Atlantic Provinces – David Thompson Things http://davidthompsonthings.com/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 23:41:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://davidthompsonthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Atlantic Provinces – David Thompson Things http://davidthompsonthings.com/ 32 32 Alberta continues to grow population across Canada https://davidthompsonthings.com/alberta-continues-to-grow-population-across-canada/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 23:41:22 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/alberta-continues-to-grow-population-across-canada/ Breadcrumb Links New Local News The influx represents the largest interprovincial population increase in Alberta’s first quarter since 2015 The Calgary skyline was photographed on Thursday January 27, 2022. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Content of the article For a third consecutive quarter, more people moved to Alberta than left in the first three months of 2022, according […]]]>

The influx represents the largest interprovincial population increase in Alberta’s first quarter since 2015

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For a third consecutive quarter, more people moved to Alberta than left in the first three months of 2022, according to Statistics Canada data.

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Figures released by the national agency this week show a net gain of 5,351 people in Alberta via interprovincial migration from January to March this year, a number that leads Canada. During this first quarter, 21,980 people moved to Alberta from elsewhere in Canada, compared to 16,629 people who left for another province or territory.

It’s a trend that indicates Alberta has turned the corner after more than a year of losing population to interprovincial migration, dating back to early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic began. COVID-19.

“It’s a real turnaround in the flow of people from other parts of the country,” said Rob Roach, chief economist for ATB Financial. He said Alberta’s migration issues date back to the provincial recession of 2015-16.

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“From then until the last three quarters, so the middle of last year, we were really losing people. There were a few quarters where we managed to get into positive territory, but for the most part, more people were leaving Alberta than entering from the rest of the country.

“So the fact that we have three quarters in a row of really positive inflows, that’s a stretch. One quarter wouldn’t be enough to identify a trend, but it’s three in a row, so I think that’s a significant change.

The gains represent the largest interprovincial population increase in Alberta’s first quarter since 2015. The majority of those gains came from Ontario, which saw a net flow of 3,577 people to Alberta, followed by Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Alberta only lost population to British Columbia and Atlantic Canada in early 2022, with a net flow of 253 residents to British Columbia and 450 residents to the Atlantic provinces .

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It’s an indication of the strong economic conditions in Alberta relative to the rest of the country, Roach said. Job opportunities are a factor, he said, but relative affordability also plays a role.

“There is also the affordability of the housing market. If you have the option of moving from Toronto to Calgary, you will do so much better on your housing costs,” said Roach, who added that the energy industry recovery likely plays a bigger role in trends. demographics than the emergence of the covid19 pandemic.

“Our oil sector and our natural gas sector have rebounded, having a lot better fun, at least in the year so far in 2022. That’s not the only reason people are moving here, but it certainly helps to stimulate the economy and gives a feeling that things are happening again in Alberta.

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The latest data from StatCan also indicates that Alberta exceeded 4.5 million people for the first time in its history. Alberta’s population was 4,500,917 on April 1, according to that agency’s estimates.

In total, the province added 20,431 residents in the first quarter of 2022, a population growth of 0.46%.

Net international migration played the largest role in this growth, with 11,159 more people entering the province from overseas than leaving.

Alberta gained a population of 3,921 through natural growth, recording the highest natural growth rate of any province. It was one of four provinces with more births than deaths at the start of 2022, alongside Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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The Government of P.E.I. recovers $60 million owed from Ottawa and Crown corporations https://davidthompsonthings.com/the-government-of-p-e-i-recovers-60-million-owed-from-ottawa-and-crown-corporations/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 21:10:35 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/the-government-of-p-e-i-recovers-60-million-owed-from-ottawa-and-crown-corporations/ Senior PEI Department of Finance officials say efforts have been made to recover $60 million owed to the province by the federal government and two Crown corporations. But months after the uncollected funds were flagged by the province’s auditor general, millions of dollars remain unpaid. Speaking to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on June […]]]>

Senior PEI Department of Finance officials say efforts have been made to recover $60 million owed to the province by the federal government and two Crown corporations.

But months after the uncollected funds were flagged by the province’s auditor general, millions of dollars remain unpaid.

Speaking to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on June 21, Comptroller Judy Killam described several activities undertaken since March 31, 2021, which marked the end of the period reviewed by the Auditor General.

“I fully realize that $60 million in accounts receivable is a lot of money. It’s about 2.5% of our total revenue for the year,” Killam told the committee.

In May, staff from the province’s auditor general’s office told members of the public accounts standing committee that as of March 31, 2021, about $20 million in federal funds had been outstanding for more than a year. Some of the outstandings dated back to 2018.

