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Federal government touts climate ‘crisis’ without sufficient supporting evidence

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4 minute read

From the Fraser Institute

By Kenneth P. Green

Canada is, we are told, in a climate crisis. “Climate action can’t wait,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “Together, we will beat this crisis while creating a green economy and new middle-class jobs for Canadians.” In a Guardian article, federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said “the science is clear” that the “climate crisis is the biggest single threat we face as a global community.” And of course, the government’s new “Raising the Bar” campaign is very alarming, particularly the stuff about droughts and floods.

But have we seen significant increases in weather extremes? Is the strength of evidence sufficient to justify the panic-mongering language of a “climate crisis?” In a nutshell, no.

Let’s start with drought. The vaunted UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserted “medium confidence” that increased drought has been observed across the globe. And in the Royal Society, one of oldest scientific academies on Earth, an international research team dug into the data only to find that in the “vast majority of the world, trends in meteorological drought duration and magnitude are not statistically significant, with the exception of some small regions of Africa and South America, which is also where data uncertainty is greater” concluding that “trends in meteorological drought severity in the last few decades are not observed globally based on precipitation data, and very few areas are showing changes in the severity of meteorological droughts.” Finally, according to the International Energy Agency, drought severity in Canada from 2000 to 2020 was only slightly above the global average.

Well, but what about floods?

Canada has plenty of those. The IPCC report finds it “likely” that heavy precipitation events (a major cause of flooding) have increased globally, at least over land areas with good data. The report has less confidence in places such as Africa and South America where we’re reminded the people are at higher risk from climate change because they’re poorer and less likely to adapt. But a 2017 report of the United States Global Climate Research Project found that while “detectable changes in some classes of flood frequency have occurred in parts of the United States” there’s no “significant connection of increased riverine flooding to human-induced climate change, and the timing of any emergence of a future detectable anthropogenic change in flooding is unclear.” Further, a recent UN report found with “high confidence” that “streamflow trends since 1950 are not statistically significant in most of the world’s largest rivers, while flood frequency and extreme streamflow have increased in some regions.” Does that sounds like a crisis?

The Trudeau government’s climate rhetoric has steadily ratcheted up over years, and settled on the panic-inducing language of “crisis.” We must follow government’s energy-diet, live smaller, less prosperous lives in less space, with less travel, and less, well, everything. Of course, the crisis rhetoric allows for no doubts, being absolutist in its claims that we are—right now—experiencing major increases in natural disasters fuelled by human-sourced greenhouse gas emissions.

But clearly, the scientific literature on extreme weather does not support this rhetoric. The actual data on extreme weather is scant, fragmented, contradictory and in all ways uncertain. It’s certainly not rigorous enough to justify the kind of exaggerated certainty Ottawa asserts nor the induction of climate panic.

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Trump’s trial defines justice in disrepute – A Canadian perspective

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Colin Alexander

Canada and the US both have a problem with rogue judges

Whatever one thinks of former President Donald Trump, his criminal trial violates the jurisprudence established  by England’s Lord Chief Justice Hewart: “It is… of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

Judges too often preside over cases despite having a conflict of interest. Trump’s argument had merit, that having the Democrat stronghold of Manhattan as the venue for his trial was unfair. And the assignment of Acting Justice Juan Merchan for the trial may reasonably be said to be corrupt. The US Judicial Code says: “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik says Justice Merchan contributed to the Democrat campaign in 2020. And his daughter, Loren Merchan, is heavily involved in Democrat politics. Stefanik says her firm stood to profit from Trump’s conviction. So, one may presume the judge’s bias against Trump.

The charge against Trump was that money was paid to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet and not undermine his presidential election prospects in 2016. Paying money to suppress prurient assertions is not illegal. But, it was said to violate US election law if intended to influence the outcome of the election—and not merely to protect Trump’s reputation. Given what everyone knows, how could publication of Daniels’s assertions influence a single voter’s intentions?

