Weekly Update for June 25, 2021
Residential Schools: Another former residential school has uncovered 751 unmarked graves. The Cowessess First Nation investigated the former Marieval Residential School that was open for 98 years (1899-1997). In the past few weeks, the remains of over 1,000 children have been uncovered at just two of Canada’s former residential schools. It is clear that as a country, we still have a long path to reconciliation. Every Canadian must decide for themselves how best to mourn, grieve, and reconcile the history of Canada’s relationship with our Indigenous peoples, according to their own values and beliefs. This is not something that can be dictated by politicians.
For justice to be properly served, more needs to be done. I believe these residential school grave sites require a thorough investigation, for the victims, for their families, for justice.
The Conservative party believes the path to reconciliation lies in taking meaningful action to improve the lives of indigenous peoples and in ensuring they are able to fully participate in Canada’s economy. I believe that it is critically important to not only acknowledge our past, but also to celebrate our great nation – a nation where we do recognize our history is not perfect and where we pledge to ensure that the future for all Canadians is bright.
CENSORSHIP: The House rose for the summer but only after several late night voting sessions. Liberals, Bloc and NDP MPs pushed through Bill C-10 that would give government control to censor personal social media accounts. The contentious legislation now needs Senate approval before it can become a law. However, most Senators have already indicated they will spend significant time reviewing and potentially amending it. It seems less likely that Bill C-10 will become a law before Liberal’s planned election this Fall.
CONTEMPT: The Liberals refused to follow the order of the elected House of Commons to release documents relating to the removal of two researchers from Canada’s top infectious disease lab amid speculation of Chinese military connections. Mr. Iain Stewart, President of the Public Health Agency, was officially censored in Parliament but did not release documents citing legal opinions that they are protected under national security. The Liberals have launched a lawsuit against its own elected body in court to order the documents sealed. There is no precedent – and no legal authority – of the courts to overrule Parliament. However, the moral authority of the Liberals is questionable: This is the same government that also tells the courts not to release documents to Judges, see below. The Liberals have provided the Winnipeg lab documents to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians who are sworn to secrecy and all their reports need to be vetted and approved by the Prime Minister – giving Trudeau the ultimate decision once again on what Members of Parliament can see.
DEMOCRACY AT RISK: Michael Chong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs gave a statesman’s speech on the Trudeau government ignoring Parliament, and Canada’s history of rising up against oppressive regimes. The precedents of the past seem to mirror the conduct of the current Liberal regime. https://www.facebook.com/michaelchongmp/videos/396316618377660
BILLS IN THE FINAL DAYS: The Liberals tabled two Bills and one regulation in the final three days of Parliament. None are likely to be reviewed with an election expected in the Fall. The Bills and regulations – if the government had planned on making them into laws – should have been tabled 2-3 months ago to allow for the proper process and review. The Bills are on Disability Benefits and Hate Speech, while the regulations are for the firearms legislation created two years ago that has been largely ignored until now.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP: Erin O’Toole’s speech to Conservative MPs laid out some clear needs of Canada, including addressing the horrific tragedy of children killed in residential schools. But that should not mean we cancel what it means to be Canadian and cancel Canada Day celebrations. As Erin says, “We are not a perfect country…but there is a difference between acknowledging where we have fallen short and…always tearing down the country.” See his full speech here.
C-6 CONVERSION THERAPY: This issue has created significant response to my office since the debate began. We have received 100’s of calls and emails from constituents providing their perspective and concerns with Bill C-6, urging me to oppose the Bill. We received less than 10 constituency requests for me to support the Bill. I have spent a lifetime defending the equal rights of others, for everyone to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, regardless of lifestyle or orientation. I continue to do so. I am adamantly opposed to coercive conversion therapy and attempts to forcibly change a person’s sexual orientation. From the beginning of this debate, my Conservative colleagues and I have advocated to ensure Bill C-6 properly bans those practices. But with many Liberal pieces of legislation, what appears to have value on the surface produces concerns when examined closely. In other words the devil is in the details. During the fall of 2020, the bill was studied and scrutinized by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in considerable detail and in consultation with numerous witnesses. At committee, Conservatives introduced an amendment that would better clarify the definition of conversion therapy to target coercive practices, based on language from the Justice Department’s own website. We heard from Canadians, including those from the medical community, who raised concerns about the broadness of the definition. Unfortunately, the Liberals ignored reasonable efforts to build a consensus and strengthen the bill. While I am opposed to any so-called therapy or treatment that forces a person to try to change their sexual orientation against their will, I am also concerned there is a strong possibility certain faith based activities, such as youth groups, Alpha courses, pastoral or teacher counselling, or even doctors, mental health professionals, friends or family members who provide support to persons struggling with their sexual orientation, sexual feelings, or gender identity, may fall within the definition of the proposed law. The Liberal government knows that most Canadians don’t want to see conversion therapy, but they also know that most Canadians don’t want conversations between a parent and a child or teacher or religious leader and a young person to be criminalized either. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We needed to get this right, not divide Canadians, which is exactly what the Liberals have done. When this Bill returned to the House for 3rd reading, Conservative amendments to ensure identified protections were in this legislation had been removed. As a result, I was not able to support it. I remain committed to ensuring protections are in place to ban conversion therapy in Canada and that the law targets coercive practices, and not conversations, as the Justice Department says the Bill is intended to do.
ECONOMY & JOBS
BUDGET ACT: The Budget Implementation Act passed this week despite questions on the Liberals’ job creation claims. The Liberals said the Bill would create 334,000 jobs but the Parliamentary Budget Officer said is was more like 74,000. Common sense tells us that private sector jobs will be created when the economy re-opens, but a plan is needed for re-opening the economy. Every province has provided at least one – if not multiple – re-opening plans. But businesses don’t know when borders, air traffic, and work conditions will be return to normal or if they ever will. Canada needs a plan, and the Liberals have failed once again to deliver one.
DISABILITY BENEFITS: The Liberals tabled a bill one day before Parliament rose to give added benefits and payments to persons with disabilities. Budget 2021 committed to a 3-year study for the development of a Canada Disability Benefit which was announced in this Bill. The legislation was tabled far too late in the session to be debated, let alone voted on or have experts review and comment. Due to a lack of support, Parliament is unable to continue work during the summer. The rules to allow virtual or mixed virtual and in-person meetings ended June 23 with no extension. Any future meetings would have to be held in person in Ottawa.
CARBON TAX ON FARMERS: Conservative MP Philip Lawrence’s Bill to remove carbon taxes on farmers was passed by the House of Commons this week. The Bill increases the number and types of fuels which are “qualified farm fuels” like natural gas and propane, making them exempt from carbon taxes. The Bill is now reported to the Senate to be reviewed and passed before it can become a law. It still faces challenges, since the Liberals are likely to call an election in the near future. In addition, Liberals have allowed Conservative Bills to pass, but refused to send them to become a law despite passing both Houses (a relatively unprecedented abuse of power).
SEWAGE DUMPING: Andrew Scheer’s Bill to ban the dumping of raw sewage into waters that have fish – a controversial practice that causes significant pollution and damage to the ecosystem – was voted against by the Liberals, NDP and Bloc. This is likely because the biggest raw sewage dumper is Montreal.
ENVIRONMENT BILL C-12: The Liberals’ most recent controversial environmental legislation passed in the House this week. Bill C-12 calls for a net zero emissions target by 2050, which has been Canada’s target since Stephen Harper’s government. However, rather than providing a plan on how to achieve net zero, the Liberals will create an advisory group who will make the difficult choices. This advisory group appears to end-run federal public servants at Environment Canada, who may be too moderate for the Liberals. This advisory group is likely to be composed of environmental activist and eco-terrorist well known to the inner circle of the Liberals – such as Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault who was arrested in 2001 for an activist stunt on behalf of Greenpeace. C-12 was opposed by Conservatives for a number of issues including delegating the difficult part of the Minister’s job to an outside group which is not accountable for their decisions as well as failing to provide any plan to reduce emissions.
COVID & Vaccines
VACCINATIONS TRACKER: Canada is now 13th globally in providing a first dose to their citizens at 66% * (note that this differs from Liberal messaging which refers to “eligible recipients”, but immunity levels that prevent transmission requires an overall population herd immunity). Canada is 76th in percentage of the population with two doses at 13%.
* NOTE: Previously was labelled as 45% in error. The rate of Canadians who had received 1 dose was 66% as of last week as per Bloomberg News https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/
QUARANTINE SLIGHTLY REDUCED: The Liberals announced this week that Canadians and others with valid reasons to travel to Canada would not be required to quarantine in a federal hotel and spend all 14 days in lock up if they had two-doses and could prove it to authorities. Travellers will still need to provide a test three days before boarding a plane to Canada, take a test upon arrival and have a quarantine plan for 14 days in case their post-arrival test comes back positive. If the test after arriving is negative, they can end their quarantine. This new policy further demonstrates that the federal hotel quarantine plan is not about safety or security. There seems no reason why someone with multiple negative tests – including one in Canada – should have to continue to quarantine. Media pressed the Liberal Ministers on why they are not providing a border re-opening plan given the changes, to which the Liberals responded that they were “following the recommendations of their experts and scientists”. The same scientists have said that the hotel quarantine was unnecessary.
SAFETY & SECURITY
NATIONAL SECURITY VS DEMOCRACY: In our democracy, the House of Commons is the top Court. Parliament oversees, reviews and approves the actions of the federal government, the Prime Minister and Cabinet. When Parliament says, “shows us the proof”, the government is not allowed to say no. However, national security laws require certain privileged information to be protected as it ensures our security and safety. These have clashed recently when Parliament demanded the documents relating to the conduct and dismissal of two scientists from a top infectious disease lab, resulted in the Liberals trying to invoke national security to hide them. The Liberals’ track record on national security is poor since Trudeau tried to use it to block disclosures of his disastrous India trip that made Canada the mockery of the World. Parliament is supreme in determining what to see, has precedence of reviewing sensitive information in controlled settings in the past, and to be blunt – there is justified reason to doubt the honesty of Trudeau. This is another in a long list of anti-democratic practices of the Liberals, seeking to centralize power and ignore the needs of all Canadians to impose the Liberals’ own version of Canada.
HATE SPEECH C-36: The Liberals tabled a Bill in the last hours of the House sitting – calling it a plan to address hate speech. No doubt experts will weigh in on this, but the top issue called for by most organizations who have appeared at our Public Safety Committee have sought dedicated police resources, added investigations and prosecutions for hate groups and hate crimes. Bill C-36 does not provide those resources, but rather seeks to bring back investigations by the Human Rights Commission which were highly controversial and did not result in criminal prosecutions but rather fines for hate groups.
REGULATIONS ON FIREARMS: The Liberals tabled proposed regulations to implement Bill C-71, their previous legislation on firearms that passed in June 2019. The regulations require that all firearm purchases be recorded and reported to the federal government, tracked by serial number and the name of the owner. In other words, the Liberals have brought in a backdoor long gun registry. One regulation that was left out – the ban on Cabinet prohibiting or changing firearms classifications. The Liberals argued during C-71 that only the RCMP should classify firearms. Since the initial 1,500 firearms banned in May 2020 were announced, an additional 489 models have been banned without publications. The most recently banned firearms were June 7, 2021 (13 months after the ban was announced) and includes a double barrel shotgun used for hunting. Remember, when the Liberals said “military-style assault rifle” they said it was only automatic or semi-automatic firearms, firearms that “fire as quickly as possible”, have capacity for many rounds, and there are “no shotguns” banned. Here is the Aska Ou-13, a two-round, double-barreled, break open shotgun designed for hunting without military applications. It is exactly the type of firearm the Liberals said repeatedly would never be banned. Is it still wrong to call Public Safety Minister a liar?
PICTURE: Captured from the manufacturers website – https://www.aksaarms.com/en/product/ou-1203/
SCANDAL & MISCONDUCT
RACIST MINISTER: Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennet was called out for a racist text to former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, an Indigenous MP, when Bennett suggested that Wilson-Raybould was against a pandemic election for her own interests. Notably, she suggested Wilson-Raybould was in it for the pension that MPs earn after 6 years. Wilson-Raybould would qualify for a pension in October 2021. The irony is not lost on most people – Wilson-Raybould refused to do Trudeau’s dirty work on the SNC Lavalin Scandal, resigned from Cabinet, and exposed the scandal. Carolyn Bennett, who has been an MP since 1997, was forced to apologize. She should be forced to drop the “Honourable” title and removed from Cabinet, but firing her would require firing a number of Ministers, including Defence Minister Sajjan.
DND SCANDAL CONTINUES: DND Ombudsman Gregory Lick has laid out the need for the independence of his office after laying out “subtle and insidious” attempts to influence investigations by top military and public servants on his predecessor, Gary Walbourne. Walbourne uncovered the sexual scandal cover-up regarding former Chief of Defence Jonathan Vance and exposed Sajjan’s refusal to investigate or act to deal with misconduct of the Chief of Defence Staff. Mr. Lick described the military as being in a serious crisis with many of the top brass having resigned, retired or been suspended due to allegations of sexual misconduct, abuse of powers, and using authority against those under their command.
SAJJAN AGAIN?!: Scandal-plagued Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has come under fire again for employing a reservist and former Vancouver Police Department officer who was fired as a police officer for sexual misconduct. Sajjan has claimed he was unaware of the previous charges (does that sound familiar? That was his defence in the military sexual misconduct scandal as well) when Maj. Gregory McCullough was hired to be a Defence Liaison Officer in BC for the Minister who began working remotely from his riding. He and Sajjan were in the same reservist unit in BC and served on the Vancouver Police Department at the same time. Typically, all staff who work with any Minister must clear security backgrounds which include a criminal history check.
RESIGN SAJJAN: Numerous experts in the military across Canada have said that Harjit Sajjan has no credibility left inside or outside the military community. “Sajjan has zero credibility,” said Megan MacKenzie, an expert on sexual misconduct in the military at Simon Fraser University. Experts from the Canada Global Affairs Institute said, “Sajjan has lost all moral authority to lead”. This follows Erin O’Toole’s call to fire the Minister last week. O’Toole spent 12 years in the military as a helicopter navigator.
GOOD TO BE TRUDEAU’S FRIEND: There were so many scandals this week, that Liberal use of taxpayers’ funds to help their re-election ends up here! Liberal MPs were ordered by party leaders to issue funds to a company called Data Sciences Inc., allegedly to support constituency work. The company is headed by Justin Trudeau’s good friend Tom Pitfield, who also runs the “Liberalist” – a database of people who support the Liberals. This program was used by Liberals to vet which Judges supported Trudeau before they were appointed to the bench. Liberal MPs admitted they didn’t know what happened to the money or what purpose it served. During elections, Pitfield runs the Liberals’ social media campaigns. His wife was the Liberal Party president from 2014 to 2018. Both Pitfield and his wife were part of group who travelled to the Aga Khan’s private island in 2016, which was the first official rebuke by the Ethics Commissioner. But the Liberals aren’t an incestuous party of insiders scratching each other’s backs, right?
BUILD BACK BETTER FOR $800k: The Liberal government conducted extensive polling using taxpayer funds on what slogan would get them the most political support, spending over $800,000 to determine that stealing the Biden democrats’ slogan of “Build Back Better” was the best option. https://twitter.com/mindingottawa/status/1408037201036906503
FACIAL RECOGNITION ATTRACTS ATTENTION OF PRIVACY COMMISSIONERS: Federal and provincial privacy commissioners are considering whether to investigate the Liberal Party of Canada for using facial recognition technology to verify voters’ identities. The software, owned by a California-based company, has been used by the party in candidate nomination elections. While political parties are exempt from federal privacy laws, the LPC’s operations in BC are subject to that province’s privacy legislation.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR JUNE 18, 2021
LIBERALS IN CONTEMPT OF PARLIAMENT: The House of Commons voted to have the Liberals found in Contempt of Parliament after refusing three orders to hand over unredacted documents related to the removal of two researchers from a top medical research lab in Manitoba. The Conservative motion calls for the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada to be “called to the bar”, which is a specific place in Parliament, to be reprimanded by the Speaker of the House. This measure has not been used for over 100 years, and the powers of Parliament – including ordering the arrest and detention of someone refusing to comply with the House of Commons – dates back to UK Westminster tradition when Parliament was the High Court of the country.
LIBERAL DEFENCE MINISTER CENSORED: The Conservatives, NDP, Bloc, Green and Independent Members voted to censor the Minister of Defence’s handling of the sexual misconduct in the military, his role in the attempt to railroad Vice Admiral Mark Norman in 2019, and his management of Canada’s mission against ISIS. This week Erin O’Toole called on the Minister to resign or to be fired by the Prime Minister. Conservatives and other opposition parties were trying to put together a report to detail their findings, but Liberals have blocked, obstructed and mismanaged the Committee for so many weeks that a report will not be possible before the end of the session.
CENSORSHIP BILL: Conservatives have fought against government powers to censor and control individual social media accounts, while Bloc, Liberals and NDP worked to jam the Bill through. Due to the flaws in the Bill, C-10 was referred back to the Heritage Committee. Rules of Parliament require appropriate time, review and consideration of all legislation, but Liberals wanted the Bill sent to committee, amended and reported back within a few hours. When Liberal MP and Committee Chair Scott Simms paused the Heritage Committee review of the Bill so that all amendments could have proper review, study and debate, the Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs voted to overrule him and proceed. The Bill was amended and sent back to the House within hours. Conservatives opposed the inappropriate process, and when the Bill was sent back to the House, MP Blake Richards raised these concerns. Speaker Rota agreed and upheld that all laws need proper process and consideration. All amendments that were jammed in were removed. Is it ironic that a Bill to censor the social media of Canadians was censored by the Speaker of the House?
TRUDEAU’S G7 TRIP: Justin Trudeau traveled to the UK to participate in the G7 summit alongside other world leaders. His office attempted to position him as the “Dean” of the group with long-time voice of reason, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leaving after 16 years. Most media and social media commentators rejected the idea due to Trudeau’s numerous scandals, displays of incompetence and embarrassing World-stage trips. Trudeau was also criticized for trying to bypass the quarantine hotels he forced on everyone else. Trudeau did quarantine – in Ottawa at a hotel of his choosing – for only 12 hours. He is not abiding by the same 14-day quarantine that other Canadians must follow. The issue isn’t whether Trudeau should have to quarantine, but rather – why is he making others who test negative stay in unclean, unsafe conditions that don’t prevent the spread of the virus. The policy is not about protecting Canadians. It is about making life difficult for those who have to travel – unless it is him. Rules for thee, not for me, as they say.
BLOC MOTION ON CONSTITUTION: The Bloc brought forward a motion on the ability of Quebec to amend their provincial constitution – as permitted under the Canadian Constitution so long as it only affects that province. The Motion passed almost unanimously. MP Motz supported the motion because the vote ensures provincial autonomy and re-enforces the fact that Alberta can do the same in the future – as it did in 1988.
LONGER HOURS: Parliament extended its sitting hours to midnight for the last few weeks of Parliament.
JOBS & ECONOMY
INFLATION: According to Statistics Canada, this month, inflation reached its highest point in over a decade. The current inflation rate is 3.6%. Ideal inflation rates are 2%.
HOUSING: Statistics Canada released their monthly housing costs note for May. It showed a significant climb in housing prices and increases in all 27 cities included in the survey. Housing purchase prices are up 11.3% over the last year – the largest increase in over 15 years. Below is the percentage increase in housing costs:
SOURCE: Statistics Canada 2021
COVID & VACCINES
CONTRACTS RELEASED (not really): The Liberals released redacted vaccine contracts to the Health Committee late on Friday, June 11. All the critical information – including how much Canadians were spending on these contracts and when deliveries were required – were blacked out. The Liberals have repeatedly refused to disclose any details of their vaccine contracts, despite other countries like the US and UK releasing theirs.
VACCINES: Canada was scheduled to receive 9.5 M doses of vaccine this week as Moderna seeks to make up its postponed deliveries before the end of the quarter (Canada signed contracts that have quarterly delivery schedules – allowing companies to delay deliveries for several months). In June, Canada could administer as many as 40 M doses.
VACCINATIONS: Canada is now 15th in percentage of the population with one dose (62%), and 72nd in fully vaccinated population (8%) – a product of the one-dose summer strategy created by the federal Liberals. Suggestions that Canada is a World leader in vaccinations are both misleading and inaccurate. The US, for example, reports only 52% of the population with one dose, but 44% with two doses (which is the actual objective).
SAFETY & SECURITY
FIREARMS: Following a court order that the government must disclose documents pertaining to the firearms ban and confiscation to a judge for review, the Liberal government invoked Cabinet privilege to prevent those documents from being released. The ruling stated that documents would be reviewed by the Judge to determine if they could be withheld or were needed for a trial. Withholding of evidence is not typically well received by the Courts. The Liberals have used Cabinet privilege and national security to repeatedly withhold information, including during RCMP and Ethics investigations into SNC Lavalin, pandemic response, and more.
HATE CRIMES: At the Public Safety Committee meeting this week, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs were united in their requests: Canada needs to take action on growing waves of hate crimes and hate groups. These groups have grown significantly over the last five years – as noted by several government reports. While the Liberals have been quick to denounce these crimes and make press announcements, they have declined to improve public safety. In fact, public safety has deteriorated significantly under their management.
RCMP RECKONING: This week the Public Safety and National Security Committee tabled a report on systemic racism in policing, with a primary focus on issues in the RCMP. The report highlights the lack of police service reporting and oversight in the RCMP that are standard in nearly all modern municipal and provincial police services. Conservative MPs including MP Motz tabled a dissenting report, noting that Liberal support for defunding the police, eliminating the Mounties, and legalizing hard drugs would harm communities. Most of the issues highlighted by the Committee have been reported a number of times in the last decade, including the lack of internal protections for RCMP officers, lack of staffing in rural and remote communities, and appropriate oversight.
SOFT ON CRIME: Liberals are looking to speed up record suspensions (also commonly called “pardons”) for people convicted of crime who have served their sentence and rejoined society. Some serious crimes are never eligible for record suspensions including child predators and murders. The current wait period for most is 5 years, which the Liberals are recommending be reduced to 3 years. And for more serious offences, they are seeking to reduce the wait period from 10 years to 5 years. Liberals are also recommending that anyone convicted of a terrorism offence with a maximum 10 years sentence be eligible for a pardon. It is very rare for even terrorists to be convicted of terrorism events (as an example, the Quebec Mosque shooter was convicted of first-degree murder, but terrorism charges were dropped since he was already facing a 25 year sentence which is the maximum sentence in Canada). Making the record suspension processes simpler and easier to access is understandable since the current process is unnecessarily complicated. However, simplifying the process together with shorter criminal sentences, lack of meaningful rehabilitation programs, easier access to parole, and now rapid elimination of criminal records will not improve public safety.
JUDGES: Liberals and NDP MPs blocked a Committee study into the review of partisan appointment of judges by the Liberal party – who have been caught vetting potential judicial candidates against their supporter and donor lists. The Liberals’ conduct in appointing supporters to the federal bench jeopardizes the Courts’ independence and integrity.
CANADA-TAIWAN: Conservative MP Michael Cooper tabled the Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act, a Bill to establish stronger economic, social and cultural relations with Taiwan. Many countries – including Canada – have not fully recognized Taiwan which China claims as part of its territory despite there being a democratic, elected government in place in Taiwan and Communist China holding no direct management of the Island.
SCANDAL & MISCONDUCT
ATWIN & ISRAEL: Jenica Atwin, the Fredericton NB MP who crossed the floor from the Greens to the Liberals, came under fire this week when she suggested there were a number of Liberal MPs who shared her views that Israel is an apartheid state. Apartheid is the term use to describe how black South Africans were treated under whites-only rule prior to Nelson Mandel coming to power. The fact that anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic views may be hidden in a mainstream political party raises serious questions about policies the government supports.
WAR OF WORDS: In response to the internal issues Green Party Leader Annamie Paul described as racist and sexist, she referred to the Prime Minister as a fake feminist and Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as a “token” woman and a “female shield”. Freeland responded she was no one’s token, and women shouldn’t treat each other that way.
CBC & LIBERALS: This week, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul held a press conference regarding the state of her party. While many news outlets covered her main attack on Trudeau – that he is not a friend of women or a feminist – CBC was called out by former journalists for omitting this statement. Alan Fryer, a former reporter for CBC and CTV stated, “I’ve been reluctant to refer to our public broadcaster as a government broadcaster but this sealed it for me – it has become the government broadcaster running interference for (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) at every turn”.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR JUNE 12, 2021
HUT8: MP Motz rose in the House to salute Hut8, an innovative bitcoin miner established in Medicine Hat. See the full statement here: https://www.facebook.com/GlenMotz/posts/1620516758141708
CENSORSHIP ON CENSORSHIP: The Liberals, NDP and Bloc are working together to implement Bill C-10, the law that could allow government to censor individual social media accounts and create rules for what you can post. This week, the Liberals passed a vote to limit the debate in the House and limit who could speak to the Bill. Clearly, the Liberals are not interested in dissenting opinions and have no issue censoring their opponents which is why this Bill is so dangerous – it will censor Canadians based on the government of the day.
LIBERALS AGAINST LOWER HOUSING COSTS: Conservatives brought forward a motion to address the rising housing costs and barriers to new home buyers created by the Liberals’ policies. Instead of tackling these issues together, the Liberals – along with the Bloc and NDP – have opted to vote down the motion and continue to ignore skyrocketing housing costs across the country.
GREEN GOES LIBERAL: Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin defected from the Green Party to join the Liberals, citing the refusal by Green Party Leader to back Palestinians in the recent conflict with Israel. Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is Jewish and there is a growing group of Green Party members who are unhappy that she has not denounced Israel and taken the side of Palestine. Palestine’s leadership is composed of recognized terrorist groups and has been launching rockets into Israel for decades, which usually triggers a response from the Israeli military.
ECONOMY & JOBS
KEYSTONE XL: Alberta cancelled its partnership with TC Energy – formally called Trans Canada before it moved to Houston. Alberta and TC Energy have stated they will work at restoring the $1.3 B in taxpayer costs. The pipeline that runs to refineries in the US was cancelled by the new US Biden Administration on their first day in office (re-affirming that it was a purely political decision, not a fact-based decision).
BUDGET 2021: After tabling the Budget, the government has to implement their legislative changes through Acts of Parliament including obtaining spending authority. The Liberal’s Budget Act includes spending promises ($15 minimum wage for federal workers, extension of emergency support programs, new taxes, etc.) as well as many non-budgetary policies like changes to the Elections Act (to allow a pandemic election). The NDP have promised to support the Budget – making debate a forgone conclusion. The one thing the government didn’t include in the Budget: a plan to re-open the economy.
JOB LOSSES: Recent Statistics Canada job numbers show Canada’s unemployment rate remains high at 8.2% but would be 10.7% if it included the number of people who want to work but have given up looking for a job right now. In total, Canada has lost 571,000 jobs since the pandemic. Alberta’s unemployment rate is at 8.7% and closer to the recent normal for our province – ever since Justin Trudeau came into office and put in place his concerted efforts to harm our economy.
SOFTWOOD LUMBER: It has been 2,069 days since Canada’s softwood lumber agreement expired with the US. The Liberals have been in office for 2,062 days and have not addressed the US tariffs and trade barriers to Canadian lumber.
COVID & VACCINES
HOTELS QUARANTINE: Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland departed for G7 meetings in the UK and have said they and their staff will quarantine when home. Conservative MPs have noted that while Trudeau and Freeland are imposing mandatory hotel stays on Canadians who have to travel in dangerous and questionable conditions, they won’t abide by the same rules. Trudeau said he would stay at an Ottawa hotel after returning. However, there is no listed Ottawa hotel for federal quarantine sites. You may recall it was Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau’s last trip to the UK (sponsored by WE Charities) where she contracted COVID. There are still one set of rules for Canadians, and a different one for Trudeau and his friends.
Canadians who have to travel have been required to stay up to 3 days in a hotel. The Liberals recently announced that fully vaccinated Canadians will no longer need to quarantine in a hotel when they return home, if they test negative.
HOTELS FIRE WORKERS: The hotels the federal government has contracted to provide mandatory stays have laid off workers while accepting federal funding, waiting out their “recall to work” periods and then terminating their employment. While the Liberals were likely aware of this, they did nothing to help workers in hotels keep their jobs.
VACCINATIONS TRACKER: Canada currently sits 14th in doses administered, 19th in percentage of people with one dose, and 87th in percent of the population fully vaccinated. Canada (9th largest economy in the World) sits just behind Jordan (90th largest economy) and slightly ahead of New Zealand (50th largest economy) and Kazakhstan (54th largest economy).
SAFETY & SECURITY
JUDGES: The Liberals were once again caught vetting Judges against their Liberal supporter list, after the Justice Minister appointed a long-time Liberal donor as a judge and accidentally tweeted out the appointment prematurely. Judicial appointments are supposed to be secret and only available to Cabinet, and yet low-level political staffers (without security clearance) are reviewing the vetting process of independent panels and federal officials to see if judges can be appointed. It is the same old Liberal games that were highlighted when Ralph Goodale was in the Paul Martin / Jean Chretien Cabinet (https://www.stephentaylor.ca/2005/12/29/becoming-a-judge-in-ralph-goodales-saskatchewan-updated/). Nearly every judge appointed in Saskatchewan was a donor to Goodale or the Liberal party.
LIGHTER SENTENCES: The Liberals introduced legislation this week claiming it was to address the hateful attack in London. However, the only mention of terrorism is to allow anyone with a terrorism conviction of less than 10 years to apply for record suspension (often called a “pardon”). Liberal Minister Bill Blair suggested the Bill would prevent child predators and violent offenders from getting pardons, but that has always been the case. The Bill would also allow anyone on a long-term supervisory order (such as sexual predator, radicalized extremists, pedophiles) to apply for record suspensions even while considered by the Courts to be a threat.
HONG KONG REFUGEES: The House of Commons Committee on Immigration found that programs to help people of Hong Kong flee the oppression and threats of the communist Chinese government have had limited impact, and changes are needed to help the people of Hong Kong come to Canada. In particular, that all VISA applications for people seeking to come to Canada go through a VISA Application Centre controlled by the Chinese security forces – means anyone attempting to access Canada would be known by Chinese security before they are known to Canada’s immigration officials – making it more likely they would face repercussions from the oppressive Chinese regime.
RCMP SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: The Liberals on the Public Safety Committee have been working overtime to try and derail reports that are damaging to their policies and demonstrate inaction on crime and public safety. In seven months, the Liberals have still not addressed a report that confirmed thousands of sexual assaults, harassment, and criminal behaviour in the RCMP – including ignoring numerous members still in the RCMP who have been promoted according to the report by a former Supreme Court Justice. Instead, the Liberals continue to debate and delay reports.
ETHICS REPORT: The Parliamentary Report for the WE Scandal has finally been released after a year-and-a-half of Liberal obstructions. The report details how Liberals are comfortable with:
Liberals making no effort to prevent Conflict of Interest reviews before award money through Cabinet. Former Minister Morneau was found to have violated Conflicts of Interest by voting to give money to WE who employs his daughter. Trudeau was spared a similar decision because the Ethics Commissioner found that laws were not specific enough to capture his conflict of interest in giving money to a company who paid his mother and brother speaking fees.
the Liberal government making a concerted effort to block testimony of witnesses and obstruct information.
Minister Bardish Chagger lying to Parliament and concealing her meetings and communications with WE before directing officials to award them the contract.
senior officials and political staff limiting their notetaking during meetings in an apparent effort to avoid any records.
