Liberals Have Transparency and Credibility Problems on Numerous Issues

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Liberals Have Transparency and Credibility Problems on Numerous Issues

A growing number of issues are creating transparency and credibility problems for the Liberals. I will discuss these issues and the problems they create for the Liberals in subsequent posts. However, first of all, I will take a look at the evidence  of the impact of the Trudeau brown- and black-face pictures and video, on the polls. 

On Power and Politics today pollsters Shashi Kurl of Angus Reid, Leger's Christian Borque and CBC's Eric Grenier talked about the impact of the Trudeau brown- and black-face scandal on the polls. Kurl reported that there has a 3% increase in NDP support and 2% increase in Green support in the polls, which she described as marginal but significant. Eric Grenier said this has happened across the polls, suggesting that, although the change is small, the finding across the polls suggests that it is true. Kurl noted that the impact is overwhelmingly among young voters disillusioned by the pictures and video with Trudeau. The decrease in Liberal support has given the Cons a 5% margin over the Liberals, although Conservative support itself has not increased. The Cons are at 35%, Liberals 30%, NDP 15% and Greens 11% in the Angus Reid poll.

Kurl noted that, although the decrease in Liberal support is small, major damage could come later if this becomes seen as part of a pattern of Trudeau errors in judgement. She said that the cumulative effect of perceived errors, such as the India trip, Aga Khan, and SNC Lavalin etc., and possibly more errors as the campaign goes on, could be significant. Eric Grenier noted that while 90% of voters said that the brown/blackface scandal would make no difference in their voting choices, he pointed out that in a close race the 10% who said it could impact their vote could have a major impact. Grenier stated that the small decrease in Liberal support in Ontario may cost the Liberals a few seats while in Quebec a few more may be lost to the Bloc with the current numbers.

Christian Borque said that only 6% of Quebec voters said that the scandal could affect their vote costing the Liberals some votes and would likely mostly benefit the Bloc, although in a small manner. 

Kurl noted that there has been a growing tendency of more voters to make their final voting decisions later and later in the campaign, usually after the last debate, so significant changes could still happen. Borque and Grenier agreed. 

Trudeau had 18 years to reveal his brown/blackface performances and get this out of the way. The fact that he kept it hidden instead of being transparent has added to his credibility problems. However, Trudeau's and the Liberals' transparency and credibility problems also apply to much of their platform  based on what they do/don't reveal and their past record. 



The Trudeau Liberals put out the latest version of their climate action plan promising to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, cut the tax rate for firms that design or use net zero products in half (from 15% to 7.5% for large companies and from 9% to 4.5% for small firms) and legislate five year legally binding targets. However, when questioned Trudeau had virtually no details. Trudeau also promised to exceed his 2030 greenhouse gas emssion reduction goals that he adopted as his own, although they originally adopted Harper's goals and Trudeau had promised to do much better than the Conservatives. The lack of details in this Liberal plan means it has little transparency on how they would accomplish these targets.

Unfortunately, Trudeau and the Liberals also have little credibility when it comes to dealing with global warming. 

According to the auditor-general, the Trudeau Liberals did not even meet those targets for 2020 ( In addition, according to Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand, based on current emissions the Trudeau government is almost certainly going to blow by the 2030 targets  (

This is hardly surprising because this failure to reach promised cuts in greenhouse gas emissions is a continuation of the same pattern that Chretien and Martin Liberal governments followed in greatly surpassing their promised cuts in greenhouse gas emissions as part of the 1997 Kyoto Accord. 

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced the pledge during a press conference on Tuesday in which he faced repeated questions from reporters about why he was not providing Canadians with the details of how that plan would work if his party is re-elected.

Trudeau offered few details and pushed back when asked about the fact that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has warned Ottawa will not be able to hit its emissions-reduction targets unless it increases the carbon tax and that Canada currently falls short of hitting those targets.


The Trudeau Liberal announcement on their climate change plan could not even muster much credibility with former provincial Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel on the Power and Politics political panel today. Heurtel noted that we have no idea of what the legislation imposed legally imposed five year greenhouse gas emission targets will look like or even whether there will be penalties for not achieving those targets. He said that there is a major credibility problem for a government that has no chance of meeting its 2020 targets and is well on the road to missing its 2030 targets after four years in power saying it is now setting even higher 2030 targets and then promising to get net zero emissions by 2050 even if it had a detailed plan, which it does not. To me it sounds like part of the Liberal strategy to put out quarter-baked plans on different topics every day to get the media off talking about the brown/blackface scandal. 

Heurtel also noted that the Harper greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that Trudeau adopted after the 2015 election involved much smaller reductions than the Liberal Chretien and Martin governments adopted but never met and yet he could not even meet those. His comment was "Not a very high number to begin with (Trudeau's cuts). Not a very ambitious plan". 

Heurtel said he was also surprised that "star environmental" Quebec Liberal candidate Steven Guilbeault would so hurt his own credibility by trying to defend the new strong emission reduction proposals without any details when the federal Liberals have failed to come close to achieve their previous plans and the lack of announced penalties for failing to meet legislated targets. This surprised Heurtel because in 'environmentalist'  Guilbeault had repeatedly criticized the Liberals on their 2015-2019 record, including as late as March when he said "Justin Trudeau is in bed with Kinder Morgan" over the Liberals purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. With Liberals like Heurtel criticizing the proposal like this, who needs to hear from the opposition on how good the plan is?

Francoise Boivin, who has been a Liberal and NDP MP in the past said "There are two key words - serious and credible. It's incredible. I'm flabbergasted" at the Liberals putting forward such a meaningless plan when they already have a major credibility problem over their buying and building the Trans Mountain pipeline in terms of meeting any of their greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. 

The Liberal proposal to have a panel of experts, who have not been chosen let alone named, to advise them on how this will be done sounds like a make-it-up-as-you-go-along strategy of distraction.  


