WEEKLY UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 12 – SEPTEMBER 19
Friday September 18 is Military Families Appreciation Day
Our community is home to the largest military base in Canada – CFB Suffield. It is important to remember that our military play a critical role for Canada – responding to disasters and pandemics in Canada, as well as fighting terrorism and oppression abroad. Our men and women would not be able to serve without the support of their families. Mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children and siblings work to support our women and men in uniform when they are called to serve. We owe a debt to our military, and their families. On Military Families Appreciation Day, we say thank you to the many families who pay a price – so that others can serve.
Take a minute to say thank you to families, past and present, who have been there for our women and men during – and after – their service.
AROUND THE RIDING
PARLIAMENT: Parliament to Return with only a few MPs in person
Parliament is set to return next week with many MPs representing their communities virtually. Conservatives will be rotating their MPs attendance in Ottawa. I will continue to be a voice for our communities needs whether it is in person or online.
HEALTH: Suicide Crisis in Medicine Hat
My constituency, particularly the Medicine Hat area, is facing an unprecedented male suicide crisis. One loss of life is too many. You matter – do not lose hope. You are not alone. Tell someone and help one another. Reach out to me directly – and we can figure things out together.
COMMUNITY: Participate in Smile Cookie Week to Support Mustard Seed in Medicine Hat
I stopped by Tim Horton’s to get my Smile Cookies this week. 100% of sales support local charities across Canada until September 20th. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to get out and buy a few cookies to support The Mustard Seed in Medicine Hat. They provide support and resources for those in our community experiencing poverty and homelessness.
ECONOMY: Media Reports Liberals were slow to response to COVID Pandemic
Media highlighted this week that the Liberals were slow to respond to warnings from officials in December and January on the threat that COVID posed. Liberals continued to downplay the threat until mid-March even as other countries took action. Canada now has the highest unemployment of the G7 – with Alberta having a rate of nearly 13% unemployment.
ECONOMY: US Cancels Tariffs on Canadian Aluminum
US tariffs on Canadian Aluminum were cancelled by the US administration the same day they were planned to start.
ECONOMY: Major Newfoundland Oil and Gas Project suspended, workers laid off
Newfoundland’s White Rose Project run by Husky Energy was 60% complete when it was suspended in March due to COVID-19. The project has now been suspended indefinitely pending a review. The move puts thousands of jobs in jeopardy. This is yet another energy project fleeing Canada.
JOBS: Liberals Cut jobs from Agriculture, Western Development, Veterans Departments
According to a report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Liberals reduced staff at Agriculture Canada, Veterans Affairs and Western Diversification even while other departments have grown. It paints a clear picture of priorities: The Liberals are not serious about addressing massive Veteran Affairs backlogs, challenges facing farmers or supporting the Western Economy.
BORDERS: Canada – US Border Closure to continue to Oct 21, Conservatives call compassionate rules
On September 18, Canada announced the extension of the Canada-US border closures to October 21 in response to growing numbers of infections in Canada and surging numbers across the US. Conservatives have called for more compassionate treatment of families while ensuring Canadians are not put at risk – including allowing common-law and engaged couples to reunite.
SECURITY: More Evidence of Threat posed by Communist Regime in China
Evidence is growing that Canada is a target – not a partner – for the communist regime in China. This week two articles highlighted on my social media showed that China’s military and government employ “private” companies in China to gather information and intelligence about key figures in Canada. Chinese state-controlled companies like Huawei are used to help that work. A report by Huawei Canada highlighting potentially supportive media, academic and political figures was shared through Huawei to Chinese military and intelligence officials in their country. It demonstrates that the Liberal appeasement strategy failed. Liberals have yet to announce anything about their review of Huawei.
SECURITY: Security and Intelligence Committee to investigate Global Affairs, Cyber Defences in Canada
The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) will investigate the security and intelligence work of the Department of Global Affairs as part of its ongoing review of federal government. Additionally, the NSICOP will conduct an in-depth review of Canada’s framework and activities to defend our networks from cyber attacks. NSICOP provides their reports to the Prime Minister as well as a redacted report to Parliament that removes classified national security and intelligence information.
HEALTH CARE: Premiers seek more transfers to provinces for health care, not more federal government bureaucracy
In response to Liberals’ leaks to the media, Premiers met in Ottawa to call on the federal government to increase provincial transfers to deal with health care challenges and economic recovery. Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Quebec Premier Legault and Manitoba Premier Pallister said creating more federal government programs would not help speed health care delivery or economic recovery and asked for any new funding to flow through the provinces.
FIREARMS: 5,000 come to Ottawa for Peaceful Rally of Firearms Owners
The Coalition for Canadian Firearms Rights (CCFR) led a rally in Ottawa last weekend drawing over 5,000 people to Parliament Hill to oppose the crack down on law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters. The rally peacefully gave voice to many people who enjoy sport shooting and feel they have been blamed by the Liberals for the gang-related shooting across Canada despite no connection between legal firearms ownership and gang/crime related shootings.
CRIME: Gang and Crime related shootings continue to grow, despite ban
Major urban centres continue to report rising numbers of shootings and homicides using firearms. Police and Statistics Canada have noted that increased shootings are related to gangs. As the shootings continue, it is clear that the Liberal firearms ban has had no effect on criminals. As predicted.
ENVIRONMENT: Zero for 2 Billion
Even by accident, you would think the Liberals would have managed to plant a few trees this year. Media this week reported that the Liberals – after promising to plant 2 billion trees over 10 years – after close to one year in office, have not planted one single tree. As noted, when Justin Trudeau made this promise, the private sector plants more than 600 million seedlings each year.
CORRUPTION by Liberals
The repeat and endless scandals of the Liberals continue unabated. Quick highlights from this week:
Several weeks after Justin Trudeau told the media and Canadians he would consult Opposition Leaders on the Speech from the Throne, he has yet to consult anyone. It seems obvious his consultation with anyone outside his inner circle will be merely window dressing.
Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal charged by RCMP for several criminal code violations including Breach of Trust by a Public Official. The former MP for Brampton, ON resigned after massive gambling debts became public. Grewal is alleged to have solicited $6 M in funds through “deceit, falsehoods, and other fraudulent means in connection with his duties of office as a Member of Parliament” for his personal benefit. He is also under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner for accepting payments for helping a CEO connect with high ranking officials in exchange for paying him for “legal services”.
Former Liberal campaigner and Trudeau’s hand-picked Ambassador to the US, David McNaughton, was sanctioned this week by the Ethics Commissioner for violating the Conflict of Interest Laws. McNaughton met with numerous senior Liberals and government officials regarding his current employer Palantir in violation of the law. The result was that nine senior officials including Ministers Freeland and Bains have been ordered to stop meeting with Mr. McNaughton.
Former Finance Minister Bill Morneau was sanctioned by Elections Canada for inappropriately using resources from his office to promote Liberal candidates and the Liberal party. He remains under investigation for the WE Scandal by the Ethics Commissioner (his third investigation).
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 7 – SEPTEMBER 11
Liberals Knew About COVID and did Nothing
Liberal Health Minister Patty Hadju told Canadians she was fully briefed on the COVID threat in December but did nothing to advise colleagues or protect Canadians. As late as March 9th she was refusing to act because the “health risk is low to Canadians.” Canadians who have lost their jobs, lost their businesses, have lost loved ones and family members want to know why the Liberals did nothing to protect Canadians from this virus that has now shuttered our society and economy for six months.
Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal formally charged by RCMP
Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal was charged by RCMP with breach of trust and fraud over $5,000. Grewal is accused of obtaining personal loans through the use of his office as an MP and misuse of his office budget (which is tax payer money).
Grewal’s actions are one of many scandals linked to Liberal MPs. Three MPs have been implicated with violence and harassment of women, Cabinet Ministers have been investigated by the RCMP including Justin Trudeau (who blocked the investigation by refusing to release Cabinet information). Numerous other investigations might have been initiated but never publicized including the actions of Trudeau and others on trying to interfere in the SNC Lavalin criminal court case, Morneau’s tabling legislation that raised the stocks he owned in his family business.
Today is the 19th year since one of the worst terrorism attacks in history. In the attack 24 Canadians were killed among the nearly 3,000 who died in the World Trade Center towers, the pentagon or on of the flights that were crashed. Canadians across the country responded – with support through charities, by housing people from the US and other countries for extended periods who were on flights that landed in Canada, and by heading to the crash site. Canada’s first responders – including police, paramedics, and fire fighters – as well as medical professionals went to NYC to help. Trades men and women like crane operators lined up at the border to go down to help. Never was there a clearer sign of our alliance and partnership with the US than on that day. Let us never forget that the price of freedom is vigilance, the price to fight hate and violence is community and justice.
New Shadow Cabinet
Erin O’Toole announced his new Shadow Cabinet on Tuesday, September 8 including many of those MPs who supported him during his campaign. The West has been strongly represented in the new Shadow Cabinet including new Deputy Leader Candice Bergen, party WHIP Blake Richards, Caucus Liaison Tim Uppal and National Chair Tom Kmiec. 21 Western MPs are among the 43 MPs named to the Opposition team including 9 from Alberta.
I look forward to working with our new Leader, leadership team and Shadow Cabinet to fight the corrupt, scandal and misinformation from the Liberals.
Concerns raised on Trudeau’s Spending Plans, Fiscal Management
In the same week that the Parliamentary Budget Officer announced that Canada has 1 (maybe 2) years to get fiscal management back on track to avoid a debt crisis like the mid-1990s (which resulted in deep program cuts, 30% cut to federal government workers, and large cuts to provincial transfers), senior current and previous public servants raised concerns as well as some Liberals raising concerns that the “spending at unprecedented scales” promised by recent leaked stories will trample our economy, force taxes higher and increase the gap between East and Western provinces. One senior public servant said “There is a state of discouragement [over lack of spending controls] that I have not seen in 25 years in Ottawa.” https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-trudeaus-literally-frightening-spending-plan-has-some-liberals-bureaucrats-very-worried
Senior public servants reporting to the media about their concerns is likely because their advice and warnings are being ignored – and they know this government only responds to the media, not to expert opinions. It is another clear signal of incompetence and mismanagement from the Liberal government that you and I will be paying for a long time.
WE Charity Scandal Continues
On September 9th, Kielburger brothers Marc and Craig, founders of the embattled WE Charity announced the winding down of their Canadian operations and liquidation of their Canadian real estate holdings. The brothers cited the financial strain imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the loss of corporate sponsorships due to the scandal over the failed Canada Student Service Grant project. As well, both Kielburger brothers will step down from their positions in the organization as soon as a new board of governors can be installed. The net proceeds from the sell-off of the charity’s sizeable real estate portfolio will be put into an endowment to fund ongoing projects around the world. Conservatives continue to call on WE Charity to release the documents pertaining to its secret arrangement with the Trudeau Liberals and the proposed channelling of over $900 million of taxpayers’ dollars directly to the pockets of the Kielburgers.
Bill Morneau Convicted of Breaking Elections Law
The Commissioner of Elections announced its findings stemming from an investigation into Bill Morneau’s actions as Finance Minister during the 2019 federal election. The Commissioner found that Morneau improperly used his Ministerial resources and position as a Minister of the Crown to promote Liberal election candidates at Finance department events in Oakville and Dufferin-Caledon. This latest report comes on the heels of Morneau’s “resignation” as Finance Minister over his deep involvement in the WE Charity scandal. As a result of the findings, Morneau must pay a fine of $300 and as post links to the Commissioner’s judgement on his personal website and/or social media accounts for a period of 30 days.
China Brings Pressure Against MPs meeting Pro-Democracy Hong Kong Leaders
Chinese embassy officials have attempted to interfere in Canada’s Members of Parliament meeting with pro-democracy leaders from Hong Kong and dissidents of the Communist state who have wrongfully imprisoned millions of religious worshippers in China and attempted to impose dictatorial rule over Hong Kong through forced submission and national security laws. The Chinese Embassy – who has threatened Canada with economic retaliation if the Liberal government did not follow their demands – has called MPs to demand they not need with the Dalai Lama – the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people who were conquered and oppressed by the Chinese communist regime. Similarly, they attempt to block MPs from meeting with Taiwanese government officials as “meddling in China’s internal affairs” since China has claimed Taiwan as part of their country.
Trade Tribunal Investigating Liberals Awarding Communist Controlled company with Embassy security contract
NucTech, a communist China state-owned company, was awarded the winning contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada over Canadian companies to provide X-Ray scanners at all Canadian Embassies. This would allow for Chinese state employees – who can be coerced or forced into facilitating security and intelligence work – to gain access to our embassies with on-premise workers to install the machines and potentially remote access to software. It raises significant concerns that this was not flagged as a security risk. It is especially troubling when several Canadian companies and one American company was not awarded the contract, especially since a Calgary firm Kprime submitted a significantly lower big ($1.4 M lower). Nuctech has been named a threat by the US National Security Council because of its extensive presence at ports, airports and border crossings in Europe.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has opened an inquiry into the process and decision based on a complaint from Kprime that the Government of Canada did not follow its own process appropriately. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Phillipe Champagne (who is responsible for Canadian Embassies) asked Deloitte to review the process and decision. Deloitte is not a national security expert and would not be able to look into the security aspects. Champagne made national news recently when it was revealed he owed more than $1.2 M to China’s state bank for his London, UK apartment.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR AUGUST 29 – SEPTEMBER 5
New Conservative Leader O’Toole Announces his House Leadership Team
Erin O’Toole announced his Leadership team to help hold the corrupt Liberals to account and advance the needs of Canadians. Erin will be working closely with Deputy Conservative Leader and Western MP Candice Bergen, a former Conservative Minister and Opposition House Leader. Gerard Deltell, a Quebec MP, takes over from Bergen as the House Leader supported by Deputy House Leader Karen Vecchio from Ontario. Long time Alberta MP Blake Richards will be the Conservative WHIP in charge of Caucus discipline and Alex Ruff, a new MP from Ontario, will serve as Deputy Whip. Edmonton MP Tim Uppal will serve as National Caucus Liaison and Ontario MP Eric Duncan will organize Question Period.
O’Toole Vows to Repay Taxpayers for Government Assistance
Erin O’Toole has followed through on his promise to return the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that the Conservative Party received for its workers during the pandemic. Liberals, NDP, Greens and Conservative parties all applied for and received the benefit. O’Toole has also called on the other party leaders to commit to repaying the taxpayer subsidy.
Conservatives Narrow the gap with Liberals
Following the largest leadership race in Canadian history, Conservatives have pulled nearly even with the Liberal as Trudeau’s support continues to plummet in the face of numerous scandals, slow response to the COVID pandemic, and his plan to impose his ideological views on Canadians. Abacus Data now shows Conservatives at 31% while the Liberals are at 33% nationally. Conservatives are leading in the Prairies, tied in Ontario, sit 7% back in BC and 9 % behind in the Atlantic regions.