Liberals awarding hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts and grants to shell companies who had no tangible assets
The report makes a number of recommendations, including affirming the need to improve our accountability laws – which Erin O’Toole promised to implement. The report can be found here: Questions Of Conflict Of Interest And Lobbying In Relation To Pandemic Spending (ourcommons.ca)
IRONY, THY NAME IS PABLO: This week, Liberal Minister Pablo Rodrigues suggested he would use all tools available to end the Parliamentary delays despite the Liberals being the source of most of the delays. Since 2019, the Liberals have:
Dismissed Parliament during a pandemic to avoid scrutiny and questions
Prorogued Parliament to avoid the disclosure of documents in the WE Scandal (the documents were later destroyed by the company and never released)
Refused to act on direction from the House
Blocked committees by filibustering for over 177 hours (7.4 DAYS of pointless delays), obstructionist motions and blocking the release of documents
Refused to provide information to Parliament. After being forced to provide unredacted documents, still provided redacted documents
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR JUNE 4, 2021
Today is Canada’s 445th day of pandemic. Canada will surpass 500 days of pandemic on July 28.
Medicine Hat is Canada’s only city to have eliminated chronic homelessness. The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness concluded that there was “functionally zero” people who were homeless for more than three months in the city. This achievement was only possible through concerted leadership and cooperation of all agencies and charities to work together on a single plan showing that a community plan and working together is more successful that throwing endless money at the issue. MP Motz – who was a member of the Board that helped implement the plan – saluted the leadership in the House this week for this amazing achievement. https://www.facebook.com/GlenMotz/posts/1617779891748728
CENSORSHIP: Trudeau Liberals tried to cut off debate and force their social media censorship legislation, Bill C-10, through the House. The legislation is being supported by the Bloc and NDP, despite serious issues raised by legal experts, academics, rights advocates, and internet freedom groups. The Conservatives pressed the Speaker and the government on their attempts to override the voice of elected MPs, which blocked the planned vote to limit debate for now.
REOPENING PLAN: Conservatives have pushed for the Liberals to provide their reopening plan, along with the data and indicators needed to reach a full return to normal life. The Liberals have refused to release a plan or give Canadians an idea when the border would reopen.
LIBERALS PREPARE FOR ELECTION: Speaking of elections, the Liberal party has invoked their party rules to pick and choose their candidates and get candidates in place quickly. The only reason to invoke these rules two and half years away from a fixed election date is if the Prime Minister is planning to dissolve Parliament and trigger an election.
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS: Canada once again revisited its dark history this week with the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a former residential school. Ground penetrating radar was used to scan the grounds and found the location where the children were buried. The Kamloops school was one of the largest in the country when operating. The residential schools program began in 1876 and the final school did not close until 1996. An unknown number of children between the ages of 3 and 18 went missing, died or have no records from the residential schools. There are believed to be many other unmarked grave sites at the hundreds of sites across the country. The 1951 Amendments to the Indian Act under the Louis St Laurent government gave provinces authority over the welfare of Indigenous children, which resulted in many children removed from their homes and families to be adopted by non-Indigenous families. Many of the most egregious clauses would not be removed until 1985. From 1935 to 1985, the Liberals held government for all but four years.
MISSING & MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN: The Liberal government unveiled their response plan to the MMIW commission – two weeks after the final report. The Commission was plagued with issues after being created in 2016 and took 5 years to produce its report. Like all women who are attacked, assaulted or murdered, the vast majority know their attacker – often a family member, neighbour, co-worker or intimate partner. Support for the victims in these cases and bringing sexual predators and criminals to justice should be a bigger part of the plan. The full plan can be found here: https://mmiwg2splusnationalactionplan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NAP_Report_EN.pdf
SHOOTINGS: MP Motz was in Ottawa this week to press the Liberals to do more on the rash of gang shootings. The response of the Liberals’ Minister for Public Safety showed they do not care about violence or tackling crime. https://www.facebook.com/GlenMotz/posts/1616484571878260
SUICIDE PREVENTION: The Conservative motion that passed unanimously to create a three-digit suicide help line (9-8-8) was delayed by the Liberals this week. The Liberals referred the proposal to the CRTC (who regulate telecommunications), for a consultation and study that will last likely beyond the next election. It is a way for the Liberals to delay from implementing this simple policy that could help save lives.
C-6 CONVERSION THERAPY: A Bill to make forced conversion therapy illegal and a criminal code offence returned to the House of Commons. Conservatives have sought minor clarifying amendments to ensure that voluntary conversations between individuals and teachers, faith leaders, mental health professionals, doctors, family or friends not be subject to criminal prosecution. The Liberals and NDP coalition moved to block these amendments. While Conservatives support ending any practice of trying to force someone to change who they are, the Bill, as written, could create a barrier where open conversations could become criminal prosecutions. Canada should not become a country that criminalizes thoughts or beliefs outside of hate crime legislation.
GOVERNOR GENERAL: Conservatives tabled a Bill this week seeking to remove the lifetime benefits from any Governor General who leaves office before the end of their term for any reason other than medical necessity. Julie Payette – who resigned in disgrace for her harassment of her employees – will receive $300,000 per year for life in salary and benefits.
JOBS & ECONOMY
CANADIAN BEEF: The World Organization on Animal Health recognized Canada’s work to eliminate BSE (aka – Mad Cow) and listed Canada as “negligible risk” with regards to Mad Cow Disease. The rating had created some barriers to access other markets, in particular Europe and Asia.
HIGH SPENDING: During the 2008 Global Economic Crisis, the federal government spent billions on economic stimulus designed to improve the economy and create jobs. Spending reached $236 billion, and the Harper government at that time conducted a spending review immediately following the recovery to get federal spending under control (under 2%). This past week, the Liberal government tabled their first update to spending, with federal spending reaching $383 billion ($147 B more than the peak of the 2008-2010 economic stimulus). Liberals have repeatedly claimed that Harper government cuts needed new spending. They have now spent about 100 times the amount cut and have never addressed the issue.
HOUSEHOLDS, COMPANIES DEPENDENT ON GOVERNMENT: Highlighted in this report by Bloomberg, transfers to households have increased in recent months and the economy remains dependent on federal transfers. Households received $84 billion in the first three months of 2021, up from $76 billion the quarter before. Savings by household has increased to a new record of $242 B in the last year. Companies have seen similar results: Companies received $15 billion in the last quarter, up seven times more than pre-pandemic levels, and have posted record profits. It seems to indicate that the Trudeau subsidies are not just helping struggling companies, but rather are helping profitable companies as well.
AIR CANADA BONUSES: Just before it signed a deal for a record $5.9 B bailout (the federal government provided $4 B in loans for operations, $1.4 B in loans for customer refunds, and $500 M investment in Air Canada stock), Air Canada handed out $10 M in management bonuses and stock options. Air Canada senior management reduced their salaries by 100% during the first 3 months of the pandemic in 2020, and by 50-80% for the rest of 2020. One of the conditions of the bailout was that it would not be used for executive compensation.
HOUSING: One sector that is keeping our economy from even lower levels is the rapidly rising housing prices. Canada’s house prices have skyrocketed in recent months, and Canada has seen the largest growth in the housing prices in developed countries in the last 10 years. With new home buyer rules, housing will continue to be out of reach for many younger Canadians.
COVID & VACCINES
VACCINES: Canada’s vaccination rates continue to climb as this week more than half of eligible Canadians have received one dose giving a partial immunity. Canada now sits 28th globally for a single dose. Canada sits 92nd globally on percentage of people with two doses (“fully vaccinated”) with under 5%.
HOTELS: A court case challenging the Constitutionality of the mandatory hotel quarantine sought documents regarding the Liberals’ deliberations. The Liberals have invoked Cabinet secrecy to block all information of federal discussions from being added to the Courts’ considerations. Cabinet secrecy exists to assist ministers in having open debates, allowing them to raise concerns. The Liberals have used Cabinet secrecy numerous times to prevent their decisions from facing scrutiny in court – including blocking RCMP investigations into the SNC Lavalin Scandal, on their firearms confiscations and bans, on their COVID response plan, and the WE Scandal.
MORE ON HOTELS: The Liberal-appointed advisory panel on COVID testing has recommended that the government end its failed and scandalous hotel quarantine program. The program has had endless complaints and seems to have little in the way of explanation – other than punishing Canadians who are forced to travel or preventing families from being reunited. Instead of listening to the experts, the Liberals increased fines to $5,000 for not following the hotel quarantine policy. Many Canadians have opted to do a full 14-day quarantine at home and pay a $3,000-$4,000 fine rather than pay $2,000-$3,000 for three days at a hotel with no locks on the doors, unclean rooms, and limited, inconsistent or no access to food or water.
SAFETY & SECURITY
TWO MICHAELS: The Two Michaels (Michael Korvig and Michael Spavour) have now passed 900 days of being held illegally by China over trumped up charges, in an attempt to force Canada to release Meng Wanzhou. Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei CEO and its Chief Financial Officer, who is facing deportation to the US to face criminal charges for wire fraud in defiance of bans on making sales to Iran. Wanzhou is expected to be back in Court in August. As one journalist notes, Trudeau’s plan now appears to be hoping that the US can fix the issue. Given the US government’s recent trend of making decisions to spite Canada, this plan doesn’t seem likely to work.
CHINA & WINNIPEG LAB: Canada’s microbiological lab that held some of the deadliest viruses, remains shrouded in unanswered questions as the Liberals withhold information. The National Microbiological Lab had two scientists removed from the lab on national security concerns. The two in question made numerous trips and collaborated with China’s military researchers and helped transfer viruses – including Ebola – to China. Conservatives moved to have the Liberals release documents to show how these two received security clearance, what cooperation they had with the Chinese and when the government knew about the major national security breach. The motion to compel documents passed the House and the Liberals have 30 days to table them. Two Liberals voted to support the release of documents, including the Chair of the Public Safety Committee John MacKay.
FIREARMS BAN: The Trudeau Cabinet was ordered this week to unseal their documents that support and explain their firearms ban. The firearms ban has long been seen by those who understand firearms as being erratic, inconsistent and impossible for firearms owners and retailers to comply with because it is constantly changing. The ban includes shotguns, single shot hunting rifles, low caliber rifles, as well as semi-automatic rifles, mortars, grenade launchers, and anti-tank guns. A Superior Court judge ordered the documents to be unsealed to her, so that she could review them for relevance. The Liberals had tried to hide their justifications and deliberations behind Cabinet secrecy but now may have to reveal how and why they implemented the ban. The Government of Canada is bound to obey Court orders.
COMBATING SEXUAL PREDATORS: Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan introduced a Bill to increase penalties on sexual predators. Bill C-304 would make grooming practices – the actions used by predators to get children into positions to be abused – would be an aggregating factor and would allow judges to give longer sentences.
THIRD REPORT ON INACTION: A third report on the inaction to tackle sexual misconduct in the military was released this week. Justice Morris’ Independent Review of the National Defence Act concluded that the issue is still as rampant as it was in 2015. The Liberals have asked for another review – pushing off the need to act – since revelations about the former Chief of Defence staff came out earlier this year.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MAY 28, 2021
MP Motz will be in Ottawa next week
BUDGET 2021: For anyone wondering how important promises are to Justin Trudeau, his commitment to never present Parliament with omnibus legislation (single legislation that covers a large number of completely different areas), this promise was once again broken with the Budget Implementation Act that is 366 pages.
ECONOMY & JOBS
HOUSING CRISIS GROWING: The Liberals increased the mortgage stress test for first-time home buyers this week, making it harder for them to qualify for a mortgage. As housing prices increase dramatically, owning a home is out of reach for many Canadians. Construction of new homes has dropped nearly 20% in the last year as demand has increased – resulting in a surge in home prices. Over the last 10 years, housing prices have increased 60% in Canada. At the same time, salaries have been stable and more than 51% of families report that the increased costs of living are putting them less than $200 from financial troubles. The Liberals putting more restrictions on new home buyers will only make the dream of owning a home harder while it does nothing to address surging prices and lack of new home builds.
FREELAND MISLEADING CANADIANS: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was called to the House of Commons by the Conservatives to explain how the Budget would improve Canada’s economy – a claim she has repeatedly announced to House of Commons and Canadians. Questions from the Opposition MPs were provided with no answers, but rather Freeland made a mockery of our democracy by ignoring every question put to her by Conservatives on the topics of productivity and competitiveness of our economy. Combined with the repeat lies to Parliament, the filibusters, the refusal to disclose information – it is clear the Liberals are moving closer to the dictatorships that Justin Trudeau told Canadians he admired so much.
BIDEN NO FRIEND TO CANADA: The Biden administration is growing increasingly hostile towards Canada. Biden announced the US would challenge its allotted quotas in the Canada-US Free Trade deal that the Liberals signed with the Trump Administration. In addition, they will seek more access for their products to Canada’s system through a dispute settlement mechanism. The US also announced it would double tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. The US has repeatedly imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber and lost every single time in a dispute settlement system – including through a free trade settlement dispute mechanism and the ruling by the World Trade Organization. Trudeau has done nothing to resolve the dispute issues with US and Canada has lacked a softwood lumber agreement since the last one expired in October of 2015 (five days after Trudeau was elected).
CANADIAN STEEL: While Canadian steel mills and workers have been under pressure by American trade policies, Liberals are not prioritizing use of Canadian steel in our infrastructure projects. In BC, the Pattullo Bridge is a major project that will use Chinese steel from companies guilty of dumping (selling products below costs to drive competitors out of business). These products are produced in a country know for using forced labour, with poor human rights records and terrible environmental standards.
ANOTHER RESOURCE PROJECT SHUTDOWN: The Kitimat Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) project was a $24 billion investment into Canada to create over 4,500 jobs to build a pipeline and refinery in Northern BC, shut down by anti-jobs and anti-energy policies of the Liberals. This project also had significant benefits to a number of First Nations who were supportive of the project. Exports of LNG provide a far cleaner energy source than coal plants used around the world, particularly in China.
COVID & VACCINATIONS
BORDER VACCINATIONS SHUT DOWN: The Liberal government in Ottawa and the US Biden administration collaborated to shut down vaccinations at the Canada-US border, including efforts by the Blackfeet in Montana to help Indigenous and non-Indigenous get their first and second shots. While the Liberals said that travelling to the border crossing and back into Canada would require a 14-day quarantine (even though Canadians never get out of their car and are being treated by medical professionals), US Customs and Border Patrol told Canadians that getting a vaccine was considered “non-essential”. The Liberals – rather than helping Canadians who want a vaccine and want to accelerate Canada’s return to normal life – have put up barriers to return to normal.
See Glen’s interview with Global from this week: https://globalnews.ca/news/7896436/alberta-us-border-covid-19-vaccine/
WRONG APPROACH ON VACCINES: Oxford professor of medicine Sir John Bell, the researcher who created the AstraZeneca vaccine denounced Canada’s vaccine approach this week, calling it “acting on a lot of hearsay and not a lot of facts”. He cautioned that the approach exposed Canadians to another serious wave of infections by newer variants like the one ripping through India. Canada’s one-dose strategy has been denounced by Canadian and international experts, noting that the vaccine effectiveness with only one dose is much lower, and spreading out the doses by four months is a social experiment with unknown results and consequences.
VACCINATIONS: Canada fell to 86th overall in vaccinations globally (two doses) with just 4% of Canadians receiving two doses. Canada is 28th globally on percentage of our population with at least one dose (45.7%). This week, several provinces announced re-opening plans given the increase in single dose vaccinations. By comparison, the US has vaccinated 50% of its population (>150 M) with one dose and 40% with two doses.
SECURITY & SAFETY
INFECTIOUS DISEASE LAB: Canada’s infectious disease lab in Manitoba removed two Canadian researchers and an untold number of students from China from the Level 4 infectious disease lab that works with some of the worlds most infectious diseases. Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng had made five trips to China over the last two years. These trips were funded by China and while there, they visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology (also a Level 4 infectious disease lab). Recent media articles noted that a number of lab workers sought treatment at a local hospital in November 2019 – but there is no proof this was COVID-19.
In response to national security concerns raised about a Canadian federal employee travelling to China and training Chinese researchers on use of deadly viruses, Justin Trudeau labelled the question racist and anti-Asian in an attempt to avoid questions. Chinese-Canadians face a greater threat from communist China’s oppressive regime who has threatened Canadians who speak out against Beijing (as documented by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians of which MP Motz is a member). Trudeau’s use of accusations of racism are cowardly and undermine national security and efforts to combat foreign influencing in Canada.
TRUDEAU CALLED OUT: Conservative MP Nelly Shin called Justin Trudeau out for his comments, calling for him to apologize and retract his comments in full.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: With rising crime rates and the ongoing pandemic, there has been a rise in violence and death of women at the hands of their partners, spouses and significant others. This week, the Conservatives called out the inaction of the Liberals to deal with violent attacks by partners who have a history of violence. Conservatives on the Public Safety Committee have pushed for reforms on offenders with a history of violence against women, and have proposed several reforms including improved monitoring of violent offenders and amendments to allow women to know if their current partner or boyfriend has a history of violence against women or been linked to the exploitation of minors.
SCANDAL & MISCONDUCT
DND SCANDAL: The Liberal Committee members are once again trying to shut down the investigation into sexual misconduct in the military.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MAY 21 2021
Happy Victoria Day Weekend.
Parliament is on a constituency week this week.
CANADIANS ON PANDEMIC RESPONSE: A majority of Canadians say the Trudeau Liberals mismanaged the COVID response according to Angus Reid. The only parts of the country who say Liberals have done a good job are in Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces.
CENSORSHIP: Bloc MP’s joined to support the Liberals harmful Bill C-10 to secure government censorship over social media – their only condition was to require it respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With the Bloc and NDP support, the Liberals were able to pass this amendment, but postponed the debate on Conservatives’ changes to remove all government control and power over social media. The debate the Liberals want to have is how they should censor and control social media, while Conservatives are pushing against the ability of the government to censor free speech.
JOKE AGAIN: Justin Trudeau became a social media joke – again – this week after he posted a Liberal party fundraiser campaign photo. It features Trudeau chatting with people online. Trudeau put an Apple (iPhone) sticker over the computer’s front to look like he was using a “trendy”, far more expensive laptop. As one former Liberal put it – “Trudeau finds ways to exceed the phoniness expectations of even his critics. Trudeau goes out of his way to play up his “eliteness.”
QUEBEC & CONSTITUTION: Quebec will invoke Article 45 of the Constitution which allows the Provinces to make unilateral amendments to the Constitution that pertains exclusively to their province, as long as it only affects that province and meets the conditions set out elsewhere in the Constitution. The irony: Quebec has refused to sign the Canadian Constitution since 1982.
ARTICLE 45: “Subject to section 41, the legislature of each province may exclusively make laws amending the constitution of the province.”
JOBS & ECONOMY
HOME OWNERSHIP: The average Canadian’s ability to buy a home is growing more difficult. Across Canada during COVID, housing prices have exploded. Homes in some cases are selling for hundreds of thousands over asking price, and with significant higher sale prices than one year ago across cities in Canada. Medicine Hat is not immune but has not seen the 50%-100% price increases in Vancouver, Toronto and other places. Prices remain under $400,000 for a detached home. Combined with low energy costs, Medicine Hat may have a competitive advantage for attracting new companies in the near future.
INFLATION: Canadian economists have been warning about inflation for over a year – ever since the Liberal government began printing billions in new currency a week. Inflation rates were nearly double the predictions by the Bank of Canada – reaching 3.4% (versus 2.2% predicted). The largest driver of inflation was a 62% increase in gas prices (2020 saw historically low prices). There is little doubt that the government’s increased carbon taxes will drive up inflation in 2021. Given that Canada ships most goods including food and essential goods by truck, rising gas prices and rising carbon taxes will impact the overall cost of all goods in Canada and make life harder for the average family and farmer.
LUXURY TAXES: In Budget 2021, the Liberals suggested they would bring in a luxury tax on private aircrafts and boats. The Parliamentary Budget officer (PBO) has estimated the taxes this would generate if there was a 20% of value tax over $100,000, and an additional 10% at over $200,000, and for vessels over $250,000. He says it would generate $45 M in year one, rising up to $150 M per year. The PBO also estimated there would be a significant decline in demand for these goods, hurting the $9 billion per year in GDP and costing hundreds or thousands of high paying jobs.
COVID & VACCINES
MORE OR LESS VACCINES?: Canada expected to receive 4.5 M doses of vaccines this week. Provinces have capacity to be able to deliver up to 300,000 doses a day (2.1 M per week). With the confirmation of 4.5 M doses this finally allows provinces and territories to ramp up their dose regiment and increase the number of people receiving their first dose. Canada is climbing its way to a “one-dose summer” where a large number of people may have a first dose. However, the new leader of vaccine rollout Brigadier General Krista Brodie announced that there would likely be a delay in 8-10 million doses that Trudeau had promised by the end of June.
EXPERIMENTING WITH VACCINES: Canadian task force leaders and researchers will be looking at mixing and matching vaccine doses to determine the impact of different vaccines on immunity. The research further shows that the Liberal plan for vaccines, including the one-dose for everyone strategy and the mixing of vaccine doses, isn’t based on science and evidence, but a political decision. Some research has shown that single doses provide some immunity, however vaccine producers have told Canada to use the recommended method to get the expected results. Canada is spacing out second doses by up to 4 months – almost four times the recommended level.
RANKINGS: Canada has climbed to 28th globally in first-doses delivered, but continues to fall in total vaccinations (76th) behind Jordan and Indonesia. Canada is 6th in the G7, 12th in the G20.
SAFETY & SECURITY
US VACCINES: Canadians who go to the US to get a COVID vaccine will face barriers. The Liberals are requiring anyone who travels to get a vaccine to quarantine for two weeks when they come home. While Canada has struggled for 6 months to get enough vaccines for its citizens, Liberals are putting up barriers to Canadians who might go to the US to get a vaccine. Additionally, US Customs and Border Patrol began denying Canadians entry into the US for the purposes of getting a vaccine. This comes a few weeks after Blackfoot tribe in the US vaccinated Canadians at the border crossing near Coutts.
CENSUS SCAMS: Statistics Canada mails out links for people to fill in the questions online or can provide paper copies if requested. Statistics Canada employees never contact you by text, social media or messaging apps like WhatsApp or Twitter. If you are ever concerned that the person calling might not be legitimately from Census Canada, tell them you are concerned and hang up. You can call back at the listed numbers or contact my office for assistance.
BORDER TRAVEL: Liberals confirmed this week they have no timeline or plan on when to reopen the border or restore regular travel.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CEASE FIRE: A cease fire agreement was put in place this week, the result of diplomatic efforts by Egypt, US and others. Palestinians celebrated in Gaza proclaiming it a victor for Hamas, who started the conflict. However, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that more attacks by terrorists against Israel would result in a new level of response. In Canada, there was a rise in threats and attacks by Palestinian supporters against members of the Jewish community, including a graphic attack of a senior by young men carrying Palestinian flags and swinging clubs. Reports in Canadian cities of Palestinian supporters patrolling Jewish communities have been made in Toronto, Edmonton, and other cities in Canada.
PS752: Ontario Superior Court has ruled Iran’s shooting down of Flight 752 in January 2020 an act of Terrorism and said that Iran owes reparations for the act. PS752 was shot down by two surface to air missile by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, part of the Iranian military. Sixty three Canadians were aboard the flight with 176 total passengers. Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Ralph Goodale was made the Special Canadian Liaison to deal with PS752, before also being made High Commissioner (Ambassador) to the UK.
SCANDAL & CORRUPTION
Breaking Down the many Department of National Defence (DND) SCANDALS wrapped together:
SCANDAL ONE: The DND sexual misconduct scandal is now a multitude of scandals. First and foremost, the scandal is around the abuse of power by men in senior leadership roles in the military, using that position of power to prey on women.
SCANDAL TWO: It is the scandal around the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister refusing to act when the Canadian Forces Ombudsman brought it to their attention in 2018. The Ombudsman, Gary Walbourne brought the investigation to Defence Minister Sajjan who stopped him from briefing him. Rather than taking a leadership role and looking into the issue, he passed it off to another group who could not investigate it because they were not able to access the information. The Minister and the Prime Minister’s office who were involved at this point allowed the investigation to die rather than addressing it. This leads to…
SCANDAL THREE: The Prime Minister’s office – including his Chief of Staff and senior advisor – all knew the nature of the accusations and the resulting end of the investigation in 2018. Justin Trudeau claimed to have never been advised that there were serious accusations against the leader of the Canadian Armed Forces and didn’t know it was a “Me Too” issue. So either the Prime Minister was lying when he said that feminism and ending sexual misconduct in the military were priorities, or information was willfully withheld from him (in which case he should have fired his staff), or he is lying about not knowing anything.
SCANDAL FOUR: The Minister and his staff clearly advised the Chief of Defence Staff of the allegations, because after the Canadian Forces Ombudsman told the Minister about it, the Minister refused to meet with him, and the Chief of Defence Staff launched an “investigation” and began controlling the funding going to the Ombudsman’s office. One witness who accused the Chief of Defense Vance of sexual misconduct testified that Vance told them he controlled the Minister and the military police and they were powerless to do anything about it. This claim was essentially confirmed when Parliament learned that the Military Police abruptly ended its investigation into the accusations in 2015 on the day that Jonathan Vance was made Chief of Defence.
SCANDAL FIVE: Now another military leader has been accused of misconduct – this time 30 years ago when he was a student at the Royal Military College. Dany Fortin, who until Friday lead the vaccine rollout, was dismissed without notice, and not informed of why until called by the media a few days later. The Prime Minister has not pretended to know nothing about it this time – he admitted to learning about the accusations two weeks before Fortin was removed. But Trudeau is once again claiming he didn’t know the nature of the accusations – which suggests either his staff is again holding things back (at his direction?), or he is lying again.
SCANDAL SIX: (seems like only a matter of time)
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MAY 14 2021
BIG WEEK: This week CBC lost their legal battle against the Conservative Party of Canada. During the 2019 Election, the Conservative Party made a political ad using a CBC media clip which reflected poorly on Justin Trudeau based on what he said. CBC took offence to that, and claimed it infringed their copyright. CBC – the Canadian, state funded broadcaster, sued the Conservatives Party and forced it to be removed from air during the election (providing political aide to the Liberals). This week, the Federal Courts ruled against the CBC and re-affirmed that political parties can and should show Canadians what their leaders say, calling it an essential tool of advocacy.
CONSERVATIVE LEGISLATION: Conservative MPs successfully passed three pieces of legislation through the final stages of the House of Commons on Wednesday. Parliament averages two non-government Bills per year becoming law out of hundreds that are proposed, making the passage of three Opposition pieces of legislation in one day significant. These “Private Members” Bills are much more limited than government legislation as they are not drafted by departments and cannot spend money. They are only presented by non-Cabinet MPs.
C-208: Conservative MP Larry Maguire presented a bill to reverse some of the changes made in 2017 to small business and farmers passing on their businesses to their children. The Liberals created higher taxes to sell a farm or company to the next generation and but not if you sold it to a stranger. MP Maguire’s legislation removes that mistreatment of family businesses.
C-210: Conservative MP Len Webber presented his Bill to improve organ donations – for a second time! Webber had proposed the same legislation in 2018, but the Senate did not review it and there was no vote to pass it before the election in 2019 (effectively killing the legislation). By adding organ donation to the tax filing system, all Canadians will easily and quickly be able to sign up to donate organs.
C-220: Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux presented his legislation calling for extended bereavement leave for family. Too many Canadians have to return to work immediately after the loss of a loved one because they had used up their vacation and leave while caring for someone who was very ill. This would give a minimum extended leave following the loss of a loved one.
BLOC ON COVID: The Bloc MPs used their Opposition Day (which Opposition get to determine what the House will debate) to remind the Liberals that their political maneuvers to get an election is inappropriate and that the House should not forcing an election during a pandemic. This came on the same day the Liberals moved to expedite pandemic voting readiness changes into the Elections Act.
ELECTIONS ACT: The Trudeau Liberals are continuing their push for a pandemic election. This week the Liberals pressed a requirement that limits debate on changes to the elections act in order to pass the legislation more quickly. While Justin Trudeau claims not to want an election, he actions make it clear that is yet another lie.
FINLEY RETIRES: Long time Conservative MP Diane Finley retired this week, giving her farewell speech in the House of Commons. Finley was first elected in 2006 in the same election where her husband, the late Senator Doug Finley, served as Campaign manager for Stephen Harper. Finley served in several Cabinet positions from 2006 to 2015 including Public Works and Government Services, Human Resources and Social Development, and Immigration. Conservative party leader candidate Leslyn Lewis was selected as the candidate for the next election for the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. Thank you Diane for your service to Canada.
JOBS & ECONOMY
BILL C-10 CONTINUES: The Liberals have tried a new defence for their social media censorship Bill. Liberal Minister Guilbeault told the media that the Canadians complaining about their legislation “will never be happy” because they don’t want the internet to be censored or regulated. Which is the exact point the majority of Canadians have made clear – no government censorship of their social media posts. Opposing an open, uncensored internet is the policy of most of the modern world, and opposed only by despots in Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Trudeau Liberals are failing Canadians by trying to control all Canadians social media posts, while aligning our policies with countries who want complete control over their citizens.
CHARTER REVIEW: Conservatives forced the Justice Department to conduct a second Charter review on the controversial internet censorship legislation, Bill C-10. On Monday, the Conservatives passed a motion to have Justice lawyers review the Constitutionality of the Bill given the changes that legal experts unanimously say infringes on freedom of speech. On Thursday – about 72 hours later – the Justice Minister announced that the Bill was Constitutional. That prompted leading experts like Professor Michael Geist to label the Liberals the anti-internet government, suggesting that the fix was in from the start on the Charter statement.
LINE 5: Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that carries petroleum products through Wisconsin and Michigan into Ontario provides up to 60% of gas, propane and diesel for Ontario and Quebec. It was ordered shut down by the Governor of Michigan effective last week, however Enbridge has defied the order and continues to operate the pipeline unless the governor gets a court order. While President Biden has remained quiet, arguments from the government of Canada, four US states, businesses groups including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have been submitted to the US Courts to keep the pipeline open. Many constituents have noted the irony: Had Trudeau not caved to pressure from Montreal and cancelled the Energy East Pipeline, Ontario and Quebec would not be entirely dependent on this pipele for most of its fuel.
UNDRIP LEGISLATION: The Liberals legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples was before the House this week. Liberals opposed nearly the same legislation in 2016 introduced by the NDP, but endorsed it when it was their own. The UN Declaration is a non-binding agreement that has been described by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould (a former BC Regional Chief, Treaty Commissioner and Kwak’wala First Nations members) as being incompatible with Canada’s laws and called is a distraction towards the hard work of addressing reconciliation. UNDRIP includes a requirement for “prior, informed consent” as a right for Indigenous Canadians. However, this issue has already been in Canadian law and judicially tested – which means a new law could reverse legal precedents and move consultation processes back to square one. In typical Liberal hyprocrissy, the Liberals pushed to limit testimony from First Nations, effectively ignoring the purpose of the legislation. Additionally, on Friday May 14, the Liberals moved, and with the help from the NDP, passed time allocation on this Bill to force it through the House without the usual time necessary to debate such matters.
GREYHOUND GONE: Greyhound Bus Lines – a company that has run in Canada for nearly 100 years – announced it was closing down this week. Greyhound ended its routes in Western Canada in 2018, and formally cancelled all routes in Ontario and Quebec effective Thursday at midnight (routes were suspended when COVID-19 began in March 2020). The only routes that will continue in Canada are Canada-US routes run by the Amercian based Greyhound bus line.
