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Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he spoke with former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould last week about a way forward following her allegations of political interference in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

Speaking in Maple Ridge, B.C. on Monday, Trudeau said he spoke with Wilson-Raybould March 18 and that the conversation was “cordial.” They discussed “next steps,” but Trudeau did not elaborate on what that meant.

Trudeau is also signalling that Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will remain in the Liberal caucus despite their outspoken criticism of his government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

“I look forward to continuing to engage with both Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott as they make their way forward,” Trudeau said.

“They have both indicated they look forward to running again as Liberals in the next election and I look forward to continuing to have their strong and thoughtful voices as part of our team.”

Almost a month ago Wilson-Raybould appeared at the House of Commons justice committee where she said Trudeau and other top government officials repeatedly pressured her to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for bribery in its business dealings in Libya. She testified she was shuffled to the veterans affairs portfolio because she didn’t agree.

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred.

The same day Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould spoke, Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council, announced he would leave his post before the fall election, citing a loss of trust with the opposition parties. Wilson-Raybould accused him of being among a group of top officials that pushed her to help SNC-Lavalin land a deferred prosecution agreement — a kind of plea deal to avoid criminal prosecution that involves paying fines and being monitored for a length of time.

It was also the day Trudeau appointed former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan to look into whether the job of justice minister and attorney general should be split.

The day after the two spoke, the Liberals on the Commons justice committee voted to end the committee probe of the SNC-Lavalin matter, saying they had heard from enough witnesses. And three days after that Wilson-Raybould wrote to that committee saying she would provide a written statement, as well as emails and text messages, that corroborate and clarify both her earlier testimony and that of witnesses who came after her.

These developments have only added fuel to Opposition parties’ desires to see a full public airing of details of the SNC-Lavalin affair, which has become one of the biggest political controversies the Trudeau Liberals have yet faced.

Opposition MPs on the House of Commons ethics committee will push for a fresh investigation of Wilson-Raybould’s allegations when the committee meets on Tuesday. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Monday Trudeau should fully waive confidentiality for both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott so they can testify freely.

“If they really want us to believe that they want the truth to come out, if Justin Trudeau truly has nothing to hide, he will make it official — he will send a letter to Ms. Wilson-Raybould and now Ms. Philpott, allowing them to complete their testimony, to speak freely and openly,” Scheer said.

Philpott breathed new life into the controversy last week in a published interview with Maclean’s magazine where she said there is “much more” to the story that has not been told.

Liberal MPs are challenging both former cabinet ministers to have their say publicly and be done with the issue.

Wilson-Raybould and Philpott could speak under the shield of parliamentary privilege, which protects parliamentarians from legal ramifications for anything they say in the House of Commons, but Scheer maintains this privilege does not nullify an oath of cabinet confidentiality.

Trudeau said Monday whether or not Wilson-Raybould or Philpott speak further is up to them but he indicated no willingness to expand the confidentiality waiver.

New Democrats Charlie Angus and Daniel Blaikie reached out Sunday to an international economic group that oversees a global anti-bribery convention asking it to pay attention to recent developments in this case, including the justice committee ending its investigation.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said earlier this month it is “concerned” by the accusations and would determine if Canada was offside with the convention.

Angus said the Liberals promised the OECD the investigation would be robust and independent.

“Well, the justice committee got shut down, that’s not robust,” he said.

SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce also issued a “clarification statement” Monday afternoon backtracking on statements he made in an interview last week in which he said the company never cited the protection of 9,000 Canadian jobs as a reason it should get a remediation agreement to avoid a criminal trial.

The company never threatened government, but did make it clear through its lobbying efforts that getting an agreement would be the “best way to protect and grow the almost 9,000 direct Canadian SNC-Lavalin jobs,” SNC-Lavalin said in its statement.

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Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Storytelling is in our DNA. We provide credible, compelling multimedia storytelling and services in English and French to help captivate your digital, broadcast and print audiences. As Canada’s national news agency for 100 years, we give Canadians an unbiased news source, driven by truth, accuracy and timeliness.

