Ontario's Leaders 2018/Courtesy of CP24News
Ottawa, May 31 (Canadian-Media): Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives (PCs) leader Doug Ford on Wednesday released a delayed compilation of their campaign promises Wednesday, which did not explain how he will fund his pledges, media reports said.
When Ford was asked if the document was the party’s final plan, Melissa Lantsman, Ford’s spokeswoman replied by email that it was their final plan and added, "We are going to balance the budget in a responsible way.”
Both Andrea Horwath, New Democratic Party (NDP) leader and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Liberal Party (Liberals) leader were critical of Ford's release of the unexplained full plan Wednesday.
“All of the things that Doug Ford has said would add up to a $40-billion hole and they have no idea how they would find that,” Wynne said.
“What’s worrisome is we have a leader who’s trying to take the chair of the premier in this province and he’s not being honest with people,” Horwath said.
PCs, leading in the beginning of the campaign, were soon overtaken by NDP but Liberals were left much behind both parties.
With the Ontario election just a week away, Wynne portrayed herself as the only person in the campaign capable of rising above the ideological fray.
She attacked both Horwath and Ford, at a stop in Hamilton outside a Stelco steel plant, for their lack of experience to defend themselves from the threat of American steel tariffs.
The United States had exempted Canada from new steel and aluminum tariffs on an interim basis which would reportedly expire on Friday.
“Over the past year, I have met with 37 governors, I have met with senators...with senior members of the U.S. administration, all in an attempt to make it clear what our integrated relationship means to workers on both sides of the border,” said Wynne.
Wynne said she had worked hard with employees, business leaders, and political leaders on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border and had, under a Liberal government, developed one of the strongest economies in North America
Wynne commented that both her two rivals lacked experience.
Portrayed herself as a champion of steel and steelworkers, Horwath rejected Wynne’s comments as “trying to stir up some trouble," and added she had been all along supporting steel and aluminum industry.
“Should I be given the opportunity to serve as premier I will be one of the biggest champions the steel industry has ever seen,” Horwath said. “It has literally, not only built our country and fuelled the economy of a nation, but it has absolutely and completely … built my city.”
#TransMountainpipeline, #KinderMorgan, #BillMorneau, #JimCarr; #SteveKean; #Crowncorporation; #environmentalactivists; #Indigenousgroups; #RachelNotley; #JustinTrudeau
Ottawa, May 29, (Canadian-Media): Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this morning at a news conference, following an agreement between Kinder Morgan and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, that Canada Liberal Government would purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and related infrastructure for $4.5 billion and also spend billions more to build the expansion, media reports said.
Bill Morneau. Image credit: Twitter handle
This announcement came just two days before a deadline of May 31 set by Kinder Morgan.
Morneau suggested that some addition costs would be covered by toll paid by oil companies.
Steve Kean, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan had stated that the deal represented the best way forward for shareholders and Canadians to “realize the great national economic benefits promised by that project.”
Kinder Morgan had estimated approximate the cost of $7.4 billion for building the expansion.
But Morneau said the government did not plan to own it for a long time and at the opportune moment will negotiate with investors to transfer the project and related assets to a new owner or owners.
He added that investors such as Indigenous groups and pension funds have already expressed interest, he said.
Until then, it would owned by Crown corporation .
The agreement, which needed to be approved by Kinder Morgan's shareholders, is expected to close in August.
This project had faced intense opposition from the B.C. government, environmental activists and Indigenous groups.
Carr assured that the plan would not sacrifice the environment for the economic benefits.
"Canadians want both and we can have both," he said and added,
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called it "a major step forward for all Canadians."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also took to Twitter and said,
"Today, we've taken action to create and protect jobs in Alberta and B.C., and restart construction on the TMX pipeline expansion, a vital project in the national interest," his post read.
The expansion would link to the existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Strathcona County (near Edmonton), Alberta and Burnaby, BC.
#NDPLeaderAndreaHorwath; #PCs; #AdolfHitlermemeonsocialmedia; #TasleemRiaz; #OntarioLiberalLeaderKathleenWynne
Ottawa, May 25 (Canadian-Media): Ontario's NDP leader Andrea Horwath, had been called by Ontario's Progressive Conservatives (PCs) this morning to part ways with a Toronto candidate who shared an Adolf Hitler meme on social media several years ago, media reports said.
Andrea Horwath. Image credit: Twitter handle
At a morning news conference, two PC candidates, Todd Smith and Gila Martow, presented a printout of an October 2013 social media meme shared by Tasleem Riaz, the NDP candidate in Scarborough–Agincourt, what they said was the proof of anti-Semitism in the NDP.
A quote commonly attributed to Hitler featured in the Facebook post overlaid over a photo of the tyrannical despot giving a Nazi salute to a gathered crowd.
A title above the image reads, "The Ruler said about Rule."
The phrase below it — "If you don't like a rule ... just follow it ... reach on the top ... and change the rule."
The phrase is reportedly attributed to Hitler, though there's no direct historical evidence of it
Smith and Martow also provided a screen grab of a April 2011 post allegedly written by Riaz, taking aim at the federal Liberals' and Tories' support for the war in Afghanistan.