COVID & VACCINES
ASTRAZENECA: Six provinces including Alberta announced this week they would not be giving the Astrazeneca vaccine going forward because of the increased number of health risks associated with blood clots. Conservative Shadow Minister Michelle Rempel once again called for the Liberals to clarify conflicting information, such as the recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations that Canadians should be able to choose or wait for the preferred vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna. Canada has reported 28 cases of rare blood clots linked to AstraZeneca
VACCINATIONS: Canada has seen an increase this week in the number of doses coming into the country (3 Million), a rate we need to continue. Canada can administer up to 2.1 M doses per week, but typically has only had approximately 1 M doses delivered by the federal vaccine plan. Canada is currently 14th in total number of doses delivered to Canada, 33rd in percentage of the population with one dose and has fallen to 86th in population vaccinated. This low number is primarily linked to the Liberal’s health experiment to give one dose to all Canadians and ignore the recommended treatment plan from the makers of the vaccines.
FAILED PANDEMIC PLAN: Glen Motz commented on the list of Liberal failures in the Medicine Hat News this week: Motz says Liberals have failed every step of the way – Medicine Hat NewsMedicine Hat News.
SAFETY & SECURITY
ISRAEL BOMBINGS: After increased conflicts over land, Palestinian militants including terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (both are listed terrorist organizations in Canada) rained hundreds of rockets into Israel. In response, Israel carried out 600 missle attacks against what it describes as Hamas / Islamic Jihad targets. Egyptian mediators are working to broker peace in the largest conflict in 20 years. A distinct difference in the conflict is that Palestinian militants shower Israel indiscriminating, targeting civilians, while Israel’s response is specifically focused on known terrorist strongholds.
HEALTH CARE HACKS: Ireland had its health care IT system taken down when a cyber attack infiltrated its system. This is the type of critical infrastruture attack that is a top concern for national security and intelligence teams in Canada. The concern was raised in the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (MP Motz is a member of the Committee) in their recent 2020 Annual Report that summarizes threats against Canada.
SCANDAL & MISMANAGEMENT
WE SCANDAL: Trudeau escapes from another ethics commissioner verdict on a technicality while disgraced former Liberal Bill Morneau wasn’t so lucky. The Commissioner investigation (Titled the TRUDEAU III Report) Trudeau’s and Morneau’s roles in the WE Scandal which involved handing $545 M to the WE Companies who employed Morneau’s daughter and paid $250,000 to Trudeau family members for speaking at events (the only speakers the organization ever paid, starting paying them after Trudeau became Prime Minister). The Ethics Commissioner found that Trudeau directed his staff to find ways to give money to WE, which conflicts with the spirit and intent of federal ethics and accountability laws. However, because of how accountability laws are written, Trudeau could not be found guilty of breaking them (there was only a “perceived” conflict). The Commissioner’s investigation into Bill Morneau (MORENAU II) concluded that he had given preferential treatment to an organization that directly benefitted a member of his family, violating the laws. What is clear – this is emphirically the most corrupt government in Canadian history.
DND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: Following the testimony of the Prime Minister’s top aide, Katie Telford, the Liberal MPs immediately tried to conclude the study into sexual violence in the miltiary. Telford’s testimony directly conflicted with the testimony of the former Canadian Forces Ombudsman, the Minister of National Defence, and victim testimony before the Committee. Rather than addressing the issue, the government is continuing their cover up.
MORE FILIBUSTERS: When Conservatives sought details on the Liberal’s Infrastructure Bank’s investment of $655 M for a $1.7 B energy transmission line that would bring US electricity into Ontario, the Liberals once again filibustered the Committee to block the release of information. The deal provides funding to a shell company owned by the American company Fortis, a multi-billion dollar multinational and provide an opportunity for American firms to earn profits off Canadian energy (yet again).
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MAY 7 2021
SOCIAL MEDIA CENSOR: The Liberals began backtracking this week, while refusing to admit that their changes to the Broadcasting Act would have given the federal government censorship control over social media. It is unclear whether it was intentional or incompetence that resulted in this change, but the fact that the Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault (a former environmental protestor) defended the changes for a week suggests it was intentional. The edits were opposed by senior public servants and legal experts, even while the Liberals refused to edit the Bill. Conservatives have fought the changes every step of the way and were able to force the Bill back to Committee for a Constitutional review.
TRUDEAU OR TELFORD: With the ongoing saga of sexual harassment in the military, Justin Trudeau continues to claim that he did not know the case was about sexual misconduct, despite emails to his Chief of Staff specifically calling it that. This week, Erin O’Toole called on the Prime Minister to fire Katie Telford, his top aide and Chief of Staff. Either Telford knew of the allegations and didn’t tell Trudeau – in which case Trudeau’s own rules require her to be fired – OR, Trudeau knew about it all along and has been lying to Parliament and Canadians. The Liberals voted unanimously against the motion, seeming to confirm that Trudeau is in fact lying to us.
CANADA’S DEBT: MP Motz was in Ottawa this week and pressed the Liberals about their lack of debt plan in Budget 2021. In place of a plan, they have a debt schedule showing how much debt and deficits they will wrack up. The Parliamentary Budget Officer recently reported that the projects in the Budget on job creation and growth were overstated, which will no doubt impact the projected debt and deficits.
JOBS & ECONOMY
MATERNITY BENEFITS: This week, Conservatives called on the government to adjust the rules for people seeking maternity benefits. Anyone currently on a benefit program – a large number because of the pandemic – must re-qualify for EI benefits when they have a child. That means mothers on EI cannot get their maternity leave through EI because they were not able to work enough hours to qualify. With the pandemic and the many challenges of having a child these days, the last thing mothers should have to do is try and find work weeks after giving birth. Conservatives have called on the government to waive the work hour requirements for mothers who are on EI and provide access to 50 weeks of leave.
PIPELINES: The Governor of Michigan state has announced it will shut down the Line 5 pipeline that runs through their state, providing 540,000 barrels of petroleum liquids from Alberta, through Wisconsin and Michigan, into Ontario every day. Line five provides products for Sarnia’s refineries. It supplies half of the gasoline, diesel, home heating fuel and aviation fuel. It also brings fuel to Montreal and the Levis regions of Quebec for their refineries. Enbridge has refused to shut down the pipeline without a Court order, and Enbridge – who could not get any communications from the governor’s office – has forced the state into a court-monitored mediation. A shutdown of the line would immediately drive up gasoline prices, drive up fuel prices for farmers, increase food prices for everyone, and potentially eliminate close to 30,000 jobs in Canada.
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION ACT: The Liberals tabled their Bill to implement their omnibus Budget Bill – the Budget Implementation Act. The Bill goes far beyond spending – and includes changes to the election act. Conservatives continue to support pushing out relief to those Canadians stuck without work because of Trudeau’s failed vaccination and pandemic plans. We will be giving this Bill a large amount of scrutiny.
BUDGET OVERSTATES JOB CREATION: The Liberals claimed they would create 330,000 jobs and provide training opportunities for 500,000 other Canadians. The Parliamentary Budget Officer reviewed these claims and found that both the impact of the stimulus and the job creation were far less than advertised. They projected under 170,000 (roughly half) of the proposed jobs would be created with the Liberals’ plan to spend $70 billion. That appears to be $411,000 per job created, paying substantially less.
COVID PATENTS: India and South Africa have proposed temporary suspension of patent protections for COVID medications to the World Trade Organizations’ intellectual property agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS). Canada is a signatory to the agreement that ensures that globally, countries respect the patent regimes used in developed countries. The waiver of patent protections would allow other companies to use the technology and vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and others.
COVID & VACCINES
VACCINATIONS: Canada currently sits 13th in the world in total vaccinations delivered (14.5 M), 30th in percentage of the population with one dose (29.7%), and 74th in number of Canadians fully vaccinated (2.6%).
IMMUNITY POTENTIALLY DELAYED: Health experts have confirmed herd immunity (the level of immunity in the community to limit transmission or negative impacts) may be delayed. Because people with only one dose of the vaccine can still get sick and transmit the disease, and some variants are not impacted by the vaccine, eliminating community spread may take longer than the Liberals recently suggested. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-may-find-it-challenging-to-reach-herd-immunity-from-covid-19-experts-say-1.5416302
CLEAR COMMUNICATIONS: Shadow Minister for Health Michelle Rempel called on the Liberals to clarify vaccine recommendations and rules several times this week after numerous conflicting reports came out. The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations has repeatedly made conflicting statements to Health Canada guidelines, with little clarifications coming from Ministers or senior government officials. This week, the NACI chair repeatedly told the media that informed decisions are important for Canadians in choosing a vaccine, and that Pfizer and Moderna were the preferred vaccines for most due to the potential complications related to AstraZeneca and Jansen vaccines. Health experts have said that the best vaccine is the one you can get and have noted that the risk of complications (such as blood clots) are very low. It sure would be helpful if Canadians actually received clear information from this government.
VACCINES UNDER 16: This week Pfizer vaccines were approved for teenagers between 12 and 16 years old, opening the door to providing COVID vaccine to youth. No announcements have been made about when Canada would have a supply to give them the vaccine. Most provinces – which are proceeding in descending age, are just opening up vaccines to 30 + age groups, with bookings filling up and likely to stretch into June.
LIBERALS VOTE AGAINST AN ACCELERATED VACCINE SCHEDULE: The Conservatives, given the recent news that Canada’s vaccine supplies would be increasing, called on the Liberal government to put in place everything needed to get all Canadians their first dose by the end of May. Liberals voted against this measure.
SAFETY & SECURITY
VACCINE PASSPORTS: Trudeau’s government has indicated they are exploring a verification system to allow people to travel to Canada and for post-pandemic travel for Canadians. Europe has already announced that people will be able to travel within Europe if they have been vaccinated. Canada will need a clear plan to support tourism since the US, EU and other countries will likely re-open to travel before Canada. Any system of this nature will require extensive study and scrutiny.
EXTREMISTS: The Liberals on the Public Safety Committee this week realized that extremism is a problem following the publication of the CSIS 2020 Public Report and the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) 2020 Annual Report that reviewed threats to Canadians. The top threat identified is state-controlled foreign actors, especially Russia and China. The top threat in terrorism is Islamic Extremists inspired by groups like DAESH and Al Qaida. The Liberals have put forward a study on “Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremists” which excludes both of the top threats but targets a growing issue of active white supremacists and neo Nazis in Canada.
SCANDAL & MISCONDUCT
40 HOURS: Trudeau’s record as the least transparent government in Canadian’s history continues – as Liberal MPs continue to filibuster multiple committees. This week, the Committee on Procedure and House Affairs reached 40 hours of filibuster – which is 20 meetings over 10 weeks. All of this is to block a motion to call the Prime Minister and various Ministers to testify over the use of proroguing Parliament to block the release of information about the WE Scandal. The scandal coverups have continued – with Liberals hoping most people do not notice.
TELFORD TESTIMONY: Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister has finally relented to demands that she appear before Parliament. The Defence Committee issued her a summons to testify weeks ago to explain her role in covering up the sexual misconduct accusations against General Vance. On Friday May 7th, she testified that she did not tell the Prime Minister about serious allegations of sexual misconduct by the Chief of Defence staff. Conservatives repeatedly asked why she did not tell her boss, to which she claims she did not have enough details. When asked why there was no investigation to get more details, she repeats the claim that the Prime Minister’s department attempted to get details from the Ombudsman of the Canadian Forces – who brought the allegations to the Minister of National Defence to start this whole process. The Prime Minister’s office received a serious allegation against a top military officer, and took it so seriously they did nothing to determine the truth.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR APRIL 30
MP Motz is in Ottawa the week of May 3 – 7.
CONTEMPT: Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen raised a question of privilege this week in the House, showing how Justin Trudeau lied to the House and all Canadians on the allegations against former Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance. The Prime Minister first told the House of Commons he was not aware of the allegations, but emails show top officials in his office and his department (Privy Council) were aware. After claiming he wasn’t aware of the allegations in 2018, he changed his story to suggest he didn’t know the accusation was of sexual misconduct, or as he called it, a “Me Too” moment. Having presented the issue before the House, the Speaker (Liberal MP Anthony Rota) must determine if the Prime Minister lied. If the Prime Minister is found to have lied to Parliament (this time), he could be censored, suspended or removed as a Member of Parliament. See MP Bergen’s full presentation here https://www.facebook.com/285567581556423/videos/322216899323861
BLACKFOOT: Last week, MP Motz highlighted the generosity and effort by the Blackfoot People in Montana and their recent clinic at the border to vaccinate local Blood Tribe and Cardston community members. People in this area are getting better vaccine delivery from generous Americans than from their own government. The Minister seemed to acknowledge she failed people of southern Alberta while trying to make the issue a partisan attack: https://twitter.com/MichelleRempel/status/1386804324634791936
TOWNHALL: MP Motz hosted a virtual townhall this week, issuing invites through email. Thank you to the many people who attended and for the many questions. If you would like to be added to our weekly newsletter or mailing list for townhalls or other events, Contact | Glen Motz (glenmotzmp.com)(note this is for constituents in Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner).
COVID & VACCINES
VACCINATE BY MAY 24: Conservatives this week made a motion demanding the Liberals get every adult who wants a vaccination at least one dose by the May long weekend so that Canada can begin to shift back to a more normal way of life and end the lockdowns and spread of the virus.
J&J VACCINES: Canada received a shipment of Johnson & Johnson Vaccines this week. The J&J vaccines are unique that they require only one dose and have no freezing requirements. However, the vaccine has – like AstraZeneca – been linked to some rare complications. The Liberals have not listed the received shipment of 300,000 on their public website and it is unclear how these doses will be used.
FAILING CANADIANS: The Liberals continue to lie to Canadians about our position globally in the vaccination efforts. Trudeau claims we are third in the G20, but Canada is not – we are 12th. Over 12.7 M Canadians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, however only 2.4% of Canadians have been fully vaccinated. That puts Canada 15th in vaccinate doses, but 72nd on people who are fully vaccinated. Currently Canada is on par with Lebanon and Bulgaria.
ASTRAZENECA LAWSUIT: While the EU has begun legal action against AstraZeneca for failing to meet their vaccine delivery contracts, the Liberals sit quietly, hoping that more vaccines will arrive. Canada has been impacted by numerous delays in vaccine deliveries. It could be the Liberals don’t have the right to legal action under the terms of their contracts, or Liberals are concerned that if they did sue it would force them to reveal their secretive contract. The EU appears to be fighting harder than Trudeau to help their people.
REMPEL ON MISMANAGEMENT: Shadow Minister Michelle Rempel Garner explains how the government should be managing communications and empowering Canadians with good information. Michelle Rempel Garner: Canadians need clarity from federal officials on COVID-19 health measures, vaccines | National Post
NOT ENOUGH VACCINES: Canada has the capacity to deliver up to 3.1 M doses of vaccine per week with the current systems in place by the provinces, but there is a lack of supply according to testimony by public officials. Canada has averaged around 1 M doses per week delivered to the provinces – far below our needed numbers to vaccinate everyone before June. Next week, Canada is positioned to get more doses (1.9 M) but the Liberals are not close to delivering what the provinces could put into arms.
JOBS & ECONOMY
STRIKE AVERTED: Liberals finally acted this week after threats of a strike at the Port of Montreal, tabling back to work legislation. The Port’s operations are critical to shipping in Canada, and shut-downs can cost hundreds of millions of dollars per day. The action shows that the Liberals are willing to act to protect economic activities if it impacts their re-election. The Port – which is owned by the federal government – is a major shipping hub owned by the federal government. The federal government has been negotiating with the union for over 7 months. Conservatives supported the back to work legislation during the late night voting on Wednesday night / Thursday morning.
AIRLINE BAILOUT: Air Transat agreed to a government loan this week, accepting $700 M from the Liberals. The terms include a requirement to maintain its workforce, refund customers for cancelled flights, limit executive compensation but does not require workers who have been let go to be rehired.
CENSORHSIP: Liberals tried to sneak in changes on legislation to give the federal government control and censorship powers for online platforms and apps like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Bill C-10 was quietly amended by the Liberals by removing exemptions for user-created content, which would mean the government could regulate what you post online. This amendment had all Opposition MPs, as well as most user-rights groups, academics, and Rights groups objecting the communist-China style law. This issue goes beyond political alliances and could undermine essential aspects of our freedoms including free speech.
BANKRUPTCIES: Statistics Canada reporting that the number of businesses that are going bankrupt has levelled off – but food and accommodation continues to decline. While most sectors are operating at least 90% of their previous levels, many restaurants and hotels continue to close down, go bankrupt or operate at a significantly decreased levels. Nearly 1 million Canadians are employed in this sector (or were at this time last year).
INFRASTRUCTURE: While many infrastructure projects and the jobs they would create are waiting for funding, $35 billion of infrastructure spending sits idle at the failed Infrastructure Bank of Canada. The Bank was supposed to attract private sector funding into infrastructure in Canada and speed up projects. The Auditor General produced a highly critical analysis of the government infrastructure spending, and this week the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that the Bank won’t meet its performance objectives. The most obvious failure is the Via Rail Montreal-to-Toronto high frequency rail upgrade to speed up passenger rail. This project had private sector investors and just needed approval to proceed in 2015. It seemed an obvious project by the Infrastructure Bank – but instead it was included in the funding promises in Budget 2021.
SECURITY & SAFETY
VACCINE PASSPORT: The Prime Minister announced he is still looking at a potential vaccine passport, after the EU announced vaccinated citizens can travel within those countries this summer. Most Canadians are not expecting to be fully vaccinated until the fall, and it is unclear if any other country will recognize Canada’s vaccines since the Liberals refused to follow the recommended treatment pattern of 3-4 weeks between the first and second dose. If the gap in doses results in diminished immunity, Canadians may be unable to travel until 2023. The issue of vaccine passports must be studied carefully.
BORDER CLOSURES: As Ontario struggles to contain massive growth in variants in the province, media obtained Premier Ford’s official request to close the borders to the hundreds of flights arriving from hotspots until they have the spread of the COVID under the control.
SCANDAL & MISCONDUCT
15 MONTHS: Liberals have announced a second, independent review of sexual harassment in the military that will take at least 15 months to start its work. In 2014, former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps undertook a report into sexual harassment in the military and reported back in 2015. This report will also be led by a former Supreme Court Justice – Louise Arbour. Arbour served from 1999 to 2004 and will investigate this issue again, as well as propose how to separate the complaints process. This is a clear attempt to punt the issue away. Several professors in national security have spoken against this decision, including Prof Leah West, a specialist in national security law, who served in Afghanistan as a member of the Canadian Army.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR APRIL 23
In the last weekly update we asked how much more of our money the Liberals were prepared to spend to get re-elected. In addition to $354 billion borrowed last year, the Liberals are borrowing another $155 billion this year. In just six years, Justin Trudeau will have added more debt to Canada than the combined debt of every other Prime Minister in Canada’s 150-year history. And there is still no plan to address the debt or deficit. As it turns out, the budget won’t balance itself.
CHILD CARE: The federal government has committed to delivering a national child care program, the only problem: the Constitution. Child care is a provincial jurisdiction, like health care. The Liberals want to emulate the Quebec model of $10 per day child care (for lowest incomes, increasing per day based on income). These would be government- approved centres, not private centres or home care. What the Liberals are promising is to spend up to $30 billion over the next 5 years for cheaper child care, by demanding provinces provide matching amounts. The catch – all provinces have no money because of the massive COVID costs.
HEALTH CARE: The top request of the all provinces was more, sustained transfers for health care. The Liberals declined, but after a backlash from everyone (we are in a health pandemic), the Liberals backtracked and said they would look at increased health care transfers. The biggest question is why isn’t health care a top priority right now?
STILL NO COVID PLAN: The Trudeau government still has no timeline for a return to normal and recovery. The Liberals continued with their priorities, but still can’t give Canadians a straight answer when we can expect to have a normal and what that would take.
ENVIRONMENT: Liberals created several new programs to try and reduce emissions. The federal government committed $7.2 B over 8 years to help with technology adoption and implementing new technologies for targeted industries. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage – which featured strongly in the Conservative plan – will receive a tax credit for investors starting potentially in 2022, but no direct cash or program support. Alberta and Saskatchewan currently capture almost 5 Mt of emissions per year and Alberta requested $30 B over 10 years for the industry to significantly expand capacity.
FARMERS: The Liberals acknowledged agriculture as a major part of Canada’s economy, after having tabled several budgets that ignore farmers and rural economies. Here are some of the budget promises:
CARBON TAXES: Liberals will start returning some carbon taxes to farmers this year, after several years of massive taxes with no rebates. (Conservatives would cancel the Liberal carbon tax that costs grain farmers tens of thousands per year). The amount was set at $100 M, but the government hasn’t disclosed how much they collected or exactly how it will calculate returns. Conservatives have a Bill before Parliament to make all farm-related use of natural gas, propane and other farm fuels exempt from the carbon tax.
CLEAN TECH: The Liberals are providing $165 M in funding to help farmers buy equipment that is cleaner than they use now. Specifically, $50 M will be for more “fuel-efficient grain dryers”. Few details are available, and this may only be helpful for farmers who need new grain dryers – which would limit the impact of this funding.
These programs – which are in response to the costs created by other Liberal government policies – are adding more layers to government, which increases administration costs for farmers and for governments.
Farmers have faced a number of obstacles in the West over the last few years and will get little federal help on making things better. The Liberals have offered funding to reduce emissions from farms but have not committed to addressing trade barriers created by the political maneuver in India and China, nor addressing shipping challenges with overworked railways.
SENIORS: Seniors have been promised a one-time payment of $500 in August if over the age of 75 and a proposal to increase the payout to Old Age Security. The one-time payment appears to align perfectly with a potential election in the Fall.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The budget focused on social infrastructure like social housing projects to address issues like housing costs and homelessness. While billions have been poured into mostly-urban housing initiatives, many small communities continue to be unable to access funds for their shovel-ready infrastructure projects awaiting federal and provincial funding.
ENERGY: The Liberals continued their war against Canada’s energy sector in Budget 2021. The energy sector could create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help our economy recover faster if the Liberals removed their anti-energy policies like C-69 (the No More Pipelines Act) and C-48 (West Coast Tanker Ban). The word pipeline appeared in the budget a number of times – but never in reference to energy.
TAXES: The Liberals have proposed new “sin” taxes. Having placed an annual, increasing tax on alcohol and beer, and a carbon tax (after promising not to increase the carbon tax), the Liberals will be taxing vapes, cigarettes and cigars. Additional tax proposals include second homes, luxury vehicles, private airplanes, yachts, and items they view as for the rich. The Liberals will implement a Digital Service Tax (DST) similar to a sales taxes on digital companies like Facebook and Netflix for 3% of their revenues in Canada. There is a proposal to target unoccupied houses and condos by foreign owners, adding a new tax for holding housing in Canada without using it (the details are not yet available. We will be watching to ensure Canadians like snow birds aren’t targeted instead of foreign investors seeking to profit from skyrocketing housing costs).
STUDENTS: The federal government is proposing to absorb the interest charges on student debt until March 31, 2023 after having doubled the amount of money students could borrow (many students lost their jobs or couldn’t get a job during COVID). The federal government is also proposing a new Student Work Placement program – in addition to doubling student grants and the ongoing Canada Summer Jobs program. This new student program appears to closely resemble the Canada Student Summer Grants program that led to the WE Scandal.
EXTENDED COVID BENEFITS: The federal government is extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (formerly the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or CERB) another 12 weeks (maximum of 50 weeks per person), with the amount dropping from $500 per week to $300 per week in July. Similarly, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit was extended by another 4 weeks of eligibility for those looking after someone else, and is proposing to extend sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks permanently under the normal Employment Insurance Program (with a corresponding increase in pay cheque deductions).
GROWTH: The Trudeau Liberals presented no plan for long-term growth which would need to be astronomical in order to avoid a serious debt crisis in the future. Canada is projected to be back to low growth (2% or less) within 2 years. As inflation will rise (the Liberals have printed lots of money, borrowed a lot of money, increased government spending, and some items are scarce which could all drive up prices), the federal government will need a strong economy to avoid more deficits. Trudeau’s former Budget director and economic advisor noted that he saw no long-term growth plan in the Budget. https://thehub.ca/2021-04-21/robert-asselin-the-federal-budget-has-no-answers-on-the-question-of-growth/
These are just some of the measures in the 700+ budget. The full budget is available at www.Budget.gc.ca
SECURE THE BORDERS: Erin O’Toole pressed the Liberals this week to fix their broken approach to Canada’s border security. Canada has its first case of a combined two-variant case of COVID – a more contagious version. One-in-three flights from some hotspots arrived in Canada with COVID on board. People coming by flight into Canada are using methods to avoid the horrific hotel quarantines – including landing in the US and crossing at a land entry. There is a limited window to address these more dangerous variants entering Canada without disrupting essential trade. Unfortunately, the Liberals have been slow to react until pressed by the Conservative to act. The Liberals finally stopped flights from India after Conservatives pressed them for action. The Liberals have been too slow to react every step of the way to the pandemic.
INTEREST: MP Motz pressed the Liberals on their plan to deal with massive interest costs. New home buyers are required to be able to afford a 2% interest rate increase before qualifying for a mortgage for their own protection, according to the Liberal policy. However, the federal government doesn’t have a plan for what this means to them.
JOBS & ECONOMY
NO PLAN ON THE ENVIRONMENT: After the Conservatives came out with an independently verified environmental plan to reduce emissions, the Liberals responded by blindly promising to reduce emissions by a further 45% by 2030. Under the Liberals current plan, emissions have continued to climb while the carbon tax has risen from $20 to $40 per tonne, with a promised increase to $170 / tonne. The Liberals have not provided a plan or even an idea of how they would reduce emissions – it is just another empty promise from a Prime Minister desperate to stay in power.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Statistics Canada reported that unemployment in February rose 3.6% – which is before there was a third wave and added lock-downs. In 2021, Canada’s unemployment levels rose nearly 15% – a massive increase reflecting shutdowns, decreased working hours, elimination of positions, and potentially the loss of many small businesses who are going out of business.
TAX DEADLINES: Conservatives continue to press the Liberals to extend their tax filing deadline as many Canadians do not have access to their tax forms. Due to a security issue at CRA, thousands of Canadians had their MyCRA account suspended, blocking their access to tax documents. As a result, they are unable to file by April 30th. Given that the Liberal government’s system created this problem, it seems only reasonable that tax filing deadlines be extended until June 30th.
COVID & VACCINES
US SUPPORT: Americans have been providing direct support to Canada in recent weeks. This past week, the Blackfoot Tribe in Montana who had excess doses of COVID vaccine that were potentially going to expire, set up a cross-border vaccination clinic for Blood Tribe relatives who needed a first or second dose. They also provided vaccinations to non-Indigenous community members close to the border. Thanks to our neighbours in the South for helping us out – again!
VACCINES: The Trudeau Liberals continued with their misinformation this week, claiming Canada was third in the G20 for vaccinations. The G20 includes the US, India, UK, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, France and Indonesia – who all have more vaccinations than Canada.
- Canada is 69th globally in the percentage of fully vaccinated population (2.2%, no change from last week)
- Canada sits 16th globally in the number of total vaccinations delivery (11.1 Million)
- Canada is 46th globally in the percentage of the population with one dose (19%)
Data through Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker
VACCINE DELIVERIES: More Vaccine delivery delays this week. The Liberals had promised significant increases this week, but 1 million doses of AstraZeneca this month are postponed as India’s manufacturing has been restricted from exports. India has the highest numbers in the world right now. Canada will get 300,000 Johnson & Johnson (also referred to as Jansen) shots – which only require a single dose. Johnson & Johnson was suspended from use in the US on concerns about blood clots. Pfizer remains the only manufacturer not delaying or postponing doses.
SAFETY & SECURITY
CRIME: The federal government was almost entirely silent on crime, gangs and drugs that have dramatically increased in recent years. Crime rates reported by Statistics Canada are up nearly 25% since 2015. A report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (of which MP Motz is a member) noted that organized crime has grown over the last ten years and the increase in organized crime is linked to illegal drugs.
OPIOID CRISIS: From 2016 to September 2020, nearly 20,000 people died from opioid overdoses in Canada, in particular in BC and Alberta. While the Liberals have added $116 M over several years to support addiction centres, there is a need to get serious immediately about this problem that has taken thousands of lives and has accelerated during COVID.
CORRUPTION & SCANDAL
DEFENCE COMMITTEE SCANDALS CONTINUE: The Defence Committee continued to press forward on the sexual harassment of members of the Canadian military. Last week, when the Committee called for appearances of the staff involved in the cover-up, the Chair of the Committee (a former Lt Col in the military) suspended the meeting for a ten-minute break – which stretched to an hour and half – before the Liberals filibustered the rest of the committee to block witnesses from being called. The Liberal MPs are going to great lengths to protect their Minister and Prime Minister and the political aides who helped them ignore the problem. It was only after the media picked up on the story that the Liberals agreed to hold meetings again and have the witnesses appear.
MINISTER UNDER VANCE’S CONTROL: Major Kellie Brennan – who was the first to go public with the sexual harassment by former Chief of Defence Vance – testified before Parliament that Vance told her that he was in total control of any complaints of harassment against him. She said Vance claimed to be in control of the military police who investigate complaints, and had control over the Minister. She noted that Vance had fathered two of her children and made no effort to provide support but that she was powerless to complain or take action. With this information becoming public, it puts the Liberals to shame for trying to it up.
CONSULTANTS: Documents released to the media showed that the Liberal government spent $6 billion over 6 years to pay for consultants to provide advice to them and the federal public service.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR APRIL 16
BUDGET 2021: The Liberals will table their first budget since being elected in October 2019. Every province and territory tabled a budget, and most have already tabled their second in the last two years. The rumours and suggestions from the Liberals indicate they will propose a national daycare strategy (as they have in every year since 1993 when in political trouble), more new taxes (as they have in nearly every budget) and a stimulus spending plan. Most Canadians will be looking for a vaccination and recovery plan including timelines and benchmarks to help with our return to a new normal.
MP Motz was in Ottawa this week to press the Liberals on when Canadians would get a plan for recovery, when would there be a steady flow of vaccines, and when we could expect lockdowns to end and life to resume. You can see his videos here.
TRU-ANON: Canada’s vaccination roll-out failures were highlighted by international media including CNN and British papers. In response, Trudeau suggested repeatedly the claims were false and that Canada was performing better than the UK. CNN’s White House Correspondent Jake Tapper took exception to the claim, noting his report was factual and the CNN conclusion that Canadians deserved better was accurate. He labelled Trudeau and his supporters “Tru-Anon”, in reference to conspiracy theory group Q’Anon who supported Trump, for attacking the report for his article. When asked about the serious third wave facing the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I think the case data speaks for itself with this”. Despite having nearly 30 M more people, the UK has roughly one quarter of our rates of infections (~2,500 to Canada’s 8,500). Trudeau’s lies are now becoming an international embarrassment for Canada.
COVID & VACCINES
COVID cases are surging in Canada and are expected to exceed the highest number of daily cases over this weekend. This continued surge is in part because of the rising spread of variants – the ones that the Liberals said they would stop with their disastrous mandatory hotel quarantine.
VACCINES: Vaccination sites in Canada cancelled tens of thousands of injections when vaccination deliveries were not received by provinces from the federal government. Shipments of over 850,000 Moderna doses were delayed in delivery to Canada. The federal government is responsible for the purchase and distribution of vaccines. In total, 1.2 Million doses scheduled by the federal government for delivery this week will be delayed until the end of the month. Each delay in vaccinations is a delay towards reaching immunity and getting jobs and economy back on track.
