Monday, June 18, 2018


     Americans are in an uproar about illegal immigrant parents and children separated at the border. The level of hysteria surrounding this topic has reached a fever pitch with senators like Chuck Schumer mugging distraught for the cameras at every opportunity. While the shrill voices shriek loudly about the rights of Mexicans and other assorted border jumpers, American parental rights are being stripped from them, unconstitutionally, every single day. (Chuck Schumer has yet to freak out about it on national television.) American parents have lost their due process and Fourth Amendment rights, and most of them don't even know it. Most anyone who has been visited by Child Protective Services can testify to the absolute terror that the state can inflict on a family for very little or no reason at all.


   G&M:  While Mr. Ford’s decision to end to the provincial cap-and-trade system could provoke lawsuits from companies that purchased allowances, the province is also set to join Saskatchewan’s legal fight over the federal government’s right to impose its carbon tax where provinces have not levied their own carbon price, whether by direct tax or cap-and-trade system.
   “They’re going to be quite happy that they won’t pay in the future; it’s putting money back into businesses’ pockets and families’ pockets, [and] I think people will be pleased,” he said. Asked whether the province is facing lawsuits, he said: “I don’t believe so; we’ve looked into that and we don’t see a problem with that.”
  The province is also scheduled to make a payment of US$311,055.40 to help fund the Western Climate Initiative on June 30, the day after Mr. Ford is sworn in as premier.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


   Alberta’s auditor general recently produced a report that highlighted risks to Alberta’s long-term fiscal sustainability. The report highlights a number of problems with Alberta’s approach to fiscal policy in recent years, including the province’s rapid spending growth and the closely-related issue of the province’s heavy reliance on natural resource revenue to fund day-to-day spending.
   Let’s start by considering Alberta’s unsustainable approach to public spending.
   Our studies have repeatedly shown that Alberta’s fiscal problems stem from successive governments increasing spending at a significantly faster rate than that would have been necessary to offset cost pressures from inflation and population growth. For many years, when oil prices were high, successive governments spent freely as though the good times would never end. When oil prices fell in late 2014, the government found itself spending at unaffordable levels, facing a very large budget deficit. Since then, the government’s decision to continue to increase spending has caused those deficits to grow even bigger along with the provincial debt.


  For the first time a major political party has gone into an election with an anti-green platform and won big time. Specifically the Conservative Party platform for the Ontario election on 7th June promised:
This means no carbon tax or cap-and-trade schemes.
Stop sweetheart deals by scrapping the Green Energy Act.
    The Conservatives made some other promises too but what was interesting about dropping the carbon tax etc. was the lack of agonizing over the science, the planet, polar bears, the Great Barrier Reef or anything else. While the Trump administration recently hired a climate agonizer to head NASA, and the head of the EPA hasn’t moved against the endangerment finding on CO2, Ontario voters in a record turnout voted to make global warming a non-problem by forgetting about it, and getting on with their lives.


   Toronto Sun:  According to the National Post, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna was advised by experts in her department after taking office that reaching Trudeau’s goal of reducing Canada’s emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 would require a national carbon price of $100 by 2020 (not $50 by 2022).
   In that context, Winter’s estimates of the annual cost of a $100 carbon price on the average Canadian household are:
   Ontario, $1,414; Alberta $2,223; British Columbia $1,206; Quebec $1,324; Saskatchewan $2,065; Nova Scotia $2,240; New Brunswick $1,929; Newfoundland and Labrador $1,718; Prince Edward Island $1,577; Manitoba $1,367.


    So far in 2018 Toronto has seen 41 homicides. And the killers don’t care if it happens in a playground, in Yonge-Dundas Square, or at a bowling alley.
    This is why Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack tweeted “it’s time for leadership” to stop the insanity.
   It was called opportunism, but what he tweeted was the truth. The truth hurts. That police are not allowed to properly conduct street checks is a deadly truth. It means they don’t have the same street intelligence they once enjoyed. It gives the bad guys a real advantage.
  Time to take that back.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


   The U.S. Trade Representative’s final list of tariffs on $50 billion of  Chinese imports includes 1,102 product lines, mainly focused on China’s Made In 2025 plan to become dominant in high-technology industries such as robotics, aerospace, industrial machinery and automobiles. Consumer goods including mobile phones and televisions aren’t being subjected to the tariffs.
   Hours after the U.S. announcement -- China’s Finance Ministry issued a list of 545 product categories, also covering about $34 billion in exports from the U.S., to be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff starting July 6. They included a variety of agricultural products, including soybeans, corn and wheat along with beef, pork and poultry, plus automobiles. A second set of tariffs to begin at a later date covered other goods including coal, crude oil, gasoline and medical equipment.
   The U.S. imported $506 billion of goods from China last year and exported about $130 billion, leaving a 2017 deficit of $376 billion, according to government figures.


   UPDATE President Donald Trump officially announces 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese imports and pledges additional tariffs if China retaliates
   U.S. proposals to smack tariffs on US$50 billion of Chinese imports are just the start, economists and China-watchers said as they await an impending announcement.
   The Trump administration is preparing to release a refined list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs that focus on technologies where China wants to establish itself as a leader, according to people familiar with the matter. The White House has said the duties will be implemented “shortly” after the release of Friday’s list, though no date has been set.


   Toronto Sun: It’s a theme I’ve been hearing repeatedly as of late — namely that areas of downtown Toronto around the safe injection sites and low barrier shelters are turning into a disgusting, unwelcoming “s***hole.”
   I heard residents lament the deterioration of the Collier-Asquith neighbourhood Tuesday night at a fiery meeting about the lawlessness they’ve experienced since the 21 Park Rd. transient shelter opened last November.
   I heard it again at Wednesday’s community services committee from residents living in Cabbagetown and around Moss Park.


  On Friday, Ford announced that his first priority is to eliminate the Liberals’ cap-and-trade carbon-pricing scheme. He plans to do it right away, when he reconvenes the legislature in a few weeks for a special summer session.
  But within hours of Ford’s announcement, Climate Change and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s office unleashed threats against the province: “Ontario’s current pollution pricing system meets the federal standard. If the new government changes or eliminates its system, that assessment may change and the federal price on pollution would apply.”
  Whatever they try, Ford will have none of it. He’s already said he’s prepared to take this all the way up to the Supreme Court, and he’ll have Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to join him. Plus, by that time, Jason Kenney could well be premier of Alberta. The three carbon tax amigos.


  We know some of what Mueller was doing. The same official who paved the way for raiding the president’s lawyer, who illegally seized material from the Trump transition team and whose case is based in no small part on illegal eavesdropping, fought alongside Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.
  But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.
  Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.


