Liberals need to respect diversity of opinion on abortion
Most people do not particularly like talking about abortion, because the subject touches on people’s deepest values and experiences. Pro-lifers view pre-born persons as human beings, and therefore see abortion as a violation of the child’s right to life. Pro-choicers prioritize the will of the mother, holding that bodily autonomy takes precedence regardless of the status of the life or potential life of the child. Both sides have something to say, because this is an issue that involves a conflict of rights claims. It is a question that can be discussed soberly and thoughtfully by those who like that sort of thing.
My party has been fairly consistent on this question, in that we believe that the consciences of pro-life and pro-choice parliamentarians should be respected and that the party leadership itself should not seek to impose a particular point of view.
The Environment Minister is closing a $200 million project by Nation Rise Wind Farm near Finch, Ontario. The Stormont County town windmill project was nearly complete with many of the planned 29 turbines already constructed. That came to an abrupt halt on Monday when Minister Jeff Yurek revoked the approval, citing a threat to the local bat population.
Several of the turbines were ready to begin generating power and the project had been previously approved by the Environmental Review Tribunal. Nation Rise Wind Farm is a subsidiary of the multinational EDP Renewables, their North American headquarters is in Texas.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Yurek said in a press release. “While I agree with most of the conclusions of the tribunal, I disagree with the tribunal’s conclusions with respect to the degree of harm that will be caused to local bat species by the project.
“I am therefore altering the tribunal’s decision based on my conclusion that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to bats, and I revoke the approval.”
The Environmental Tribunal held weeks-long hearings to look at objections to the project that covered a range of issues. It’s been a rather divisive issue in the community and the township has twice voted against being a “willing host” for the project.
There are a variety of reasons people complain about wind turbines in their community. The eye sore, the claim that vibrations caused by them bring on migraines, the price of real estate drops instantly and as well the effects on the local wildlife.
Yurek decision came seven months into the projects construction, telling EDP Renewables that he had the authority to “confirm, alter or revoke” the Environmental Review Tribunal’s approval, “as I consider in the public interest.” His reasoning was also based on the potential harm to the wildlife “in the context of the minimal contribution the project is likely to have on the electricity supply in Ontario.”
The tribunal had ruled such risks to the various bat populations were negligible.
“I am therefore altering the tribunal’s decision based on my conclusion that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to bats, and I revoke the approval.” said Yurek.
The colonies of bats include big brown bats, hoary bats and little brown bats, which are on the Species at Risk Ontario List. The fear is that the bats will fly into the turbine blades. Yurek admits that one while one can’t know the full extent of the harm, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
“This power project has been very divisive for our community; now North Stormont can again be a good place to grow,” said Maragret Benke in a statement. a founding member of the grassroots organization Concerned Citizens of North Stormont. The group appealed the approval and reached out to the Minister for help.
In a statement provided to the Standard-Freeholder, EDP wrote. “This unprecedented decision means the (approval) that was issued by the minister’s own staff, defended by ministry legal counsel and subsequently ratified by the Environmental Review Tribunal is no longer in effect,” reads a statement from the company. “Decisions of this nature should be based on science and law, yet there was no expert testimony or evidence presented at the tribunal or to the minister that would provide a reasonable rationale for the minister’s decision.”
The issue of what risk the wind farm poses to bat populations was discussed at length during tribunal hearings held in Finch, in August of 2018.
“This power project has been very divisive for our community; now North Stormont can again be a good place to grow,” said Maragret Benke, a founding member of the grassroots organization Concerned Citizens of North Stormont. The group appealed the approval and reached out to the Minister for help.
There are moments when it begins to become clear that there has been a sea-change in public opinion.
And with it now being a year since Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested and held hostage by communist China, such a moment has arrived.
The clearest example is what happened to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, who Tweeted what he apparently thought would be an innocuous photo of his meeting with China’s ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu.
Bowman was absolutely slammed for the Tweet, which went so far as to “thank” the ambassador for the meeting and mentioned working on “human rights,” while completely ignoring China’s horrific human rights record and failing to mention anything about Canada’s detained Citizens.
Bowman was totally ratioed, with over 500 comments and just a couple-dozen retweets. Bowman was slammed by some MPs, and even by Canada’s former ambassador to China.