COVID LIES: “Canada is third in the G20 for vaccinations” – Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons repeatedly this week. This statement is factually wrong and shows why Conservatives are often so angry at the Prime Minister’s glib responses to a serious pandemic. Here is where Canada stands in vaccinations:
60th in people vaccinated (two doses) – 2.2%, up 0.2% in a week.
17th overall in doses administered (almost all countries are given two doses at the recommended gaps of 3-5 weeks)
12th in the G20 behind US, China, India, UK, Brazil, Turkey, Germany, Indonesia, France, Italy, and Mexico for doses administered.
COVID INFO: This week, MP Motz pressed the Liberals on their failed pandemic response and called for data and pre-pandemic planning information to be released. The Liberal response ignored the question entirely and went straight into political games: https://youtu.be/Cp4pYCOdCOY
JOB & ECONOMY
DEBT: By Monday’s Budget, Liberals will have added $444 Billion in new debt since the pandemic began, bringing Canada’s total debt to over $1,200,000,000,000. This is not government money, but money borrowed under all of our names by the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Canada is quickly approaching a debt level that is unsustainable. Due to the massive spending from the last five years, Canada has moved past Greece in debt-to-GDP ratios at over 350%, with Bloomberg noting Canada’s rising debt is more acute because our borrowing money “contributed to one of the biggest increases in debt among advanced economies last year”. Only Japan has a higher debt level. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-02/trudeau-s-debt-binge-shows-limits-in-canada-s-sharp-contraction
LIBERALS STILL REIMAGINING OUR ECONOMY: This week Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pushed Canadians to support the “opportunities” created by the pandemic and their mismanagement. Her description of massive job losses, bankruptcies, mental health challenges, deaths, illness, and strain on our frontline medical staff is not an opportunity. Rex Murphy put it well here – “Chrystia Freeland’s ‘epiphany’ that COVID-19 is an ‘opportunity’ – that’s pretty dark.”
BAILOUT: Air Canada received a bailout package this week of $5.9 billion in the form of a government loans. The package included a requirement to provide refunds to Canadians whose flights were cancelled and restoring some regional flights. However, it did not require that employees who were let go would have their jobs restored.
ENVIRONMENT: Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole laid out an environment plan for Canada to meet or exceed the Liberal plan, create jobs, and keep his promise to scrap the Liberal carbon tax. Read the plan here. Unlike the Liberal carbon tax, the Conservatives want 100% of what you and your businesses pay to go directly back to you to be used as Canadians want to live a greener life. Conservatives know Canadians are good stewards of the environment and will help us reduce our carbon footprint. O’Toole’s plan will not be an Ottawa-knows-best approach, but rather involves working collaboratively with our provincial partners to reduce emissions while supporting workers, jobs and all industries across this country. We know that Canada cannot afford the Liberal plan that has devasted Canada’s economy – particularly our energy sector. We will continue to support those companies making investment to be responsible stewards of our environment and expect companies wanting to do business in Canada to meet or exceed our high standards for clean, ethical industrial practices and resource development.
Safety & Security
LIBERALS’ CHINA PREFERENCE: Liberals once again sided with China ahead of national security and democracy. The Halifax Security Forum awards the John McCain award for leaders (REASON). When the award was intended to go to Taiwan President Tsai, Trudeau’s Liberal government threatened to pull funding from the event if they didn’t change the recipient. If Liberals are shilling for China’s communist regime, they cannot be standing up for Canada’s interest nor can they have our back.
FOREIGN PROPAGANGA: Conservatives called for the Broadcasting Act to be changed to prevent the use of foreign state-controlled media from spreading disinformation into Canada. The proposed amendments call for countries like China who have and do use state-owned media to spread misinformation to be ineligible for broadcasting licences.
THREATS TO CANADA: The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (of which MP Motz is a member) produced its 2020 annual report this week, focused on an update to the threats facing Canadians. It notes that with the decline of ISIS and al-Qaida threats are changing, however ISIS/ al-Qaida inspired attacks remain the top threat to Canada followed by other ideological movements like Incel (involuntarily celibate men) and white supremacists. Global threats have increased in the last five years, while threats against Canadians are on the rise. National Security teams stopped at least one planned terrorism attack since 2018 but no details are public.
FOREIGN ESPIONAGE: National security teams continue to work to prevent threats and interference from foreign governments or organizations. Canada’s science and technology sectors are a top target for espionage, such as planting spies through talent programs and academic exchanges. China, Russia and Iran all targeted Canadian, UK and US COVID research networks.
You can see the full public report here
COVER-UP: The Liberal MPs on the National Defence Committee worked with the Bloc to shut down the inquiry into why Minister Harjit Sajjan did nothing to act on reports of sexual harassment by the former Chief of Defence Staff, and has taken little-to-no action to reduce sexual assaults in the military. Rather than tackling this issue, they Liberals prefer to cover it up.
MISMANAGEMENT: The Liberals still have not found over 9,000 infrastructure projects they funded. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has noted that requests over several years have never been properly answered.
LIBERALS HELPING LIBERALS: The Liberals appointed a party insider (who violated the ethical guidelines) as Ambassador to Japan. Ian McKay is a former Liberal political aide, a failed Liberal candidate, a former Liberal party president, and was an advisor to Trudeau for the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations (you may recall Trudeau almost got Canada kicked out of this trade partnership). McKay was previously appointed as CEO of the Invest in Canada agency to increase foreign investment into Canada. McKay failed to disclose to the Ethics Commissioner that he was on the Board of a cannabis company while the legalization process was still ongoing. He was ordered to resign. Another Liberal convicted of breaking ethics laws gets promoted.
And lastly – how many billions of your tax dollars does it take to get Justin Trudeau re-elected? We’ll find out on Monday!
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR APRIL 9
Parliament rose on March 26 and resumes sitting on April 12. MP Motz is in Ottawa next week.
LIBERALS SKIP WORK: Liberal and NDP Conventions run this weekend. Liberal Ministers for Health (Patty Hajdu) and Procurement (Anita Anand) opted to skip any House of Commons accountability in favour of attending the Liberal convention this week. Party before country.
COVID INQUIRY: Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has promised a full national public inquiry into Canada’s pandemic response in light of the poor response from the Liberals and the impacts it has had on Canadians. A National Inquiry would require full disclosure from people involved in the pandemic to an independent panel who would review the response and recommend how to prepare for a future pandemic. The Auditor General has already determined that the response was too slow in relation to the warnings and the government was ill-equipped to manage a health pandemic. Canada continues to lack a recovery plan or timeline. We know that the Liberals have taken dramatic steps to cover up their poor response including refusing to release their vaccine contracts, refusing to disclose critical information to Parliament, filibustering committees to prevent studies that reveal their poor planning, and shutting down Parliament to cover up scandals.
THIRD WAVE: Many parts of the country re-entered COVID lockdowns again as a ‘third wave’ hit many regions. Premiers have noted that there has been a slow and inconsistent delivery of vaccines. Liberals have suggested that provinces are the problem, but the problem is clearly vaccine deliveries. While the Liberals suggest there are a large number of doses in freezers, most of them were delivered this last week as Canada received large shipments in the past 14 days. Given the lag and inconsistent deliveries from the federal government, the provinces have been limited in how many people could be scheduled. It is just another example of the Liberals trying to get other people to wear their failures.
COVID & VACCINES
CANADIAN VACCINES IN 6 YEARS: Prime Minister Trudeau announced the federal government would be spending $415 M to create vaccine manufacturing capacity in Canada. Under this plan, federal and Ontario governments will partner with Sanofi Pasteur Canada to expand the Sanofi operations in Canada. This partnership will create capacity to produce enough vaccines for the entire country in 6 months by 2027. While welcome news – it is clearly 7 years later than needed. Sanofi’s presence is not unexpected: executives from Sanofi sit on the Liberal’s Immunization Advisory Panel but Sanofi has no viable vaccines for COVID.
VACCINATION TIMELINE UNKNOWN: Prime Minister Trudeau told Liberal party members at a closed event for Minister Anita Anand (who is responsible for buying vaccines) that all Canadians are likely to be vaccinated by June. Today it seems unlikely people will be vaccinated by September, let alone June. For Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, two doses are needed to be vaccinated and in shorter timelines – Canada is spacing out vaccines by 4 months instead of the 4 weeks recommended.
CANADA 45th: Canada currently sits 21st globally in doses administered, 38th in doses per capita, and 45th in people completely vaccinated. Only 2% of Canadians have received both doses of their vaccines. Canada has not begun using either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (single dose, lower effectiveness) but has begun using the AstraZeneca vaccine (two doses). The AstraZeneca vaccine has come under recent scrutiny by experts for links to medical issues related to the vaccine.
CHIEF SCIENTISTS OPPOSES VACCINE PLAN: Canada’s rollout of vaccine continues to delay second doses for several months despite warnings that there is little research to show that spreading out the doses will provide similar levels of protection. The vaccines are effective 92-95% of the time when a second dose is administered within 3-5 weeks. Spreading out the doses to 24 weeks, lowers the effectiveness of the vaccine and increases risks to Canadians. The Chief Scientist of Canada, Dr. Mona Nemer, has spoken against the government’s direction to provinces to spread out vaccinations noting there is no scientific evidence that this method will be effective. It seems clear from the Prime Minister’s comments that he is seeking a political victory of more single doses administered, instead of following medical advice to administer two doses appropriately
ASTRAZENECA VACCINE ISSUES: The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations recommended pausing the use of AstraZeneca for anyone under the age of 55 because of recent risks and the emerging data. The federal government has not yet changed its directed use of the vaccine. Over the past month there have been several notable times that the Committee, Health Canada and the Chief Science Officer of Canada have disagreed.
CHINA: Once again China is interfering with a healthier world. The World Health Organization released a report that it is likely that COVID began by spreading from an animal to humans, but they cannot be certain because China prevented them from accessing original data and samples and blocking the researchers’ work. The Liberals once again passed up the opportunity to call on China to be open and transparent and support the research. Democratic allies including the US, EU, and Australia all condemned China for its obstructions.
AUDIT OF PANDEMIC RESPONSE: The Auditor General has determined that Canada was poorly prepared for the pandemic and responded slowly despite warnings that COVID would hit Canada. In her report, she noted that the early warning system did not issue an emergency alert that would have triggered greater action because the Liberals disabled the ability for them to issue those alerts without seeking senior management approvals. She noted that early screening measures were ineffective and incomplete, the Public Health Agency lacked the appropriate staff, and there were insufficient measures to prevent people who were sick from spreading the illness in the community. Her findings reinforce what Conservatives have said numerous times – Liberals reacted slowly, did not take the threat seriously, and did not implement effective measures to prevent COVID from entering Canada.
JOBS & ECONOMY
HIGHER TAXES: The Liberals kept their promise to increase taxes on all Canadians with a 25% increase in carbon taxes. Canadians can expect their fuel, energy, home heating/cooling costs to increase this year. Note that because the GST is charged on the carbon tax, the impact is more than just the 25%! Other tax increases that kicked in on April 1 includes the alcohol tax – raising taxes on beer, alcohol and spirits for the third consecutive year. To-date, the Liberals have increased taxes and costs on small businesses, all Canadians who buy anything, municipalities, and provinces. Consumer taxes like GST and Carbon tax hit the working poor the hardest.
LYING ABOUT TAX HIKES: Conservatives and media raised concerns that the government once again lied about trying to raise taxes. The Liberals claimed they never looked at applying a capital gains tax on homeowners. However, media acquired documents show the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (a Crown corporation owned by the government of Canada) paid researchers $250,000 to examine the potential implementation and benefits. This would apply a 15% tax on the profits (the amount the house had increased since it was purchased) when homeowners sell their home. That would mean eventually the federal government would own 10% of future homes (as part of their first-time home buyer fiasco) AND would tax you 15% if you sold it for a profit.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: A new study by the Parliamentary Budget Officer finds that introducing a universal basic income would cost up to $98 billion per year depending on the terms set for the program, to provide any adult up to 64 with $17,000 per year and couples up to $24,000. Additional income earned would see the benefits reduce over time. The issue with universal basic income was studied in dept in BC found that a universal program was more costly and less effective than having dedicated programs to help specific groups. Rather than inventing an entirely new program, we should address the issues in the programs we do have. The Parliamentary Budget Officer only calculated the costs to provide the benefit to each individual who qualifies (people who would be unemployed or qualify for a disability program or other social supports).
HOUSING PRICES: Canada’s housing market continues to overheat, with average home prices increasing more than 150% over the last 20 years. Canada has the fastest rising housing costs in the developed world – and is putting home ownership out of reach for our children and grandchildren. https://financialpost.com/business-insider/a-review-of-canadas-housing-market-from-boom-to
HARDER TO BUY FIRST HOME: Federal regulators are looking at further barriers to new homeowners in an attempt to “cool down” the housing market. In 2019, the Liberals began requiring anyone buying a home to be able to manage up to 2% higher mortgage rates, making it significant harder for first-time home buyers to qualify for a mortgage without a 20% down payment. Now regulators are looking at buyers being able to afford 5.25%, up from 4.79%. This will make it even harder for first-time buyers to qualify for a mortgage, but it also suggests that regulators could be preparing for a rapid increase in interest rates and inflation. https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/canada-regulator-eyes-tougher-mortgage-rules-amid-bubble-fears-1.1587846
STIMULUS VS INFLATION: According to numerous reports, economists and think tanks, when Canada’s lockdowns and quarantines end, the economy will roar back with many jobs being restored. Several economists have said Canada will not need the $100 B in stimulus the Liberals want to spend and suggest reduced debt and returning to a balanced budget are more important. Failure to address our fiscal challenges today will inevitably lead to another fiscal crisis – just like the one created by Pierre Elliot Trudeau by increasing debt and deficits.
FAILING GRADE ON INFRASTRUCTURE: The Auditor General shone a spotlight on the government’s inept infrastructure plans once again, noting that thousands of projects amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars have little to no information, and their impacts or benefits are unknown. It is yet another sign of inept management by the Liberals. She also noted that the government’s infrastructure “stimulus” was years behind schedule and was missing their promised targets because 1) they don’t know how they spent the money, 2) they are behind in getting funding out the door. Many of our municipal leaders have said they have critical projects that need funding, especially in small communities. And yet, most of the project applications in our communities are rejected or they cannot afford the municipal portion of the project.
SECURITY & SAFETY
CHINA SANCTIONS CPC MP: China officially sanctioned Conservative MP Michael Chong who is the Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs for his leadership in condemning China’s genocide of the Uyghurs (a religious minority in China who are being forced into slave labour, re-education camps, and internment camps, and subjected to torture, rape and abuse as per international observers). China did not sanction any Cabinet Ministers – who refused to vote to recognize China’s genocide. Only one Cabinet Minister appeared before Parliament on the vote – Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau – and he abstained from voting.
FIREARMS: Bill C-21, the latest Liberal firearms bill that proposed to crack down on hunters and sport shooters, has been denounced by advocates on both sides of the debate. Firearms owners and users are angry that they have repeatedly been labeled criminals while criminals with illegal guns have seen no action plan by the Liberals. Anti-firearms groups who believe there should be no firearms in Canada have also denounced the Bill, stating that it does not go far enough in taking firearms away from people who have no criminal record. With no support, it seems unlikely the Bill will move forward however the Liberals have passed Bills before that were denounced by all Canadians.
SCANDAL & COVER-UP
MISLEADING PARLIAMENT & CANADIANS: It has become common place for the Liberals to block information, witnesses and obstruct the democratic process. Opposition MPs, led by the Conservatives, called key witnesses to testify – including several political aides who were revealed in documents to play key roles in both the WE Scandal and the attempts to cover up sexual misconduct by senior officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. When Conservatives called aides to Justin Trudeau and former Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the House Leader Pablo Rodrigues appeared. However, Rodrigues didn’t provide any answers – he merely answered repeatedly that he did not know or wasn’t aware of the answer. The Liberals have refused to provide the people who can answer the questions of Parliament such as who was tasked with investigating the allegations against former Chief of Defence Staff Vance and who authorized WE Companies to spend money on the program before the agreement was signed.
ELECTIONS ACT CHANGES: One of the few pieces of legislation that the Liberal government continues to press forward is changes to the Elections Act to allow for a pandemic election. Despite his empty promises for no Spring Election, most Canadians know that it is likely the Liberals will attempt to engineer an election for May or June – likely using the Budget on April 19 to present their election platform. Liberal legislation that is pushed through Parliament quickly almost always has serious flaws and issues – as seen clearly with the pandemic response legislation that left millions of Canadians behind until issues were addressed.
WE SCANDAL CONTINUES: Witnesses who testified before Parliament about the WE Scandal were contacted by the Elections Commissioner to follow-up on the evidence that the WE Charity group promoted the Liberals and Justin Trudeau in 2015 and 2019 during the election, but never registered with Elections Canada. This is in contravention of Canada’s elections law. Elections Canada stated they make investigations public and do not comment on ongoing investigations.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MARCH 27
CONSERVATIVE PLAN Over the weekend, Erin O’Toole laid out the path to a stronger Canada through a complete pandemic recovery. First and foremost, it is a return to good government and common sense:
Secure the 1 million lost jobs since COVID started: These jobs are critical for restoring our local economy, supporting small business and helping families get back on their feet. When families and companies are secure, the government can follow.
Improve Accountability: The Liberals have repeatedly undermined our ethical laws by ignoring direction from Parliament, withholding information, blocking debate and using taxpayer money to help their friends. It is clear that Canada needs to toughen consequences for unethical politicians.
Address Mental Health: While the pandemic highlighted our lack of mental health support, this has been a growing problem that has been pushed aside for too long. Whether it is addiction, suicide, public safety, support for those with serious mental illness or helping those who are in crisis, we need to do better. We can do this by improving access to emergency help, supporting those in crisis instead of leaving it to police to respond, and addressing Canada’s other major crisis – the major opioid crisis that has taken more lives than COVID.
Emergency Readiness: Canada was worse off because of the cuts by the Liberals and by their lack of action when the pandemic started. Conservatives would restore pandemic stockpiles, ensure domestic capacity for emergencies in the future, and make sure we can make vaccines here in Canada.
Restore Canada’s Fiscal Management: Under the Liberals, Canada’s runaway spending has put a massive debt and burden on our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. Conservatives will balance the budget – which could take as long as ten years – through a combination of spending reviews, economic growth, and smart and honest governance. We would kill the Liberal’s carbon tax that has not reduced emissions and create a responsible plan to cut emissions.
WHERE IS THE LIBERAL PLAN? Conservatives – having tabled their ideas over the weekend – called for the Liberals to provide a plan to all Canadians on re-opening the economy and getting Canada back on track. Specifically, when Canadians can expect to be able to resume social life and regular economic activities. The Liberals – joined by the NDP and the Bloc – voted against providing a plan to Canadians. The only condition was to have the Liberals provide that plan to Canadians before the Budget. If the government cannot even provide a clear idea of when Canadians can expect life to return to normal and what needs to happen, they cannot claim to have a plan or even to be transparent.
MP Motz was in Ottawa this week to take part in Committee meetings and House of Commons Debates. You can see some of the highlights here: www.Facebook.com/GlenMotz
SLOW PANDEMIC RESPONSE: The favourite line of the Liberals this month has been, “Since Day 1 of COVID, our government has been working hard to protect Canadians.” The only problem is that Day 1 of COVID was in December 2019 and the Liberals only said there was a problem in mid-March of 2020. The Auditor General released her reports on several issues including border screening and the policies to prevent COVID from entering Canada. AG Hogan found the Liberals were slow to react, were not prepared for the pandemic despite the warnings and underestimated the threat early on. You can read all the reports here: https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_202103_e_43771.html
The Auditor General tabled three other reports on the Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Infrastructure plan. Some key points include:
Federal employees: The Auditor repeatedly noted that public servants responded rapidly and worked hard to support Canada during the crisis. As many Canadians know, the Liberal government implemented these programs through legislation where it called on Parliament to pass it without debate or review – which resulted in numerous issues. The Emergency Response Benefit program ended in 2020 and was replaced by three other programs (which were delayed because the Liberal prorogued Parliament to cover up their scandal).
Wage Subsidy: At a cost of $100 Billion, the wage subsidy program was determined to lack some reporting and controls, as well as earnings information when the program began. The decision was made to move the program forward and deal with issues later. The wage subsidy was originally announced as a 10% support for businesses, with small business groups and Conservative MPs immediately signalling the need for higher rates. The call for a 75% subsidy by the Conservatives was eventually adopted. It took nearly 3 months for the program to send out payments.
Emergency Response Benefit: The program was effective in helping those with no income due to the pandemic but has also seen abuse. The Auditor recommended using the roll out as a template for future programs – incorporating the many changes that were needed along the way.
BUDGET WATCH 2021:
BUDGET: Liberals finally announced their Budget date of April 19, 2021. It has been 738 days since our last federal budget and Canada could go more than 750 days between having a fiscal plan. (The term “fiscal plan” is being used loosely because the past few federal budgets have contained no plan to manage deficits, debt, inflation or rising taxes and costs). As Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre noted, April Fools is coming late this year!
COVID & VACCINES
SLOW VACCINATIONS: Canada is currently ranked 49thoverall in total vaccine doses administered at over 4 M, roughly 9% of the population. However, only 1.7% of the population received two doses (the proper vaccination regime). Canada sits last in the G7 in total doses administered, last in people with completed vaccinations. We sit 13th in the G20, behind most contemporary countries in the European Union – and about the same level of vaccinations as Romania, France, and Italy.
VACCINES: Canada had additional vaccine delays with Moderna announcing they would delay a shipment of 600,000 vaccines to Canada – moving the delivery of vaccines to next week. Canada will also be receiving surplus AstraZeneca vaccines from the US next week – bringing total vaccine deliveries to 3.2 M next week with an additional 850,000 the week after. It seems that the predictions of all the vaccines for Canada coming at the end of the quarter (Canada’s contracts have quarterly quotas, but not monthly or weekly ones based on past government comments – the contracts are still being blocked from release) raises the question – if Canada had a better contract with guaranteed regular deliveries, would Health Canada have recommended spreading out doses by 4 months instead of manufacturer approved 4-5 weeks?
SCIENCE OPPOSES LIBERAL PLANS: This week, Chief Science Officer Dr. Mona Nemer, whose specialty is pharmacology and molecular genetics, stated that the Liberal government’s plan to give seniors two doses of vaccine 4 months apart is not supported by research and that the delay between doses is not justified. Revised federal guidelines on two-dose vaccines suggested spreading out the doses more – and many provinces to change their rollout plans as a result (keep in mind, the federal government controls who gets the vaccines). Dr. Nemer stated that extending the time between doses reduced the level of immunity – and it would have a very negative impact on seniors and those who are immune-compromised.
VACCINE GOUGE: Canada’s costs per vaccine appear to be much higher than the US or EU based on rough estimates by CTV News. Liberals have refused to provide any information on their contracts, even while other countries have made contracts and information public. While the US is paying $19-24 for doses, and the EU paid $18-27 per dose, Canada appears to be paying $34.51 per dose – 27 to 91% more than US or EU. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-spent-24m-on-covid-19-vaccines-received-in-january-statcan-1.5335083
ECONOMY & JOBS
CARBON TAX: The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Constitutionality of the federal carbon tax. It passed sixvs three, with three Members of the Court calling the Act unconstitutional. Justice Cote of Quebec said the issue was a national concern, but as drafted should not be upheld. Justices Brown (AB) and Rowe (NFLD) found the Bill unconstitutional and said the federal government did not have the authority to pass the Bill as it fell into federal and provincial authorities. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole promised to repeal the Carbon Tax because it has raised the cost of everything for Canadians while not reducing emissions as promised.
SMALL BUSINESSES: The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses recently reported that small businesses across the country continue to face major issues: only 62% are fully open, 44% are fully staffed (meaning 56% have below-normal job levels), and only 31% are making normal sales levels. When more than 2 of 3 small businesses in Canada are not able to meet revenues to stay afloat, it means millions of jobs are at risk; and if two-of-three companies close, it will devastate our economy.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The Parliamentary Budget Office this week reported that the Canada Infrastructure Bank had failed to attract private sector investments into infrastructure – which was the point of creating this $35 B government agency. The report found the Infrastructure Bank lagged in job creation, spending and economic impacts. In five years since its creation, it has committed to only 5 projects. An additional 8 projects are under consideration out of 420 proposals. The Auditor General’s report on Infrastructure spending was similarly negative – in particular noting that half of the projects they have taken credit for were legacy projects from previous government commitments. they lacked appropriate accounting and didn’t know where almost half of spending went, and that billions have gone unspent even as Canada has serious problems with critical infrastructure. It all points out that the Liberals have badly mismanaged the nearly $200 billion plan.
BANNING AIRSOFT: In case you missed it, the Liberals have proposed in their latest firearms Bill to ban airsoft (plastic pellet guns) and paintball guns. Whether you agree with legal, responsible firearms ownership or not – we can all agree that banning things for being gun-like is ridiculous. But it is also putting hundreds of companies, thousands of jobs, and millions of tourism event revenues at risk.
KITIMAT LNG: Chevron Canada announced this week that in 15 months, they couldn’t find any partners willing to invest in Canada. They have withdrawn their investment in the $24 billion dollar project which ends the potential for 4,500 jobs, as well as the potential displacement of replacing coal with cleaner burning natural gas.
JOBS LOST: The Liberals have continued their assault on jobs across Canada, in particular in the West where they have fewer voters and opportunities for seats. Here is a short list of SOME of the industries negatively impacted by their policies, lack of trade negotiations and their inability to act:
Infrastructure: tens of thousands of jobs in building infrastructure have declined as projects lagged, and projects like LNG are cancelled.
Energy: nearly 100,000 jobs have been lost and tens of billions to our economy as pipelines were cancelled, projects shut down by regulatory red tape, and environmental protests blocked their advancement.
Plastics: Canada’s plastics manufacturers and petrochemical producers have been hit by product bans in the middle of a pandemic for “single-use plastics”. It should be noted that many long-term care facilities, hospitals and health care providers have moved to single use products during the pandemic to help fight infection and spread of the virus
Softwood: The American tariffs on softwood lumber have badly damaged that industry, resulting in the shut down of many mills and operations. Despite 6 years and a completely new free-trade agreement, the Liberals have not done anything to address the barriers to the US market. Canadians are now facing record level lumber prices.
Tourism: The tourism industry employs millions of Canadians and was hit hard by the pandemic. The industry continues to be on hold as Canada still has no back to normal plan.
SAFETY & SECURITY
HUAWEI REVIEW: Canada is now in the fourth year of its review of Huawei – well over 1,000 days – and there is still no decision on the calls to ban Huawei from our 5G technologies due to the national security control that the Chinese government has over their companies. Senior government officials have already confirmed that this decision is entirely in the hands of Cabinet – they completed their work. The House of Commons voted to force a decision on the Huawei ban – which the Liberals have ignored.
FIREARMS Shootings: Liberal claims that their firearms measures reduce violence or shootings have been proven false. While past and current policies have focused on legal, law-abiding firearms owners, shootings and homicides in Canada shot up. One of the most accurate reports for shootings and homicides is the Toronto Police Service: In 2020, the number of shootings in Toronto hit record levels – most coming after the Liberals banned legal firearms – a 45% increase in shootings in Toronto in 2020.
TWO MICHAELS: Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrigwere put before the Communist Chinese kangaroo courts this week. Chinese regime continued their inhumane and aggressive policy to punish these Canadians in retribution for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei wanted in the US for wire transfer fraud and violating sanctions by selling equipment to Iran. They are being tried for espionage, and China has barred Canadian officials from attending the trials. Michael Spavor’s trial – which lasted 2 hours – ended without a verdict. Michael Kovrigwill be tried soon as well. Michael Spavor ran a tourism company in China, while Michael Kovrig is a former Canadian public servant who worked at the Embassy prior to entering the private sector.
MISCONDUCT & SCANDAL
SAJJAN INQUIRY: More questions this week on why the Minister of National Defence who had promised to eliminate sexual harassment in the military didn’t do anything (in fact he refused to hear the facts) when the Canadian Forces Ombudsman attempted to brief him on the issue. Numerous political aides – including Stephen Harper’s former Chief of Staff – have been called to give testimony. Sajjan’s top political aide at the time – Zita Astravas – has been summoned to testify before Parliament but has refused to respond. After the Clerk of the Committee reported he could not locate her, it was pointed out that she now works for the Minister of Public Safety. When I asked Bill Blair about getting his top aide to testify, Liberal MPs and the Liberal Chair of the Committee blocked the question and helped the Minister avoid his responsibilities.
LIBERALS USING INFLUENCERS: On social media, individuals with a large following are typically called “Influencers” and will make money promoting products and services – often related to their area of expertise. Media reports this week have shown that the Liberal government has been using Influencers to try and improve how Canadians view the leadership of their departments and agencies during the COVID pandemic. There are potential positives from the plan – to better inform Canadians – however the highest risk populations are seniors and those with health complications. If you are trying to reach that demographic, Influencers is not the way to go. This seems to be entirely about getting younger generations to see their performance as better.
FILIBUSTERS: With the pandemic and shutdowns taking up much of the news cycles, few Canadians are aware of the anti-democratic actions of Liberals MPs to block information, witnesses, studies and investigations in Parliament. The Liberal backbench MPs have filibustered over 20 hours of Committee time – which involves using their privileges to speak non-stop until all meeting times have been used up and no votes or directions can be taken. To-date, they have worked to cover up disclosure of vaccine contracts, reviews of the pandemic border policies, investigations into the Defence Minister and Prime Minister’s cover ups of sexual misconduct allegations, multiple Ethics investigations into Ministers, the WE Scandal and more. To-date, the Liberals have been blocking the work of the Procedure and House Affairs committee for more than a month.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MARCH 12
MP Motz was in Ottawa this week for meetings.
ASSISTED SUICIDE: The Liberals and Bloc voted on Thursday to pass the revised Medical Assistance in Dying legislation that was amended by the Senate to allow those with a mental health challenge including depression to access assisted suicide. All Conservatives, including MP Motz, voted against this Bill, as did all the NDP, two of three Green Party members, 3 Liberal MPs, and two independent MPs including Jody Wilson-Raybould.
CONSERVATIVE MOMENTUM: In recent weeks, Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives have been building momentum on pressing for a better and more accountable government for Canadians:
Called for Carbon Capture and use/storage in Budget 2021
Leading a House of Commons vote to demand support for hard hit sectors of the economy and workers in Budget 2021.
Promised to repeal C-71, the Order in Council on firearms ban and go after criminals and illegal firearms
Established a Parliamentary Committee on Canada-US Relations in light of deepening economic barriers to Canadian jobs
Pressing to implement the recommendations from the Canada-China Committee including banning Huawei from our 5G network
Exposed Liberal hypocrisy on China by leading the House to recognize China’s genocide of Uighurs minority communities
Pressed the Liberals on their lack of action and leadership on sexual harassment in the military
Continued to press for a clear, thorough vaccination plan for Canada
LIBERALS VOTE AGAINST JOBS: The only party to vote against the Conservative motion to support jobs, small businesses, and to ensure that any airline industry support includes consumer refunds and restoring regional routes were the Liberals – including the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Finance.
BUDGET WATCH 2021:
APRIL BUDGET?: Liberals announced this week there would not be a federal budget until mid-April, possibly later. March is typically the deadline for budgets because the fiscal year ends March 31 for the federal government. Any programs, subsidies or employments that require budget funding to continue are effectively unfunded until the Budget is tabled and a decision is available. For planning, it makes issues like boosts to student employment harder because there is little planning time between the Budget and the end school to get the money where it is needed. It is another example of mismanagement by the Liberal government.
It has been 724 days since the Liberals presented a Budget and economic plan to Canada.