The Auditor General also found that two Crown corporations – the PEI Lotteries Commission and the PEI Agricultural Insurance Corporation – had failed to properly manage a total of $40 million in surplus funds as of March 31, 2021. Crown corporations required that excess funds be invested or paid to the province.

Killam said the province has since collected payments due from the federal government for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. She also said the Department of Finance is in the process of securing $3.2 million for 2020 and 2021. .

Comptroller Judy Killam says the province has made progress in processing $60 million in debt from the federal government and two Crown corporations, reported in a recent report by the province's auditor general.  -Stu Neatby
Comptroller Judy Killam says the province has made progress in processing $60 million in debt from the federal government and two Crown corporations, reported in a recent report by the province’s auditor general. -Stu Neatby

Killam also noted that a claim for $6.6 million owed to the federal fund for a low carbon economy was submitted in August 2021. Adjustments were then requested and made in May 2022.

Additionally, Killam said activity reports have been submitted or are expected to be submitted by July, for approximately $7 million due for the Official Languages ​​in Education program. A total of $5.2 million is still due. The funding is intended to support French-language education, as well as teacher recruitment and infrastructure programs at École-Sur-Mer and the Belle Alliance Community Center in Summerside.

Killam did not mention $6 million in bad debt for youth justice services, which had been identified by the auditor general’s staff.

She addressed $24.9 million in excess revenue that remained in the PEI Lotteries Commission’s account as of March 31, 2021. Killam said the commission’s board has since transferred the funds to the province.

“The issue has been resolved and the process is in place to ensure annual transfers going forward,” Killam said.

An additional $16.4 million surplus was held in the PEI Agricultural Insurance Corporation account as of March 31, 2021. But Killam said the company’s funds were held in a trust account, which meant they could not be transferred to the province.

“They need to invest them and they are currently working with our investment group to determine how best to invest their excess funds,” Killam said.

Auditor General Darren Noonan has identified millions of dollars in overdue federal government funding.  Most involved claims that had not been submitted by the province.  -Stu Neatby
Auditor General Darren Noonan has identified millions of dollars in overdue federal government funding. Most involved claims that had not been submitted by the province. -Stu Neatby

Sustainable Debt Levels: Finances

The Auditor General’s report also raised concerns about the province’s rising debt levels. Expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly increased the province’s spending. The province expects to continue to run deficit budgets over the next three years.

But Gordon MacFadyen, executive director of fiscal management, said most of the province’s debt is long-term, with an average maturity of around 15 years.

MacFadyen said that meant PEI’s debt portfolio was “sort of the envy of other provinces.”

“Most of our money is long-term money, so that would be the best defense against rising interest rates,” MacFadyen said.

MacFadyen said the province’s internal cost of debt has fallen from 11.3% interest in 2001 to 5.1% in 2021.

“We effectively cut the interest bite for the debenture in half,” MacFadyen said.

MacFadyen also said the province’s economic growth has allowed it to manage its current debt load.

“Yes, the debt has increased. But our ability to repay some of that debt has also increased. So I would say that’s one of the factors that’s going reasonably well,” he said.

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COMMENT: Don’t recreate the wheel — no reason why pay equity legislation hasn’t moved forward in NL. https://davidthompsonthings.com/comment-dont-recreate-the-wheel-no-reason-why-pay-equity-legislation-hasnt-moved-forward-in-nl/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 14:19:03 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/comment-dont-recreate-the-wheel-no-reason-why-pay-equity-legislation-hasnt-moved-forward-in-nl/ I don’t know much about it, but if there’s one truth I’ve gleaned from my nine years of post-secondary education (engineering, public policy, and law if we care): if anyone does something sound complicated, it’s either they don’t understand much themselves, or they’re tricked into losing interest in you. So, reading the comments about the […]]]>

I don’t know much about it, but if there’s one truth I’ve gleaned from my nine years of post-secondary education (engineering, public policy, and law if we care): if anyone does something sound complicated, it’s either they don’t understand much themselves, or they’re tricked into losing interest in you.

So, reading the comments about the long-awaited gender pay equity legislation for the province, I became endlessly curious to know what first it was: a general lack of basic understanding on the part of those politicians, or a goal to ward off the public interest?

Prince Edward Island recently announced that its pay transparency legislation will come into effect on June 1. While it’s not technically its pay equity legislation (as it came into effect, like many other provinces, like, oh, you know, 1988), it does a lot with what seems to be a bit and adds to the existing frame.

