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Iran withdraws from nuclear arms agreement

Early Sunday morning, the United States announced it was suspending most operations against ISIS (Daesh).

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Events continue to unfold in the Middle East after the United States’ air strikes in Iraq that killed Iranian general and accused terrorist organizer Qassem Soleimani and alleged Iranian-sponsored “powerful” militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Sunday morning, Iran announced they would rescind their commitment to the “Nuclear Deal”, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, adopted October 15, 2015. This follows the United States’ withdrawal in 2018.

The deal, which was an agreement between Iran and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (plus Germany), included requiring Iran to give up 97 per cent of its enriched uranium stockpile, reducing the amount on hand from 10,000 kg to 300 kg, and to restrict enrichment (grade) to 3.67 per cent. Weapons-grade enrichment is high, around 90 per cent.

Iran also agreed to give up three quarters of its centrifuges (machines that are used in the uranium enrichment process), bringing its total from 20,000 down to 5,000. Iran also agreed to inspections and monitoring by the United States to ensure compliance.

In return, Iran received relief from economic sanctions, effective January 16, 2016.

The United States withdrew from the deal in May of 2018 and imposed further economic sanctions on Iran in November.

Ali Arouzi, NBC News Tehran bureau chief and correspondent wrote on Twitter Saturday that it was “very unusual to see a red flag flying over (the) holy mosque of Jamkaran in Qom, Iran’s holiest city. (It is) almost always blue. The red flag symbolizes revenge” (main photo).

Early Sunday morning, the United States announced it was suspending most operations against ISIS (Daesh) and that it would instead focus on protecting Iraqi bases from attack by Iran and its allied militias.

Iraqi parliament, however, passed a resolution Sunday calling for the expulsion of U.S. troops from Iraq, effectively cancelling the request for assistance against ISIS from the coalition, led by the United States.

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” read the resolution.

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using is land, airspace or water for any reason.”

The resolution is not binding on the government of Iraq but Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had, according to sources, encouraged parliament to pass measures that would end foreign military presence in the country.

“We’re confident the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said cryptically.

“The prime minister is… under enormous threats from the very Iranian leadership that we are pushing back against.”

Both the United States and Canada issued warnings over the weekend for American and Canadian citizens in Iran and Iraq to leave the region as soon as possible due to the potential for escalating violence in the area “without warning”. The United States has deployed more troops to the region as of Sunday morning.

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O’Toole says his carbon tax is ‘not a tax’, denies breaking promise

And he said he didn’t break his promise to kill the hated Justin Trudeau carbon tax because with his tax, the money doesn’t go to the government.

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Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says his proposed new carbon tax is “not a tax”, and that he didn’t break his promise to kill the Justin Trudeau carbon tax because his carbon tax’s revenues will be managed by bankers appointed by him, and not be held in government accounts.

“Well I’ve always been consistent on wanting to eliminate Mr. Trudeau’s carbon tax, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

O’toole on ctv’s question period

“The low carbon savings account we’ve proposed will be kept by consumers, not one cent goes to government.”

In a shocking flip-flop, O’Toole tore up his leadership campaign’s signature promise to end carbon tax last Thursday, and will be campaigning on a large, re-branded carbon tax in the next federal election. O’Toole written pledge with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation included a clear commitment to not replace the Trudeau carbon tax with “any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole is proposing to charge a $50/tonne carbon tax on everything from gasoline to home heating fuel, and use the money to fund government-controlled bank accounts, which Canadians can use to purchase government-approved, environmentally friendly products.

Canadians would pay a carbon tax beginning at $20 per tonne, increasing to $50 a tonne, but the Tories promised it would go no higher than that. However, O’Toole promised emphatically that there would be no carbon tax at all under his leadership.

When running for party leader, O’Toole signed a Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge to oppose the federal carbon tax. The vow said: “I, Erin O’Toole promise that if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax, and reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole repeated his pledge to fight against any consumer carbon tax during the campaign for the Tory top spot.

The O’Toole carbon tax may also leave less money in taxpayers pockets than the Trudeau plan does.

Under the Trudeau plan, a portion of the federal carbon tax is rebated to taxpayers to spend as they see fit. Under the O’Toole plan, revenues will go into personalized “green” savings accounts that Canadians could only spend on government-approved environmentally friendly products.

People could then draw on those accounts for “things that help them live a greener life,” according to the Secure The Environment document. 

“This will not be a government-run program, it will be something that we view the industry doing in a similar way that the financial services industry developed and innovated with the Interac system, which people use far more now than then traditional old currency,” said O’Toole on CTV.

“This will be an account that is then tracked, it will not be big government, it will be actually run in a similar fashion to a loyalty-type program.

“I hear all the time from all parties on the spectrum saying every Canadian needs to take their role in a climate change plan. This allows that through full transparency, and for people to have their low carbon savings account and make smart decisions.”

The flip-flop angered the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“O’Toole is insulting our intelligence, of course this is a carbon tax,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Federal Director.