Riaz was reported to have said the parties supported troops who "slaughter innocent men, women and children."
In a statement, Riaz said she was "horrified that an inappropriate meme was on my Facebook page...I don't recall sharing it in 2013...I am an interfaith advocate, and I have devoted my life to interfaith religious tolerance and freedom...I find Hitler, the hate he spewed, and the genocide he committed to be abhorrent."
During a campaign stop on Friday morning, Horwath said she was unaware of the details of the post and would have her staff investigate the allegations.
Shortly after Horwath spoke, Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne said on Twitter that Andrea Horwath needed to be clearer in her condemnation of this post by her candidate.
In recent weeks NDP candidates' social media footprints have come under increasing scrutiny from the PCs on the campaign trail.
#PollTracker, # ProgressiveConservatives, # DougFord, # NewDemocraticParty,
Ottawa, May 23 (Canadian-Media): Latest trends prior to the June 7 elections, according to Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polling data, indicate that Progressive Conservatives (PCs) reveaed a gain of over seven points for the New Democratic Party (NDP), since the last pre-campaign update, media reports said.
PCs were shown to have 37.9 percent support, with the (NDP) at 33.8 percent support, while Ontario Liberals were down to 23 per cent, while the Greens under Mike Schreiner stand at four per cent support according to Poll Tracker.
Ontario Leaders 2018: Horwath, Ford and Wynne/Courtesy of CP24News
In two of the three polls published recently, the NDP had shown great progress narrowing the gap between the PCs and the NDP even further.
Underlying trends are, reportedly, pointing in the NDP's favour.
According to a survey by the Innovative Research Group, during the opening days of the campaign, the voters' opinion about Horwath had improved while the effects of voters on Wynne and Ford campaigns had the opposite effect on them.
According to the estimates of Poll Tracker, PCs would win between 51 and 88 seats, the NDP would win between 30 and 59 seats, while the Liberals would win between zero and 26 seats.
In the past week, the Liberals have slipped less than a point, while the PCs have dropped three.
Horwath's growing popularity, according to reports, has given her enough time to get to the top there by June 7, if Doug Ford is unable to check NDP's forward momentum.
#Alberta'srestrictionofoilandgasshipmentstoB.C.; #RachelNotley #TransMountainpipelineexpansion; #PreservingCanada'sEconomicProsperityAct
British Columbia (B.C.)/Ottawa, May 22 (Canadian-Media): The B.C. government has filed a statement of claim in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench over legislation that allows Alberta to restrict oil and gas shipments to B.C., media reports said.
The legislation was passed last week in response to B.C.'s continued opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Trans Mountain pipeline: Image credit: Twitter handle
The statement of claim seeks a declaration that the Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act -- which reportedly gives the province the ability to restrict the export of crude oil, natural gas and refined fuels, if necessary -- is unconstitutional and can't be used.
A significant amount of gas and diesel consumed in the province comes from Alberta, argued the B.C. government argues in the statement of claim.
"A significant disruption in the supply of gasoline, diesel, and crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia would cause British Columbia irreparable harm," the statement of claim says.
The legal action comes a day after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley pulled out of meetings between the western premiers in Yellowknife.
On Twitter, Notley said had said:
#RachelNotley; #Kinder Morgan; #DavidEby; #KathleenGanley; #JustinTrudeau;
Edmonton (Ab)/Ottawa, May 18 (Canadian-Media): Alberta has passed legislation empowering it to intervene in oil and gas exports that could result in price spikes in British Columbia (B.C.) in the dispute over the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, media reports said.
"Alberta will be equipped with new tools to assert our rights to control the flow of our resources to British Columbia," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday prior to Bill 12 passing third and final reading.
"Albertans, British Columbians and all Canadians should understand that if the path forward for the pipeline through B.C. is not settled soon, I'm ready and prepared to turn off the taps."
Rachel Notley. Image credit: Twitter handle
The bill would empower Alberta to intervene in the energy market, and to decide how much fuel is sent and by what means.
Calling the Alberta law provocative, B.C. Premier John Horgan said, "Instead of asking how can we work together on this, they took aggressive action," he said in Chilliwack, B.C.
Horgan added that of course his government was still concerned about the effects of spills on the inland waterways and coastline,
The Trans Mountain expansion would triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to tankers on the B.C. coast.
Legislation designed to harm another province is violation of the constitution, B.C. Attorney General David Eby requested Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley to first confirm its legality.
"In the absence of such a commitment, I intend to instruct counsel to bring an action challenging its constitutional validity in the courts of Alberta," said Eby.
"Bill 12 is a step back towards trying to resolve differences through threats of economic harm."
Cutting oil flow to B.C. is expected to cause price spikes in gas at the pumps along with other related fuel fees.
Calling the legislation as justified, Notley said Alberta sells oil at a discount causing loss of billions of dollars because of tight pipeline capacity and added Alberta was acting in the public interest.
