal riding association president in Mississauga-Streetsville – took part in Trudeau’s visit to India, his invitation-only Facebook page indicates.

“An honour to be part of PM Trudeau’s delegation,” he says in one post.

Grewal’s page includes photographs in which he poses with Raj Grewal, Bains, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and various other Liberal MPs who took part in the visit.

Baghwan Grewal could not be reached for comment.

Raj Grewal said through a spokesman that he received a city report on the land deal unsolicited and then did nothing with it.

Suggesting he leaked the price information to Goreway Heaven would be “categorically false,” said Grewal representative Joel Etienne.

Bains spokesman Dani Keenan said the minister never shared with anyone or benefited in any way from confidential information related to the Goreway proejct.

“Any insinuation or allegation of wrongdoing on his part are categorically false and will be responded to by his lawyer,” said Keenan.

overpass-3.png?w=640&h=480

Brampton MPs Navdeep Bains and Sonia Sidhu at a reception in India with Bhagwan Grewal, right, whose company Goreway Heaven was involved in a land deal that sources say the city of Brampton has referred to the RCMP for investigation.

Two Goreway directors said the company was one of 24 bidders on the land and bought it to develop themselves, partly by building a funeral home. When they learned the site was “landlocked” and they couldn’t get a permit for their project, they had no choice but to sell, the businessmen said.

The firm had no advance knowledge of what the city had already offered for it, added directors Jaswinder Bhatti and Kulwant Riarh, and did not discuss the deal with either MP. Bhatti said he deals occasionally with Grewal but only as his local member.

“We buy like 20 properties in a year. We never discussed this, and he’s never acted on any property as a lawyer or anything,” the director said.  “He’s MP in that area. That’s it. Nothing else.”

The Pointer news web site, which broke the story Thursday, suggested that Hasneet Punia, chief of staff to outgoing Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey had “leaked” the price figure to Bains and Grewal.

But Marcel Wieder of Aurora Strategy Group, who is representing the official, said Punia was just doing his job. He simply gave the two MPs a staff report on the project that included the price, part of a routine effort to convince the federal government to help fund the city’s planned project.

“The information on how much the city had agreed to pay the province for the Goreway Drive land was part of the confidential report passed on to the two MPs’ offices, and Mr. Punia has no idea how that information was used by others, if at all,” said Wieder.

Chantal Gagnon, a Trudeau press secretary, said neither Bhagwan Grewal nor any other business person on the trip was part of the prime minister’s official delegation, but were invited by individual MPs to specific events. Raj Grewal said he did not ask along any of the Goreway Heaven directors.

The contentious land deal comes amid growing controversy around Grewal, who resigned a little over a week ago. After he first cited “personal and medical” reasons, Trudeau’s office, and later Grewal himself, revealed that he had a gambling problem and large debts stemming from that.

Media reports indicate the RCMP has been investigating financial activities around the millions of dollars the MP bet at casinos and elsewhere, while a Conservative senator says he learned 18 months ago that Grewal was under investigation because of his prodigious gambling.

The city of Brampton had for 20 years wanted to clear up a traffic bottle-neck near its border with Mississauga by building an overpass across railway tracks.

It was in negotiations to buy land it needed for the project from the province but broke off talks because Ontario asked for more than the $3.3 million Brampton offered, a source said.

Then in February of 2017, Goreway bought the parcel instead, with Bhatti and Riarh estimating they paid in the $3.3-$3.5 million range. Riarh said he loaned the company $2 million for the purchase, and that they planned to build a trucking terminal or large warehouse and a funeral home.

overpass-2.png?w=640&h=480

Recently sold land in Brampton, Ont., confidential information on which was apparently given to Liberal MP Raj Grewal by an aide to the city’s mayor.

This January, Goreway sold it to the city for about a million dollars more than it had paid as, a source said, Brampton now realized it had no choice but to obtain the property.

