Editor's Musings

Patrick Brown has brought a lawsuit against CTV and a number of their employees for $8 million. Although some consider it the job for journalists to report the news, in this case, the police have seen no reason to lay any charges. Does that tell there is no evidence of wrong doing? Did the reporters sensationalize something that held little substance? It would appear to me by the reading of all reports, if something did happen, when the ladies said “No!” exactly as the people were told that “No means No!”, that was the end of it. And although one of the accusers has changed her story, CTV says they are still standing by their reporting - which is a little unclear because if the girl said she was underage and in high school, and now says she was done school and was of age, is CTV now calling her a liar.

I hope Patrick Brown gets the $8 million. You and I both know this will be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. No one will lose their job.

 

Doug Ford appointed new candidates to run in 11 ridings.  He said he hated to do it but it was getting pretty close to election date and these ridings had not set a date to nominate their candidate. A report was that the Ridings’ Associations had not got the approval from the Provincial Riding Association. One scratches his head as if I had been the president, I think I would be calling the province two or three times a day to get whatever information one needs to go forward. If that was not working, I would think that I would be calling other associations and as a last resort, using the information that had been garnered from four years before. Ultimately, I don’t think it is the party leader’s duty to set a date to go forward. So, I would put the blame on the Ontario Conservative office and whomever runs that - which ultimately would be the leader - and we had an interim leader. What was she doing.

As I wondered around the streets of Elmvale on Saturday, Maple Syrup day, it was easy to have a little political discussion and ultimately, the subject was that since the Conservatives had managed to implode in the past two or three elections, are they beginning to accomplish the same thing?

 

Barrie was given $1,512,772 to lower the cost of affordable housing in Barrie. First impressions - with houses in the $500,000 range, that purchases 3 houses.

The explanation is that with a $40,000 per unit fee accessed by the City of Barrie for capital costs, i.e. roads, fire stations, sewers and water, parks and more, this might lower the costs of building something. Okay, 40 units and be built for less and rented out for $200 less for 200 months, 15 years. Sounds impressive? Who is overseeing this process? At the end of 15 years, will the rent jump $200 so the owner can live in the real world of rental prices? Who is overseeing this? Remember when a former NDP leader was living in subsidized housing, taking advantage...

I could go on, but the bottom line is, it won’t work folks.

 

The headlines read 'Canadian free trade takes a hit' and the story was ‘Small business owners (and many Canadians) received some disappointing news on Canadian free trade with a Supreme Court ruling that will do very little to address the many trade barriers that still exist between provinces and territories.’

This was all about a retired gentleman named Gerard Comeau who drove to Quebec, bought some beer (14 cases plus two bottles of whiskey and one bottle of liqueur and fined $292.50) and returned 160 kms to Tracadie (Moncton), New Brunswick He was charged with importing goods across a provincial or territorial boundary. Since we can go to any other province and buy clothes, furniture, boats, cars and the list goes on, why not beer, tobacco and wine? Section 121 of the Constitution Act states products from any province “Shall...be admitted free into each of the other provinces.’ and in 1921, a Supreme Court decision interpreted that to man the products only had to be free from tariffs, not from any other barriers such as limits on quantity.

Canada relishes free trade with any country they can get an agreement with which seems rather two faced when we do not even have free trade across Canada, a country that has had almost 161 years to solve a minor problem.

I was sure he would be found not guilty but alas, the Supreme Court of Canada was convinced (my interpretation) that the provinces deserved the right to tax the hell out of these products.

But I didn’t let it die there. I did some more research and found that I may be a little two faced in this border boundary idea. I believe in the Supply Management quota systems that we have for milk, chicken and eggs. Expenses are analysed. The needs are analysed. The producer gets a fair return for his product. If he/she produces too much, your price drops dramatically below the cost of production. There is no boom or bust of prices of these products. It is constant unlike meat - beef and pork - when there is too much product, the price drops the farmer cannot justify raising these animals, there is a sell off producing even more product at even a lower price but a year or two later, there is a shortage and the price mushrooms.

You have probably noticed that when we have too many apples, the price drops - not enough and the price goes up.

I sometimes associate the supply management system to unions who would love to be able to control the wages a company pays.

So free trade across the Canadian provincial/territorial borders would allow milk, eggs and chickens to flood our markets lowering prices and the rhythm would continue

 

We have had pipelines across Canada for years and years. There has almost never been a leak. A barrel of crude oil or petroleum product shipped by pipeline reached its destination safely more than 99% of the time. A study by the Fraser Institute found pipelines 4.5 times safer than sending it the same distance by rail.

I know there has been some leaks on pipelines that continued for too long. With all the checks and balances - pressure readings - a human someplace did not do his job. Now much of the delivery is more computerized issuing numerous warnings when something is amiss. In the last 35 years, there have been three leaks along the BC Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain line exceeding 1.5 barrels. Any additional leaks you may hear about have been at pump stations and terminals equipped with monitoring and spill containment systems.

I am in favour of the Trans Mountain expansion line. There are almost 300 additional safety concerns that have been addressed. I have read that most all the indigenous groups that the pipeline passes over have approved the lines. At the signing of the contract, 39 had approved it with more sitting waiting for their signatures. Once I read that all 51 groups were online for its development. At a meeting near Ottawa of indigenous groups, those opposed to the line, those who received no benefit from its development voted to oppose. With the future of the line in doubt, indigenous groups who were looking for the prosperity of the development and who now have nothing are preparing to sue.

So who should own the pipelines - public versus private ownership. We have often heard that many developments in Canada are sold/owned by International companies who take the profits and use them out of the country. So if Alberta/Canada/the Indigenous, you and me as taxpayers/stocks or whomever, Canadian entities, take over the development of the line and share in the revenues/profits, this is a boom for many.

One knows that some premier/prime minister down the line who wants to make their books look rosy (Conservatives selling Hwy 407 at a fraction of its value or the Liberals selling Ontario Hydro) will try to sell the line so something should be written into the ownership that it cannot be sold...enter a caveat.

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain line is not being sold very well.

And in Alberta, what are oil sands? Basically, sand clay and water saturated with a dense and extremely Viscous form of petroleum/bitumen or colloquially as tar due to its specifically similar appearance. When you take the oil out of the sand, you are removing the contamination, something that people so fear from pipeline leaks.

 

Kathleen Wynne’s son-in-law Don Hambly is the Liberal candidate in Simcoe Grey, the riding presently and almost forever held by the well liked Conservative MPP Jim Wilson.

Hospitals in Collingwood and Alliston have been waiting for long promised government funding. You can almost guarantee the announcement.

 

The election is on June 7th, but the WRIT has not been dropped yet. Polls are all over the place. A few days ago saw the Liberals scrambling to get seven seats in all of Ontario and in third place. One poll had the Conservatives with a super majority with the NDP as the opposition.

The Mainstream Research poll today (1763 individuals) - Monday - is much rosier for the Libs. The Cons have 44.9%, Libs have 28.2%and the NDP have 21.3%. Toronto is the Liberals strong point with 37.6% to the Cons 30%.

We’ll see how it has changed in two weeks.

 

The Income Tax Act at 3302 pages is 1,101,499 words long, an increase of 45,547 words from last year. At 300 words a minute, it would take you over 61 hours to read it. First passed in 1917 as a “temporary measure” to help cover the cost of the First World War, Canada’s federal tax law was originally just 11 pages long. By 1948, it had grown to 88 pages. After a series of amendments and reforms in the 1960s, many complained that the 1970 edition, at 424 pages, was too complicated for the average Canadian.

This article is 1729 words long. It should take you six minutes to read it.

 

That’s it Charles - next edition is May 19th.