The real losers of last night’s leaders’ debate were the Canadians who watched it
I shouldn’t have clicked that link. I don’t know why I did.
Perhaps, I thought, it was fate that I happened to have just put on the kettle and logged on to YouTube as the livestream popped up in my recommended feed, the leaders only three minutes away from being brought out. Perhaps, I thought, it would save me from having to find something to watch with my evening snack.
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.
The RCMP intercepted 16,503 people illegally crossing into Canada from the U.S.-Canada border in 2019, according to new federal government data.
The number of people entering Canada via the border at unofficial ports of entry declined in 2019, but the total number of people making asylum claims jumped from 55,040 in 2018 to 63,830 according to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.
The increase is due to more and more people flying to Canada and then making asylum claims upon arrival at airports across the country.
The Safe Third Country Agreement between America and Canada means asylum seekers are supposed to make refugee claims in the first safe country they enter, but when individuals cross illegally into Canada they are able to bypass the agreement.
The Trudeau government dragged its feet on doing anything significant to address the spike in illegal border crossings, first changing the wording to “irregular border crossings” and accusing critics of stoking xenophobia.
But in the lead-up to the 2019 election, after government internal polling showed the vast majority of Canadians polled didn’t approve of people crossing into Canada illegally, the Liberals promised to change legislation to curb the influx.
The spike in illegal border crossings began around the time Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canada welcomes those looking to find a new home and when U.S. President Donald Trump was cracking down on illegal immigration in America.
The National Post via an access to information request found that their was a deluge of inquiries across the world to Canadian embassies of people inquiring how to immigrate to Canada after Trudeau’s tweet in early 2017.
According to reports, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen’s briefing notes in December stated their are no formal plans setup with the U.S. to address the loophole to the Safe Third Party Agreement.
The long-standing Conservative Member of Parliament, Scott Reid, has aggressively criticized Peter MacKay on twitter after the former Harper minister announced his intention to run for the leadership.
After a day of speculation over his leadership intentions, MacKay tersely tweeted “I’m in. stay tuned.” Soon after this, Scott Reid, who represents Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, responded by saying, “Peter, let’s say you’re the leader, and 11 days before [election] day in the next election, a former cabinet minister informs the media that he’s organizing to replace you—just in case Trudeau wins. Can you confirm that you’ll be cool with that kind of writ-period input?”
Both during and after the election, MacKay spoke out aggressively against Scheer’s leadership. One incident that was particularly poignant, was when MacKay declared that social issues hung round Scheer’s neck like a “stinking albatross.” This came only days after the Conservative’s election defeat.
Reid, however, was referring to MacKay’s decision to lay the groundwork for a leadership bid before voters had even gone to the polls.
MacKay denied this story at the time.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer blamed “Iranian Regime alone” for the downing of a Ukrainian passenger flight 752 Tuesday, only one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put blame on increased tensions.
Scheer’s tweets revealed that Trudeau briefed Scheer on the situation with the downed flight. “We must always remember the Iranian Regime’s actions that led to this horrible atrocity,” the tweet reads.
Scheer then goes on to give a call to action to the Trudeau Liberals to proceed as follows:
1. Immediately implement the Conservative motion passed by Parliament in 2018 to list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
2. Demand Iran compensate all victims of the crash, repatriate their remains, and hold the perpetrators of this atrocity accountable.
3. Be prepared to impose Magnitsky Sanctions on Iran if they don’t fully cooperate with the international investigation.”
Scheer calls the demands an “appropriate response” that would move to help the families of victims. “The Iranian Regime can not get a free pass after killing 57 Canadians.”
Iran has begun investigating the incident, as two Canadian Transportation Safety Board investigators make way to the region, with two more on the way. The crew will be sent to analyze black box data.