The News Rundown
- Headline reads: Trudeau stumbled into a trade war. That isn’t all Trump’s fault
- Summary of events since the conclusion of the G7 meeting: President Trump left for Singapore where he signed an agreement with North Korea, Justin Trudeau held a post-G7 press conference stating that Canada “will not be pushed around”, and now Donald Trump says this will end up costing Canadians “a lot of money”
- How we got here: tariffs on steel and aluminum by the US.
- Trump wants fairer access to our dairy market.
- This was exacerbated by Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro saying there’s “a special place in hell” for Justin Trudeau given his press conference.
- It was later revealed after the Singapore meeting that his “job” was to “send a very strong signal of strength… this was particularly important on the eve of an even more, far more important summit on Korea.”
- Everyone by this point in time should know that Trump is a deal maker and he has a best selling book, Art of the Deal. It’s no secret that negotiating from a position of strength in key.
- CTV and Global both reported on shoppers and visitors and the US starting to boycott America.
- The CTV report read: “Scores of shoppers and travellers are mounting strikes against America’s pocketbook by boycotting U.S. goods and trips to the States.”
- The media even goes out of the way to report that someone in California has decided to book a trip to “beautiful British Columbia” but that person tweeted with #F*Tariffs and is a strong supporter of the Democratic party, so we must ask are they supporting Canada or standing against Trump.
- The picture painted this week was one of unanimity.
- A motion passed unanimously in Parliament that was introduced by the NDP. It called for the house to recognize our, “long-standing, mutually beneficial trading relationship” with the U.S., “strongly oppose” the “illegitimate tariffs” imposed on steel and aluminum, stand “in solidarity” with the Trudeau government’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs and remain united in support of the supply management system of regulating Canada’s dairy and poultry industry.
- The Conservative party even reaffirmed its support of Canada’s supply management system, a system that enforces dairy quotas and ensures Canadian dairy farmers get paid at or above the market value even if their good isn’t worth more than market value. Supply management also prevents foreign producers from selling dairy into Canada at a zero tariff value.
- What’s more, Maxime Bernier who finished no more than 2% behind Andrew Scheer in last year’s Conservative leadership race was removed from the shadow Cabinet as he would like to see Supply Management dismantled.
- We also see the media triumphantly reporting opinion polling that says that 72% of Canadians approve of how the government is handling the situation and goes out of the way to highlight that even 57% of Americans do as well!
- As we’re about to see this speaks to the story not being told.
- As we’ve seen so far most of the reporting has been on the emotional side of the spectrum covering how Canada was wronged and we may have been wronged but proposing this without the lay up is wrong.
- Think about these two questions:
- Has anyone asked the question, in the media or in the political arena, is our current trade deal with the US fair? Trade is complex and can’t be distilled down to a 3 minute news segment.
- Has anyone attempted to lay out the total amount of tariffs on each side? Brian Lilley has on his blog but nowhere else in the media has at least attempted to do so.
- Lost in the kerfuffle: CBC reported that on the sidelines of the G7 meeting, Trump offered Trudeau a trade deal without the 5 year sunset clause that was initially holding the deal up.
- Explain: Sunset clause
- This would have been a direct trade deal with the United States.
- This deal is probably off the table now.
- Here’s what probably happened:
- Donald Trump left the G7 meeting early to head on to Singapore.
- The rest of the G7 (Canada included) probably decide to have their stern press conference that Canada “will not be pushed around” after Trump leaves since they all share the same globalist agenda which Trump does not.
- Trump sees this and calls Justin Trudeau “meek and mild”
- Navarro makes his “special place in hell” comment
- Then the week begins as we see focusing on this high flung emotion rather than trade.
- Canada should engage in free-trade with the United States. Free trade should mean zero-tariff. We should attempt to get to this point.
- Canada also needs to have a plan to compete.
- If our auto industry gets tariffed it will move to the United States and won’t come back.
- We used to have a 16 point corporate tax rate advantage, now we’re about even or even have maybe a disadvantage depending on how you look at it.
