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BC issues top of mind heading into federal election

In fact, the economy could be the issue that allows Conservatives to pick up votes because of voter worries about inflation and rocketing national debt.

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Two years ahead of schedule.

That’s how soon Justin Trudeau decided to call a federal election which takes place across the country next month.

The Prime Minister has come under fire for the early call from people like NDP leader Jagmeet Singh since launching a grasping “power grab” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Singh is the only party leader to be elected to a BC riding, Burnaby South.

However, the move should come as no surprise to British Columbians who’ve seen this before when B.C.’s New Democrats did the same thing last October.

The NDP heads into the election holding 24 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons, but five of the seven on Vancouver Island. The Greens hold the other two Island seats.

Now, the West might be discouraged in the knowledge Ontario has 121 seats, more than the four western provinces combined. However, B.C. handed the federal Liberals a majority government in November 2015 and, in 2019, it gave the party a minority government.

So the question is: can BC and the three other provinces — because of swing ridings —be the power brokers a third time in less than a decade?

That remains to be seen, but the Liberals do have a chance to win seats in five ridings, yet only one to be a near-lock to go back to the Liberals: Vancouver-Granville, where Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould implied she won’t run again.

Of course, wins for the Liberals could pale with losses in other traditionally close ridings — such as Burnaby North-Seymour, where the NDP is desperate to win, and Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, which the Conservatives zoomed in on.

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky is yet another riding to watch, with famous documentarian Avi Lewis taking a stab under the NDP banner.

Among BC political watchers, the common thought is the Conservatives will put down stakes in the Interior and the northern part of the province, while the NDP — who in recent polls show more strength in B.C. than in the 2019 election — looks to Vancouver Island for safe harbours. It’s expected the Liberals will maintain their urban ridings.

While many have opined COVID-19 will be a factor in the September election, recent polls show the pandemic is no longer top of mind for the Canadian electorate. Indeed, the economy, health care and the climate all nudge out Covid concerns, according to the surveys.

In fact, the economy could be the issue that allows Conservatives to pick up votes because of voter worries about inflation and rocketing national debt.

Climate is another huge issue in B.C. where wildfires and drought have plagued the summer months.

This is where the Conservatives must come up with a plan, given the public perception the party has been dragging its feet on the issue.

It must be something more concrete and palatable than Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s personal low carbon savings account plan, for which he was roundly mocked after tearing up a Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge he signed to oppose the federal carbon tax.

Follow the Western Standard for full coverage of all breaking election news.

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

Mike D'Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief and Copy Editor for the Western Standard. He worked as an investigative crime reporter at the Calgary & Winnipeg Suns. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Claudette Leece

    August 16, 2021 at 6:32 am

    Yes Left Coast agree but sadly too many youth coming from socialist universities , have been hearing these climate lies, code red omg, maybe the acid rain could put out the fires, caused by total mismanagement in the forestry industry. No clear cutting anymore, just left there for a spark to turn into a raging fire, 96% caused by humans. People build into the trees then are dismayed when fires take their homes. Humans are becoming less intelligent over the years. There too busy letting governments tell them how to think, rather than any critical thinking. Well the way Canada’s going won’t have to worry, the big corporations will move to more tax friendly countries, the chronic lazy will get their living from the few small businesses left in Canada. Inflation will eat up what little they do make, then we will see this one country be two distinct classes, the ones who believed government could save them, and the rest who worked hard to support themselves. Too many useless academics in Canada and far too many working class Canadians that haven’t fallen for this false narrative these academics spew

  2. Left Coast

    August 15, 2021 at 10:49 am

    The Great Klimate Fraud & the Bankrupting of Canada . . .

