BC farm flood disaster and warrant for electric vehicles: In the December 10 news


Storms in mid-November flooded dozens of dairy, poultry, hog and berry farms in the Sumas Prairie area of ​​Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said 628,000 chickens, 420 dairy cattle and around 12,000 pigs have died on Sumas Grassland after historic flooding left some properties two and a half meters underwater .

Gary Baars, who owns a dairy farm in the area, says flooding and inflation have squeezed profit margins.

He says many are in debt in the dairy industry and he can see some farmers decide to change careers.

Federal and provincial agriculture ministers today will visit a poultry farm that was flooded last month and are expected to discuss recovery and reconstruction efforts for farmers.

Also this …

OTTAWA – Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says he wants a national mandate requiring car dealers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles in place by the end of next year.

Road transportation accounts for one-fifth of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. As Canada sets the course for net zero by 2050, removing carbon dioxide from passenger cars is an important part of the process.

The federal government wants half of all new passenger cars sold in Canada to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and reach 100% by 2035.

Canadians have bought more electric vehicles in the past two years than the previous eight combined, but only three percent of new cars registered were battery-powered or plug-in electric hybrids.

The Liberals promised during the election campaign that they would put in place a sales mandate to achieve these goals. Guilbeault has said he wants this to happen by the end of 2022, or at the latest in early 2023.

“This (mandate) will not come into effect in the next few months but it will come into force very soon,” he said. “We’re down to three, maybe four percent. We have to get the 50 (percent). It’s a lot of heavy work.

Guilbeault launched consultations this fall on how to develop this mandate. A new discussion paper for these meetings invites comments on how the mandate should work, the effect on the Canadian auto industry and whether there should be an interim target before 2030.

And that …

OTTAWA – It’s just a two-minute delay, with just one week left for the federal Liberal government to get parliamentary approval on a priority bill before an extended Christmas recess.

The government managed to get approval for one of the three bills it wants to pass before Parliament took a six-week recess on December 17.

But it is not certain that the other two will clear all the legislative hurdles in time to meet the self-imposed deadline.

The fate of Bill C-2 – which would create targeted support programs for sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and a new lockdown benefit for those laid off due to the pandemic – seems particularly uncertain .

Minority Liberals seem to have a better chance against Bill C-3, which was passed unanimously in principle on Thursday with all-party support.

This two-part bill would create 10 days of paid sick leave for federally regulated employees and create new criminal offenses aimed at cracking down on harassment or intimidation of healthcare workers who have faced anti-protests. vaccination or anti-abortion in front of hospitals and clinics.

A third priority bill – banning the discredited practice of conversion therapy aimed at altering a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity – was rushed without debate or a vote in the House last week and in the Senate earlier this week. It received royal assent on Wednesday and is now the law of the land.

Bills C-2 and C-3 are currently before the House of Commons finance committee and the human resources committee respectively. Neither committee has a deadline for considering bills and sending them back to the Commons for final debate and votes.

What we are watching in the United States …

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has ruled against an attempt by former U.S. President Donald Trump to protect documents from the House committee investigating the January 6 insurgency on Capitol Hill.

The three-judge panel said Thursday there was a “unique legislative need” for the documents the committee requested but which Trump sought to block from publication through executive privilege.

The appeals court ruled that the injunction that prevented the National Archives from turning over the documents will expire in two weeks, or when the Supreme Court rules on an expected Trump appeal, whichever is later.

What we watch in the rest of the world …

CAMEROON – UN humanitarian chief warns Afghanistan’s economic collapse “is happening before our eyes” and urged international community to take action to stop free fall before it hits cause more deaths.

Martin Griffiths said in an interview with AP that donor countries must agree that in addition to emergency humanitarian aid, they must support basic services for the Afghan people, including education, hospitals, electricity and paying civil servants.

And he said they had to inject liquidity into the economy which saw the banking system almost shut down. Griffiths said: “We are finding that the economic collapse is exponential.”

On this day in 1949 …

The Supreme Court of Canada has become the country’s final legal authority and the highest court of appeal. An amendment to the Supreme Court Act was passed by Parliament and received Royal Assent, abolishing appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain, except those started before the Bill does not become law.

In entertainment …

CHICAGO – Jussie Smollett’s conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack came nearly three years after his report of a horrific hate crime quickly became part of a polarized political landscape, with people – including the President of the United States – weighing all over the place.

A prosecutor said Thursday’s verdict was “a resounding message from the jury that Mr Smollett did exactly what we said he did” – recruit two brothers to fake an attack so it could be taped by a surveillance camera and posted on social networks for advertising purposes.

The brothers testified that the former “Empire” actor paid them $ 3,500 for the hoax and gave them screaming lines, including about “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the “Make America” ​​slogan. Great Again ”by then President Donald Trump.

The report made headlines around the world and sparked a massive manhunt in Chicago, with around two dozen police officers joining the investigation. It also drew criticism from Trump, who called the police department’s handling of the case “an absolute embarrassment to our country.”

Smollett, who is black and gay, has argued throughout the nearly three-year legal battle that he was attacked in downtown Chicago in January 2019 by people who shouted racist and anti-racist slurs. he and gays had tied a noose around his neck.

His lawyer again declared Smollett’s innocence on Thursday after the jury found him guilty of five of six counts of misconduct for lying to police. Nenye Uche said Smollett would appeal the conviction.

The jury sentenced the 39-year-old to five counts of misconduct – for each time he was accused of lying to police in the days following the alleged attack. He was acquitted of the sixth count of lying to a detective in mid-February, weeks after Smollett said he was attacked.

Judge James Linn has set a post-trial hearing for January 27 and said he will schedule Smollett’s sentencing at a later date. Disorderly driving is a Class 4 felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts have said that if found guilty, Smollett would likely be placed on probation and ordered to do household work. ‘general interest.

ICYMI …

NO DATE – Experts and world health leaders say it is still too early to say whether the Omicron variant will significantly threaten immunity acquired from current COVID-19 vaccines as calls multiply in some corners for enlarged booster injections.

Pfizer issued a press release on Wednesday saying that while two doses of its vaccine appear to be less effective against the new threat, a booster dose may offer important protection by increasing antibody levels.

Pfizer’s data, which has not been reviewed by the scientific community, also suggests that two doses of the vaccine should always protect against serious illness with Omicron, as mutations in the variant do not appear to interfere with T-cell defenses which fight off the virus after the infection sets in.

The Omicron variant, discovered late last month, carries an unusually high number of mutations in its spike protein, which current mRNA vaccines target.

Cynthia Carr, an epidemiologist in Winnipeg, said the extent of these changes is still unknown. But even large mutations are unlikely to entirely hinder the effectiveness of the vaccine.

While some Canadian experts urge jurisdictions to speed up the rollout of the third dose to more of the population – most provinces allow boosters for the elderly or immunocompromised and healthcare workers six months after their second dose – Omar Khan, a biomedical engineering expert at the University of Toronto, said more research is likely needed before expanding eligibility to everyone.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 10, 2021

The Canadian Press


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