The legislation essentially mirrors that of other provinces: requiring companies to post salaries when publicly advertising jobs and prohibiting companies from asking potential job seekers for information about past salaries or salary expectations. It also prohibits employers from going after employees who ask for pay raises or engage in salary discussions. That’s it. It’s like a few extra lines of text in, what, the whole province’s Employment Standards Act.

What it does, however, is really interesting – it forces employers to publish wage information and reduces the ability of companies to exploit workers who can take less (statistically, women and other minority workers) for similar work that would normally pay more.

Like almost all policies intended to benefit equity groups, pay equity/pay transparency legislation actually benefits everyone (at least all workers), as most studies show that the secrecy salary is how you lose by getting the most out of your position. If companies are required to publish job salaries on postings, everyone is able to maintain a good understanding of their specific value to a company and have the data to demand more without penalty.

You might be thinking, “Damn, if we want to see how this turns out, we’ll have to wait a bit and see if it works.” Except we don’t need it — because we’re the fourth (potentially the third, at the rate BC is going) last province to pass such legislation. New PEI Policies are virtually the same as existing Ontario legislation.

For those of you who really care, I’m sure the thought of reading legislation is sleep-inducing (which is a healthy response). However, as someone who has read more statutes and statutes than the average person, I can promise you that it is largely the same. And why wouldn’t it be? An effective policy is often a proven policy. Transferable legislation facilitates interprovincial business.

MHAs talk about this ‘legislation’ like we’re playing a complex ops game and if we use the wrong word in line 2 under (b) the buzzer goes off and our chance for gender equity is over . But these are bananas and either a complete misunderstanding of their work or an attempt to distract us from the disturbing simplicity of these policies, especially with the legislation in place and well understood in almost every other province.


Pam Parsons, Minister Responsible for Women and Gender Equality.  - Photo File
Pam Parsons, Minister Responsible for Women and Gender Equality. – Photo File

Adjustments can be made

It’s far from me to say that the legislation that currently exists is perfect — but you can’t adjust what doesn’t exist. You’re doing everyone a favor by having no protection while we collectively work on optimizations.

Each law goes through several changes once in place – some several times a year – over decades of changes. Such is the cycle of life (and, of course, of politics).

To suggest that MPs in this province cannot even agree to add words encoding the right of workers to know how much money they could make on a job or protecting them with a process if they are taken advantage of is extremely concerning. (Almost as worrisome as the utterly serious comment from elected officials that “there are still wage gaps in provinces that have pay equity legislation”, somehow leaving aside , the fact that most provinces without pay equity legislation have the highest wage gap.

I think my naïveté shines through in my ability to remain impressed by those who constantly weave a fable about hoverboard manufacturing for somehow pulling back the curtain on (ta-da!) a reinvented wheel.

Still.


To suggest that MPs in this province cannot even agree to add words encoding the right of workers to know how much money they could make on a job or protecting them with a process if they are taken advantage of is extremely concerning.


I know that at a critical, even academic level, public policies must be adapted to the environment to which they apply. True evidence-based public policy takes fundamental principles proven in other jurisdictions and engages with local stakeholders, manages variables and modifies what is necessary to ensure that positive results are demonstrated when applied in the intended environment.

However, we’re not talking about something that falls within the jurisdiction — we just require people to be paid the same for the same work. We ask that this be put in writing so that those who find themselves in situations where this is not the case have the power to protect themselves, their colleagues, their families from this inequity. That there are mechanisms to make this fight possible.

The only way to accept that this is a “skills” issue is to suggest that women or other equity groups in Newfoundland and Labrador matter less than those in PEI. .-P.-E. or Ontario or, comparatively, if NL companies matter more than its people. It’s certainly not a complex issue — I don’t even know how the government has managed to call it divisive.


SaltWire network composite
SaltWire network composite

NL’s legacy

I will leave us with this reflection: from 1991, the government of T.-N.-L. fought tooth and nail against his people, taking a case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, to avoid paying his people (a subdivision of unionized women) equal pay, in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms .

They asked the Supreme Court to declare that these women deserved to be paid unfairly by others in their fields. The NL government’s argument was that he just couldn’t afford them; the province would go bankrupt. The government has asked that these women in our province be denied a right under the Constitution.

The Supreme Court authorized it (years later the back pay was issued).

That was over 30 years ago. We have seen economic recessions since then, of course, but we have also had economic booms. We have not ceased to reward these women by ensuring that none quietly suffer the same fate as those who suffered it so publicly.

We have not stopped and checked in to provide continued protection for our neighbors during these times of well-being. Is this the story we want to leave of our province?

