Nova Scotia ‘will not be implementing a carbon tax,’ McNeil says

Posted January 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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Nova Scotia’s premier dug in hard against Ottawa’s carbon price scheme Tuesday, saying his province “definitely won’t” impose a carbon tax.

Stephen McNeil also backed a decision by his environment minister, Margaret Miller, to walk out of federal-provincial meetings in Montreal over Ottawa’s plan.

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READ MORE: Nova Scotia let down, surprised by Ottawa’s carbon price plan: minister

Miller joined her counterparts from Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan who also left Monday’s climate-change talks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood in the House of Commons and dropped his plan on the provinces.

“We talked about it,” said McNeil. “When it became obvious, when the prime minister stood up, that they’d already made up their mind . . . it just became obvious that the minister should come home and figure out how we fit into this.”

The federal plan calls for a $10-per-tonne price on carbon starting in 2018. That would rise by $10 per tonne each year until reaching $50 per tonne in 2022.

Trudeau gave the provinces two implementation options – either their own direct price on carbon that meets or exceeds the national floor price, or a cap and trade system.

READ MORE: Trudeau says Liberals willing to impose carbon price on provinces

McNeil said any imposition of either measure would be “up to the government (Ottawa) to make” if his province fails to choose.

“I will not be implementing a carbon tax. We believe there are other ways to achieve (reductions) and we are hoping to work with the national government to make that happen.”

Newfoundlanders blind-sided by announcement

In St. John’s Tuesday, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said many people felt blind-sided by Trudeau’s announcement.

“I think there are a number of provinces that are concerned with how it unfolded,” he told reporters.

“It’s fair to say that people were expecting an opportunity for further discussions which would lead into the anticipated first ministers’ meeting in early December this year.”

“We want to have more discussions.”

READ MORE: Carbon price hit on Nova Scotia power rates unclear, Emera CEO says

McNeil said his province has led the country in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and has already met Canada’s target of a 30 per cent reduction in emissions from 2005 by 2030. He repeated that his province is looking at some sort of recognition for that work.

“There is a Canadian province (B.C.) that already has a carbon tax and there are others that have cap and trade,” he said. “They have not had the success at reducing greenhouse gases like Nova Scotia.”

McNeil was less definitive about Ottawa’s cap and trade option, saying he wasn’t sure whether it would work for Nova Scotia. He said the province is running models on its potential effects.

But he continued to dismiss the carbon tax, saying that it would simply put a greater financial burden on people who need to drive in a largely rural province like his own.

McNeil believes a better way would be a North American plan for the auto industry to implement further engine emissions standards.

“It would get us to what we are trying to achieve, which is a reduction in greenhouse gases,” McNeil said.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia wants recognition of its emissions reductions in carbon pricing plan

Ball said his province is essentially already collecting about $70 a tonne on carbon pollution after doubling the gas tax to 33 cents per litre as of June 2. It was supposed to be a temporary measure as the government faces a projected $1.8-billion deficit.

But Ball said keeping the tax as a carbon price is one option the province is considering. Legislation to allow carbon pricing in some form has been on the books since the spring, he added.

Details must be worked out first, however: “What is the impact of a carbon tax for the long term on how we offer services?”

Ball said his province should be getting “offsetting” credits from Ottawa for building the $11.4-billion Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador. When completed, it will raise electricity rates while putting the province almost totally on renewable energy, he said.

Ball also clarified Tuesday that he never told his environment minister to walk out of Monday’s meeting.

Perry Trimper told reporters in Montreal that he was leaving “at the direction of my premier.” But Ball said that direction was, simply, for Trimper to use his own judgment on whether to stay or go.

“He has my support. I have confidence in Perry Trimper. He was there. This is far from over.”

Ontario government one step closer to banning politicians from fundraising

Posted January 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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TORONTO – Ontario is one step closer to banning all provincial politicians and would-be politicians from fundraising.

Election finance reform legislation passed second reading Tuesday, which means it will now go to public committee hearings – though the opposition parties say the governing Liberals aren’t interested in input.

The bill had a rare round of hearings after first reading, but the Progressive Conservatives and NDP complained that the majority Liberals did not take their suggested amendments into consideration.

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READ MORE: Ontario MPP fundraising ban to include candidates, nomination contestants

Instead, the Liberals announced a surprise proposal to ban members of the provincial legislature from fundraising, which they said they would introduce as an amendment after second reading.

