Canadians consider federal anti-trust enforcement “lacklustre” and “ineffective,” says a Department of Industry report. The anti-trust Competition Bureau has acknowledged failures in permitting consolidation in key sectors like grocery retailing.
“Comments received from individual members of the public generally raised what participants largely considered to be the ineffectiveness of the Competition Act in preventing corporate monopolies and oligopolies leading to challenges for Canadians such as higher costs,” said the report Future Of Canada’s Competition Policy Consultation: What We Heard.
Critics yesterday ridiculed a federal sales tax holiday on new rental construction as a “limousine Liberal measure.” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced a GST holiday bill that dropped cabinet’s 2015 promise to link the tax break to construction of “affordable rental housing.”
“We want the builders who qualify for it to have affordable apartment rentals so Canadians could actually live in them,” Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre told the Commons. The bill would “give tax breaks for $10 million penthouse apartments,” said Poilievre. “God forbid the limousine Liberals want all the money to go to the penthouse apartments.”
The president of the Canadian Labour Congress yesterday petitioned MPs for a 25 percent windfall tax on corporate profits. Proceeds should go to low income families to buy food, Bea Bruske testified at the Commons finance committee.
“Workers in Canada currently are suffering the intense cost of living pressures but with bold action we believe government can help alleviate these pressures,” said Bruske. Food inflation is an average 6.9 percent year over year according to Statistics Canada’s benchmark Consumer Price Index.
“The Congress recommends in order to cope with high food prices, Budget 2024 impose a windfall profit tax on large food retailers and use the revenue to fund an extension of the existing grocery rebate program,” said President Bruske.
“President Zelenskyy, you and the Ukrainian people are holding the rules-based order in the balance,” Mr. Trudeau told the Ukrainian president in the House of Commons.
“You are on the front lines, not just of the fight for Ukraine, but in the fight for the kind of future we are all going to be living in.”
Mr. Trudeau also called Mr. Zelenskyy a “great champion of democracy,
What changed in the US-China relationship that is pushing the two countries closer to war?
No one seems to know. Readers who follow developments in China closely, know that relations between the two superpowers have grown increasingly strained in the last few years. But while the US has taken a more hostile approach to China, no one seems to know why. Was there something in particular that China did that angered Washington leading to the imposition of economic sanctions, technology blockades and military provocations in the Taiwan Strait?
No, there’s no indication that China did anything. What changed was Washington’s approach to China. And—as you’ll see—Washington’s approach changed very quickly and very dramatically. China went from friend to foe almost overnight.
Cabinet billed more than a quarter million for a three-day cabinet retreat on inflation, records show. Expenses for the meeting at a Vancouver Hyatt a year ago included tens of thousands of dollars for food with catering from one café that sells an $88 “millionaire’s cut” steak and lobster plate.
“Families are feeling the impacts of global inflation particularly through rising food and gasoline costs,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement at the time. “The Prime Minister and ministers will keep working together to further strengthen the economy to meet the needs of Canadians, making life more affordable for families.”
Crime costs Canadians more than $43 billion a year, says a landmark report by the Department of Justice. Researchers totaled expenses from police overtime to victims’ lost wages, funeral expenses and trauma.
“Victims bear the direct costs of crime and incur both tangible and intangible costs,” said the report Costs Of Crime In Canada. “The tangible costs estimated in this study include medical costs.”
“The traumatic experience of being a victim can cause severe pain and suffering,” wrote researchers. “This study considers pain and suffering as an intangible cost.”
Some of Canada’s largest corporations seek waivers under a pending federal ban on replacement workers in strikes and lockouts. The labour department yesterday was noncommittal but reiterated a bill will be introduced by year’s end.
“Employers in rail, maritime, airlines, agriculture, telecommunications and broadcasting asked for exemptions for their specific sectors,” said a department report. “These stakeholders consider all or at least part of their work as essential.”
Oil companies should pay costs of wildfires, a New Democrat yesterday told the Commons. MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay, Ont.) said it was unfair to charge firefighting expenses to taxpayers since oil companies were “burning the planet.”
“Who is going to pay the cost for the huge damages that are being done to our planet right now, the billions in damages to communities and provinces from these unprecedented wildfires?” asked Angus. Cabinet in 2022 budgeted $256 million in five-year funding to subsidize the purchase of firefighting equipment by provinces and territories.
GR Editor’s Note
There is a Double Speak: While the G77 Calls for “Reform of the Financial System”, what they fail to acknowledge is that many of the heads of state and government of the Global South have not only endorsed the Neoliberal agenda, they are directly or indirectly controlled by the Washington Consensus.
Brazil: Luis Ignacio da Silva
This certainly applies to Lula Ignacio da Silva from the outset of his presidency. The first thing he did was to hand over the management of his country’s Central Bank to FleetBoston and the State investment Banco do Brasil to Citibank.
“A former CEO/president [Henrique Meirelles] of one of America’s largest financial institutions (and a US citizen) controls Brazil’s Central Bank and sets the macroeconomic and monetary agenda for a country of more than 200 Million people.
It is called a Coup d’Etat… by Wall Street.”