Bhatti said the $4.4 million was a reasonable price, given all the expenses Goreway Heaven faced in the interim and the fact it couldn’t now use the parcel.

“You have to pay the mortgage, you have to pay the land transfer taxes. … Then you have to hire all the people to develop that land,” he said. “We developed all the development plans, submitted to the city, along with their fees. If you add up, how much that all costs?”

Several of Goreway’s directors seem to be supporters of the Liberal party.

According to Elections Canada, a Bhagwan Grewal has contributed about $6,000 to the federal party since 2009.

Names in the Elections Canada database that match other directors include Kiran Malhotra, donating a total of about $1,000 to the Liberals, Gurmeet Sidhu about $3,000, Jaswinder Bhatti, about $3,000 (plus a similar amount to the NDP) and Upinder Dhanoa, contributing $616 in 2015 to the Liberals (and $450 to the Conservatives in 2009).

• Email: tblackwell@postmedia.com | Twitter: tomblackwellNP

 

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Grewal rethinking decision to resign as MP, says he has repaid gambling debts

Liberal MP Raj Grewal rises in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Friday, June 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

     
 
     
     
     
     
 
     
     

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, December 1, 2018 1:41AM EST

OTTAWA -- Liberal MP Raj Grewal says he has repaid his sizable gambling debts and is now reconsidering his hasty decision to quit politics.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page late Friday, Grewal ended several days of silence, saying Canadians deserve to know the details of his personal troubles.

Grewal's sudden decision to step down as the member for the southern Ontario riding of Brampton East was prompted by a gambling problem that led him to incur significant personal debts, the Prime Minister's Office said last week.

 

A source with knowledge of events has told The Canadian Press that the RCMP began looking into Grewal's casino gambling based on reports of unusually large financial transactions.

In his message, Grewal said he began frequenting the Casino du Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Que., in early 2016, racking up personal debt in the millions of dollars playing high-stakes blackjack. He started to borrow money from family and friends to continue to gamble.

"On an average sitting, I would spend between 15 to 30 minutes at a table, and I either won a lot of money, which made me continue to chase wins, or I lost a significant amount of money, which threw me into complete despair," he says.

"I want to make it clear, that every single personal loan made to me was by cheque. Everybody has been paid back, and every loan and repayment is transparent and traceable. This has nothing to do at all with anything sinister except to feed my own addiction. I apologize to my family for both having to financially bail me out and to carry this burden with me."

Grewal says he hid his compulsive gambling addiction "from absolutely everyone" -- including his wife of four months -- and suffered in silence until telling his family on Nov. 5. Their love and support gave him the courage to speak to the Prime Minister's Office on Nov. 19, he says.

After a brief conversation Nov. 21 with Liberal colleague Mark Holland, the chief government whip, Grewal was told he probably could not remain in caucus and should resign his seat, the Facebook message says. Grewal flew back to Brampton to tell his family.

"In a highly emotional state, completely exhausted and facing an extreme time constraint, I made an unadvised and irrational statement on Facebook that I would be resigning my seat."

Grewal now says he will take a leave of absence from the Liberal caucus to focus on his mental health and recover, and make a final decision about his political future before Parliament resumes in the new year.

"I do not take this decision lightly, as it is easier for my family and me to just fade away and avoid the daily media scrutiny this will bring."

A well-placed insider told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that if Grewal did not officially resign soon, he would be kicked out of the Liberal caucus.

The federal ethics commissioner began an inquiry last May after two opposition MPs expressed concerns that Grewal might have been in a conflict of interest when he invited a construction executive -- who was paying Grewal for legal services at the time -- to official events with Trudeau during the prime minister's trip to India this year.

The Prime Minister's Office acknowledged last week that the RCMP had made inquiries related to the ethics complaint against Grewal. But the insider said the PMO only recently realized that the Mounties' questions might actually have been part of a broader investigation.