The vagueness of the Liberal climate change proposal beyond giving 50% tax cuts (from 15% to 7.5% for large companies and from 9% to 4.5% for small firms) to firms producing or designing zero emission products, which suggest the Liberals always keep the business sector in mind in terms of rewards, means that within their proposal a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of accomplishing anything will depend on their 'consultations' with experts. How vague can you get?

In reviewing the Liberal climate change plan, Catherine Abreu of Climate Action Network, noted that neither the Liberals or Conservatives since the 1990s have ever met their greenhouse emission reduction targets, nor are the Liberals anywhere near on target to meet their 2030 targets, although they are now proposing even higher targets and that their current targets were never good enough. She also raised the question of what are the consequences of not meeting the proposed legislated five year targets?

So, in summary, we see once again questions being raised about the Liberals past performance on this issue, their lack of transparency in how they intend to achieve their proposal and their credibility when it comes to climate change.

The same questions can also be raised when it comes to the Liberal record when it comes to childcare, pharmacare, dental care and reducing the costs of cellphone plans. I will discuss these in subsequent posts, as well as their allowing a Syrian Assad supporter Waseem Ramli who attended a Liberal fundraiser being accepted as the Syria's honorary consul general who deals with Syrians needing documents certified by the Syrian government. Chrystia Freeland blamed the appointment on civil servants. Sounds like a repeat of Liberals blaming civil servants during the SNC Lavalin scandal. 


The Trudeau Liberals have acted quickly to deal with the Waseem Ramli as it threatens to throw another monkey wrench into their election campaign plans. Macleans raised questions about how Canada could accept Ramli as a Syria's honorary consul general who deals with Syrians needing documents certified by the Syrian government when many Syrian refugees and immigrants feel threatened by such an avid supporter of the dictator and war criminal Bashir Assad.

The picture below shows him posing with Trudeau and he has attended a Liberal fundraiser in Montreal. Besides raising the question of why Ramli is attending a Liberal fundraising, it also recalls the picture of Trudeau with a Sikh terrorist on his India trip and how, as in the SNC Lavalin case, the Liberals always try to blame any problems on civil servants, the police, CSIS, anyone but themselves or admit to it only when the photos appear, more than a decade later, as in the case of Trudeau's brown/blackface pictures. 

Syrian Canadians are wondering how a man who has a large picture of Assad  and a Syrian flag on his van, strongly supports Assad online, claims Assad has never used chemical weapons and argues that the Syrian White Helmets, who document war crimes and rescue those injured during the war, are actually Al Quaeda members, can receive such a position in Canada. They are also afraid that Ramli records those Syrians who speak out against Assad and spies on them. 

Yesterday, Chrystia Freeland claimed that she had no knowledge of how this came about and that it was a failure of the Global Affairs bureaucrats. Sounds similar to claims in that civil servants created all the problems in the SNC Lavalin affair. This morning Freeland revoked Ramli's appointment that was scheduled to take effect on October 1st in order to end the embarassment. 

A photo of Waseem and Trudeau posted to Waseem’s Facebook page. (wramli/Facebook)

A photo of Waseem’s vehicle, posted to his Facebook page. (wramli/Facebook)

Waseem Ramli is a well-to-do Montreal businessman who harbours an infamously unapologetic loyalty to the blood-soaked Baathist regime in Damascus. He’s often seen driving the streets of the city in his bright red Humvee, with its 1SYRIA custom licence plates, and its rear window emblazoned with the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic and the country’s Hawk of Quraish coat of arms. A side window is obscured with a portrait of Syrian mass murderer Bashar Assad.

Among the thousands of Syrian refugees who have settled in Montreal since 2015, the Kuwaiti-born Ramli is a notorious character. To many, his Humvee is an unsettling, menacing sight. Even so, Ramli, the director of his own management consultancy and proprietor of the popular Cocktail Hawaii restaurant on Rue Maisonneuve, has held little sway over Montreal’s Syrian community.

Until now. On October 1, with Ottawa’s blessing, Ramli will become perhaps the most powerful Baathist regime official in North America. As Montreal’s “honorary consul,” Ramli will control the consular affairs of tens of thousands of people in the Syrian diaspora in Eastern Canada and much of the United States. The only other Syrian honorary consul in North America operates out of an office in Vancouver.

All this came to pass in a manner that you could call sketchy in the extreme. And it all happened quickly and quietly. On June 17, Ramli was among a small group of Assad supporters who showed up at a Liberal Party fundraiser at the Hôtel William Gray on Rue Saint Vincent. It was an “armchair discussion” with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Liberal MP Marc Miller, the incumbent candidate in Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœur. Trudeau and Miller posed separately for photographs with Ramli.

Within days, Ramli had secured the Assad regime’s endorsement as Syria’s honorary consul in Montreal. Last month, Global Affairs quietly signed off on Ramli’s appointment. ...

In North America, honorary Syrian consuls have been intermittently active, and only in Vancouver and Montreal, ever since May, 2012. Following an atrocity carried out by Assad’s forces in Houla, which included the slaughter of 30 children under the age of 10, Canada joined the United States, Australia and several European countries in a mass expulsion of Syrian diplomats. Syrian consulates in Toronto, Washington, D. C., Los Angeles, New York, Los Angeles and Houston were permanently shuttered.


Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has revoked the status of Syria’s honorary consul in Montreal following outrage over the diplomatic envoy’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and controversial social-media posts. ...

he approval was granted despite Ramli’s outspoken support for Assad, whose government has used chemical weapons and other tactics to crush dissent during what has been a bloody eight-year civil war in Syria, as well as social media posts criticizing Western sanctions against the country. Ramli, who was set to take up his new post on Oct. 1, also described the White Helmets humanitarian organization in Syria as terrorists.



This morning the latest United Nations report on climate change, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere (the ice covered areas of the Earth) in a Changing Climate, was released. Because this report deals with the ocean- and ice-covered part of the worlds, it does not addres the land issues related to climate change, such as the tens of milllions of potential global warming warming refugees created by regions of the world becoming so hot as to be uninhabitable.