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Economy

In a “Staggering Precedent” Trudeau government dodging parliament with massive “inflation tax” on Canadians

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Federal Conservative Pierre Poilievre has released video from a recent Question of Privilege in the House of Commons where he explains how the Federal Liberal government has been dodging parliament to significantly raise taxes.

Instead of going further into debt or raising taxes to pay for a massive increase in government spending, the Trudeau government worked out a deal with the Central Bank.  Every week the Central Bank prints billions of dollars that go directly to government coffers.  Without a single vote and without consulting Parliament, the federal government is effectively raking in the largest tax increase in Canadian history.

By printing money at this unprecedented rate, the federal government is responsible for driving up Canada’s inflation rate resulting in price hikes for virtually all goods and services.  Poilievre calls it an “inflation tax”.

In this short video, Poilievre describes how the inflation tax hurts low and middle income Canadians, while increasing the value of assets owned by the richest Canadians.

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Alberta

New opinion surveys reveal overwhelming majority of Canadians support our Oil and Gas industry

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News Release from Canada Action

We are very excited to share some recent and encouraging polling results today. According to a July 2021 public opinion survey conducted by Research Co, new data shows that Canada’s public perception of our responsible energy industry is very positive.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Almost three in four (73 percent) Canadians polled agree Canada should be a preferred global supplier of energy because of its climate and environmental record.
  • Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) say they have personally benefited from the oil and gas sector.
  • 70 percent agree that resource development could help alleviate systemic poverty within Indigenous communities.
  • Two thirds of Canadians (66 percent) support Canada’s role as a global oil and gas supplier.
  • Almost three in four Canadians (73 percent) acknowledge Canada’s prosperity is supported by the oil and gas sector and that Canadian oil and gas production helps fund important social programs like health care and education.

Referring to the fact 73 percent of Canadians polled also agreed it’s essential First Nations be included in project development to establish long-term revenue sources for their communities, JP Gladu, acting Executive Director of Indigenous Resource Network, noted the following:

Taken collectively, this is all exceptional news for all of Canada’s natural resource industries. Your support for our positive, fact based message about why the world needs more Canadian energy and resources is helping make a difference.

A Majority of Canadians ‘Agree’ that Canada Should be a Preferred Global Supplier of Energy: POLL

two thirds of canadians support canada's role as a global oil and gas supplier

A new public opinion survey conducted by Research Co. on behalf of Canada Action has found that a majority of Canadians across the country support the vital oil and gas sector! The poll, released on July 14th, showed that 68% of participants ‘agree’ that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand, while two-thirds (66%) support Canada’s role as a global oil and gas supplier versus just 19% who were opposed.

Additionally, almost three in four Canadians (73%) acknowledged Canada’s prosperity is supported by the oil and gas sector and that the industry helps fund important social programs such as healthcare and education.

“It’s a strong and very welcome result, and one that shows most Canadians feel proud of the work their energy sector is doing to enhance its record on ESG criteria. The results also show most Canadians believe the world needs more Canadian energy and are aware of the importance of the sector to the prosperity of families and communities right across the country,” said Cody Battershill, Canada Action founder.

Canada Oil and Gas Sector Generated 493 Billion Government Revenues 2000-2018-02

Between 2000 and 2018, approximately $493 billion in government revenues were generated by Canada’s oil and gas industry, capital which has been used pay for schools, hospitals, roads and the workers that make these projects possible/operational. Every Canadian has benefitted from oil and gas in some way, shape, or form; nearly seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) of participants also acknowledged that Canada’s oil and gas sector has benefitted them personally.

Nearly three-in-four Canadians (73%) also agreed that global markets should prioritize jurisdictions like Canada that are leaders in climate action and environmental protection. This is a logical choice as Canada’s oil and gas industry ranks number one for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices among nations with the largest oil reserves, and of the world’s top 20 producers, 2nd for governance and social progress and 4th on the environment.