Many other wandering public figures come to mind. Certainly, Presidents Kennedy and Clinton. Said to be expert on the bedroom ceilings of rich men, Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman was Clinton’s ambassador to France.

Textbooks and case law forbid judges to hear cases where there could be a perception of bias. A landmark case involved an application by the Spanish government to extradite former President Pinochet of Chile from England. Lord Hoffmann was the swing vote in the decision that immunity did not prevent extradition. The House of Lords set aside that judgment because Lord Hoffmann had been chairman of Amnesty International, which had campaigned for Pinochet’s prosecution. The judges said that the Amnesty link was an automatic disqualification for sitting on the case.

During the 2022 truckers’ protest in Ottawa, Chief Justice Richard Wagner made outlandish comments about an incipient revolution. The Canadian Judicial Council, of which he is head,  exonerated him. By contrast, Justice Thomas Berger of the BC Supreme Court resigned gracefully after being scolded for non-partisan comment on the entrenchment of Indigenous rights in the Charter.

A typical case of conflicted judging is MediaTube v. Bell Canada, discussed at length in my book Justice on Trial. The plaintiff asserting that Bell stole the technology for FibeTV. The Federal Court’s trial judge, Justice George Locke, had been a partner in the firm of Norton Fulbright that acted for Bell. His decision in favour of Bell is gobbledygook. He acknowledged that Bell had constantly changed the description of how their system worked, as if they didn’t know that. Arguably, Bell and their lawyers McCarthy Tétrault committed the criminal offences of perjury and obstruction of justice. Justice David Stratas spoke for the appellate judges despite having previously represented Bell before the Supreme Court. In 130 words, he justified the exclusion of new evidence by citing a case that had analyzed the purported new evidence in 9,000 words.

Trump’s case follows ones described in Christie Blatchford’s book, Life Sentence: Stories from four decades of court reporting—Or how I fell out of love with the Canadian justice system (Especially judges). “The judiciary,” she wrote, “is much like the Senate. Like senators they are unelected, unaccountable, entitled, expensive to maintain and remarkably smug.”

Canadians as well as Americans need outside accountability for lawyers and judges. As US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, “If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”

Colin Alexander’s degrees include Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford. His latest book is Justice on Trial: Jordan Peterson’s case shows we need to fix the broken system.

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Economy

Carbon tax costs Canadian economy billions

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano 

This tax costs Canadians big time at the gas pump, on home heating bills, on the farm and at the dinner table.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the federal government to scrap the carbon tax in light of newly released government data showing the tax will cost the Canadian economy about $25 billion in 2030.

“Once again, we see the government’s own data showing what hardworking Canadians already know: the carbon tax costs Canada big time,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “The carbon tax makes the necessities of life more expensive and it will cost our economy billions of dollars.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must scrap his carbon tax now.”

The government of Canada released modelling showing the cost of the carbon tax on the Canadian economy Thursday.

“The country’s GDP is expected to be about $25 billion lower in 2030 due to carbon pricing than it would be otherwise,”  reports the Globe and Mail.

Canada contributes about 1.5 per cent of global emissions.

Government data shows emissions are going up in Canada. In 2022, the latest year of data, emissions in Canada were 708 megatonnes of CO2, an increase of 9.3 megatonnes from 2021.

The federal carbon tax currently costs 17 cents per litre of gasoline, 21 cents per litre of diesel and 15 cents per cubic metre of natural gas.

The carbon tax adds about $13 to the cost of filling up a minivan, about $20 to the cost of filling up a pickup truck and about $200 to the cost of filling up a big rig truck with diesel.

Farmers are charged the carbon tax for heating their barns and drying grains with natural gas and propane. The carbon tax will cost Canadian farmers $1 billion by 2030, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

“No matter how many times this government tries to put lipstick on the carbon tax pig, the reality is clear,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “This tax costs Canadians big time at the gas pump, on home heating bills, on the farm and at the dinner table. Trudeau should make life more affordable and improve the Canadian economy by scrapping his carbon tax.”

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