  The city of Montreal has filed a lawsuit against six people and an engineering firm, claiming they should pay the city more than $4.5 million they obtained through a fraudulent system of bidding for city contracts.
   The lawsuit, filed Friday morning, names the engineering firm AECOM — formerly Tecsult — and six politicians, civil servants and AECOM executives the city alleges were involved in the collusion scheme.
  “My message is very clear: this money was taken away from Montrealers, and we want to have this money back,” said Mayor Valérie Plante.


    France:  A suspected Islamic extremist arrested in Cologne succeeded in making ricin and was planning a “biological weapon attack” in Germany, prosecutors said on Thursday.
   Sief Allah Hammami, a 29-year-old Tunisian, was held on Wednesday along with his German wife after police found large quantities of the deadly toxin his apartment.
   It is believed to be the first time Islamic extremists in Europe have succeeded in manufacturing ricin, which is one of deadliest biological agents known to man.
   “This is the biggest potential threat ever found in Europe,” Bild newspaper quoted a source close to the investigation as saying.


  The Trudeau Liberals call Bill C-48 the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.
  But it’s not a tanker ban at all. It’s a product blockade. And most of the blocked products are from Alberta.
  “This bill is an attempt to further restrict the oilsands,” says Alberta Sen. Doug Black, who promises a major fight on second reading in the fall.
  “Bill C-48 is a direct aim at the oilsands and at Alberta’s ability to refine products and ship them. Right to the heart!”


  A U.S. drone strike killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan’s eastern Konar province, Afghan officials said Friday, eliminating a notorious insurgent commander who had ordered attacks on schoolchildren in Pakistan, including future Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
  In a telephone interview, Mohammad Radmanish said Fazlullah and two other insurgents were killed early Thursday morning, just hours before Afghanistan’s Taliban began a three-day cease fire to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
   In Yousafzai’s hometown of Mingora in the Swat Valley, residents welcomed reports of Fazlullah’s death with one resident saying many feared he would return one day to re-impose his violent rule. A ruthless leader, Fazlullah ordered the bombing and beheadings of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan’s picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them in 2009.

Friday, June 15, 2018


  Ivison, NP:  “It’s all about finding blame. Nobody ever says government department X did a great job.
   All public servants go to work with a shadow on their shoulder. The blame game permeates the whole system, he said.
   Certainly, Canada’s public service is better than most in the world when it comes to nepotism, corruption and partisanship, as Wernick said.
   But as Savoie pointed out, anyone raving about government efficiency should try calling the Canada Revenue Agency sometime. The feeling among many citizens, far too often, is that public servants aren’t there to do, they’re there to explain why it can’t be done.


   G & M:  The bill includes a new law called the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which sets a national carbon price regime that will apply in provinces and territories that have not established an equivalent carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy.
   Another section will limit access to the small-business corporate income tax rate for businesses with passive investment income of more than $50,000 a year. It was the final part of a package of small-business changes that Finance Minister Bill Morneau first announced in the summer of 2017 and later modified in response to strong opposition from small-business owners. 
    Another area of controversy raised during Senate hearings related to changes to the Bank Act that would expand the ability of banks to enter into partnerships with financial technology companies, or fintechs. Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien told senators the provisions failed to strike the right balance between promoting innovation and protecting the privacy of consumers.


   Mark Steyn comments on the Inspector General's long awaited report on Comey, Strzok, Page and the FBI's treatment of the Clinton investigation.


   Returning to Boise, Idaho from a tournament in California, the victorious Black Knights saw an SUV flip off the road in front of them.  
    The coach immediately pulled over and the team members, all of whom were 13 years or younger, rushed to rescue the couple who was trapped inside the car.


   Toronto Star:  MONTREAL—Ontario’s partners in a North American emissions-trading market are hoping to convince Premier-elect Doug Ford to scrap an election pledge to pull out of the program.
   Quebec Environment Minister Isabelle Melançon said she is anxiously awaiting the swearing-in of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative cabinet so that she can take up the defence of the trading scheme through which companies that pollute beyond an ever-decreasing threshold can buy credits, the proceeds of which go toward emissions-reduction programs.
   While an Ontario pull out would carry little in the way of concrete negative impacts for the other two partners in the carbon market — Quebec and California were in it alone before Ontario signed on — Quebec’s Melançon said it would be a setback for the environment.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


   The Taliban complained that the U.S. violated their free speech rights by launching airstrikes against one of their propaganda outlets.
   Ghazni provincial police said six Taliban militants were killed in the Sunday night airstrikes delivered by the Afghan security forces.
   The target was Radio Shariat, a station that had been airing Taliban programming and recruitment messages for about four months.
  Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid blamed the U.S. in a statement of taking out the "Voice of Shariah."


   Europe has another political crisis on its hands, and this one could be a big one as it is right in the middle of Europe's growth dynamo "ground zero."
   A rebellion over immigration in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc is threatening the stability of her fragile coalition. Merkel’s weekend decision to veto a plan by her interior minister aimed at controlling and reducing illegal migration, and the minister’s refusal to back down, has already shattered an uneasy truce between conservative backers and opponents of her liberal asylum policy, just months after a tenuous coalition government was formed.
   Specifically, Merkel is facing a rebellion from her hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who demands that German border police be given the right to turn back migrants without identity papers or who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union. The chancellor fears that such a move would be seen as further antagonizing already stretched nationalist tentions across the EU and be seen as Germany going it alone, hurting over-burdened frontline Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece, and has urged a negotiated EU response instead.


  Fears for the safety of Tommy Robinson are mounting after it was revealed that he has been moved to a heavily Muslim-populated prison in the United Kingdom and has already been on the receiving end of death threats.
   Robinson was jailed last month for a “breach of the peace” while live streaming a trial involving a Muslim rape gang outside Leeds Crown Court.
   He was initially held in a low security prison with a low Muslim population.
  However, today it was revealed by Robinson’s manager Caolan Robertson that the activist has now been moved to another prison that has a large Muslim prison population.


   She told a crowd of diplomats, academics and politicians blocks from the White House that she realizes that some Americans no longer think that world order is of any benefit to them, even though they helped create it and wrote “the biggest cheques” to support it.
   “We see this most plainly in the U.S. administration’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum,” Freeland said in her acceptance speech for winning the Foreign Policy journal’s diplomat of the year award.
    “They are a naked example of the United States putting its thumb on the scale, in violation of the very rules it helped to write.”


   TORONTO – A university teaching assistant who gained prominence after being disciplined for showing students a TV clip of a controversial professor discussing gender-neutral pronouns is suing the school, claiming Wilfrid Laurier University behaved negligently, leaving her unemployable in academia.
After the outcry erupted, the university’s president apologized to her, saying there had been an “institutional failure,” that Shepherd had done nothing wrong, and the school was taking steps to ensure similar events did not recur.
   However, Shepherd maintains she has received no redress, and in fact has been subjected to “continuing abuse and a toxic climate from the university and its representatives,” according to her statement of claim.
The suit alleges the school failed to follow its own policies, and that attacks on her by “predators” amounted to harassment, intentional infliction of nervous shock, and constructive dismissal.


