The Toronto Stock Exchange is roaring and it’s largely due to energy.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index could cross the 17,000 mark for the first time today after closing at 16,858 last night.
Ontario has come out with a new licence plate that is being criticized by many on social media as the plate is virtually unreadable at night. Many have been posting pictures and videos of the plates at night showing only a blue rectangle with illegible letters and numbers on it when light shines on them.
The new design is supposed to be on the road on Feb. 1. The plates are blue and have white letters and numbers across them.
Sgt. Steve Koopman of the Kingston police took a photo of a car with the new plate and posted it to social media with the caption: “Did anyone consult with police before designing and manufacturing the new Ontario licence plates? They’re virtually unreadable at night.”
Another officer for the OPP, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, disagreed noting that he was monitoring Highway 401 on Tuesday and said that he can see the plates during the day as well as the middle of the night.
“They’re something to get used to. I haven’t had any problems,” said Officer Schmidt.
He also mentioned that the old plates could be hard to read when the blue chipped off over the white background.
A Minister of Government and Consumer Service spokesperson emailed CBC saying: “We have been made aware that some Ontarians are reporting concerns with readability to the naked eye under certain light conditions. We take this feedback seriously, value the input of Ontario drivers and law enforcement stakeholders and are currently looking into this.”
The government said that before they went through with the new plates they talked to “key stakeholders, including our law enforcement partners, to test the readability, reflectivity and functionality of the new high-definition plates.”
Ontario Safety League president Brian Patterson said that being able to read the plate at night should be a basic requirement. He added that he was unable to see the plates in clear daylight sometimes.
“You have to be fairly close to read them with precision,” he said. “If you’re calling in an impaired driver you want to make sure you give the licence plate correctly… [this] multiplies the complexity of doing that and it may discourage people from reporting [drunk drivers] to police.”
Ontario Liberal Party Interim Leader John Fraser said that the new change was “a poorly thought out decision, done too quickly.”
Vancouver Island Extinction Rebellion appeared outside the home of British Columbia Premier John Horgan claiming they would be attempting a citizen’s arrest on the premier.
Protestors said they were attempting to prevent Horgan’s attendance of the provincial budget announcement at the BC legislature Tuesday.
RCMP vehicles were on scene, as well as members of Horgan’s security personnel.
Protestors have been spotted holding signs outside of Horgan’s home, with others laying down across Horgan’s residence.
The premier was seen arriving at his home at around 8 a.m. PST, getting in a verbal argument with protestors there to arrest him.
According to CTV News, the RCMP created an “exclusion zone” and threatened to arrest anyone who remained on the premise. Protestors were then arrested, while others remained outside the street.
Horgan reportedly left his home with his security detail at 8:30 a.m.
The action outside the premier’s home Tuesday comes after numerous displays by the eco group that have disrupted Canada.
On Feb. 11, hundreds of activists blocked the entrances to the B.C. legislature as the government was set to deliver its throne speech.
The Extinction Rebellion demonstration were in solidarity with anti-pipeline Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
“The events of the past week on Wet’suwet’en territories have been an extreme demonstration of colonial violence, approved by the Trudeau and Horgan governments in contravention of Wet’suwet’en, Canadian and international law,” said a statement released Monday night by the group.
“We join the Wet’suwet’en in urging the Horgan government to stop privileging corporate interests over indigenous sovereign rights and the integrity of the Yintah.”
Extinction Rebellion has garnered negative attention recently, as the group has participated in railway blockades that have inconvenienced the travel of an estimated 90,000 VIA Rail travellers and countless CN Rail cargo shipments.
A new motion will soon be introduced to Parliament by the Bloc Quebecois asking the government to call off the Frontier Teck mine that has been proposed in northern Alberta, according to the Western Standard.
The motion will be introduced by Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet. The motion suggests, “That the House call on the government to not authorize the Teck Frontier mine development, as this project can not be reconciled with the Paris Agreement targets.”
Bloc MP Alain Therrien has also supported the motion.
Two more motions will be brought forward by the Bloc, though only one will be chosen to be put up for debate in the House of Commons. The Bloc has not yet specified the motion that will move ahead.
Non-political regulators have already given their approval for the $20.6-billion northern Alberta project. The Liberal natural resources minister noted that their approval of the project may be delayed if Alberta continues to oppose Ottawa’s carbon tax. Many eastern Liberal MPs do not want the project to go through it all.
The federal government has indicated it may be abandoning the project, though Teck claims that it will help the GDP of the province and create approximately 7,000 jobs.
A statement was just released by Teck noting that by 2050 it plans to be a net-zero emitter.
The statement on the company’s website says the project, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities.”
The project is estimated to generate around 260,000 oil barrels in a single day.
All of the 14 Indigenous communities in the project area have come to agreements with Teck.
According to the federal government, they will not be giving an answer any time before late February.
Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson said that environmental impacts would be taken into account before the project is approved.
