Numbered company seeks to export 4.5 million megawatts of Ontario-generated power to U.S.
Few details are known about the ability for third parties to broker electricity, or a numbered company that applied to the Canadian Energy Regulator for a 10-year export permit to deliver 4.5 Terawatt hours (TWh) of Ontario electricity to the United States.
According to the Government of Canada’s official newspaper Canada Gazette, “11772244 Canada Inc. has applied to… export up to 4,500,000 MWh of combined firm and interruptible energy annually for a period of 10 years.”
Published in the Canada Gazette on Dec. 21, 2019, barely two weeks after the numbered company was registered, the notice lists Felix Levesque as a director and company headquarters in Montreal.
“We’re just a market wholesaler, not a market generator,” Levesque told The Post Millennial.
Levesque said the numbered company’s venture involves several individuals but declined to elaborate.
“I’m not alone, there are other people but that’s discretionary [information],” he said.
“You have middlemen and you have power generators and some of the power generators are also acting as middlemen by speculating on the energy prices. It’s quite a complex market.”
Before ending the brief telephone interview, Levesque said that the destination for his company’s electricity, “could be Michigan, it could be New York state.”
According to the Department of Natural Resources, 61.4 Terrawatts (61.4 million MW) of Canadian-generated electricity was exported to the United States in 2018, making the Levesque’s and company’s permit volume request equal to 7.3 percent of that year’s stateside demand.
“These notices invite interested parties to file a response with the Commission if there is a concern, relating to the impact of the export on neighbouring provinces,” said Canada Energy Regulatory spokesperson Sarah Kiley.
“Or if there is a concern related to fair market access–the ability of Canadian companies to purchase electricity at similar conditions, including price.”
Asked about the possible power brokerage deal, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator responded with the following:
“The total export quantity referenced in an application is an estimate from the applicant. The actual export of electricity is based on whether a bid to export is economically competitive with other participants in Ontario’s electricity market, and if the grid is physically able to accommodate the transaction,” writes IESO’s media relations.
“Export authorization by the CER is separate from the electricity export licence required by the Ontario Energy Board, and from registration as an energy trader with the IESO.”
A petition against the Liberal gun ban has just accumulated over 100,000 signatures. Petition E2341 is a petition against a ban on military assault rifles. The petition was initiated by Alberta resident, Bradley Manysiak.
With over 100,000 signatures, the petition is the second largest in Canadian history.
E-petitions can be open for 30, 60, 90 or 120 days for signature based on what the petitioner prefers. The petitions get a government response within 45 days of their opening. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair is overseeing the “buyback program” which Blair estimates could cost anywhere from $400 to $600 million.
Blair’s office did not respond to request for comment from The Post Millennial. His office was asked what the minister’s response is to over 100,000 Canadians calling on the government to drop what many experts see as a completely ineffectual action to curb gun violence. Blair was also asked about fellow Liberal MP Marcus Powlowsk’s letter addressed to him that opposed the gun ban (Powlowsk ahs since retracted the letter) and Winnipeg Police constable calling the ban “nonsense”.
“When we seize handguns, the handguns are always almost 100% in the possession of people who have no legal right to possess them. They’re almost always stolen or illegally obtained,” said Const. Rob Carver. “I simply don’t see how as a 27-year-old veteran, how adding another layer of law will make any difference, anywhere in this country.”
In Powlowski’s letter to Blair he wrote, “Over the course of the past three months, I have heard a wide variety of views on this proposed ban. I believe it is my role to ensure that these views are brought to your attention for consideration.”
“Given that there is currently no legal definition for a ‘military assault rifle’ in Canada, some community members I have spoken with are skeptical that a ban based on this term would make sense as a coherent firearm policy,” the letter continued.
In a CBC interview in the summer of 2018, Blair said that most of the gun crime is committed by illegal hand guns smuggled in from the U.S. and he was skeptical of a gun ban being effective in combating gun crime. His position changed drastically once he was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the public safety minister.
The Post Millennial also reached out to Tracey Wilson, who is a gun rights advocate from the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights.
“Parliamentary e petition E2341 is currently the second most signed petition in Canadian history. If we had the other 27k that missed step 2 we would be in first place. There is still more time so I’m confident we will surpass previous records,” said Wilson.
“This is proof positive that Canadians not only oppose bans on legal guns, but the undemocratic use of OIC’s to do it. I believe the reason for circumventing the usual parliamentary process is the Liberals know they don’t have the support they would need. They are dependant on other parties to pass legislation in their current state of a weakened minority.”
“There are two main reasons why law enforcement, every credible expert and Canadians in general oppose these measures; 1) they know it’s not licensed RCMP vetted gun owners that need to be targeted, its criminals and gangs. 2) the billions of taxpayer dollars they will waste could have been better allocated to at risk youth and community programs, law enforcement and technology at the border to prevent illicit smuggling.” said Wilson.
She added, “This will go down as one of the Liberal Party’s biggest failures and we are all the victims of it.”
A big portion of the signatures have come from Ontario with 35,533. Alberta had 21,753 signatories and B.C. had 18,930.
Southern Ontario is going to be affected by a brutal snowstorm this weekend. Ontario’s golden horseshoe will be smacked by 50-60 cm of snow, according to the Weather Network.
The storm is expected to snow-slap areas around the 401 and 407 corridors, affecting most of the Greater Toronto Area and rural Ontario that surrounds it. Downtown Toronto, however, will be less affected than the regions that surround it.
Cities that are expected to be affected include Toronto, Mississauga, and towns going east along the 401 like Whitby and Oshawa.
The week has been mild in Ontario, and a sudden snowstorm may serve as a surprise to many Ontarians who were enjoying the lukewarm weather.
