The News Rundown
- Canada as a country has withstood countless challenges and will into the future.
- Today we sit in a world where the Bloc Quebecois is the third party in the House of Commons, most Albertans are rightly upset at the federal government, and Saskatchewan is ready to declare itself a nation within Canada.
- These comments came from Premier Scott Moe who said that his province “needs to be a nation within a nation”.
- This is a page out of the way Quebec has sat within our federation and Moe clarified that language is not the only indicator of culture.
- Specifically in this case Premier Moe was talking about Saskatchewan’s disagreement with the Trudeau government's plan to cap oil and gas emissions.
- For Saskatchewan itself, Moe feels it will impact up to 30,000 families and 15-16% of Saskatchewan’s GDP.
- According to the Premier there was no discussion with the province, a similar sentiment echoed by Jason Kenney in Alberta.
- In highlighting areas of Quebec’s autonomy Premier Moe made note of the child care agreement and immigration plan that Quebec has specific and unique deals with the federal government on.
- Much like Alberta, Saskatchewan is also considering its own provincial police force, administering the collection of income taxes in the province, and establishing Saskatchewan international trade and investment offices.
- Political parties on the right advocating independence include the Maverick Party and Buffalo Party. They endorsed Moe’s message.
- The question that many are probably wondering is, will Kenney’s UCP follow the same messaging or accelerate the process at which they are looking at similar measures?
- As has been the case through Alberta’s equalization referendum the media has been entirely dismissive of Saskatchewan.
- The CBC ran with the Sask NDP messaging that this is an attempt to distract from the pandemic in Saskatchewan.
- Columnists in the Globe and Mail and other national papers were equally dismissive of Saskatchewan.
- Let’s now ask, would the same people be as dismissive of Quebec? Probably not.
- Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at an event held by the Canada West foundation in which he said that, “I made it a habit to not go to war with provinces.”
- He further added what the government is doing is similar to if he as Prime Minister were pursuing the climate issue and decided to shut down or cap the Quebec aerospace industry to limit downstream greenhouse gases because the Conservatives only won a handful of seats in Quebec.
- And this is the entire case. During the last Conservative government led by Stephen Harper, the west was in, new Canadians in Vancouver and Toronto made up the party, and the Bloc Quebecois lost official party status.
- Today the west is out, the party is missing representation from those cities, and the Bloc is the dominant force in Quebec.
- Why? A federation that is not working as intended with a recipe on deck for a future national unity crisis.
- This of course all spurred on by a government that virtue signals putting region against region and Canadian against Canadian.
- We must note that neither Moe or Kenney are advocating for separation from Canada, they want more autonomy to lighten the influence of that heavy handed federal government.
- We’ve said it time and time again on the podcast, Canada is lucky that our Trump-like figure has not emerged yet as the ingredients are on the kitchen table ready to be made into that cake.
- Though, perhaps it hasn’t because 63% of Canadians in a recent Nanos poll support limiting emissions from the oil and gas industry. And as expected, there is a huge divide between the prairie provinces and the rest of Canada where in BC and Atlantic Canada about 30% disagree, in Quebec 16% disagree with a cap, and in the Prairie provinces, 57% disagree.
- It’s with this that an old cartoon called the Milch Cow that rings true today even though it was published in 1915. The cartoon shows the dairy cow being fed in Western Canada but being milked by those in the east.
- For all our sakes we’d better hope that Justin Trudeau realizes this too and there is no national unity crisis.
- It should be obvious by now, but with all the problems that we've been facing over the past few years, young Canadians are becoming increasingly disillusioned with Canada's future. Feeling the pressures of a society plagued by climate change, soaring home prices, economic inequality and poverty, many young Canadians say they are feeling less than optimistic about the direction of our nation. They don’t necessarily like the path that Canada’s on, and cite the baby boomer generation as one of the root causes of disparity and division in Canadian society.
- An Angus Reid Institute survey of young Canadian leaders found that almost half of respondents thought the answers to Canada’s woes rely not on fixing the past mistakes of previous generations, but, rather, starting anew with a complete restructuring of Canadian society.
- Before we go too far into the study however, it should be noted that Angus Reid found these "leaders" by asking Canadians of all ages to self-report on whether they consider themselves “leaders” in their communities. Respondents rated themselves on their ability to incite change in their communities through volunteering and political involvement. This ended up with a sample size of around 200 for "young leaders" ie: those from 18-41.
- The survey finds something very unsurprising - that millennials blame boomers for the bad direction of the country, whereas boomers blame millennials. The majority of young leaders aged 40 and under said they view the boomers’ legacy as negative, while an overwhelming majority of leaders over the age of 55 view the legacy as positive. Younger generations, however, are optimistic that the millennial generation will leave behind a more positive legacy than the boomers. On the flip side, older generations don’t have as much faith; half of those over the age of 40 think millennials will leave the world in worse shape.