- Removing supply management.
- Removing red tape for business startup.
- Building more pipelines, figuring out a way to get Energy East and Northern Gateway to happen.
- Personal tax cuts.
- If worst comes to worst the government needs to be willing to make our economy more competitive.
- Don Lenihan, formerly of the progressive think tank Canada 2020 said, “In Trump’s mind, the decision to waive the sunset clause had been a generous act of reconciliation. Yet Trudeau publicly denigrated him just to score political points with Canadians.”
- Questions remain:
- Why didn’t we hear about this new deal and instead get a press conference saying “we will not be pushed around”?
- Why isn’t the media asking questions about trade? These could include the fairness, supply management, or progressive trade policy.
- Is it worth risking trade by taking shots at Trump when a deal was supposedly in sight to raise your own political fortunes?
- The next election platform is being written, here: nationalism by putting Canada first an issue (trade or illegal immigration), it’s just a question if any of the major parties realize it.
- Nanaimo NDP MLA Leonard Krog is going to be running for mayor of Nanaimo in the municipal election in October. We've mentioned a little bit in the past about the dysfunctional city council of Nanaimo, and many believe that the longtime NDP MLA might be the one to right the ship. For the past two years, Nanaimo's city hall has been wracked by infighting, including a lawsuit the city filed against Mayor Bill McKay, investigations by RCMP and special prosecutors, as well as the departures of over three dozen city staff. Certainly the city could use some stronger leadership than what they have right now, and Krog believes he is the one to fix his city.
- Krog was first elected in 1991 under Mike Harcourt's NDP government as a backbencher in Parksville-Qualicum, but was narrowly defeated in 1996. After failed runs in 1998 and 2001, he was next elected as the NDP MLA for Nanaimo in 2005 where he has served ever since. Despite being elected since 2005 and having prior experience in the party, Premier John Horgan passed over Krog to be a cabinet minister. It was this snub and watching the antics of Nanaimo council that has likely pushed Krog into running for Mayor.
- In a rousing speech to more than 200 people at a hotel in Nanaimo, Krog said in his more than 30 years living in the city he has never seen it suffer through what it has under the term of this current council. He said “If the city was in great shape I wouldn't even have thought about doing it. But when you have all those people asking you and your city is in terrible shape and people want you to come and lead the charge to fix it, you've got a choice to make.... I'm taking up the challenge.”
- Ahead of the official announcement, Horgan wished the MLA the best in a potential run. "There's been a long-standing challenge in the city and Leonard believes — and many, many, many people believe — that he is the best person to address that,'' Horgan said during a news conference in Grand Forks, B.C. Krog will stay on as an MLA through the fall, pushing a potential byelection to spring 2019. Krog said he will continue to serve as MLA throughout the summer and during the municipal campaign. However, he made clear he will stop taking a government paycheque once the campaign officially begins in September, and he would resign his seat “quite quickly” if his mayoral bid is successful.
- Of course, with the razor thin majority that the Green supported NDP government has, any changes in the legislative landscape is big news, and Krog's resignation triggering a by-election is big news. If the Liberals manage to win the seat from the NDP, it would give them 43 seats, with the NDP at 40 and the Greens at 3, meaning that former Liberal turned "neutral" speaker Darryl Plecas would be the deciding vote on anything, and that could cause an election.
- This would have wide reaching implications for the people of BC. While the NDP are conducting their preparations for their fall referendum on electoral reform, if an early election is triggered, it would still be held under the previous system. Under the referendum law, though, the earliest any pro-rep election could be held is 2021.
- Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson thanked Krog for his service to B.C. and wished him the best in his run for mayor. Wilkinson said in a statement: “Mr. Krog and Premier Horgan know what's at stake. With an unstable minority government propped up by three Green MLAs in the legislature, the implications of this byelection are significant for the entire province. We look forward to offering the voters of Nanaimo a compelling choice in the byelection, whenever it comes.”
