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Panama Canal drying up woes could have benefited Canadian LNG – If only we had any


6 minute read

From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Zinchuk

There’s a disturbance in the force of global shipping, as if a major transit point started slipping away.

There’s a very serious problem occurring a few thousand miles to the south of us, one that Canada could have taken tremendous advantage of, if only we had built and completed some liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals by now.

The Panama Canal, one of the wonders of the modern world that utterly changed trade and geopolitics, is drying up.

The canal, which usually handles about 36 ships a day, has in recent days reduced that to 24. By Feb. 1, it is expected to fall to 18. And the largest ships who do transit the canal have to reduce their cargoes, lest they scrape bottom.

That’s because the canal uses fresh water, captured by dams and forming the massive Gatun Lake. That fresh water is collected from ample rains. Every single time a ship passes through the canal, water used to operate the locks is flushed into the ocean. While the greatly expanded third set of locks allows much, much larger ships to use the more than 100 year-old canal, they also use a lot of water despite an innovative water recovery system. And the Canal Authority says they’ve had the lowest rains in 73 years, since 1950.

So when you add up the additional, much larger locks, with a local drought, the canal is rapidly falling into crisis. And the world is starting to take notice.

As they should, since soon half of all ships that usually use the canal will be turned away.

No one depends on the canal more than the Americans. They built it, after all, for a reason. And one of the biggest is it allows for quick access for Gulf Coast ports to Pacific markets. This was a very real reason why building a half dozen large LNG terminals made so much sense (in addition to their proximity to gas production.)

Well, a lot of that just got thrown out the window. Cutting ship transit numbers by half means a dramatic curtailment of the ability of US LNG cargoes to access the Pacific markets. Their alternative is to add something like 8,000 miles going around South America’s Cape Horn, which absolutely no one wants to do due to the treacherous weather and seas.. Otherwise, they have to cross the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Straits of Malacca to get to east Asia markets.

The net effect will be some cargoes from the Gulf Coast destined for Asia will have to go much, much further to deliver their product. That means fewer cargoes per ship per year. It’ll tighten up ship availability, and likely put pressure on LNG prices.

And if Canada had moved quicker on building out LNG terminals, particularly on the West Coast, we would be perfectly positioned to cash in on this situation. Not only is Kitimat, Prince Rupert and the like much, much closer to China and Japan, there’s no drying up Panama Canal to contend with, either.

Small wonder, then, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre chose on November 10 to post on his various social media channels, “Since Trudeau took office: 18 LNG terminals have been proposed. 0 have been completed.”

To be fair, LNG Canada, the largest proposal, is in the finishing stretch. In July they reported 85 per cent completion. In recent weeks, TC Energy reported the completion of the “golden weld” on the Coastal GasLink pipeline that will supply LNG Canada and presumably other facilities on the West Coast. Without pipeline, which was both massively delayed and overbudget, no small thanks to pipeline protesters, LNG Canada would be useless.

Other projects are finally gaining traction – Woodfibre LNG at Squamish on the south coast, and Ksi Lisims LNG right on the Alaska/BC border, and Cedar LNG, a floating LNG terminal adjacent to LNG Canada and served by Coastal GasLink.

Remember when the German chancellor came to Canada, seeking LNG, and was told by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau there was “no business case?” And then the Japanese prime minister was told something similar a few weeks later?

The Ukraine War has proven a business case for almost two years in the Atlantic basin. The Panama Canal reduction in service will soon prove it in the Pacific. What more do we need?

Canada should have built these projects years ago. We’d be securing markets and cashing in today.

No business case, indeed.

Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of, and occasional contributor to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Carbon tax, not carve out, Trudeau’s real failure

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in it when he removed the carbon tax from furnace oil, while leaving 97 per cent of Canadians out in the cold.

Even in Atlantic Canada, where Trudeau tried to buy off MPs with the carve out, 77 per cent of people in the region support carbon tax relief for everyone.

But Trudeau’s mistake wasn’t providing relief. The real lesson here is Trudeau never won the hearts and minds of Canadians. And he lost credibility early on.

Months before the 2019 election, the former environment minister said the government had “no intention” of raising the carbon tax beyond 11 cents per litre of gas.

After the election, Trudeau announced he would keep cranking up his carbon tax until it reached 37 cents per litre.

Trudeau and his ministers repeat the myth that eight-out-of-ten families get more money in rebates than they pay in carbon taxes.

Their favourite talking point limps on despite the obvious reality that a government can’t raise taxes, skim money off the top to pay for hundreds of administration bureaucrats and still make everyone better off.

In fact, the carbon tax will cost the average family up to $710 more than they get back in rebates this year, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

The government said carbon taxes reduce emissions.