This question of “do we deserve basic pay equity and pay transparency legislation” is such a solid question for all of us. The only “them” who lose are the companies that profit from the wage gap and the silence on the public discussion of wages.

It is shameful that there is a narrative encouraged by “others” – those who simply ask for protection from oppression or abuse of power. It’s embarrassing that we’re dragging our feet not to protect each other. But the one thing I can say with confidence is that it’s not complicated: it just interferes, apparently, with other interests.

Which begs the question — whose interests are these elected officials more concerned with than the people of this province?

Lori Wareham is from Mount Pearl, NL. She has a university level background in gender public policy research and is interested in diversity and equity in labor law. She was recently called to the bar of Nova Scotia and is now beginning an article in Ottawa.

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Nova Scotia shooting: RCMP emergency alert policy in place two years later https://davidthompsonthings.com/nova-scotia-shooting-rcmp-emergency-alert-policy-in-place-two-years-later/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 21:44:11 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/nova-scotia-shooting-rcmp-emergency-alert-policy-in-place-two-years-later/ OTTAWA- Two years after being criticized for not issuing an emergency alert during a 1 p.m. shooting in Nova Scotia, the RCMP has finally implemented a national Alert Ready policy. The eight-page internal policy took effect March 1 and was provided to The Canadian Press by the RCMP. It describes the circumstances in which a […]]]>

OTTAWA-

Two years after being criticized for not issuing an emergency alert during a 1 p.m. shooting in Nova Scotia, the RCMP has finally implemented a national Alert Ready policy.

The eight-page internal policy took effect March 1 and was provided to The Canadian Press by the RCMP.

It describes the circumstances in which a public alert can be used, including active shooter situations, terrorist attacks, riots and natural disasters.

Each commander is expected to establish a Public Alerting Coordinator position and maintain statistics on the use of alerts.

According to the policy, members collect information about the incident, who is involved — including a description of the person and vehicle, if there is one — where and when it happened, why the alert is issued and “the actions the public is expected to take.”

Supervisors or unit commanders approve such requests, and the RCMP says the decision to use an alert is “at the discretion of the officers responding to and managing the incident.”

“RCMP policy provides a guide for dealing with incidents but does not require officers to issue alerts because policy can never respond to all possible situations,” an RCMP spokesperson said in a statement. e-mail.

In April 2020, gunman Gabriel Wortman murdered 22 people in Nova Scotia while dressed as a cop and driving a fake police car. The killing spanned over 100 kilometers and over 13 hours, but the emergency alert system was never activated to warn the public.

The RCMP instead used Twitter to share information.

The force said it was drafting an alert when the shooter was killed by police on April 19, but the ongoing public inquiry into the shooting also revealed senior officers did not know how to use the system.

Family members of the victims said lives could have been saved if people had known sooner. The Public Inquiry has been tasked with investigating RCMP communications with the public during and after that weekend.

Supt. Dustine Rodier, who was in charge of the operational communications center during filming, told the inquest last week that “Alert Ready would be considered” in an active fire event now.

Previously released evidence confirmed that senior RCMP officers feared a wider public alert could have put officers at risk by causing a ‘frenzied panic’. The gendarmerie also suggested that 911 operators could have been overwhelmed by callers seeking information.

Nova Scotia has used the emergency alert system 12 times since the shooting for events involving police action. Paul Mason, the head of Nova Scotia’s emergency management office, told the inquest “we haven’t seen massive panic in response to the use of the system.”

Cheryl McNeil, a consultant and former Toronto police worker, called the theory a “panic myth” and said “as long as the alerts are clear, concisely stated and provide direction, I don’t see how the Panic can be an expected result of informing the public of information they need to know. »

The RCMP’s national policy states that “there will be an increase in calls” after an alert is sent, which will likely strain resources. He recommends bringing in more staff if possible.

Rodier told the inquest that the best way to counter this is to educate the public about emergency alerts, but she also said the RCMP had not developed any public education tools. She said it would depend on the province.

The new policy states that it is up to the commanders of each division to work with provincial or territorial authorities to establish public alerting protocols, including what to do if the incident moves from one province or territory. one territory to another.

The RCMP can now issue its own alerts in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, thanks to agreements signed with the two provinces since the shooting.

In 2016, the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office offered the RCMP the ability to issue alerts because police have 24-hour staff and are “better positioned to respond quickly to events that are taking place,” according to a summary of evidence released at the public inquiry.

The offer was not accepted.


This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 17, 2022.