Private Firm Hired to Investigate Harassment claims against Governor General Payette
Trudeau’s signature appointment – Governor General Julie Payette – will be investigated by an Ottawa firm specializing in workplace conflict management. It will review the accusations that Payette belittled people, publicly humiliated members of the public service, was verbally abusive reducing many to tears, and created a toxic workplace. This week, Justin Trudeau came to her defence, calling her an “excellent” Governor General which angered current and former employees who have brought the complaints against Payette.
Trudeau’s “Remaking Canada” Means Pain for Alberta, West
Justin Trudeau has signalled he will double down on his policies that have damaged the economy in the West and alienated many Canadians by confirming his environmental commitments as part of the Speech from the Throne. He is expected to draw on the failed Liberal policies in Ontario that created havoc by massively subsidizing unreliable energy sources like wind and solar, drove up massive debts, and simultaneously caused energy prices to skyrocket. Canadians support a greener, better country that protects our air, water and land. But few people would call these good policies – higher prices, less reliable energy sources, and a negative impact on the business environment driving out investments.
Trudeau’s actions on the environment have not reduced emissions but have raised massive new taxes and increased costs. Instead of getting tough on big polluters, he gave special deals to Liberal insiders to continue polluting without penalty. Without an energy sector, there is no one to invest in the renewable energy sector and commercialize technologies that reduce emissions.
At the end of the day, these are the policies that have driven out investments, companies, jobs and alienated Western Canada. All this does is reinforce that Trudeau doesn’t care about much of anything west of Toronto.
Concerns from Senior Public Servants, some Liberals, over Trudeau’s “literally frightening” spending plans
Senior public servants have told media sources that they are deeply concerned about the fiscal management of this country with Trudeau at the helm. With the appointment of Chrystia Freeland as Finance Minister, senior public servants are confidentially telling media that Canadians should be worried. The level of spending during the pandemic is unprecedented, and now the Liberals are looking to use it as an excuse to drive up more debt and create even bigger government. Senior public servants likely know the lessons of history – when massive debt and deficits pile up, the federal public service and the provinces are usually the first ones to see cuts.
Health Canada Considering at-home screen tests approval after previously rejecting them
Health Canada said in June 2020 they would not be approving at home COVID test kits for fear they would be inaccurate and could cause extra fear. The ensuing backlash from public health experts who said this could help detect many undetected positive patients helped change the position of officials. Like almost every other position that Liberals have taken during this pandemic, they have been slow to act to help Canadians. The same Minister who said “no” to home testing kits, also flip-flopped on the use of masks, border closures, airport screenings, and now test kits.
Liberals sign vaccine agreements (Finally!)
As you may have noted last week, the Liberals were slower than many comparable countries to secure vaccine from reliable companies. It was only when there were rampant news reports of Liberals falling behind other developed countries like US, Australia, UK and the EU that the Liberals began to act. This week they announced an agreement with Novavax for 86 M doses (behind UK, India, Czech Republic, South Africa and Japan) and Johnson & Johnson (which is only at Phase 1&2 on their vaccine – potentially further behind than many). Canada announced it was working on a deal with AstraZeneca – which is thought to be the farthest along – but didn’t have a deal yet (AstraZeneca has pledged 400 M doses already to the EU countries, UK and US – putting Canada well back in the line). AstraZeneca could begin delivery of their vaccines by late 2020.
Canada has deals in place with Pfizer and Moderna as well. With these agreements, Canada has contracts for different vaccine types that can deliver a potential treatment and immunity for COVID. Likely Canada will be behind Europe and the US.
Youth Minister Bardish Chagger Lied to Canadians
Youth Minister Bardish Chagger testified before Parliament’s Finance Committee regarding the $912 M sole-sourced contract for WE Companies / Charities as the Minister responsible. Redacted documents clearly show that Chagger lied to Parliament and to Canadians: When she said she did not steer or direct the program, or meet with the Kielburgers, both were lies.
MP Charlie Angus, the NDP Ethics Critic, has stated he cannot see how she can remain in Cabinet given her testimony and the evidence against her. She is the third member of Cabinet caught breaking the rules and misleading Canadians after Bill Morneau – the former Minister and MP who resigned of his accepting free travel – and Justin Trudeau.
The number of times that Liberal Ministers have been caught lying seems to suggest that Chagger isn’t likely to step down. Here are a few examples of misleading statements and deceitful conduct of the Liberals:
* Ralph Goodale former Public Safety Minister – Told Canadians that he couldn’t discuss the Prime Minister’s India Trip due to National Security concerns (which he later said never existed).
* Current Public Safety Minister Bill Blair – Said he supported a full inquiry into the Nova Scotia Shooting, then approved a private investigation (he was forced to reverse due to public outcry); after banning 56 shotguns, said he didn’t ban any shotguns; said that he was working with the US government to change the Safe Third Party Agreement when he hadn’t even met them yet; suggested that legalizing marijuana would eliminate the black market; and said that “the gun lobby” was spreading misinformation when firearms owners were actually just discussing the facts.
* Patty Hadju, Health Minister and former Employment Minister – Imposed the values test on Canada Summer Jobs applicants; told Canadians on March 9th that border closure wasn’t necessary and the risk of COVID coming to Canada was low, just before Canada reported a COVID outbreak and closed its borders.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister – Lied to Canadians about the costs of his vacation to a billionaire’s private island that cost nearly $250,000 and broke several ethics laws; refused to say how may times he had worn blackface; said he was “doing his job” when he attempted to push former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to interfere in a criminal case (SNC-Lavalin); fired Jody Wilson Raybould as Attorney General when she refused to cooperate; repeatedly referred to Kristy Duncan as a Nobel prize winning scientist despite that not being true; and now the WE Charity scandal.
* Bill Morneau – forgot to report to the Ethics Commissioner that he owned a French Villa through a shell corporation in France; tabled a Bill that would change pension management in Canada – which boosted the stock value of his personal stock holdings; and was forced to repay $41,000 of free travel he accepted from WE Charity in contravention of our Ethics and Conflict of Interest Laws (he would later try to divert public funds to WE Charity through the Canada Student Service Grant program – breaking the Ethical laws once again).
* Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs – Was caught diverting lobster quotas to a family member’s company against the recommendations of the public service.
* Harjit Sajan, Minister of National Defence – After he made a claim to have helped develop a critical military operation in Afghanistan, he was forced to retract the claim.
* Diane Lebouthillier, Minister for the Canada Revenue Agency – After removing Diabetics from disability programs and tax credit she lied to Parliament and Diabetics organizations around the country saying that no changes had been made to the program. In fact, her department removed Type 1 Diabetes from disability programs.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR AUGUST 21-28
New Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole
Due to COVID-19, the Conservative Leadership race was forced to move to online and use a mail-in voting process. These changes raised concern that the number of people who signed-up and voted might drop. Canadians demonstrated how ready they are for a new government with record breaking numbers of people joining the Conservative Party (almost 270,000) and voting in a Canadian leadership race with nearly 175,000 votes cast.
Erin O’Toole won the Leadership, sweeping almost all provinces on the third ballot. On day one, Erin hit the ground running, and started work as promised. Our Conservative Team has rallied behind our new Leader – a united opposition to Trudeau’s division, corruption, taxes and mismanagement.