Nevertheless, the report clearly stated that Canada will not escape the global consequences of global warming and that governments have failed so far in halting the upward growth in greenhouse gas emissions. The Trudeau Liberals current greenhouse gas emissions plan released yesterday has already been heavily criticized (described in posts #2 to #4) by environmentalists and continues on the same path of failure to plan large enough cuts and then fail to even achieve these insufficient goals that have characterized the Liberal and Conservative governments of Chretien, Martin, Harper and the 2015 climate change plan of Trudeau himself. 

The report was produced by 100 climate change experts who reviewed 7,000 academic papers on the effects of global warming on the oceans and cryosphere. Even though their draft was then reviewed by government representatives from around the world, who, especially in the case of the oil producing countries, watered down the report's conclusions, the conclusions are the most dire of any UN climate change report.

Not surprisingly, the Arctic will be the region of Canada most severely affected, but the report makes clear that all of Canada will be impacted. The Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific coasts will all be greatly impacted by sea level rise, Canadian glaciers, which provide much of the Canadian prairie's water supply are in severe retreat, and the melting permafrost is already causing great damage to infrastructure and housing. 

A storm surge from the Atlantic Ocean hits a break wall in Cow Bay, N.S., on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.(Darren Calabrese/Reuters)

The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was clear that allowing carbon emissions to continue their upward path would upset the balance of the great geophysical systems governing oceans and the frozen regions of the Earth profoundly — and Canada will not escape.

"We are in a race between two factors, one is the capacity of humans and ecosystems to adapt, the other is the speed of impact of climate change. This report … indicates we may be losing in this race. We need to take immediate and drastic action to cut emissions right now," IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said at the presentation of the report in Monaco.

Finalized on Tuesday in a last 27-hour session of talks in Monaco between authors and representatives of governments, the report is the culmination of two years of work by the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...

Arctic communities will be most directly affected. "The shrinking cryosphere in the Arctic and high-mountain areas has led to predominantly negative impacts on food security, water resources, water quality, livelihoods, health and well-being, infrastructure, transportation, tourism and recreation, as well as culture of human societies, particularly for Indigenous peoples," the report says. ...

By 2060 — within the lifetime of about half of Canadians now living — coastal floods off British Columbia and the Maritimes that used to occur once a century will be annual events, it says.

Water availability across Western Canada will be disrupted.

Crucial kelp forests and seagrass meadows that nurture sea life off both east and west coasts are threatened. Kelp forests shelter thousands of species, from fish to seals to seabirds. "The decline of kelp forests is projected to continue in temperate regions due to warming, particularly under the projected intensification of marine heatwaves, with high risk of local extinctions," says the report. ...

In the Himalayas, glaciers feeding 10 rivers, including the Ganges and Yangtze, could shrink dramatically if emissions do not fall, hitting water supplies across a swathe of Asia.

Thawing permafrost in places such as Alaska and Siberia could release vast quantities of greenhouse gases, potentially unleashing feedback loops driving faster warming.

Carbon emissions, which hit a record high last year, are projected to inflict a devastating toll on oceans, which have so far buffered almost all the man-made warming generated by burning coal, oil and gas.

The report says scientists are now "virtually certain" that the oceans have warmed unabated since 1970. Since 1993, it's likely the rate of warming has more than doubled, with more than 90 per cent of excess heat going straight into salt water.

As the oceans get hotter, what are known as "marine heat waves" are becoming more intense, turning coral reefs boneyard white — including much of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. As more carbon dioxide dissolves in the water, the oceans are also becoming more acidic, damaging ecosystems.


Here's more on the impacts of the failure of governments, including the current Canadian one, to deal effectively with global warming on their watch from the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere (the ice covered areas of the Earth) in a Changing Climate that was released today. Clearly, the Liberal and Conservative climate change plans are completely inadequate in their vagueness and failure to address specific global warming problems in the past makes it seem unlikely to see them even living up to what they promised. In fact, many of these impacts of climate change are occurring now and the key question is to what extent we can keep it from getting extremely worse

The report found:

  • Seas are now rising at 3.66 millimeters a year, which is 2.5 times faster than the rate from 1900 to 1990.
  • The world’s oceans have already lost 1 to 3 per cent of the oxygen in their upper levels since 1970 and will lose more as warming continues.
  • From 2006 to 2015 the ice melting from Greenland, Antarctica and the world’s mountain glaciers has accelerated and is now losing 653 billion metric tons of ice a year.
  • Arctic June snow cover has shrunk more than half since 1967, down nearly 2.5 million square kilometres.
  • Arctic sea ice in September, the annual minimum, is down almost 13 per cent per decade since 1979. This year’s low, reported Monday, tied for the second lowest on record. If carbon pollution continues unabated, by the end of the century there will be a 10 to 35 per cent chance each year that sea ice will disappear in the Arctic in September.
  • Marine animals are likely to decrease 15%, and catches by fisheries in general are expected to decline 21 to 24 per cent by the end of century because of climate change.



BBC provides more details on the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere (the ice covered areas of the Earth) in a Changing Climate. With sea level rise, loss of coral and the habitat it provides for millions of species, the loss of glaciers, sea ice and permafrost, and the threats to many of the world's coastal cities, including Canadian ones from sea level rise, the failure to deal with global warming by our and other governments in the past leaves us with the greatest crisis of the 21st century. 

Coral reefs are threatened by the acidification of the oceans

Image result for picture global map Forecast change in sea level by 2100 under a medium-low scenario

Climate change is devastating our seas and frozen regions as never before, a major new United Nations report warns. According to a UN panel of scientists, waters are rising, the ice is melting, and species are moving habitat due to human activities. And the loss of permanently frozen lands threatens to unleash even more carbon, hastening the decline. ...

The scientists are "virtually certain" that the global ocean has now warmed without pause since 1970. The waters have soaked up more than 90% of the extra heat generated by humans over the past decades, and the rate at which it has taken up this heat has doubled since 1993. The seas were once rising mainly due to thermal expansion - which refers to the way the volume of water expands when it is heated. The extra energy makes the water molecules move around more, causing them to take up more space. But the IPCC says rising water levels are now being driven principally by the melting of Greenland and Antarctica. ...