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Island at World’s End Launches $6 Billion Hydrogen Dream https://davidthompsonthings.com/island-at-worlds-end-launches-6-billion-hydrogen-dream/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 22:35:48 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/island-at-worlds-end-launches-6-billion-hydrogen-dream/ (Bloomberg) — An island region famous for its location at the tip of South America wants to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels to harness the global transition to clean energy. Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province – which translates to Tierra del Fuego – is trying to attract investment in hydrogen or ammonium, with […]]]>

(Bloomberg) — An island region famous for its location at the tip of South America wants to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels to harness the global transition to clean energy.

Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province – which translates to Tierra del Fuego – is trying to attract investment in hydrogen or ammonium, with its base case targeting $6 billion in spending on wind farms and electrolysers.

“Tierra del Fuego has the potential with its resources to achieve this,” Governor Gustavo Melella said in an interview on Tuesday. Melella, a former Salesian priest who turned to politics in the mid-2000s, pointed to Patagonia’s strong winds and the province’s attractive geography since hydrogen producers could ship across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The provincial government recently completed a pre-feasibility study and is working on environmental and infrastructure considerations to pave the way for hydrogen projects, with the fuel seen as crucial to reducing the carbon dependency of heavy industries like steelmaking. Some companies are also betting that hydrogen fuel cells will be a better choice than batteries for powering trucks and ships.

Read more: Why hydrogen is the hottest thing in green power

“We have to be ready when the change comes,” Melella said at the province’s offices in Buenos Aires. “Otherwise, when someone wants to invest in two or three years, they won’t be able to do it here, the time will have passed us.”

Two international companies have expressed interest in developing hydrogen in Tierra del Fuego, Melella said. One is the French TotalEnergies SE, which already produces natural gas there. The other is the American company MMEX Resources Corp., in partnership with the German Siemens Energy AG.

Melella will not allow the involvement of British investors because Tierra del Fuego jurisdiction would extend to the Falkland Islands, or Malvinas, a British overseas territory fiercely claimed by Argentina.

Tierra del Fuego needs a new port to be able to import wind turbines and export fuel. For this, officials are betting on Mirgor SACIFIA, a company based in the province that plans to spend $200 million to build a new facility.

It is difficult to ship liquid hydrogen over long distances, according to the prefeasibility study. Until the world finds a solution, the province’s wind-powered water electrolysis plants would likely produce ammonia, which is used to make fertilizers and plastics.

Tierra del Fuego’s economy depends on oil and gas drilling; tourism, since it is a springboard to Antarctica; and electronics assembly plants attracted by special tax breaks. Other regions of Argentina on the Atlantic coast have already built wind farms, and the provinces of Rio Negro and Buenos Aires are studying hydrogen projects.

Further reading:

  • BP’s $36 billion project spotlights huge green hydrogen hubs
  • Total and Adani team up for multi-billion Indian hydrogen plans
  • Uruguay’s hydrogen roadmap predicts $1.7 billion in exports by 2040
  • Argentina can be a major exporter of green hydrogen by 2030, says minister

©2022 Bloomberg LP

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People are encouraged to report bat sightings via the hotline https://davidthompsonthings.com/people-are-encouraged-to-report-bat-sightings-via-the-hotline/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 10:23:00 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/people-are-encouraged-to-report-bat-sightings-via-the-hotline/ A brown bat. Photo: Jordi Segers A bat hotline set up to monitor bat populations in Atlantic Canada has marked its 1,000th call and residents are encouraged to continue reporting bat sightings in the region . The population of little brown bats and other bat species has been hit hard in North America by […]]]>

A brown bat. Photo: Jordi Segers

A bat hotline set up to monitor bat populations in Atlantic Canada has marked its 1,000th call and residents are encouraged to continue reporting bat sightings in the region .

The population of little brown bats and other bat species has been hit hard in North America by white-nose syndrome, a fungus that thrives in warm winters when bats are hibernating.

The fungus irritates bats to the point of waking them up, causing them to search for food when little or none exists.

A bat hotline was set up for local residents to report bat populations in their area and was expanded to all four Atlantic provinces in 2019.

Since 2017, some 500 bat sightings have been reported with 101 reports of dead or unhealthy bats.

275 potential maternity colonies were identified, with 18 potential swarming sites recognized.

White-nose syndrome was recognized in this province in 2017 and can spread rapidly, killing up to 95% of affected bat populations. Anyone with a bat sighting or who is aware of a bat colony is asked to call the line at 1-833-434-2287.