Another surprise in the Conservative Leadership race to most media (and the Liberals) was the strong campaign of Leslyn Lewis – from an unknown to a strong campaign that attracted many voters (and nearly had her reach the final ballot). On the second ballot – which ultimately knocked her out of the race – Lewis won four provinces (BC, SK, AB, and MB) and two territories. Lewis has committed to run in the next election under Erin O’Toole’s leadership and will add another strong voice to our Conservative team.
Erin O’Toole’s First Press Conference as Leader
New Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole took to the helm on Day One – ready to lead – as he promised during his campaign. After naming his key staff, he held a press conference that had many journalists and Ottawa insiders buzzing. Words like “authentic”, “strong” and “clear” were used frequently.
Erin laid out a clear message and objectives as Leader of the Conservative Party. He wants to bring hope back for Canadians who are struggling, fight for what they need, and what could help families across the country. He wants more Canadians to see themselves in the Conservative party; he wants to put Canada back on the path to prosperity; and he wants Conservatives to be a strong voice for Canadian unity. In fact, the first issue he raised with Justin Trudeau on a call was Western Alienation, pushing Trudeau to make it a major part of his Speech from the Throne in September. That is a message that I believe all Canadians can get behind.
You can see Erin’s full press conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgC7A_7226I
Liberals have been slow to sign vaccine agreements – Putting Canadians well down the list when a vaccine is available
As highlighted in Maclean’s magazine<https://www.macleans.ca/society/health/how-canada-has-bungled-the-covid-19-endgame/>, Professor Amir Attaran notes the Liberals have badly bungled the management of the COVID pandemic in Canada, often reacting too slowly to issues and challenges. He noted that Canada is well behind other countries in signing supply deals for one of the seven vaccines currently in the final phases of testing (phase 3 clinical trials). Countries including the US, Australia, UK, and much of Europe have signed deals and supply agreements putting them ahead of us in the line for vaccine doses. Trudeau and the Liberals opted to go with China-based and communist party controlled CanSino Biologics and the Chinese Military Academy of Sciences. To no one’s surprise, the vaccine was held back by the Communist Chinese government and – just this week – the agreement was cancelled by China. Canada now has no agreement for vaccines, and we are at the back of the line for getting suppliers. It is possible that many other countries will be vaccinating their citizens and removing lockdowns while Canada watches – waiting for our supplies that could come much later.
Trudeau Announces $2 B for return to school (just days before school restarts)
While Provinces swimming in debt no doubt welcomed the announcement that the Liberal government would provide support for back to school costs ($1 B for the Fall, $1 B in January), it came far too late to do much good. School Boards have finalized back-to-school plans based on their current budgets and established provincial guidelines already. Most teachers have been back at school getting ready. Just before Albertan children and teens head to school, the announcement of more funding would have been much more useful a month ago when schools, parents and teachers were planning. Alberta will receive up to $263 M based on the number of school aged children in the province who go to school. If parents opt to keep their children home from school (for those who might have the ability or option) the federal government will deduct money from the provincial funding.
Trudeau explained the funding was late because he knew there was a lot of anxiety about the return to school. This only shows how out of touch Trudeau is – acting only days before school starts doesn’t help with anxieties of teachers, parents or students – but it does get Justin in the news. The Liberals continue to spend lots of your money to look good but moving too slowly to really help Canadians continues.
Canada has its’ worst Quarter in Canadian history
On August 28, Statistics Canada reported our economic output for the second quarter of 2020 dropped to 38.7%. Since Canada began tracking quarterly GDP, this is the largest drop in our history. It demonstrates that our economy requires significant direction and leadership to rebound. Canada will be facing record levels of debt, deficits, layoffs, bankruptcies, and business closures. Canada will need strong leadership to move forward against these challenges and to make sure that all Canadians are better off in 12 months than they are today.
Chinese Actions against Canada Continues
Canada’s relationship with China has deteriorated significantly under the Trudeau’s appeasement strategy. Trudeau and his Ministers refused to denounce China after it held back information about the pandemic from other countries in January and February (during this time China used front groups to siphon protective equipment out of Canada and send it back to China). Our foreign Minister (who was found to have a $1.2 M mortgage to China’s government owned bank) refused to use the name of Taiwan to keep chinese communist party members happy – the democratic island nation just off the coast of China continues to be suppressed by the communist regime. Liberals have not been able to get either Michael Spavor or Michael Korvig – who were illegally detained in China – free from their trumped-up charges and inhumane prison conditions. China has and continues to actively hack Canadian federal government departments and agencies, as well as provinces, health care providers, private companies to sabotage and steal intellectual property, research, and corporate information.
And the communist Chinese regime has blocked or illegitimately held many Canadian exports including beef, pork and grains to economically harm Canada in attempts to force their views on another country. This in response to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer for Huawei, wanted in the US for violating international and US trade sanctions and wire fraud.
Through all of this, the “review” of the use of Huawei in Canada’s 5G mobile networks continues – is well into year 3. All Canadian telecommunications companies have pushed ahead without Huawei equipment – a ban by default rather than the Liberals having the courage to stand up for Canadian economic independence against communist Chinese aggressions.
Another Day, A New Liberal Scandal
This past week an audit of Environment Canada’s contracts found significant irregularities in $176.6 M in spending. Among the issues identified over a two-year period included awarding eight untendered contracts to a favoured vendor with each slightly below the allowable limit to avoid a competition. By breaking up one large contract to eight separate ones, it avoids a competition where the insider could lose. In another case, a contractor began work before a contract tender was even put out to other bidders competitors. Nearly half (18 of 40) randomly audited contracts were lacking essential documents to demonstrate the outcomes and verify that the process was fair and appropriate.
The Minister during this time – Catherine McKenna – was one of the Cabinet Ministers who in 2019 voted to increase the contract non-competition limit from $25,000 to $40,000. Since that time, she has been moved to the Infrastructure file where earlier this year the Auditor General noted that her department was unable or unwilling to provide information on over 20,000 infrastructure projects the government has funded.
The Ombudsman for Procurement who found these issues at Environment Canada is also investigating a group of contracts provided across several departments to the WE companies that appear to violate the rules.
WE Scandal Developments – Conservatives Still Hunting for the Truth
With Justin Trudeau proroguing Parliament to avoid investigations into his WE Scandal, Conservative MPs are continuing to work to uncover the truth. This week the independent, non-partisan lawyer for the House of Commons raised concerns over the release of information to the House of Commons by several departments. The 5,000 pages released by the Liberals arrived heavily redacted which eliminated the opportunity for the independent House of Commons legal team to verify and review information to ensure nothing was being concealed from Parliament. It is just another in a long line of measures taken by the Liberals to conceal the truth to Canadians.
Conservatives also asked the Speaker’s Bureau to release this week information ordered released by Parliament regarding payments to Trudeau family members to speak at WE / Me-to-WE events. Originally, Parliament sought the information by July 31, but granted the Speaker’s Bureau an extension to August 19. It seems too coincidental that Parliament was prorogued August 18 by Trudeau – blocking the release of that information. While the Speaker’s Bureau has no requirement to comply with the request now that Parliament is not sitting, it is almost certain that Parliament will be compelling that information as soon as Parliament resumes.
Update: Canada Student Services Grants
It appears that the Liberal promise to provide money to students who performed hours of volunteer working during the pandemic is all but dead. This program was the heart of the $912 M scandal involving the WE Charity / Companies to provide grants to students. Trudeau and his former Finance Minister were caught attempting to rig the system to give their friends at WE (who employ members of both Trudeau’s and former Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s families) to a sole sourced contract. It appears now that they are no longer seeking to implement the program since the money isn’t going to their friends anymore.