 The loss of mass (which refers to the amount of ice that melts and is lost as liquid water) from the Antarctic ice sheet in the years between 2007 and 2016 tripled compared to the 10 years previously. Greenland saw a doubling of mass loss over the same period. The report expects this to continue throughout the 21st Century and beyond. For glaciers in areas like the tropical Andes, Central Europe and North Asia, the projections are that they will lose 80% of their ice by 2100 under a high carbon emissions scenario. This will have huge consequences for millions of people. ...

All this extra water gushing down to the seas is driving up average ocean water levels around the world. That will continue over the decades to come. This new report says that global average sea levels could increase by up to 1.1m by 2100, in the worst warming scenario. This is a rise of 10cm on previous IPCC projections because of the larger ice loss now happening in Antarctica. ...

Under higher emissions scenarios, even wealthy megacities such as New York or Shanghai and large tropical agricultural deltas such as the Mekong will face high or very high risks from sea level rise.


The report says that a world with severely increased levels of warm water will in turn give rise to big increases in nasty and dangerous weather events, such as surges from tropical cyclones. ...

Huge amounts of carbon are stored in the permanently frozen regions of the world such as in Siberia and Northern Canada. These are likely to change dramatically, with around 70% of the near surface permafrost set to thaw if emissions continue to rise. The big worry is that this could free up "tens to hundreds of billions of tonnes" of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere by 2100. This would be a significant limitation on our ability to limit global warming in the centuries to come. ...

There are some warnings in the report that some changes may not be easily undone. Data from Antarctica suggests the onset of "irreversible ice sheet instability" which could see sea level rise by several metres within centuries. ...

"We give this sea level rise information to 2300, and the reason for that is that there is a lot of change locked in, to the ice sheets and the contribution that will have to sea level rise," said Dr Nerilie Abram from the Australian National University in Canberra, who's a contributing lead author on the report. So even in a scenario where we can reduce greenhouse gases, there are still future sea level rise that people will have to plan for."


Both the Liberal March 2017 budget promise to spend $7.5 billion during the 2017-2026 ten year period on child care, beginning with $500 million in the first year and reaching $870 million in 2026 to fund spaces in provinces and territories, and their 2019 election childcare election promise are far too little to create a meaningful national child care problem. They are also full of inaccuracies and half truths. 

In 2017 the Trudeau Liberal budget continued its never-ending promise to implement a national child care program that began with the 1993 Chretien government and has continued to be promised in every election since. However, the 2017 budget was nowhere near enough for a national childcare program. 

For advocates who have waited years for the federal government to kick in cash to help expand and subsidize child-care services, the money is seen as a start, but far from enough to cover the whole country.

The annual funding is below what the Paul Martin Liberals offered provinces in 2005 and below what federal officials told the minister in charge of the file in November 2015 would be needed to make a measurable effect on the number of child-care spaces countrywide.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government’s pledge would have a “huge” impact on low- and modest-income families, calling it a “historic investment.”

“These are the kinds of things that we need to do to ensure that every family has the opportunity to make the choices that are right for them,” Trudeau said at a Winnipeg daycare. ...

The money could potentially create 40,000 subsidized spaces for low and modest-income families over the next three years, about 13,000 spaces a year or about 2.4 per cent of the roughly 543,000 regulated child care spaces in Canada for children five and under. ...

NDP families critic Brigitte Sansoucy said the promised future spending on child care is totally inadequate to meet the needs of parents and below what her party had proposed in a plan the Liberals attacked for being too slow.

“The Liberals should be supporting child-care programs, such as the one in Quebec,” she said. “This budget fails to do that.”

Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu said in Quebec, home to the largest subsidized system in the country, and other parts of the country there are long wait lists for spaces, suggesting the need is enormous. The Liberal plan, she said, only amounts to about 40 new child care spaces per riding, per year.



During the 2019 election the Trudeau Liberals continued their pattern of overpromising and under-delivering on child care, with inaccuracies and half truths about what they were actually promising. 

Fact check: Trudeau released child care record with inaccuracies, half-truths

As Justin Trudeau announced Monday that a re-elected Liberal government would create up to 250,000 more spaces and cut fees for before- and after-school child-care programs, his party issued a news release that highlighted some of the things the Liberals have already done. ...

That included, according to the news release, a commitment to create 40,000 new child care spaces every year, a number the party said would increase to 100,000 by the end of the next decade.

The problem is, the Liberals have never committed to either of those things — at least not publicly.

Ottawa then negotiated separate agreements with each province and territory, which involved a transfer of $1.2 billion over three years.

That is where the 40,000 figure comes in. That is the targeted number of affordable spaces those agreements were meant to create — over three years, not one.


The 2019 Trudeau Liberal national child care promise continues the Liberal election record of promising a national child care program that has been part of every Liberal election campaign in one form or another since 1993 under the Chretien Liberals. Somehow it never gets done. 

It also stands in sharp contrast to the NDP child care campaign promise. 

 An NDP government would spend $10 billion over the next four years to create 500,000 new child-care spaces in Canada, leader Jagmeet Singh said Monday, with the goal of offering free services for some parents. Singh said prices would be capped at $10 a day and build on a similar program in Quebec as well as a pilot project that started last year in British Columbia. ...

"Our goal is to get to universality, which is no cost for families that can't afford it and low cost, like a $10-a-day cost, for those who can to make it affordable and make it accessible by 2030," he said at a Vancouver day-care centre that offers $10-a-day care. We know this is bold and ambitious but it has to be done," Singh said, adding the program would be enshrined in law so child care is available across the country, in urban, remote and rural areas. ...

That legislation would include provisions for training new child-care workers and ensuring they are paid "a decent and quality salary to recognize the importance of the work they're doing," he said.

Morna Ballantyne, executive director of the national advocacy group Child Care Now, said the federal government has a crucial role to play in the provision of child care regardless of where families live.