But it was the response of regular Canadians that really stood out. People from across the political spectrum were outraged by Bowman’s fawning weakness.
The response reflected something that has been bubbling below the surface among Canadians: A real awakening to the danger posed by communist China, and a sense that enough is enough.
We Canadians are generally an easy-going people, but we have a strong inherent sense of right and wrong. And while the Canadian political and business elites may be able to overlook China’s actions, the Canadian People are not overlooking it.
Canadians have turned against China’s communist government, with surveys showing 90 percent having a negative view of the government led by Xi Jinping.
Whether it’s the destruction of freedom in Hong Kong, holding Canadians hostage, putting millions of Uighurs in concentration camps, forced organ harvesting, or the Orwellian surveillance state, Canadians are looking at China and seeing a country that simply doesn’t share our values, and is in many ways hostile to Canada itself.
There was a time when someone like Brian Bowman could have gotten away with his fawning Tweet, but that time has passed. Sooner or later, Canada’s elites will be forced to realize that they can’t hide the truth about China’s government, and they can’t suppress the real views of Canadians.
The pressure is mounting for a tougher approach to China, for reducing our reliance on China, and to move towards a political and economic decoupling from the ruthless communist State. Whether it starts happening now or down the road, the demands of the Canadian People will be translated into policy one way or another.
A man was caught on camera stealing a package from a home in Ingersoll, Ont., on Monday. The thief could be seen on the home’s surveillance camera.
The Ontario Provincial Police are telling homeowners to keep an eye out for other “porch pirates” after the incident.
The Oxford OPP have said that the home is located on Cross Street in Ingersoll. They posted the video on their twitter account on Tuesday.
The thief was last seen driving a white Chevrolet Cruze.
The suspect is described as a thin, brown-haired male in his 20s who is clean shaven and stands at about six feet tall. The man was also wearing white shoes with a dark Reebok hoodie and dark pants.
The OPP had no further information on the incident when The Post Millennial was in touch with them Wednesday.
One in four Canadians have fallen victim to “porch pirates” according to a survey recently taken by FedEx.
Police have recommended that anyone expecting a package be at home during the delivery if possible or alternatively have a friend or neighbor help with receiving it.
Another option is to request a signature or special delivery instructions if the company delivering your package has those options available. Police are asking anybody with any information on the Ingersoll incident to get in contact with them or with Crime Stoppers.
The Conservatives’ motion to establish a special committee to examine Canada’s worsening relations with China succeeded in the House of Commons Tuesday night after garnering support from the Bloc and New Democrats.
Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole’s motion won the vote 171-148, in the 43rd Parliament’s first division since convening on December 5.
While not a confidence vote against the minority Liberal government, O’Toole’s small victory will establish, as per his motion, “a special committee with the mandate to conduct hearings to examine and review all aspects of the Canada-China relationship including, but not limited to consular, economic, legal, security and diplomatic relations.”
During debate on O’Toole’s proposed Canada-China committee, Liberal MPs told the House such a configuration was unnecessary as the Commons foreign affairs committee could manage any examination of the ongoing, and deteriorating file.
The vote took place in the House of Commons on the same day, one year ago, when Canadians Micheal Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China, where they remain behind bars without access to lawyers and facing espionage charges.
Their arrest is viewed as retaliation after Canada detained Chinese tech-giant Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant, while she was transiting through Vancouver International Airport.
As Spavor and Kovrig begin their second year in captivity in China, Liberals have faced questions about why, after the detentions and agriculture bans – beef and pork bans have been lifted by China, while its canola embargo remains – the government continues to back the Chinese-controlled Asian Infrastructure Bank with $256 million.
Overlaying this diplomatic entanglement is more Liberal dithering on a decision whether to allow Huawei 5G technology on our domestic telecommunications networks.
Citing serious national security concerns over the Chinese-controlled company, United States wants its ‘five eyes’ signals intelligence network allies – Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia – to ban Huawei from their respective domestic infrastructure.
Parliament’s nascent Canada-China relations committee will be comprised of six Liberal members, four from the Conservatives and one MP from the Bloc and NDP parties.