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Freeland will soon detail how bad deficit is

“I see this legislation as very much the last step in our COVID support programs,” said Freeland.




Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says she’ll soon tell Canadians how deep the red ink is.

Blacklock’s Reporter says it comes ahead of new Statistics Canada data on per capita debt levels.

“Look, we know how important it is to be transparent with Canadians about public finances and to update them regularly,” said Freeland on Wednesday.

“We will release some form of Fiscal Update this fall and will have more specifics to share with you in the coming days.”

Cabinet had forecast a $354.2 billion deficit last year, another $154.7 billion in 2021 and $59.7 billion in 2022. The previous record deficit was $55.6 billion in 2010.

Freeland’s comments came as the cabinet introduced Bill C-2 An Act To Provide Further Support In Response To Covid-19. The bill detailed $7.4 billion in previously-announced spending.

“I see this legislation as very much the last step in our COVID support programs,” said Freeland.

“It is what I really hope and truly believe is the final pivot.”

The bill includes a Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Act to pay $300 weekly to workers who “lost their employment income” due to public health lockdown orders. Eligible payments run retroactively from October 24 to at least May 7, 2022 and as late as next July 2, by cabinet order.

“Our economic recovery is still uneven,” said Freeland.

“The public health measures that are saving lives continue to restrict some economic activity.”

Bill C-2 also extends a Local Lockdown Program for employers with grants worth up to 75% of rents and wages.

“This is really important because it will ensure local authorities and public health officials can continue to make the right public health choices knowing the support will be there,” said Freeland.

Parliament this year amended the 2017 Borrowing Authority Act to increase the federal debt ceiling from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion, a 56% increase. Statistics Canada is to report next month on per capita federal debt levels.

The last estimate put bonded federal debts at the equivalent of $22,915 for every resident of Canada.

“There will be a day of reckoning,” Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) said in an earlier Commons debate on deficit spending.

Cabinet has set no timetable to balance the budget for the first time since 2007.

“Balanced budgets may be more than 10 years away,” said McKay.

“I have been out and about with constituents and others. The general pattern of the conversation is to lament the progress of this pandemic and then the conversation tends to move toward how we will pay for this.”

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  1. Stew James

    November 25, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    Where is Guy Fawkes when you need him!
    With parliament back in session, he could do all Canadians a real big favour…

  2. Claudette Leece

    November 25, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Geez didn’t know she could count

  3. Patricia Seddon

    November 25, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Aside from the offensive nonsense she regurgitates, she always looks dirty… like she needs her hair washed.

  4. Left Coast

    November 25, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Finance Minister Freeland . . . who ever thought a mediocre NY Journalist would be in charge of Canada’s Purse Strings?

    Our feckless Crime Minister & his Left-hand girl have blown through a TRILLION $$ in just 6 short years . . . when the Govt. handouts end ALL Canooks will understand that the Country is circling the Drain . . . it will be called the Trudope Depression!

  5. Eldon

    November 25, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    This unsustainable debt lands solely on the lap of a grossly incompetent government. A government whose sole objective is to destroy Canada as we know it. And set us up for the great reset.
    Wake up and stand up everyone. Before its too late.

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Canada-Europe take action over COVID variant Omicron

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.




With the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) named Omicron in South Africa, the Canadian government is taking steps to limit the risk to Canadians.

Travellers arriving from countries of concern within the last 14 days will be required to quarantine pending negative COVID-19 tests. Countries of concern include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

On Friday, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government will impose five measures in an effort to limit its spread in Canada.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam took to Twitter on Saturday to share her concerns over the VOC.

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” wrote Tam.

The WHO has labelled Omicron as a variant of concern due to its high number of mutations and reports that early evidence suggests it could be more infectious than other variants.

Meanwhile, during a news conference on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the Omicron variant.

One case was identified in Brentwood, a town in southeastern England while the other case was located in the central city of Nottingham. Both individuals are linked and had travelled from southern Africa. The two individuals are self-isolating along with their households and authorities are working on contact tracing.