COVID & VACCINES
NEED FOR A PLAN: Conservatives have continued their call for a clear plan to get out of the pandemic. Liberals Ministers appeared at Committee this week admitting there was no data or evidence to support their mandatory hotel quarantine. Dr Isaac Bogoch from University of Toronto provided the only explanation suggesting it was a good “precautionary” measure, when done correctly (in reference to effective programs overseas, not the Liberals disastrous plans). The Liberals have blocked the release of their vaccine contracts, lockdown information, and have filibustered (talked endlessly to prevent debate or evidence from being provided). The Liberals poor management of most parts of the pandemic have resulted in a slower vaccination schedule, deeper levels of unemployment, and more business closures and they continue to refuse to provide their plan to get out of the pandemic using constantly changing timelines and no long term planning. Ending lockdown plans are now available in a number of countries like the UK
NOT MY JOB: MP Motz and members of the Public Safety Committee questioned Ministers on the horrific conditions at the government’s mandatory hotel quarantines sites including lack of food and water, unclean conditions, lack or poor of quarantine measures, impossible delays in bookings, and inaccurate information being provide to people at the hotels. Following the assault of two women – one in a Montreal quarantine where all the door locks were removed from the rooms, the other by a federally contracted screening officer in her home under quarantine. Ministers were “deeply saddened” by the assaults but are not willing to do anything to address the conditions or safety issues. Security is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, who denied multiple first-hand accounts and media reports that locks were removed from mandatory hotel quarantines. The Minister of Public Safety stated he held no accountability for the safety of people in these facilities, despite his job being the safety and security of Canadians. Over the meeting it became clear the Ministers would take no responsibility for their decisions, and were not interested in addressing any failing conditions.
REPORT ON HOTELS: The Faces of Advocacy group published their report on 500 people who had been forced into quarantine titled “Hotel Quarantine Safety Index”. Their report linked the quarantine and travel restrictions to declining mental health, prolonged separation of families, breakdown of relationships, increased suicidal ideation, job losses and financial hardships.
HOTEL PUNISHMENT: The Liberals defended their decision to maintain a hotel quarantined noting it decreased international flight arrivals by 59%. The Liberals have not bothered to note the differences between Canadians and residents who need to travel and discretionary travel, or that most people have just shifted travel plans to arrive at land crossings instead of airports. What is clear is this is not a policy about protecting Canadians and prevent illness but an attempt to dissuade or punish Canadians who have to travel. Some examples of travel highlighted in the Face’s of Advocacy report includes people returning to Canada after years abroad, final visit for a palliative relative, and family reunification after working aboard.
A particularly clear example of neglect from the government’s facilities: A young couple with a one year old child booked into federal quarantine hotel was initially denied a crib or playpen, and then a folding playpen was provided but with no mattress (meaning the child would have to sleep directly on hard iron bars at the bottom). And no food was given for their child because the room was a two-adult room.
ASTRAZENECA VACCINE: Denmark has paused its use of the vaccine after the death of a citizen from a blood clot after received it. Details are not immediately available and there is no direct evidence the blood clot was related to the vaccination. The circumstances are under investigation by European and Denmark health authorities. The vaccine has been given to millions around the world without many significant 9reports of health impacts. Canada is scheduled to begin receiving this vaccine in the near future.
JOBS & ECONOMY
JOBS & SMALL BUSINESS: Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole called for significant measures in the next budget to help struggling families and workers including:
Support for hard hit industries like tourism, hospitality and charitable sector;
Restore regional airline services and provide customer refunds as part of an airline repayable loans; and
Improve support for small and medium businesses.
Bloc and NDP supported the call, while the Liberals opposed it. Liberals promises of help in the past have been empty (example: promised help for energy workers), deeply flawed and at times, overly bureaucratic. The motion was strongly supported by small business groups across the country. The Liberals must either ensure it is their next Budget, or go against the will of the House of Commons.
SALARIES STAGNATING: Statistics Canada reports this week showed that Canadians were seeing tough times before 2020 hit. Salaries in 2019 (based on tax filings) only increased 0.5% versus 1.4% in 2018. It shows that Canadians were worse off entering the pandemic.
SAFETY & SECURITY
FIREARMS: Liberals have allowed very limited debate time to move their proposed changes to firearms laws forward, potentially due to the negative response from nearly every side. The Bill ignores the vast majority of crime guns and ignores people using firearms illegally (criminals) and goes after legal owners for the actions of gangs. Bill C-21 would also make replica firearms, airsoft and paintball firearms illegal in some cases. Airsoft is a game played by adults and youth involving small plastic pellets powered by batteries. The Bill has caused hundreds of small businesses and thousands of users to organize against the legislation. Beyond the attack to law-abiding Canadians while ignoring criminals, these and other Liberal bills have put thousands of small businesses, tens of thousands of jobs in jeopardy during a pandemic.
MISCONDUCT & SCANDAL & HUMOUR
MISSING PERSONS: Liberal Chair of the Defence Committee reported that she was unable to find a witness sought by the Committee. The witness, Zita Astravas, is the former Chief of Staff to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and was linked to blocking investigations into sexual misconduct by senior military leadership. She wasn’t hard to track down as she works for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. She was found very quickly as Opposition MPs provided a list of potential contacts.
MORE LIES: This week it was shown that both the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence were aware of the allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against senior military leaders in 2018 but chose not to act. Both the Prime Minister and the Minister have repeated told Canadians they had first found out in 2021 when it was in the news.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR MARCH 5, 2021
It was one year ago this week that Liberal Health Minister told Canadians for last time that the risk of COVID “remains low” despite the confirmation of the virus in several Canadian provinces. By March 11, Canada would grow from a handful of cases to over 100, the Prime Minister would self-isolate at his cottage and as of March 13, Parliament would be suspended.
Results of the Budget 2021 survey are in. You can view them at https://glenmotzmp.com/budget-consultation-survey-results/. Thanks to those who participated.
Conservatives have called for the Liberals to end the mandatory hotel quarantines for air travelers and allow Canadians to quarantine at home as is the case with land crossings. This follows reports that Canadians have been assaulted in federal quarantine, have been placed in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, dietary restrictions being unmet and food and water being unavailable. Room bookings for the mandatory hotel quarantine can take hours or days to book. This week Conservatives called an emergency meeting to summon officials and Ministers to explain the situation. Officials and Ministers Hajdu and Blair have said they won’t be available for the next 1-2 weeks. While Canadians suffer in these deplorable conditions, Liberals in charge won’t even provide an explanation into their terrible plans.
COVID & VACCINES
Health Canada today approved another vaccine – Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been shown to be 85% effective and requires just one dose. Canada has an order for 10 M doses of the vaccine.
Last Friday’s announcement was that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was approved by Health Canada for all ages while the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations recommended against giving it to seniors. AstraZeneca’s vaccine has had less testing on seniors than others and requires two shots 12 weeks apart to be 85% effective. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines being used today have two shots administered four weeks apart. For a detailed look click here
Canada climbed this week to 44th globally in vaccines for percentage of Canadians who have received at least one vaccination (4.3%). Only 1.5% of Canadians have received two doses. Canada needed a vaccination rate of 2 M per week from February to reach our vaccination targets by September. Trudeau and the Liberals have yet to tell Canadians and the provinces how these approvals will impact delivery.
ECONOMY & JOBS
Justin Trudeau presided over the worst year for Canada’s economy and jobs since Canada began keeping records. Canada continues to lag behind all other G7 countries on unemployment and economic development according to international monitors. It seems the chickens have come home to roost – since Trudeau has been saying for the last 6 years that Stephen Harper had the worst economic results of any Canadian Prime Minister (primarily because of the 2008 Global Fiscal Crisis).
Conservatives urged the Liberals to include carbon capture, utilization and storage technology adoption in Budget 2021 providing a tax advantage to companies who invest in this technology that captures CO2 from emission sources and either stores it or converts the carbon into useable products like graphene. Canada has been a leader in this technology for a decade – primarily in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Recently, Elon Musk offered a $100 M prize for a carbon capture contest.
Erin O’Toole called for Canada to deepen economic ties with India following ongoing trade challenges with dictatorships like China. Under the Harper government, a trade deal was being discussed between the countries, but it has not been a priority for the Liberals. After Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India, our trade has fallen to under 3% growth annually (less than inflation in India). India has over 1.1 Billion people and has agreed to send Canada supplies since we lack and have not created our own vaccine manufacturing.
SAFETY & SECURITY
While the Liberals continue their appeasement of dictatorships and despots, US and UK are not. US and EU have taken action to sanction the Russian government related to the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned outside of Russia and then arrested and imprisoned when he recovered and returned. Canada continues to avoid imposing sanctions on the Russian government despite having powers under the Magnitsky Act.
SCANDALS / CORRUPTION / MISCONDUCT
The Liberal government was again caught cutting funding for the disabled. Conservative MP Raquel Dancho has exposed the Liberal $4 M in cuts to two organizations who provide reading materials to millions of Canadians with low-vision or blindness, learning disabilities and those with physical disabilities. Since coming into office, the Liberals were forced to reverse cuts in 2018 to non-profits providing services to the visually impaired and in 2016 were caught cutting off people with diabetes from disability tax credits and savings programs.
This week’s media reports confirmed that the Liberal Defence Minister and the Prime Minister’s department were made aware of sexual misconduct allegations against the Chief of Defence Staff in 2018 – which directly contradicts both Trudeau’s and Defence Minister’s Sajjan’s testimony that they only learned about it recently. It is yet another lie in a long list of lies to Canadians.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 27, 2021
COWARDS: This week, the House of Commons voted to call China’s treatment of religious minorities a genocide. Clear evidence and reports have shown that China is forcing the Uighurs and other Muslims into forced labour camps, forced sterilization, and “re-education” facilities. In an act of utter cowardice, the Prime Minister, his cabinet, and many Liberal MP’s failed to even show up to vote. Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau did vote to abstain – therefore avoiding to call out China’s brutal regime.
PHARMACARE: An NDP Bill calling for the federal government to establish a national pharmacare plan was defeated when the Liberals voted against the Bill. The Liberals promised in the last election (as well as the one before, and before that…) to create a national pharmacare strategy. Trudeau voted against the Bill claiming that the NDP pharmacare strategy didn’t have provincial support. That lack of provincial support has not stopped Trudeau from implementing a carbon tax, banning single-use plastics during a pandemic, actively undermining and destroying Alberta’s energy sector, nor to implement ineffective and wasteful firearms bans that ignore crime and gangs. Conservatives did not support the Bill, noting that multiple reports show only a small number of Canadians lack access to a prescription drug plan – and efforts should be focused on those Canadians.
MAID: Bill C-7, the Medical Assistance in Dying Legislation tabled by the Liberals during the COVID pandemic, was returned to the House of Commons after the Senate amended the Bill. It would allow access to suicide for people with mental illness (including depression) to be the sole underlying illness. MP Motz has voted against this legislation previous – and will not be supporting C-7 now.
VACCINATIONS & COVID
ASTRAZENECA APPROVED: Health Canada today approved the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, as well as the serum produced in India for COVID-19. This clears the way for the Liberals to take up to 1.9 M doses from the COVAX vaccination fund primarily intended for developing countries. Canada has secured a deal with an Indian company to provide doses for Canada – a deal that might not have happened if MP Michelle Rempel Garner had not pressed the Liberals to reach out to India for support.
CANADIAN VACCINATIONS: Canada currently sits 64th in the World – primarily due to one month of nearly no vaccine deliveries. Canada now sits at approximately 4.5% of citizens vaccinated. This is less than one-third of seniors – those most vulnerable to the illness. The US currently sits at 20%.
RE-OPENING: In order to meet the government’s announced deadline of re-opening the economy and society by September 2021, Canada needs to have approximately 70% of the population vaccinated. That works out to about 2 million vaccinations per week between April 1 to September 30th to reach that goal. Canada has been unable to vaccinate that many Canadians over the last 5 weeks in total.
VACCINE DELIVERIES: The Liberals announced that Canada would receive between 444,000 and 475,000 doses per week of vaccines until the end of March. For Alberta, that means over 365,000 doses (enough for 182,000 people to get two doses). While this is a dramatic improvement from the weeks of zero – it is far behind the 2 million per week needed. Liberals continue to block and filibuster any attempts to publicly release the contracts with vaccine manufacturers, making it impossible to know why Canada is so far behind other countries.
JOBS & ECONOMY
CRB EXTENDED: The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which replaced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to address numerous gaps, flaws and people excluded from help by the Liberal’s initial legislation, has been extended to up to 38 weeks of support and is now planned to end September 25, 2021. This is a 12-week extension of the program.
BUDGET 2021 WATCH: The Liberals have not tabled a Budget in 2 years – the last one coming February 2019. This is the longest period in Canada’s history to have no fiscal plan. This comes at a time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted Canada’s regulatory barriers, complex tax systems, trade barriers and low productivity could make recovery more challenging. They also noted that the entire $100 B promised for stimulus spending may not be justified given Canada’s growing debt and deficits. The IMF also called for a fiscal policy – since the Liberals have abandoned their ratio of GDP to debt as the crisis hit. Since taking office over 5 years ago, the Liberals have doubled Canada’s total debt which will have a lasting impact on social spending, taxation and competitiveness for decades to come.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS & CHINA
CANADA-CHINA & HUMAN RIGHTS: The House of Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations – a committee created by Conservatives following the ongoing conflict with the Communist Chinese government – tabled their unanimous, all-party support to address riding Chinese government hostilities and the state of aggression against the democracy in Hong Kong. The report recommended creating a broader international coalition of democracies against China’s oppressions, the creation of a special UN position to monitor China’s crack down on Hong Kong, sanction Chinese officials under the Magnitsky Act for corrupt foreign officials, and allow more asylum claimants for those trying to flee communist rule. There are up to 300,000 Canadian citizens in Hong Kong. See the full report here.
CANADA-US: Trudeau met with US President Joe Biden this week, but Trudeau failed to secure access to the American vaccine surplus, did not raise the issue of the Keystone XL cancellation and has not convinced Americans to remove Buy American policies impacting Canadian companies. They did reach a mutual understanding on combating climate change.
SAFETY & SECURITY
ATTACKS IN QUARNATINE: Conservatives have demanded an emergency hearing to address multiple attacks on Canadians in quarantine. A woman serving her quarantine at home was attacked this week by the private security official who came to inspect her compliance measures. After demanding cash, he attacked and assaulted her. Additionally, a woman in a hotel quarantine in Montreal was attacked. The Hotel is being managed by the federal government.
CRIMINAL CODE CHANGES: The Liberals proposed criminal code changes this week, calling for reduced sentences, legalization of drugs, and eliminating mandatory minimum sentences. This Bill could eliminate minimum prison sentences for drug traffickers and violent firearms offenders. Conservatives plan a detailed and thorough review of the Bill, given the recent Liberal track record of rushing Justice reforms through Parliament to avoid scrutiny.
CHIEF OF DEFENSE RESIGNS: A few weeks after an investigation began into sexual harassment and breach of military code of conduct by former Chief of Defense Staff Jonathan Vance, the current Chief of Defense Art McDonald stepped down after Canadian Forces Investigation Services opened an investigation.
MINISTER OF DEFENSE: Regarding the investigation into former Chief of Defense Jonathan Vance, Liberal Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan claims to have acted appropriately, but has refused to provide any evidence, state any actions, meetings or comments he made when he was briefed about the alleged inappropriate conduct.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 19, 2021
BIG WEEK: Conservatives had a big week in Ottawa pressing Liberals to create a better Canada, which included:
CPC Motion on China’s genocide & Olympic Games: Conservative Members are pressing the Liberals to call on the Olympic & Paralympic Committees to move the games from China as the Communist regime continues their genocide of Uighurs and Muslim minorities. This includes internment camps, forced sterilization, re-education camps and forced labour. Standing up and working to prevent a genocide should take priority for Canada over sending our athletes.
CPC Motion on National Human Trafficking Awareness: Conservatives brought forward a call to create a National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, led by Conservative Shadow Minister for Women and Diversity Jag Sahota (Calgary, AB). Too many Canadians often see trafficking as something that happens in other countries, however it is rampant in Canada as well. Human trafficking rings are often linked to domestic and international organized crime, and are typically linked to violence against women, abuse, drug addiction and often involves under-aged girls.
Creation of a Special committee on Canada-US relations: Conservatives passed a motion this week that will create a Special Committee to examine Canada-US relations. The proposal was tabled weeks ago but has only just been brought to a vote by the Liberals. The Committee will look at the recent trade challenges, border security issues, and was triggered by ongoing conflict between our countries recently highlighted by the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
ASSISTED SUICIDE: The Medical Assistance in Dying Bill C-7 that was introduced during the pandemic, has been modified in the Senate. When a Bill is modified by the Senate, it must be sent back to the House of Commons for review and approval or amendment. The House could restart debate on the Bill as early as next week.
COVID & VACCINES
FILIBUSTER: Liberal MPs continued their efforts to block release of information to Parliament. They filibustered the Health Committee, who will be voting to demand the release of Canada’s vaccine contracts – as most other democratic countries have done. The Health Committee is chaired by the Liberals and the Chair has permitted the Liberal members to speak non-stop for 5 hours to prevent a vote that would force the release of the vaccine contracts. It only begs the question – what is in those contracts that they would work this hard to cover up? https://ipolitics.ca/2021/02/12/liberal-mps-filibuster-conservatives-attempt-to-seek-release-of-vaccine-contracts/
COVID: As of February 18th reporting, Canada sits 60th in vaccinations – which does not help us return to a normal economy quickly and effectively. Instead, Canada is lagging behind most developed and many developing countries in vaccinations, which the Liberals say, is the only way to get back to normal. After three weeks of no or nearly no vaccinations which disrupted provincial vaccination schedules, the Liberals have promised that over 400,000 doses of vaccine would be delivered this week and more in the coming weeks. The Liberals have promised that 1/3rd of Canadians would be vaccinated by June (which media reports suggest is their desired election date).
ECONOMY & JOBS
FLIGHTS: West Jet has suspended more routes as the airline and the industry continue to struggle through the shutdown and decline in air travel. As of March 21, the flights between Calgary and Medicine Hat will be suspended, along with routes to Lloydminster (AB), London (ON). These are in addition to the flight suspensions to the Atlantic region announced previously.
BUDGET 2021: Surveys in advance of the Budget 2021 closed this week. The predominant theme from people across the riding was that Canada needs to get back to a proper economy and society as quickly as possible. The full details will be coming out soon and will be posted to social media and on this website.
PUBLIC SAFETY & BORDERS
FIREARMS: The Liberals tabled a new Firearms Act this week which once again focuses efforts on legal,registered, licensed, trained and responsible firearms owners. The Bill would legislate an optional buyback program without disclosing costs to Canadians, would require all firearms that are prohibited to remain locked away and unused, create a power for a municipal bylaw to ban handguns, and would create added opportunities for people to flag legal firearms owners as being a threat to themselves or others. The issues with this Bill are numerous and have met with backlash from legal firearms owners, firearms user groups, hunting and angling groups, and Canadian Olympic sport shooters. Anti-gun groups have also denounced the Bill. Some quick issues:
All the firearms being confiscated are legally purchased, RCMP-approved as having a legitimate purpose in Canada and held by only licensed owners. All but a few exceptions of shootings in Canada involve criminals with smuggled or stolen firearms. The Bill has ignored the people who carry out the shootings and will have no impact on gangs and criminals.
The proposed municipal handgun ban has been denounced by police and firearms groups as targeting legal, licensed and registered owners without targeting criminals. The municipal ban would allow cities to prohibit owners from having firearms within the city limits – which is legally challenging. Police – including RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki – have said the ban would be ineffective.
New “Flag” laws already exist. The Liberals are once again attempting to use ignorance to re-create something that exists now. Their flag laws would allow individuals to flag concerns before a judge or justice of the peace and empower the judge/justice to issue a warrant for police to seize firearms. However, anyone who goes to police today can also trigger the same result. Additionally, calling the Chief Firearms officer at a 1-800 number can have them suspend a firearms license and potentially confiscate the firearms as well. Where public safety is threatened, police are empowered under the criminal code to temporarily seize a firearm from a legal owner and return of that firearm would be subject to a court process.
Costs: As has been raised many times, the cost to buy all these firearms from legal owners and retailers would be in the billions. The industry alone would need to be compensated several billions of $$ for the tens of thousands of banned firearms, accessories, parts, tools and other items. Additionally, no one knows how many firearms are in circulation because many of the standard hunting and sport shooting rifles banned by the Liberals are not registered firearms (of the 1,974 banned, 366 are single shot rifles, 69 are shotguns, 81 are low caliber .22LR rifles). The Liberals have said that costs will be explained after the Bill is passed and they will not disclose exactly how many billions of dollars would be spent.
CRIMINAL CODE: The Liberals tabled a criminal code amendment this week that would see drug possession decriminalized, eliminate mandatory minimums for a number of crimes including illegal firearms possession, and allow for greater use of conditional sentencing. With the Bill only just tabled, information on it is still being gathered. The Liberals claim they are getting serious on the escalating gun violence and gangs in our cities, but the elimination of the 5- year sentence for possession of an illegal firearm seems to make clear the real Liberal intent.
TRAVEL & QUARANTINE: Effective Monday, the new travel rules will begin. All Canadians returning to Canada will need to be an essential traveler, have a travel exemption, or follow the new rules: If crossing by car/land, a negative COVID test less than 72 hours old, a test at the point of arrival, a 14-day quarantine plan and another test to be take 10 days after arriving. For air travelers, they will need to have a negative test less than 72 hours old before boarding a flight to Canada, take a test upon arrival and quarantine in a hotel at their own cost for up to 3 days while awaiting the results. If negative, and have an approved quarantine plan, they will be able to finish a 14-day quarantine at home, otherwise they may need to transfer to a quarantine facility. It remains unclear why the negative test upon arrival requires a follow-up test, and why a negative test 3 days before returning to Canada is required. Why not a rapid test on arrival?
CORRUPTION & SCANDAL
HUAWEI: Despite several calls for Huawei to be banned by the House of Commons, comments and reports of the threat that the communist-controlled company represents to Canada, the Liberals continue to refuse to ban Huawei. However, we learned this week that the federal government is funding research in partnership with Huawei at universities. This comes despite warnings to research institutions by CSIS and national security teams to avoid Huawei and Chinese state actors due to their continued research and intellectual property theft, the ongoing threat against Canadians by China and its government, and the espionage of Chinese government agents in Canada.
EXTREMISTS: Liberal MP Kicked out of Caucus for calling out extremism: Former Liberal MP Ramesh Sangha from Brampton was removed from the Liberal caucus over making what the Liberals called ‘baseless accusations’ against his fellow Liberal MPs. The accusation is apparently related to Sangha accusing former Minister Navdeep Bains of his connections to extremist elements in the Sikh community.
Here are some of the misleading statements made by Liberals this week on the new Firearms Bill:
- “It is now illegal to use anywhere in Canada these military style assault weapons” said Trudeau. The problem is that assault rifles have been banned for 40 years. Most of the banned firearms listed in the new Bill are standard hunting and sport shooting rifles
- “Police support these measures” – In fact, the RCMP Commissioner has said there are “better ways” to deal with criminal shootings and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police have said they do not support the handgun ban.
- “This bill will get guns off our streets” – no legal firearms are permitted “on the streets”. The only firearms on the streets are illegal ones.
- “Targets military style assault rifles” – The term “style” was added because assault rifles (which are fully automatic) are already banned. Instead, they have targeted what firearms look like. That is why Bill C-21 is now banning certain airsoft (plastic pellet shooting) firearms.
- “We kept our promise and banned over 1,500 models of assault-style weapons” – actually the Liberals banned 1,974 models of RCMP-approved hunting and target shooting rifles.
- “These weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible” – No restricted firearms in Canada are permitted to have more than 5 rounds. No automatic firearms are permitted in Canada. No military grade (designed to kill people) are legal in Canada.
- “In 2019, firearms were used in 40% of all homicides in Canada” – 51% of firearm-related homicides were related to gang activity. Increased shootings and homicide rates involving firearms are linked to criminals and gangs.
- “Create a new criminal code offence for altering a cartridge magazine to hold more than its lawful capacity” – The Bill ignores that any firearm with an altered or illegal magazine is defined as an altered weapon, making it prohibited (banned/illegal) and is already punishable with a criminal code sentence of 5 years. Ironically, while putting in a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence for this crime, the Liberals are removing minimum sentences on smuggling and possessing an illegal firearm.
There is much more – if you have misleading information you want to highlight – Tweet me @GlenMotz with that information!
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Have a good Valentine’s Weekend and a Happy Family Day.
Take a few minutes to let me know what you need in the 2021 Federal Budget. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B2021-WU
ELECTION WATCH: Media are reporting that the Liberals are planning for a June election date, no doubt because of very negative poll results due to their poor management of the pandemic, vaccine roll out, and economy. Reports suggest that a Budget will be out in late March (it has been 2 years since the last budget) and Parliament will be dissolved shortly after that https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2021/02/10/trudeaus-strategic-plans-aimed-at-june-election.html
2022 OLYMPICS: Liberals are calling for a tough stance against Beijing but will allow Canadian athletes to travel to China to compete in the 2022 games.
SHADOW MINISTER CHANGES: With the announced retirement of MPs Peter Kent and Cathy McLeod, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole shuffled his Shadow Ministers. Pierre Poilievre has moved to take on Economy and Jobs and long-time MP and Minister Ed Fast (BC) takes over the Finance role. James Cummins (Edmonton) moved to address COVID Economic Recovery, Jamie Schmale (ON) takes over for McLeod on Crown-Indigenous Relations, Raquel Dancho (MB) moves to Future Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Jasraj Singh Hallan (Calgary) takes over Immigration, Rachael Harder (Lethbridge) becomes the Conservative critic on Digital Government, and Dane Lloyd takes over as Shadow Minister for Rural Economic Development. John Nater was named Shadow Minister for Middle Class Prosperity while Corey Tochor (SK) is the new critic for Families, Children and Social Development.
VACCINES & COVID
INDIA VACCINES: MP Michelle Rempel Garner pushed Liberal Ministers to reach out to Prime Minister Modi of India to get more vaccines because India has ramped up domestic production of Pfizer. Canada-India relations have been at an all-time low since Trudeau’s disastrous trip to party. The Prime Minister called India the day after Rempel pressed the Minister of Procurement asking why Canada had not reached out given our shortages and lack of secure supplies. Modi committed to “do his best” to help Canada get vaccines.
VACCINE UPDATES: Pfizer will ramp up delivery of doses of vaccines in March and is expected to deliver 2.8 M doses by the end of June (enough to vaccinate 1.4 M Canadians or 3%). Canada has under 1% of Canadians vaccinated (two doses is about 0.6% of Canadians) and needs to deliver 60-80 M doses over the next 30 weeks to vaccinate 60-70% of Canadians. Liberals reported today that Canada should receive 84 M doses by the end of September, however those doses appear to be mostly between June and October.
FEBRUARY-MARCH VACCINES: Canada will receive under 1 M doses for the first two weeks of March, well below what the Liberal plan called for originally. Canada received only 70,000 doses of vaccine this week and will continue to have low numbers in February, climbing to 444k per week in March.
While the Liberals have stopped telling Canadians we have the best vaccine plan in the World, Canadians continue to pay the price for a lack of domestic supplies of vaccines. Canada currently sits 39th in the World in vaccinations per 100 people.
MORE PPE FAILURES: Liberals rejected the offer of N95 masks while health care workers were rationing them, calling them “not a priority”. Liberal staff referred offers of support from Honeywell to a generic website, despite warning that such a response would have the company turn to other clients seeking the masks. Canada would scramble later to try and find sources to supply them, sending millions of dollars to Chinese manufacturers. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/n95-masks-not-a-priority-documents-1.5910829
CANADIAN VACCINES: Manitoba was the first province to sign a deal with Calgary-based Providence Therapeutics, the only potential Canadian vaccine for COVID. Providence is behind the big pharmaceuticals for a few reasons – the main one being the Liberals took five months to fund their vaccine trials. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-covid-19-vaccine-update-1.5910312
ECONOMY & JOBS
CERB: The federal government announced this week that many Canadians who accepted pandemic benefits and were later told to repay them will not have to pay them back after all. When the Liberals launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, it required a minimum income of $5,000 in the previous year to qualify. That requirement was retroactively changed to a “net income” rather than a gross income – which meant as many as 441,000 Canadians could have been forced to repay tens of thousands of dollars while unemployed.
FOREIGN INFLUENCE: Environment groups have gone to court try to stop Alberta’s public inquiry into foreign financing and influence to interfere with the Canadian energy sector. Ecojustice Canada is arguing that the inquiry is intended to intimidate, while government lawyers note that the inquiry lead by a forensic accountant is seeking to investigate matters of interference with Alberta’s development of our natural resources. Ecojustice is among the organizations shown to have received funding from Tides Canada and other American organizations working to landlock Alberta’s energy sector.
LOW INVESTMENTS: Trudeau has the worst business investment record of recent Canadian Prime Ministers according to a Fraser Institute study. Investments in companies is a critical indicator of how strong and successful they will be in the future. According to the article, Liberals have ignored the many indicators and warnings from business leaders and continued to claim their plan was “working”. Investments in businesses have dropped by 0.2% per year on average since Trudeau took office, compared to growth under Harper (Conservative), Martin (Liberal), and Chretien (Liberal). While the energy sector’s decline explains part of the picture, investments were down in 10 of 15 main industries. The authors note, “What’s even more worrying is that there seems to be no acknowledgement of this problem in Ottawa nor any interest in reversing course on policy to actually encourage and attract business investment to this country.”
If you are a business operator in the riding and haven’t already, take my Budget 2021 consultation (4-5 mins) – including a question on investing in your business. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Motz2021Biz
COSTS OF PANDEMIC: National Post recently published the potential impacts of the botched Liberal pandemic response and vaccine plan. Each month of longer lock downs will mean more COVID deaths – as many as 46,000 by the end of the year. Our economy takes a significant hit from lockdowns with between $500 M to $850 M in lost revenue daily (between $176 – $308 B per year in 2020 according economists’ estimates). Moreover, at a spending rate of approximately $1 B per day, the federal government is quickly incurring large debts and eating up room for economic recovery spending.
PUBLIC SAFETY & BORDERS
NEW TRAVEL RULES: Liberals announced that non-essential air travelers are required already to provide a negative PCR COVID test prior to boarding a plane to Canada. Effective February 22, air travelers will have to take a test upon arrival as well and quarantine for three days at a pre-booked, government approved hotel at their own expense. Negative tests will allow travelers to take any connecting domestic flights or drive home and complete their 14-day quarantine at home with an approved quarantine plan. Positive tests will require individuals to quarantine in a government quarantine facility or at home if Public Health officials feel you can arrive there safely and without contact with others. Quarantine facilities were established in 2020 to accommodate symptomatic Canadians and returning travelers with no quarantine plans. The government has declined to disclose the locations of these sites to protect the privacy of travelers.
Also starting on February 22, anyone planning to enter at a land crossing will need to provide a negative PCR COVID test taken within the last 72 hours, take a COVID test at their time of arrival and a third near the end of their 14-day quarantine. According to technical briefings, the second test upon arrival will be provided in a kit to returning Canadians at the border and be self-administered at home and picked up by public health officials.
ESSENTIAL TRAVELERS: All essential travelers continue to be exempt from these requirements. Other exemptions may also be provided on a case-by-case basis based on need and circumstances.
SNOW-BIRDS: Officials had no response on how individuals who have been vaccinated would be treated when arriving at the border. Even if someone has gone to the US and been fully vaccinated, has a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to reaching the border, there is no guarantee they would be exempt from the quarantine.
