Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
In a televised speech to Albertans, Premier Danielle Smith announced measures to combat inflation, tackle delays in health-care treatments, and fight back against Ottawa. Outside of the $2.4-billion affordability package, the rest of the announcements had been previously announced. The affordability measures include general relief around electricity and fuel prices, but primarily provide targeted support for seniors, families, and those who receive income supports, PDD and AISH.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley offered a rebuttal and presented a high-level overview of her plan to protect public health care, address affordability, and build up the economy.
As of July 1st, residents in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will have to pay the federal carbon tax.
Provinces had submitted their own plans to price carbon, but they were rejected by the federal government. Premier Houston and Premier Furey issued statements in response expressing their disappointment in the decision, arguing that while they support actions to address climate change, their residents are struggling and the carbon tax will only increase the cost of gas and home heating oil.
Eby Hits the Ground Running
Premier David Eby has only been on the job one week, and it’s been a busy one. In just one-week Premier Eby has made significant announcements on housing, public safety, autism funding, inflation relief, health care, and more. Total cost: over $1 billion. On his first day (Friday, Nov 18), Eby announced two new inflation measures, followed by a comprehensive public safety announcement over his first weekend (Sunday, Nov 20). Eby then headed to the Legislative Assembly where he led his first week of the session as Premier and introduced two new bills on housing (Monday, Nov 21). Over the last week, Eby spoke at the BC Federation of Labour convention, announced a standalone Housing Ministry at the Housing Central conference, announced new funding for the RCMP, made a major reversal on autism funding announced under Premier John Horgan, and then, on Sunday (Nov 27) made another major announcement with Health Minister Adrian Dix on recruiting more internationally trained doctors to BC.
Eby promised he would hit the ground running, and so far his leadership has lived up to that. The question is not how long he can keep going – his time as Attorney General proved Eby can get things done at a tremendous speed – but if the public and his colleagues accept the pace of change. One week in, there is no question that this is now David Eby’s government.
Voting will close for CUPE school support staff on the tentative employment agreement presented last week on December 5th.
The lowest paid CUPE worker will receive a 4.2 per cent increase in pay annually under the new agreement. CUPE leader Laura Walton expressed dissatisfaction with the deal on Friday, which is largely the same as it was before CUPE’s second threat to strike. Should CUPE voters decide against adopting the new agreement, the organization may give five days’ notice of a strike action again.
Justin Trudeau took the stand at the Emergencies Act Inquiry; defends his decision to invoke the Act.
The public hearing portion of the Public Order Emergency Commission wrapped up on Friday with Justin Trudeau’s appearance. Trudeau firmly defended his decision in February to invoke Canada’s Emergencies Act for the first time in the nation’s history. When he was asked on how his decision would affect future governments from using this Act he saidthat future governments, “are likely to look at this experience” and decide that it’s not worth invoking the act.
Toronto Mayor John Tory announces appointments to city’s committees
Toronto Mayor John Tory has unveiled his picks for key committee roles at City Hall, with familiar faces returning to old roles and new ones to his powerful executive group. Mayor Tory announced that Jennifer McKelvie, the city’s new deputy mayor, will lead the Infrastructure and Environment committee. Brad Bradford, another ally of the mayor, will lead the city’s housing committee. The new TTC chairman will be former Toronto police officer Jon Burnside. Chris Moise, a former Toronto District School Board trustee, is Mayor Tory’s pick for chairperson of the Board of Health. The mayor has also recommended newly elected councillors Amber Morley and Lily Cheng to sit on his Executive Committee, an influential group that helps shape the council’s agenda.