Politics & Policy

Home heating motion defeated

A motion by Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to exempt all home heating from the carbon price for the same time frame as heating oil was defeated today in the House of Commons. The Liberals and the Bloc Québécois mustered 186 votes against the 135 from the Conservatives and the New Democratic Party. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians still stuck in Gaza

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families who had hoped to leave Gaza on the weekend were unable to do so after the only border crossing into Egypt was closed again. Global Affairs Canada November 5 that it had no information about when the crossing would be reopened. [node:read-more:link]

UN agencies call for ceasefire

Despite Israel’s refusal, the heads of 18 UN agencies and non-profit organizations called November 5 for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war which has killed thousands of civilians. Expressing “shock and horror”, they said in a joint statement that “enough is enough” in the month-long siege of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ brutal attack in northern Israel. [node:read-more:link]

Curious twist in Ortis trial

Crown prosecutors have spent the past five weeks laying out their case against Cameron Ortis, the former RCMP security chief charged with trying to sell secret information. However, his defence council contends that Ortis had acted with authority to protect Canada against “serious and imminent threats.” [node:read-more:link]

Clarifying CPP options

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said today that a “complex and multi-year process” of negotiating international social security agreements would be required if Alberta withdrew from the Canada Pension Plan. During a virtual meeting with her provincial and territorial counterparts, she also said the federal government will provide an actuarial estimate of how much of the CPP assets could accrue to Alberta. [node:read-more:link]

Health agency lost $150 million

The Public Health Agency of Canada is refusing to explain how it lost $150 million due to an unfulfilled contract last year. The loss was disclosed in the latest Public Accounts but when asked, a PHAC spokesperson said only that no information could be shared because of “a confidentiality agreement with the contractor.” [node:read-more:link]

Fed up with the House of Commons?

It seems many Canadians are despite attempts by the new Speaker, Greg Fergus, to rein in the rancour. Results released today of a new Angus Reid national poll showed that significant percentages of the 1,900 respondents agreed that proceedings had devolved into “posturing” and had even become “useless.” Only a relative handful found them “productive" or “respectful.” [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous over-represented in prisons

Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger said today that indigenous persons are over-represented in Canada’s prison population. “The steady and unabated increase in the disproportionate representation […] is nothing short of a national travesty,” he said in a new report. Moreover, he said, it “remains one of Canada's most pressing human rights challenges.” [node:read-more:link]

Foreign nationals leaving Gaza

Global Affairs Canada expects the exodus of foreign nationals to Egypt from war-torn Gaza to continue in the coming days even as stranded Canadians were warned that their safety could not be guaranteed if they opt not to leave. “Canada has one of the largest contingents of nationals in Gaza,” GAC said November 1. “We expect further crossings daily.” [node:read-more:link]

Cryptocurrency’s energy issue

The massive energy needs of cryptocurrency “mines” have prompted the New Brunswick government to consider a ban to avoid power outages to other customers. ““In February […] and in July of this year, we came dangerously close to not having enough megawatts to even ensure that New Brunswickers had their power,” Energy Minister Mike Holland said November 1. [node:read-more:link]

Hydrogen’s energy impact

A company proposing two large-scale “green” hydrogen plants in western Newfoundland has been asked by the provincial government to provide more information about its environmental impact. The World Energy GH2 windfarms of up to 164 turbines each would power a hydrogen and ammonia production plants. [node:read-more:link]

Israel moots Gaza expulsion

Six days after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the country’s Intelligence Ministry drafted a document that broaches the possibility of a forced relocation of Gaza’s 2.3 million people to the Sinai Peninsula in northern Egypt. Described by Israel as a “concept”, the idea was immediately denounced by Palestinian and Egyptian leaders. [node:read-more:link]

Unprecedented AI accord

Canada and 27 other countries, including China and the U.S., have agreed to cooperate on measures to contain the potentially “catastrophic” risks posed by evolving artificial intelligence. Endorsed at an inaugural AI Safety Summit in England today, the vaguely-worded commitment is expected to be refined at a virtual meeting hosted by South Korea in six months in preparation for a live meeting in France a year from now. [node:read-more:link]

New Canadian envoy for Germany

John Horgan, the former B.C. New Democratic Party leader and provincial premier, was named today as Canada's next ambassador to Germany. Announcing the appointment, Prime Minister Trudeau called Horgan a “passionate public servant and an experienced leader.” [node:read-more:link]

Green funding agency probed

Auditor-General Karen Hogan’s office said today that it will investigate Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the government’s main funding agency for green technology. The probe is in response to complaints about lax governance and alleged conflict of interest which prompted Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne to suspend grants to clean-technology startups [node:read-more:link]


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