Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]


Ontario called ‘alarmist’ about federal powers if carbon pricing law stands



If you like this, share it!

  • TORONTO — Ontario is being alarmist in fighting Ottawa’s carbon pricing law by suggesting the federal government is grabbing new powers that would allow it to regulate when people drive or where they live, the province’s top court heard on Tuesday.

    In her submissions, a federal lawyer said the law aims to prompt people to change their ways to reduce potentially catastrophic global-warming pollution, which respects no provincial boundaries. The provinces, she said, simply can’t head off potentially catastrophic global warming on their own.

    “There is a gap in Canada’s ability as a nation to meet the challenge as it now faces,” Sharlene Telles-Langdon told the Ontario Court of Appeal. “The federal power is directed toward a national measure.”

    At issue is the constitutional validity of federal legislation that kicked in on April 1. The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which levies a charge on gasoline, other fossil and on industrial polluters, only applies in provinces such as Ontario that have no carbon-pricing regime of their own that meets national standards.

    On Monday, a provincial lawyer denounced the act as unconstitutional, saying it stomps on provincial turf and would undermine co-operative federalism. But Telles-Langdon told the five-justice panel on Day 2 of the four-day hearing that the complaint was wrong.

    “The act itself intrudes minimally on provincial jurisdiction,” Telles-Langdon said. “What it does is ensure a national system.”

    Justice James MacPherson pointed out that Ontario has already slashed its emissions over a 14-year period by 22 per cent — largely because the previous government shuttered coal-fired plants. “Why not just leave them alone?” MacPherson asked.

    “It’s not just Ontario that we have to worry about. It’s Canada as a whole,” Telles-Langdon said, noting Saskatchewan’s emissions have gone up. “Ontario has had great results. Unfortunately, Ontario can do nothing about what is happening in other provinces.”

    The justices pressed the lawyer to explain how allowing Ottawa to regulate any human activity that increases greenhouse gas emissions would stop it from encroaching further on provincial turf — such as banning wood-burning fireplaces or setting a maximum temperature for heating homes.

    “You’re asking us to change the balance of power,” Justice Grant Huscroft said.

    “This is a scheme that is directed toward controlling the total emissions at a national level,” Telles-Langdon replied. “It is the least intrusive and least-cost method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There’s no displacement of provincial powers.”

    “They didn’t want to do the thing you’re now making them do?” Huscroft responded.

    Telles-Langdon said Canadians are in a new era in which climate change has become a national problem and may already amount to a state of “climactic emergency.” The provinces, she said, wanted a pan-Canadian system to address the issue while avoiding conflicts among themselves.

    The act amounts to a “price signal” that will be effective in encouraging people and industries to change their behaviour, Telles-Langdon said. What it does not do, she said, is tell businesses and industries how to operate.

    “The federal government hasn’t said you must do this and you must not do that.”

    Ontario Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford has denounced the law as an illegal tax grab but Ottawa says the money collected will go back to those in the province in which it was paid.

    As a result, the levy is a “regulatory charge” not a tax, Telles-Langdon told court, because its “dominant purpose” is to modify behaviour rather than raise revenue. If the court rejected that explanation, she said, then the charge can be characterized as a legitimately enacted tax.

    William Gould, lawyer for the intervening province of New Brunswick, which sides with Ontario, warned of “scope creep” when it comes to federal authority. Chief Justice George Strathy said the province couldn’t address climate change on its own.

    Gould agreed, but argued the federal law wasn’t the answer. He cautioned the court against expanding Ottawa’s powers.

    The hearing resumes Wednesday with other interveners making their submissions.

    Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!


    Sandbagging efforts in high gear in Quebec, New Brunswick flood zones



    If you like this, share it!

  • MONTREAL — More than 600 Canadian soldiers have fanned out across Quebec, filling and stacking sandbags as officials warn that flood waters are likely to keep rising this week due to warming temperatures that contribute to snowmelt and ice movement.

    Urgence Quebec said yesterday that five major floods were threatening thousands of Quebecers, that 1,280 residences across the province had been flooded and that more than 1,500 people had left their homes.

    As he toured a flood zone in the Laval area Sunday Premier Francois Legault noted that many home owners were still repairing damage caused by record flooding in 2017. He also suggested that Quebecers whose homes are repeatedly flooded may eventually be forced to move.

    Meanwhile, about 120 Canadian soldiers have been deployed across western New Brunswick where 15 communities remain on flood alert.

    Rising water has forced the closure of at least 35 roads in the province and Premier Blaine Higgs has urged residents to do what they can to protect their families and property.

    Officials said flooding is expected this week in an area between Fredericton and Saint John as the Saint John River breaches its banks.

    Residents have been warned to stay away from the river because the water is very cold, the current is strong and there is plenty of debris scattered among the ice chunks.


    The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading


    Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.



    If you like this, share it!

  • MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault is visiting flood-damaged regions north of Montreal today, as warm temperatures and rising water levels threaten to worsen the spring flooding already wreaking havoc across a wide region.

    Legault was set to visit a community centre and flooded homes on an island in the Laval region, where Canadian Forces troops are expected to join the efforts to limit the damage. The city says it could receive another 20 to 40 millimetres of rain in the coming days.

    Many people across Quebec and New Brunswick have been filling sandbags in an effort to protect their homes. Officials say water levels are expected to rise in many regions due to warming temperatures that contribute to snowmelt and ice movement.

    About 200 soldiers started filling sandbags and carrying out evacuations in Quebec’s Outaouais and Mauricie regions overnight, with an additional 400 troops standing ready to deploy there and in Laval on Sunday.

    Urgence Quebec says that as of Sunday morning, 980 residences across the province had been flooded and more than 1,200 people had left their homes.

    Several major floods have been identified as threatening thousands of Quebecers, and so far one death has been blamed on the high water.

    Police say 72-year-old Louise Seguin Lortie died Saturday morning after driving her car into a sinkhole caused by flooding in the Pontiac area, about 30 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

    Some of the worst flooding has been in the Beauce region south of Quebec City, where 883 homes were swamped and 765 people evacuated, up from 94 on Saturday.

    Quebec’s public safety minister has urged citizens in affected areas to avoid unnecessary risks and to leave their homes if necessary.

    On Ile Bigras, off the southeast edge of Laval, about two dozen soldiers unloaded a truck full of sandbags on Sunday as they worked to reinforce a concrete barrier only metres from the rushing river.

    Public affairs officer Pierre Leblanc said the army’s priority would be filling and stacking sandbags and protecting critical infrastructure near the river, which he said was rising about one centimetre each hour.

    He said some 600 soldiers had been deployed across the province, including about 200 in the Laval area.

    Near the entrance to the island, several roads were closed due to flooding and one home appeared partially surrounded by water, as small waves lapped at a picnic bench and a “For Sale” sign on the lawn.

    Meanwhile, about 120 Canadian soldiers are being deployed across western New Brunswick to help residents threatened by rising floodwaters.

    Fifteen communities in that province have been warned to remain on high alert.


    The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    april, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre(march 8) 5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

    tue23apr5:30 pm- 7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    thu25apr8:30 am- 4:30 pmApplied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Canadian Mental Health Association8:30 am - 4:30 pm

    fri26apr8:30 am- 4:30 pmApplied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Canadian Mental Health Association8:30 am - 4:30 pm

    sat27apr1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    mon29apr1:30 pm- 4:00 pmWellness Recovery Action PlanningCanadian Mental Health Association1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

    tue30apr5:30 pm- 7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm