Doug Ford backs out on vaccines for hospital workers; and Trudeau turns inside

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Politics Insider for November 4, 2021: Parliament in the background; Doug Ford backs off; and Hydro-Québec is blocked

Paul Wells, writing in Maclean’s, Notes that Justin Trudeau seems to have lost interest in Marc Garneau, Bardish Chagger, Jim Carr, its caucus and Parliament, and detects a pattern.

Prime Minister has become progressively less interested in pretending to be sociable. And he particularly doesn’t like Parliament and doesn’t see why he should pretend. In March 2020, three weeks after a historic blockade, he prepared a bill that would give the government the unhindered power to raise and spend money without parliamentary oversight for two years. He backed down in the face of the turmoil. If he didn’t, that white paper provision would still be in effect. Five months later he replaced his finance minister and extended parliament for a month. Seven months later, the new minister presented the first budget in two years, the longest budget lag ever. He eventually became only the second prime minister in his life in August to call an election to head a minority government. The first was Stephen Harper, in 2008. He hasn’t come of age either. Trudeau’s stated reasons included that he it could not work with a minority parliament. The Canadians sent him back to an almost identical parliament. It is assumed that his opinion on the spot has not changed.

No Ford mandate: Doug Ford decided not to impose COVID-19 vaccination for hospital workers, after all, citing the potential shortage of staff, CP relationships: “I am not willing to jeopardize the provision of care to millions of Ontarians. After reviewing the evidence, our government has decided to keep its approach flexible by leaving human resources decisions to individual hospitals.”

Quebec backs off: Quebec is also withdrawing from its mandate policy for healthcare workers due to staffing issues, Le Devoir relationships (translation).

No nuts in Maine: Maine voters voted about 60-40 to stop construction of a Quebec hydroelectric line, Alessandro Panetta relationships for CBC, giving a big blow to Hydro-Québec’s plans and New England’s plans to consume low-carbon energy.

Known as the New England Clean Energy Corridor, the 233-kilometer project would cut a new route through northern Maine and increase Hydro-Québec’s energy exports to the United States by about a third by connecting to an existing line towards Massachusetts. And it is expected to generate $ 10 billion US dollars for Hydro Quebec for over 20 years. Yet he met with resounding resistance along the path of a consortium of unlikely allies, just as he had done in a previous ill-fated attempt to cross New Hampshire. of fossil fuels, which funded the campaign against their common enemy hydroelectric.

Not good news: Writing in the send, Colby Cosh he complains development, or lack thereof, but allows itself a little schadenfreude, but only a little.

We Albanians know very well the view of politicians who reassure us that an apparent setback for some energy transmission project is not a disaster, no sir. We have seen our leaders traverse Planes B, C and D, fighting against NIMBYism and superstitious local patriotism, some of which were invented, from time to time, in Quebec. I think I can report on our behalf that eventually the alphabet runs out. It is natural that Albertian compassion is mixed with copious doses of irony here. The temptation to fill an entire paragraph with “HAHAHAHAHAHA…” was great. But, of course, the schadenfreude boomerang on us after a moment of reflection, as anything that’s good for Quebec’s economy is bound to lift the foot from Alberta’s gorge a little.

Difficult transition: Concluding his coverage of the United Nations Climate Summit from Scotland, Heather Scoffield of the star has a roundup of Canadian climate commitments and a warning: the future transition will not be easy.

To be sure, the commitments and promises don’t come out of nowhere and the economy has begun to adapt. Oil and gas companies are pushing hard to find low-carbon production techniques so they can remain viable under the new rules. Clean energy is all the rage, both for investors and government subsidies. For years, policymakers and the private sector have been undermining sustainability in our oceans and forests. And when it comes to zero-emission vehicles, public infrastructure and private investment for the passage are both on the rise. But with a steadily rising carbon price now in place, coupled with the pile of international commitments, the transition to a low-carbon economy is about to become very real, with all the winners and losers that that entails.

Carbon trading was: In Globe, Campbell Clark has a clever column Reflecting on the likelihood of carbon trade wars, if leaders around the world don’t heed Trudeau’s call to set a global price for carbon.

The adoption of carbon tariffs is beginning to appear inevitable. The EU is already looking into an extensive carbon border adjustment mechanism, so that European companies that bear the cost of decarbonisation will not be cut back by cheaper goods from countries that don’t. In theory, Canada is also considering border adjustment, but this is risky for a small market whose main trading partner is not on the same page. And the United States hasn’t arrived yet.

Only the fee: So in the Globe, Andrew Coyne argue that if Trudeau is sincere in his faith in the carbon tax, he should let it go and stop imposing other measures to reduce emissions, since they are not as effective.

Over the next decade, the price of carbon is projected to represent only a fraction of Canada’s projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The rest is to be delivered from an assortment of literally hundreds of different federal, provincial and municipal programs. The same federal document which announced at the end of last year that the federal carbon price would increase to $ 170 a ton by 2030 (okay, but Sweden is already there) also contained more than 60 other initiatives – the usual mix of subsidies. for this and regulations for the offers that. Some of these are probably unavoidable: pricing methane gas emissions is nearly impossible, for example. But most of it is demonstrable less efficient or powerful in the price of carbon. The fact that the federal government continues to support them, however, is partly due to ideology, partly due to politics. But they add up.

Weeks, not months: Health Canada got it wrong on Tuesday, the Globe relationships. Indeed, his review of a COVID-19 vaccine for children will take “weeks, not months”.

Critic silenced: A critic of the delay, professor Amir Attaran, was suspended from Twitter for saying Trudeau should be “tarred and feathered” for failure to protect children, CTV relationships.

Condom case: The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday that a BC man who allegedly ignored a woman’s request to wear a condom during sex should be tried, CBC relationships.

– Stephen Maher

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