CONFUSION ON RULES: My colleague Michelle Rempel Garner has raised many of the challenges and questions around the new rules and how they will apply: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xd20WeRoJRnwTvbnF1E-WLs8TJpnWzN1/view
FIREARMS: Liberals’ legislation on firearms will be tabled on Monday. News reports noted even Liberal MPs are beginning to question the costs and effectiveness of the confiscation of firearms from licensed, approved hunters and sport shooters. Media reports suggest legislation will allow firearms banned in May 2020 by regulations to remain in the home but not be used or they can be sold to the government. This appears to be an attempt to reduce the costs which are expected to be in the billions (as high as $3 billion), of which $1-1.6 B alone would be to reimburse retailers and manufacturers for banned firearms.
RCMP SPY CASE: Superintendent Marie-Claude Arsenault was a senior RCMP officer who had to report to Cameron Otis, a civilian RCMP employee who was placed in charge of the intelligence unit. Arsenault repeatedly reported Ortis’ behaviour and decisions to superior officers as suspicious or potentially working to obstruct the RCMP, but her senior officers repeatedly protected Ortis. Ortis was charged in 2019 with a number of crimes related to stealing and selling Canada’s intelligence secrets – and potentially our closest allies security secrets. Superintendent Arsenault has joined the lawsuit against the RCMP for protecting Ortis against numerous complaints for more than 2 years.
CHINA: China bans BBC World News from China in its latest step to stifle freedom and democracy. This appears to be in response to Britain revoking a Chinese state-controlled television company’s license. China claims that BBC’s reporting violated China’s truthful and fair practices requirements. In an official Embassy statement, China claimed BBC World News was “a pretext and disguise to churn out disinformation and slanders against other countries”. This follows not long after a BBC report of systemic rape and sexual abuse of women in ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in internment camps in northern China. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-bbc-world-news-barred-from-airing-in-china-regulator-says/
MORE ON CHINA: David Vigneault, Director of Canada’s spy agency CSIS, said in a speech recently that China continues to pose serious strategic threats to Canada as they continue to spy, steal intellectual property and research from Canada. He noted China is “pursuing a strategy for geopolitical advantage on all fronts…using all elements of state power to carry out activities that are a direct threat to our national security and sovereignty.” China’s overt operations to threaten and intimidate political opponents in Canada “cross the line by attempting to undermine our democratic processes and threaten our citizens in a covert and clandestine manner,” he said.
Letters from First Nations began arriving in the office this week objecting to the Liberals’ Bill C-15 on Indigenous Consultations. If the letters from Elders are accurate, the Liberals have not consulted with First Nations about the Bill on First Nations consultations and some First Nations are seeking to halt the legislation until they have been properly consulted.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 5, 2021
Hundreds have already done it – what do you need in Budget 2021: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B2021-WU (survey only takes 5 minutes)
MP Glen Motz was in Ottawa this week to advocate for Canadians and seek a real plan for Canada’s recovery. See the videos from this week here: www.Facebook.com/GlenMotz
In what may be a first of its kind, the Speaker of the House, at MP Motz’s urging, stopped the Liberals from giving an inaccurate response to Glen’s question in the House. The revised answer was not much better: https://www.facebook.com/GlenMotz/videos/220147536472237
FEWER VACCINES: The Liberals have badly bungled many parts of the COVID response with Canadians paying the price. This week saw shipments to Canada having been dramatically reduced and deliveries in February likely to be few. Both Pfizer and Moderna have committed to sending more doses in March – once their manufacturing facilities are restored. However, this week the European Union announced export controls on all vaccines made in the EU with 120 countries being listed for export – Canada not among them.
VACCINE MANUFACTURING in 2022: In response to the sudden decline in vaccines – which may impact the second vaccination many Canadians need to complete the process – the Prime Minister announced they would be starting on construction of a vaccine manufacturing facility in Montreal to produce our own vaccines. This is something that should have happened eight months ago – and was announced previously. The only issue was that the plan was to produce the Chinese company CanSino Biologics vaccine in the same facility. When China blocked the export to Canada, the construction did not move forward.
The Prime Minister reported that construction would be completed by the end of summer. His Innovation and Science Minister then had to correct the record – construction would begin in the summer and be completed in late fall. Canada might be able to produce a vaccine – in 2022. Right now Canada has no future confirmed shipments of the Moderna vaccine and won’t receive a Pfizer shipment for two weeks.
US vs CANADA VACCINATIONS: In the meantime, the US has vaccinated over 35 million of their population. This vaccination plan was developed before the Biden Administration took office (aka – under the end of the Trump Administration) on roughly a similar timeline. Without domestic capacity to produce vaccines, Canada will likely continue to have inconsistent supplies. As previously noted, Providence Therapeutics has a vaccine produced in Canada that is in clinical trials. Their process was greatly delayed because they had to wait 4 months for funding last year. The company states that had they received funding faster – or received significant access to capital – they would be much further along in the process and potentially be Canada’s only domestic supplier.
VACCINE HELP FUND: In an effort to obtain more vaccine doses, Canada has drawn doses from the international Noravax facility in Britain that is intended for underdeveloped and developing countries with no modern infrastructure. While the Liberals say this was always part of their plan (a plan they refused to show to anyone), this takes vaccines away from countries who lack the capacity to make or develop their own. The doses are the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines which have not been approved by Health Canada for use in Canada (but has been approved in the US, the EU and other countries).
PROVINCES VS FED: Trudeau is reported to have asked premiers to not attack him and his government over their poor management of the vaccinations.
LIBERAL SUPPORT DROPPING: The bungling of vaccinations has impacted the Liberals in the eyes of Canadians. Liberals and Conservatives are in a near tie at 32-31% support respectively across Canada. Liberals hold a small lead in Atlantic Canada, a larger lead in Ontario, but trail in every other province, including Quebec where the Bloc Quebecois now lead. https://abacusdata.ca/horserace-tightens-vaccines-rollout-canadian-politics-abacus-data/
ECONOMY & JOBS
PIPELINES: With the cancellation of Keystone XL, hundreds of jobs in Canada and our security to export have been placed at risk. Now, the US has threatened to shut down Line 5 – a pipeline that provides oil products to refineries in Sarnia and supplies the majority of gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane to Ontario and Quebec. At risk would be the gas used in Ontario and Quebec cars, diesel to ship products across the provinces and Country, propane and natural gas used to heat homes, fuel for commercial processes like grain drying and heating barns. The Michigan Governor has ordered the line to be shut down by May 2021 in violation of Canadian-US Treaties, with the Liberals saying very little about it publicly. Erin O’Toole put it well in his National Post Article: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/erin-otoole-shutting-down-enbridges-line-5-would-be-devastating-for-canada
JOB LOSSES: The drawn-out pandemic and continued high COVID numbers have had a significant impact on our economy. Canada has lost 213,000 jobs in January 2021 alone. Since February 2020, nearly 858,000 Canadians have lost their jobs. The only positive news was that Alberta saw an increase in jobs with 21,000 jobs created – however it was all part-time work. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/daily-quotidien/210205/dq210205a-eng.pdf?st=2x36XSjM
COMMITTEE ON CAN-US: Canada’s Conservatives launched a call for a dedicated Committee of Parliament to work on the Canada-US economic relationship.
CANADA ISN’T BACK: Canada’s international reputation is no longer in question – it is in a free fall. Canada has been blocked by China and the EU from access to vaccine. Our campaign for a security seat in the UN was a dismal failure, citizens are being detained and held in China on trumped up charges, and the second administration of the US to impose economic harm to Canada for political purposes. Steel, Aluminium, oil pipelines, softwood lumber and many other products have been blocked by protectionist measures and hurt Canadian jobs.
TERRORISM LISTS: The Liberals added 13 new entities to the Terrorism List. The Terrorism List places significant pressures on organizations by blocking them from banking and financial institutions in Canada, preventing travel to and from Canada of listed members, and providing added powers to police and national security organizations to monitor these groups and their activities. The List includes many Islamic extremists and terrorist groups associated with Al Quaeda, the Taliban, ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, as well as listing a number of white supremacist and hate groups in Canada including the Base, the Proud Boys, the Russian Imperial Movement and the Atomwaffen Division.
The only group to raise eyebrows was the Proud Boys, who many experts say is not on par with the other organizations listed. Adnan Khan of Maclean’s notes: “We should not confuse what is merely a group of criminal chauvinists for a disciplined and determined organization willing to commit mass casualties for their cause.” https://www.macleans.ca/news/designating-the-proud-boys-as-a-terrorist-organization-is-a-mistake/
In a recent House of Commons vote, it was unanimous that Proud Boys is a terrorist organization – which is likely the reason that the Liberals felt pressure to list them as a terrorist group. The other group the House has voted to call a terrorist organization is the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) in Iran, who are directly tied to funding and supporting terrorists across the Middle East, and who shot down a passenger plane in 2020 killing 176 passengers including 63 Canadians. A division of the Republican Guard has been listed as a terrorist organization since 2012. The House called for the entire Iranian special part of their military to be listed.
PLASTICS: Liberals voted down a Conservative Bill to ban the export of non-recyclable plastic waste to other countries. Canada has long been sending their garbage to other countries, despite the recent announcement by the Liberals that they would ban single used plastics (some of which are critical to helping fight the spread of COVID such as disposable straws, cutlery, and medial products like gloves, gowns and masks). If Canadians want to tackle the issue of pollution and emissions, we should start by dealing with the waste we produce.
PUBLIC SAFETY & SECURITY
TRAVEL RULES: New travel rules are coming into effect for travellers returning to Canada. However, the government has confirmed exactly when or complete clarity around how these new restrictions will be applied. What we do one is that last week, the Liberals implemented a mandatory PCR test no more than 3 days before your return to Canada, and a requirement to bring that negative COVID test with you in order to board your flight. We are now told that international travellers will have to test again upon arrival to Canada and be required to isolate in a hotel awaiting the results at the travellers expense (could be a couple of days). A negative result allows the individual to quarantine at home for the rest of the 14 days, if they have a place to do so. Those testing positive will have to do their full quarantine in a hotel. The government also indicated that PCR tests will soon be implemented at land borders, building on the pilot project in place at Coutts and Calgary Airport. The ongoing, changing and confusing rules have left many Canadians wondering what is needed if you are required to travel. Conservatives have called for rapid testing of anyone entering the country for the last year. Had Canada approved and purchased more rapid tests, Canadians who test negative could return to life while those who test positive would be quarantined.
COVID ELECTION: In keeping with their desire for a Spring election, the Liberals have tabled changes to the Elections Act that would allow for special pandemic measures to allow voting while the COVID crisis is ongoing. In December, Trudeau let it slip that he was planning an election in the Spring 2021, likely seeking to get a majority government before the realities of the COVID response was realized by Canadians.
HUAWEI BAN: Conservatives called on the Liberal government to deliver an answer on the use of Huawei products within 30 days back in December. The Motion before the House was voted on and supported by a majority of MPs including a few Liberals. The Liberals have yet to deliver a response.
SCANDAL & CORRUPTION
GENERAL MISCONDUCT: General Jonathan Vance, the former Chief of Defence staff who stepped down on January 21, 2021, was accused of having inappropriate relationships with his subordinates. The reports in the media suggested that the former Canadian Forces Ombudsman raised concerns with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in March 2018, and after that the Minister refused to meet with him, the department revoked his authorities and began a politically motivated, behind closed-doors process to discredit him.
This is not the first time a senior defence official has been railroaded under the Liberals. Former Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was suspended, stripped of his position and removed from the department in the Liberals’ witch hunt for leaking cabinet secrets. The trial was stopped when the defence presented evidence that was ignored by investigators and proved the charges were inaccurate.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR JANUARY 29, 2021
Budget 2021 will be critical for our recovery – let MP Motz know what you need: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B2021-WU
Bell Let’s Talk Day was on January 28 – this is a critical year to talk about mental health. Let us keep that conversation going. You are not alone.
Governor General Resigns: After two years of reservations about her suitability for the position and questions about her past, Julie Payette has resigned as Governor General over an independent report that demonstrates she created a toxic work environment, harassed and berated staff. She was also largely absent from the typical role of promoting Canada and Canadians, charitable work and acting as an ambassador to Canada. With her resignation, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada assumes her duties. The process to name a new Vice Regal can take months and will leave the Chief Justice in an awkward position of signing into law bills he may be called on to review, reject or uphold later.
Mention of Derek Sloan was removed completely !!! Why would we continue to talk about it – especially in this medium?!!
Liberals removed an MP from their party. Toronto area MP Ramesh Sangha was removed by the Liberals for “spreading misinformation” according to media reports. For the last two Parliaments, Liberals have refused to follow Parliamentary law as Trudeau alone decides who is and is not in their Caucus. Other Liberal Members of Parliament removed include Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, for refusing to break the law; Raj Grewal, Hunter Tootoo, Darshan Kang, and Marwan Tabbara who were all charged or alleged to have broken the law.
COVID & Health
VACCINES PLAN: Conservatives push for a full vaccination plan: The Prime Minister has consistently told Canadians that Canada has the strongest vaccine plan in the world. And yet, provinces began cancelling or reducing vaccinations as Canada stopped getting shipments. This week Canada was to get only 15% of shipments promised, while Canada will get no more vaccines for the next two weeks. If vaccinations are the critical step to restoring our new normal society and economy, the lack of information on when and how many vaccines makes it difficult to support or improve the plan. It also makes it impossible for provinces, businesses and families to plan for their future.
LACK OF SCREENING: Hours after arriving back in Canada, a traveller who returned from Nigeria died from COVID-19. Flying through the US, he did not get tested before flying into Canada and wasn’t tested after arriving. Finally, more than a year after our first case, the Liberals are implementing a mandatory test for travellers arriving in Canada. This follows their previous comments that having travellers use foreign purchased tests before boarding a flight was a better plan. This week, Ontario Premier Ford said if the federal government refuses to do it, Ontario would implement it themselves.
LACK OF RESOURCES FOR PANDEMIC: A report was leaked from the Public Health Agency of Canada that they were completely unprepared for the pandemic and lacked essential staff to respond, including lacking medical experts, administrative staff and quarantine screeners. The result was an inadequate implementation of a proper border screening process as it appears we had only 14 people who were qualified to screen travellers entering the country. That runs in contrast to Liberal Minister Bill Blair who said screening measures were in place January 22, 2020. All evidence seems to suggest that the Liberals are willing to mislead Canadians to protect their own image – even during a pandemic.
MYSTERY VACCINES: Prime Minister Trudeau continues to promise to have the majority of Canadians vaccinated by September 2021 even though vaccinations to Canada have been halted and there is no capacity or rights to make vaccines here in Canada. Canada needs to average 2 million doses of the vaccine per week in order to meet the September timeline. With a planned delivery of zero vaccines this week and next week (Europe, Australia, America are all getting shipments), Canada continues to fall behind the rest of the world. Trudeau’s response has been to repeat his claims, but to refuse to provide his plan or projections on how he will meet that deadline.
Economy & Jobs
BIDEN CANCELS KEYSTONE PIPELINE: One of Joe Biden’s first decisions was to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline being built to take Canadian oil from Alberta to US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The decision appears to be entirely political and has cost over 1,000 jobs in Canada and the US as construction stops. Another 2,800 jobs in Canada planned in 2021 have likely been ended, along with over 7,000 jobs in the US. Biden, who served as the Vice President to Barack Obama, has a long history of supporting oil and gas – he only seems to oppose Canadian projects. The Obama-Biden administration oversaw a 74% increase in oil and natural gas production in the US while approving 13,000 km of new pipelines in the same period. The only pipeline to be rejected was Keystone, despite recommendations by public servants that the pipeline be approved.
KEYSTONE DEBATE: Conservatives immediately called for an emergency debate to press for more actions and consequences for the US’s political cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. Justin Trudeau’s response to the cancellation was to express disappointment but that he was unwilling to take any action against the US administration or to impose sanctions. While Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called for reciprocal treatments and penalties, Trudeau continues his tradition of appeasing foreign governments who spite Canada’s economy, values and rights.
INTEREST RATES: The US Federal Reserve that sets interest rates in the US re-affirmed this week a decision to keep interest rates low. This is good news for Canada as increased US rates could have forced Canada to follow suit and increase rates. With many Canadians unemployed or having to use credit over the last year, and the massive new federal deficits that would increase with higher rates, the confirmation of a lower rate is good news for now. But as the US economy improves and US returns to normal, the federal government may face a massive new cost increase as most of the loans taken out to pay for the $1 trillion in new spending would increase borrowing costs by tens of billions.
CERB FOR TEENS: Numerous issues have come up over the Liberal government support programs – with many programs for small businesses, self-employed workers, new mothers and more needing to be redone. Another major issue emerged this week as it was revealed that $636 M in CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) was given to 300,000 teenagers between the ages of 15-17 despite the program meant to support full time workers rather than high school students. While a few of these youths might be full time employees, it is unlikely – to the point of absurdity – that Canada would have 300,000 young teens out of school and working full time before the age they are legally allowed to drop out (16).
Public Safety & Security
TRAVEL RULES CHANGE: On Friday the government announced new COVD restrictions for incoming travelers. The new rules require travelers to take a PCR test on arrival in Canada, something the Conservatives have been calling for since July, and quarantine in a hotel for three days while the results are processed. Travelers testing negative will be able to proceed to their homes for the 14-day quarantine, while those testing positive will be required to complete their quarantine at federal quarantine sites. This will all be done at the travelers’ expense.
CHINA COLLECTING VISA DATA: Conservatives and other Opposition parties have called on the Liberals to end the use of a foreign company to review and process VISA applications to Canada because the information is sent to and processed in China. Communist China’s security laws require any company in China to comply with and follow all demands from security and the military for information. It is not only possible, but likely, that China would demand information on specific VISAs for access to Canada, as well as potentially seeking all information if they believe it to be useful.
MORE SOFT ON CRIME LIBERALS: Conservative MP Bob Saroya’s Bill C-238 to increase penalties on criminals found in possession of illegal, smuggled firearms was defeated by the Liberal-NDP-Green voting block this week. The Bill would have established mandatory minimum penalties and gone after criminals and gangs who have been shooting up Toronto and other cities over the last few years. Because the Bill was defeated before being referred to Committee, the government avoided hearing from police, academics or experts on how this bill would improve public safety and why a focus on criminals and gangs – not law-abiding firearms owners – is the key to tackling crime in Canada.
MOSQUE ATTACK ANNIVERSARY: Today is the sad anniversary of the attack on a Quebec City Mosque where a shooter killed people during their time of prayer and reflection. The killer admitted he killed them for being Muslim and for not being white. Recent Quebec Superior Court decisions have ruled that consecutive sentences are unconstitutional and reduced his sentence from 40 years to 25 years.
Scandal & Corruption
RESIGNATION: Media have begun speculating online that one of the main reasons for Navdeep Bains’ sudden resignation from Cabinet a few weeks ago was because of his work to cover up the vaccine deal that fell apart with CanSino Biologics. The Chinese based company with facilities in Canada signed a deal to provide a potential vaccine to Canada’s National Research Council in April. However, the Chinese government immediately moved to block the export of this vaccine to Canada. Despite knowing the deal was being blocked by China in early May 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau proceeded with announcing the deal. Bains apparently hid the fact that the deal was dead until August when the Liberals released the information just before a long weekend (in the hopes no one would notice). This was after they spent millions securing more deals with Western companies like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. Bains officially resigned to spend more time with his family and indicated he would not be running again in the next election.
PRIVATE SECURITY: After weeks of criticism over lack of enforcement and measures to keep people who are positive for COVID in isolation, the Liberals have hired private security firms to do checks and see if people are abiding by isolation requirements. The use of private security teams to enforce the law raises another negative precedent for Canada. Enforcing isolation measures should have been instituted from Day 1 – to make sure that spread of the illness was minimized.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR JANUARY 15, 2021
OTTAWA – Cabinet Shuffle
As we approach the Spring Budget (the first in two years), the Liberals have begun gearing up for an election that the Prime Minister all but admitted he was working towards in 2021. With the resignation of Liberal Innovation and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains because he wasn’t running in the next election, Justin Trudeau decided now was the time to shuffle Cabinet. Francois-Philippe Champagne moves from Foreign Affairs to Innovation and Economic Development to replace Bains, Marc Garneau moves from Transport Canada to replace Champagne at Foreign Affairs and joining Cabinet is Omar Algrabra as the new Transport Minister. MP Jim Carr from Winnipeg was returned to Cabinet as the Special Representative to the Prairies – a move necessary because there are no Liberal MPs between Vancouver and Winnipeg. Carr was formerly in Cabinet but stepped down when he was diagnosed with cancer during the last election. Happy to see him healthy. Even with Carr, the Liberals continue to give central Canada MPs control over all decisions with 21 of 38 (55%) Cabinet Ministers from ridings between Toronto and Montreal.
Champagne’s move to industry raised questions as it was recently revealed he held a loan with China’s state bank for an apartment in London, UK. A foreign affairs minister who owns money to a foreign government creates the potential for a conflict of interest. Champagne will now oversee foreign investments and national security reviews of business takeovers by foreign companies or state-owned enterprises of Canadian companies. The Liberals have approved several controversial purchases of Canadian technology companies by Chinese companies since 2015 including satellite companies and communication companies with links to national defence and Canadian Forces technologies.
Omar Alghabra’s appointment likewise raised concerns: Alghabra was president of the Canadian Arab Federation prior to being elected as an MP in 2006. This organization was defunded in 2009 because of its close ties to known terrorist groups including Hezbollah.
The shuffle also forced Parliament to postpone our planned Standing Committee on Public Safety & National Security (SECU) meeting on the new rules for Canadians returning to the country. Because the Minister responsible (Garneau in Transport) changed, he refused to appear to brief Parliament and address the many questions about this plan.
HEALTH & COVID
COVID NUMBERS: As COVID numbers continue to climb across the country, additional restrictions have been brought into place in Ontario and Quebec. Two thirds of all cases in Canada are in our two largest provinces, with Alberta (the fourth largest population) reporting about the same number of cases as all other provinces combines (114k in Alberta, vs 109k for BC, NB, NS, PEI, NFLD, and the territories combined).
VACCINES: Vaccination rollouts continue to be an over-promise, under delivery by the federal Liberals as several provinces have reported they are running out of vaccines. Canada has vaccinated about 1% of its population – well behind leading countries like the UK, US, and Israel and off track from reaching 60-70% by September. Canada is scheduled to start receiving about 1 M doses a week of the approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer in April (enough to vaccinate 500,000 people a week or 2 M per month). Significant increases will be needed to reach about 25 M by December, let alone Trudeau’s promised deadline of September. The announcement on Friday that Pfizer vaccine deliveries would decrease over the next two weeks while Pfizer revamps their production facilities will not help. Conservatives are continuing to press the Liberals to get additional vaccines approved and out to the provinces as soon as possible and to meet their commitment to lead the world in vaccinations.
VACATION: In response to politicians and public service leaders deciding to take a vacation abroad over the holidays despite telling others not to, the federal government plans to retroactively cut-off programs that provide income support to Canadians during quarantine. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is a federal payment for people ordered or voluntarily self-isolating due to exposure to COVID or positive COVID tests. As this requires a legislative change, the change cannot be made until Parliament resumes on January 25.
TOURISM / IMPACTED SECTORS: In November, the Liberals promised a loan program for highly impacted sectors of the economy like tourism, travel and restaurants to help the companies weather the additional COVID shutdowns and costs. The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) has not yet launched despite many companies and jobs being in jeopardy. Conservatives have called for the Liberals to stop their delays and get the program in place and begin accepting applications within the next 2-3 weeks.
EMPLOYMENT: Employment dropped in Canada in December by 0.3% with the loss of 63,000 jobs nationally. 1.1 M workers were impacted by COVID-related layoffs or shutdowns. There were 99,000 part-time jobs lost in December and a decline of 62,000 self-employed workers. Alberta’s job numbers were 5.4% below pre-COVID levels. For more information: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210108/dq210108a-eng.htm
SAFETY & SECURITY
LIBERAL FAVOURS FOR CHINA: Liberal Ministers granted special travel permits to the family of Meng Wanzhou to allow her husband and children to visit her from China over the holidays. Because of her extradition hearings for criminal charges in the US, Meng cannot travel and is under bail conditions. Meanwhile, two Canadians continue to be isolated in China, held on false charges and in isolation.
PRE-ARRIVAL TESTING & TRAVEL: The pre-arrival COVID testing announced over Christmas came into effect January 7 and left many legitimate questions unanswered about the rules. Canadians who are abroad must now obtain a negative COVID test 72 hours or less before boarding a flight (despite many countries not having any testing available, or not available in the timelines permitted). The limited notice to airlines and workers combined with the limited information about the rules left no time for airlines to prepare their flight crews for the change. Moreover, since anyone who cannot get a test abroad can be tested when they return, most MPs (even a number of Liberals) were asking why not just test all people landing from flights into Canada? This would give trusted, accurate results that could be used to isolate anyone who tests positive and prevent the spread of new strains. MPs from the Public Safety and Transportation committees will be pressing the Liberals to explain these policies and improve testing in Canada, including expanding the Alberta pilot project that rapid tests all arrivals at the Calgary airport for COVID and requires quarantine until negative results come back.
TERRORISM LISTS: Following the US Capital riots, Liberal Minister Bill Blair speculated about potentially listing the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization due to their ties to violence and promoting white supremacist views. Listing an organization as a terrorist group in Canada makes the group illegal, removes access to federal and provincial funding and programs, and prevents them from organizing in Canada. Many media and social media sources noted that ironically the Liberals have refused to list the Iranian Republican Guard as a terrorist organization despite the House of Commons passing a unanimous motion to classify them as a terrorist organization in 2018. The Iranian Republican Guard was responsible – among other atrocities – for shooting down flight PS752 that killed 146 passengers and crew including 62 Canadians. Since coming into office, the Liberals have promoted a re-engagement policy with the authoritarian dictatorship in Iran.
MONEY LAUNDERING: Last year’s arrest of the top RCMP Intelligence Officer for leaking classified intelligence to criminal organizations was highlighted by a Global News report that linked the former RCMP civil servant to a global terrorism financing agent who supported money laundering for Hezbollah, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Sinota Cartel in Mexico. It appears that a leading Canadian intelligence officer was selling secrets to known terrorist sympathizers despite red flags prior and during his appointment to the top post. This leak compromised Canadian, US and other allies’ intelligence systems.
SCANDALS & CORRUPTION
Over 1,500 flights have left Canada for popular vacation destinations since October 2020 despite travel bans. The most popular flights are from Toronto to Jamaica and from Montreal to Mexico. Federally, the Liberals have 5 MPs who have travelled abroad since April. Two Conservative MPs and one NDP MP also travelled.
The Manager of the Public Health’s office of border and travel health took a sponsored vacation from Air Canada to an all-inclusive resort over the holidays despite there being a travel ban in place. Air Canada said she was being sponsored as an “Influencer” based on her social media accounts. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/public-health-jamaica-trip-1.5865600
The head of the CBC’s Radio Canada – the French arm of CBC – also had to apologize for spending a month in Miami over the holidays even while the broadcaster repeatedly announced the travel restriction.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 18
SLOW RESPONSE TO COVID: In his year-end interview, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed what he has being denying and misleading Canadians about since March – that his government was slow to respond to COVID and should have taken the threat seriously. “Justin Trudeau admits he wishes his government acted faster to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line workers” and should have started buying it when the first warnings were coming. The admission came after refusing to acknowledge this over 4 months of questions in the House of Commons.
Canada Summer Jobs program for 2021 will open for applications on December 21, with 50% more funding than 2020. The program will be open to non-profits, charities and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Charities and not-for-profits can receive 100% of wages, while for-profit companies can receive up to 75% of the minimum provincial wage.
Medical Assistance in Dying Legislation: Liberal Justice Minister David Lametti has filed for an extension with the Courts on the Medical Assistance in Dying legislation which has been before the House of Commons but has not become a law in the timeline requested by the Courts. Bill C-7, the new proposed legislation, has met with significant resistance from religious communities, disabled persons groups and seniors’ groups over the lack of reasonable controls before someone takes their own life. It is currently before the Senate and the Bill is expected to be debated and likely amended before being reported back to the House of Commons for review of changes.
SUICIDE PREVENTION LINE: A Conservative motion to create a National suicide prevention access number passed at the end of the Parliamentary session – calling for the creation of #988 that would link people considering suicide to access help lines near to them. Hopefully, the Liberals who supported the motion will put it into action as soon as possible.
HEALTH & COVID
Vaccinations began this week with seniors in long term care and workers in those facilities.
PANDEMIC PLAN: It’s unacceptable that at this point in the pandemic, there is conflicting or limited information about how many people have actually had COVID-19 in Canada and what our national level of immunity is, who is most vulnerable and why, and how COVID-19 is spreading in Canada.
BETTER INFORMATION: Canadians deserve to see the data used to make public policy decisions during the pandemic. In fact, the federal Liberals haven’t even bothered to put in place a system to gather this data, despite public health officials, scientists and legislators begging for it. This means we can’t judge if the measures that are being taken to stop the spread are effective.
IMPACTS: This failure also means we can’t evaluate if the measures we’ve taken to stop the spread of the virus in the population at large have more or less benefit than the negative societal impacts of job losses, undiagnosed medical conditions, loved ones dying, families being separated across borders, mental health and addiction issues that have arisen from lockdown and encroachment on our civil liberties.
CERB Repayment demands: Over 440,000 Canadians received letters from the CRA seeking repayment of their Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) suggesting they did not qualify for the benefit in the first place and must repay the amount. One of the main contentions of the letter is that the Liberals changed the program qualifications to be a net income over $5,000 recently, while the original program said $5,000 and did not specify net or gross. In some cases, errors or clarifications on the applications can resolve these challenges. Anyone in the riding receiving these emails or letters can contact our office for assistance.
CARBON TAX: Alberta has re-announced its opposition to the federal carbon tax imposed on select provinces by the Liberals. Last week, the Liberals released their intention to continue to raise the carbon tax during the economic and health pandemic – which will increase the cost on everything – and to have the taxes eventually reach $170 per ton of emission (which equals a 37.5 cents per litre increase in the cost of fuel). These rising costs and pressures on household budgets could be disastrous for Canadians. The carbon tax is based on a pre-payment of the costs on products and the federal government returning some of that money back to households.
FARMERS: Serious concerns over the carbon tax have been raised by farmers. As the costs to operate a business increase for Canadian farmers, they will not be increasing for their global competitors. For many agricultural products, prices are set by global markets, so farmers typically cannot pass on the increased costs to maintain their profit margins. Since most farmers operate on very small margins, the ability to earn a living as a farmer will become increasingly difficult as the carbon tax continues to increase. Given the need to ensure a domestic food supply for economic and security reasons, squeezing farmers who make up a significant part of Canada’s economy will make all Canadians worse off.
PIPELINES: Construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline was suspended this week after a worker was seriously injured. After a few incidents on the Government of Canada owned pipeline project, the construction was suspended by the contractors building the pipeline in order to ensure proper workplace safety systems and protocols. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trans-mountain-pipeline-1.5846634
BANNING CARS: Liberal Environment Minister said their government will pitch the elimination of gas-powered vehicles with the new US administration. https://www.reuters.com/article/climate-change-canada-usa/canada-floats-idea-of-north-american-ban-on-new-gasoline-powered-cars-idINL8N2IX5WX
SAFETY & SECURITY
CYBER ATTACKS: Russian state-backed cyberteams hacked into major US government departments and agencies and more than 18,000 companies through a common software provider’s updates – SolarWinds is an American firm that provides software systems. The Canadian federal government appears to have not been affected.
