1st budget in 2 years to focus on shoring up pandemic supports, laying groundwork for sustainable growth Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will deliver the Liberal government’s first budget in two years on Monday, laying out more than $2 billion for a national child-care program while keeping the federal deficit for the past year under the $400 billion mark, CBC News has learned. A senior government source who spoke to CBC News Sunday — on the condition they not be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the subject — said unlike the way some programs have been announced in past budgets, the forthcoming child-care announcement will not be about striking expert panels, undertaking further study or be entirely subject to negotiations with the provinces.
Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole became the subject of controversy on Thursday after announcing his climate change plan which, among other things, involves a “consumer price on carbon.” The plan was immediately criticized by conservatives, who argue that the plan is essentially a carbon tax with some modifications. Rather than the government offering a rebate for taxes paid on carbon, Canadians would be contributing to a “carbon savings account” which allows them to save credits to purchase green items with a low carbon footprint. The move was especially controversial given O’Toole’s prior stance against the carbon tax, promising to abolish it after becoming Prime Minister if elected. In June of 2020, less than one year ago, O’Toole signed a pledge with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation promising to repeal and not replace the Trudeau carbon tax. “I, Erin O’Toole, promise that, if elected Prime Minister, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax; and, Reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.” The CTF slammed O’Toole for breaking his pledge after the Tories revealed their climate plan.
As COVID-19’s third wave in Canada continues to mount, we’re beginning to learn what cannot be readily conveyed by tracing the daily number of new infections: Who are the people behind the numbers shaping the vertical walls of the third wave? And where are the fuelling stations turbo-charging the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus? The truth is they are largely immigrants and racialized people working in jobs most susceptible to exposure to COVID-19. To not act in the best interest of everyone, including those least able to advocate for themselves, is a silent admission that some Canadians are more valuable than others. My journey as a Canadian began in the English-as-second-language classes of a public high school alongside other teenage immigrants from around the world. I have enjoyed many privileges that have allowed me to be trained as a physician in Canada, but not all immigrants or individuals of visible minorities are as fortunate as I am. Sharing my knowledge in this piece is a testament to what Canada means to prospective immigrants.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has backtracked on his decision to give the province’s law enforcement additional COVID-19 enforcement powers to stop and question people who are outside of their residence while the province’s stay-at-home is in effect. The decision to amend the wording of the regulations after only one day of being in effect comes after a vast majority of the province’s police forces indicated that they do not intend to use the powers granted to them by the government. Under the amended measure, law enforcement officers are now required to have a “reason to suspect that an individual may be participating in a gathering that is prohibited” before demanding any information from Canadians. Those who are questioned by police are still required to promptly comply and provide information. Shortly after Ford introduced the measures on Friday, police forces across the province issued statements online that they would not be randomly stopping people and cars. Police services from Toronto, Peel, Windsor, Cornwall, Peterborough and London all issued similar statements denouncing the powers.
Canada’s first budget in two years, to be presented to parliament on Monday, proposes a sales tax for online platforms and e-commerce warehouses, a digital services tax for Web giants and a luxury tax on items like yachts, government sources familiar with the document said. It will not include a wealth tax, a levy sought by the opposition New Democrats. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s budget will need the support of at least one opposition group to pass. “The government is not moving forward with a wealth tax right now,” a government source told Reuters. “We will be taking meaningful steps to close loopholes and tackle tax evasion, and ask those who are doing well right now to pay just a little bit more.” The budget will include a sales tax for online platforms and e-commerce warehouses starting from July, and a digital services tax on big Web companies starting from Jan. 1, 2022, both measures originally promised last year. Online platforms include foreign-based vendors with no physical presence in Canada that sell products such as mobile apps and online video gaming. E-commerce warehousing is the storage of physical goods before they are sold online.
Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will be greeted by police checkpoints at all interprovincial crossings into Ottawa on Monday, as Ontario implements new restrictions to stop non-essential travel into the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ottawa police say starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, officers will be screening travellers at all Ottawa-area interprovincial border crossings from Gatineau. The Ontario government announced the new travel restrictions into Ontario from the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec on Friday afternoon, as part of new restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Ottawa police officers will be stationed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the Ontario side of the Champlain Bridge, Portage Bridge, Chaudiere Bridge and Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, as well as the Quyon and the Bourbonnais ferries. Police say officers will also have a presence at the Alexandra Bridge, “as the Provincial Order also applies to pedestrians and cyclists.” “We’ll only be stopping Ontario-bound passengers. We’re only going to be stopping private vehicles coming in from Quebec,” said Insp. Michel Marin during a Sunday afternoon media briefing.