From the Fraser Institute
For decades, nutrition advocates have exhorted Canadians to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Canada’s Food Guide suggests that half of our meals should be fruits and veggies. Why then does the Trudeau government plan to increase fruit and vegetable waste—and increase their costs?
It’s all about the government’s war on plastics, specifically its agenda to eliminate plastic waste by 2030. Having already banned single-use plastic items such as drinking straws, stir sticks and plastic cutlery, the government plans to target plastic food packaging. And that’s going to hit consumers in the pocket.
According to a new study from the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), under the new reduced-plastic packaging regime, food loss and waste will potentially increase 495,000 tonnes above current levels, incurring financial losses valued at $3.4 billion. These losses, at least in significant part, will ultimately be passed onto consumers. In a report by CTV, reporter Kevin Gallagher suggests that increased costs to consumers might reach 30 per cent.
The study authors suggest this estimate should be considered conservative, because it does not include the potential for single-use plastic bans causing a “complete disruption to some sectors of the fresh produce industry, and the anticipated 17.5 per cent increase in operating costs voiced by respondents that industry would incur.” And 17.5 per cent is the median—cost increases ranged from 11 per cent to 25 per cent. Assuming these increased costs are passed onto consumers, Canadians will see the price of fruits and veggies take yet another jump.
And for what reason? The Trudeau government has foolishly committed Canada to a “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” crusade. But as I showed in a 2022 study published by the Fraser Institute, Canada does not have a significant plastic waste problem. Less than 1 per cent of plastics used in Canada end up as waste in the environment, and 99 per cent is safely buried in landfills, recycled or incinerated. Canada does not contribute a measurable part of the world’s plastic pollution.
And the government’s own analysis suggests that pursuing this war on plastics will ultimately lead to greater waste of alternative materials, which is already raising concerns among the environmentally-minded. In a separate CTV report Melanie Nagy quotes Nicole Rycroft, founder of Canopy, a forest conservation NGO, who said we should “shift away from using plastics as much as we do, but trading in plastic pollution for deforestation and forest degradation is not the answer” and we must “make sure we do not create another environmental disaster.” Rycroft added that “more than three billion trees—many of which are old-growth and endangered—are logged every year to make paper-based products like bags, straws and food containers.”
The Trudeau government’s zero plastic waste crusade was unsound policy from inception, and its own analysis showed the plan’s costs would outstrip its benefits and that it would create more waste, not less. And that most of that increased waste would come from increased consumption of wood and paper products.
Now, the government plans to ratchet up this harmful program, raising already painfully expensive produce in Canada to more painful levels. Ottawa must halt its “Zero Plastic Waste” agenda and take the entire concept back to the drawing board. It’s simply bad policy—bad for Canadian families, bad for our food sector, and as the Canopy tree people observe, bad for the environment.
‘Liberal’ parents of gender-confused kids among supporters of Alberta’s proposed ‘transitioning’ ban
Parents whose kids have undergone medical or surgical ‘transitioning’ say that Premier Danielle Smith’s policies will spare other families from ‘the heartache their families have been through.’
As highlighted in a recent Epoch Times report, parents whose kids have undergone medical or surgical “transitioning” say that Smith’s new policies will only benefit families in general and spare them from “the heartache their families have been through.”
On January 31, Smith announced what is perhaps the strongest pro-family legislation in Canada, protecting kids from life-altering so-called “top and bottom” surgeries as well as other extreme forms of transgender ideology.
According to Crystal, a mom from Calgary, her son Noah, when he was in Grade 9, had a friend who made a “transition” from a female to a male. Her son had noted he was what is called a “trans ally,” but suddenly he began to identify himself as “she/they.”
“Fast forward to the early part of Grade 10, and out of the blue I get a text from my kid while he’s at school saying, ‘I’m now identifying as she/they,’” said Crystal, who said she is “quite a liberal parent.”
However, despite being a “liberal,” she admitted that she did not have an easy time with her son changing names and using different pronouns.
“Out of the blue is this vitriol towards me when I didn’t get it right,” she said, adding she then just decided to call her son “kiddo.”