Johnson confirmed travellers arriving in England will be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative test result is provided. Those that test positive for the new variant will have to self-isolate, along with any of their close contacts, for 10 days regardless of vaccine status.

He also said masks will be required in shops and other public spaces and indicated they will “boost the booster campaign.”

“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defences,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the new rules will be reviewed in three weeks when scientists know more about the variant.

On Friday, the British government added Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to the country’s travel red list. By Saturday, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were also added to the list.

Other countries are adding restrictions on travellers coming from various southern African countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, and Australia while cases have also been reported in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have also reported suspected cases related to travellers arriving from South Africa.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Road closures as British Columbians brace for more rain

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday.




As BC braces for additional rain, the government has ‘proactively’ closed a number of highways for travel.

“We are actively responding, monitoring and assessing the many highway closures due to flooding and will continue to do so as we work with local and emergency service partners,” said the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Safety is our top priority while we deal with a rapidly changing and difficult situation.”

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday. The ministry said the time and duration of the closures will be weather-dependent.

“The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk,” said the ministry in a press release.

“The closures of these three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, with the highways reopened when it is safe to do so.”

The release said Highway 1 will be closed between Popkum and Hope on Saturday afternoon as BC Hydro plans a reservoir release, “crucial to protect the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being affected by the heavy rains.”

The release explains the reservoir release will discharge water towards areas of Highway 1 that were affected during the November 14 storm.  

“This additional flow – combined with the increased precipitation and already high stream flows – poses a risk of impact to Highway 1 in the Laidlaw area.”

The ministry is bracing for further damage to Highway 1 in this area and said the reopening time cannot be determined at this stage but will be assessed by crews “when it is safe to do so.”

Highway 7 between Mission and Hope remains open with travel restrictions in place. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act

Weather statements are in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast into next week. Storms are expected to bring more rain which has resulted in high streamflow advisories for all regions of the coast by the River Forecast Centre.

Ongoing road and travel updates are available on the ministry’s website.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Bill to aid jurors traumatized by testimony up for vote … again

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling.”




For the third time in three years, legislators will attempt to pass an aid bill for jurors traumatized by graphic testimony in criminal courts.

“When we ask citizens to be a juror we don’t ask them to be a victim,” said Quebec Senator and bill sponsor Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

“There is no excuse not to adopt that bill.” 

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling,” said Blacklock’s Reporter.

Two identical bills, S-207 and C-417, lapsed in the last two Parliaments.

“That kind of bill should be a government bill, not a private bill,” said Boisvenu.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of private interest. It’s a matter of national interest.”

In 2017, the Commons justice committee recommended the Criminal Code amendment after hearing testimony from former jurors who said they quit jobs, suffered marriage breakdown and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being compelled to watch crime scene videos and hear testimony from coroners.

“Everyone’s mental health matters,” Ontario Senator Lucie Moncion said Thursday.

“Yet from a legal point of view, jurors are part of a special category of people who are denied complete health care. The secrecy rule prohibits a juror from disclosing information related to deliberations to anyone including a health care professional. This needs to change.”

Moncion was a juror in a 1989 murder trial and said the experience left her with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“They show you the whole autopsy,” said Moncion.

“It was very difficult. This is still very difficult for me.”

Alberta Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a member of the 2017 Commons justice committee that recommended reforms, said delays were inexcusable.

“It should have been a no-brainer for the government to have brought this bill forward,” said Cooper indicating the bill has been “studied thoroughly.”

“There have literally been no arguments tendered against this piece of legislation.”

Cooper, in 2019, sponsored a similar bill – C-417 – that lapsed. MPs at the time noted U.S. jurors were free to discuss their experience with friends, family, psychiatrists or media.

“In the United States once a trial is over jurors are generally free to discuss the events of the trial and jury deliberations unless a specific court order bars them from doing so,” said Ontario Liberal MP Arif Virani, then-parliamentary secretary for justice.

“What that means is that jurors in the United States can talk with nearly anyone about juror deliberations including a talk show host on national television or across the Internet. This approach, which offers limited protection for juror privacy, is significantly different from the Canadian model.”

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