“Given the world requires $525 billion of new oil and gas investment per year just to meet current demand, we think we ought to push for Canada to receive a sizeable share of this investment,” Battershill added.

68% of canadians agree that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand

Canada’s world-class ESG performance shows that our nation is home to one of the most environmentally conscious and sustainable oil and gas industries in the world. With future supply gaps on the horizon, it only makes sense that ESG-focussed investors look to Canada as a choice supplier for as long as the world needs oil – and it will for many decades to come.

73% of participants also agreed that it’s essential First Nations be included in project development to establish long-term revenue sources for their communities.

“These are heartening results. Indigenous nations and businesses want to be partners in resource development. This poll shows there’s widespread support to work together for the benefit of all,” said JP Gladu, acting Executive Director of the Indigenous Resource Network.

Below is a summary of all poll results collected by Research Co.

Poll Results:

73% of canadians agree that Canada's oil and gas sector helps fund social programs like healthcare and education

Two-thirds of Canadians (66%) support Canada’s role as a global oil and gas supplier, while one-in-five (19%) are opposed

– Almost seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) say the oil and gas industry has benefitted them personally

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that global markets should prioritize jurisdictions like Canada that are leaders in climate action and environmental protection

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that Canadian oil and gas products help fund important social programs like healthcare and education for Canadians

– More than seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) agree that sustainability measures are better served when energy is sourced from Canada compared to less environmentally friendly jurisdictions

three quarters of Canada believe that global markets should favour sustainable oil producers in Canada

Seven-in-ten Canadians (70%) agree that Canada should be the choice recipient of investments due to its climate leadership and environmental policies

– More than two-thirds of Canadians (68%) agree that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand

– Over three-in-five Canadians (64%) agree that investing in Canada’s oil and gas sector makes sense if you value climate leadership, social progress and transparency

Fewer than half of Canadians (45%) were aware that Canada is a leader for environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices among countries with the largest oil and gas reserves

– More than two-in-five Canadians (43%) were aware that Canadian energy companies are global leaders in carbon capture, utilization and storage

70% of Canadians believe Canada should be a choice recipient for investments due to ESG leadership

– Just over two-in-five Canadians (41%) were aware that Canadian natural gas exported to Asia can reduce global emissions by displacing coal power usage

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that global markets should prioritize jurisdictions like Canada that are leaders in climate leadership and environmental protection

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that Canada should be a destination of choice for energy investment due to its climate leadership, worker safety and environmental policies

– More than two-thirds of Canadians (68%) agree that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (74%) think Canada should act in a similar fashion to Norway when it comes to energy practices, as the nation has said they will continue to maximize the value created from their oil and gas reserves

Canada ESG Record vs. Top Global Oil Exporters

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that Canada’s prosperity is supported by the oil and gas sector practices

– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that it is essential that First Nations be included in project development to establish long-term revenue sources for their communities

Seven-in-ten Canadians (70%) agree that Systemic poverty within Indigenous communities could be alleviated with resource development

– Almost seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) agree that Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada should play a role in supplying our energy to meet domestic and global demands

More than half of Canadians (56%) agree with the decision related to the TMX expansion, while one-in-five (21%) disagree, and a similar proportion (22%) are undecided. Support for the decision is highest in Alberta and Atlantic Canada (each at 63%), followed by Ontario (57%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (56%), British Columbia (55%) and Quebec (52%)

– Over three-in-five Canadians (62%) think the Indigenous communities support the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMX) project

– More than three-in-ten Canadians (31%) are more likely to support the Trans Mountain expansion upon learning of the views of Indigenous communities, while 7% are less likely to support. More than two-in-five (47%) say their position has not changed as a result of this fact

Results were based on an online study among 1,000 adults in Canada, conducted July 7 to 9, 2021 and weighted for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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