"It's well understood that if you have a good child-care program in place that's actually affordable then parents can stay in the workforce and pay taxes and that helps to grow the economy," Ballantyne said.

She said Quebec has two child-care programs — one that is publicly funded and costs between $7 and $20 a day, depending on household income, and another that charges market rates and allows parents to claim tax credits.

However, Ballantyne said most parents opt for the second choice only because enough publicly funded spaces are not available.

Compared with the other federal parties' child-care proposals, Ballantyne said only the New Democrats' plan includes training of early child-care workers whose low wages and poor benefits often force them to leave their jobs, creating a "crisis" in the system.

Singh repeatedly attacked the record of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who he said "walked away" from families in need of child-care support.

The Liberals made a promise to help Canadians access affordable child-care 26 years ago but haven't delivered, he said.



The Trudeau Liberals are also losing credibility among the First Nations. An Environics poll conducted for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) was conducted between Sept. 4 and 12. The poll "surveyed 1,024 Indigenous voters across the country and found 40 per cent voted Liberal in the 2015 election, but now just 21 per cent support the party".  (

The First Nations vote helped the Liberals win quite a few ridings so this is a significant problem.

Liberal support among First Nations people and those who support them because of the injustices that they have faced over decades, has just taken a major hit because of the Liberal government decision to appeal a human rights ruling on compensating First Nations children harmed through their apprehension by the on-reserve child welfare system for children taken from their parents since 2006. The human rights tribunal has emphasized that the Liberals have failed to comply with the tribunal's orders to correct funding discrepancies ten times since the tribunals original order in 2016.



 The Liberals have delayed to three days before the last possible day to appeal, which is October 7th, as part of their ongoing delay strategy in dealing this issue. In the appeal they are also demanding that Cindy Blackstock pay all the legal costs of the appeal.  Since the 2016 human rights ruling, 102 of the apprehended First Nations children have died while in this underfunded system of government custody.

In trying to avoid having this become a election campaign issue, the Liberals have made it a major campaign issue in the last half of the election. 

The tribunal emphasized that the Trudeau government has failed to changing the Liberals discrepancies in First Nations funding for children in this situation. 

The tribunal ruled the federal government had been “wilful and reckless” in discriminating against First Nations children living on reserves by chronically and knowingly underfunding child-welfare services.

It ordered the federal government to pay $40,000 for every First Nations child who was inappropriately taken away from his or her parents after 2006. The same amount is to be paid to each of their parents. Children who were abused in foster care and those who had basic services, like medical care, denied to them are also each entitled to $40,000. That’s the maximum the tribunal can award.

The Assembly of First Nations estimates about 54,000 children and their parents could be eligible for the money, meaning the total bill will likely exceed $2 billion. ...

In its 93-page order, the tribunal panel said the maximum compensation award is reserved for the worst cases of discrimination.

“No amount of compensation can ever recover what you have lost, the scars that are left on your souls or the suffering that you have gone through as a result of racism, colonial practices and discrimination,” the panel wrote.

When Blackstock first brought the case in 2007, Indigenous Affairs was a single department. In 2017 the Liberals divided it into two: the departments of Crown-Indigenous Relations and of Indigenous Services. ...

Since its ruling in 2016, the tribunal has said 10 times that Ottawa failed to comply with orders to fix the funding discrepancies. In 2018, the Liberals finally committed to funding prevention services at the needed levels. Blackstock said while that has mostly happened, Ottawa refused to fund supports for those services, such as for buildings to house programs.


Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde has called on all political parties to live up to the human rights tribunal ruling. Instead, the Trudeau Liberals have appealed the human rights tribunal ruling for the tenth time in three years.  Bellegarde has called the Trudeau Liberal decision "beyond unacceptable".

Not surprisingly, the Conservatives have taken the same position as the Liberals that they would appeal the human rights tribunal's decisions. On the other hand the NDP and Greens say the government must immediately follow the human rights tribunal's ruling and that they will obey the ruling.  

The Attorney General of Canada filed with the Federal Court today an application for a judicial review and for a stay of the ruling — just two weeks before the federal election and days before the Oct. 7 deadline for filing an appeal.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the federal government on Sept. 6 to pay $40,000 — the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act — to each child taken from homes and communities under the on-reserve child welfare system from Jan. 1, 2006, to a date to be determined by the tribunal. ...

Trudeau said the tribunal's decision, which was handed down shortly before the election kicked off, called for the completion of a plan for compensation by December. He said the current election campaign renders that timetable unrealistic.

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, told CBC News on Thursday that an appeal of the decision would perpetuate "racial discrimination of the worst kind." ...

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said on Thursday that he would seek a judicial review if he was prime minister.  ...

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May have both said they would offer compensation at the level ordered by the tribunal. ...

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde has called on every party leader to commit to honouring the ruling.

"This is about supporting First Nations children and families and respecting human rights," Bellegarde wrote in a tweet. "It is unconscionable that anyone would oppose this."

Some estimates place the number of potentially affected children at about 50,000, with the largest numbers in the Prairies and British Columbia. The ruling also covers First Nation children in the Yukon territory.

Sean in Ottawa

I am surprised the Liberals are doing this during an election. Shows their true colours when it comes to human rights and Indigenous rights.

Sean in Ottawa

Why is there not a petition asking for Trudeau to scrape the Indigenous tattoo off his arm without anaesthetic? Anyone know where to begin one?


Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am surprised the Liberals are doing this during an election. Shows their true colours when it comes to human rights and Indigenous rights.


They had no choice if they wanted to appeal. They delayed an appeal as long as possible so it would not become an issue earlier. However, the final appeal date is Monday October 7th. I think the appeal being launced on the last possible Friday was not an accident, because Friday is the traditional day for governments to release bad news, since the public and media tend to pay less attention to what is happening on the weekend and they hope the issue will be 'old news' by Monday.