- All survey respondents, regardless of generation, voted climate change as the top concern, and the majority said that Canada should emphasize environmental protection over economic growth. Young leaders said they’re more concerned about economic inequality, housing prices, and Indigenous issues and reconciliation, while older leaders reported being more concerned about inflation and balancing the budget.
- Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, said that there is a "gaping chasm" between how different generations feel they've left behind in Canada: “I think we are seeing a period of time in this country where younger generations are feeling incredible frustration over a number of things that are gripping society today…. They see nothing but problems, nothing but challenge, nothing but lack of equity and fairness. And they’re very angry about that.”
- A majority of those older than 41 say they have a strong emotional attachment to Canada — they love the country and what it stands for — whereas only about half of those under 41 report having a strong allegiance to the country, and say they wouldn’t be opposed to pursuing opportunities in another country.
- The survey was conducted in the summer, and the global health crisis may have fueled the negative depression that has settled into the minds of the young. Kurl thinks maybe as the global health crisis ends, things may get more "optimistic". But with all the problems going on in the country right now unrelated to that, it's hard to see that as being true. And what does this say of Trudeau, who has led the country for 6 years now, and his direction? If a majority of Canadians feel that we're not headed in the right direction, then at least part of that is on him.
- People observing Alberta from afar often assume that oil and gas is the province’s only key industry but they are wrong. We’ve got an emerging tech sector, a new film sector, and the government last week signalled they’re serious about hydrogen.
- The province unveiled a new hydrogen roadmap that will be responsible for up to $30b in new investment by 2030.
- Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and just needs to be captured.
- There are three grades of hydrogen: grey that comes from methane or coal processed by steam methane reforming or gasification. Blue uses the same process which also utilizes carbon capture (this is the approach Alberta will use). And green that utilizes electrolysis that creates it using renewable electricity from water.
- The 5 most important markets for hydrogen growth in Alberta are residential and commercial heating, power generation, transportation, industrial processes, and the export market.
- Each of these are explained in depth in the information website that the Alberta government put live that can be found in our show notes.
- Put simply there is a future where large parts of the transportation industry from planes to trains could be powered by hydrogen.
- Hydrogen can also be used to generate power with hydrogen turbines and fuel cell generators.
- And of course assuming the province isn’t kneecapped as we are with the oil industry, there’s a huge export market for hydrogen.
- The province also outlined 7 policy pillars that will support the growth of hydrogen. These include: building new market demand, enabling carbon capture, utilization, and storage, de-risking investment, activating technology and innovation, ensuring regulatory efficiency, codes, and standards, leading the way in building hydrogen alliances, and pursuing hydrogen exports.
- Now anytime a new industry being explored is talked about there’s always cause to be cautious.
- But in May ATCO and Suncor announced plans for a project that would produce 300,000 tonnes of hydrogen and Air Products, a company, proposed a $1.3b net zero hydrogen production and liquefaction complex in Edmonton.
- In August, Petronas and Japan based Itochu unveiled a development that could see a $1.3b facility built in Alberta that would export ammonia as a hydrogen carrier to markets in Asia.
- And last month, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Energy) announced it would work with electric truck manufacturer Nikola to co-develop and operate a low-carbon hydrogen production hub in North America.
- We need to be clear that the oil and gas industry is not going anywhere but hydrogen will ramp and many see Alberta in a similar situation today as it was when the first expansion of oil and gas was presented to the Peter Lougheed government of the 1970s.
- Other forces say that hydrogen could be up to 24% of global energy by 2050 and this positions Alberta in a key spot.
- Many of the early and flashy vanity green methods of energy generation such as wind and solar were expensive to begin with and still face capacity and storage issues today.
- By Alberta pursuing hydrogen it shows that we are serious to anyone who delves into the technology since wind and solar are good for electricity generation but hydrogen has so much more potential.
- With the energy focused around hydrogen and an eye to what’s around the corner, many think Alberta could be positioned for another boom.
- While every other province in Canada had its growth outlook downgraded, Alberta’s growth forecast remained constant at 5.9% according to RBC.
- What’s more, the province’s unemployment rate released on November 5th is back to pre-pandemic levels of 7.6% compared to 7.5% in February 2020 before the pandemic began.
- There’s reason to be optimistic as well since like oil, hydrogen will provide a royalty framework allowing the government to strategically invest and pay for the services that so many Albertans across the province love.
- It wouldn’t be an Alberta story of course without the establishment media and central Canadian press from highlighting the pitfalls.
- There’s always a pitfall and for them it’s that this time our hydrogen strategy relies on carbon capture and storage.
- Carbon capture was laughed at in the past and is seen by many as not a viable form of green policy.
- But what these people fail to realize is that you build the hydrogen industry first and then once your power grid is more green through hydrogen or even nuclear, you move to green hydrogen.
- All in all this story showcases what a government that reduces red tape, fosters business growth, and prioritizes the economy is capable of.