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December 1, 2018 6:35 pm

Trudeau says his office only recently learned of Raj Grewal’s gambling problem

By Kristy Kirkup The Canadian Press
 

WATCH: Trudeau didn't find out about Raj Grewal's gambling until last week

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday he learned of Liberal MP Raj Grewal‘s gambling problem just over a week ago, and his office had no information that an RCMP investigation was connected to the issue.

READ MORE: Raj Grewal no longer a member of Liberal caucus: chief whip Mark Holland

Grewal admitted to a gambling addiction in a video Friday, saying he would step down from the party caucus, that his sizeable debt has been repaid and he was reconsidering resigning as MP. Chief government whip Mark Holland confirmed Saturday that Grewal was no longer a member of the party caucus.

The RCMP had previously come into contact with Grewal’s gambling issue while investigating potential money laundering, according to an anonymous source. RCMP declined to comment to Global News.

READ MORE: Liberal MP Raj Grewal’s name came up in money laundering case: source

Trudeau told a news conference in Buenos Aires that his office was aware the Mounties had been examining Grewal, on a separate matter of his connection to the prime minister’s trip to India this year.

Grewal had invited a construction executive – who was paying him for legal services – to official events with Trudeau during the trip.

The PMO was aware the RCMP was asking questions related to the India trip and that an ethics investigation was going on around Grewal, Trudeau said.

WATCH: Trudeau says RCMP investigation into Grewal was independent

“We had no information at that point there was any connection to a gambling problem we had no information on,” he said.

“On Wednesday of last week, I was apprised of Mr. Grewal’s gambling problem…. I understand my office became aware of that within a day or so of briefing me.”

In his video, Grewal said he began frequenting the Casino du Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Que., in early 2016, racking up personal debt in the millions of dollars playing high-stakes blackjack. He started to borrow money from family and friends to continue to gamble.

READ MORE: Raj Grewal move from finance committee ‘absolutely not’ linked to gambling, police probe: feds

“On an average sitting, I would spend between 15 to 30 minutes at a table, and I either won a lot of money, which made me continue to chase wins, or I lost a significant amount of money, which threw me into complete despair,” he said.

“I want to make it clear, that every single personal loan made to me was by cheque. Everybody has been paid back, and every loan and repayment is transparent and traceable.”

The issue had nothing to do with “anything sinister” except addiction issues, he added, while apologizing to his family for having to bail him out and carry the burden with him.

READ MORE: Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal resigned over ‘gambling problem’: PMO

Grewal said he would take a leave of absence from the Liberal caucus to focus on his mental health, and make a final decision about his political future before Parliament resumes in the new year.

A source with knowledge of events has told The Canadian Press that the RCMP began looking into Grewal’s casino gambling based on reports of unusually large financial transactions.

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This whole story doesn’t pass the smell test....how does he pay off over $1mill debt within a week on an MPs salary??  This raises as many questions as his gambling debts.

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Liberals drop contentious anti-abortion test for summer jobs funding

Contentious wording in Ottawa's summer jobs program that tied pro-choice beliefs on abortion to funding eligibility is being dropped after a backlash to what was styled last year as a values test. Instead, the federal Liberals have retooled the 2019 version of the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Wording changes aim to address concerns from faith-based groups after uproar

Jordan Press · The Canadian Press · Posted: Dec 06, 2018 8:43 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu is changing the controversial wording on applications for the summer jobs program. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
 

Contentious wording in Ottawa's summer jobs program that tied pro-choice beliefs on abortion to funding eligibility is being dropped after a backlash to what was styled last year as a values test.

Instead, the federal Liberals have retooled the 2019 version of the Canada Summer Jobs program to require applicants to declare they don't work to infringe on any Canadian's legal rights.

Wording on the application for the 2018 version of the program required groups to say neither their core mandate nor the jobs being funded actively worked to undermine constitutional, human and reproductive rights.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the change — made after informal consultations over the past few months — should clear up concerns from faith-based groups who expressed outrage over this past year's requirements.

"They felt this was about their values and beliefs and not about the jobs and the performances of the students in particular roles, and we took that to heart," Hajdu said in an interview.

