Tagged Niagara_Independent

Legalization of Marijuana Leaves Canadians in a Haze

The Niagara Independent, October 19, 2018 – As of Wednesday this week, Canadians can possess and share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis. We can legally buy it and we can grow up to four pot plants per residence for personal use. Reaction by our national leaders has been rather mellow. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassured Canadians the country is ready for this drug, admitting he has regularly enjoyed it through the years. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stated his greatest concern is how fast the federal government can expunge Canadians’ criminal records for pot possession. Canadians have been reassured by…

The Trade Deal from America’s Perspective is: “A Win”

The Niagara Independent, October 5, 2018 – Tuesday morning the CBC ran a headline story: “‘Yay!’: How the Canadians won the argument that opened the door to a NAFTA deal” reporting a confident Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying, “There was [on Saturday] a sense things were falling into place.” In most news reports this week Canadians have been reassured that PM Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (dubbed “the warrior princess”) were victorious in wrestling U.S. President Donald Trump to concede to Canadian terms on an improved NAFTA deal. That is the Canadian story. But, how is this 11th hour…

The Canadian Government Must Address Impact of U.S. Tax Cuts

The Niagara Independent, September 28, 2018 – In December, U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a tax plan that effectively cuts America’s top corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 20 per cent and allows companies to immediately deduct from their tax bills the full cost of capital spending. Proponents of the tax package predict this will boost business investment in the United States and encourage U.S. companies to repatriate money they previously held abroad. In a recently released economic report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Canadians are warned that the American tax plan will siphon 650,000 jobs from Canada over the next 10…

The Startling Opening Day of the Fall Session of Parliament

The Niagara Independent, September 21, 2018 – Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leona Alleslev surprised everyone on the first day of the Fall Session of Parliament, rising in her place on the government backbenches to announce that she will “cross the floor” to join the Conservative party caucus. It is remarkable that a MP would leave a government caucus to sit with an opposition caucus. However, what is most startling is what this rookie MP had to say about her Liberal colleagues’ abilities to manage the affairs of the country. Her assessment of the state of Canada was both focused and sobering.…

2019 Election Rhetoric from this week’s National Caucus Meetings

The Niagara Independent, September 14, 2018 – This week, the Liberal Caucus met in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan while the NDP Caucus hunkered down in Surrey BC. News out of both federal caucuses revealed that the MPs have been given their election scripts to begin their long march towards the 2019 vote. The two caucuses met with a backdrop of contentious Canadian news items dominating the national conscience. Canadians are pre-occupied with the faltering NAFTA negotiations, the fate of the recently nationalized TransMountain pipeline project, the strong provincial opposition that has risen against Ottawa’s planned carbon tax plan, and the seemingly lack of controlling…

News from Ottawa (that you likely missed)

The Niagara Independent, September 7, 2018 – Headline news from the Nation’s Capital through the summer focused on the fate of NAFTA and the evolving asylum seekers-border issues. A vast majority of Canadians enjoying their summer escapes likely missed any other federal news. Here are 6 news items (in no particular order) from the month of August that should not pass unnoticed for those interested in the developing stories of our federal government. First, Canada started its year-long UN peacekeeping mission in Mali on August 1st. The Prime Minister stated that our mission is to provide peace and stability to this…

MPs’ Summer Plans (Not What You Might Expect)

The Niagara Independent, July 27, 2018 – When Members of Parliament recess for the summer, they don’t don shorts and sandals to hit a beach like quick-change artists; but instead, the first step they take is to meet their local constituency staff and schedule “the summer break.” The 2018 summer plans of Niagara West MP Dean Allison are a good example of what our elected representatives organize for themselves when they are not in the Nation’s Capital. He may have escaped his Ottawa office, however, Dean must plan time to attend to his various parliamentary duties. He is the International…

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga is a three-part series first printed in The Niagara Independent.   Part One In Ottawa, there are two prevailing threads of thought on what has become the never-ending saga of the Canada-U.S. Trade Talks. One is rallying behind Prime Minister Trudeau and supporting the Liberal Government’s attempt to reason with an unpredictable U.S. President. The second is highly critical, suggesting that the Liberals are purposely sabotaging the negotiations for their own domestic political gains. The next three columns will review the political gamesmanship between Canada and the U.S. and assess what all the public posturing may…

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga (Part Three)

The Niagara Independent, July 20, 2018 – This is the third of a three column series on the Canada-U.S. trade talks, reviewing our National Leaders’ political gamesmanship and assessing what it means for the outcome of the trade talks – and for the 2019 federal election. To recap the last six weeks: on June 1st, the U.S. imposed hefty levies on Canadian steel and aluminum imports, in response to China, South Korea and Vietnam dumping these products into our country. On July 1st, Canada retaliated by placing tariffs worth a total of $16.6 billion on U.S. goods from ketchup and candles to…

PM fine tunes his Cabinet with an “Election Shuffle”

The Niagara Independent, July 20, 2018 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet this week, bringing five new ministers to the table and creating a new portfolio for border security, an issue that has become a political vulnerability for the government over the past months. Political analysts view this shuffle as a political move in advance of the 2019 election. There are additional ministers from Ontario and Quebec, where the Liberals need to maintain and, if possible, grow their seat count. David Moscrop, a political scientist at Simon Fraser University explains “The shuffle gives Trudeau an opportunity to put his…