Premier-designate Doug Ford will recall the legislature next month for a brief summer session to end the York University strike and begin fulfilling campaign promises like lowering gasoline prices, sources told the Star.


   Canada’s communications system is overseen by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), an arm’s-length regulator acting in the public interest. Formed in 1968, the organization was created to ensure “Canadians retain control over new communications technologies.” Its mission includes ensuring “Canadians have access to a world-class communication system” and that we can “connect to quality and innovative communication services at affordable prices.”
   But a closer look at the CRTC’s role in the marketplace raises a number of questions about who the regulator is actually looking out for. If the CRTC were really achieving its mission, wouldn’t things look better for customers? Recent events and decisions raise questions about its willingness to put the public at the heart of its decision-making and suggest that the CRTC’s priorities are instead more aligned with protecting industry profits.
    Ultimately, the responsibility for the CRTC and for the future of Canada’s communications system lands with Ministers Bains and Joly. While both have raised Internet affordability as a concern, we have yet to see their departments succeed at shifting the CRTC’s focus. It’s time for these ministers to ensure we have a regulator whose prime concern is the public interest.


Hebert, Toronto Star:  Whatever Bernier's intention was when he uploaded to his personal website the supply management chapter of a future book on his political vision, it also looked like a shot across the Conservative bow in the imminent Chicoutimi-Le Fjord byelection.
  A four-way split in the vote allowed the Liberals to narrowly win the seat from the NDP in 2015. But since then New Democrat and BQ fortunes have declined precipitously. In a one-on-one battle with the Liberals in Quebec, the Conservatives believe they can deprive Trudeau of gains in his home province next year and in the process deny him a second term in government.
  With less than a week to go to the byelection, a local poll published on Wednesday showed the Conservatives with a strong lead on the Liberals. Under that light, Bernier’s decision to once again highlight his dissent could only too easily be construed by many of his caucus colleagues as a deliberate act of sabotage.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


   The problem was booze — destroyer of marriages, jobs, families, relationships and supports. Booze scooped up children and dumped them in foster homes.
  I never ran across a parent who said, “I hate my kids. You keep ‘em.”  I recall them all saying they loved their children. They wanted their children home. But booze had become the master.
   We tried very hard to work within community structures: chiefs, councilors, band staff, families. Because the parents were problem drinkers who fought with everyone, folks were reluctant to offer support for the children, let alone the parents. Heard over and over was “We don’t want to get involved!”


   Hundreds of overt and covert spyware apps are available to abusive partners who want to turn a victim’s Iphone or Android into a surveillance tool, a recent U.S. study found.
   And malware detection programs the researchers tested are terrible at finding them, they discovered in a series of tests.
   Spyware apps range from those explicitly marketed at people who want to keep track of an intimate partner (as seen below) to more innocent ones, like Find My Phone, which can be re-purposed as tracking tools.


   A series of allegations made by the wife of the captain of the Ottawa Senators against a fellow teammate’s fiancée, detailing a season-long campaign of targeted online harassment, threatens to upend Ottawa’s locker room, leaving the futures of two of the team’s stars in question.
   Melinda Karlsson, née Currey, has filed an application for an order of protection against the longtime girlfriend of Senators forward Mike Hoffman — alleging a campaign of harassment that plagued the Karlssons after the death of their son and through much of the last NHL season
   The application for a peace bond sworn in front of Justice of the Peace Louise Logue on May 4, alleges that Monika Caryk, Hoffman’s partner, had threatened Melinda and husband Erik Karlsson from November 2017 to the date the information was sworn to.


  NP:  Ontario’s incumbent Liberals have been obliterated. Outgoing premier Kathleen Wynne, narrowly re-elected in her own Toronto riding, will now lead a rump caucus of a mere seven MPPs. The Liberals had pinned their final hopes on simply maintaining official party status. They fell one seat short.
  Abject defeat is a good look for Wynne and Co. The party was properly and mightily punished by voters not merely for their policy debacles, of which there were many, or for their ethical failures, which exist in similar abundance. They were rejected in 117 out of 124 races this week because of their overwhelming arrogance. Even on those rare occasions when the party was forced to admit wrongdoing, they always stressed how their main failure was being too slow to catch on to a problem, rather than chronic mismanagement, while insisting they were always doing their best, most noble work.


    If Canada wants to decisively threaten maximum pain and stop the escalating trade war with the U.S., it should propose expropriating pharmaceutical patents
   Thanks to an obscure twist of world trade law, doing so is perfectly legal, too. In the years since NAFTA, developments in international law have made expropriation of pharmaceutical patents easier and less risky than ever. Between 1998 and 2005, at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the World Trade Organization cobbled together special rules making it lawful to “compulsory license”—or, essentially, expropriate—pharmaceutical patents. The rules allow Canada’s government to authorize Canadian companies to copy patented drugs controlled by U.S. companies. There is no need for an AIDS-like health emergency, so long as certain manageable procedural steps are followed. Further, those procedural steps can be shortcut “to remedy a practice determined after … administrative process to be anti-competitive”—likely an easy determination for President Trump’s bogus claim that aluminum and steel tariffs are needed for national security.


   The conundrum facing Trump is how to address the inhuman evil of Kim’s regime while keeping the dictator at the negotiating table. This is not just a matter of Kim taking umbrage because Trump hassles him about mass executions.
   The North Korean regime has been so monstrous for so long that humanitarian reform is an existential threat to Kim’s survival – even if, as Trump seemed to imply in his post-summit remarks, Kim is personally uncomfortable his family legacy of brutality and truly wishes to change, or at least understands change is necessary to interface with the rest of the world.
   On the other hand, admitting the depths of his regime’s depravity and swiftly implementing comprehensive reforms would involve a tremendous loss of prestige for Kim and undermine the regime’s mythology, which holds the Kim dynasty as semi-divine spiritual and moral leaders for the entire Korean people.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


   National Defence has identified five — possibly six — known contamination sites at a New Brunswick military base as it works to determine whether the cancer-causing defoliant Agent Orange was buried surreptitiously there decades ago, CBC News has learned.
   Officials at the department's Directorate of Contaminated Sites presented a map showing the various locations to a former military police officer and a retired civilian employee of Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, N.B. — both of whom say they witnessed chemical drums being buried on the base in separate incidents over 30 years ago.
   The claims by retired sergeant Al White and Robert Wilcox, who worked at the training base in the 1970s and 1980s, were first reported by CBC News last month.