“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” said Wilkinson.
“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”
Wilkinson noted that every province should be expected to help the country achieve those goals.
The industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction) was revealed by the UCP government in bill 19.
This plan came in place of the NDP’s climate Leadership Plan by revoking carbon tax on residents and some businesses while keeping the tax on the big emitters.
The TIER plan gives facilities a number of options such as reducing emissions or paying $30 per tonne in a TIER fund.
The federal carbon tax challenge was brought forward by the Alberta government in 2019. Arguments went ahead in Alberta’s Court of Appeal on Dec. 16-18.
Although launched not even two years ago, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) seems to have quickly been elevated to the status of Canada’s go-to “hate monitor.” Most of the major outlets—the CBC, Global, etc.—regularly seek comment from the group whenever sensitive issues like offensive speech and alleged hate crimes are trending in the media. They also reliably cover CAHN’s investigative research on “hate groups” operating in Canada.
Our American friends down south know “hate monitoring” organizations well, chief among them the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That organization, which CAHN in fact has a partner relationship with, is currently undergoing a public relations-crisis following revelations from a former insider that the group is essentially a scam; one which regularly reported that “hate always continued to be on the rise” in order to bilk its “gullible Northern liberal” donor base. Last year, a group of employees accused the SPLC’s leadership of fostering an environment where racism, sexism and sexual assault was allowed. It led to the organization’s founder being fired and the resignation of its president.
CAHN is now facing its own public relations challenge after it was alleged, among other things, to be pursuing similar “hate group” alarmism in Canada. According to CAHN, there are apparently 300 “right-wing extremists” groups operating across the country; more per capita than what even the SPLC finds in the US. The piece, published in an online journal curated by Preston Manning’s Manning Foundation, was indeed thoroughly critical of the group’s methods. It apparently cut so deep with CAHN executives, they responded with a positively frenzied open letter accusing the journal of manufacturing half-truths, straw-man arguments, and even outright lies.
A major focus of the piece is CAHN’s supposed defence of the extreme far-left antifa movement. Most Canadians by now know antifa well, having seen images of its black-clad, mask-wearing members committing unprovoked acts of violence or aggression against those not just on the far-right, but also conservatives, free speech-advocates, journalists, and even geriatrics. Operating transnationally, the Department of Homeland Security has described some of antifa’s actions as “domestic terrorist violence.”
But in their letter against the Manning Foundation, CAHN attempts to argue that antifa violence isn’t the same as “fascist” violence and that there is “zero equivalency” between the two. Antifa, they write, only “appear when… neo-Nazi groups that want to take power to carry out discrimination, deportations, and genocide” arise, and to say the two sides are comparable “is an intellectually devoid exercise.”
But take antifa-researcher Andy Ngo’s picks for the worst examples of the movement’s violence last year in the U.S. None were in reaction to “fascists” at all:
In one, accused antifa member Charles Landeros of Eugene, Ore. had been stockpiling weapons in order to “kill pigs,” or law enforcement, before police got him first in a shootout at an elementary school. His comrades called him a “martyr” and a bomb was left outside a local police station. That incident is still under investigation.
Willem van Spronsen in Washington state called on his comrades to “take up arms” against the government in a manifesto he released before attempting to murder federal immigration agents using a rifle and explosives. Luckily, his gun malfunctioned and he was shot and killed. Again, antifa supporters call him a “martyr.”
This included Connor Betts who tweeted the message just before he shot and killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio. Betts had antifa connections and was in communications with an antifa militia group prior to the killing.
Again, none of these cases involved entanglements with “fascists.” And according to coverage of the Betts case, a short time before his death, he tweeted: “I want socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round understanding.” Clearly, at least in part, his mass-killing seemed to have been about accelerating a revolution, not reacting to “fascism.”
In Canada, members of law enforcement have stated that antifa compared to the extreme right is “more violent in some cases.” Like CAHN’s self-appointed status as Canada’s “hate group” arbiter, why should antifa have license to be judge, jury and executioner when it comes to countering political violence? If there truly is a violent threat from an extreme-right group, it should be the police and the legal system that deals with it, not unaccountable, private militia groups. CAHN does say in its letter it’s against the use of violence, however, to defend or fail to disavow antifa, as they apparently do, would seem to encourage the normalization of its tactics.
Moreover, CAHN’s support for aggressive measures, such as pushing for greater public and private censorship and directly confronting “hate groups,” might actually be fueling “hate” and right-wing extremism, not restraining it. For instance, Dr. JA Ravndal of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism and an expert on right-wing extremism has concluded that “countermeasures intended to constrain radical right politics appear to fuel extreme right violence” and that “[r]ecognition, open-mindedness, and dialogue might then work better than exclusion, public repression, or aggressive confrontation.” If CAHN really wants to stop the supposed increase of right-wing extremism in Canada it may want to put at least some focus on the former, rather than the latter, measures.