NSICOP: The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) submitted their final report to the Prime Minister for 2020. The report contains information that is classified, and a redacted version of the report will be tabled in the House of Commons in the new year. The report was highlighted by the Chair David McGuinty, stating a “comprehensive overview of the major national security threats will contribute to a more informed debate on security and intelligence issues in Canada”. https://www.nsicop-cpsnr.ca/press-releases/pr-cp-2020-12-18/pr-cp-2020-12-18-en.html
CANADIAN WORKERS DATA: Concerns on the connection of a private firm that collects information for all worker Visa programs for people seeking to work in Canada have been raised. VFS Global is partially owned by a Chinese-state backed investment fund and processes applications in their offices in China. Because all Chinese controlled companies operating in Canada are required by law to comply with national security and intelligence demands of the Chinese government, there are concerns from national security experts in Canada that all visa applications could effectively collect all this information without disclosing to applicants or the government of Canada that China’s government now has personal history, family histories and finger prints of people going to work in Canada. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-chinese-state-owned-fund-among-backers-of-company-handling-canadian/
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 11
Parliament to rise this week for the Christmas Break.
Legislation passed through the House of Commons and is being referred to the Senate – Bill C-7 (Medical Assistance in Dying).
Canada-UK Trade Agreement was tabled quietly on Thursday at the same time as the Prime Minister was announcing that a vaccine would soon be rolling out into Canada. Canada’s trade agreement with UK expires at the end of the year – so this Bill will not be in place in time to fully mitigate impacts. Recently, the relationship between Canada and the UK has been positive, however friction in our communities has been created when the UK cut benefits for British pensioners living in Canada and announced a review of the military bases including their partnership at CFB Suffield just north of Medicine Hat.
New Elections Act Changes were proposed on Thursday by the government for temporary (expiring) provisions in case of an election during the pandemic. This could allow for more mail-in ballots and different procedures to limit the spread of the virus before Canadians have been vaccinated.
Health & COVID
Health Canada approved its first vaccine by Pfizer for use in Canada. The Liberals finally began to give some details on their plan to vaccinate Canadians who want a vaccine – with 125,000 Canadians potentially being vaccinated before Dec 31. The first priority will be seniors in long-term care and workers in those facilities. Alberta has provided more details than the federal government with three phases laid out noting potential of 3,900 vaccinations before January 1 in the province.
The announcement comes days after the Conservatives tabled a demand in the House of Commons for a full plan and rollout timelines from the government for vaccinating Canadians and providing a plan for First Nations and the Military to be vaccinated.
Conservative MPs continue to press the Liberals when life may begin to return to normal. With the UK and the US having already announced a timeline to vaccinate all their citizens, Canadians deserve the same.
Prime Minister Trudeau has promised more money for the health care system in Canada through transfer to the provinces, but not yet. His promised funding to the premiers would not be transferred immediately and he has not yet provided a plan of how much he will send.
MASSIVE NEW TAXES: In the middle of a pandemic, with millions of households barely hanging on month-to-month, the Liberals are pushing forward with planned tax increases including the carbon tax and payroll taxes.
RISING CARBON TAXES: Justin Trudeau announced his plan to continue to increase the carbon taxes which were predicted by most Conservatives. The taxes will rise from $30 per tonne (today) to $170 by 2030. These taxes have yet to reduce any emissions and are likely to cause a major economic divide in our country – those with massive wealth like Justin Trudeau – and those who struggle to get by.
RISING FOOD COSTS: Food bills have been growing steadily with 90% of Canadians seeing prices rising far faster than incomes. 2021 food prices are expected to cost $700 more for the average Canadian family, above the $400 predicted in 2020 and $400 in 2019. This should be a major concern for political leaders as more than half of families were within $200 /month of financial problems before COVID began and many people have had to drain their savings to survive.
Conservatives called for the government to step in and support the workers and frontline employees of the aviation industry. Airlines have seen a massive increase in costs and a similarly large drop in sales as non-essential travel has been blocked and public health officials recommend staying home as much as possible. The support would be conditional on airlines providing refunds to all Canadians who have only been offered a credit instead of repayment for cancelled flights.
TRANS MOUNTAIN: After legislation and regulation that forced out $150 billion in investments, the cancellation of many projects, and eliminating over 100,000 jobs, the Liberal government was forced to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline in 2018 or see it fail. According to a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, that purchase could cost taxpayers as much as $1.5 billion in losses.
SAFETY & SECURITY
General Vance, Canada’s outgoing Chief of Defence Staff, cancelled a planned joint military exercise with China’s Communist controlled People’s Liberation Army in Ontario in 2019 after China illegally detained Michael Korvig and Michael Spavor (“the Two Michaels”). In a memo from Global Affairs Deputy Minister Ian Shugart (the top public servant of Global Affairs Canada), Deputy Minister Shugart objected to the cancelled exercise, suggesting “Canada does not want to be the partner reducing normal bilateral relations.” Deputy Ministry Shugart was promoted recently to be the top public servant as Clerk of the Privy Council and Trudeau’s top advisor. The memo seems to be the exact thing that the House of Commons looked to change when it called for the Liberal government to table a new plan for our dealings with China.
TWO YEARS: The Two Michaels have now been held by China in highly inhumane conditions for over 2 years. While diplomatic visits have been very limited, reports suggest they are in relatively good condition. Earlier this week, attributed to a translation error, it was reported they had been tried and found guilty. Embassy staff were able to confirm that neither has been tried on their trumped-up charges of espionage.
Only 3 of the 18 used Australian CF-18 fighter jets purchased by the Liberals have been put into operations to-date. The purchase is surrounded by controversy as the Liberals were caught inventing a “capability gap” at the political level to justify buying used jets instead of a new fleet. The $1 billion purchase was mocked by international observers and may have a great deal to do with the Air Force being unable to train pilots fast enough to replace those who leave. Canada will not have all of the purchased CF-18s operational until 2032. The original CF-18 jets went into service in 1983 and were intended to fly for up to 25 years.
The US Security and Intelligence Committee raised questions about Canada’s Liberal insider appointed to be Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton. Barton was the Chair of the Economic Advisory Group established in 2015 by Justin Trudeau and former Finance Minister Bill Morneau. His company – McKinsey & Co – has done extensive consulting work for many Chinese State-Owned Enterprises, calling into question his independence from Chinese influence.
Three years ago, the Liberals announced a “review” of the use of Huawei in our 5G network. That review has been ongoing with no clarifying statements since. This week, cybersecurity experts from the Communications Security Establishment that reviews equipment going into our networks noted they were awaiting a political decision – proving that this indecisive Liberal government has been unwilling or unable to make an announcement that could offend their “friends” in China.
CORRUPTION & SCANDAL
The Parliamentary Budget Officer is once against criticizing the Liberal government’s refusal to provide details on their spending plan – this time for their “stimulus” infrastructure plan of $100 billion. Observers have noted that the planned “stimulus” is at approximately the same rate of planned infrastructure spending already – which isn’t stimulus.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 4
The Liberal government tabled three Bills this week. One – C-14, Implementation of the Fall Economic Statement spending measures – was COVID related. The other two are:
- Bill C-13: An act to decriminalize single event sport betting, such as a bet on a single game. Currently the Criminal Code prevents single event sports betting, even though it is available in a number of provinces.
- Bill C-15: An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
COVID & HEALTH
Alberta’s COVID numbers have continued to climb quickly across the province. The Southern Zone continues to have the lowest numbers with 663 cases of the 17,750 active cases. Per capita, our numbers remain below the that of Quebec overall, however Alberta currently has the highest number of active cases in Canada.
Canada’s COVID numbers continue to climb while other countries have managed to turn the tide on the second wave. France, whose number skyrocketed, has reversed the trend, as has Germany and the UK. Countries like Australia, New Zealand and India experienced no second wave.
FALL ECONOMIC STATEMENT:
Don’t call it a budget? The Liberals set a new record for the amount of time without a Budget for Canada – another in a long line of dubious records for this government. Our last national Budget was March 2019 – before the last election. It took over a year for the government to table an outlook of our economic and fiscal situation. But, according to the Liberals, this is not a budget. It spends like a budget. It creates taxes like a budget. But it’s not a budget…
New Taxes: All digital platforms that provide products or services will be required to impose GST and HST as all other companies are required. That means your Netflix, Spotify, YouTube and other streaming platform bills will increase slightly. Additionally, all online sales from foreign companies like Amazon will also increase in price. The government expects this tax will increase revenues by $1.5 billion in 2021. They have also promised other new taxes including a tax on housing units owned by non-residents, non-Canadians and to collect an additional $1.4 billion in unpaid revenues through international tax evasion.
DEBT: The Liberals tabled the Fall Economic Update that reveals some information about the record levels of debt and deficits incurred by the Liberals through the pandemic. Canada has a deficit of $381 billion for this year – bringing our national debt to $1.1 trillion. With a suggested plan to spend another $70 to $100 billion and run large deficits in the next four years, the Liberals are planning on adding nearly $700 B in new debt over 5 years. The total debt of our country through wars, the Great Depression, the 2008 Global Fiscal Crisis was $620 billion. Experts have suggested this reckless spending plan would need massive tax hikes or Canada could face another government spending crisis like 1995 – where a Liberal government cut spending on provincial health care in half, eliminated many programs and grants, and reduced the federal workforce by 30%.
Child Benefit Boosts: The federal government will be sending added supports to families. Families who qualify for the Child Care Benefit and have a net income under $120,000 will receive quarterly, tax free payments of $300 starting in early 2021. Families earning over $120,000 who qualify for the CCB would receive half that amount. Childcare agencies in Provinces, Territories and First Nations will receive $300 per child each quarter as well.
Canada Summer Jobs: After the WE Scandal debacle, Conservatives called on the Liberals to transfer the budget to the Canada Summer Jobs program which provides work experience for students, subsidized wages and provides valuable support for charities and non-profits. WE Charities / Companies were slated to receive $43 M in administrative fees and $500 M was to be used to create work experiences for students. The Liberals chose to let that funding expire without creating opportunities for students. For next year, Canada will expend $447 M through the Summer Jobs Program to provide more opportunities for students to work. However, this has been a controversial program that has helped fund some environmental and social groups to train students on protesting, as well as the Liberals imposing a values test to prevent anyone with pro-life views from participating.
Unemployment: The unemployment rate in Canada is currently 8.9%, and 10.7% in Alberta. The Liberals are projecting that through an additional $70-$100 billion in spending that the unemployment rate will drop to roughly 7-7.5% nationally, but regional impacts were not available in the “not-a-budget” documents.
Home Renovation Program Returns: Homeowners could see up to a $5,000 rebate on renovations that make their home more efficient. The credit will be retroactive to December 1, 2020 but details have not been released yet.
SECURITY & BORDERS
MENG Extradition: US discussing plea deal with Meng Wanzhou that could end the extradition hearings and eventually see her sent home or to the US. This could also potentially spell hope for the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig who have been illegally detained in China in inhumane conditions while Wanzhou has lived in a multi-million-dollar mansion in Vancouver awaiting trial. Meng Wanzhou is the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei and was charged by the US with wire fraud in connection with efforts to circumvent Iran sanctions.
HUAWEI Countdown: The House of Commons gave the Liberals 30 days to enact a ban on Huawei’s telecommunications equipment in Canada’s next generation of mobile networks – 5G. The deadline (December 18) is approaching quickly. With the House of Commons scheduled to rise by December 11, the question remains, will the Liberals ignore Parliament again?
CHINA POLICY: The Liberal government – through the same Parliamentary motion – is also scheduled to provide Parliament with a new plan in dealing with Chinese aggressions, interference, cyberattacks, and its overt pressures placed on Canada and other countries to force their way upon others. Conservatives have called for a principled approach that protects our citizens from interference and threats from China, protects our economic interests and allows Canada to resist China’s growing foreign pressures, modelled after a similar plan from Australia. Even after this plan was put in place in Australia, China remains its largest trading partner.
BASTARACHE REPORT: This past week at the Public Safety Committee, Justice Michel Bastarache presented his report on the sexual harassment and violence against women within the RCMP. His report notes a troubling trend. His recommendations were bolder than many other reports, suggesting that the RCMP as an organization may require significant reform that must come from outside the organization since internal reforms have not worked to-date. He noted in his testimony that he was very troubled that the Liberal government and Minister Blair in particular barely responded – giving no more attention to it than a five-minute press conference. He noted that the Commissioner of the RCMP did reach out and discuss the report, but the Minister responsible for the RCMP (Blair) did not. This is a growing pattern with Minister Blair and the Liberals – they have ignored critical public safety issues for too long – and it is resulting in a systemic decline in our criminal justice systems and the faith that Canadians hold in those organizations.
BORDER CLOSURE: Canada extended the border closure agreement with the US until January 21, 2021. Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021.
NOVA SCOTIA SHOOTING: RCMP formerly laid charges today against three individuals including the former common-law partner of the Nova Scotia shooter for providing him with ammunitions. Details of how they provided it and how it was acquired are not yet known. The shooter’s common-law wife was physically abused during the relationship and is said to have survived by freeing herself from a chair he had tied her to and hiding in the woods before the shooter began his rampage.
CORRUPTION & SCANDALS
CHINA: The Liberals’ decision to enter into a vaccine deal with Chinese biotechnology firm CanSino Biologics continues to haunt Canada. The deal – signed in May between the National Research Council and CanSino – was to see vaccine candidates sent to Canada for study and potential manufacturing. Instead, China held the export and refused to release it, and eventually the deal was cancelled in August. During that time, media has reported that CanSino’s Canadian-educated researchers were used as executives and were paid to transfer research and knowledge to China. This appears yet another time when a naïve Liberal government allowed Canada to be taken advantage of and used for China’s benefit and our loss.
INDIA: The Indian Prime Minister is once again accusing Justin Trudeau of meddling in India’s affairs and promoting extremism, after Trudeau denounced the Indian government’s handling of farming protests. The last time this happened, Justin Trudeau was found to have invited a convicted Canadian terrorist to a diplomatic event during his trip to India (Jaspal Atwal, who attempted to assassinate an Indian Cabinet Minister in support of the separation of the Khalistani state from India). Trudeau would use the 2018 Terrorism report to re-list Khalistani Extremists as a domestic terrorism threat after his disastrous trip to India – a group that has not been seen as a domestic threat since the late 1980s. Trudeau then rewrote the report when one of Canada’s largest Sikh temples threatened to block all Liberals from addressing the community.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 28
As this is one of the busiest shopping weekends before Christmas, I wanted to encourage you wherever possible to buy from stores that create jobs here and support our communities.
MP Motz was in Ottawa this week to take on the Liberals – representing the needs of the riding and calling out Liberal mismanagement. In particular, he attended two Public Safety and National Security meetings.
Justin Trudeau, Minister Patty Hadju and the Liberal government refused to give details or a timeline on when vaccinations would begin for Canadians since the US and UK had already announced timelines and targets starting in December 2020.
Prime Minister Trudeau retreated back to his cottage to begin daily press briefing once again. This is concerning since often other MPs bring forward real, important and unavoidable issues in the House of Commons – which is the seat of our government. That the concerns of Canadians seem to be of secondary concern only highlights the Liberals’ approach of ensuring they can keep the spotlight on themselves, regardless of the consequences.
Liberals introduced two Bills into Parliament (neither are COVID related or to help our economy rebound)
Bill C-11: A Bill to improve consumer privacy by replacing the current legislation with new legislation on the handling and care of consumers’ information. This legislation would also create a Tribunal to hear cases identified by the Privacy Commissioner for penalties on companies for violating the privacy laws. The Privacy Commissioner is only able to “name-and-shame” companies that are responsible for data breaches and loss of information that causes harm to consumers.
Bill C-12: This Bill to reach Canada’s net-zero emissions targets by 2050 has been described as a plan to make a plan. It requires the setting of national emission reduction targets to be set for 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045 and 2050, requires those plans and results to be tabled in Parliament, creates another advisory group for the Minister, requires the Minister of Finance to table an annual report on financial risks on climate change, and for the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to examine the reports at least once every 5 years. Ironically, in 2015 the Liberals attacked the Conservative government for having an emissions reduction timeline of …. 2050.
ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE
The federal government finally relaunched the commercial rent subsidy for small and medium businesses on Monday. The new program – promised in September – addresses many of the issues raised by Conservative MPs and small business owners in June when the Liberals launched the first program. Critically this new program does not require the landlord to agree to the program – which limited access to the previous program. To apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy.html
The Liberal government’s program to support commercial rent for large companies appears to have been ineffective. After five months, the program has only had two recipients, and one of those companies was delisted from the stock exchange shortly after and has filed for bankruptcy protections. Gateway Casino & Gaming received $200 M from the federal program.
HEALTH & COVID
Canadian numbers continue to grow – with Alberta declaring a public health emergency and many provinces introducing or re-introducing measures to prevent further spread. Canada will likely pass 350,000 cases this week. For perspective, at the end of October Canada had 235,000 cases. November saw a 67% increase across Canada.
Canada has contracts will all three vaccines that appear to work against COVID. Unfortunately, we do not have the right to MAKE a vaccine. Countries like the US, UK and Australia all have the right to make the vaccines to grow and deliver them as quickly as possible – vaccinations for many will start in December. Conservative MPs, media and experts have warned that if Canada cannot make its own vaccines it will be stuck waiting down the line for doses while other countries vaccinate. https://www.macleans.ca/society/health/covid-vaccines-when-will-canada-approve-one-when-will-you-get-it/
Trudeau has no answers on COVID vaccine. Ontario – who had recently announced they were expecting vaccine deliveries in early 2021, announced that they are no longer sure when they will get them. The Trudeau Liberals were pressed repeatedly this week for the plan to deliver vaccine, who would be prioritized first, and when the process would start. On a call with Premiers, the Prime Minister still could not answer the questions. Months of planning and billions in spending for vaccines and they still don’t have a timeline to deliver it. https://globalnews.ca/news/7487423/coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-trudeau-premiers/
On Friday, November 27 (8 months, 14 days) the Liberal government (Retired) Major-General Dany Fortin to lead the planning of vaccine delivery. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/top-general-to-lead-canada-s-vaccine-rollout-with-goal-to-immunize-millions-by-september-pm-1.5207122
SECURITY & BORDERS
Minister Blair appeared before the Public Safety Committee seeking approval of his departmental budgets. His answers – or more pointedly, the lack of answers – were deeply disturbing and only highlighted that the accountability and willingness of this government to provide answers to Canadians is desperately lacking. Blair did manage to blame Stephen Harper eight times for the many failures under his leadership. A program review from 10 years ago by a government that left office over 5 years ago is not why crime is higher, gangs, criminals and overdoses are rampant, the justice system is failing and the RCMP has lost the confidence of many Canadians.
The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) is a group of Members of Parliament who review the actions, decisions, funding, and operations of Canada’s national security and intelligence teams. The 2019 report that was published earlier this year is a redacted version of the real report (that is only available to individuals with top secret clearance). The report outlined a lack of diversity in our national security and intelligence teams, our border teams’ work on national security and intelligence, and the significant amount of foreign influence and interference in Canada. The report can be found here
Bastarache Report: Justice Michel Bastarache, a retired federal court Justice, presented his public findings into harassment and abuse of women in the RCMP over the last 30 to 40 years. Justice Bastarache will be at Public Safety Committee next week to discuss the report and its findings. Warning – this report is not for the faint of heart and could be disturbing. The report was part of the settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit against the RCMP by women who faced repeated harassment and assault while on the job. More than 3,000 cases were presented, with more than 2,000 requiring compensation for pain, suffering and loss of opportunity.
Quebec Mosque shooter has sentence reduced: The man who entered a Quebec City mosque with firearms and killed six unarmed people in prayer and wounded six more, was originally sentenced to 5 concurrent life sentences (25 years) plus an extra 15 years for the 6th murder since the Judge said 25 years was not enough given the racism and hatred that fueled the attack. The Quebec Court of Appeals overturned that decision and reduced his sentence to 25 years and eligible for parole after those 25 years by striking down consecutive sentences in Canada as unconstitutional. Consecutive sentences were introduced by the previous conservative government to address heinous crimes where a killer with many victims was given the same sentence as someone who killed once. Consecutive and concurrent (serving multiple sentences simultaneously) are at the discretion of the sentencing judge. Conservative Justice Shadow Minister Rob Moore immediately called for the Liberal government to appeal the decision.
CORRUPTION & SCANDALS
Another Liberal MP has been (loosely) connected to criminal actions. MP Majid Jowhari took donations from and hosted Alireza Onghaei who was accused by Canadian security Intelligence Service (CSIS) of aiding Iran to circumvent sanctions by flowing money through his company in Canada. Jowhari – who represents Richmond Hill, Ontario – has been connected to the Iranian regime previously by a defected Iranian intelligence officer who was later assassinated, and for suggesting that Iran had an elected government (Iran’s government is headed by an undemocratic government with Supreme Leader Ali Kamenei).
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 8 – 17
C-9, a Bill to implement changes to the wage subsidy program and create a new commercial rent assistance program continues rapidly through the House of Commons. Introduced on November 2, the Bill was approved through the House in 4 days and is now making its way through the Senate. While the Liberals have claimed repeatedly they needed to ram legislation through without due process, C-9 is proof that MPs can and will work together to make programs that Canadians need in the crisis. It demonstrates (again) that many of the arguments used by Trudeau and the Liberals to block democratic process do not hold up under scrutiny. C-9 remains the only Bill before Parliament related to the COVID pandemic and the only one introduced since September. It is expected to be passed through the Senate next week.
Former Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes released a book on her time as a Member of Parliament, noting that she felt unable to expression her opinions due to opinions and input being suppressed under Trudeau Liberal regime. Caesar-Chavannes’ resignation came close in time to Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation over the Prime Minister’s efforts to interfere in a criminal prosecution of SNC Lavalin. Caesar-Chavannes noted in a recent interview that “I think, at the end of the day, the commonality was there was this sense of if you speak up and you push back, you will get pushed aside or you will get thrown out (of caucus).”
HEALTH & COVID
Canada’s COVID numbers continued to climb with more than 4,000 new cases every day this week and over 5,500 yesterday. In fact, every day this week has recorded a new high number of new cases since the crisis began in March. In response to the growing crisis, the Prime Minister asked Premiers to act but was unwilling to suggest a course of action for Canada.
Pfizer (US company) and BioNTech (German company) announced it will seek expedited approval of the vaccine in the EU and the US following successful completions of health trials over 43,000 patients (half getting the vaccine, half getting a placebo). The vaccine is said to be 90% effective in preventing individuals from getting COVID-19. Canada has an agreement with Pfizer for 100 M doses of the vaccine, however the US and EU both have agreements, and Pfizer has moved to file in those countries already. Experts have noted there are still a number of steps needed before Canadians get vaccinated.
Health Minister Patty Hadju told Members of Parliament that she did not have the time to answer questions from MPs on the government’s response to COVID and her billions in past and future spending. Ministers are required to seek approval for the year’s expenditures and adjusted program spending from Parliament. The Minister’s testimony was delayed when the Liberals scheduled a vote at the same time as her already-scheduled testimony. She declined to extend her time at Committee or to re-schedule. While there is no doubt that the Health Minister and her officials are very busy right now and have been for a while, no Minister should ever hold themselves above the democracy of our country. Our rules and democratic process are most essential in a crisis, not something to be dismissed at any time.
Corruption and Scandals
Long time Liberal MP Yasmin Ratansi was caught employing a family member (her sister) in her constituency office, in contravention of House of Commons’ rules and standard ethical behaviour of public officials. Ratansi and her sister went to great lengths to hide her real identity, going by a different name and telling other staff not to tell anyone she was working there. Ratansi has been forced to resign as a Liberal MP and is now sitting as an Independent alongside former Liberal Marwan Tabara (who has been charged with assault and harassment). Conservative MP and Ethics Critic Michael Barrett has called for her to fully repay the misappropriated funds.
Canadians learned that all records of payments to members of the Prime Minister’s family to speak at WE events – totalling over $250,000 since 2015 – were destroyed by the company who employed them. The Speaker’s Bureau destroyed all records that were ordered by Parliament to be presented to the Finance Committee in August. Trudeau and the Liberals have gone to extensive lengths to hide details of the payments: One day before documents were ordered to be tabled to Parliament, the Prime Minister used his authority to prorogue (suspend) Parliament and suggested that the MPs could get those records when Parliament resumed. Now that the records have been destroyed, it raises even more questions about what the Prime Minister wanted to hide – so much so that he suspended our democratic government and now the company may have destroyed legal contracts and agreements. (NOTE: CRA is not fond of companies who destroy their records, which you are required to keep for at least 6 years). This is yet another example of how there are one set of rules for Liberal insiders, and another set for everyday Canadians.
ECONOMY & AGRICULTURE
With the pending confirmation of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, Alberta faces renewed challenges. Biden opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, continuing the policies of the Obama administration that blocked the Keystone project for nearly a decade while supporting a massive expansion of oil production, drilling and fracking. The potential for more legal uncertainty for Canadian energy projects would only cause greater challenges at a time when Canada needs to revive its economy by restoring our resource sector.
The Murder Hornet has been found in BC, north of its first detected locations in Washington State in the US. The Murder Hornet preys on honeybees and wipes out colonies of bees that are critical pollinators for farmers. The spread of murder hornets could present new challenges for farmers in our communities if they are able to spread east of the Rockies.
SECURITY & BORDERS
Alberta launched its own Firearms consultation this week led by Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Glasglo on the federal firearms confiscation program banning standard hunting and sport shooting rifles. A federal firearms consultation lead by Minister Bill Blair received over 130,000 response with over 80 % opposing a ban, including a majority of firearms owners, non-firearms owners, men, women, rural, urban, and across nearly every age demographic. Having studied illegal firearms, crime and gangs as a police office and now as an MP, I believe the most compelling information against a firearms ban remains:
During a period of increased legal, licenced firearms ownership, there was also a reduction in crime and shootings. Government statistics and academic research show there is little correlation between criminal shootings and firearms ownership.
Police services across the country have reported their crime gun tracing – with many reporting that the vast majority of firearms are smuggled from the US, and the majority of crime guns are handguns. Results vary by region – with places like Winnipeg and Saskatoon having many crime guns stolen from legal owners, or homemade firearms like ghost guns, zip guns, or guns made from bike parts.
Canada announced special measures to support Hong Kong refugees seeking to flee the oppression of the Communist Chinese regime. The government announced it would provide new work permits for students and young people seeking to come to Canada with a pathway to permanent residency. The announcement did not make any mention of the Uyghurs whose oppression and persecution has been declared a genocide. The Uyghurs are being pressed into slave camps and forced labour.
Canada’s Intelligence Service, CSIS, is again warning of under-cover state agents of the Chinese communist regime targeting Canada’s Chinese community in an effort to silence critics of their oppressive rule. China has been running its “Operation Fox Hunt” for 6 years to target ethno-Chinese and threaten family members still in China if Canadians and citizens of other countries do not comply. In the US, the FBI has charged eight people with conspiracy as part of Operation Fox Hunt in their attempts to intimidate a Chinese citizen into returning to China by threatening his wife and children. CSIS is declining to comment on how many Canadians have been targeted by China. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-csis-warns-chinas-operation-fox-hunt-is-targeting-canadas-chinese/
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR NOVEMBER 1 – 6
Next week is Remembrance Day where we honour the sacrifice of the women and men of our Canadian Forces. This year has made it challenging for traditional ceremonies to gather together and show our support for our troops, our veterans and our current Military and their families. I encourage you to attend ceremonies if it is safe to do so or stand on your front doorstep to observe a minute of silence in honour of our fallen heroes and women and men who have and continue to serve in our armed services.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole spoke to business leaders in Toronto about a vision for Canada that could help all Canadians prosper, not just the rich and those with well-placed friends in Liberal circles. See his speech here – on how we can build back stronger, smarter and more inclusive.
MP Motz was in Ottawa this week for his rotation in the House of Commons in-person sittings. You can see his questions and comments on supporting the Energy Sector, the need for a new direction because Canada is not OK, and how we owe many of our freedoms to Veterans.
Amazon-owned Whole Foods banned its employees from wearing Poppies as part of Canada’s national day of Remembrance. This position brought unanimous denouncement from political leaders across Canada.
MP Motz grilled Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on the failed policies of the Liberals as crime continues to climb across Canada, shootings and gang violence rise, smuggling and drug overdoses increase, and the justice system falters under the burden of backlogs and COVID work stoppages.
There was a Bloc Motion calling on Justin Trudeau to apologize for his father invoking the War Measures Act in Quebec during the terrorism attacks during the 1970s separatist crisis. Conservatives, including MP Motz, voted against this motion because this is not the time for blatant political attacks, defeating the motion.
ALBERTA & WEST
Canada added 83,600 jobs according to Statistics Canada in October, the lowest amount since the recovery began in May. In contrast, 378,000 jobs were added in September and averaged 395,000 per month for six months. Alberta’s employment levels remain the farthest from pre-COVID levels (February 2020).
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 26-30
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s motion to improve effectiveness and inclusion of COVID small business supports and programs passed this week, halting the CRA’s audit of every company who received the wage subsidy. Despite Liberal MPs voting against the motion, all opposition parties (Conservatives, NDP, Bloc and Greens) voted for it.
Liberals tabled an Act in Parliament to address some of the problems identified in the commercial rent and wage subsidy programs. Many of these changes were sought by Conservatives, small businesses, Chambers of Commerce and non-profits/charities for the last 6 months.
The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for companies, non-profits and charities will extend support until June 2021 providing support directly to companies and landlords, rather than requiring landlords to opt-in for companies to qualify. The rent support will be on a sliding scale based on the decline in revenues up to 65% of eligible expenses. Claims can be made retroactively from September 27. Organizations forced to close by public health orders will be eligible for an additional 25% top up for a maximum support of 90% of rent.
The new Wage Subsidy program will be extended until June 2021, providing support up to 65% of wages until December 2020, and an undetermined level of support in the new year.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer, an independent public servant who provides budget and financial analysis to Members of Parliament and the public, blasted the Liberals for a lack of information and transparency on their pandemic spending. The Liberals have borrowed record levels of funds and spent billions but refuse to reveal details or account for the funding. Given several cases of the Liberals using money to help their friends (WE Scandal, former Liberal MP Frank Baylis) and the former Finance Minister resigning during a national scandal, the Liberals need to come clean on how they are spending our money.
Liberals tabled a significant revision of the Broadcasting Act to require online platforms like Netflix to make certain levels of investments in Canadian content and contain certain levels of Canadian content as is the case for television. The Bill also calls for programming to meet the needs of all communities in Canada including Indigenous communities and languages, racialized communities, diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, different socioeconomic statuses, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and ages. It would do this through new regulatory powers, new enforcement powers, penalties and permitting processes.
HEALTH & COVID
Canada surpassed 10,000 deaths from COVID, from over 253,000 cases, the majority of which are in Quebec (6,400+), Ontario (3,200+). Parts of Canada this week had new record levels of new COVID infections.
Conservative MP and Advisor to the CPC Leader on Mental Health, Todd Doherty, introduced a call for a three-digit national support line for suicide. Over the last year, many suicide help lines have reported very large increases in calls for assistance. Doherty has proposed 9-8-8 for the support line.
Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux’s Bill to create longer paid leave from work for grieving families was debated in the House this week. The Bill would provide time for families who lose a loved one time to recover and heal before having to return to work. The Bill mirrors one he introduced in Alberta as an MLA that provides extended leave for Albertans today. This new Bill would extend protections to federally regulated industries across Canada.