While the Liberals say that they want to compensate these First Nations children, that is not what the court documents say. They are appealing for a dismissal of the human rights tribunal's ruling, not an extension beyond the December deadline the tribunal in order to implement the decision,. They are playing hardball, saying one of the problems is that the children should be in court telling the judge how they have been harmed by their apprehension. Many of the children are under six years of age. The court documents also reveal that they want Cindy Blackstock, who initiated the case in 2007 and which has now dragged on for thirteen years, and other involved indigenous organizations to pay the leagal costs, which are a pittance to the deep pockets of the government, but catastrophic to these groups. 

Choosing October 4th to appeal also means the next court date is October 23rd, two days after the election. This is NO ACCIDENT. 

For more than 100 years, the federal government has underfunded the needs of indigenous people on reserves compared to the provincial funding available to everyone living off reserve, partly to encourage First Nations people to move off-reserve. The underfunding has had drastic consequences for the health, housing, education, job opportunities, and self-confidence of these children and their families.

There are now more children in government custody than at the height of the residential school crisis. Of the more than 50,000 children in custody since the start of this case in 2007, 102 have died, more than half in just the three years the Liberals have been battling the ten human rights tribunals' orders to adequately fund indigenous programs for children. The tribunal was so frustrated by the Trudeau Liberal government fail to comply ten times that it issued the maximum amount that it could assess, $40,000 for each child, after the tenth refusal to comply.

The 40% support that the Liberals received in the 2015 election had fallen to 21% in an Environics poll conducted for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) was conducted between Sept. 4 and 12,one month before the Liberal government appeal was launched ( This will almost certainly further decrease Liberal party support among First Nations.

The Liberals lack of transparency in discussing this issue and their lack of credibility in their claims to be ready to deal fairly with First Nations on this issue could also erode Liberal support outside First Nations. 


There is growing outrage among First Nations at the Trudeau Liberals decision on Friday October 4th to appeal the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal order that the federal government pay billions to First Nations children and their families who had their children apprehended due to a deeply underfunded child-welfare system. More than half of all children currently in foster care are indigenous, with it being more than 90% in some provinces.

First Nations chiefs are expressing outrage and disappointment at the federal government’s decision to appeal a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling ordering Ottawa to pay billions of dollars in compensation to First Nations children and their families separated by a chronically underfunded child-welfare system.

“This is beyond unacceptable. The government of Canada is once again preparing to fight First Nations children in court,” National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde said in a statement Friday. “The government could have addressed the broken system and the funding inequalities before, but they didn’t. To appeal this CHRT ruling, which was meant to provide a measure of justice for First Nations children in care, is hurtful and unjust.”

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs issued its own statement. “AMC is outraged by the actions of the Trudeau government today,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “The decision today speaks to the lack of concern the federal government has for the children and families who have been harmed by a broken child-welfare system that’s been imposed on them.” ...

Off-reserve children, covered by provincial agencies, typically had more resources devoted to them.

The result was a mass removal of Indigenous children from their parents, for years, in a system Indigenous leaders say had more First Nations kids living in foster care than at the height of the residential-schools era. The decision to challenge the ruling comes three days before the Oct. 7 deadline to file an appeal. ...

Its final ruling awards $40,000 for each child unnecessarily taken away from his or her family since Jan. 1, 2006 and another $40,000 for each of their parents or grandparents. Similar amounts should go to children abused in foster care, and children on- and off-reserve who were taken into care because they couldn’t access services there, including mental-health supports, suicide prevention and basic medical devices, the tribunal ruling states.

The Assembly of First Nations estimates the number of children involved at around 54,000, bringing the minimum compensation bill to $2.1 billion. If all of their parents also get compensation, that number would rise. ...

Indigenous children make up more than half of children in foster care in Canada, even though they are just seven per cent of all children under the age of 15. In some provinces, as many as 90 per cent of kids in care are First Nations, Metis or Inuit.


The growing lack of credibility of the Liberals on indigenous issues has led the NDP to target Trudeau and the Liberals on their indigenous record. On Friday, Trudeau claimed the Liberals are not challenging the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's ruling that compensation should be given to apprehended children and their families, but the Liberal government judicial appeal of the decision says exactly the opposite. 

When a reporter asked Singh this week if his promise to fully fund fixing indigenous water systems, a reporter asked him if he would be giving First Nations a blank cheque for this. Singh answered that if there was a problem with the water supply in Canada's cities, the reporter would never ask such a question. 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attacked the Liberals' record on Indigenous issues, saying the government's decision to appeal the latest ruling on compensation for Indigenous children demonstrates the kind of inaction that can be expected if they're re-elected. 

This week the Liberal government announced it would challenge a landmark human rights ruling to compensate apprehended First Nations children harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system and under-funded child and family services.

Singh reacted to the news on Saturday while he was campaigning in Grassy Narrows, an Indigenous community in northern Ontario that has been dealing with mercury poisoning in its water supply for years, and has been under a water advisory since 2013.

He used the community as an example of the "the inaction of Conservative and Liberal governments," saying compounding examples — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau saying "thank you for your donation" to a protester asking questions about Grassy Narrows at a fundraising event, the remaining 56 listed boil water advisories on reserves and now the appeal of the ruling — prove the Liberals won't fight for Indigenous communities. ...

Trudeau said he is not challenging the tribunal's conclusion that compensation should be awarded.  "We need to compensate those who've been harmed, but the question is how to do that," Trudeau said. "Those are conversations that we cannot have during a writ period."

But that's not what his government's application says. It calls for an order setting aside the tribunal's decision and dismissing the claim for monetary compensation. In the absence of such an order, the federal government is asking to have the decision put aside and refer the matter back to the tribunal for review in accordance with directions set by the Federal Court. ...

"Why do we have to keep living this way?" Chrissy Isaacs said. "It feels like forever." 

Isaacs, 39, said she was born with mercury in her body and experienced severe mental health problems as a child because of it. As an adult, her legs are starting to go numb, and she's unable to swallow easily. Her children are also showing similar symptoms of mercury poisoning. 

She said there's a double standard between cities and Indigenous communities in Canada.  "How come in the cities they have clean water?" she said.  ...