    MIT professor of atmospheric science Richard Lindzen, and Princeton emeritus professor of physics William Happer have written, “We are both scientists who can attest that the research literature does not support the claim of a climate emergency. Nor will there be one. None of the lurid predictions — dangerously accelerating sea-level rise, increasingly extreme weather, more deadly forest fires, unprecedented warming, etc. — are any more accurate than the fire-and-brimstone sermons used to stoke fanaticism in medieval crusaders.” So too physicist Steven E. Koonin, who writes in his new book Unsettled. What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, “The science is insufficient to make useful projections about how the climate will change over the coming decades, much less what effect our actions will have on it.”

    On top of the contested rationale for pouring billions of tax-payer dollars into one industry, the logistics of enlarging electricity production for “green” technology like wind turbines, solar panels, and half-ton batteries for EVs, not to mention expanding exponentially the electrical grid, are formidable, as Mark Mills has reported:

    Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.

    The “green energy” promoters also ignore other costs. Building solar and wind farms requires much more land than does fossil fuel production, with a greater destructive impact on the environment. Mining the rare-earth minerals like cobalt and lithium necessary for EV batteries leaves behind toxic waste, pollution, damage to wildlife habitats, and lunar landscapes. Reductions in carbon emissions that come from EVs are greatly offset by the fossil-fuel powered big machinery and coal- or natural gas-powered electricity used in mining these minerals.

    And there are the human costs. The bulk of these mines and processing facilities are in countries like China, which controls 90% of cobalt refining, and the Republic of Congo, which produces 70% of raw cobalt, that do not have labor protections like those in the West. About 40,000 children, some as young as four years old, are working long hours in Congolese cobalt mines. Imagine how many more children or political prisoners will be slaving away to meet the increased demands for the batteries

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NDP support holding strong across Alberta

That’s enough of a lead to form a majority government, say pollsters.

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The UCP would be gutted and Rachel Notley back as premier if an election were held today, an exclusive new poll done for the Western Standard shows.

The Mainstreet Research poll shows Notley’s NDP currently has the support of 41% of Albertans with Jason Kenney’s UCP well back at 25%

That’s enough of a lead to form a majority government, say pollsters.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

The upstart Wildrose Independence Party collect 11% support in the new poll, with 5% siding with the Alberta Party, with the Liberals and Greens at 1% each. A total of 14% of voters were undecided.

Wildrose leader Paul Hinman polls best among people who are refusing to get vaccinated. When they were asked, 34% chose Wildrose, 29% for the UCP and only 2% for the NDP.

If the undecided are removed from the poll, the NDP checks in with 45%, the UCP with 29%, the WIP with 13% and the AP with 6%

In that poll, the NDP is also leading in Alberta’s two major cities. In Edmonton, the NDP has 62% support with the UCP at 21% In Calgary, the NDP leads with 48% support and the UCP at 31%.

Rural areas seem split. Northern rural areas favour Kenney 34% to 29% for Notley. Southern rural areas like Notley at 32% with Kenney at 29%.

Courtesy Mainstreet Research

“Things are looking pretty grim for Kenney,” said Mainstreet CEO and President Quito Maggi.

“It’s 18 months until the next election, and that can be an eternity, but numbers in this realm for the better part of a year, with no positive movement, shows the trouble he is in.”

Maggi said he was a little surprised by the lead of Notley in Calgary, normally a Conservative bastion.

“It speaks of the personal unpopularity of Jason Kenney himself. The policies of the NDP probably aren’t supported in Calgary but they are willing to vote for the candidate that will defeat Kenney,” he said.

Maggi noted Kenney is now getting it from both sides of the political spectrum and the WIP is taking enough to leave Notley with a majority victory. He predicted an NDP victory would only be by one or two seats.

The analysis in this report is based on the results of a survey conducted on October 12-13 2021 among a sample of 935 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in Alberta. The survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). Respondents were interviewed on landlines and cellular phones. The survey is intended to represent the voting population in Alberta. 

The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level. Mar- gins of error are higher in each subsample. 

Totals may not add up 100% due to rounding. 

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People not getting COVID jabs a diverse group

Deonandan predicted Canada will not achieve “herd immunity” against COVID-19 until at least 91% of eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. The rate is currently 81%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Canadians against getting a COVID-19 jab are not just a group of crazed, anti-vaxxers, says a leading epidemiologist.