It should be noted that there was always a simple solution to help students: the Canada Summer Jobs Program. It provides jobs for students at or above minimum wage working for non-profits and charities to deliver valuable services to those in need or who need help. Each year the program has more demand for funding than funding available.
Implementation of Firearms Law changes delayed two more years
Bill C-71 was pushed through Parliament in June 2019 by Liberal MPs who said it would address gang violence on our street, despite obvious issues and no evidence it would impact anyone other than law-abiding firearms owners. The Bill imposed additional rules on legal firearms owners, while making unsubstantiated promises of improving background checks and mental health reviews on firearms license applications. The problem was that the Bill never explained how background checks would be improved or explain how it would improve mental health background checks with no legal authority to access confidential medical records. With most firearms licence applicants reporting that their references were never even contacted to verify information, it seems unlikely that more background information will stop criminals with illegal firearms.
The Liberals have announced it will take until 2022 to get regulations, administration and money in place to implement this new law. It sounds more and more like the Liberals have realized that – as was pointed out to them time and again – this law will do nothing to protect Canadians from criminals, illegal firearms, shootings or gangs.
Changes to Drug Possession Prosecutions
Canadians arrested on minor drug possession charges will no longer be facing criminal code prosecution but may be diverted into health treatment. Public prosecutors have new orders from the independent head of public prosecutions to divert simple possession (meaning an amount intended for personal use) away from criminal courts and into health treatment.
This follows the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police advocating to end criminal prosecutions of simple possession of an illicit substance. These prosecutions do nothing to reduce crime or serve the public good, but they do take resources away from addressing real criminals (like the drug dealers). Police are on the front line in dealing with addiction and it often means addicts end up arrested for possession and in jail, instead of in treatment.
Addiction is a major driver for crime – including the massive rural crime wave. The Liberals have done virtually nothing to combat drug trafficking or addiction crisis that has struck Canada. Lack of leadership from the Liberals has been replaced by action from police and prosecutors. If the Liberals stopped concentrating on taking guns away from hunters, farmers and sport shooters, maybe they could start addressing the crime and drug crisis in our country.
Week ending Aug 21
CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT EXTENDED, REPLACEMENTS ANNOUNCED
The Liberals announced a 4-week extension of CERB this week, providing 4 more weeks of coverage for Canadians on the program. The program should run until September 28 now, with many Canadians being moved to Employment Insurance (EI) or new programs to cover anyone else. To make more Canadians eligible for EI, the Liberals will lower the threshold for 1 year for the number of hours that had to be worked (down to 120 hours or roughly 3-4 weeks employment). They announced their intention to create 3 new programs for Canadians – the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) to cover anyone who is still not eligible for EI, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit to cover 2 weeks sick leave for anyone who gets COVID and doesn’t already have paid sick leave, and the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit for those who have to stay home and care for children or others due to the COVID crisis. All the details can be found here: https://glenmotzmp.com/cerb-extended/
While these programs use the name “Recovery”, six months into the pandemic we are still without a national recovery plan while many of the provinces already have plans in placed and are helping to get people back to work. It is yet another example of the Trudeau Liberals – consumed by their own scandals and ethical problems – have been painfully slow to respond to the needs of Canadians and demonstrate leadership.
PARLIAMENT SHUT DOWN TO STOP INVESTIGATIONS
Justin Trudeau and his government have been trying to get Canadians to stop paying attention to yet another in a long list of Liberal scandals. This week, Trudeau announced he would prorogue Parliament – which effectively ends any Parliamentary work – until he recalls Parliament in late September. Trudeau and a number of Liberal Ministers were under investigation for their roles in pushing money to WE companies and charities in the form of the Canada Student Services Grant. Opposition MPs, lead by Conservatives, were investigating a number of issues including:
– Ethics Committee investigating why the former Finance Minister and Prime Minister did not recuse themselves from decisions that directly benefit members of their family, as required under the Conflict of Interests Act
– Official Languages Committee: Despite claims that WE was the ONLY organization in Canada who could deliver this program, the WE organization had no Quebec presence and had to outsource its French components
– Finance Committee: Investigation into the numerous lies and misleading statements by the Prime Minister, numerous Ministers claiming that WE was selected by the public service, despite numerous issues raised by the public service about this proposal.
By proroguing Parliament, Justin Trudeau is hoping to put time and space between himself and yet another scandal where again he believes he is above the law. No doubt Trudeau will come out with massive spending promises and big ideas, hoping you forget that he has failed many times to deliver what he promised and has consistently treated tax payers money with little regard.
Unfortunately for Justin Trudeau, the RCMP has begun examining whether they should open an investigation into the issue (RCMP does not confirm or deny that they open investigations), and there are now multiple independent investigations into the issue including the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Commissioner and the Federal Procurement Ombudsman.
MORNEAU RESIGNS, FREELAND MADE FINANCE MINISTER
Bill Morneau was forced to resign on Monday due to his conduct in the WE Scandal where he inappropriately helped push money to his daughter’s employer through the Canada Student Services Grant. Morneau was required by law to recuse himself from involvement or participating in any discussions that might provide an inappropriate benefit to friends, family or himself. Instead, he and his staff met with WE, helped “shape” WE’s proposal to win the administration of this $912 M contract, and voted for it in Cabinet.
The weekend before Morneau’s resignation, Trudeau’s attack machine began leaking stories suggesting Morneau was constantly fighting with Trudeau, and that Trudeau was responsible for many of the big spending COVID relief measures by overruling the Finance Minister’s concerns over rising debt and out of control spending. Prior to these manufactured stories, there was no indication that Morneau had concerns or challenges in spending money (he never balanced the budget in 5 years) and constantly defended raising taxes and increased spending. Morneau suggested he would be stepping down to run for the Secretary of the Organizations for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) – a poor excuse not to admit one’s wrong doing and resign properly.
Chrystia Freeland takes over a troubled economy and dismal fiscal outlook. She has experience as a finance reporter, but no education in finance, commerce or economics. She was the Managing Director and Editor of Consumer News at Reuters – leaving the organization mired in debt, bureaucracy and mismanagement. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/matthewzeitlin/how-chrystia-freeland-hastened-reuters-nexts-demise
WHAT THE WE SCANDAL IS ALL ABOUT
In April, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would create the Canada Student Service Grant to award students who volunteer up to $5,000 towards covering the cost of schools. This in addition to the Canada Emergency Student Benefit that provided up to $1,250 per month for all students who could not work because of COVID-19. What has now been revealed is that immediately after that, ministers including the former Finance Minister and the Prime Minister and their staffs worked behind the scenes to push for WE – a Liberal friendly organization, to receive this funding.
Is WE a Liberal organization?
When Justin Trudeau testified before Parliament that he and the WE Founders were not friends, many MPs were surprised and frankly – insulted. Justin Trudeau has tweeted about his “friends” at WE. WE produced election style video features promoting Justin Trudeau. Trudeau has appeared at numerous WE events. And his family have been paid to appear at WE Days across the country, receiving $500,000. Notably, they only began as paid speakers starting in 2015 – after Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister. Additionally, there are also many other links to WE:
-Bill Morneau has two children directly involved – including one who is a paid employee – of the WE group of companies.
-Katie Telford, Trudeau’s top advisor, helped fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE
-Minister Seamus O’Regan, Trudeau’s Minister of Natural Resources, also helped fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Top ranking Liberals took a paid vacation from an organization who is lobbying the government for money? (Just in case you don’t remember, Trudeau’s first Ethics violation was for accepting a paid vacation in 2016 from the Aga Khan, who lobbies the government for international development funding).
