Canada’s UN Security Council seat is not worth the cost
On Nov. 19, 2019, Canada abandoned a longstanding, bi-partisan tradition of voting against UN resolutions that single out Israel. Instead, it supported one put forth by North Korea, Egypt, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, and the Palestinians that ignores crucial context of the conflict. The symbolic move is in direct opposition to the liberal democratic values that Canada has always championed both domestically and on the international stage.
The shift is disturbing for multiple reasons. Canada has consistently maintained a foreign policy focused on promoting democracy and human rights–regardless of which party has been in power. In recent years, Canada has been one of the loudest voices condemning the Maduro regime in Venezuela and abuses in Ukraine.
The CBC’s TV ad dollars have plummeted by 37 percent as fewer than 1 percent of Canadians tune in to watch local newscasts, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
In the latest annual report, the CBC asked whether it could remain sustainable without the help of more Canadian tax dollars. In 2016, the Federal budget allocated $675 million to the state broadcaster, however, it seems this is not enough to keep the CBC above water.
In their annual report, the CBC blamed the atrophy of the media industry for their ills. They further stated that the crown corporation would likely have to reduce their services.
The CBC’s English-language programs ad revenues fell 37 percent and the French-langauge programs’ revenues fell by three percent, spelling unaccounted, million dollar losses.
Despite these losses, the CBC has no intention to reform into a profit-earning organization. CEO, Catherine Tait, said that the CBC existed “not to compete, we exist to serve.” This serving, however, is costing the taxpayer millions of tax dollars.
The CBC’s largest source of funding derives from a $1.2 billion government grant. Nevertheless, they will continue to seek more from the government. The sheer cost of the broadcaster alongside allegations of political bias towards the Liberal Party in the 2019 election will make this appeal for further funding controversial.
A former ambassador, who received diplomatic accreditation under the Trudeau government, has stated that if Iran did indeed shoot down a Ukrainian flight, killing 63 Canadians in the process, they should not face any repercussions because “these things happens”.
During an interview on Power and Politics, the former ambassador, Dennis Horak, stated that “If it is shown that it was brought down by an anti-aircraft missile, for example, it would’ve been an accident. There’s no way the Iranians would’ve targeted this intentionally … there were Iranian citizens on it, and I see no reason why they would do this.”
Horak went on to say that an incident such as this “wouldn’t be the first time. In the late 80s the American’s shot down an Iranian airline over the gulf by accident. So these things sometimes happen, you had a very high tense [sic] period at the time when it came down, so if it was an accidental shoot-down, I don’t think the Iranians will admit it, and I don’t think there should be any repercussions.”
The total greenhouse gas emissions that Canada emitted in 2018 was posted by Environment Canada in a report that was then withdrawn, according to Ottawa news outlet Blacklock’s Reporter. Environment Canada briefly disclosed data that showed emissions went up by millions of tonnes last year from previous years, despite the federal carbon tax being implemented in 2018.
According to the Emissions Projections report released on Dec. 20, even with a carbon tax in effect, the emissions came in at 723 million tonnes in 2018. That number is a jump from the previous year of 716 million tonnes, an increase of seven million tonnes. It is also the highest recording of GHG emissions since 2014.
“Current estimates do not yet fully account for future reductions from green infrastructure, clean technology and innovation,” the report reads, according to Blacklock’s Reporter . The Emissions Projections report also assured that the final numbers would be updated and brought before the United Nations Convention on Climate Change “by January 1, 2020”. However no such finalized information has been forthcoming.
Environment Minister Jonathan Wilksinson responded in a statement, “We know there is much more to do. We continue to work towards being more ambitious.”
“Data for the year 2018 will be submitted to the United Nations by April 15,” Samantha Bayard said, a spokesperson for the department.
The department also refused to confirm to Blacklock’s Reporter its initial estimate that emissions had grown dramatically despite the implementation of the carbon tax. In a testimony at the House of Commons environment committee in 2018, Environment Canada repeatedly avoided providing any numbers on the impact the carbon tax had on emissions.
Last year at the House of Commons environment committee then-Environment Minister Catherine McKenna would not answer questions regarding the impact of the carbon tax on Canada’s overall emissions.
“It’s quite clear under the fifty-dollar carbon tax this government is proposing, this government has no idea what the reduction in emissions will be,” said Conservative MP Roebert Sopuk during a committee meeting last year. “Canadians are being asked to pony up money for a carbon tax and this government has absolutely no idea what the effect will be.”
“We have done modeling,” McKenna responded. “It’s important to understand that putting a price on pollution is part of our broader climate plan. We believe in numbers.”
But no numbers were given.
Last month Blacklock’s Reporter also broke the story that Canadian federal agency the Pension Plan Investment Board invested $141 million in Chinese coal mines.
The Rebel and its founder Ezra Levant are under investigation for releasing and promoting an anti-Liberal book during the federal election while “failing to register as a third party”, according to a letter from lawyers for Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Cote.
“Rebel News contravened the (Canada Elections) Act…having incurred over $500 on elections advertising expenses,” writes commissioner lawyer Mylene Gigou in the December 9, 2019 missive.
“It is alleged that Rebel News engaged in election advertising in its production and distribution of ‘Libranos’ signs during the election period.”
Levant’s book, “The Libranos: What the media won’t tell you about Justin Trudeau’s corruption,” was released on October 10, 2019–eleven days before the general election–accompanied by an advertising strategy featuring lawn signs.
“I think it’s clever. I think it’s funny. But how is that different than a billboard or a newspaper ad, a web ad or an amazon ad?” Levant said of the marketing for his book.
“Is (the book) spicy? Yes. It’s a pretty short book, but nothing I haven’t said 10 times before. That this is being investigated shows how far things have gone.”
In an email to The Post Millennial, Cote’s spokesperson Myriam Croussette would not confirm the commissioner’s investigation of Rebel Media, nor who made the allegation against the media outlet.
Canada Elections Act defines “third party” as a group engaging in partisan activity, “that promotes or opposes a registered party or eligible party or the election of a potential candidate, nomination contestant, candidate or leader of a registered party.”
But the same act also exempts “transmission to the public of an editorial, a debate, a speech, an interview, a column, a letter, a commentary or news; the distribution of a book, or the promotion of the sale of a book.”
Gigou’s letter even references these definitions from section 349 of the Act, quoting the following portion and adding underlined emphasis on ‘if’ and ‘regardless’: “If the book was planned to be made available to the public regardless of whether there was to be an election,” she writes.
Levant told TPM that he would fight any attempt by the elections commissioner to prosecute or sanction Rebel Media.
“Here’s the thing. The law specifically exempts books. The law specifically says this doesn’t apply to books or the promotion of books. The investigator put that right in her letter,” said Levant.
“There’s nothing strange about what I’ve been doing. It’s a political book. It’s a critical book and books are specifically exempted under the law.”
“And even if they weren’t, I would ignore the law and challenge its constitutionality. We don’t ban books in Canada, even books that criticize the prime minister.”