   In January 2010, the CRA sent her a letter informing her that 100 per cent of the $750,000 charitable donation she had claimed on her taxes was being disallowed because the Dillon Foundation’s Canadian charity status had been revoked.
   But that’s not all: The entire plan was a tax cheat scheme, according to the government.
   “The ‘Donation Arrangement’ was orchestrated and promoted for the sole purpose of avoiding Canadian tax,” the letter read. “(It) was a sham designed to make the appearance that there was a donation, that the funds were used for charitable purposes, when in fact, none existed.”
   And then things got worse. Pace Lindsay learned the CRA was considering a criminal investigation against her and others who had donated to the Dillon Foundation.


   OTTAWA — The federal government's financial adviser has raised the possibility of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board becoming involved in the Trans Mountain pipeline project but there's been no political pressure applied, CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin told a parliamentary committee Monday.
   The Toronto-based fund manager and its peers will likely take a look at the stalled Trans Mountain project because there are a limited number of investment opportunities of its magnitude, but CPPIB has yet to begin a formal analysis or receive any confidential information, Machin told Commons finance committee.
   Machin insisted that there had been no contact between CPPIB and Finance Minister Bill Morneau or any other member of the Liberal government, but said that CPPIB has been approached by Greenhill & Co., a small investment bank that has been hired to advise the government on selling the Trans Mountain project.
   "I believe they've approached every — a lot of — funds domestically and internationally," Machin said. 


   FP:  Under leader Doug Ford, the Progressive Conservatives successfully campaigned to undo all of Wynne’s failed energy policies. The incoming premier promises to scrap the Liberals’ costly and misguided Green Energy Plan, tear up improvident contracts, shake up the leadership at the provincial hydro company and deliver a 12-per-cent rate reduction to Ontario families. He has also taken a bold stand in vowing to end Ontario’s participation in the cap-and-trade scheme and to fight any move by Ottawa to impose a carbon tax unilaterally on the province on constitutional grounds. Plus there is to be an immediate 10-cent-per-litre cut in the provincial gas tax.
   In taking a stand against Canada-wide carbon taxation, Ford has performed two important services. He has put to bed the political falsehood — peddled by the media, green lobbyists and political consultants — that politicians can only win office by supporting carbon pricing. It would now seem the opposite is closer to the truth. Second, Ford is aligning himself with the governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and — if, as expected, Alberta’s opposition leader Jason Kenney wins power in his province come the next election, as is currently expected — Alberta in opposing federal climate change policy. This could mean more than half the country’s population will be set against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan for a national carbon tax.
    Premier-designate Ford will no doubt face considerable pressure from various pro-tax organizations, lobby groups and even his own bureaucracy as he pulls Ontario from this federal scheme. He must resist them with all his strength because the pressure to break his promise on cap-and-trade will be immense. Ford must never forget that it was anger over energy prices that vaulted him into power in the first place.


   G& M:  North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula, but offered few new pledges after hours of meetings with President Donald Trump.
   After the Singapore summit, Mr. Trump responded by announcing that the U.S. will suspend its so-called war games with South Korea.
   “The war games are very expensive, we pay for the majority of them,” he told reporters.
  The summit in Singapore marked the first of its kind between sitting leaders of the two countries, and was filled with pageantry and moments of dramatic waiting, as Mr. Trump boasted that talks had gone “better than anybody could have expected."

Monday, June 11, 2018


   LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday, pulled down by rising Russian production and the highest U.S. drilling activity in more than three years, but found some support from concerns over future Iranian and Venezuelan output.
   Analysts expect higher U.S. output to offset supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which have been in place for 18 months and have pushed up prices significantly over the past year.
   Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was down 70 cents at $75.76 a barrel by 1150 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was fell 70 cents to $65.04.


    Pope Francis is meeting with executives from top oil companies and investment funds to discuss climate change. The Pope’s perspective will presumably reflect his 2015 encyclical "Laudato si’", which (among many points) called for a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. As an economist who has contributed to the book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, that respectfully but critically engages the thought of Pope Francis, I laud the spiritual motivation of his concerns but question the actual consequences of his recommendations. Simply put, the Pope’s ideas on climate change would end up hurting the world’s poorest members, the very people his supporters think they are helping.


   Toronto Sun:   “While law-abiding religious and cultural groups pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of staging public events, those who call for Israelis to be shot and wave the flags of terrorist groups get to do so for free. The City of Toronto must address this glaring contradiction,” he added.
     Said Mostyn: “B’nai Brith demands that the City of Toronto not give preferential treatment to hatemongers, while law-abiding cultural and religious groups pay significant fees for the use of public space.”
   If Ontario’s incoming premier has his way, the days of people opening calling for the death of others is over.


   In the last few weeks, three black motorists, including an NAACP chapter president, made blatantly false allegations against perfectly courteous police officers.
   Now who’s “racially profiling”?


This year Tax Freedom Day falls on June 10. Tax Freedom Day measures the total yearly tax burden imposed on Canadian families by all levels of government: If you had to pay all your taxes up front, you’d give government every dollar you earned before June 10. This year, the average Canadian family (with two or more people) will pay $50,464 in total taxes or 43.6 per cent of its annual income


  The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that “the Obama administration skirted key U.S. sanctions to grant Iran access to billions in hard currency despite public assurances the administration was engaged in no such action, according to a new congressional investigation.”
   And it gets even worse: “The investigation, published Wednesday by the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, further discloses secret efforts by top Obama administration officials to assure European countries they would receive a pass from U.S. sanctions if they engaged in business with Iran.”
    This revelation comes after the news that came to light in February, that, according to Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, “the U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.”

Sunday, June 10, 2018


   You would expect a meeting of the leaders of the most important countries to be concerned about fighting terrorism, reducing taxes and regulations, and reducing trading barriers. That last issue was the one that President Trump focused on, to the dismay of the other attendees who wanted their usual painless photo op where they could virtue signal about women or the environment.
   But to their surprise President Trump focused on the important things, reducing global trade barriers, even suggesting the total elimination of all tariffs in all G-7 countries. This would greatly spur economic growth, if agreed to.
  But don't expect the media to focus on that. Rather than honestly reporting that Trump focused on our top international economic priority, access to foreign markets, they will portray Trump as a boor and an unenlightened unenvironmentalist.


   Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran's judiciary, disclosed in Farsi-language remarks broadcast on Iran's state-controlled television that Iranian intelligence officials secretly helped provide the al Qaeda attackers with passage and gave them refuge in the Islamic Republic, according to an English translation published by Al Arabiya.
   "Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence," Larijani was quoted as saying.
   The remarks represent the first time senior Iranian officials have publicly admitted to aiding al Qaeda and playing a direct role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks.