So far, winter in Ontario has been especially good this winter. In January, it has stayed above zero frequently, with the sun keeping the inhabitants warm.
After the weekend, the temperature is expected to return to normal—creating a slushy Sunday for the province.
Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner confirmed on Twitter Wednesday night that former prime minister Stephen Harper will not be seeking Conservative leadership.
The announcement, Rempel says, was from Harper himself, after days of online murmurs and a thin field of Conservative candidates had many of the party’s supporters crossing their fingers that the former prime minister would return from his life away from the political centre stage.
The confirmation is yet another ding in the Tory leadership, as the number of strong potential Conservative candidates drops lower by the day.
For those keeping track, former interim leader Rona Ambrose announced that she had no intention of running. Jean Charest seemed up for the job for a hot second, though he too would steer clear, following some dramatics.
Though Conservative social media put their faith in Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre, he too would decide to not run for leadership, citing his desire to spend time with his family.
With a number of candidates now officially out, Conservative members now face three viable contenders: Former Veteran Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole, who also serves as the Conservative Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu, and former Harper minister Peter MacKay, who’s polling as the clear front runner.
Candidates will have until Feb. 27 to decide to enter the race. The votes will be counted and announced June 27.
Would the International Criminal Court prosecutor opening an investigation into Palestine be a good idea?
Sarah Teich is a lawyer and a consultant to the Canadian Coalition Against Terror. She holds a law degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in Counter-Terrorism. She spent four months in 2016 working with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and received a commendation for her work.
On December 20, 2019, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, announced that she was prepared to open an investigation into the situation in Palestine, following a four-year preliminary examination. Ms. Bensouda articulated that she was satisfied there was a “reasonable basis to believe” that war crimes have been or are being committed on Palestinian territory–which she defines as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
This is a loaded announcement, and a brief backgrounder on how the Court operates and the history of Palestinian interaction with it–is essential to understanding this development.
Generally, there are three stages to Prosecution at the Court: the preliminary examination, the investigation, and the trial. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) currently has several situations in preliminary examination. Most situations are referred to the Court by the State Party in question (“self-referrals”), from governments who lack the capacity to take on these cases domestically. The OTP conducts many preliminary examinations, but not all make it to the investigation stage. For the OTP to open an investigation, it needs to be satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes have been committed, that the Court has jurisdiction over the situation, that no domestic proceedings are covering the issue, and that the situation is of sufficient gravity to warrant use of the Court’s limited resources.
Critically, the OTP only has jurisdiction to investigate crimes that occur in the territory of a State Party, or crimes by State Party nationals. That is, unless the Court has received a specific declaration by a non-state party accepting jurisdiction, or a mandate from the U.N. Security Council to investigate a specific situation.
Despite Ms. Bensouda’s assertion that there is a “reasonable basis” to believe war crimes have been committed in Palestine, there are serious jurisdictional concerns to be considered before any investigation may be initiated.
For starters, is Palestine really a “State”, such that it can confer jurisdiction to the Court? Ms. Bensouda posits that because Palestine is a State Party to the Rome Statute, that is sufficient to close this debate and label Palestine a State. However, this interpretation is inconsistent with well-established principles of public international law.
Specifically, article 1 of the Montevideo Convention, which Ms. Bensouda herself acknowledges as “the most accepted formulation of statehood criteria in international law”–establishes four criteria for statehood. These criteria are permanent population, defined territory, effective government, and capacity to enter into relations with foreign states. Palestinians do appear to have a permanent population, but the other three criteria are lacking. To fulfill the territorial requirement, there must be exclusive control of territory within fixed boundaries. Then, there must be effective government capable of controlling the territory. As Ms. Bensouda acknowledges, the Palestinian Authority does not have control over all territories claimed. The Palestinian Authority does not control Gaza (Hamas does), and Israel has full control over East Jerusalem and large swaths of the West Bank. Palestine may have some capacity to enter foreign relations, as it is able to sign treaties and join international bodies–but this is also disputed, due to provisions of the Oslo Accords.
Ms. Bensouda suggests that this type of analysis should essentially be side-stepped because Palestine is already a State Party to the Rome Statute. But perhaps Palestine should not have been permitted to become a State Party. In fact, this was the position taken by the Government of Canada; that Palestine should not have been permitted to become a State Party. Canada believed this was both legally wrong, and also diminished the likelihood of a sustainable, negotiated peace between Israel and Palestine–down the road.
Even if the Court gets past the difficulties with Palestinian statehood, there is the next question of territorial jurisdiction. Does the Court have jurisdiction to investigate crimes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza? Palestine is a State Party to the Rome Statute, but Israel is not, and the Court only has jurisdiction over crimes committed in the territory of a State Party. So, the next question becomes: what constitutes the territory of Palestine? Does the territory of Palestine include the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza? That is the position taken by Palestine and adopted by Ms. Bensouda. However, for the Court to take this position would be problematic. As Ms. Bensouda acknowledges, these borders are disputed.
Precisely because of the disputed nature of the borders, Ms. Bensouda is now asking a panel of Court judges to rule on the scope of her territorial jurisdiction – to “confirm” that Palestinian territory for purposes of jurisdiction includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. For the Court to step into this highly politicized arena and to essentially draw the borders of two states without their consent–is a dramatic overstep and would be detrimental to the ongoing peace process. These questions that the Court is now tasked with answering, are matters of policy and diplomacy, not international crime. The issues are best left to the negotiation table, not the courtroom.
When Palestine became a State Party, Canada objected. Canada also objected to Palestine’s “self-referral” to the Court of this situation back in 2015. Canada should continue to object to these moves. This is not what the International Criminal Court was designed to do.