Singh said the NDP would commit to providing Grassy Narrows with the full amount they asked for.


ETA: The Trudeau Liberals are repeating its 2015 health care promises that it failed to implement during their four years in office, repeating a pattern that they have been following for decades of failing to live up to their health care promises, especially when it comes to pharmacare, which they have promised in every election for the last 22 years. 

 It’s just 11 cents a day, or $3.35 a month. For that little money, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he can guarantee you a family doctor, improve mental health care coverage and bring in a national pharmacare strategy.

Trudeau made his announcement in Hamilton on Monday morning (September 23rd) flanked by doctors and other health professionals who were smiling and nodding along. I wonder if they knew they were being used as props.

We could easily dismiss the Liberal promise as something they offered Canadians in 2015 but didn’t deliver on. “We will make home care more available, prescription drugs more affordable, and mental health care more accessible,” the 2015 Liberal platform reads.

None of that happened. Nor did they deliver on a promise in the 2004 election to have a national pharmacare agreement with the provinces in place by 2006. ...

“The Liberal policy goal is to ensure that no Canadian suffers undue financial hardship in accessing necessary drug treatment,” the 2004 Liberal platform reads. They won that election with a minority but the NDP would have gladly backed them on the spending.  Still, it didn’t happen. In 1997, the Liberals had also promised a national pharmacare plan, but despite winning a majority, didn’t move on it at all.

Yet, despite all the broken promises on this front, the biggest joke in Trudeau’s proposal is what he is promising to accomplish with so little money. The Liberals are promising to spend $6 billion across the whole country over the next four years. That works out to $40 a year for every man, woman and child. ...

To put this into a little perspective, a 2017 study on national pharmacare estimated that a fully national system would cost $23.7 billion a year by 2020-21. That’s next year. Ontario alone spent $4.6 billion on a drug benefits program that only covers certain people. Yet, for an average of $1.5 billion a year, Trudeau’s Liberals want you to believe that they are going to give you drug coverage, expanded mental health services and better access to a family doctor.

The Liberal promise is so vague, so lacking in details that it seems to be half-baked. Surprising given that they’ve known the date of the election for four years and should be able to provide more information rather than general promises. ...

So far, the Liberals are the only one of the big three parties not having their promises costed out by the Parliamentary Budget Office. Maybe that’s because with a promise like this, the only response would be laughter.



While grandiosely promising that "Every Canadian, no matter where they live, who they are or what they do, should receive the care they need to stay healthy,", Trudeau's actual health care campaign promises are grossly underfunded and therefore will be only a bandaid that will hardly do anything to accomplish their stated goals. In addition, there is deliberately no detailed breakdown on how they would accomplish this goal because in reality it was meant to be another promise, like those of the Liberals in all elections over the last 22 years, meant to attract voters rather than significantly improve health care. Their promises to give everyone a family doctor, pharmacare and greatly improved mental health care are lies.

On Monday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau unveiled his plan to close the "gaps" in Canada's health care system, promising an "additional down payment" of $6 billion to strengthen medicare and the public health system. 

The party reported the amounts — $750 million in 2020-21, rising to $1.75 billion in 2023-24 — but said a detailed breakdown of how the money would be spent will have to wait until later in the campaign.

Still, that didn't stop Trudeau from raising expectations about what he might accomplish in a second term, vowing that Canadians in every province and territory would have access to a family physician, mental health services as needed and prescription medications via a universal "pharmacare" program. ...

The Liberals came to power in 2015 promising to negotiate a new "collaborative" health accord with the provinces and territories. But when the 10-year deal was finally struck in 2017, it wasn't nearly as generous as the premiers had hoped: it capped increases to the Canada Health Transfer at three per cent per year, down from six per cent under the old agreement. ...

Michael Law, an associate professor of public health at the University of British Columbia and the Canada research chair in access to medicines, said it's hard to reconcile the Liberals' ambitions with the $6 billion sum and the multiple objectives on offer.

"It might go toward some of the groundwork to get things started," he said. "But what they are currently proposing to spend is nowhere near what they would have to spend to set up a national pharmacare program." ...

Last year, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) produced a report that looked at spending on mental health versus physical health in Canada. Right now, only 7.2 per cent of the federal health care budget is dedicated to mental well-being. And the 2017 pot-sweetener that dedicated $5 billion more over 10 years barely moved the needle, increasing slightly the share of federal health spending going to mental health from 7 per cent.

Fardous Hosseiny, the CMHA's interim chief executive, said getting to nine per cent would take an additional $3.1 billion a year — which would still be well below the spending level his organization wants to see. ...

Then there's that Liberal pledge to provide everyone with access to a family doctor. ...

Statistics Canada estimates that there are now 4.7 million people who don't (by circumstance or choice) have a primary health care provider. Offering them the same level of access as other Canadians would mean adding at least 11,000 more doctors — which, at current payment rates, adds up to an additional $3.76 billion a year in health costs.

And keep in mind that the country already is having difficulty finding enough residency spots for the record number of students graduating from medical schools.


The following analysis of the so-called Liberal and Conservative middle and low income tax cuts have little credibility as they primarily favour the rich, offer very little to middle and lower income Canadians and cost much more than the NDP dental program promise, which despite its much lower costs saves these income groups much more money. 

The Liberals and Conservatives are both promising to spend several billion dollars on gimmicky tax giveaways that won’t help Canadians that need it most.

Last week, Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives rolled out a tax plan they falsely claimedwas “targeted specifically at taxpayers in the lowest-income tax bracket.” This week, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals countered with a tax plan that makes an equally dubiousclaim that it will “lift” Canadians “out of poverty.”

While both tax plans, which cost a staggering $5 to 6 billion, are being advertised as helping Canadians in lower income brackets, both tax giveaways ultimately provide lower income Canadians with insignificant benefits — especially when there are more effective ways for Canadians to get more bang for their tax dollars. ...

The Conservative plan benefits families earning up to $40,000 per year with only a 0.2% increase, families earning up to $250,000 see a nearly 0.6% increase in disposable income. So, most of the biggest benefits from Scheer’s tax cut “targeted” at lower-income Canadians would actually go to the rich. ...

