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Francois Legault worth $10 million; Jean-Francois Lisee $2 million; Couillard $660K


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One of the leaders vying to be Quebec premier is worth millions of dollars more than his opponents.

Coalition Avenir Quebec’s Francois Legault’s personal wealth stood at $9.86 million as of this past July 31, according to documents filed Monday.

That includes a $4.5-million Montreal home he owns with his wife on which they pay about $36,000 a year in municipal taxes. It is his only property.

Legault, who co-founded Air Transat, had a retirement savings portfolio worth $5.78 million, but also a $471,000 equity line of credit.

He had just under $127,000 in income last year, according to his federal return.

The Coalition leader said on Day 33 of the campaign he didn’t like having to make his assets public, but that it was an obligation in the interest of transparency.

“I think it’s a tradition in about everywhere in the world to publish your assets, to publish your income-tax reports,” Legault said. “I did it in 2014, I did it this year. I think it’s important that we be transparent.

“(But) I don’t like that. I have two boys of 24 and 25, so if you have children you can imagine the reaction. I don’t want them to spend the money right away.”

The party, which has a strong stance against tax havens, noted that Legault has no bank accounts outside of Canada.

Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee, meanwhile, listed assets worth $1.95 million — but the documents did not include his income tax return.

His most recent municipal tax bill was for $3,771.87 on a property in Quebec City.

He also owns 40 per cent of a property in Montreal that is estimated to be worth $468,000, while the documents show Lisee has a line of credit of about $71,000.

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard said earlier during the election campaign he would not release his finances, but decided to publish them Monday evening.

Couillard has assets worth $659,402, but due to some credit card, mortgage and other debt, has a net worth of about $442,000.

“You’ll see you don’t get rich in politics,” Couillard said Monday morning in Montreal, a few hours before he released the numbers.

The Liberal leader declared $198,000 in salary for the year 2017. He and his wife paid about $6,000 in municipal taxes last year and the couple’s home in Saint-Felicien, Que., is valued at $490,000.

Meanwhile, Quebec solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Masse had no assets or property, her party said.

The party’s candidate for premier made $3,150 worth of donations in 2017, including $2,300 to the Federation des femmes du Quebec, a women’s organization.

Party leaders were also presented a request to lay out their personal financial situations in 2014.

All of them answered the call, but then-PQ leader Pauline Marois only divulged her 2012 tax return after initially balking at the request altogether, arguing she’d already filed her paperwork with the province’s ethics commissioner.

Earlier on Monday, Legault said he would spend the coming days in Quebec’s outlying regions, hoping their votes would put him back into majority territory.

“I don’t take anything for granted,” Legault said in Mont-Laurier. “I’m confident that on Oct. 1, we will have a majority government, and it will be mainly because of the regions.”

Lisee, meanwhile, encouraged anglophone voters to give his party a whirl, noting they could safely vote PQ knowing there won’t be a sovereignty referendum in the party’s first mandate.

The PQ Leader encouraged voters who generally wouldn’t touch the PQ to try it for a term and park their vote elsewhere in 2022 if he hasn’t convinced them by then of the benefits of independence.

He said anglophones generally support the PQ’s push for clean, green government.

“It warms my heart because it means our message is getting through of who we are,” Lisee said.

“We will not change our core conviction to get votes, but the deal we can make with you is that our commitment to not hold a referendum of independence in the first mandate is iron-clad.”

— with files from Julien Arsenault and Vicky Fragasso-Marquis in Montreal and Melanie Marquis in Mont-Laurier, Que.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected version; a previous story had the wrong family name in para 10

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Pfizer documents challenge Health Canada COVID-19 vaccine narrative

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Ray McGinnis

Dr. Theresa Tam and senior federal health officials walked onto a stage this fall, socially distanced. Each wore masks, addressing an empty room.

Have they been living in a bubble?

The New York Times reported on February 21, 2023, that wearing masks did nothing to protect people from the COVID-19 virus.