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Opinion: Not dead yet: Ontario Liberals can’t be counted https://davidthompsonthings.com/opinion-not-dead-yet-ontario-liberals-cant-be-counted/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/opinion-not-dead-yet-ontario-liberals-cant-be-counted/ Then-Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca thanks his supporters after the Conservatives’ victory in the June 2 provincial election.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail Jonathan Malloy holds the Bell Chair in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy at Carleton University. The Ontario Liberal Party has – to put it lightly – fallen on hard times. In last week’s provincial […]]]>

Then-Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca thanks his supporters after the Conservatives’ victory in the June 2 provincial election.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Jonathan Malloy holds the Bell Chair in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy at Carleton University.

The Ontario Liberal Party has – to put it lightly – fallen on hard times.

In last week’s provincial election, the Ontario Liberal Party once again came in third place, and while its 2018 annihilation was bad enough, a repeat – winning just one more seat than when he recorded his worst performance in the history of the party – is truly humiliating. Prior to the 2018 election, the party could boast having won every election since the turn of the 21st century, governing Ontario for 15 years. Now it has proven unable to even regain official party status in the provincial legislature.

Now pundits are questioning the party’s failures, and even the merits of a possible merger with the Ontario NDP. Its leader, Steven Del Duca, has already resigned. But like the proverbial cockroach in a nuclear war, the Liberal brand has a remarkable staying power in Canada – and it would be premature to predict the demise of the Ontario Liberals.

Certainly, other provincial Liberal parties elsewhere in the country have had fallow periods. In the Prairie provinces, the last Liberal government was elected in 1967 in Saskatchewan; the most powerful on the left in the region are the Manitoba Liberals, who hold only three seats. The Liberal parties in British Columbia and Quebec are stronger, but operate in different political universes, bearing only a passing resemblance to the Liberals in the rest of the country. Only in Atlantic Canada do traditional liberals continue to thrive and there were struggles even there; the PEI Liberals. are currently in a low as the third party.

But the real death of the Liberals, in various forms across Canada, has already been wrongly predicted. “The future of the Liberal Party in Ontario must be bleak,” wrote political scientists John Wilson and David Hoffman – in 1970. In another 1974 article, Wilson argued that provincial party systems had natural stages of development, in which traditional parties fueled by religion and patronage were gradually replaced by class parties of left and right. As a centrist party, he suggested, the Liberals were destined to be the inevitable losers. But while the Ontario Liberals had a terrible run from the 1940s to the 1980s, they came back from the dead in 1985 and, after some miscalculations in the 1990s, returned to glory in the province.

Capital liberalism continues to thrive in Canada despite many predictions, especially after 2011, when the federal Liberals delivered their worst result since Confederation and seemed destined for oblivion. But while in many ways the Liberal Party shouldn’t really exist, it does persist. In his recent book The Canadian party system, Richard Johnston calls Canada a “deviant case” internationally; no other similar country has a perennially dominant centrist party like the Liberals. And Kenneth Carty, professor emeritus of political science at the University of British Columbia, also calls the federal Liberals “a party against nature”: he writes in Big tent policy that the party’s successes fundamentally depend on its ability to cover both and regional divides across Canada. While the latter is less relevant to the Ontario party, it can still take comfort in the continued existence of its federal cousin at the political center.

Arguably, the Ontario Liberals simply had a run of exceptional bad luck. In retrospect, the party made the wrong choice in choosing the charismatic Mr. Del Duca as its leader just a week before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But back then, the 2022 election was supposed to be a referendum on the tempestuous and erratic Doug Ford. Choosing an experienced but boring leader like Mr. Del Duca – the exact opposite of Mr. Ford – made sense. But Mr Ford’s PCs have shown an ability to grow – or at least appear to have grown – and the incumbents’ ideological softness has also made it harder for any other party to define a distinctively contrasting vision. The Liberals were extraordinarily lucky in 2011 and 2014, two elections in which they came from behind and came back to win; now the winds happen to be blowing the other way.

It is also unclear whether the Ontario NDP will be able to organize a real political realignment. While it may have overtaken the Liberals once again to become the Official Opposition, the NDP also failed to gain ground against Mr Ford, losing nine seats – suggesting the Liberals are not not alone in the fight against Ontario CPs. Nor can we forget the remarkable and somewhat inexplicable trend that Ontario almost always chooses a governing party that is different from the ruling federal party. If this trend continues, as long as Justin Trudeau’s Liberals lead Ottawa, Ontario Liberals will always be at a disadvantage.