“If you’re going to break your promise and hammer Canadians with a carbon tax at least have the spine to admit it.

“Instead of playing word games with Canadians, O’Toole should live up to his promise and fight carbon taxes.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Feds say costly Super Bowl ads needed to make Canadians aware of COVID

Authorities earlier credited millions in advertising, not blanket news coverage, for alerting Canadians to the risks of COVID-19.

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The feds paid almost $182,000 for COVID-19 safety ads aired during the Super Bowl, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

That works out to $1,347 per second of taxpayers’ money for 135 seconds of Feb. 7 ad time. The total cost was $181,879.

An estimated 8.8 million people in Canada watched a portion of the game.

Authorities earlier credited millions in advertising, not blanket news coverage, for alerting Canadians to the risks of COVID-19.

A $120-million government-wide marketing budget included funding for “behavioral scientists,” according to a July 16 report.

“Up to $3.7 million is related to estimated salary costs for up to 16 (employees) that will support this initiative, including behavioural scientists and dedicated resources in the digital communications, public opinion research and advertising teams,” wrote staff in the Annual Report On Government Of Canada Advertising Activities.

Ken McKillop, assistant secretary to cabinet, testified June 16 at the Commons government operations committee the advertising blitz was intended to “get the news to Canadians” about the pandemic.

MacKillop credited the Privy Council’s own $49.5 million ad budget with “encouraging social distancing,” a claim disputed by committee members.

“COVID’s on the TV every second, every newspaper, every Facebook feed, everything, it’s Covid all the time,” said Conservative MP Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West):

  • MP McCauley: “Everyone knows about social distancing. Everyone knows there is Covid going on. Do you find it justifiable to spend the $50 million on something every single person knows about?”
  • Assistant MacKillop: “Well you know, you’re not wrong. People know about it because we’ve advertised.”
  • MP McCauley: “No, I think because it’s on the news cycle 24 hours a day. I’m asking, do you think this is a fair use of taxpayers’ money to advertise about something that every single person in the entire world knows is going on right now?”
  • Assistant MacKillop: “I do think it’s worth the money to advertise to Canadians on health and safety and what we’re asking them to do. Again, the virus has been unpredictable.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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O’Toole wants carbon tax placed on Chinese imports

“It’s certainly something we’re interested in,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

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A day after flip-flopping on Canada’s carbon tax, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says the Liberals should slap one on imports from China, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Most Canadians don’t want to see Canadian jobs being shifted to China where they don’t respect the climate change commitments democratic countries are making, where their aluminum, where their steel is five, six, seven times more carbon intensive than the incredible production in the Saguenay region or in British Columbia or Ontario,” said O’Toole.

“That tariff will price out some of these bad actor countries’ products.”

The Conservative Party proposed the carbon tariff in a document, Secure The Environment.

“We will study the imposition of a carbon border tariff which would reflect the amount of carbon emissions attributed to goods imported into Canada,” it stated.

Access To Information records indicate the Department of Environment has researched the proposal for five years.

Department of Industry managers, in 2016 testimony at the Commons trade committee, said they had no way of punishing importers that pollute. Chinese steel mills produce more than 10 times the greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian plants, about 598 kilograms of carbon for every tonne of steel, by official estimate.

“It’s certainly something we’re interested in,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

“While we are very interested in the idea – we are working on the discussion with the Americans and with Europeans – I think anybody who says that’s something you could do in the very short term doesn’t really understand how it works.

“We are very positive with respect to the potential for border carbon adjustments, but I do think folks need to understand how complicated that discussion is. In order to actually put in place a border carbon adjustment you either need to have alignment between Canada and the United States – for example, on carbon pricing – or you need to be able to have agreement about how you’re going to impute carbon pricing that is associated with either investments or regulation.”

In a shocking flip-flop, O’Toole tore up his leadership campaign’s signature promise to end carbon tax Thursday, and will be campaigning on a large, re-branded carbon tax in the next federal election.

O’Toole is proposing to charge a $50/tonne carbon tax on everything from gasoline to home heating fuel, and use the money to fund government-controlled savings accounts, which Canadians can use to purchase government-approved, environmentally friendly products.

Canadians would pay a carbon tax beginning at $20 per tonne, increasing over time to $50 a tonne, but the Tories promised it would go no higher than that. However, O’Toole promised emphatically that there would be no carbon tax at all under his leadership.

When running for party leader, O’Toole signed a Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge to oppose the federal carbon tax. The vow said: “I, Erin O’Toole promise that if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax, and reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole repeated his pledge to fight against any consumer carbon tax during the campaign for the Tory top spot.

The O’Toole carbon tax may also leave less money in taxpayers pockets than the Trudeau plan does.

Under the Trudeau plan, a portion of the federal carbon tax is rebated to taxpayers to spend as they see fit. Under the O’Toole plan, revenues will go into personalized “green” savings accounts that Canadians could only spend on government-approved environmentally friendly products.

People could then draw on those accounts for “things that help them live a greener life,” according to the Secure The Environment document. 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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