Reporting on a rigorous and extensive study, Oxford epidemiologist Tom Jefferson said, “There is just no evidence that they [masks] make any difference. Full stop.” Jefferson said that even if one were to don an N-95 mask that it “makes no difference – none of it.” The microscopic hole in an N-95 mask was 35 microns. The much smaller droplet from the C-19 virus was 0.15 microns and could easily float through the N-19 mask hole. And why would a mask only be needed to protect us in public when we are not eating or drinking?

Health Canada continues to encourage the public to get COVID-19 boosters this fall. The agency asserts: “It’s considered safe to get both your COVID booster and a flu shot at the same appointment.” They are also “reviewing updated booster shots for children six months and up.”

However, release of the Pfizer Documents reveals people would be wise to avoid getting anymore boosters.

During its brief clinical trials, and in the first 12 weeks of the mRNA vaccine rollout, Pfizer compiled over 55,000 documents that related to clinical trials and other research the company conducted.  The company hoped these documents would be sealed from public view for 75 years.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration supported keeping the data secret.

Nevertheless, a US court disagreed. The documents began being released in 2022. Steve K. Bannon hosted whistleblower Dr. Naomi Wolf on his War Room podcast. Together, they issued a call for medical and scientific experts to examine the documents. Project manager, Amy Kelly divided 3,500 highly trained specialists into teams. And they went through the material with a fine-toothed comb Their findings are published in the War Room/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Analysis Reports.

The teams learned that Pfizer had many reports of serious adverse events after the initial 12-week rollout – 158,000 – that they had to hire an additional 2,400 full-time staff to manage the caseload.

A Pfizer Safety Branch  Report concluded that by February 28, 2021, 1,223 people had died because of the vaccine.

Pfizer did not disclose all of its vaccine ingredients. In fact, a  news story reports: “Health Canada Confirms Undisclosed Presence of DNA Sequence in Pfizer Shot.” The Epoch Times explains that the Simian Virus 40 DNA sequence is in some of the the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, citing scientists who warn that it can be carcinogenic.

It seems that Pfizer kept sloppy records of the clinical trials. Pfizer Documents Investigation Team 5 reported: “a great deal of data… [is] missing from Pfizer’s analysis of adverse events that were reported after the Pfizer mRNA vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration…. The outcomes of almost one-quarter (22%) are not known.” They added, “Pfizer’s 3.7% fatality rate for the adverse event cases with known outcomes doesn’t include patients that Pfizer said had not recovered at the time of the report (30 April 2021).”

Team 1 reported that from December 1, 2020, “Pfizer was aware that the vaccine…had limited efficacy.” They reported that:“1,625 serious cases of vaccine ineffectiveness….” This included 136 people dying of COVID-19 related pneumonia after getting the Pfizer shot.

Team 3 examined what Pfizer did to ensure the safety of their vaccine. Did the vaccine stay in the arm, or did it travel to other places?

It was known that the engineered nanomaterials in the vaccine can cross or bypass the blood-brain barrier. What were the implications for the central nervous system? Team 3 discovered that: “This evaluation was never done in the Pfizer safety and efficacy trials… it is impossible to know whether the vaccine is safe in this arena. Pfizer did not prove the safety of the nano-lipid delivery system for the brain:” They just didn’t look under that rock.

In March 2022, the Journal of Pediatrics reported that the Seattle Children’s Hospital at the University of Washington had 35 cases of myocarditis in children within one week of receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Team 1 reported that it was clear to both Pfizer and the FDA that by June 2021 there was a “serious problem of myocarditis in adolescents following mRNA vaccination….” Nonetheless, the FDA went ahead and issued the Emergency Use Authorization to include teenagers, and they did not mention the risks.

The Pfizer Documents also reveal that by February 28, 2021, they knew that serious stroke adverse events were occurring after vaccination. Pfizer observed 275 patients who had a stroke post-vaccine….“Strokes are life-altering events. Even Pfizer categorized all the reported stroke as serious.” Nonetheless, even after Pfizer examined the stroke adverse events, they offered an upbeat assessment: “This cumulative case review does not raise new safety issues.”

And what did Health Canada say?

Journalist Rodney Palmer reported to the National Citizens Inquiry that the Government of Canada reported that by “March 3, 2023, [there were] a total of 427 reports with an outcome of death…reported following vaccination.”

