Canada loses twice as U.S. ends sanction-waivers on Iranian crude
Canada’s reliance on foreign oil, and the federal government’s continued support of the Iran nuclear deal after the United States’ withdrawal, will hurt us both short and long term—first economically, second in relations with our superpower neighbour.
On Monday the U.S. cut sanction waivers to major buyers of crude oil from Iran —Japan, South Korea, China, India and Turkey—in an effort to pressure the regime to halt its nuclear program and state sponsorship of terror.
News over the weekend that an announcement loomed caused Brent crude, the international price benchmark, to crest at $74 a barrel for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, Western Canada Select was cheaper by $20/barrel and the Canadian Crude Index—a global commodity comparison against all domestic oil production—ranks our product cheapest in the world, averaging a spot price of $52/barrel. Our inability to increase capacity to get this product to tidewater and international buyers will cause these prices to languish.
As for the 2.85 million barrels Canada does export each day, nearly all of that (97%) is going to the United States at a heavy discount to West Texas Intermediate, currently trading around $66/barrel.
Compounding our inability to increase the price of Canadian oil by floating more of it internationally (riding the wave of American sanctions’ anticipated price boost on crude), the cost of more than 232 million barrels Canada imports every year also increases.
Meanwhile, we pay more for approximately half out imports from America and more still for Saudi Arabian ($72 OPEC basket) which account for 10 per cent of Canadian imports.
Canada imports no crude oil from Iran and diplomatic ties between the two nations have been severed since 2012, when the Conservative government of Stephen Harper listed the regime as a state sponsor of terror, closed our embassy in Tehran and tossed their diplomats from Ottawa.
Though the current Liberal government campaigned on re-establishing relations with the rogue Islamic regime, Canada’s only official overture has been to align with European countries, China and Russia who continue to back the nuclear deal.
“While not a perfect agreement, (it) has marked a significant step in that direction and is holding Iran to account,” Trudeau said following the U.S. exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons—what Trump called “the worst deal ever.”
Following U.S. Secetary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that his country was ratcheting up sanctions on Iran’s crude oil customers, the regime threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, entrance to the Persian Gulf and friendlier ports of Kuwait, Bahrain and Dubai.
The gulf between American and Canadian foreign policy, however, will continue to widen if Trump views the Trudeau government as being soft on Iran.
As the number of coronavirus cases rises in Canada the country is preparing for a possible pandemic according to CBC News.
Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer said that the virus is quickly becoming more threatening. The virus—now referred to as COVID-19—has mostly been contained in Hubei, China where it began but Tam noted that it is now spreading person-to-person in many countries.
“These signs are concerning, and they mean that the window of opportunity for containment … for stopping the global spread of the virus, is closing,” said Tam
“It also tells countries like Canada, that have been able to manage and detect cases so far, that we have to prepare across governments, across communities, and as families and individuals, in the event of more widespread transmission in our community.”
The outbreak has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). They have not yet declared the virus a pandemic.
Tam added that the trajectory of the virus is still unknown and cases could have occurred in countries that lack the proper technology to diagnose the sick and contain the virus.
A pandemic response plan was developed by Canada in 2009. The plan includes research that is meant to eventually develop a vaccine. Tam also said that Canada will have a similar approach to its preparations whether the virus is declared a pandemic by WHO or not.
On Monday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said, “As the window closes in terms of stopping the global spread, as we watch the WHO assess whether or not this is a full pandemic, obviously our attention turns more toward our domestic preparedness and what Canada can do to make sure our system and structures are ready for a change in our own population.”
According to the WHO, there are 77,362 reported cases of coronavirus and 2,618 deaths.
Outside of China, there are 2,074 cases and 23 deaths. Ten of the cases are in Canada.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that it is encouraging that the amount of cases in China is dropping.
The epidemic was at its worst from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2 and the number of cases started to decline after that.
“For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death,” said Tedros.
“Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet.”
Tedros added that calling the outbreak a pandemic may bring unnecessary fear.
So far, Canada has done a good job of containing the virus and detecting imported cases.
Tam said that there will be enhanced border control measures. Travellers arriving in Canada who are experiencing symptoms that resemble the flu will be asked to self-isolate.
British Columbia has recorded its seventh case of coronavirus, according to CTV News. This brings the total number of cases to 11 in Canada.
The patient is reportedly under isolation at their home in the Fraser Health region of BC. The patient is around 40-years-old and had close contact with the patient who was the sixth case of coronavirus in the province.