Bill Morneau accepted a paid vacation from WE to travel with his wife and family to Kenya to see some of WE’s operations in Africa. Morneau – once he was caught – was forced to re-pay $41,000 in expenses for the vacation and admit that he (again) violated the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Act.
LIES and MORE LIES
When questions were raised about the Liberal government’s handing a $912 M program to a non-profit, Trudeau made numerous claims: WE was recommended by the public service, WE was the only organization who could have delivered the program, and that numerous organizations were considered. First, it is clear from documents released this week to the Finance Committee that the Finance Minister, the Prime Minister’s office all “weighted in” to push for WE to receive the funding and that they would be the only organization considered. Second, the claim that ONLY WE could deliver the program is patently false – and was denounced or contradicted by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (a large public service union), the YMCA/YWCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Canada. Finally, from the testimony by officials before Parliament and from the released documents, it is clear that only WE was ever considered to deliver this program.
The Minister who is responsible for this program – Bardish Chagger – brought forward the proposal with one option – WE Inc. deliver the program. She was asked in Parliament if she had contact with WE prior to her decisions and suggested that she did not. That has been proven false through the release of emails, calls and notes that show multiple contacts to her, her office, and her officials. In short, she lied to Canadians and to Parliament about her role and activities.
WE Inc is a large organization with many different companies and charities that did not register as a Lobbyist in Canada until it was uncovered that they had not registered despite lobbying the government for funding on many occasions, succeeding in attracting over $5.5 M in funds (almost 5 x more than previous governments) since 2015. Their lobbying materials for the $912 M student service grant included photos of Margaret Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s mother) in their materials – highlighting their close ties to the Trudeau and the Liberals.
Last week, WE Inc. registered its lobbying activities and listed 18 people who worked on connecting with different parts of the federal government. In total, they had 65 registered meetings in the last 18 months with numerous MPs, Ministers, staff and senior public servants. That’s more than major multinationals like General Motors. Of the 18 people listed as lobbying the government, neither of the Kielburger brothers are listed. https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/clntSmmry?clientOrgCorpNumber=367186&sMdKy=1598032520530
Border Closures, Safe Third Country Agreement
In light of the continued challenges of growing infections and spread in the US, Canada and the US announced they were extending the border closure to non-essential travel for an additional 30 days. The Canada-US Border will be closed until September 21st, with another potential extension. The continued challenges and extension of this border closure will likely put a strain on many tourism and travel oriented companies. If you have any questions or issues, please contact our office at 403-528-4698.
The closed border will also mean that couples separated by the Liberal’s rules and failure to recognized certain partnerships or couples will continue to live apart during this time. Despite recognition of family reunification, many couples continue to be separated and unable to travel or live with their significant others due to their citizenship or other issues.
After a recent Court decision that rules the new Safe Third Country agreement and rules with the US was unconstitutional because it prevents people from entering into Canada illegally, and then making a refugee claim, the Liberals (very, very quietly, this afternoon) announced it would be challenging and appealing the Court decision. This follows years where the Liberals defended the ability for people to illegally enter Canada, claim refugee status even though more than “90%” would be deported because they did not meet the threshold for refugee status. The Safe Third Country Agreement states that no one in Canada or the US is fleeing from oppression or dictatorship, and therefore cannot leave from one to the other and claim refugee status (anyone in Canada or the US has access to legal representation and due process).
More Government connections to big hand outs
Last week it was reported that the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Katie Telford had created an ethical screen to avoid any conflicts of interest to her husbands job. Her husband began with MCAP in January and that organization was selected to run the government of Canada’s commercial rent relief program by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. There remains the question of why a Crown Corporation with 2,000 employees couldn’t run it themselves. While his wife’s role likely didn’t hurt things, there is no clear wrong doing here – unlike the WE scandal. The bigger question out of this – why does the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff know to put in an ethics screen for herself, but the Prime Minister with two previous ethical violations did not when it came to a group who employed his mother and brother? There exist clear guidelines for all MPs and Cabinet Ministers on when and how to do this, but Justin Trudeau continues to believe these rules don’t apply to him.
WE can’t say the same for these questionable deals:
A former Liberal MP who runs a medical equipment company received a contract for 10,000 ventilators even though their ventilators have not been approved by Health Canada for medical use in Canada.
A Quebec-based company who refused to disclose who owns the company, received a $113 M contract for medical masks. They have yet to deliver a single mask. They closed their last Canadian factory in 2019 and have offshored the work to other countries – including China. The Liberals called this a “Made-in-Canada” solution – although it appears to be neither a solution nor made in Canada. The company AMD Medical hired a consultant immediately after getting this contract in March: SNC Lavalin.
Using their sweeping powers provided for the pandemic, the Liberals are not revealing the details of the $5.8 Billion in contracts, with as little as 40% being to Canadian companies, to address these pandemic challenges. There would seem to be more dirt to be uncovered from these deals.
Canada Wage Subsidy Changes
The details of the new Canada Wage Subsidy Program, including its end date, are now out and details can be found on our website at www.GlenMotzMP.com/CEWS-Update.
Under the revised program, the wage subsidy will be using a new formula going forward. For the current worker period (called Claim Period 5) for employees who work July 5-Aug 1 or parts of that time, employers will have two options on how to calculate their worker’s subsidy – first, using the original formula of 75% wage subsidy for revenue declines at/ over 30% for the last few months. That formula will be fading out over the next few pay period, and will be replaced by the new formula. That formula provides a base rate (60%) wage subsidy for any organization with a decline of 50% or more over the last three months, and a scaled support of wage subsidy based on your organizations decline in revenues. Over the next few periods, the rate of subsidy will decline until it ends in early October.
Amazon Canada Being Called Before Parliament
Conservative Shadow Minister Michelle Rempel is calling Amazon to appear before Parliament after it was revealed that they were under investigation by the Canada’s Competition Bureau for use of its large market share to undercut or compete with independent sellers. While NDP MP Brian Masse supported the call, Liberal MPs voted to delay calling Amazon – postponing the decision that will almost certainly pass at the next meeting.
Town Halls provides good questions
MP Motz wrapped up his series of regional town halls last week, meeting with residents of Cardston, Cardston County, Magrath, Cypress County and County of Forty Mile. Numerous questions were raised about when borders would re-open, how Canada could recover from this economic downturn, and whether rural and Western communities would be once again passed over by the Liberal programs. MP Motz has now held regional town halls encompassing the entire riding (one of the largest in the country). If you missed it, or have a questions, you can always reach our office at Glen.Motz@Parl.gc.ca or 403-528-4698.
Funding for Irrigation and Water in SE Alberta
The Alberta Government has announced numerous new irrigation and water maintenance funds over the last few weeks covering most of the communities in Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner. Last week, Minister Dreeshin and Minister Hunter announced funding for the following irrigation projects:
- Bow River Irrigation District (Vauxhall area): $1,585,642
- Eastern Irrigation District (Brooks area): $2,418,872
- Leavitt Irrigation District (Cardston area): $40,112
- Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District: $1,098,698
- Magrath Irrigation District: $116,413
- Mountain View Irrigation District $37,391
- Raymond Irrigation District: $271,432
- St. Mary River Irrigation District: $2,651,848
- Taber Irrigation District: $547,532
Liberals quietly increase internet costs for many Canadians
After the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) reduced rental rates for third party internet providers (internet companies that have to rent their access from the big providers like Telus, Shaw, Rogers and Bell), the Liberal Cabinet quietly overruled the decision and increased rental fees. This increase will mean third party providers will have to increase their rates to pay for higher costs, making the big telecommunications companies more profitable (they cleared billions in profits last year) and reducing competition. The Liberals were said to have backed down to the big telecommunications firms when they threated to reduce rural internet plans. Which raises the question – what big companies are actually addressing rural internet gaps? In our communities, there are major break downs and gaps in internet coverage and mobile coverage in rural areas.