Details were slim at the time, but the Liberals have since said that the ban will include not just elected politicians, but also candidates, leadership contestants and nomination contestants.

But the opposition parties say the problem lies with fundraising events that see cabinet ministers attend high-priced functions with stakeholders, not politicians charging small amounts at barbecue fundraisers or contestants fundraising to launch a bid to be a party’s nominee in a riding.

“It’s the Liberals kind of trying to…hide their own bad behaviour under this issue,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “Look, there’s a huge difference between a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser where people are buying access to cabinet minister…(and) a $10-a-plate corn roast at a local riding.”

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown suggested the outright fundraising ban is simply a distraction from other “loopholes” the Liberals are leaving in the bill, such as not counting it as a corporate donation when companies pay for staff members to work on a party’s campaign, Brown said.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi wouldn’t say what other changes the Liberals might make to the bill after the next round of hearings, but one he suggested he was not in favour of was making polling and research expenses count toward election spending caps.

“We feel that those type of things don’t go to the day-to-day operations of any campaign,” he said. “When it comes to expense limits they always tend to focus on the day-to-day operations of a campaign, not research and polling that would help develop policy and strategy.”

Naqvi said the reason the ban extends to all politicians is because they all have some degree of influence. Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli is advertising a $500-a-plate fundraiser in November with Brown as a “special guest,” he noted.

“What I found very interesting to note is that he touts his critic role as critic to finance, he talks about his membership in the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, which tells me that of course opposition members see some influence coming out of those titles,” Naqvi said.

Brown said he and his party – which has a multi-million-dollar debt – are indeed continuing to actively fundraise until new rules come into force, but it’s not the same as cabinet ministers fundraising from stakeholders.

READ MORE: Kathleen Wynne defends plan to ban provincial politicians from fundraising

“There’s one giant difference,” he said. “In the opposition we can’t give out a single cent in contracts.”

The legislation would also ban corporate and union donations, and include a per-vote subsidy for parties and riding associations to offset the loss of fundraising dollars.

What to expect as ‘modernization’ comes to the Senate

Posted January 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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As government bodies go, Canada’s Senate hasn’t exactly been the most popular kid on the block in recent years.

Questions surrounding expenses, a partisan appointment process and the high-profile trial involving Sen. Mike Duffy have taken their toll, and led some (including the NDP) to suggest that the Senate should just be eliminated completely.

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  • Patrick Brazeau back in Senate: ‘I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t bitter

    READ MORE: Oversight for Senate spending being considered

    But one group of senators who banded together to create a “modernization committee” says the answer is to bring the Red Chamber into the 21st century, and on Tuesday they released a series of recommendations aimed at doing just that.

    The rest of the Senate still needs to review their suggestions and decide whether to implement them. The changes would be separate from the reforms to the Senate appointment process that the Liberal government unveiled earlier this year.

    “It’s a first step, these are only recommendations,” cautioned Sen. André Pratte in response to Tuesday’s report.

    If the changes go through, however, here’s what Canadians could see.

    Televised debate

    House of Commons debate has been broadcast live on television for many years, and the idea to do the same in the Senate has been floated before. It’s just never taken off.

    READ MORE: Ex-Canadian senator’s 27-year-old widow could collect millions in pension

    Equipping the current chamber with cameras would cost over $2 million, so the modernization committee is recommending that online broadcasts be set up for now. Once the Senate moves to Ottawa’s old train station in 2018 (to allow for the Centre Block to be renovated over a period of 10 years) the television cameras could be installed.

    More power for independent senators

    If the Senate approves it, the definition of “caucus” could be expanded to include any group of nine or more senators “who are united for a parliamentary or political process.”

    That would include a growing group of independent senators who are not formally affiliated with any political party in the House of Commons.

    WATCH: Senators should expect changes to budgets, rules

    The modernization committee is also recommending that any new groups qualifying under the expanded definition would get funding for research and at least one seat on every Senate committee.

    No more omnibus bills

    The modernization committee says omnibus bills — legislation that touches on a variety of different topics that are all crammed into one giant bill — are too difficult to move through the Senate in one chunk.

    They want to figure out a way to divide these bills by subject and vote separately on each piece, “so senators and Canadians can properly study their implications.”