The Liberals, in particular, tout their tax plan as a way to “lift” Canadians out of poverty.

An analysis of the Liberal tax plan by UBC professor Kevin Milligan shows it would indeed “lift 38,000 Canadians above the poverty line.” But according to Statistics Canada, 3.4 million Canadians lived below the poverty line in 2017.

In other words, the Liberal plan would only reduce poverty by around 1%. ...

In all, the Liberal plan would mean savings of up to $137 for families with incomes under $40,000, while the Conservative plan would mean savings of up to $65. ...

In terms of a return-on-investment, tax cuts have a shoddy ROI compared to direct investments in health and social programs.

For example, the NDP is currently proposing to expand health care coverage to include dental care. The plan would make trips to the dentist free for Canadians with household incomes under $70,000, with a sliding co-payment for households earning between $70,000 and $90,000.

The party says its dental plan alone would save individuals $310 to $1,240 per year — potentially thousands of dollars in savings for younger, working families.

While the Liberal and Conservative tax plans cost $5-6 billion per year, in contrast, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates the dental plan would cost $850 million per year, all while delivering significantly larger savings to lower and middle income Canadians than an ineffective tax giveaway.



When Canadians think of drug costs they typically compare our prices to the United States where prices are 51% higher on average. However, Canadian drug prices are themselves 45% higher the the OECD average and third highest in the world, only behind the US and Switzerland, the HQs of many global pharmaceutical companies that have successfully lobbied these governments to maintain their high prices. 

Once again the Liberals pharmacare plan sounds better as a name than its details actually provide in terms of help to those suffering from the burden of high drug costs. Trudeau's pharmacare program offers to set NEW patent pharmaceuticals at the average of international patent drug prices for a particular drug. However, in order for this to have a major effect on overall pharmaceutical prices it will take a decade, since these prices only apply to new pharmaceuticals, and all previously existing pharmaceuticals will be at whatever price the pharmaceutical companies can get away with. Furthermore, this will take three electoral mandates to see a significant shift in overall prices. Lots can happen in between, including the election of a right-wing government to stult a reduction in prices by this Rube Goldberg system that does nothing for those who cannot afford the cost of the pharmaceuticals that they need today. 

But the Liberals pharmacare plan did accomplish its goal of having an attractive name for attractive purposes even though it did little to solve today's high drug costs. 

The NDP, on the other hand, plans to intruduce a universal pharmacare program that provides free prescription pharmaceuticals to everyone while keeping costs low by negotiating prices at the national level in order to save over $4 billion a year in costs. If this seems too good to be true, keep in mind that every country that has a universal medicare program in the world, except Canada, includes universal pharmacare within their universal medicare program and much lower pharmaceutical costs as a result of this. So, why more than 50 years after the creation of Canadian medicare has no Liberal or Conservative government done the same? Is the answer that they are too beholden to the pharmaceutical industry giants?

Though American per capita drug spending in 2016 was 51 per cent higher than Canada, Canadian per person spending is 45 per cent higher than the OECD average – including 63 per cent higher than the United Kingdom, 92 per cent higher than the Netherlands and 132 per cent higher than Denmark. Canadian drugs prices are a bargain next to our southern neighbour. Set against the rest of the world, they’re anything but.

Canada in 2019 has two distinct drug-affordability problems. Both deserve to be election issues.

The first problem is that too many Canadians – between one-in-20 and one-in-five, depending on who is counting – have insufficient or no drug insurance.


The Trudeau Liberals, like the Conservatives, have also failed to change Canada's extremely lax money laundering laws that makes it a prime target for illegally obtained money entering the country and being a major contributor to Canada's soaring housing prices in its major cities. 

News that some $5 billion was laundered through British Columbia’s real estate market in 2018 comes as no surprise to experts, as Canada’s weak money-laundering laws make it an attractive spot to park ill-gotten cash.

Kevin Comeau, author of a recent C.D. Howe report on money laundering, says people in corruption-prone states who seek to hide the source of their wealth can’t just buy a big house in their community, so they often look to cache it abroad.

“Autocracies, kleptocracies, developing and transitioning nations — they’ve got corruption from politicians and they’ve got crime from drugs and human trafficking. They can’t keep that money in their own country without the risk of it being confiscated by someone closer to power,” Comeau said. ...

The funds are then funnelled through a series of shell companies and trusts registered in tax havens such as the Seychelles or British Virgin Islands. These states have tiny corporate taxes and, like Canada, offer anonymity by allowing the real, or “beneficial,” owner to go undisclosed. ...

With some of the weakest money-laundering laws among liberal democracies, Canada stands out as a place to launder cash, said Comeau, a retired lawyer and member of Transparency International Canada’s working group on beneficial ownership transparency.

Houses, mansions and whole floors’ worth of condominiums can act as a kind of bank account in bricks-and-mortar form, with the purchase made by a numbered corporation, incorporated in Canada by an offshore lawyer and owned by layers of shell companies in various tax havens.

“It’s easy as pie,” said Comeau. “You can do it in about five minutes and you don’t have to disclose anything.”

International money launderers typically leave the properties vacant, driving up real estate prices and hollowing out neighbourhoods, said Garry Clement, former national director of the RCMP’s Proceeds of Crime Program.

Renting the property out would involve a cheque or email transfer, which usually necessitates an account at a Canadian bank for the receiver and leaves them exposed to anti-money-laundering screens. ...

Last year some $7.4 billion overall was laundered in B.C., out of a total of $47 billion across Canada, according to Thursday’s report by an expert panel led by former B.C. deputy attorney general Maureen Maloney.

“But Ontario is notorious for being a money-laundering front,” Clement said, adding that other provinces are far from immune. ...

n a September report from the C.D. Howe Institute, he recommended tightening the regulatory regime with a publicly accessible registry of beneficial ownership and mandatory declarations of beneficial ownership, alongside meaningful sanctions for false declarations.