Not surprisingly, the Liberals have done very little to fulfill their 25% price reduction guarantee. This promise was called toothless and empty during the last election – yet another in a long line of broken promises from a Liberal government big on promises but unwilling to do the work before or after their commitments to get the job done.
Cyberattacks Cripple CRA online services
Late last week it was revealed that Canada’s CRA had been the subject of a successful cyberattack over the last few months, and that at least 5,000 Canadians had their information accessed or abused. The attackers were known to use the information to make false claims for benefits, redirect payments to new banking accounts, and help siphon money out of Canada’s economy at a time of crisis. By the middle of this week, services had resumed, however many Canadians will be left with compromised accounts and stolen information for many year to come. This is one in a line of cyber attacks, breaches and attacks that have hit CRA, the government of Canada and private industry in recent years and take substantive money out of our economy each year.
Montreal Port Strike Impacting Across the Country
The Port of Montreal is among the largest shipping ports in the country and declared a strike last week. This has impacted the ability for Canadian companies to ship their goods overseas, as well as create a backlog of railway shipments as the system piles up. Farmers are understandably upset as this creates yet another shipping and trade issue – one of dozens over the last few years. Despite the massive economic impacts, the Liberal Labour Minister has stated that she will not seek to end the strike through legislation. As a federally regulated industry, it is up the federal government to table back to work legislation to end a strike that impacts many Canadians.
I am pleased to report that as of this morning, August 21, the two sides appear to have reached a tentative agreement that still requires the union to bite to ratify.
Support for Beirut
After the explosion that shocked the world and devasted the city of Beirut, Lebanon, the federal government announced $ 5M in aid to the city and the country. Lebanon – already in the grip of economic depression, and social challenges including nearly a decade of Syrian refugees flooding into the country, had a massive explosion triggered when a fire reached explosive substances that had been storage and never dealt with in their port. The explosion was felt hundreds of miles away, registered on the Earthquake monitoring systems, and has generated a political backlash against politicians and negligent governments. The government’s entire Cabinet resigned under pressure when it was revealed the goods that cause the explosion had been there for many years and no one had taken action to address the danger.
AUGUST 1-7, 2020
WE SCANDAL CONTINUES WITH MANY QUESTIONS, ISSUES ON ETHICAL CONDUCT OF TRUDEAU, MORNEAU; COVID PAYMENT FOR DISABLED CANADIANS COMING AS TRUDEAU ANNOUNCES END OF CERB; VACCINES NOT FROM CHINA BEST WAY FORWARD; COVID TRACING APP AVAILABLE; AMERICAN ALUMINUM TARIFFS ARE BACK; AND MORE
Liberals Announce the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Prime Minister Trudeau announced an end to the Emergency Response Benefit that has supported millions of Canadians during the shut down and pandemic. Anyone on the program since mid-March will be in their final payments now, as the program will wind-up for them near the end of August. Final eligibility for those who began the program later will be completed by the end of September.
The Liberals announced anyone still unemployed would be transferred to the Employment Insurance Program, or to an as of yet unannounced program they promised to bring forward in the future. The Liberals have yet to announce any information about this program or its timeline.
The Conservative plan to wind down the CERB program was clear and announced in June. The revised Conservative program would have seen returning workers who might have reduced hours or lower than expected incomes continue to receive scaled back support based on their earnings, ensuring that no one was worse off returning to work than staying home. The announcement of the end of the CERB program with no clear plan for Canadians demonstrates continued poor leadership from the Liberals.
US to Impose Aluminum Tariffs on Canada
This week America President Trump announced he would re-introduce a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum to protect Americans suggesting Canada is a national security threat. The federal government has indicated it intends to respond with tariffs of equal value ($3.6 billion) after conducting its due diligence through a 30-day consultation period. The last time aluminum tariffs were imposed, they alos had tariffs on steel.
In May, the Liberals raised many eyebrows when they signed a deal with China’s CanSino Biologics (which partners with a Chinese military research academy) for potential vaccines for study and testing. Since May, the Chinese have refused to allow any vaccine to be exported to Canada, only re-affirming that China and its organization cannot be trusted, and certainly should not be considered a friend, let alone a partner.
Three months later, the Liberals signed an agreement with two American pharmaceuticals Pfizer and Moderna for vaccines that are yet to be approved by Health Canada. Its good that we are finally entering into agreements for potential treatments and vaccines that could help move Canada back towards normalcy, but it remains to be seen when these treatments will be available and where Canada sits in the queue of receiving these vaccines. What is clear is that China should never have been our first choice to obtain potential vaccines.
Government of Canada News Release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2020/08/government-of-canada-announces-major-steps-in-treating-and-preventing-covid-19-through-vaccines-and-therapies.html
COVID Funding for Canadians with Disabilities
One-time payments to Canadians with disabilities are expected this Fall following the passage of new legislation. The $600 payment will be directly deposited or mailed to recipients who receive the Disability Tax Credit, are on one of the approved program (Canada Pension Plan Disability, Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension or the Disability Support by Veterans Affairs).
For Seniors with a disability who have already received payments earlier this year, a top up of $100-$300 would be provided (to bring total supports to $600 per person). If you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit, but your certificate expired or you have not re-applied, you can do so before September 25, 2020 to qualify for payments.
Health Canada has introduced a COVID tracing app that would allow you to enter your information and determine if you may have been exposed to the virus. The App was delayed after concerns were raised about the protection of personal information and ensuring that the app did not collect and store significant information on Canadians without their consent. After Conservative MPs asked for the privacy commissioner to review it, a panel of experts on privacy and technology reviewed and made suggestions to improve the app. It is now available for download to your smart phone here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html?&utm_campaign=gc-hc-sc-2021-0024-10653701173&utm_medium=search&utm_source=google-ads-104719809029&utm_content=text-en-451610636601&utm_term=covid%20application
WE Charity scandal continues with unanswered questions, in particular questions about contradictory statements and timelines presented by the Liberal government. After the Prime Minister’s testimony at the Committee, there were only more red flags and questions. Ethically, it is clear the Prime Minister is destined for his third contravention of our ethics laws. The Ethics and Conflict on Interest Acts require Cabinet to avoid advancing the interests of themselves, friends, or family through their positions, and avoid providing preferential access to government. It seems clear that WE – which has enjoyed significant support from the Liberals since 2015 – was the only organization given serious consideration for this $912 M program. With the Prime Minister’s family earning significant money from WE and their various companies, the Prime Minister should never have been anywhere near this organization.
That also holds true for the Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, who was apologetic after being caught in conflict again. Previously, Morneau has been caught failing to disclose his French villa and for advancing legislation that directly increased the value of his family business (who’s stocks he still owned, so money straight into his pocket). Morneau – like Trudeau – has family ties to the WE Charities and WE groups of companies with both of his daughters connected to the groups and his wife being a donor. Morneau – while holding office – also took an expenses paid vacation from WE with his wife and daughter, which is a contravention of the conflict of interest rules. He only repaid the $41,000 in expenses the day before he had to testify before Parliament, after he clearly violated the rules again.