Ultimately, however, the life and death of political parties is not determined by tactical errors: it is fundamentally decided by the electorate, and more particularly if they believe that the existing range of parties offers a sufficient choice. And for decades the Ontario electorate was almost oddly satisfied with its three main options. No other party has seen an MLA elected to the Legislative Assembly between 1951 and 2018, when Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner won Guelph. No other provincial party system has been so remarkably stable, and that stability provides crucial space for Liberals to reorganize and weather the inevitable cycles of Ontario politics.

The Ontario Liberals certainly have a long way to go. But it is too early to predict their untimely demise.

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Guest column: We need more women in politics to ensure fair decisions are made https://davidthompsonthings.com/guest-column-we-need-more-women-in-politics-to-ensure-fair-decisions-are-made/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 21:40:29 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/guest-column-we-need-more-women-in-politics-to-ensure-fair-decisions-are-made/ Breadcrumb Links Letters Editorials]]>

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By Katie Davey

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I remember sitting in the back seat of my dad’s truck driving around Saint John one day when I was 12 years old.

I felt smug because I had just correctly named the mayor, prime minister, and prime minister: Ivan Court, Bernard Lord, Stephen Harper. It would be another 10 years before I started to wonder why politics in Canada is dominated by men and what that means for women.

Have you ever tried having a routine Pap test without a family doctor? What about regular contraception?

Access to abortion services in Canada is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but the struggle over who is pro-choice or anti-choice has sucked all the political air out of the country for decades in detriment to access to more accessible abortion and more equitable health care.

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I’m willing to bet almost every woman or LGBTQ+ person in the country has a story about inadequate sexual and reproductive health services in Canada – or knows someone who does.

Women represent 50% of the population in Canada, but hold only 30% of the seats in the House of Commons. Women hold only two of Canada’s 12 prime minister seats, and in three provinces no woman has ever held the office of prime minister.

It matters because women matter.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that there are “women’s issues” – all issues that impact women are issues that impact society. But some lived experiences are indeed unique to women. The care and policies we need are often entirely absent from the political conversation.

This is why we need more women at all decision-making tables.

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We are at the forefront of the rapid erosion of women’s rights in our American neighbors – and it is not hard to see how this may influence events in Canada as well.

Like many women, I am completely gutted and filled with grief over the recently leaked SCOTUS plan to overturn Roe v. Wade – the decision that protected access to abortion in the United States.

A chamber of nine unelected people, including six men, are about to take away the rights of American women. The conversations that followed this leak show how few men know and care about women’s bodies and their health care.

Canadians cannot be complacent. Abortion is not enshrined in law in Canada; it could also be challenged here, despite majority support for abortion rights in the country. We need more women in politics to safeguard this essential right – and other rights essential to women’s autonomy.

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The good news is that we could actually make progress.

For the first time ever, the Ontario Liberals are 50% represented by women in this provincial election – a statistic that pales in comparison to the diverse slate the NDP has fielded.

Elsewhere, in New Brunswick, for the first time in history, a woman is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Nova Scotia has a similar bona fide with an accomplished black woman on the leadership ballot who, if successful, would be the first person of African descent to lead a major political party in Atlantic Canada.

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have yet to see a woman in the premier’s office.

Studies suggest that for a group of people to have a substantial impact around the decision-making table, they must collectively constitute 30% of the decision-makers. We are getting there.

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And you can see that reflected in the policy. It’s taken 50 years, but Canada finally has a path to universal, $10/day child care. It is no coincidence that such a program emerged from a government with 50 percent women in cabinet and was led by a female minister.

We can’t stop now.

We must do more to bring women in all their diversity into elected office across the country. It is also important that we go beyond the count and build substantive equality that ensures women are fully represented and substantially equal.

Katie Davey is editor of PPF Media and founder of Femme Wonk, a place to have various political discussions.

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The new approach to installation to prevent truckers from “gaming the system” https://davidthompsonthings.com/the-new-approach-to-installation-to-prevent-truckers-from-gaming-the-system/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 19:54:20 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/the-new-approach-to-installation-to-prevent-truckers-from-gaming-the-system/ Nova Scotia has endorsed the Facility Association’s approach to rating commercial vehicles so truckers can’t “game the system” and get Nova Scotia’s lower premium rates when they drive more often in other Canadian provinces. Essentially, an “overload matrix” will be used to assess trucking companies used more than 50% outside the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. […]]]>

Nova Scotia has endorsed the Facility Association’s approach to rating commercial vehicles so truckers can’t “game the system” and get Nova Scotia’s lower premium rates when they drive more often in other Canadian provinces.