- Of course, the Liberals would have to sell a pretty convincing compelling choice to win the Nanaimo byelection. And that’s a tall order. Nanaimo is considered a solid NDP seat, easily won by Krog in last year’s general election. Krog scooped 46 per cent of the votes and beat the second-place Liberal candidate by more than 3,800 votes. Overall, the NDP has won 13 of the last 15 elections in Nanaimo, including the last four in a row.
- However, governing parties historically perform terrible in byelections. Over the last 37 years, the governing party’s record in provincial by elections is just two wins and 22 losses. Those two lonely government victories, by the way, were both won by Christy Clark, who was the premier on both occasions, once in a byelection taking over Gordon Campbell's old seat in Vancouver-Point Grey, and then after losing in the 2013 election to now Attorney General and "neutral arbiter" of electoral reform David Eby, she won in a by-election in Kelowna.
- Dr. Merali who is a chiropractor in Hampton Landing, two years ago property taxes were under $200k and now they are north of $300k.
- RBC Plaza north of Dr. Merali’s office paid just under $65k in property taxes in 2016, in 2018? $127,153
- Philip Starkman of Ben Starkman Realty says he is “so strongly opposed to putting any money to work in Edmonton because you can’t make it work,” he also feels like these decisions were made by people who never had to manage payroll before nor do they understand business.
- Councillor Mike Nickel brought up this idea before in the 2018 budget, calling it the “Edmonton Disadvantage” noting that we aren’t competitive with the surrounding areas and even Calgary.
- A new group has been created in Edmonton called Prosperity Edmonton
- The group aims to bring awareness to the rising property taxes in Edmonton
- Between 2006 and 2016 the number of businesses grew by 11% while commercial tax burden increased by 124%
- During this time under Mayors Stephen Mandel and Don Iveson the city’s operational spending has more than doubled.
- Don Iveson points to the need to repair roads (which are still crumbling), sidewalks, and building out the LRT.
- Commercial property taxes are 17% higher in Edmonton than in Calgary
- The current city council is seeking more money from different levels of government to build infrastructure projects such as LRT and the Anthony Henday expansion.
- The south west leg of the Anthony Henday will be widened by one lane in each direction next year starting for a price of $100m.
- Don Iveson called widening roads a “money pit” and the key was better public transit such as LRT.
- Even though the Henday expansion will be lead by the provincial government we can see the mayor’s predisposition for city based transit.
- And as we all know, a portion of these new LRT lines does come from the city budget which can be linked to the increase in prices at City Hall.
- Prosperity Edmonton is ultimately starting with a collaborative model.
- They aim to help City Council reduce spending, reduce red tape, and decrease approval times to help businesses grow and succeed.
- We hear about tax competitiveness at the federal and provincial level often but not at the city level.
- Important because most of the population is in the cities and that’s where the jobs are.
The Firing Line
- Over the last half year, we've heard a lot about the #MeToo movement in Canadian politics, which has seen many male politicians resign in disgrace in some cases from just an accusation without proof. Patrick Brown would likely be the Premier of Ontario right now had accusations not surfaced last March. Liberal MPs Kent Hehr, Hunter Tootoo, Darshan Kang, NDP MP Erin Weir, Nova Scotia PC Leader Jaimie Baillie, Ontario PC President Rick Dykstra and others all resigned in various ways due to allegations. In 2014, Liberal MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews were suspended by Trudeau after two female New Democrat MPs levelled complaints against them, and eventually the pair voluntarily resigned from the Liberal caucus permanently.
- Back in late January, amidst all the resignations, a reporter asked Prime Minister Trudeau if the same standards that applied to everyone in his party applied to him as well. He candidly replied “The standard applies to everyone." In that interview he also said it doesn’t matter how old the allegations are, saying that “There is no context in which someone doesn’t have responsibility for things they have done in the past."
- When asked by the reporter, “As you look back into your own career, is there a chance at some point that your actions might not have been construed the way they were intended?” Trudeau responded: “I don’t think so. I’ve been very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people’s space and people’s headspace as well.” Despite this statement of confidence in his own actions, Trudeau said he is subject to the same zero-tolerance policy he applies to everyone else.