  US President Donald Trump has launched a ferocious attack on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling his behaviour during G7 meetings “meek and mild” and accusing him of issuing “false statements” at his closing press conference.”
   The Twitter tirade came just hours after Trudeau publicly contradicted several sweeping assertions made by Trump earlier in the day on issues including NAFTA renegotiations and the president’s contentious demand for a sunset clause in the deal.
   Trump began by contradicting Trudeau’s announcement earlier Saturday that G7 countries had agreed to an “ambitious” joint communique, tweeting that Trudeau’s “false statements” at his press conference prompted him to instruct U.S. officials “not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!”

Saturday, June 9, 2018


NP:  That advertisement that debuted in the closing days of the Wynne campaign said she wasn’t sorry about the things her government has done.


   The economy lost 7,500 jobs in May as a drop in full-time employment was only partially offset by an increase in part-time jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday.
   The overall drop in the number of jobs came as full-time jobs fell by 31,000, offset in part by a gain of 23,600 part-time positions. The loss of jobs came as the health care and social assistance sector lost 24,000 jobs, while the manufacturing sector lost 18,000. Employment in construction fell 13,000.


   TORONTO — Ontario's outgoing Liberals made a pitch to hold on to official party status Friday as they entered a period of extreme uncertainty in the wake of an election that took them from a majority government to a mere seven seats.
   Kathleen Wynne, who stepped down as Liberal leader after the party's dramatic downfall, said she hopes premier-designate Doug Ford will change the rules to grant the designation, which currently requires eight seats in the legislature.
  "I think it's important," she said. "I hope that Mr. Ford will agree."
  Ford only said he would talk to his team about the issue in the days and weeks to come.


Wente, G&M:  Doug Ford was a disastrous choice for PC leader. Or so the elites said. The naysayers included plenty of people in his own party, who cringed with shame that he was elected leader. They thought he would lead the party, once again, into oblivion. Instead, he led the race from the start. And they didn’t understand what motivated Ford voters most – not the man, but an overwhelming desire for change.
   People voted for Mr. Ford because they were sick of 15 years of taxing and spending. They didn’t see any point in replacing one tax-and-spending party with another. You don’t have to be an urban sophisticate to recognize that 15 years of Liberal rule had created a bottomless money pit. That is Ontario today. The interest on the provincial debt alone costs a billion dollars a month. The hydro system is a mess. Health care is a fraying blanket of strained facilities and hallway medicine. So when the Liberals tried to bribe the voters with huge election promises, paid for by more deficits without end, people saw these promises for what they were: a scam.

Friday, June 8, 2018


   Each week, Robert Mueller's Wonderlandian investigation into "Russian Collusion" appears "curiouser and curiouser". Each week, it appears that the entire investigation never really had anything to do with Russian collusion, at least in the Trump campaign; only in the Hillary Clinton campaign, where all the investigators have been conscientiously not looking.
   First, Mueller indicted General Michael Flynn for not telling the truth to an FBI squad that appeared unexpectedly at the White House to question him, when now it turns out that Peter Strzok, who interrogated him, said he had not lied. It also now turns out that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may later have altered Strzok's interrogation notes, and then destroyed the evidence.
   Mueller then indicted Paul Manafort for allegedly laundering money through an Alexandria, Virginia, oriental rug store -- a "process crime". Notably absent from it in any indictment was mention of Russia, collusion or even elections.


   Toronto Sun:  At the early May Reena Foundation fundraiser, two days before the writ was dropped, PC leader Doug Ford mentioned to me he knew his opponents would throw everything dirty they could at him during the Ontario election campaign.
   He was right.
  The past 30 days have been, well, insightful and full of the very “mudslinging, hatred and divisive comments” NDP Andrea Horwath keeps claiming she abhors (just before she quickly pivots and slings mud at her opponents.)


   “Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things,” Trump posted. “But he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!”
   The message was in response to mounting pressure from allies about the 25% tariff on steel and a 10% duty on aluminum Trump imposed in late May. Macron suggested earlier Thursday that the U.S. could be excluded from the group’s agreements.
   “The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be,” Macron posted on Twitter. “Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force.”


  The results of Thursday’s election in Ontario have sent two Liberal cabinet ministers and multi-term MPPs packing – two major upsets in a political sea change provincially that stripped the Liberals of official party status.
   Almost half the voters in Ottawa Centre cast their ballots for the provincial New Democrats, giving NDP candidate Joel Harden enough support to take out former Liberal MPP and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, who had been vying for a fourth consecutive term.
   In Ottawa West-Nepean, PC candidate Jeremy Roberts defeated longtime Liberal MPP, ex-infrastructure minister and former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli.


   Between Jan. 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 only 135 individuals who made an asylum claim following an irregular entry were removed from the country, says information provided to the Commons committee on immigration.
   During that same period, more than 5,000 asylum seekers arrived through unofficial entry points.
   The government says border officials can only remove failed refugee claimants after they have exhausted all legal options available to try for refugee status, including applications to the Immigration and Refugee Board, appeals and other administrative measures.
  "Everyone ordered removed from Canada is entitled to due process before the law," said Scott Bardsley, press secretary for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


   'We have taken back Ontario': Doug Ford leads PCs to majority government.  PCs secure more than 63 seats.
  Kathleen Wynne has stepped down as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party


This appears to show an editorial in an August 2000 edition of the Creston Valley Advance - a local BC paper - accusing Justin Trudeau of "inappropriately handling" a female reporter.
  His apology is arrogant and bizarre.


   But a drop in U.S. growth or employment might make President Trump think twice.
   Canadian officials say they are already seeing evidence that the U.S. tariffs are having a boomerang effect. One New York State-based company that has plants on both sides of the border has complained about tariffs being imposed on finished goods — costs that are inevitably passed on to U.S. customers. These unintended consequences are kicking in even before Canada and other countries retaliate against the steel tariffs.
  Kudlow couldn’t point to a difference between 2002 and 2018 because there is none. The results will be the same — which Trump must know. In which case, the tariffs and any additional penalties are a ruse, a negotiating ploy to wring concessions from trading partners.


   A report on sexual harassment allegations against former Liberal cabinet minister Kent Hehr has concluded with the MP being told that he will not be allowed to return to cabinet — but will be allowed to remain a member of the federal Liberal caucus.
   "I am grateful to the prime minister for this process as it has allowed these issues to be more fully understood by all involved," Hehr said in a statement posted to Twitter. "While I will not be returning to cabinet, I will continue to work hard to serve the good people of Calgary Centre as a member of the Liberal caucus."
   Hehr resigned from cabinet after Kristin Raworth of Edmonton published a series of tweets earlier this year alleging the Liberal minister had made women feel "unsafe" at Alberta's legislature with unwanted, sexually suggestive comments, and had made suggestive remarks to her, including, "You're yummy."