- For everyone who thought Alberta was being too lenient in its restrictions, here we are, here’s the outcome. The province is back to where we were unemployment, housing, and GDP, and retail wise before the pandemic and then some.
- The strategy to take the middle of the road approach angering those in the cities and those in rural parts of the province that want us to be the Florida of Canada worked and we should all take note with this week's news.
- When Marco Mendocino, then Immigration Minister, promised on behalf of the Canadian government to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees in the midst of a global health crisis, as well as an unprecedented housing shortage and hyper-inflated real estate market, it was quite an ambitious undertaking. So far, nearly 9,500 people have been approved and 3,325 are now in Canada. Even though just 8% of the promised total have arrived in Canada, already refugees are having problems finding housing.
- Expected problems have arisen since the announcement from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, and despite the IRCC creating two new pathways for Afghan nationals who assisted Canadian forces, and for those who are from certain vulnerable groups and have fled Afghanistan, many say they have received little to no communication from the government on protection.
- Jasraj Singh Hallan, the Conservative Immigration critic; and Jenny Kwan, the NDP Immigration critic, have both shared open letters to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on how to improve the immigration system. Hallan's letter focuses on Afghan refugees, and says that the government has not been taking care of them properly: “Every time they’ve contacted IRCC through the resources the department has provided, they feel their case is falling on deaf ears. There are no status updates, no officers to talk to, and no sense of urgency from the government to protect Afghans in harm’s way.”
- Hallan also brings up the IRCC data breach in October that compromised the privacy and safety of 200 Afghans seeking refuge by leaking full names and even pictures, and the increasingly precarious situation that Afghan nationals are facing.
- Kwan points out in her letter the immigration backlog from 2020 that could take years to resolve, despite the Trudeau government signalling that they want to bring even more immigrants into Canada year over year. Essentially, the NDP wants the Liberals to follow through on their lofty promises.
- About 300 refugees from Afghanistan are living in hotel rooms in Ottawa as they try to secure permanent housing to begin their new lives in Canada, but that search has proven difficult.
- The Catholic Centre for Immigrants, a group helping new Canadians find housing, said housing has always been a struggle to find, but things are even more challenging with this recent surge of refugees for a variety of reasons. Executive Director Carl Nicholson said because of the panicked way in which many of the newcomers escaped Afghanistan, they arrived in Canada with incomplete immigration paperwork.
- Without completed documentation Nicholson said Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) isn't in a position to provide monthly living expenses. Landlords of course need guaranteed income to be able to rent to someone. This isn't just a problem in Ottawa either, it's occurring in cities all across the country.
- Afghan refugees lucky enough to find housing and are waiting for help from the government have had to turn to other organizations for help instead. The grassroots organization, Canadian Connections, is currently providing newcomers evacuated from Afghanistan with essentials such as furniture and dining ware. By helping some of these families, the group feels they are honouring the Canadian Armed Forces veterans who worked to bring interpreters out of Afghanistan and away from the Taliban's reach.
- Meanwhile, an Afghan family in Toronto is complaining about how often they, and hundreds more, have had to move from hotel to hotel. They are currently facing their 4th move since arriving in Canada this past summer. The father said: "Are we touring the hotels in Toronto or (do) they have a plan that we set out here. Touring the hotels is not very pleasant. I know staying in the hotel is always good when you're traveling, but when it becomes home for you ... then you're frustrated, you're disappointed. I don't know what is the problem here. If the Canadian government is overwhelmed, if they cannot do it, then please do not bring people from outside."
- This is a microcosm of a greater problem with the Trudeau government. They make huge promises, then struggle to either fulfill them, or end up spending way more than they should fixing their own problems. It's generally agreed that Canada needed to step up to help Afghan refugees, but with Trudeau also promising to up the immigration numbers at the same time, problems are arising with a lack of housing supply.
- Marco Mendocino, when he was Immigration minister, said last fall that between 2021 and 2023, the goal is to admit upwards of 1.2 million new permanent residents. Canadians already living here have already been struggling with finding low cost housing, and adding on just over 3,000 out of 40,000 Afghan refugees has already exacerbated the problem. What's going to happen when more than 1 million more people are admitted to Canada over the next few years? It's clear that Trudeau's immigration policy needs major adjustments.
Word of the Week
Chasm - a profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc.
Quote of the Week
“I think we are seeing a period of time in this country where younger generations are feeling incredible frustration over a number of things that are gripping society today…. They see nothing but problems, nothing but challenge, nothing but lack of equity and fairness. And they’re very angry about that.” - Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, on young people’s disposition towards Canada
How to Find Us
Episode Title: The Chasm Crisis
Teaser: Saskatchewan strives to be a nation within a nation, young Canadians are feeling disillusioned and unattached to Canada, and Alberta unveils its hydrogen roadmap. Also, the Trudeau government has created an immigration and refugee housing crisis.
Recorded Date: November 12, 2021
Release Date: November 14, 2021
Edit Notes: None
Podcast Summary Notes