    More money

    The senators pushing for updates want more money specifically to allow Senate committees to leave Ottawa for hearings. The committees would be permitted to travel in order to study “potential regional impacts” in proposed legislation, or “where significant or important.”

Melissa Etheridge defends Brad Pitt, slams Angelina Jolie

Posted January 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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Melissa Etheridge made it very clear which team she was on, supporting Brad Pitt in the Brangelina divorce.

The singer, who’s a long-time friend of Pitt’s, stopped by Andy Cohen Live on Sirius XM and said Angelina Jolie and her legal team are going about the divorce all wrong.

“It breaks my heart that anyone would take something as personal as your marriage and your relationship and your rights to your children and do it as purposefully as I see it’s being done,” Etheridge said, voicing public support for Pitt amid his ongoing divorce drama and recent allegations of child abuse.

READ MORE: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt strike temporary custody deal amid messy split

“There’s a way to be. I’ve gone through family courts,” the 55-year-old told Cohen. “I’ve been twice around this block, and I know it really well, and I know when there’s some forethought to just how mean [you can be] and just how you’re going to put disinformation out there first.”

The musician, who sang at Pitt’s wedding to Jennifer Aniston, admits to having lost contact with Pitt a couple years into his relationship with Jolie: “I really hope that he reaches back out because there are a lot of us who haven’t seen him in 10 years… and it was hard then. We all lost a friend.”

READ MORE: Melissa Etheridge reveals why she rejected Brad Pitt as sperm donor

She also remembers Laura Dern’s messy breakup with Jolie’s ex, Billy Bob Thornton. While Thornton claims he broke off his engagement with Dern before marrying Jolie in 2000, Dern has said she was working on a movie when she unexpectedly heard about their wedding in the tabloids.

“Some day I’ll write a book,” the Come To My Window singer said. “I was around when Angelina was not doing nice things with Billy Bob to Laura Dern. I went through that on a personal level, and then to know the side of Jennifer [Aniston] and Brad.”

“I helped Laura move out of her house with Billy Bob,” she added. “I like broke into their home to get her stuff out because it was so nasty.”

READ MORE: Chelsea Handler calls Angelina Jolie ‘a f***ing lunatic’

This isn’t the first time the I’m The Only One hitmaker has publicly slammed Jolie.

In 2013, shortly after Jolie revealed she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy in a published op-ed, she disputed the choice, “I have to say I feel a little differently. I have that gene mutation too, and it’s not something I would believe in for myself,” Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor, told the Washington Blade at the time. “I wouldn’t call it the brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer.”

Brangelina recently struck a temporary custody deal that requires Pitt undergo alcohol and drug tests; Jolie’s temporary full physical custody of the couple’s six kids was granted in the agreement. Pitt also volunteered to participate in individual counselling.

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PrettyFamous | Graphiq

With files from ET Canada

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Drugs may be to blame for 2 bodies found in parked car, Winnipeg police say

Posted January 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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WINNIPEG —; Winnipeg police have identified the bodies found in a car parked in the city’s North End area Monday, as two men aged 35 and 27.

Police did not give out the names of the two men or where they are from, but said their next of kin had been notified.

READ MORE: 2 bodies found in vehicle near North End school

“The investigation has revealed that the occupants had been deceased for a period of time and the cause of death, although unconfirmed, may involve drug use,” Const. Jason Michalyshen said at a media conference Tuesday.

Around 10:30 a.m., Monday, police were called to the 200 block of College Avenue after someone noticed two people who appeared to be passed out. Police later determined the two people were dead inside the vehicle.

WATCH: Winnipeg police on scene investigating after 2 bodies found

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    Winnipeg health officials warn drug users carfentanil could be mixed into what they are using

    Police said they handled the case as discreetly as possible because the car was parked near Machray Elementary School.

    Possibility of drugs

    Michalyshen said they cannot confirm the cause of death, as they’re still waiting on results from autopsies. However, he did say police are looking into the possibility of a connection to fentanyl or carfentanil.

    READ MORE: Deadly drug carfentanil in Winnipeg, police say

    “These drugs are on the back of our minds and very present in our community,” Michalyshen said. “That door is not closed…there was evidence to suggest drugs or paraphernalia was present in the car”.

    Police are continuing to investigate.