Essentially, an “overload matrix” will be used to assess trucking companies used more than 50% outside the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec.

“The proposed surcharge matrix is ​​based on comparisons of three-year average premiums in other regions,” explains the Nova Scotia insurance regulator. “The goal is to have the premium surcharged, when the vehicle is used primarily in another province outside of the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec, approximate the premium that would be charged in that region.”

The matrix consists of dividing the country into four different regions: Eastern Canada, Ontario, Western Canada and the Territories. Average premiums earned, scaled to current rate levels, were examined on an aggregate or total premium basis and for third party liability (i.e. bodily injury, property damage and direct collision physical damage combined).

Using this information, the Nova Scotia regulator explains in its decision to accept the approach, the Facility Association developed a matrix that represented the ratio between the premium of the region where the vehicle is used and the premium of the region of registration.

“For example,” notes the regulator, “the three-year average total premium at current levels for Eastern Canada was $9,936 and for Ontario was $31,558. For a vehicle registered in Eastern Canada but used in Ontario, the premium should be 318% of the Eastern Canada premium. A similar comparison of liability premiums suggests that the premium should be 419% of the Eastern Canada premium under the same circumstances.

Essentially, Facility has made some adjustments to the base ratios above, but if the truck is used outside of Atlantic Canada for more than 50% of the time, the surcharge rates apply. The surcharge would be that of the territory where the truck operates the most. If it is not clear where the truck operates the most – for example, it operates 33% of the time in Western Canada, 33% in Ontario and 33% in Atlantic Canada – then the supplement that produces the premium higher will apply.

When asked why weighted averages would not be used, Facility replied that the matrix surcharge approach would add more conditions for agents and brokers to assess, and more steps to follow, to rate long distance risks. But they would also have a system that is easier to explain to customers who operate in multiple jurisdictions.

The matrix system evolved to prevent truckers from registering in the jurisdiction with the lowest premium (i.e. Nova Scotia), but operating more often in other jurisdictions, such as the notes the province’s insurance regulator.

“The facility has noticed a significant increase in the number of vehicles registered in Nova Scotia but operated elsewhere,” observes the regulator. “This registration aims to access better rates than those that the vehicle would receive if it were registered in Ontario.

“Misrepresentation of where the vehicle is used results in increased claims for Nova Scotia, with premiums below need, resulting in lower experience and loss ratios in Nova Scotia. This experiment will result in increased rates for all intercity trucks in Nova Scotia.

Featured image by iStock.com/shaunl

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Inflation hits hard in Nova Scotia as gas prices rise https://davidthompsonthings.com/inflation-hits-hard-in-nova-scotia-as-gas-prices-rise/ Sat, 04 Jun 2022 01:14:03 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/inflation-hits-hard-in-nova-scotia-as-gas-prices-rise/ Another five-cent increase greeted motorists at gas stations across Nova Scotia on Friday morning. “I’m not going to make it take more than that,” Mike Green said while pumping gas. Its filling almost reached $200. It’s a pain that isn’t just felt at the pump. “Everything is going up in price, people don’t have enough […]]]>

Another five-cent increase greeted motorists at gas stations across Nova Scotia on Friday morning.

“I’m not going to make it take more than that,” Mike Green said while pumping gas.

Its filling almost reached $200.

It’s a pain that isn’t just felt at the pump.

“Everything is going up in price, people don’t have enough money to pay for everything,” Green says.

In April, inflation hit 7.1% in Nova Scotia, well above the Bank of Canada‘s prime rate of 1-3%.

This is why the central bank raises interest rates, but the effect will not be felt right away.

“There’s a lag effect, so even if you’re raising interest rates right now, we don’t really see the impact of those higher interest rates for another 18 to 24 months,” says Fred Bergman of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

“That’s why we’re probably going to see inflation for another year or two.”

This means charities like Feed Nova Scotia expect the demand for food assistance to continue to rise.

“Last March, we supported over 18,000 Nova Scotians through food banks to which we also provide food,” said Feed NS President Nick Jennery.

But the province has made it clear that there is no immediate upward relief and certainly no gas tax reduction.

“We know Nova Scotians are struggling and we will continue to discuss what is possible,” Premier Tim Houston said Thursday.

Liberal finance critic Kelly Regan says talks aren’t helpful because people can’t wait.

“People are hurting now. This government must act now. Nova Scotia needs help now, and if it’s a good government and a compassionate government, it will do something now, and not wait,” said Regan.

Feed Nova Scotia sends 20,000 pounds of food a day. To meet demand, they now have to buy what they don’t have.

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