- The media at the time seemed to think that there would be other high profile people named. Warren Kinsella, one of the journalists who broke a few of the news stories surrounding #MeToo, predicted more allegations would be revealed to the public.He wrote on his blog that “There are other men who are about to be exposed. One of these men is very, very powerful. The stories have been known about him for three years. They are in affidavits, plural. His name will shock you.” Trudeau said that he had no idea who that person might be.
- It's hard not to wade into political gossip about this, but let's do some digging. I'll just put the info out there, and I'll let you listeners decide whether it's true or not. In the comments section of Kinsella's blog was an approved comment by someone named "Matt". In the comment, Matt had this to say: "If it’s the same person who I’ve been told has multiple sworn affidavits against him, you can’t get bigger in Canada. I know one of the people who’s signature is on one of the affidavits. This person has told me the contents of the affidavits. Explosive doesn’t even begin to describe it. I will not repeat what I was told here because haven’t personally seen them, and even if I had, I don’t want to make legal trouble for Warren. What I will say…… if they do get out, they will destroy this persons very carefully crafted public image and reputation." When asked who it might be, Matt only replied with "He likes themed socks."
- Now, it's hard to tell whether that story is true or not, but that's the nature of these accusations. In a lot of cases, they are he said she said stories, and can't be definitively proven one way or another. However, Kinsella just last week broke a story that he had found in the Creston Valley Advance about Justin Trudeau.
- The editorial from August 14, 2000 claims that Trudeau was in Creston to celebrate the Kokanee Summit Festival, and that he apologized a day late for "inappropriately handling", or what the editorial calls "groping" a young female reporter who was working for the Advance, and reporting for the Vancouver Sun and National Post. He was alleged to have said "I'm sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I would never have been so forward." What does that mean? Why does her job matter, only because she was now in a position to embarrass him? The editorial ends with "shouldn't the son of a former prime minister be aware of the rights and wrongs that go along with public socializing?
- A story published earlier in the Advance, entitled “Mixed reaction to camp Kokanee” on Aug. 10, details the event’s party-like atmosphere, with plenty of drinking and dancing to live music. However, one woman was quoted anonymously as saying, “It wasn’t a good place to be if you’re female,” saying she was touched several times inappropriately.
- Since then the story has been picked up by Buzzfeed, The Sun UK, The Daily Telegraph, Breitbart and Narcity. Even the New York Times made mention of it. Notice that these are all online or out of country media outlets. There are no newspapers outside of the Toronto Sun where it was talked about by Mark Bonokowski and Brian Lilley, no Canadian TV networks have touched this. Next to no Canadian coverage at all.
- Remember, these allegations were out there on the evening of Wednesday June 6. Trudeau spoke to the media on Thursday and Friday before the G7 but faced no questions. He didn’t get questioned on this at the G7 closing news conference. When he got back to Ottawa, Trudeau also was able to speak to the media on Tuesday and Wednesday without being questioned.
- As Brian Lilley writes, This is a study in ignoring a major story that is sitting right in front of them. When Patrick Brown faced allegations every media outlet jumped on them. When Rick Dykstra faced allegations the same thing happened. Liberal MPs such as Darshan Khan, Kent Hehr, Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews were all covered extensively.
- However, when it comes to Trudeau? The media is silent. And as we all know, when the media is silent on a major issue, that means there's another story going on that we don't know about.
Word of the Week
Backbencher - a Member of Parliament who does not hold office in the government or opposition and who sits behind the front benches in the House of Commons.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: Trading Bombshells
Teaser: We look into the reasoning behind Trudeau’s trade escalations with the US, a by-election with huge ramifications in BC, and over-taxation by Edmonton council on businesses. Also, an unreported bombshell about Trudeau, what is the media not telling us?
Recorded Date: June 17, 2018
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Edit Notes: Audio breakup @ BC
Podcast Summary Notes