Unfortunately, Canadians are still living in a bubble with little understanding of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.


Ray McGinnis is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and author of Unanswered Questions and Writing the Sacred.

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Glencore-Teck deal reveals the irony of coal: Profitable and vital, yet endlessly shunned

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From the MacDonald Laurier Institute

By Heather Exner-Pirot

Coal is not going anywhere, and while some countries will benefit, Canada will not be among them

In many ways, the US$8.9-billion deal Glencore has struck for Teck Resources’ coal assets represents an elegant split that plays to each company’s strengths.

Teck, the Canadian miner, can now focus on its core base metals business, in particular copper, as it bets on strong returns in the years to come. Swiss commodities giant Glencore can build up its coal empire, adding the steelmaking coal assets to its vast thermal coal trade.

But the deal also reveals how coal has its own set of rules. Despite how profitable and strategic Teck’s coal resources are, they will soon come under foreign control. It is hard to imagine this unfolding the same way for any other commodity.

Coal is an essential, ubiquitous material. It is the workhorse of the global power sector, accounting for more than a third of global electricity generation. And it is indispensable in steelmaking. The burning of coke, a coal-based fuel, produces the carbon monoxide needed to convert iron ore into a liquid, alongside high temperatures. The majority of steel in the world is made with coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal.

Owing to its carbon intensity, it has a terrible reputation. Investors and shareholders, not to mention Western governments, shun it. Teck’s intention to spin off its coal business is linked to shareholder desires to see a decoupling of its metals and coal businesses out of environmental concerns, which have weighed on its valuation. Even as it pursues Teck’s coal assets, Glencore is doing the same; it plans to separate its metals and coal businesses within two years and sought Teck’s premium steelmaking coal to make its other coal holdings more palatable.

But shareholder distaste for coal is increasingly divorced from its economics. Coal is still highly profitable. Last year witnessed high prices and record demand, in part owing to the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both Teck and Glencore benefited greatly. Teck earned record profits of $4.9-billion, with coal accounting for 75 per cent of that. Glencore’s core profit rose 60 per cent to a record US$34.1-billion, more than half of which came from coal production.

Teck’s steelmaking coal assets in B.C.’s Elk Valley are world-class – high-quality, with decades of reserves and a low carbon intensity relative to other deposits. Glencore’s deal for them will see it partnering with Japan’s Nippon Steel and South Korea’s PISCO, who will take minority stakes. The fact that the deal includes two of the world’s biggest steel producers is evidence that these coal assets have long-term customers. This deal is not about Teck unloading a bad asset; it is about removing the ESG noose around its neck.

That’s poor justification for letting such vital assets end up in foreign hands. Yet the federal government will likely let the deal happen.

Federal scrutiny of foreign investment and takeovers in our domestic mining sector has grown of late, as the need for friendly sources of critical minerals grows. As The Globe and Mail reported last month, Canadian firms have mainly been the targets, rather than pursuers, of acquisitions in the sector in the past decade. Canada has toughened the Investment Canada Act as a result.

While the Teck-Glencore deal will raise similar concerns, it has been designed to skirt them. Teck’s news release could have been written by Ottawa. It aligns with the federal government’s recent Critical Minerals Strategy and commits to remaining a Canadian-based miner focused on “future-oriented metals,” “an electric vehicle battery recycling facility” and support for “junior Canadian mining and exploration companies.” It also preserves B.C.’s coal mining jobs and revenues.

There’s a parallel universe where a G7 country protects its most exquisite metallurgical coal deposit, required to produce a critical material for any advanced economy, energy system or military. That introduces policy to reshore and build up its domestic steel industry in an era of growing geopolitical turbulence.

The world in 2023 is not this place. And Canada is not that G7 country. Indeed, the world view of the current federal and B.C. governments sees the decline of coal as both imminent and necessary. There is no way they will make the argument that the material is a strategic resource that must remain under Canadian ownership.

But coal is not going anywhere. Some countries will benefit, economically and strategically, from controlling it. Canada will not be among them.

Heather Exner-Pirot is the director of energy, natural resources and environment at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

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