Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Mid-Week Post

It's a dino storm front! RUN!

Oh, my. This must be embarrassing:

As reported by Tom Blackwell in the National Post, “American officials have taken the “highly unusual” step of rejecting Canada’s bid to take part in senior-level NAFTA talks between the U.S. and Mexico later this week, sources familiar with the trade negotiations said Monday. One person said attempts by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to get a seat at the table in Washington Thursday were either ignored, or spurned outright by the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.”

“Another source said the request to be at the meeting was made in a low-key fashion “so as not to spark a diplomatic incident” and was followed by “a retreat to diplomatic silence.”’

And it gets even worse:

“Indeed, recent developments point to a steady souring of relations between Ottawa and the White House. Formal, three-way talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement have not been held since May, though had been expected to restart after the Mexican presidential election earlier this month. A third source briefed on the negotiations said the U.S. side, fuelled in part by Lighthizer’s dislike of Freeland, has decided to not even let Canada back into the process until it makes some kind of substantive concession.”

The Butts Trudeau government cannot walk back from this or pretend that a lop-sided deal with China or the EU will make up for missing American trade.

The thirty-nine percent who didn't want Stephen Harper need to pay attention because this concerns them: without trade with Canada's closest and friendliest trading partner, the economy of pho and soy lattes will collapse. One could argue this was by Butts' Trudeau's design or just plain stupidity but the sting will still hurt.


Today in "it's just money" news:

A typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,935 for health care in 2018, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Health care in Canada isn’t free — Canadians actually pay a substantial amount for public health care through their taxes, even if they don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, associate director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2018.

Most Canadians are unaware of the true cost of health care because they never see a bill for medical services and may only pay a small public health insurance “premium” tax (in provinces that impose them).

And because general government revenue—not a dedicated tax—funds health care, it’s difficult for Canadians to decipher how many of their tax dollars go to our public health-care system.

Using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the study estimates that the average Canadian family (two parents, two children) with a household income of $138,008 will pay $12,935 for public health care this year. After adjusting for inflation, that’s an increase of 68.5 per cent since 1997, the first year estimates could be calculated.

For single Canadians, health-care costs more than doubled over that same time period—from $2,115 (in 2018 dollars) to $4,640 this year.

Across the income spectrum, Canadian families pay vastly different amounts for health care. For example, the 10 per cent of Canadian families with the lowest incomes (earning $14,885 per household, on average) will pay $496 for health care in 2018, while families among the top 10 per cent of income earners (earning a household income of $291,364 on average) will pay $38,903.

(Sidebar: illegal migrants are given free - as in they pay nothing but the Canadian taxpayer does - healthcare. Carry on.)


The divergence between the prices of WCS and WTI can be attributed to transportation constraints, especially on Canada’s crude pipeline network, which is preventing the heavy oil being produced from reaching U.S. refining markets. This is being exacerbated by steep uptick in production among Canadian upstream oil companies, which are frantically ramping up activity to cash in on higher oil.


Large industrial companies in Canada will face an easier carbon limit when Justin Trudeau’s government starts putting a price on emissions next year.

Most firms that produce 50 megatons of carbon dioxide or similar levels of pollution a year won’t face any penalties until their emissions reach 80 per cent of the average within their specific industry. The previous limit was 70 per cent, according to a framework published July 27 by Canada’s environment ministry.

The limit will rise to 90 per cent in four industries facing “high” competitive risks — producers of cement, iron and steel, lime and nitrogen fertilizers. Details of the revised policy were reported earlier Wednesday by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

(Sidebar: why not repeal the carbon tax, she asked plainly but expected no reply ...)

As noted in a recent report, “The Liberal government is curtailing its plan to price carbon pollution after hearing concerns from Canadian industry officials about how the tax would impact competitiveness. As the Globe and Mail first reported Wednesday morning, Environment and Climate Change Canada plans to release new guidelines that lower the percentage of emissions some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax on. Back in January, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna set the benchmark at 70 per cent of an industry’s average emissions performance, meaning companies would have to pay a tax on 30 per cent of their emissions.”
Now, the tax will apply to between 10% and 20% of emissions.


The city applied to the federal government for a $32.6 million grant Tuesday, which will go toward funding programs intended to curb gun violence.

(Sidebar: the gun violence the useless government thinks it will stop if it bans printed guns but not the flow of illegal guns or the criminal under-current. THAT gun violence.)

There's no money for veterans, ect:

As noted by the Globe & Mail, “Mr. Parent said in a report card to be released on Tuesday – a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail – there are still long-standing issues that create significant hardships for former members of the armed forces. At the top of the list, he said, is the fact that some injured veterans are forgoing treatment in the first months after their retirement because the costs are not paid by the Veterans Affairs department until the therapy has been approved by bureaucrats. The decisions can take up to 50 weeks, he said, and the medical services are not covered retroactively.”

This has been a problem under both the previous Harper government, and the current Trudeau government. Notably however, the Trudeau government promised big improvements, but they clearly haven’t delivered:

‘“People may go a year without accessing treatment,” Mr. Parent said on Monday in a telephone interview. “Some of them may be in deteriorating health status because they don’t access treatment because they have to pay out of their own pocket.”