Four million Canadians who’ve declined a COVID-19 are an assorted lot, said the executive editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal Of Health Sciences .

“The unvaccinated are a diverse group,” Dr. Raywat Deonandan, of the University of Ottawa, told Blacklock’s Reporter.

“They include the hardcore anti-vaxxers. They include the vaccine-hesitant who are just afraid of the vaccine.”

“They include those who want to get vaccinated, but can’t get time off work or get child care. And they include the apathetic. The apathetic tend to be the young people who think the disease is not serious to them. Vaccine passports really do well on that group.”

Speaking during a webinar with a federal union, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, Deonandan said he generally supported domestic vaccine passports, likening them to a driver’s licence, but strongly opposed mandatory immunization of young children.

“Vaccine mandates are controversial,” said Deonandan, adding compulsory shots for children under 12 “just creates far too much distrust in the population and doesn’t rub people the right way.

“I have a small child. I’m not happy about injecting him with strange things. I will if his mother agrees. But it does not fill me with comfort to do so. I get it.”

Deonandan said he thought compulsory vaccination for federal employees was legally defensible, but acknowledged it would draw protest.

“The weakness is our democracy,” he said.

“Our biggest value is our freedom and our democracy. That is the thing that’s our Achilles’ heel here. Authoritarian governments do better with COVID because they control the messaging and compel behaviour. We don’t want to be that. So we need to empower the citizens to think more rationally to their own ends.”

Deonandan predicted Canada will not achieve “herd immunity” against COVID-19 until at least 91% of eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. The rate is currently 81%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Freeland says Canada has to stop cutting business taxes

The Liberal Party has proposed $4.2 billion a year in new taxes mainly on corporations.

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Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada has to put a stop to cuts to corporate taxes, calling it a “race to the bottom.”

Blacklock’s Reporter noted the Liberal Party proposed $4.2 billion a year in new taxes, mainly on corporations.

“Part of building an equitable recovery is strengthening international tax fairness, ending the global race to the bottom in corporate tax and ensuring that all corporations, including the world’s largest, pay their fair share,” said Freeland.

“We will stem the world tendency to reduce the corporate tax rate.”

The Party’s August 25 campaign document, Asking Financial Institutions To Help Canada Build Back Better, proposed an increase in the corporate tax rate from 15 to 18% on banks and insurers with revenues more than a billion dollars a year.

It also proposed an unspecified Canada Recovery Dividend to be “paid by these same large banks and insurance companies in recognition of the fast-paced return to profitability these institutions have experienced in large part due to the unprecedented backstop Canadians provided to our economy through emergency support to people and businesses.

“The allocation of this dividend between applicable institutions will be developed in consultation over the coming months with the Superintendent of Financial Institutions,” continued the document.

It would be “applied over a four year period.”

Cabinet estimated all new taxes, including a new charge on tobacco manufacturers and tighter collections on offshore accounts, would generate $4,241,000,000 next year and nearly twice as much, more than $8.2 billion, by 2025.

The figures were calculated by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

“Big banks got a windfall,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters August 25.

“So as we rebuild we’re going to ask big financial institutions to pay a little back, to pay a little more, so that we can do more for you.

“Big banks and insurance companies have been doing very well over these past many months. Canada’s biggest banks are posting their latest massive profits of billions of dollars.

“Everyone else had to tighten their belt. We’re going to ask them to do a little bit more.”

New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh said September 21 he expected cabinet to raise corporate taxes with support from his caucus.

“People are worried about who’s going to pay the price for the pandemic,” said Singh.

“We don’t believe it should be small business,” said Singh. “We remain resolute that it should be the ultra-rich.”

The New Democrat platform proposed a general increase in the income tax rate on all large corporations from 15% to 18%, not just banks and insurers, and a hike in the top federal income tax rate from 33% to 35% for individuals earning more than $216,500 a year.

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