SECURITY & BORDERS
Liberal Minister for Public Safety this week suggested that the Liberals acted quickly and put in border screening measures as early as January 22. This appears to be an attempt to re-write history. A week later, public health officials testified they were still working on details of screening returning flights. In February and early March, the Liberal Health Minister suggested that border closures were ineffective to fight viruses because viruses “don’t follow borders”. In March, the last flight to leave Italy during its massive COVID outbreak landed in Toronto and there was no screening or checks of passengers as they left the plane. In May, provinces and cities began assigning their public health officials to screen returning flights because there was STILL no screening at airports. We can all accept that facing a first-of-its kind threat, mistakes have been made. But attempting to cover-up mistakes and denying they happened hurts our recovery and undermines our democratic institutions.
Minister Blair struggled trying to explain his firearms ban. Conservatives and Bloc questioned his methods and decisions. While Blair claims to not ban any shotguns, more than 60 shotguns have been prohibited since May 1, 2020. While he claims to have banned military assault rifles, he forgets these have been banned for decades in Canada. Among the firearms ban is hundreds of single shot rifles, break-open hunting rifles, and bolt action rifles.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 26-30
MP Motz is travelling to Ottawa to participate in Parliament next week.
Parliament is not dealing with any COVID-focused legislation. The Government has several Bills before Parliament including: sexual assault training for Judges (C-3); declaring Sept 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (C-5); Conversion Therapy (C-6); Euthanasia (C-7); and changes to the Citizenship Oath (C-8). While all worthwhile debates, none of them are aligned with the claims the Liberals are focused only on COVID.
The Bloc Quebecois introduced a motion calling on Justin Trudeau to apologize for his father’s decision to unleash the military during 1970 when Quebec separatists were launching terror attacks and bombings. Trudeau (Junior) has said he will not apologize for that – which might be a first for him.
Toronto held two by-elections this week that raised some eyebrows for many. While the Liberals were able to hold on to two seats that have almost always voted Liberal (Toronto Centre hasn’t voted anything but Liberal in 27 years, York Centre vote Liberal every election except 1 in the last 50 years), it was very close. Liberals narrowly beat the Greens in Toronto Centre and won by 3.9% in York Centre over the Conservatives.
ALBERTA & WEST
Justin Trudeau once again fanned the flames of Western discontent. After years of decisions that hurt the West, he suggested on Edmonton radio that the problem was Jason Kenney and the Alberta government. Since 2015, the Liberals have cancelled three pipelines, destroyed over 100,000 jobs in the energy sector, banned tankers on the West Coast, refused to discuss or change federal equalization and support programs, implemented a plastics ban, created political barriers for our agriculture sector, and blamed hunters and sport shooters for shootings by criminals and gangs. It is not Alberta creating the problems in Canada – it is the Liberals.
The Saskatchewan Party gained a historic fourth majority mandate. What was notable was that in many rural regions, the second place party was the separatist Buffalo Party. This only shows that western anger and frustrations are real – and the Liberal denials of it are purely for political and partisan purposes.
Economy & Finance
Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Liberals would continue spending significantly in the near future and would not be adopting new measurements for keeping debt and deficits under control. The Liberals promised deficits under $10 billion per year and a balanced budget by 2019. Instead they spent $80 B and never came close to a balanced budget despite a strong economy and higher taxes. They moved to a fiscal anchor of debt-to-GDP ratio and promised to keep it around 31%. Because of the pandemic, it has risen significantly. Freeland defended worrying about debt, suggesting “it’s a poor general who fights the last war”. Unfortunately for us, it is likely that Canadians will be paying for Liberal mismanagement for generations to come. Canada is projected to have a $343 Billion deficit this year – and pass $1.2 trillion in debt. To put it in perspective, paying down debt at $10 Billion per year (in addition to the tens of billions in interest payments) would take more than a century (assuming that a Trudeau-like government is never elected).
HEALTH & COVID
Conservatives were successful in passing a motion that compelled the Liberal government to produce materials and documents related to the COVID response, following a refusal by Liberal Ministers to be transparent and explain their decisions that included many patronage contracts, and unacceptable delays in responding to the pandemic. Liberals have continued their filibusters to block any study at committees in Parliament.
CORRUPTION & SCANDAL
Former Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner was made Counsel General in Boston. Liberals have made a number of partisan appointments to embassies around the World including former Ministers Stephane Dion (Germany), John McCallum (fired from China), Dominic Barton (China), Ralph Goodale (UK) and David McNaughton (US).
The Ethics Commissioner dropped one investigation into former Minister of Finance Bill Morneau: His failure to pay the full cost of his trip to Kenya to visit the WE charity sites. While the Commissioner noted he believed Bill Morneau thought he had paid the full costs of his trip and would drop that investigation, the Ethics Commissioner is commitment to investigating Morneau’s efforts to push for WE to receive $43 M in government funding to administer the Canada Student Service Grant program.
SECURITY & BORDERS
For a third time in a month, Liberals were caught providing quarantine exemptions for rich, top-level executives. United Parcel Service’s US executive was given a 3-day exemption to travel to Canada, meet with staff and return to the US by Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne. Over the last few months, nearly 200 exemptions to top-tier executives have been handed out by the Liberals. In contrast, many couples and families continue to fight to be re-united.
Tensions have decreased with more RCMP officers dispatched to Nova Scotia to deal with the dispute between First Nations and non-Indigenous commercial fisheries. This week Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller blamed RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, prompting the Assembly of First Nations to called for her to be fired. Trudeau has said he would stand by his pick for Commissioner (but he has been known to say that shortly before throwing people under the bus – examples: Bill Morneau, Stephane Dion, John McCallum, and Jody Wilson-Raybould).
Liberals announced increased targets of 1.2 M more new immigrants to Canada between 2021 and 2023. Which will be challenging with borders closed. The Liberal plan failed to deal with the massive backlogs in processing, significant questions around the family reunification program, potential screening and control measures during COVID, and questions around employment since our economy is already on rocky ground.
Canada uniformly condemned the attack on a Church in Nice, France by Muslim extremists this week. It is the third such attack in the country in recent months. The attack is reported to be in response to the publication of a controversial picture of Mohammed in the newspapers – a picture first published by a satirical paper Charlie Hebdo that resulted in a terrorist attack in 2011.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 18-23
ME before WE: Liberals dispel any questions of their corruption
The Liberal government confirmed its corruption this week when they put the interests of their leader and their party ahead of democracy, transparency and the interests of Canadians. The Liberals decided to risk it all as they were ordered by Parliament to release documents on misappropriated spending – documents that they had censored out before proroguing Parliament to interrupt previous investigations. They declared that our Conservative motion to create an Anti-Corruption Committee to continue the investigation would be a motion of confidence in the government. The NDP blinked – and voted not to have an election – allowing the Liberals to continue to cover-up how they tried to funnel tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars directly to their well-connected friends, the Kielburger brothers. During a pandemic and rising COVID infections, the Trudeau Liberals put their political interests and cover ups ahead of the needs of Canadians, making it clear they would rather continue to cover up and risk greater spread of COVID than answer any questions. Their endless filibusters and off-topic questions only show that they are more focused on covering up their scandals and helping their friends than helping Canadians.
ONLINE RUMOURS (Internment Camps)
Several people have written into our office about “internment camps” being created by the Trudeau Liberals. The rumors stem from a purported “leak” from a ‘member of the Liberal Party Strategic Planning Committee.’ In this day and age, it is critical to always remember that not everything you see online or in an email is accurate, and each of us has a duty to ensure the veracity of information that we share and pass on. While the federal government is setting up voluntary quarantine facilities for incoming international travelers who do not have a suitable plan for quarantining, there is no truth that the government is setting up “internment camps”. With the number of questionable policies and actions by Liberals over the past few years, it is understandable why this far fetched policy might be considered something the Liberals might consider, but it is not accurate. There are many reports out there of online actors from countries like Iran, China, and Russia who are seeking to undermine our democracy, create civil strife and damage our country. I encourage people to check if something is accurate before they share it, forward it or repeat it.
CORRUPTION & SCANDALS
This week was full of revelations of even more corruption in the Liberal government:
- A former Liberal staffer raised serious concerns about the political interference on judicial appointments. Judges need to be independent and appointed based on merit. The Liberal government has been involving party insiders, partisan researchers, MPs and Cabinet Ministers in the process. This level of political involvement in judicial appointments was eliminated under the previous Conservative government – but apparently revived by the Liberals.
- Former Liberal MP Frank Baylis was in the news over a $237 M contract given to his company to produce ventilators. The contract was given to a company that produces brake parts – who then subcontracted 100% of the work to the Liberal insider’s company Baylis Medical. The Prime Ministers response – that the government doesn’t control which subcontractors are engaged – seems clear to be nothing more than getting their hands caught in the cookie jar. The Liberals and their friends seem quite gifted at that.
- NDP MP Brian Masse was fined by the Elections Canada Commissioner for the use of public funds to promote himself during the 2019 election. Masse purchased three billboards in August before the election began using taxpayer funding – and they were left up during the election period. This would have been allowed if Masse had accounted for the costs in his election budget.
- Justin Trudeau’s press secretary was fined $250 for failing to disclose a material change in his assets. Alex Welland stated he failed to report an increase in assets in a timely fashion. The Ethics Commissioner noted the fine has been paid.
Violence erupted in Nova Scotia over growing tensions between indigenous and non-indigenous lobster fishers. A First Nations fishery building was burned down, boats were being attacked and burned, and other confrontations have stemmed from the decision of the Sipekne’katik First Nation to start up a ‘modest-living’ lobster fishery ahead of the regular commercial season. A 1999 Supreme Court decision affirmed the right of First Nations to a ‘moderate livelihood’ fishing outside of legal fishing seasons. Licenced, non-Indigenous lobster fishers claim that Indigenous fishing is depleting the lobster and there will be none left when the next season comes back. A former senior Department of Fisheries and Oceans official noted that the Liberals have been warned about the growing tensions and declined to do anything to address the situation. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan – who is from Nova Scotia – had calls to act in 2019 by members of the fisheries. See the story here: https://www.journalpioneer.com/news/canada/retired-dfo-area-chief-blames-fisheries-crisis-on-minister-511552/
Conservative Shadow Minister for Health Michelle Rempel Garner pushed for more information from the Liberals on their response to COVID. A Conservative motion called for the federal departments and agencies to table relevant documents pertaining to their decisions including wearing masks, claims that COVID does not spread person-to-person, personal protective equipment, vaccines and rapid testing. The Conservatives want clarity on testing and testing supplies, procurement of emergency supplies, vaccines and delivery to Canadians, federal and provincial health guidelines and advice, current stock of personal protective equipment, and border closure decisions. We have asked the government to work with Opposition MPs on this issue, however to date, the Liberals have resisted releasing information, suggesting it was too much work to provide information to Parliament.
Despite Conservatives and provinces being successful in pushing the Liberals to get rapid tests approved, Canada is far behind other countries. US and European authorities approved rapid testing in March and April. The Liberals have finally approved five rapid tests since Parliament resumed in September after Conservatives pushed them daily to get them approved. To date, Canada has received 100,000 out of 20 M (half a per cent) that are being distributed to provinces. Canada is expecting approximately 8.5 M tests by the end of the year and 11.5 M in 2021.
On Friday, the US Federal Drug Administration announced the approval of the first COVID drug: Veklury (aka – remdesivir). This drug is an IV anti-viral for individuals who have been hospitalized because of COVID and was initially authorized on an emergency basis. It has now been approved for use in the US for individual over 12 years old and over a certain height. It works by inhibiting a substance that the virus uses to make copies of itself.
SECURITY | BORDERS
The Canada-US border closure to non-essential travel was extended until November 21. This was not an unexpected announcement given growth in COVID cases in Canada and continued surges across parts of the US. Additionally, with the US election coming on November 3, changes or extensions on the border will likely be subject to whoever wins the election.
Alberta leading border screening project: Select international essential service travellers returning to Canada at Calgary International Airport and travellers entering at the Coutts, AB crossing will be able to quarantine for 24-48 hours by taking a test upon arrival and receiving a negative test result. Anyone who tests positive will need to quarantine and those who are not eligible for the program must undertake the current process of a mandatory 14-day quarantine. This pilot project could demonstrate why rapid testing is critical and the delays by the Liberals to get them approved have hurt our fight against this virus and hurt our economic recovery.
Nova Scotia Public Inquiry to mass shooting finally announced: After more than six months, the federal government and the government of Nova Scotia have finally launched a public inquiry into the mass shooting that took place on April 18 and 19. In July, the federal government was backtracked from a closed-door inquiry. That inquiry – which included former Liberal Minister Anne McLellan, met with planned protests by victims’ families and communities. McLellan resigned from the inquiry when it was made a public one. Despite no inquiry, the Liberals used the mass shooting to impose a firearm ban on legal and licenced owners. Media reports to date have shown that the shooter was not licenced to own a firearm and reportedly smuggled firearms up from the US.
Canada’s newest arctic patrol vessel – the Harry DeWolf – broke down just two and half months after it was delivered by Irving Shipbuilding to the Royal Canadian Navy. The Ship has returned to port for repairs to its communications systems and freshwater generators.
The International Crisis Group who employed Michael Kovrig called for his release before the UN Security Council (China is a permanent member of the Council). The call was supported by the German and UK Ambassadors. Mr. Kovrig is one of the two Michaels from Canada that China has questionably detained on espionage charges – and offered to release if Canada would release Huawei CFO Meng Wenzhou who was arrested in Vancouver on an international warrant. The Michaels were denied diplomatic access from December to October and have been in detention for nearly 2 years.
Canada’s Parliamentary Committee on human rights tabled a report on Wednesday calling China’s treatment of Uyghurs – an ethnic minority that speaks a Turkic dialect – was genocide under the United Nations definitions of the term and that China should face sanctions under Canadian laws. The Chinese Uyghurs have been rounded up into labour camps, “re-education” facilities and into forced labour (some of which makes products for sale in Canada). Conservatives including Michelle Rempel Garner and Garnett Genuis have been pushing for action against this massive oppression and subjugation of people in China. Beijing has responded with additional warnings and threats. A study into the issue in 2018 under the Liberal majority resulted in a news release but no formal report or recommendations.
COVID – Canada’s numbers and Travel Bans
Canada has been listed under a European travel ban due to Canada’s climbing COVID numbers. While Canada’s numbers are better than the US, Our World in Data Website shows Canada’s performance is well behind countries who took decisive and quick action on screening, testing and implementing travel restrictions. Compared to European counties and other allies, Canada’s second wave is larger per capita than those countries. Canada has performed better than Italy, UK and France who have the highest numbers in the region. However, countries who implemented effective medical screening of passengers returning from China in January and February have significantly lower community spread (such as Australia, Taiwan and New Zealand).
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 17
Liberals are working day and night to prevent the release of documents on the WE Scandal that were promised to Parliament but blocked when the Prime Minister Prorogued the House the day before the documents were to be delivered. It is believed that un-redacted documents would demonstrate that Liberal Ministers directed senior public servants to give a $545 M student volunteer grant program to their friends at ME-to-WE who had promoted Justin Trudeau and paid his family members $500,000 to speak at events. Liberals have blocked three different committees. Conservatives will be working with other parties to create a Special Anti-Corruption Committee – similar to the one created after the Liberal Ad Scam in 2004.
The Ethics Commissioner is investigating Justin Trudeau’s third ethics and conflict of interest act violation as well as former Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s third investigation related to the WE Scandal. Morneau resigned over his roll in the WE Scandal, shortly before the Elections Commissioner named him for violating the Elections Act by using his Cabinet position to promote Liberal candidates in 2019.
This week Canadians became eligible to apply for the new Canada Recovery Benefit (replacing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for those who do not qualify for EI). The launch of the program was rocky as many Canadians were unable to access the online portals and call in numbers were log-jammed. To apply and see details about the program, click on this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html
New COVID rent relief program that finally addresses issues raised since June by Conservative MPs, small businesses and advocacy group will help small businesses, charities and non-profits to pay for rent in October. Applications for the program will not be available until legislation is passed (it has not yet been made public yet). The government admits rent relief won’t likely be available until late November. Rent relief programs for businesses were promised in April, but the program only launched in June and required landlords to agree participate (many did not). More to follow.
Suncor in Alberta and Husky Energy project in Newfoundland have recently laid off thousands of workers because of the global pandemic and the lack of clear regulatory environment to return to work post-pandemic. Liberal rhetoric and actions show that they are not there for Canadians like energy workers when it counts. The Liberals have made billions available for “green” energy jobs, but declined to help workers on projects like the West White Rose project out east. Clearly when Justin Trudeau says he is there for Canadians, he is not talking about all Canadians. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/o-regan-husky-equity-1.5765074
The Bank of Canada is slowing down its emergency programs: Three programs designed to ensure that financial firms have access to cash to lend out to credit-worthy companies and individuals who needed it. For example, the Bank purchased billions of insured mortgages from lenders, in addition to buying government debt and printing billions per week. The Bank of Canada’s has taken on more than $350 billion in debt since the start of the Pandemic. https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bank-of-canada-1.5764790
Months after the Premiers launched a joint small nuclear reactor energy project to make modular, small nuclear reactors a potential zero emission source of energy for small communities, the Liberal government launched their own plan to support the same industry. Instead of joining with Premiers and bringing Canadians together, the Liberals continue to create division even with new technologies that could reduce emissions and create jobs.
Communist regime in China has been funding language training in BC in exchange for information on local authorities and politicians according to Globe and Mail expose. This suggests that certain education organizations are being funded in part to gather information for the Chinese regime. Recently, news reports emerged that China’s private sector had collected extensive information on particular public leaders around the world including in Canada. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-beijing-used-influence-over-bc-schools-to-push-its-agenda-and-keep/
The Chinese envoy continued his threats against Canada for acting in our own defence and interests this week. The envoy told our government to stay out of democracy protests and issues in Hong King, and when Canada offered refugee status for people fleeing oppression, China’s envoy suggested Canadians in China and Hong Kong could face repercussions. This blunt and direct threat was met with silence from the Liberals but not from Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole. https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2020/10/15/chinese-envoy-warns-canada-against-granting-asylum-to-hong-kong-protesters/#.X4ikitBKiUm
The height of Irony this week, China was elected to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council along side Russia and Cuba. This came the same week that their internment camps of Uyghers were declared a genocide. These Uyghers have been imprisoned, placed into forced labour camps and forced into “red-education” facilities.
After the government announced they had approved rapid testing for COVID in Canada after Conservatives MPs pressed them on failing to approve one for six months, Canadians still do not have access to rapid tests. The tests would allow parents to check that their children don’t have the illness, make sure workers aren’t sick, reduce contract tracing, testing backlogs and more issues facing Canadians right now. This past week Ontario and Quebec both set record numbers for infections.
The Liberals brought in sanctions against Belarus officials over “gross human rights violations” committed by the current regime. The sanctions freezes assets in Canada, prohibits certain business dealings and arms exports, and limits or bans financial assistance or services from providing services to Belarus nationals. The Liberal government has yet to bring in the same measures against China despite the genocide of people in their country, detention of Canadians and illegitimate trade barriers to Canadian products.
The Liberals have re-tendered the contract to develop a buyback and collection program for firearms banned since May 1. The proposal was originally tendered in August but cancelled after no companies bid on the project. The proposal would have the project completed by March 2021, which would suggest a buyback program would not start until at least March 2021. Amnesty for those who own a firearm that was prohibited is until April 2022. Retailers, manufacturers, and user groups are suing the government over the ban with support of democracy and rights groups.
Conservatives continue to press to uncover the truth about the Liberals WE Scandal. The Liberals have so far blocked motions in the House, then at the Finance and Ethics Committees. They have filibustered (speaking as long as possible to waste the Committee’s time and prevent Members from undertaking their work) and have gone so far as to unilaterally end meetings by cutting off the internet connection. As a result, the Conservatives will be moving for a Special Anti-Corruption Committee to look into their corrupt dealings and finally compel the government to reveal the truth.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 12 – HAPPY THANKSGIVING
MP Motz was in Ottawa this week to participate in the House of Commons. He returned to the Standing Committee of Public Safety and National Security and worked to restore previous studies into safety concerns that were cancelled when Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament. In particular, MP Motz presented two proposals that all Opposition MPs supported including calling Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to Committee to address his mandate (something traditionally done at the first meeting, but the Liberal Minister has avoided to-date) and presenting a call for the Committee to look into rising crime rates, violence and shootings in nearly every community across Canada.
PLASTICS BAN: Ottawa branched out from their attacks on oil to include the manufacturing sector. In the middle of a health pandemic that has seen a return to use of plastic bags, plastic knives and forks to allow companies to meet strict health guidelines, the Liberals announced they would ban these products by 2022. While the decrease of emissions and reduction of plastics in our oceans is a worthy cause, plastics are used in renewable energy, vehicle manufacturing, health and medical devices, food protection and in some cases are required by federal or provincial regulations to ensure healthy and sanitary conditions in companies. This move could put $20 billion in investments and nearly half a million jobs in Canada at risk.
COMMERCIAL RENT PROGRAM: The government finally announced a replacement program for its deeply flawed rent subsidy program. The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides up to 65% rent and mortgage relief for companies, charities and non-profits that have seen a revenue drop (with the promise of a scaled approach – with greater revenue declines, higher supports). Any organizations ordered to close due to COVID could be eligible for an additional 25% (raising the total amount of rent subsidy to 90%). However, everyone will have to wait as this new program will require legislation that has not been tabled in Parliament.
CASINO BAILOUT: MP Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative Finance Critic, called out the government for providing a $200 M bailout to a failing casino that was in deep financial distress . Gateway Casinos and Entertainment received $200 M from the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility in July. You can see the discussion here.
INFRASTRUCTURE: MP Motz rose in the House this week to press the Liberals to get infrastructure funding for small and rural communities out the door – not just promise to do it. Many communities across Alberta have shovel-ready projects that are in need of federal support and could have a lasting impact on Canadians’ quality of life and economic opportunity. See the question and answer here.
WESTERN ALIENATION: In the House this week, MP Motz compelled the Liberals to end their oppression of Western Canada. The Liberals ignored calls from MPs, Premiers and other Canadians to include and address Western Alienation in the Speech from the Throne. The Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs gave an answer.
CARBON TAXES: Canada’s Parliamentary Budget office is warning of the potential costs of the Liberal’s environmental plan to meet our carbon reductions through taxes alone. The report notes that Canada’s $30 per tonne carbon tax will have to increase to between $67 and $289 per tonne to achieve the Liberals’ targets.
COVID: Canada’s rates of COVID continued to climb this week and experts have suggested that many parts of the country have entered the second wave. Our National Capital Region has hit record levels of infections. I encourage all Canadians to be vigilant and careful – especially this weekend – to ensure we are not inadvertently transmitting this illness to those with compromised immune systems. Be responsible and take care of one another.
Canada’s Early Warning System for Health Pandemics: It could have informed Canadians of the threat of COVID but was shut down in late 2019 by the Liberals. This early warning system represented 20% of global health pandemic intelligence. While Liberals described the system as vital, they refuse to answer why it was shuttered on their watch. The promise of an independent review appears to many to be another attempt to cover up mistakes and mismanagement behind closed doors. Conservatives will continue to press for better answers as to why Canada’s pandemic warning system was shut down and why Liberals seem to favour information from China over Canadian experts.
HUAWEI: UK MPs – only a few weeks after the British government banned all Huawei products from their 5G networks – condemned Huawei for ”clear evidence of collusion” in the British House of Commons. While the Liberals did condemn China’s tactics of “hostage diplomacy”, they have not yet moved to ban Huawei after several years of “review”. Britain has gone so far as to order all Huawei equipment out of the networks by 2027 to protect their economic security.
FOREIGN AID: Promised foreign aid has come to a near standstill as a $1.5 Billion aid program for international assistance and loans for other countries has only committed $120,000 in three years. Foreign aid reduces suffering and poverty, as well as reduces chances for radicalization by extremists. Overall, foreign aid spending saves money by reducing security problems in the future and by eliminating future financial aid crisis. To date, our government has only spent 0.000008% of that funding. See more here
JUDGES: MP Motz spoke in support of Bill C-3 to require judges to undertake and continue training in sexual assault and harassment to help reduce stigma and barriers to Canadians seeking justice. Only a small fraction of cases are ever brought to police – and a small percentage of that prosecuted. Most sexual assaults never see any jail time. Conservatives will be looking to add parole judges to this regime as well. See the full speech here.
BORDER RESTRICTIONS: Last Friday, the Liberals finally announced they would allow families and people in committed relationships to reunite. For many months, many families and couples were split apart because non-Canadians and non-residents (even if they lived in Canada for years) were being denied entry into Canada to re-unite with loved ones. These easing of restrictions should not put Canadians in jeopardy as the standard health protocols of individuals entering Canada will still be required. However, it is baffling why it took seven months, thousands of emails, and numerous appeals from Opposition MPs to force the Liberals to do the right thing.
JUSTICE SYSTEM: Confidence in our justice system continues to drop. Ottawa’s mismanagement of the RCMP has slowly eroded the police’s ability to do their jobs effectively with inability to fill positions, lack of equipment, and cultural challenges. Alberta is now joining many other cities and provinces in re-thinking whether they would keep the RCMP as their provincial police or look at forming a new police force.
Liberal Members were once again attempting to disrupt Parliamentary proceedings this week. After spending days calling for Opposition MPs to expedite government legislation, the Liberals shut down the work of two committees to avoid votes that would open investigations into their corruption and practices related to the WE Scandal as well as other Liberal-friendly hand outs.
WEEKLY UPDATE FOR September 29 – October 2
Speech From the Throne
In August, the Prime Minister suspended Parliament in order to avoid investigation into his repeat scandals, corruption and assistance to insiders. However he claimed it was to address Canada’s pandemic and prepare for the next phase of recovery. The Speech from the Throne did not deliver what was promised and by all accounts, failed to meet expectations. Where there should have been a plan, there was a promise of more spending, higher taxes, social engineering, and empty Liberal platitudes. Canadians in search of help today found no answers on support programs, small business assistance or advancing the needs of key industries. Most importantly, the request to acknowledge and commit to address Western Alienation was ignored – and even mocked – by Trudeau.
A major part of the 2008 Economic Crisis recovery was effective investment in industry. Our community leaders know this –it can create important jobs for blue collar workers and get the economy moving. It also improves Canada’s key systems that deliver water, improve trade and support our communities. Unfortunately, few details were available. This week the Liberals announced they would allocate $10 Billion from the Infrastructure Bank of Canada towards rural broadband, clean energy projects, building retrofits and western irrigation for agriculture. While promising, this Liberal “Bank” has had $35 Billion in assets for years and has approved one Canadian project – a rail project in Montreal that Trudeau personally supported and announced. The Infrastructure Bank is intended to leverage private sector investments to advance infrastructure. It seems unlikely to help small communities that are most in need of financing to advance their projects.
COMMUNITY: Suicides in Medicine Hat
Our community is facing an unprecedented male suicide crisis. One is too many. Every person matters. You matter. Do not lose hope. You are not alone. I understand the struggles. Tell someone, help one another. Reach out to me directly – we can figure things out together.
SMALL BIZ: Commercial Rent Program Ends
The program to support small businesses by reducing their rent came to an end this week. The program was deeply flawed from the start, giving landlords the option of participating or not, having a complicated structure and taking months to get started. It was also wrapped in a scandal as Trudeau’s top advisor’s husband worked for the company that won the contract to administer the program. The Parliamentary Budget Officer noted the program was massively undersubscribed and the Liberals refused recommended changes from Conservatives, small business owners, and provinces.
SMALL BIZ: Small Business Grants Increased by $600 M for Canada
Liberals announced they would increase the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund delivered by Regional Development Agencies (Western Diversification for Alberta). Only a portion of this funding will be available to Western Diversification and some funding may be delivered through Community Futures and Community Foundation organizations. Stay tuned for more.
SUPPORT: Changes to CERB
A Bill introduced to provide three new programs to support Canadians with COVID had full support of all parties – but Members wanted to review it and suggest edits. The Liberals – refusing to listen to anyone (even some of their own MPs) would not allow debate, study, witnesses or edits to their Bill. Like every other time this has happened during COVID, there is likely to be problems that could have been fixed up front – but a stubborn Liberal government refused to listen. Again.
Programs details are here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals
Canada Recovery Benefit – As Canadians transition from CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit), they will be moved onto Employment Insurance or a new $500 per week benefit called the Canada Recovery Benefit. The program will require Canadians to apply and sign an attestation to qualify, try to find work, and not turn down reasonable offers of employment.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit – This program will provide up to two weeks of support for anyone forced into isolation, diagnosed with COVID, awaiting test results or exposed to the illness.
Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit – This program will provide up to 26 weeks of paid support for Canadians who are caring for a child or senior who must isolate, has COVID, or are unable to go to their normal daycare or support.
PARLIAMENT: Erin O’Toole from COVID
New Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole returned to Parliament after his isolation and recovery from COVID. He took the opportunity to address the challenges facing everyday Canadians that the Liberals are ignoring. See the Speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wonVEfNQGrs
PARLIAMENT: Liberals Trying to Dodge on Scandals, Shut Down Parliament
Since Parliament returned, the Liberals have worked to postpone any investigation into their corruption and scandals. At first, they attempted to postpone Committees doing substantial work until the New Year . When that failed, they have attempted to derail and block studies into serious issues. This week, Liberals shut down a committee to block reviews into yet another corruption scandal – this one involving former Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido who has been implicated in money laundering and violating Canada’s ethics laws. The Liberals have attempted to block the resumption of examining the corruption of Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau and the WE Scandal. They have repeatedly blocked debate and study of serious recovery efforts and have refused to address issues from all regions of the country instead of just their supporters. History will not be kind to this dark part of our democracy.
PRIVACY: Liberals to Tax, Censor Websites and Social Media
Liberal Minister Steven Guilbeault is continuing his crusade to implement government censorship and taxation of social media and websites. University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist, a well-known user-rights and digital law expert, has eviscerated the proposal that would see Canada effectively reverse our position on open internet and government censorship of Canadians. The taxes would apply to platforms and sites that share “Canadian content” such as CBC news and other Canadian content. China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are part of a small list of countries around the World that censor online content in this way.
FIREARMS: Mounties Unions comes out against Gun Bans
The Canadian Coalition of Firearms Rights created a video – which includes numerous experts talking about the misleading and erroneous direction of the firearms ban. At the 28-minute mark of the video, Vice President for the National Police Federation, who represents the RCMP notes that, “If you don’t deal with the criminal, you aren’t dealing with the problem.” [MP Motz’s appears at 26 minute mark!] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc8W-sRRqdk&feature=youtu.be
ECONOMY: Canada’s Debt
The Parliamentary Budget Officer says Canada will reach $1.45 trillion in debt in 2020-21, not including the recent measures announced. By this time next year, the Liberals could triple Canada’s debt in just five years and put major transfers and social programs at risk. When the Liberals came into power, Canada had $612 B in debt and a balanced budget. In five years, the Liberals have never come close to a balanced budget, have increased taxes every year, and now risk increasing our debt levels to close to 100% of our GDP (after promising to keep debt at about 30-33% of GDP). Despite all this spending, Canada has the highest unemployment in the G7, the country is highly divided regionally, crime has grown every year, and most families are struggling to make ends meet.
HEALTH: Home Test Kits Finally Approved – expect delivery in a few months
After demands from my colleague Michelle Rempel Garner to approve home test kits that individuals can buy and use to determine if they have COVID, the Liberals announced they had finally approved one at-home test kit. The kit in question was put on the market in March by the manufacturer Abbott Laboratories and has been approved for months in most of Europe and the US. The approval – and promise to buy millions of them this week – only means that Canadians will have to wait months before they are available. The first deliveries aren’t expected before December 2020, with most being delivered in 2021.
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.