However, Noah then told her he wanted hormones. Crystal and her ex-husband had thought Noah was just going through a phase, as he was “well known” for this.
“He would try on different so-called ‘identities’ like a jock, a nerd, a rapper,” Crystal said, and even as he was supposed to be “transitioning,” took on a look of a “goth.”
According to Crystal, her son did not “even remotely” show signs of wanting to change genders before.
Alberta’s forthcoming regulations include a ban on so-called “top” surgeries (mastectomies, breast constructions) as well as “bottom” surgeries (vaginoplasties, phalloplasties) for children ages 17 and under. Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are also restricted to those age 16 and older but only with parental consent.
Smith said her United Conservative Party (UCP) government will soon introduce legislation that, if passed, would bar doctors in the province from medically or surgically “transitioning” children under age 17. The new legislation will also mandate parental consent for pronoun changes in school. Coming in the fall will be additional legislation that bans men who claim to be women from competing in women’s sports.
Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) praised Smith’s decision to introduce legislation to ban doctors from chemically or surgically “transitioning” children, calling it a “political miracle.”
Crystal’s line in the sand for her son: ‘No medical affirmation’
When the Alberta government was researching its new policy regarding banning surgically or chemically “transitioning” children, Crystal said she was one of the parents they talked with to get feedback.
She admits at the time she was not a fan of Smith or her party, but now says she is “doing this right.”
Crystal noted that if this policy had been in place only three years ago, all the heartache could have been avoided.
“This is blowing up relationships,” she said.
When speaking to her son, Crystal noted that her “line in the sand will always be [that] there will be no medical affirmation.”
As a result, she then said she was “hit with the vitriol.”
Due to Crystal having had to deal with her son wanting to become something other than his birth sex, she contacted parents with similar situations via a group called Our Duty.
After connecting with parents on the site, Crystal noted how her son Noah “checks a lot of the boxes” with other kids who say they are transgender.
She said that kids in these situations all use the same “script” of saying they are going to “kill myself if I don’t get the proper medical intervention if you don’t use the pronouns.”
“It’s the constant threat of suicide,” she noted.
Complaint filed against doctor who gave hormones
Despite Crystal trying to delay her son wanting to undergo a “medical transitioning,” she did book an appointment with a doctor to talk about hormones.
However, after being referred to a clinic to further talk about her son’s matter, she said the personnel were “aggressive.”
Crystal noted how the clinic was constantly emailing and calling her to make an appointment for her son, and she was told she had to have all the paperwork and blood work done before the meeting.
She said that this made “no sense,” so she told the clinic that she was “not signing a consent form.”
When she went to the appointment with her son, she was taken to a room with a doctor alone and was told that this appointment was not for her but for Noah.
The doctor only spoke with her for 10 minutes and was already willing to prescribe her son hormones. At this point, she confronted the doctor for not doing a thorough psychological assessment or any other screening. The doctor mentioned to her that while she was able to oppose the treatment, she could end up in the courts and that he would testify on Noah’s behalf. He then said he had always won in similar situations with other parents.
Crystal filed a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta against the doctor regarding her experience with her son, but for the time being, is not making public his name.
Her son later went to that doctor alone and started to take hormones. It was at this point she realized she had no control over the situation.
Crystal said that in the past her family doctor along with a child psychologist did not affirm Noah’s gender dysphoria. She noted that it was only the “gender experts,” all of whom had “zero history with my child,” who suggested this.
“They did not solicit the qualified professionals we had in place,” she said.
As for Noah, who is now in grade 12, the doctor who had the complaint against him told Noah that it was his mom who did this, which made her son mad.
“I will never forgive you for this,” he told her.
He then ran away from home and told people that he was not “safe” at home with his mom.
“I just want to be your mom,” she had mentioned to him.
While many so-called “gender-affirming care” workers claim that the effects of puberty blockers can be reversed, according to Dr. Jane Anderson, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians, as per The Epoch Times, the hormones can severely impact brain development.
Puberty blockers can cause heightened depression, severe mood swings, and weight gain.
Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023
Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.
As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.
At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.
The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.
“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”
Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.
“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”
“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”
Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
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