   The Canadian Armed Forces has ordered its members to return rucksacks and sleeping bag kits so they can be redistributed because of a “shortfall of equipment,” CTV News has learned.
   Although the CAF is denying that the order is related to equipment shortages, on May 30, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan revealed that the federal government spent $2.3 billion less than planned on new military gear in 2017.  
   Conservative MP and defence critic James Bezan slammed the Liberal government of failing “to    provide the forces with enough kit.”  “This to me is ridiculous,” Bezan said. “If the Liberals can’t get sleeping bags right, how are we (going to) expect them to deliver fighter jets and new ships for our navy?”


   Because on Friday, Ontario will still be one of the world’s most indebted non-national governments, the Liberals having hiked public debt to $325 billion in 2018, 134% higher than the $138.8 billion they inherited from the previous PC government in 2003.
  Neither Horwath nor Ford had the courage during the campaign to tell voters the simple truth.
  That is that it’s ridiculous for Horwath to promise free dental and pharmacare, and for Ford to promise income and gasoline tax cuts, before the new premier gets a look at the province’s books.
   This given that the auditor general, backed by Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office, has already cited the outgoing Liberal government for “bogus” accounting.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


How the union enabled Elizabeth Wettlaufer's killing spree.


  Several MPs say Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s appearance before the House environment committee Tuesday was one of the most tense meetings they’ve ever attended.
    “I have never, in my 12 years here on Parliament Hill, seen such a partisan presentation from a minister,” said Conservative MP Ed Fast.
   “This should be an embarrassment to her.”


   Taxpayers will have to spend an additional $1.1 billion to build two new supply ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, the federal government has revealed.
   The cost of building the Joint Support Ships, or JSS, had been pegged at $2.3 billion. However, the government ordered a review of that figure and in an email to Postmedia procurement minister Carla Qualtrough’s office confirmed the cost is now expected to be $3.4 billion.
   At one point, the first ship was supposed to arrive in 2012. That date has changed a number of times. DND is now hoping for delivery in 2022 or 2023.


  OTTAWA — The federal government is close to a deal with Davie Shipbuilding that would see the Quebec shipyard provide several used icebreakers to bolster the Canadian Coast Guard's own aging fleet.
  While final details are still being worked out, sources have told The Canadian Press that an agreement is imminent after months of intense — and at times contentious — closed-door negotiations.
   The pending deal represents a win for Davie and the Quebec government, both of which have been demanding more federal work for the shipyard after it laid off 800 workers at its shipyard in Levis late last year.
   It is not, however, exactly what Davie originally proposed: the company wanted to convert three medium icebreakers and one heavy vessel and lease them to the coast guard, whose own fleet is nearing the end of its useful life.
  The company will still do conversion work on the three medium icebreakers, sources say, but the coast guard will take full ownership of the vessels instead of leasing them.


   If the cost of getting the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline built costs the Liberals support in the upcoming election, so be it.
   In an interview on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said while he no longer views federal legislation as a compelling means of pushing forward progress on the pipeline, he remains determined to get the project built and is not balking at the possibility that protests expected to continue in earnest against the project could carry a political cost to the party in 2019.


   KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk said on Wednesday he had been asked to support “political corruption” or to quit after Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman formally asked parliament to sack him.
   The two men have been at loggerheads since Groysman rejected Danylyuk’s candidate for deputy minister in charge of tax policy. Danylyuk then accused Groysman of favouring candidates chosen by the inner circle of President Petro Poroshenko and wrote a letter airing his grievances to the G7 group of nations.
   The timing of the spat is awkward for Ukraine, which is trying to persuade its international creditors to release another tranche under its $17.5 billion assistance programme, which has stalled. Ukrainian debt prices fell on Wednesday.


   Former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle, who faces several assault charges, including assault, sexual assault, unlawful confinement and causing someone to take a noxious substance has been released from jail.
 Boyle was fitted with an electronic bracelet and released from jail Saturday morning.
  Boyle will be allowed to visit Ottawa with one of his parents only to see a doctor, consult his lawyers or to attend court. He must continue receiving psychiatric treatment and cannot possess a weapon or use the internet.
Under the release conditions, Boyle will live with his parents, Patrick and Linda, in Smiths Falls, Ont. -- effectively under house arrest -- and wear a GPS ankle bracelet that can track his movements.


  McParland, NP: Ontario’s Liberals have been having a hard time sorting out why voters dislike them so much.
  Their leader, Kathleen Wynne, admitted Saturday she won’t be premier after Thursday, as polls show her party is in for a drubbing. Ontarians are so down on the Liberals, they may not even rate official party status once the ballots are in.
Why would that be? Liberals and their remaining friends have struggled to pinpoint the problem. All governments make mistakes. And most also do some good, if you give them long enough. Wynne’s government has a few credits on its ledger, but at overwhelming cost to public finances, voter trust and respect for institutions and civic leadership in general. Wynne leaves behind a perilous situation for her successor. She richly deserves defeat, and her party deserves the trouncing it appears headed for.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


    Pope Francis has asked Oil Executives to a meeting, to come up with a plan to solve climate change and the world’s growing energy needs.
   Oil company bosses will travel to the Vatican next week to discuss climate change with Pope Francis.
  The meeting will be on June 8 and June 9 at the Casina Pio IV villa in the Vatican, with an audience with the Pope on the second day, according to a spokesman. It is being organized by a department headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, who helped write Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on climate.
  “We look forward to the dialogue, and the opportunity to discuss how we can address climate change and opportunities in the energy transition,” a spokesman for Equinor ASA, Norway’s largest oil company, said in an emailed statement on Friday.


   Bill Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick says she was “sickened” by NBC’s interview of Clinton in which the network only asked the former president about his consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky in the context of the current #MeToo era.
   “I can’t believe there is not a reporter out there,” Broaddrick told Breitbart News in an interview. “I mean, this person had a perfect opportunity today to ask Bill Clinton about the allegations of sexual assault and rape.”
   “Why doesn’t NBC have me on to discuss the rape? Of course, they are the same network that held my 1999 interview until after the impeachment hearing.”


    The situation surrounding Italy "must have become serious" for The European Union, because it appears EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is lying once again.
    Juncker who in 2011, in the depths of the EU crisis, admitted "when it becomes serious, you have to lie" said this weekend that, while he had been tempted to intervene during the recent political impasse in Italy, he was determined not to feed the populist narrative: that the EU is meddling in domestic affairs.
   But, as The Guardian reports, the commission president had flirted with danger on Thursday by suggesting that the EU should not be blamed for the state of Italy’s poorer regions, where there needed to be “more work” and “less corruption”. Rather than blaming the EU, there needed to be more “seriousness” within the country about tackling its economic and social problems, he said.
   Does J-C really expect us to believe he is going to just leave the Italians well enough alone to their 'democracy' and they 'sovereign' decisions? We already know The ECB screwed Italy over - so what is Brussels' evil plot to pressure Conte et al. back to the heart of darkness?


