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Trudeau hands Ford $250-million in corporate welfare to build electric cars

Ontario to also hand over $250-million

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Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is handing over $250-million in taxpayers cash to Ford to transition to building electric cars in Ontario.

The Tory Ontario government of Doug Ford will also had over $250-million to the plant in Oakville.

Ford will be at the Ford plant Thursday with company officials to mark the plan. Trudeau and Unifor president Jerry Dias will join the event online.

The plant employs 3,400 workers and Dias has said retooling it to produce electric vehicles will save 3,000 of those jobs.

The investment part of the government’s commitment to invest in the transition to a renewable-energy economy, with the goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It has already committed more than $300 million to create a network of fast-charging stations and it is providing incentives of up to $5,000 off the price of purchasing or leasing electric and hybrid vehicles.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick blasted the announcement.

“Once again, the federal and Ontario governments are wasting taxpayers’ money by funnelling a fat subsidy to a big corporation.

“Politicians insist that subsidizing electric vehicles is an ‘investment.’ They said the same thing about aerospace before Bombardier shed thousands of jobs. They said the same thing about General Motors before it shuttered its Oshawa plant. What will their excuse be when several years from now, Ford comes back for even more subsidies?  

“If electric vehicles are truly an investment, then Ford should be more than happy to fund 100 per cent of its own projects, rather than pilfering from taxpayers. If Ford wants to make money, it should sell cars people want to buy at a price they can afford instead of pressuring governments into giving the company freebies.

“The federal and Ontario governments are both running massive deficits and saddling future generations with billions in debt. This is not the time to double down on the disastrous strategy of picking corporate winners and losers.”

In Alberta last week, energy giant Suncor laid off 2,000 workers which prompted Premier Jason Kenney to issue an impassioned plea for help from Ottawa.

Kenney went off script at a press conference announcing funding for a homeless veterans project and reminded Albertans they are on the middle of the worst economic times since the Great Depression.

And he said there will be more hurt to come before it gets better. TC Energy laid off an undisclosed number of employees earlier this week.

He blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau response to the Alberta crisis saying the Liberals would move “heaven and earth” if the same thing was happening in Ontario or Quebec business sectors. He also noted there was no mention of the West’s economic plight in last week’s Throne Speech

“If 2,000 jobs were lost at the GM plant in Oshawa it would galvanize national attention for a week,” said Kenney.

He said the 2,000 Suncor jobs would be equivalent to 8,000 auto sector jobs in Ontario and 4,000 jobs at Quebec’s Bombardier.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Edmonton spends nearly $550K to keep eight public washrooms clean during COVID pandemic

The dollar figures have some Edmonton councillors shaking their heads.

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Talk about pricey Port-a-Potties!

Edmonton taxpayers have been flushing out a pretty penny to keep the Whyte Ave. and seven other public washrooms clean during the pandemic.

A report headed to council on Wednesday shows from April 7 to Oct. 8, 2020, a total of $548,002 was spent on COVID-19 washroom response to ensure residents, especially vulnerable populations, have access to public toilets.

A total of $126,000 was spent just keeping the Whyte Ave. facility clean. There are two attendants on the site, day and night.

Source: City of Edmonton

“The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the operation and accessibility of many public facilities including washrooms, libraries and recreational centers (sic). In order to ensure Edmontonians still had access to public washrooms, Administration worked with Boyle Street Ventures to provide washroom attendants,” the report said.

“Public washrooms play a key role in ensuring healthy and equitable urban places.

“A cost analysis showed that despite a significant increase in direct staffing costs for monitoring the washroom (compared with costs of custodial services with no attendants on site), these costs may be partially offset via the overall increase in safety, cleanliness and a reduction in police response to social disorder as well as a reduction in repairs to the facility.

“Attendants provided thorough cleaning of the washrooms, disinfection and ensured users followed physical distancing guidelines to make washrooms safe and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

Source: City of Edmonton

The city will now create a formal long-term implementation plan to address challenges
associated with managing public washrooms.

The dollar figures have some Edmonton councillors shaking their heads.

“I do not understand how we spent over half a million dollars  in half a year to operate eight bathrooms. When we are thinking about cutting everything else in our budget this seems like a prime opportunity. I will be finding out how we can save money here,” said Coun. Jon Dziadyk, vice chair of the Community and Public Services committee which the report will be presented to on Wednesday.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Majority of Canadians want Terry Fox to be the face of new $5 bill

Past Tory voters overwhelming pick Fox

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The vast majority of Canadians want Terry Fox to adorn the new $5 bill, a new poll finds.

The non-profit Angus Reid Institute found that among the eight final candidates, Terry Fox is named more than all others as the preferred new face, chosen by 57 per cent of Canadians.

Angus Reid poll

After losing part of his right leg to cancer, Terry Fox campaigned to raise national awareness and funding for cancer research by running his Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada 42-km daily run, on his prosthetic leg.

By February 1981, $24.7 million had been raised—or $1 for every Canadian.

His run was interrupted just past the half-way point when the cancer reached his lungs, and ultimately took his life.

Today, annual Terry Fox Runs are held all over the world to raise money for cancer research. In 2020, the Marathon of Hope marked its 40th anniversary.

“Famed Indigenous soldier Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow) is chosen by one-in-five (21 per cent), including one-quarter of residents in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. Crowfoot (Isapo-muxika), an integral part of Treaty 7 negotiations in Alberta, is chosen by one-in-five (19 per cent) as well,” Angus Reid pollsters found.

“Past Conservative voters are much more likely to prefer Terry Fox as their choice (three-quarters do so), while those who support other parties like candidates other than him.

Angus Reid poll

“Residents in Quebec (34 per cent) and young women across the country (27 per cent) show considerable support for Robertine Barry, the first French-Canadian journalist and an advocate for women’s rights, as a candidate.”

Angus Reid poll

More than three-in-five overall, and a majority in each region of the country, say it is a good idea to change the face of the five. But a significant segment, 37 per cent (including 57 per cent of past Conservative voters), disagree.

Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada’s seventh prime minister, has graced the nation’s sky blue five-dollar bank note for almost 50 years.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is to make a decision early next year about who should adorn the new bill.

Bios on all the finalists can be found here.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Legal fund for arrested restaurant owner Skelly hits $150,000

He’s set to appear in court later Friday to face charges of attempt to obstruct police, mischief under, failure to comply with Reopening Act.

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Legal funds raised for a Toronto-area man arrested after he refused to close his BBQ joint have already topped $150,000.

A crowd of supporters chanted “Shame” as police took Adam Skelly, 33, away on Thursday afternoon.

Skelly being arrested

He’s set to appear in court later Friday to face charges of attempt to obstruct police, mischief under, failure to comply with Reopening Act.

GoFundMe campaign online boasts at least 3,200 people donating over $150,000 for the owner of Adamson Barbecue

More than 10 police cars as many as 18 officers came to the restaurant after a Wednesday raid saw them change the locks and bolt it shut.

Before being arrested, Skelly vowed to remain open.

“The break-in of #adamsonbarbecue by Toronto Police and the city is tyrannical. They CANNOT silence us!” he tweeted Thursday.

He also issued a call for a locksmith to come and help him get into his place in Etobicoke.

“This isn’t just about #adamsonbarbecue. it’s about all small businesses and their livelihoods. spread the word and let’s get back to work. thank you. #IStandWithAdam” he tweeted.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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