But even in British Columbia, which had the first and (for years) costliest carbon tax, emissions rose. B.C. imposed its carbon tax in 2008. B.C.’s emissions have increased between 2007 and 2019 – the last year before the pandemic brought economic activity to a screeching halt.

And even if the carbon tax cut emissions at home, “Canada’s own emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change,” as the PBO explains.

Making it more expensive to live in Canada won’t reduce emissions in China, Russia, India or the United States. And this leads to Trudeau’s diplomatic failure.

At the United Nations, the Trudeau government launched the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge to get more countries to impose carbon taxes.

“The impact and effectiveness of carbon pricing increases as more countries adopt pricing solutions,” the Trudeau government acknowledged.

The world’s largest economy, the United States, rejects carbon taxes.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, hasn’t imposed a carbon tax. Good luck convincing a Republican president to impose one.

The U.S. is the rule, not the exception.

About three-quarters of countries don’t have a national carbon tax, according to the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Dashboard.

And while Trudeau raised taxes, peers like the United KingdomSwedenAustraliaSouth Korea, the NetherlandsGermanyNorwayIrelandIndiaIsraelItalyNew Zealand and Portugal, among others, cut fuel taxes.

If Canada’s carbon tax is essential for the environment, shouldn’t all taxpayers pay the same rate?

A driver in Alberta pays a carbon tax of 14 cent per litre of gas. In Quebec, the carbon tax is about 12 cents. By 2030, that gap will grow to more than 14 cents per litre.

Quebec’s special deal proves Trudeau’s carbon tax is about politics, not the environment.

When crafting the carbon tax, the government never truly asked the people what they thought. Everyone wants a better environment. You won’t find opposition to that.

But did anyone ask Canadians if they support a carbon tax even if it means average families will lose hundreds of dollars every year? Did anyone ask Canadians if they support a carbon tax even though most countries don’t?

Trudeau is displaying rank regional favouritism. But his real mistake wasn’t the carve out that favoured Atlantic Canada. It’s that he never won the hearts and minds of the people and failed to acknowledge carbon taxes cause real pain.

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Trudeau gov’t minister takes heat for saying Canadians who ‘can’t work’ should get free housing

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Housing Minister Sean Fraser

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

In a scenario akin to the former Soviet Union but not in free market-based Western nations such as Canada, Housing Minister Sean Fraser proclaimed that all Canadians who cannot work should be given free housing.

As per Blacklock’s Reporter, Fraser said recently to Canada’s Senate banking committee that “If you are an adult working in Canada you should be able to buy a home,” adding, “If you cannot work you should have a home too.”

“Government should work together to provide it to you. In a country as wealthy as Canada it is very difficult to accept that people go to sleep without a roof over their head. These problems are solvable,” he said.

Statistics Canada puts the number of unemployed Canadians at 1,229,400. Fraser claims that the government is the one who should solve this, and said, “I do not feel that I have solved the national housing crisis if I am in a city going to an appointment for work and there are people living on the street.”

“We have solved the crisis if we are able to provide affordable rent at the price people are paying right now, and if you are working in a job you can afford to get into the market if that is what works for you,” he added.

Fraser’s comments were immediately blasted as being akin to trying to bring communism to Canada.

“Full-on communism,” wrote Rebel News head Ezra Levant on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday.

One X user, Michelle Phillips, said the issue with homelessness often is that “many of these people CHOOSE not who work.”

“They CAN work but CHOOSE not to. Providing anything for people who don’t want to help themselves or work toward their own future is 100% socialism and Canada is supposed to be a democratic country,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

According to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Commission report, making homes “affordable” again in Canada would cost $1 trillion, an amount that chief economist Bob Dugan said is “a staggering sum of money.”

Bernier’s PPC says that to solve Canada’s housing crisis, what needs to happen is a “substantial” reduction in “immigration quotas, from about 500k planned by the Liberal government for 2025, down to 100k-150k per year.”

“This will help reduce demand for housing and cool down these markets, especially in the large cities where most immigrants settle,” the PPC leader says.

In 2019, the Trudeau Liberals enshrined “a right to adequate housing” in federal law with the National Housing Strategy Act. Despite this, many have blamed the Liberals’ overspending and inflation-causing measures as making it so that average Canadians cannot buy a home.

Other Liberal ideas with communistic overtones currently in the works include one before the Senate around a “a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income.”

On October 17, the Canadian Senate’s national finance committee began examining Bill S-233, which would mandate that the Minister of Finance develop a national system to provide “guaranteed livable basic income” to everyone in Canada over age 17.

Jack Fonseca, political operations director for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau’s communistic or socialist leaning policies are “yet another move by our two socialist parties, the Liberals and NDP, to try to gradually transform Canada into a communist country by making most of the population dependent on government handouts and eliminating the middle class.”

“The truth is that a universal basic income would result in huge numbers of Canadians never wanting to work again,” he warned.

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