I never thought I’d see such a thing, it’s as if the once feared and draconian agency has actually become an ally of the American people, as opposed to an ally for green group special interests.
   1. Withdraw From The Paris Climate Accords
   2. Ensure Clean Air & Water
   3. Reduce Burdensome Government Regulations
   4. Repeal The So Called “Clean Power Plan”
   5. Repeal The Waters of The United States Rule
   6. Promote Energy Dominance
  7. Promote Science Transparency
  8. End Sue & Settle
  9. Promote the Auto Industry

Monday, June 4, 2018


   From 2016:  CTV News, TORONTO -- Colonoscopy should not be used for routine screening of colorectal cancer in patients with no symptoms or family history of the disease, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care advises in updated guidelines issued Monday.
   From 2016:  Montreal Gazette.   As to the business of colonoscopies: While RAMQ (the Quebec provincial health-insurance plan) pays a doctor $169 per colonoscopy whether it is done in a private clinic or in a hospital, the private clinics carry expenses that hospitals don’t have — from renting space to the buying and upkeep of equipment, nursing and technician staff, sterilization, sedation and other medication — and costs passed down to the patient are for goods and services that are not insured by RAMQ. Patients pay between $500 and $600 to have a colonoscopy in a clinic.
But Barrette said if the clinics want to continue treating patients, they should drop out of Medicare. He’s not forcing them to close, he said. However they will no longer be able to charge RAMQ $169, and then the patient $500, he said. “They will not be allowed to double bill. They can’t operate like that.”


   NP:  The larcenous greed for culture of Hitler and other Nazis disrupted the post-war European art world of the late 1940s and led to renowned paintings turning up all over the world, far distant from their rightful owners. The Nazis brutally seized much of what they wanted from Jews or paid absurdly low prices to those who were desperate for cash to get them out of Germany.
   Art experts are studying 1,566 works of art found in a single apartment, the home of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a famous art dealer and museum director, whose customers included Hitler. His personal collection included Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Chagall, Durer, and many lesser-known artists. He died in 1956.
  His son, Cornelius Gurlitt, remained silent about this trove, quietly selling items from the holdings. The revenue attracted Bavarian tax collectors, who in 2012 discovered that the family apartment was stuffed with art in every corner. Since then, a government-appointed task force of experts has been trying to find out who properly owns the work.


    “As agriculture continues to change and evolve, clearly defining what agriculture is, along with the activities that fall under its umbrella, becomes more important,” he said. Proposed federal legislation on carbon emissions includes a definition of eligible farming activities provides little details on what is covered. It needs to be discussed.
    The government needs to realize that Canadian food exporters are competing against products from countries that don’t with a carbon tax of any kind. “Steps must be taken to ensure that carbon pricing does not affect our competitiveness on the global stage.
    “Within our own country, farmers are already being affected differently by carbon pricing due to approaches taken by each province,” he said. “This has created disadvantages for some producers. We would like to see a federal, standardized approach to the carbon offset system, which would help to level the playing feel for farmers across Canada and allow for trading of carbon credits across provinces.”


Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in trade negotiations or world conflicts, Canada will not be “pushed around.”


   Once in a while, we meet a candidate for public office who seems to have no business in polite society. Sometimes a candidate may have unacceptable beliefs, while other candidates may lead unsavory lives. In the case of Nathan Larson, an independent candidate for Virginia's 10th Congressional District, we have both.
   Larson is a doozy. The 37-year-old accountant once ran web forums dedicated to pedophilia and rape, and even admits to raping his ex-wife repeatedly and engaging in pedophilia. HuffPost writers spoke to Larson and got all the disgusting details. "In a phone call, Larson confirmed that he created the now-defunct websites and ― chat rooms that served as gathering places for pedophiles and violence-minded misogynists like himself," according to the report. HuffPost said they contacted Larson "after confirming that his campaign website shared an IP address with these forums, among others. His sites were terminated by their domain host on Tuesday." In addition, "On the phone, he was open about his pedophilia and seemingly unfazed about his long odds of attaining government office."

Sunday, June 3, 2018


   Vancouver Sun:  Christine Duhaime, an anti-money laundering expert and lawyer, said leases or rental properties could be misused through “trade-based money laundering — where you inflate the price to get a fake invoice to then move money.”
   For example, if a property rented for $10,000 a month, the landlord could actually put twice that amount into the bank as the rent, effectively laundering $10,000.
   “There is no record in the sense that it is just a private contract between you and the landlord so nobody really knows who lives in what space or how much you are paying for rent,” Duhaime said. “If you are going to fabricate the prices of things, it is really hard to detect that the money was not legitimately earned.”
   Unlike real estate agents, those involved in property leasing are not required to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, better known as Fintrac.


   I don't fly. When folks ask me why, the short answer is that I know too much: I'm a former FAA air traffic controller.
   It's been recently reported that the FAA is now actively recruiting new trainees to work in the towers and control rooms directing airplanes and that the criteria they now utilize to screen applicants is a curiously absurd "biographical questionnaire."
Tucker Carlson interviews the lawyer for the man suing the FAA for its hiring practices.


  ROME (AP) — Italy’s new populist leaders commemorated the founding of the Italian republic by attending a pomp-filled military parade Saturday — and then promised to get to work creating jobs and expelling migrants.
  “The free ride is over,” League leader Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new interior minister, warned migrants at a rally in northern Italy. “It’s time to pack your bags.”
   The pledge of mass deportations to come was a reminder that Italy has a staunchly anti-immigrant, right-wing party in its governing coalition — and that the European Union will face a whole new partner governing its fourth-largest economy.


  The six-page policy report said automobile tariffs introduced by President Trump would ultimately be detrimental to American workers. The organization analyzed the potential net impacts on American jobs and the economy from a 25 percent tariffs imposed on U.S. imports from all trading partners of automobiles, lightweight trucks, other vehicles, and parts.
   The organization’s models indicate that Trump’s auto tariffs would boost employment in the auto sector by about 92,000, however, then eliminate 250,000 jobs across many industries throughout the broad economy. On top of that, American consumers will dish out about $6,400 more for an imported automobile that would cost around $30,000, which accounts for nearly a 21 percent increase in overall price. All in all, the report stated the economy would lose about .01 percent of its value if the auto tariffs were enacted.

Saturday, June 2, 2018


  Canada's auditor general says he's getting tired of filing annual reports recommending reforms to the way the government does business — only to see those recommendations disappear down the memory hole afterward.
   Michael Ferguson released his spring audits on Tuesday. They included scathing criticisms of the government's performance on the Phoenix pay system, Indigenous services and military justice.
  Many of these problems have been highlighted in Ferguson's reports in the past. And that, he told CBC News, is the problem.
  "We always get the department agreeing to our recommendation but then somehow we come back five years later, 10 years later and we find the same problems"


  OTTAWA — The federal government will provide $50 million to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba to help pay for some of the costs they have borne as a result of the influx of asylum seekers illegally crossing the Canada-U.S. border.
   Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says this is not a final payment to these provinces for border crosser costs, but is meant to help address some of the immediate temporary housing needs in those provinces.
  "The continued influx of asylum seekers entering Canada between ports of entry has increased pressure on provinces to provide shelter and social services to a growing number of asylum seekers," Hussen said in Ottawa on Friday.