"With pipeline capacity stretched to the limit, Albertans have the right to choose how our energy is shipped," said Notley.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government in 2016 had approved the $7.4-billion project, but had been stuck since then due to permit delays and court challenges in B.C.
Trudeau's government had been given by Texas-based Kinder Morgan, the pipeline owner, until May 31 to figure out a suitable way to complete the project.
But if the project involves a large amount of public dollars, then the Alberta and federal governments would reportedly halt project.
Federal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau said earlier Wednesday, plenty of other investors may step up, if Kinder Morgan abandons the expansion.
#ElectronicVotingMachinesinElectionsOntario, #e-Poll Book, #CaraDesGranges, #GregEssensa,
Ottawa, May 10 (Canadian-Media) : According to Elections Ontario, the new technology of using electronic voting machines & voter lists, for the first time in June 7 provincial elections, would help speed up both the voting and ballot-counting process, media reports said.
Elections Ontario. Image credit: Twitter handle
The voters’ paper lists in most of the past ridings in Ontario would reportedly be replaced by an electronic version called e-Poll Book.
Upon arrival of a voter at the polling booth, a machine will scan voter’s notice of registration card.
The voter would then be handed the ballot form by an official to be filled and return it back to the official who would put it through the tabulating machine.
According to an Elections Ontario report that examined the byelection in the Whitby-Oshawa riding on the Feb. 11, 2016 byelection, the new machine was able to count the ballots in 30 minutes, whereas the manual counting of the votes by hand took the 90 minutes.
“We’re hoping this will be much more efficient for the voter,” said Cara Des Granges, who provides strategic policy and communications advice to executives and organizations. “Getting results should be faster and the technology is proven to be more reliable than tabulating votes by hand.”
The report also said the new technology would help with another election issue of staffing.
“Elections Ontario is increasingly unable to find the required number of polling officials,” wrote Greg Essensa, the province’s Chief Electoral Officer in the byelection report, titled “Proposal for a technology-enabled staffing model for Ontario provincial elections.”
Elections Ontario estimated it would need about half of the polling officials working on election day compared to 2014, Des Granges said.
But the new technology is not without problems.
Some e-Poll Books showed connectivity issues which necessitated the staff to revert to the paper lists.
Sometimes some of the scanners didn’t work, and this could not be resolved by the staff.
As a result the machines will be in about 50 percent of the voting locations, but will serve 90 percent of the electorate.
The agency said another reason to switch to machines is time-driven.
“The public has an expectation as a modern society to expect modern services and this is what we’re trying to do,” Des Granges said.
#DougFordCampaignInvestigation; #FordNationLive #ElectionsOntarioInvestigation; #DoughFord; #LiberalPartyofOntario; #ProgressiveConservativeparty, #Ford Nation Live
Ottawa, May 7 (Canadian-Media): Elections Ontario were asked by the Liberal Party of Ontario (Liberals) to investigate Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford’s use of campaign videos as not being identified to be created by Ford's party, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
In a statement released Sunday, the Liberals had asked the chief electoral officer to look into Ford Nation Live, which produces TV-news style videos.
News about Ford’s campaign, where he shown in the website with staffers speaking directly to the camera and interviewing supporters using Ford Nation-branded microphones.
A note at the bottom of the website saying that it was authored by the CFO for the Ontario Progressive Conservative party.
“The Conservative campaign is not just misleading Ontarians, it may be running afoul of election laws,” a statement from the party says. “Nowhere on the Ford’s Fake News videos does the Conservative Party identify itself as having created it — a requirement in the Elections Financing Act.”
A spokeswoman for Ford says his campaign is not worried about the investigation request.
“Unlike Kathleen Wynne who is (campaigning) on the taxpayer’s dime, we are following the Elections Ontario rules,” said Melissa Lantsman.
Ford mentioned Ford Nation Live, at an event on Friday, saying that it would provide people at home with an opportunity to follow him on the campaign trail.
#JustinTrudeau, #AgaKhan, #JuliePayette
Ottawa, May 1 (Canadian-Media):Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau's Office confirmed Trudeau and the Aga Khan, the Muslim Leasder will share a meal at an event hosted by Governor General, Julie Payette at Rideau Hall, Payette's official residence, media reports said.
Julie Payette. Image credit: Twitter handle
"Canada and the Ismaili Imamat have a long history of partnership with programs around the world that have a positive impact on people's lives. We have worked together on a number of development and humanitarian initiatives that target the world's poorest and most vulnerable, including women and girls," said a press release from Global Affairs Canada announcing the Aga Khan's visit.
Aga Khan, known for his charitable work, will reportedly also travel to Vancouver and Calgary as he celebrates 60 years as the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim faith.
Trudeau had been criticized last year for traveling to the Muslim leader's private island in the Bahamas for a Christmas vacation.
Trudeau had defended the trip as a chance to spend time with an old friend with whom he had no interactions between 1983 and the fall of 2013, a span of 30 years.
Trudeau and his family stayed at the Aga Khan's home on Bell Island in the Bahamas from Dec. 26, 2016, to Jan. 4, 2017.
Trudeau later publicly confirmed he was taken there by the Aga Khan's private helicopter.