"We've been working on making sure we do what we intended to do, which is to stand up for the rights of Canadians ... but that we also work closely with faith-based groups and others so that they can see how they themselves would fit into this program."

Additional changes have been made to the program's eligibility criteria to disqualify any project or summer job that tries to restrict access a woman's ability to access sexual or reproductive health services. Other disqualifying traits include jobs that restrict the exercise of human rights, or that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or ethnic origin.

"This is a program about quality jobs for kids, so we shouldn't be asking kids in any circumstance to do work that would put them into a position to have to undermine or restrict the rights of others," Hajdu said.

"That's not the kind of job experience we would want young people to have, especially for, often times, their first [job]."

The change is one of several made to the popular program to be outlined today to MPs. Employers can begin to apply later this month.

Expanding age eligibility

The Liberals are opening the program to any young person age 15 to 30, no longer requiring them to be students in order to have their position qualify for funding.

Widening eligibility is a step towards a revamp of the summer jobs program that a government-struck expert panel called for last year.

The panel's final report recommended the Liberals expand eligibility for the Canada Summer Jobs program to include those not in post-secondary studies, and make funding accessible throughout the year and not just during the summer months.

Available positions will also be posted on a newly released mobile app that lets users search through the federal government's job bank.

At the end of the summer, employers and employees will be required to fill out a survey so the government can get better feedback about their experiences to help fine-tune the program going forward. Hajdu said employers will also be required to follow mentorship plans for their workers as part of efforts to ensure only "quality" jobs are funded.

The data collected won't be used to screen out employers in subsequent funding years, but to evaluate the program overall, Hajdu said.

"This is a really great jobs program for kids, they make some money, they get that experience, but we want to make sure it is actually resulting in quality experience."

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We can only hope this poll is accurate.

Tories would win if vote held today: Poll

 

  • Calgary Sun
  • 9 Dec 2018
  • KEVIN CONNOR

TORONTO — The federal conservative party would win a majority if an election was held today, a new poll shows.

In a recent random sampling, 43% said they would vote conservative, while 34% would cast a Liberal ballot.

“The conservatives have a strong and steady lead over the Liberals as we go into the new year,” said dr. Lorne bozinoff, president of Forum research, which conducted the survey.

“With more than half of the NDP, BQ (bloc Quebecois) and Green voters believing that canada is better off now than it was four years ago, it will be imperative for (Prime minister Justin) Trudeau’s Liberals to capture uncommitted voters from those parties in order to have a chance at winning the election over (andrew) Scheer’s conservatives.”

Favouring the conservatives is the latest results finding that 54% of respondents disapprove of the job Trudeau is doing, which include a number of unpopular gaffes.

The Pm was recently criticized for tweeting to a late-night TV host that canada would donate $50 million to an education charity the host was involved in.

critics said Trudeau was trying to impress a celebrity.

earlier this year, the Trudeau government took a $1.6-million trip to India and included in the expenses was $17,000 to bring along a celebrity chef to prepare a meal for an official reception. among the many other missteps, has been his very unpopular claim the budget will balance itself.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has a 41% disapproval rating with voters, according to the poll.

Scheer’s disapproval rate is the lowest at 35%.

The poll is based on a national random telephone survey of 1,541 respondents. It was conducted from nov. 28 to 29 and is considered accurate plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20.

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Nutrition North Canada to receive $62M subsidy boost for better access to traditional cuisine

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎12, ‎2018, ‏‎2 hours ago | National Post Staff

While the price of subsidized food in Canada’s northern isolated communities is dropping, investment in traditional and country cuisine is getting a $62.6 million boost.

As of Jan. 1, 2019,  ingredients for making bannock, a traditional northern bread, including flour, oil, butter and lard, will receive higher subsidies, as will pasta, diapers and frozen fruit.

The federal government announced increased funding for Nutrition North Canada (NNC), a retail subsidy program to fund foods for Northerners and Indigenous people in isolated communities, on Monday.

