Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
The Government of Canada has announced its intention to purchase a temporary replacement for the MV Holiday Island ferry until its successor is built and ready to enter service on the PEI-NS route. The government is planning to build two new ferries, including the permanent replacement of the MV Holiday Island, at Chantier Davie in Quebec. Design work for the new vessel is already underway, with delivery expected as early as 2028. However, the President of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce would like to see government do more to support reliable ferry service, including a longer-term solution to aging infrastructure.
Alberta Crown prosecutors are no longer pursuing pandemic-related cases under the Public Health Act, citing the improbability of convictions after an August 1st ruling found that public health orders were approved by the wrong individual. While the Public Health Act required the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) to provide the final stamp of approval to any public health orders and restrictions, some orders were instead put in place by politicians. The same ruling found that the restrictions did not run in opposition to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Wildfire situation improved, travel restriction orders on temporary accommodation are rescinded.
Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, announced on Thursday, August 24th, that she was rescinding the recent restrictions on traveling to the interior for temporary stays in the southern interior.
In her announcement, Minister Ma also noted, ““We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who changed their travel plans to the Interior following the accommodation and travel restrictions issued on Aug. 19. We also want to thank the tourism industry for being nimble, supportive and understanding, and stepping up to make space available for evacuees, as well as for the many firefighters and emergency crews who are protecting us.
“Because of the support of people and accommodation providers, we were able to support local governments and First Nations in securing enough hotel rooms to meet the high demand of evacuees who needed a place to stay. We’ve also been able to book additional hotel rooms in case they are needed.”
Province Working with Municipalities on Priority Projects
At the 2023 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in London, the Ford government announced several initiatives aimed at boosting housing supply in Ontario’s towns and cities. The province has launched a $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund, which provides funding to municipalities based on their performance on meeting housing targets assigned by the province. The Ontario government is also expanding strong mayor powers to 21 municipalities that are projected to have a population of at least 50,000 by 2031.
Canada confirms it changed land claim process, mulls Indian Act changes – August 26, 2023
Canada changed the way it settles First Nation land claims, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada confirmed Friday. The department is also mulling over possible amendments to the Indian Act and the Specific Claims Tribunal Act, though it didn’t say what those changes would be. July 2022 documents from the deputy minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada say Canada was mulling over changes to language about modern land surrenders, noting some First Nations are unwilling to settle specific claims if they have to do so.
Mayor Olivia Chow’s executive backs taxes to fix city budget crisis – August 24, 2023
The City of Toronto has taken a step towards new taxes that Mayor Olivia Chow and senior civil servants say are necessary to help Toronto escape financial ruin. At a special summer session of Chow’s executive committee Thursday to consider a sobering report on the city’s long-term financial plan, councillors approved staff recommendations to lift the $5-an-hour cap on metered on-street parking and boost the land transfer tax rate on the sale of homes over $3 million.