Basic income is just another form of welfare:

Ontario's new Progressive Conservative government announced Tuesday that it will scrap the province's basic income pilot project.

The federal Liberal government seems to have zero problem with a repugnant custom that allows girls even in their infancy to have parts of their bodies sliced away:

A draft of the new document was leaked, and it had removed the condemnation of FGM. It refused to make clear what Canada would, and wouldn’t accept in our country, and pandered to the worst.

After facing a backlash from across the political spectrum, a backlash that was led by the effective work of Conservative Immigration Critic Michelle Rempel in bringing the issue to national attention, the Trudeau government seemed to back down.

Since then, there have been repeated delays in bringing in the new guide, and it’s still nowhere to be found.

As noted by the CP, “It’s been more than two years since work began on revising the controversial study guide for Canada’s citizenship test, but the federal government says it needs more time to work on the publication and has no set timeline for release. Internal emails from the Immigration department dating back to 2016 show officials were hoping the launch of the new guide could coincide with Canada 150 celebrations and the 70th anniversary of the Citizenship Act — events that took place over a year ago. But so far, no official guide has materialized.”
Rempel shared her thoughts on what’s going on with the delay: 

“The immigration minister’s response to the issue around removing the language about female genital mutilation being a very intolerable practice from the citizenship guide, his delay and his response, I would surmise, didn’t go well within the prime minister’s office. I think probably he mishandled that so badly they’re delaying any sort of output.”

However, it’s also possible that the PM supported Hussen’s response. After all, Trudeau went crazy when the Conservatives called ‘honour killings’ and FGM “barbaric.”

The expensive eyesore, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, is removing the Aung Sang Suu Kyi references from its ill-laid-out propaganda:

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is removing reference to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi from one of its displays and dimming her picture in another, following criticism of the Nobel Peace Prize winner's response to widespread allegations of human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in her country.

Reference to Suu Kyi will be removed from the Winnipeg museum's timeline of human rights milestones. Her portrait in a gallery of honorary Canadians will remain, but has been dimmed.

Getting the Keystone pipeline built:

The Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project cleared a hurdle on Monday as the Trump administration said in a draft environmental assessment that an alternative route through Nebraska would not do major harm to water and wildlife.

The State Department's assessment of a plan for an alternative route through Nebraska submitted by TransCanada Corp, the company trying to complete the pipeline, said Keystone XL's cumulative effects would be "minor to moderate" on issues including water and biological resources.

It said the pipeline would have only minor impacts on cultural resources, such as Native American graves.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission approved the pipeline, but not TransCanada's preferred path. The alternative route will cost TransCanada millions of dollars more than its original route.

But ... but ... Trump went to Singapore!:

U.S. spy satellites have detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, a senior U.S. official said on Monday, in the midst of talks to compel Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arms.


The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it expects Pyongyang to keep its commitment made at a June leaders' summit to give up its nuclear arms and would press southeast Asian nations during meetings this week to maintain sanctions against North Korea.

Questions have arisen over Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearize after U.S. spy satellite material detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the United States.

Well, that settled that issue:

Senior Iranian officials and military commanders on Tuesday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's offer of talks without preconditions as worthless and "a dream", saying his words contradicted his action of reimposing sanctions on Tehran.

Also - Russia, Iran's arm dealer, can't influence Iran? Really?:

Russia cannot compel Iranian forces to quit Syria, Moscow's ambassador to Tel Aviv said on Monday, rebuffing Israel's long-standing demand that it should work to ensure their total withdrawal from the country.

Honour-killings are oppressive:

Supporters and opponents of a ban on garments covering the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, clashed verbally Wednesday as the law takes effect.

Marcus Knuth of the ruling liberal party Venstre, says the dress worn by some conservative Muslim women is “strongly oppressive.”

Sasha Andersen of the “Party Rebels” activist group, is planning a demonstration later in the day against what they called Wednesday a “discriminatory” measure against a minority group. Groups that back the ban also plan to rally.

(Sidebar: of course a "rebel" group supports the hijab. Of course it does.)

Cultural dilettantism is funny when the culture the self-absorbed and thoughtless poseurs want to mimic strikes back.

Case in point:

As one of Japan’s most sacred mountains, Mt Koya in Wakayama Prefecture is the headquarters for the Koyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and home to a large number of temples and important religious sites. It’s also becoming a popular destination for tourists looking to stay at a shukubo (temple lodging), where guests can experience what it’s like to live like a monk for a night, by dining on their shojin ryori vegetarian meals and joining them for daily prayers. ...

The screenshots above show a guest review commenting on some of the downsides of their stay, saying that the meals were “basic and vegetarian”. To this, Kimura responded with, “Just because you are a Westerner doesn’t mean you are going to (sic) treated specially”. To another reviewer who said the vegetarian dinner and breakfast were “strange”, Kimura didn’t hold back, simply saying “Yeah, it’s Japanese monastic cuisine you uneducated f#%k” (though he opted for the uncensored version of the word).

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