Canada-wide Update | Highlights

June 10, 2024


Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly Canada-wide newsletter:


Senior NDP MLA Set to Resign

Former Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips told the Globe and Mail that she will be stepping down on July 1st. MLA Phillips cited the increasing polarization as well as the challenges she had personally faced as a New Democrat MLA, including being targeted by police. MLA Phillips was elected in the NDP wave in 2015 in Lethbridge West, a riding she held for the 2019 and 2023 elections. Her resignation will open a set in the Legislature just over a week after the new NDP leader is due to be announced on June 22nd. If former Calgary Mayor and leadership race frontrunner Naheed Nenshi is the winner, he will face pressure to run in the byelection rather than ask another one of his caucus members to step aside. Lethbridge West is not a safe seat for the NDP, and it will become a must-win for Nenshi.

Atlantic Canada

Frustration Continues Over Immigration Policy in P.E.I. 

A new joint report from Dalhousie and St. Thomas universities along with P.E.I.’s Cooper Institute and the Madhu Verma Migrant Justice Centre argues that the best way to fix the issues that plague Canada’s temporary foreign worker program may be to eliminate it entirely, instead granting permanent residency status to workers immediately when they arrive in Canada. Other recommendations included improving workplace inspections, providing full access to employment insurance and health care, ending employer specific work permits, and ensuring reliable funding for groups supporting migrant workers. The report comes amid an ongoing protest being staged by a group of foreign workers in P.E.I. The group is demanding changes to the province’s updated immigration policy and had previously been hunger striking until officials agreed to meet with them. The updated policy significantly cuts the amount of nomination spots for permanent residency for temporary foreign workers in the sales and service sectors. Representatives of the Charlottetown and Eastern P.E.I. Chambers of Commerce appeared before P.E.I.’s standing committee on education and economic growth this week to testify that business owners were already suffering negative effects of the change, losing workers that they cannot easily replace.

British Columbia

MLA Elenore Sturko Joins B.C. Conservatives 

South Surrey MLA Elenore Sturko’s defection from the B.C. United Party to the B.C. Conservatives signals trouble for United Leader Kevin Falcon, according to political observers. Sturko, known for her LGBTQ advocacy, was personally recruited by Falcon and is seen as a strong performer. Her move, alongside the recent departure of another United MLA, Lorne Doerkson, boosts the Conservative caucus and suggests growing momentum for the party. Political scientists note the Conservatives’ rising popularity and Falcon’s failed coalition efforts. The NDP leads in polls, but the Conservatives are gaining ground. Sturko’s defection raises questions about the B.C. United Party’s prospects in the upcoming provincial election, especially given the B.C. Conservative Party’s recent surge in polls.


Premier Ford Reshuffles Ontario Cabinet

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has revealed changes this his Cabinet minister’s portfolios Stephen Lecce has been transitioned from education minister to minister of energy and electrification. Todd Smith, who previously oversaw energy, will now lead education. Steve Clark, the former housing minister, is becoming the government’s house leader. Rob Flash is taking up a new post as Minister of Farming. New to the cabinet are Mike Harris as Minister of Red Tape Reduction and Natalia Kusendova-Bashta as Minister of Long-Term Care. Premier Ford has stated that this cabinet shuffle comes with a focus on rebuilding the economy.


Contentious Capital Gains Tax Change to Face Vote at House of Commons Monday

The Liberal government is set to introduce a contentious capital gains tax change in the House of Commons on Monday. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland stated that the tax increase will affect around 40,000 individuals and corporations, potentially generating $19 billion in revenue over the next five years for programs like housing and national defense. The Canadian Medical Association has expressed strong opposition, citing negative impacts on physicians’ financial stability and the healthcare system. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre criticized the proposal and the overall 2024 budget, accusing the Liberals of exacerbating inflation with excessive spending.


TTC Strike Averted with Last-Minute Deal

The tentative agreement between the TTC and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 has successfully prevented a potential strike. The deal includes a wage increase of over 13%spread across three years, enhanced benefits, and protections against job outsourcing. It further restricts the ability of 905 transit agencies to operate within Toronto. Mayor Olivia Chow commended the deal, highlighting its advantages for both the city’s workers and overall urban transport. The agreement awaits ratification from union members and the TTC board, with a decisive vote scheduled for June 20.


Bill 69 – An Act to ensure the responsible governance of energy resources, introduced by Minister Fitzgibbon

Bill 69 was introduced by Minister Fitzgibbon. It aims to address the slow process in project approval. Hydro-Québec will no longer be obliged to issue a call for tenders for its electricity supply contracts. The Minister said the strategy includes solar, wind, and leaves the door open for nuclear energy. Also, Hydro-Quebec will be building at least one new dam and will invest in new, more efficient turbines for older dams. Companies won’t benefit from preferential pricing to attract them to the province anymore. Rates for electricity sold to companies will be set according to Hydro-Québec’s actual electricity production, transmission, and distribution costs. The Régie de l’énergie (Energy Board) will review the rates every three years. There will be a cap at a 3% rate increase on residential hydroelectricity until the general Quebec election of 2026. The bill will also allow private distributors of electricity to sell their power to neighbouring customers, provided they can demonstrate the ability to construct the connection independently without using Hydro-Québec’s lines. The bill grants the Régie de l’énergie the power to set rates and conditions of service for a public fast-charging network for electric vehicles established by Hydro-Québec. Consultations on Bill 69 will take place in the Fall as the National Assembly rises this week. Some groups are warning of increased energy privatization.

To stay informed on the latest in Canadian current affairs and access top stories subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

book a call

Get in touch with our team so we can craft a solution tailored to achieve your strategic objectives.

Book a call