The sixth case in British Columbia was revealed on Thursday. The patient, who is in their 30s, also lives in the Fraser Health region. They recently arrived in Canada from Iran.
The BC government has said that they are attempting to reach out to everyone who has been in contact with the two known patients, whilst keeping their privacy intact.
Having said this, the number of coronavirus patients outside of the Wuhan region in China is continuing to rise, even spreading to countries as far away as Europe—potentially necessitating tougher containment measures.
The Liberal Department of the Environment is saying that they are expecting the price of gasoline to rise as a result of new red-tape, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
Some estimates are suggesting that these new regulations will raise the price of gasoline four times as much as the Liberal carbon tax did. These price rises are expected for this year.
These new regulations have been named the “Clean Fuel Standard” by Trudeau’s government. This legislation will create sweeping new changes to how gasoline is dealt within Canada.
The Clean Fuel Standard will, for example, mandate a doubling of renewable energy in fuels and heating. This, combined with the carbon tax, will cost about $200 to $230 per tonne.
Speaking about the new regulations, the Liberal MP Sean Fraser said “believe me, affordability, in particular, is front of mind for our government … This is the way the world is going. This is not some left-wing, radical policy.”
When Bill C16 passed in 2017, many women rang the alarm against legislation that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include protection against hate speech with regard to gender identity or expression. Concerns about the Bill were that gender identity protections would supercede protections for women. While there was a promise that a gender-based analysis (GBA) report would be forthcoming, it has not been released. That’s not good enough for Jennifer Joseph, who has launched a petition for the release of this information.
“We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada,” resolves the petition, “call upon Candice Bergen to ask for the Gender-Based Analysis report be made public, and for Statistics Canada to explain their analysis or publish the results.”
Women who voiced concerns back in 2017 were not listened to and were accused of transphobic hate speech for broaching concerns about Bill C16. Yet much of what they predicted has come to pass. Women who speak out against having male-bodied persons in women’s spaces are called names, ostracized, and shut out of those places themselves.
In 2018, Kristi Hanna left a Toronto shelter for abused women rather than share a room with a male-bodied trans person. Her complaints were unheeded by staff. Vancouver Rape Relief, Canada’s oldest rape crisis centre, was denied funding by the City for not being inclusive enough to male-bodied trans persons. A human rights complaint was filed by Kimberly Nixon in 1995 against the center for the refusal to train Nixon, born male, to become a peer counsellor. Vancouver Rape Relief did not believe that Nixon could be a peer counsellor to other women, because Nixon was not born female. A rape relief center did not want women who had been raped to have to be counselled by a male person, so they lost their funding entirely.
The case of Jessica Yaniv, who has brought multiple complaints before the Human Rights Tribunal, accusing women of being hateful for not wanting to wax her male genitalia, shows how absurd this entire thing has become. Women’s rights to determine the work they would do in their private homes were questioned under Bill C16.
The petition states that police departments across Canada are no longer recording the sex of alleged offenders, “but instead the gender by which they identify.” The reasoning is that a person’s sex is too personal, and irrelevant to the charge of a crime committed. It is reasonable to consider that this change is to avoid running afoul of Human Rights legislation. Problems with this new practice include the confusion of crime stats, which then record crimes committed by male-bodied female-identifying persons as women’s crimes.
The Bill also interferes with parental rights, forcing parents to go along with their minor children’s ideas about medical alterations to their healthy bodies.
Perhaps the biggest problem with Bill C16 is the one that is most readily dismissed by trans activists. Bill C16 seeks to rewrite protections for women by removing the definition of the word. This denial of a biological definition of the word woman is what has allowed women to be brought up on charges of human rights abuses when they define the word to exclude persons who are born male.
Bill C16 offers protected classes for “gender identity” and “gender expression,” which terms are not legally defined. This defacto changes the meaning of the word woman to “whatever if feels like” to any given individual. In essence, this has meant that a person who dresses up as stereotypically feminine can say they are a woman, and gain access to those protections, such as abused women’s refuges, rape crisis centres, women’s prisons, and women’s hospital wards, that have previously been designated for the care of women.
This is done out of compassion for the individual who identifies more with those stereotypes that are associated with the opposite sex than with their own, but in doing so, it offers no consideration for women who need spaces and protections that male-bodied persons, no matter their fashion choices, do not. This petition seeks redress of these grievances by obtaining information on the effects of the law and is open for signatures until April.