B.C. companies unable to explain soaring gas prices
Major companies who operate throughout British Columbia have been unable to explain a 13 cent per litre difference between southern B.C. and the rest of the province. This fall, a governmental commission noted this gap during a province-wide inquiry and gave the companies an opportunity to explain it, according to the CBC.
In a statement published by the commission, the companies have failed to provide any evidence to their explanations. The commission went on to say that their evidence was “inconclusive or conflicting.”
After causing many delays, protestors have left the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, located north of Victoria, B.C. They were blocking the terminal and denying people access on Monday.
The protestors claim to be working alongside Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in attempting to cancel a liquified natural gas pipeline being implemented by Coastal GasLink. The pipeline is being built in north central B.C.
NEWS 1130 reported that the group was protesting on Highway 17 and were even in the water in kayaks too.
An online statement released by the protestors says, “In response to the recent call from the Wet’suwet’en for solidarity actions that ‘shut down rail lines, ports, and industrial infrastructure’ this action has targeted BC Ferries because of the corporation’s deepening integration with the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry,”
“BC Ferries has proposed ‘upgrades’ to two of its ferries that will make them reliant on the very product that Coastal GasLink (CGL) threatens to bring through Wet’suwet’en territory.”
Dozens of protestors took part in the event and used their banners to cover signs at the terminal.
Since being proposed, the pipeline has even caused violent encounters between protestors and police.
After coming to agreements with 20 First Nation councils, Coastal GasLink is attempting to build the pipeline from northeastern B.C. all the way to Kitimat, B.C. The pipeline will reportedly stretch 670 kilometers.
According to the hereditary clan chiefs, the project can not continue without their permission.
On Monday, Deborah Marshall from BC Ferries noted, “We fully respect the rights of individuals to protest decisions that they don’t agree with, but our concern is allowing our customers to have safe and unimpeded access to our terminal.”
“At our Swartz Bay terminal right now, the lanes are blocked. The lanes leading into the terminal, so no customers are able to access the terminal at this point, so it’s affecting all of our routes sailing in and out of Swartz Bay right now.”
Conservative MP Jeremy Patzer is the representative for Cypress Hills—Grasslands (Saskatchewan).
We are now entering the second year of living under Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax regime in Canada. The beginning of a new year is a good time for us to step back and reflect on how federal policies are affecting the lives of everyday Canadians. At the same time, we are only a few months away from an annual carbon tax hike coming in April.
While firmly believing that this tax is generally harmful and ineffective, I want to focus on a telling feature of the Liberals’ so-called plan for reducing Canada’s carbon emissions. When the Liberal government first introduced their carbon tax in the last parliament, they reassured Canadians that it would be revenue neutral. Related to this claim, they announced that Canadians would receive a rebate in proportion to the amount collected from each province. According to them, it should acknowledge and adequately offset the costs of the tax on consumers.
Right before the end of 2019, we learned that the government is walking back their previous projections for the rebate a family of four could receive. Coincidentally (or not), the rebate happens to be going down for all the provinces that have not gone along with putting their own carbon tax into place. My home province of Saskatchewan is getting the biggest decrease in rebate money.
While the cost-increasing effects of the carbon tax can hurt many vulnerable members of our society, it is particularly making life harder for families and seniors. I have seen and heard about the damage it is causing my constituents and others living in rural Canada. I come from a riding and a region of the country where, along with making everything more expensive, the carbon tax is delaying economic recovery and draining away our agricultural and resource-based economy.
Of course, this is just another insult added to injury. The Liberals have also said that most households would receive more money back than they are paying under the tax, despite some indications to the contrary. After regularly spending extra for home heating or driving long distances in a part of the country where both are necessary, the full compensation through a rebate is questionable at best. On top of that, there have also been farmers calling attention to paying hundreds of dollars in additional tax for drying their grain after a difficult harvest year, which must be done if they want to make a living. Is there real compensation for them?
Considering all this, it gives us a perfect picture of how Canadians can expect the carbon tax to work in actual practice. As the tax rate and costs are on the rise, there is less support for taxpayers and struggling families. So far, the carbon tax rebate is turning out to be another letdown.
As tax season approaches after the first year of living under this policy, we are left to wonder if this discouraging trend will continue.
A wealthy businessman who was well-connected to Asian organized crime was permitted to buy a stake in a British Columbian Lottery Group casino, according to Global News.
The government official who allowed the transaction to occur was later hired by the casino in question.
Asian organized crime has been reported to have dipped their tentacles into British Columbian casinos. This was made starkly apparent through a 2009 RCMP report. Asian women with gambling debts, for instance, were being trafficked to B.C. and forced into sex work.
As a result of this, the RCMP report robustly concluded that the police should be targeting B.C. casinos as a way of combatting money laundering.
Despite this, the British Columbian government decided to defund and then disband the illegal gaming unit, provoking outcry amongst those who wanted to see a more transparent gambling industry in the province.
The price of everything in Alberta is expected to increase on Wednesday as the federal carbon tax of $20-per-ton takes effect there Jan. 1 and ramps up to $30 in April 2020; in line with Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.
After the United Conservative party routed New Democrat incumbents in April of this year, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s new government scrapped the provincial carbon tax as their first order of business.
This set the table for the federal carbon tax to be imposed on the province in line with the Liberal government’s policy to mandate the levy in jurisdictions without their own regime.
This federal levy will increase $10 each year until it hits $50/ton by 2022.
“Effectively what Ottawa has done, despite Albertans saying no twice, (is) you will be treated to a seven cent kick in the pants,” Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy told Global News.
McTeague estimates that the carbon tax will increase gas prices in Alberta by seven cents per litre–diesel by eight cents–and cascade through the economy causing the cost of goods and services in the province to rise as well.
The provincial government is currently challenging the constitutionality of the federal levy in court and on the eve of the New Year, Alberta’s Justice minister Doug Schweitzer vowed to continue the fight.
“Albertans overwhelmingly rejected carbon taxes at the ballot box,” said Schweitzer in Calgary on Tuesday.
“While some pundits and politicians at home would prefer that we simply roll over and accept Ottawa’s unconstitutional imposition of carbon taxes on Albertans, we are steadfast in our commitment to stand up for our province.”
Similar challenges by Saskatchewan and Ontario in their provincial appeals courts have resulted in split decisions favouring Ottawa–3-2 in Saskatchewan in May; 4-1 in Ontario last June.
Either province have since taken their cases to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Meanwhile, the federal government is saying the carbon tax rebates for Alberta residents with an “average family of four” will be reimbursed $880, and couples or a single parents with one dependent are eligible for up to $666.
McTeague says there is a lot of hidden costs to the carbon tax because the cost of basic goods will go up due to the tax, making the cost of living rise.