Welcome to the first edition of the Fed Report. This weekly newsletter offers digestible perspectives on otherwise complex Canadian Governmental news. While I will do my best minimally ‘editorialize’- this will be an Op-Ed style report. My aim is to release one report toward the end of every week while covering the most critical and engaging matters affecting Canadians.
Trudeau’s Press Gallery Speech
If you have yet to view our Prime Minister’s press gallery roast of Pierre Poilievre, it’s worth the 3-minute view. It is in the spirit of this event to have a comedic approach to speeches, but I found Trudeau’s 3 minutes to be a Liberal propaganda engine. I don’t know who approved his final joke (which essentially compares Poilievre to Hitler), but s/he should be fired for such political oversight. The video is both cringe-worthy and unbecoming of a world leader, and while watching, you must ask yourself if this is what you want to see from the head of your nation.
Bill C-11 Passes Second Reading in Senate
Bill C-11 (otherwise known as the internet censorship bill) passed second reading in the Senate. As with most potentially harmful legislation, C-11 is sold as a means of protecting citizens while leaving in fine print that opens the lawmaking to significant abuse. In this case, Bill C-11 intends to reduce harmful disinformation but contains language that allows the CRTC to suppress dissenting opinions.
Jeanette Patell of YouTube Canada said in a statement: “We’ve heard from the government that they don’t intend to regulate user-generated content (UGC), but the Chair of the CRTC has confirmed that UGC still remains in the bill text.” Michael Geist, the University of Ottawa’s Canada Research Chair in internet law, said user-generated content is not “out of the bill.”
“Scott’s remarks confirm what was plainly obvious for anyone who took the time to read the bill,” Geist said. “The door is wide open for the CRTC to establish regulations on user content, including discoverability rules that could harm Canada’s digital-first creators. There are good reasons no other country in the world regulates user content in this way.”
C-11 still has a ways to go before it becomes Law, but the fact that it made it this far should concern citizens, especially with the amount of ‘disinformation’ that has become fact in the past year.
The Emergencies Act Inquiry
Perhaps the most polarizing topic in Canadian Politics is the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest and the resulting inquiry into Justin Trudeau’s launching of the Emergencies Act. I understand the disdain residents of Ottawa had for the protest, even if much of that disdain was cleverly formed by the establishment media. The protest was disruptive and obnoxious, and residents have the right to be annoyed by the inconvenience and discomfort the freedom convoy brought to Ottawa. Negative opinions of the rally, protestors, convoy leaders, or any other individual associated with the movement is also unsurprising. But your impression of the personalities involved or warranted resident frustrations are not the critical focal point in this matter. The important question at hand is if Trudeau took extreme and unnecessary action to suppress a legal protest that he didn’t want to face. So far, it appears he did just that.
As it stands, all claims made by the Trudeau Government to justify launching emergency powers appear to have been unfounded. There is consensus between local police, the OPP, RCMP, and CSIS that the tools to end the protest were available and not fully exercised. There is also broad consensus that there were no weapons, foreign funding, or criminally relevant acts of violence associated with protestors. When CTV, the Toronto Star, and the CBC begin reporting these facts (albeit, hesitantly), you know the inquiry is not going Trudeau’s way. Keep in mind that the Trudeau Government seized the assets and froze the bank accounts of Canadian citizens based on such false premises, which is a gross abuse of power. These actions go beyond your opinion of a person or group. If your government can illegally freeze and seize the assets of people you dislike or disagree with, they can do the same to you without due process. And if you think that’s a one-way street, you’d better think again.
Perhaps the most damning testimony thus far came from RCMP commissioner, Brenda Lucki. The commissioner was in the press recently regarding the controversy over an information release breech pertaining to the tragic Nova Scotia shooting. A summary of both her testimony and other key statements during the inquiry can be found here.
I’m not going to attach any other content related to the inquiry, as there are hours of testimony. Follow the reporting of Andrew Lawton if you’d like to see the clips of damning testimony firsthand. Regardless of how you feel about Andrew’s (or TNC’s) bias, he is doing the majority of coverage on this topic and is worth following if you’re interested in hearing more.
I don’t know what will come of the inquiry, regardless of how strong the evidence is against the current government- but I hope Canadians are paying attention.
Rapidly Rising Cost of Living
The Bank of Canada raised the interest rate by another 50bp, and the Canadian Government no longer denies the coming recession. Even Chrystia Freeland acknowledged the ‘difficult times ahead’, including lost jobs and rising interest rates that will ‘hurt many households’. This comes after a spring and summer where Freeland made claims like “our economy has not just recovered- it is booming” while promising more jobs and a stronger, more resilient economy “for years to come.” And what is the Trudeau government doing for struggling Canadians during an evident financial crisis? He’s tripling the carbon tax.
Strong Mayor Powers and Bill 23
A few months back, the Ford government in Ontario passed the ‘Strong Mayors’ legislation. This lawmaking allows Mayors to bypass council voting and push forward with local decision-making. Ford is beginning with Toronto and Ottawa municipalities but recently announced that the legislature will be expanded to other cities next year. Ford states that the powers are intended to speed up housing development by reducing bureaucratic red tape. While I’m all for smaller government, it would be naive to believe this undemocratic intervention will remain within the housing sector.
Bill 23, which is yet to pass but likely will, aims to remove development charges for certain housing classes. The obvious issue this poses is eliminating development fees that the city relies on for critical infrastructure updates, which are often related to residential expansion. Roads, sidewalks, sewers, transit, and other service expansion are major requirements of increased housing. The question now is, who will pay for the deficit? One way or another, it’s going to fall on the taxpayer. Either with local taxation in increased property taxes (or service cuts) or with higher Provincial taxes.
Dismal Voter Turnout in Ontario
Wrapping up with more Ontario news, voter turnout in the recent municipal elections was the worst it has ever been at just 29% in Toronto. Recall that Toronto’s 2014 city election turnout was 60%, more than double what 2022 produced. Apathetic voters with low trust in government institutions likely drive the lack of democratic enthusiasm, but we need that to change. While political solutions aren’t the only action we can take to create a better outlook, both locally and federally, it is one of the most impactful. If you disagree with that statement, what do you see as the alternative, or where do you think apathy leads? While I’m open to sensible responses, I can guarantee you this: people who hold great disdain for you based on your views, lifestyle, and general philosophy on life are showing up where you are not. Sitting idly by while an ambitious minority decides rules and regulations that you will be forced to live by is a poor strategy, no matter how you look at it. I suggest you adopt a new point of view on the matter.
Thank you to everyone for reading the first of many Fed Reports. Please use the links below to share and get others involved as we stay informed and build for the future.