   Two executives at the Canadian unit of Texas-based Kinder Morgan are poised to cash in with $1.5 million bonuses after Ottawa offered to bailout their west coast oil pipeline system and expansion project, according to a new filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
    Economist Robyn Allan, who has spent the past few years analyzing the Trans Mountain project, said that the Trudeau government is misrepresenting the business case for the pipeline. Trans Mountain's last estimated the project would cost about $7.4 billion, but Allan estimates that the construction costs alone would likely exceed $9 billion, not including the $4.5 billion purchase price for the assets.
Allan also questioned the claims from the government that its deal would create 15,000 jobs.
"How does this purchase create jobs? They don't even know the capital costs of this project, according to this agreement," said Allan, a former president of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, in an interview.


   Huff Post:  Some analysts see even more weakness ahead for the loonie, due to Canada's declining competitiveness on exports.
"What's been lacking are ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the new facilities — factories, labs and office towers — needed to expand export capacity."
  The economists noted that a dropping loonie would make Canada more competitive, but "it would be better if Canada had other advantages to support export growth, rather than rely on a weak loonie that makes us less able to spend abroad."
  If the country doesn't step up its export game, the loonie will drop to around 70 cents U.S. in the 2020s, the CIBC economists predicted.
   To boost Canada's exports, they suggested "thinner" business regulations, lower corporate taxes and faster government approvals of projects.


  Toronto Sun:  Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath is no longer ruling out the possibility of forming a coalition government with Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals, installing Horwath as premier, if she fails to win a majority of seats in the June 7 election.
   “If we get there on June 8th, and that’s a decision that has to be made, the question would be, would Kathleen Wynne be willing to work with me?” Horwath told CBC’s Ottawa Morning Friday.
   That’s a flip-flop from Horwath’s firm declaration on May 14 that: “I am unequivocally saying I have no interest in partnering up with that (Liberal) party. They have consistently made decisions that were in their own political best interest, decisions that were in the best interest of the well-connected Liberals and high-income earners that tend to be their friends.”


   NP:  Quiche. Toilet paper. Steel tubes. Chocolate. Coffee. Gherkin pickles. And something called "odoriferous preparations used during religious rites."
    These are just a few of the U.S.-manufactured items that Canada is planning to penalize in planned countermeasures against President Donald Trump's just-announced tariffson Canadian steel and aluminum products.
   The following is the full list of retaliatory measures proposed this afternoon by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Friday, June 1, 2018


   Dangerous 'vigorous' lava eruptions have prompted a strict mandatory evacuation order for the Hawaii community hardest hit by the Kilauea Volcano.
   Those who snub the order risk being arrested, as the Big Island's mayor, Harry Kim, declared a roughly 17-block swath of the lava-stricken Leilani Estates subdivision off-limits indefinitely, and gave any residents remaining there 24 hours to leave
   After a month of continual eruptions at Kilauea's summit and along its eastern flank, geologists say they have no idea how much longer it will last.
   'There's no sign we're getting that anything is going to slow down at the moment,' Wendy STOVL, a vulcanologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, told reporters on a conference call on Thursday. 'We don't see any changes occurring.'


   Montreal Gazette, QUEBEC:  Farmers in the Charlevoix region near the site of next week’s G7 summit at the posh Fairmont Manoir Richelieu are being asked to refrain from spreading manure lest a world leader get a whiff of it during their stay.
    Many farmers are none too happy about being told what they can and cannot do.
   This is a critical time for producers to get their crops in after the long, cold winter.
   But the missive obtained by the paper is clear.
  “We ask your collaboration so that the stay of our invitees in our welcoming region be as positive as possible,” the memo says. “For this, all elements of hospitality take on notable importance.”


   NP: The Trump administration delivered a gut punch to America’s closest allies Thursday, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, Mexico and Canada in a move that drew immediate vows of retaliation.
   Stock prices slumped amid fears of a trade war, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling nearly 252 points, or 1 per cent, to 24,415.84.
    The import duties threaten to drive up prices for American consumers and companies and are likely to heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors around the globe.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


A deal to fix the transportation link has an unknown price tag.


   OTTAWA — If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is willing to go to the wall to save the Trans Mountain pipeline and get oil to Canada's west coast, federal Conservatives say he should be equally willing to do the same to revive a pipeline that would have brought oil to Canada's east coast.
   And at least one Liberal backbencher is echoing that sentiment.
    A day after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the federal government has made a $4.5-billion offer to buy Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan and will build the expansion to the pipeline itself in order to overcome political opposition in B.C., Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt questioned Wednesday why Trudeau wasn't putting up the same fight to save Energy East.


   G&M:   Canada’s spy agency is being warned that New Zealand, one of this country’s closest military allies, has been deeply affected by a Chinese government campaign of foreign interference.
    The new report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service cites “a curtailing of freedom of speech, religion and association for the ethnic Chinese community” in New Zealand and a “corrupting influence on the political system through the blurring of personal, political and economic interests.”
    The report says China has worked to co-opt the New Zealand business, political and intellectual elite but also made targeted financial contributions through business figures with links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and worked to bring Chinese-language media, Chinese community groups and ethnic Chinese politicians under control. Beijing has also used corporate takeovers and partnerships with companies and universities to gain access to military technology, commercial secrets and other strategic information.


    Donald Trump's remarkable and unpredicted victory in 2016 unleashed perhaps the pinnacle of all unintended consequences. By their ongoing nonsensical reaction to the Trump victory, the American left has exposed and validated their irrationality, obliviousness, and immaturity. As an immigrant to the United States, and thus a sideline spectator of the panorama that is American society, and someone who has spent most of his adult life in the field of international finance, I have been fascinated by the characteristics of the American left as compared to its counterparts in the rest of the world – and why the vast majority of Americans, who are essentially conservative or moderate, not only tolerate, but acquiesce to the left's temper tantrums and manipulation of the culture.
   On the surface, there may appear to be similarities to the left in other nations; however, when it comes to the motivation and personality quirks, it is only the left in Britain that bears any resemblance to the American left. In fact, the American version consistently denigrates "old white guys" as the scourge of humanity while ostensibly promoting the philosophy of "old white guys" such as Hobbes, Hegel, and Marx. In reality, American leftism is a unique amalgamation of socialism, Darwinism, and oligarchism requiring an army of foot soldiers who dwell in a state of permanent adolescence.