Here are some of the facts we know raise serious issues on the Liberals misleading and erroneous statements:
After Justin Trudeau claimed only WE Charity could deliver the student volunteer grant program, others like YMCA/YWCA and Boys and Girls Club of Canada have stepped up saying they could have helped.
WE Charity could not administer the program nationally – they had no presence in Quebec. WE engaged a public relations firm to manage the Quebec program, who in turn reached out to MPs for suggestions. Conservative MPs noted that the Canada Summer Jobs Program already had all the information and systems needed to deliver these job opportunities.
WE’s convoluted finances and governance raised serious questions about the operations and had very questionable finances and governance. Due diligence would have demonstrated this organization was not in good financial shape and could not be relied on to deliver a program of this scope and scale effectively.
WE Foundation – a separate entity from the well known for-profit ME-to-WE, and WE Charity – was the actual recipient of the grant. This organization’s main purpose is as a real estate holding company as per their documents filed with CRA for charitable status. This organization has no track record in delivering programs.
Nova Scotia Inquiry into Shooting
After the Federal Liberals and Nova Scotia Liberals tried to slip in a behind-closed doors review of the RCMP’s handling of the Nova Scotia shooting, there was significant backlash. Media reports and public outcry which included Conservative and Liberal MPs from Nova Scotia, forced the Liberal governments to do an about face and agree to a full, public inquiry. The inquiry is needed to look into the response of the RCMP to the shooting, why they hadn’t acted sooner since numerous reports suggest the public had reported the shooter’s criminal behaviours, and why measures like alerts and public notices had not been used sooner. Since the shooting we have learned through media persistence of the many crimes of the shooter which included gun and drug smuggling, domestic violence, and building fake police vehicles and uniforms (it is illegal to impersonate an officer). Federal and provincial ministers announced a change to a full public inquiry, and the next day former Liberal MP and Minister Anne McLellan resigned as one of the three inquiry panelists. McLellan had been previously tapped to address the SNC Lavalin scandal and report to the Prime Minister how to avoid these issues in the future.
Firearms Update – Nullification Letters
The RCMP have issued “nullification” letters to rescind legal ownership of the 1,946 models of firearms banned since May 1, 2020. These letters were drafted in a way to ensure firearms owners were not afforded an appeal process that would typically occur due to a revocation of a licence. Normally when a firearms license is revoked, the Chief Firearms Officer must notify the license holder of the appeal mechanism under the Firearms Act (which allows for an appeal through the courts). “Nullification” letters were issued because the firearms were made invalid by Cabinet, not by violations by users under the Act or terms of the license. This nullification only reinforces the key point that Conservative MPs have raised repeatedly – the people being punished and held accountable for the actions of gangs and criminals are legal, law-abiding Canadians who have not broken the law. A responsible government should be focused on people who are a risk to others, not those who are following the law.
The Liberal government is facing court challenges by numerous groups across Canada. Constitutional groups like the Justice Centre for Constitutional Rights have joined with firearms groups in opposing the regulation. See more here: https://www.jccf.ca/justice-centre-to-apply-to-intervene-to-stop-trudeaus-firearm-confiscation/
Remember – if you have a banned firearm keep it locked away during this amnesty period. Support a group that is fighting for your rights!
Conservative Leadership Race
On August 21, Conservative party members will choose a new leader from among the four finalists who include Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, or Derek Sloan. Mail-in ballots should be mailed in as soon as possible to ensure they are received in time to be counted.
$3.3 Billion Funding for COVID Cost
The federal government has made $3.3 Billion available to municipalities, provinces and non-profits to help cover the costs of covid upgrades and measures for schools, charities, and municipalities. The funding provides up to 80% of costs to be covered for things like making schools ready for Fall classes. It also provides up to 100% of costs for territories and Indigenous communities to make the necessary adjustments and upgrades. Alberta government will receive $340 M or roughly 10% of the funding. According to Statistics Canada, Alberta has 11.6% of Canada’s population.
In a separate move, the rural and northern communities will now be able to use the Rural and Northern Infrastructure stream to help fund mobile and broadband communications.
Funding For Irrigation
Provincial Ministers Dreeshin and Hunter were moving across Southern Alberta this week announcing funding for irrigation projects. This included:
- $262,000 to support improving irrigation systems near Brooks to help agriculture in the region. See more here: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=7298384499F45-FDBA-37BE-C993A9CFCC74D066
- $2.6 M to improve the St. Mary’s river basin irrigation system. See more here: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=729624EDD53A1-9D87-C5F6-E4D921A514CCDCB1
Bankruptcies Hitting Records, More to Come Experts Warn
The economy may get worse before it gets better according to recent reports. Going into the recession, Canada was seeing a record level of personal bankruptcy cases in late 2019 – hitting levels unseen since 2009 when Canada was at the peak of the global economic recession. Now, with government programs providing support and with many people unable to file due to Court closures during the pandemic, experts warn Canada may see a high number of bankruptcies and consumer protection proposals as we slowly start to reopen.
During the pandemic Canada also saw a record number of large companies filing for bankruptcy protection (22), nearly 4 times the normal amount. May and June saw record numbers of companies with more than $5 M in debt according to the reports – higher than the last economic recession. Some solvency experts have deep concerns that the commercial real estate sector could follow, with most of the bankruptcies right now in energy and retail.
China Continues Attacks on Canadians
China’s most recent threats against Canada continue as the Liberal government refuses to face their bullying tactics with strength, resolve or working with allies to combat their intimidations. Since the pandemic began – a pandemic that China concealed or under-reported – the Communist regime has worked to secretly siphon personal protective equipment out of Canada, detained and held two Canadians in inhumane conditions, issued threats about releasing Meng Hanzwou, the CFO of China’s Huawei communications company, block imports and detained shipments, sold us shipments of faulty, moldy or broken medical equipment, and now has held a potential coronavirus vaccine from being sent to Canada despite an agreement signed between government agencies (it remains unclear why we would ever trust a vaccine developed in China).
In the last week, a Canadian convicted of trying to smuggle drugs was sentenced to death and CSIS has issued new warnings about the attempted recruitment of Canada’s scientists to help advance the communist regimes control over intellectual property.
In response, the Liberals continue their third year of a review of Huawei technologies in our 5G network, despite the military, national security teams and cyber security experts all warning against its use. Canada stands alone in our national security and intelligence allies – New Zealand, Australia, UK and USA have all issued bans on Huawei.
Liberals Caught Lying Again about Mark Norman
A major break through in the case brought against former Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the second in Command of our military, was when a member of the military testified that senior officers in the military had intentionally evaded using Norman’s name so that they could avoid Access to Information laws (aka – break the law). Norman was charged with leaking information about a Cabinet decision to secure supply ships, something that bothered former Liberal Minister Scott Brison (who was upset after receiving a letter from the Irving company that builds ships in Nova Scotia). In the last few months of the last Conservative government, a sole-source contract was given to a Quebec shipyard to build on a rapid basis new supply ships for the Navy – after both remaining supply ships were damaged beyond repair.
When it was reveal that the military had tried to avoid Access to Information laws, the Information Commissioner launched an investigation. She uncovered evidence of a crime, and turned that over to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who handed to the RCMP to investigate. Since the RCMP conducted the initial investigation in Norman (and laid charges that have since been withdrawn after the case fell apart), the RCMP said they would refer the investigation to the Ontario Provincial Police to avoid any conflict. And then they didn’t.
It is not a small matter for a major, national investigation into corruption to languish for a year while no one investigates. It raises yet more questions – not about the front line officers in the RCMP – but of the top most managers in Ottawa and their level of accountability to Canadians.