This change comes in response to a 2016 Government of Canada report, where Northerners and Indigenous people said they were concerned that the foods subsidized by the program were developed from a southern perspective and did not take into account traditional diet.

Canada Food Guides recommend plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, but eating seven servings of produce is difficult when fresh foods come with sky-high price tags.

Meeting those guidelines might be logistically impossible, or culturally unsuitable, for those living in Canada’s north. Some isolated communities lack year-round road, rail or marine links, which means that for many, perishable, nutritious food is expensive at best, and often simply inaccessible.

Respondents to the 2016 report requested funding and tax exemptions to support hunting and fishing and the purchase of accompanying equipment. They also showed an interest for direct funding for locally produced vegetables.

Country food is a local, sustainable alternative for some northern communities. The recent Aboriginal People’s Survey found that 84% of Inuit who are 15-years and older are participating in traditional crafts and/or harvesting.

“For Inuit, harvesting, processing, consumption and sharing of country food is deeply linked to community ethics, identity and building relationships” said Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik, in an email.  “It is a necessary and integral part of Inuit culture. It is our safety net, at a time of major social changes.”

Currently, country foods receive the least funding of all food categories, receiving less than one per cent of subsidies. The updated plan will funnel more money into the Harvesters Support Grant, which will help to lower the high costs associated with traditional hunting and harvesting activities.

Tsi’a Joseph Zoe-Martin is the retail co-ordinator for Tlicho Investment, a northern retailer that air-drops Nutrition North-subsidized foods to three communities outside of Yellowknife.

Zoe-Martin says that the current changes will be beneficial in funding the often time-consuming process of hunting in Canada’s north.

“The cost of hunting can be expensive: purchasing the bullets, getting the oil, going on the long hunt – they can last several days to a week. The subsidies could help cover these costs, which would help bring more country food into the community,” he says.

This announcement comes after all five of Canada’s major Inuit organizations — from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Makivik Corporation, and the Nunatsiavut Government — walked out of federally run working groups on food security last April.

In a letter to then-northern affairs minister Carolyn Bennett, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed expressed the sentiment that their recommendations for Inuit-specific changes were not being fairly considered.

Monday night, Obed in a news release that he welcomes the federal government’s willingness to establish Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee working groups in the next few months to discuss the program.

“Our expectation going forward is that the federal government will work jointly with Inuit through the recently announced Inuit Crown bilateral process on food security to make the necessary and foundational systemic changes to NNC so it evolves into an accountable, transparent social program that reduces food insecurity in Inuit communities,” said Obed.

Kotierk’s organization also walked out on the April working group. While Kotierk acknowledges that there are “no simple solutions” to the complex issue of food insecurity in the north, he maintains the Nutrition North program has “not made a significant positive impact for Nunavut Inuit families.” He says he welcomes modifications to the program which addressing this.

Labrador MP Yvonne Jones, parliamentary secretary to Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, announced these changes in Nunavut.

“Our government firmly believes that policy created with Northerners, for Northerners is the most effective,” said Jones in a press release. “The changes to the subsidy rates and the food eligibility list announced today reflect what we have heard from Northerners about how we can better help them access healthy foods.”

According to Zoe-Martin, next steps could include selling country foods in more retail establishments. However, the sale of country foods has risen ethical debates, and he’s unsure of how he would be able to bring traditional means to northern communities.

“I’m not sure what would be the appropriate way to sell caribou meat, for instance,” he said. “Do we sell it in a store? Is it something we keep in a community fridge?”

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This is another example of government intervention going bad.

Here was a group of people that enjoyed a healthy organic diet that protected them entirely from diseases such as diabetes.

It's hard to imagine, but in spite of what is known today, our ever helpful government is still pushing subsidized foods from our pantry onto them knowing exposing this group to sugar, antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides will not produce healthier people, especially over the shorter term.

 

 

 

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