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total greenhouse gas emissions that Canada emitted in 2018 was posted by Environment Canada in a report that was then withdrawn, according to Ottawa news outlet Blacklock’s Reporter.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 Liberal cabinet has promised to cut cell phone bills for Canadians by 25 percent, which according to CRTC would potentially save Canadians anywhere from $11 to $25 monthly, first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.
The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission released a report that the average Canadian spends about $101 a month on the cell phone plans. The agency released a report entitled, Communications Monitoring Report 2019 found that the average cost is $50.25 a month for a basic 5G plan with higher rates in rural areas.
“Larger households may have higher expenditures for these services, e.g. purchasing more internet data,” wrote the Commission: “The data presented here does not allow for analysis of individual expenditures on communications services.”
“Canadians shouldn’t have to choose between having a cellphone and heating their homes,” said Trudeau, one of his main campaign promises last year was to lower cell phone bills by 25 percent.
“As Canadians we pay some of the highest prices in the world for cellphone services while Canadian telecom companies are among the most profitable in the developed world,” the Liberal Party stated in their platform Forward: A Real Plan For The Middle Class. “To help lower monthly cellphone bills and bring costs in line with what people pay in other countries, we will move forward with cutting the cost of these services by 25 percent in the next two years using the government’s regulatory powers.”
During their Throne Speech on December 5, the cabinet repeated their pledge to lower cell phone costs for Canadians. On December 13, they sent a Mandate Letter to the Department of Industry demanding the rates drop by 2021. “If within two years this price is not achieved, you can expand the mobile network operators’ qualifying rules as the CRTC mandate on affordable pricing,” read the letter.
At the communications committee in 2018 Members of the Senate expressed their dissatisfaction with the CRTC’s ability to advocate on behalf of consumers. “Like a lot of Canadians, I’m very frustrated with telecommunications in this country,” said Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald. “It’s outrageously expensive for data. It’s basically a cartel, let’s face it. It’s a small oligarchy.
“I’m not convinced the CRTC has the fortitude to take on these cartels and the consumers are losing because of it,” said MacDonald. “What’s the solution, besides going to the CRTC? Is it relevant anymore in terms of serving the public interest? I’m convinced it is not serving the public interest.”
The Post Millennial reported late last year that many Canadians are now finding loopholes to get comparable American phone plans that cost a third of the price and don’t charge for roaming or long distant calling in North America.
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 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.