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Delivering for Canadians Now | Prime Minister of Canada – Prime Minister of Canada

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Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced an agreement reached by the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party in Parliament, Delivering for Canadians Now, A Supply and Confidence Agreement.

Canadians are working hard to overcome the challenges of the global pandemic and now face a world made less secure because of Russia’s criminal war in Ukraine. Despite the challenges, Canadians are determined to build a better, more prosperous future. Voters have given this Parliament a clear mandate and do not want to endure needless delays in this important moment. They want to build a growing economy that supports their families with green jobs and climate action, more housing and child-care affordability, and stronger healthcare. Politics is supposed to be adversarial, but no one benefits when increasing polarization and parliamentary dysfunction stand in the way of delivering these results for Canadians.

In these highly uncertain and difficult times, Canadians expect us to come together and get to work to help make their lives better. The Liberal Party of Canada and Canada’s New Democratic Party have agreed to improve the way we approach politics over the next three years for the benefit of Canadians. The parties have identified key policy areas where there is a desire for a similar medium-term outcome. We have agreed to work together during the course of this Parliament to put the needs of Canadians first. This work will be focused on growing our economy by creating green jobs that fight the climate crisis, making people’s lives more affordable with housing and childcare, and expanding and protecting our healthcare. As the basis for this work, it is fundamental for the parties to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Both parties hope that by approaching this Parliament more collaboratively, we will be able to deliver on these shared policy objectives before the next election.

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Both parties believe strongly in Parliament’s role to hold the government to account. Nothing in this agreement will undermine that critical function. The parties will not always agree. The government will pursue elements of its agenda that the NDP may oppose and nothing in this agreement prevents either party from doing that. Both parties will continue to seek to work with other parties in Parliament on the priorities that are the subject of this agreement and for other objectives. This agreement is not about compromising either party’s core beliefs or denying their differences. It is about ensuring those differences do not stand in the way of delivering on shared goals for the benefit of each and every Canadian.

Therefore, the parties agree to Delivering for Canadians Now: A Supply and Confidence Agreement from March 22, 2022 until when Parliament rises in June of 2025, in order to achieve the following:

A Parliament that works for Canadians

The arrangement lasts until Parliament rises in June 2025, allowing four budgets to be presented by the government during this time. To ensure coordination on this arrangement, both Parties commit to a guiding principle of “no surprises”.

The agreement will mean that the NDP agrees to support the government on confidence and budgetary matters – notably on budgetary policy, budget implementation bills, estimates and supply – and that the Liberal Party commits to govern for the duration of the agreement. The NDP would not move a vote of non-confidence, nor vote for a non-confidence motion during the term of the arrangement. Other votes which impede the government from functioning may be declared confidence by the government, in which case the government will commit to informing the NDP as soon as possible if a vote will be declared confidence, and the NDP will inform the government of their vote intentions before declaring publicly to permit discussions around confidence to take place.

Regarding committees, both parties agree to the importance of parliamentary scrutiny and the work done by Members of Parliament at committees. To ensure committees are able to continue their essential work, both parties agree to communicate regarding any issues which could impede the government’s ability to function or cause unnecessary obstructions to legislation review, studies and work plans at committees.

Both parties agree to the minimum standing meetings:

  • Leaders meeting at least once per quarter
  • Regular House Leader meetings
  • Regular Whip meetings
  • Monthly stock-take meetings by an oversight group

The oversight group will consist of a small group of staff and politicians. This group will discuss overall progress on key commitments and upcoming issues.

In addition to briefings provided by the public service and ministers on policy matters related to the arrangement, including the budget and legislation, the government will ensure public servants remain available to brief the NDP on other matters. Briefings should be done in a timely fashion to allow for constructive feedback and discussion.

Both parties agree that parliamentary debate is essential. Both parties agree to identify priority bills to expedite through the House of Commons, including by extending sitting hours to allow for additional speakers, if needed. The NDP will support a limited number of programming motions to pass legislation that both parties agree to.

The agreement will serve to ensure Parliament continues to function in the interest of Canadians.

The Parties agree to prioritize the following actions, while continuing to work on other possible shared priorities through the oversight group.

1. A better healthcare system

  • Launching a new dental care program for low-income Canadians. Would start with under 12-year-olds in 2022, then expand to under 18-year-olds, seniors and persons living with a disability in 2023, then full implementation by 2025. Program would be restricted to families with an income of less than $90,000 annually, with no co-pays for anyone under $70,000 annually in income.
  • Continuing progress towards a universal national pharmacare program by passing a Canada Pharmacare Act by the end of 2023 and then tasking the National Drug Agency to develop a national formulary of essential medicines and bulk purchasing plan by the end of the agreement. 
  • Recognizing that health systems have been stretched because of COVID, the parties realize that additional ongoing investments will be needed in the immediate future to address these pressures. We will work with the provinces and territories to determine how together we can deliver better health outcomes for Canadians, including more primary care doctors and nurses, mental health support, aging at home, and better data.
  • Tabling a Safe Long-Term Care Act to ensure that seniors are guaranteed the care they deserve, no matter where they live.

2. Making life more affordable for people

  • Extending the Rapid Housing Initiative for an additional year.
  • Re-focusing the Rental Construction Financing Initiative on affordable units (under 80% AMR) and use 80% AMR or below as definition of affordable housing.
  • Moving forward on launching a Housing Accelerator Fund.        
  • Implementing a Homebuyer’s Bill of Rights and tackling the financialization of the housing market by the end of 2023.  
  • Including a $500 one-time top-up to Canada Housing Benefit in 2022 which would be renewed in coming years if cost of living challenges remain.
  • Through introducing an Early Learning and Child Care Act by the end of 2022, ensuring that childcare agreements have long-term protected funding that prioritizes non-profit and public spaces, to deliver high quality, affordable child care opportunities for families.

3. Tackling the climate crisis and creating good paying jobs

  • Advancing measures to achieve significant emissions reductions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Continuing to identify ways to further accelerate the trajectory to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
  • Moving forward in 2022 on the creation of the Clean Jobs Training Centre to support workers retention, redeployment and training.
  • Moving forward with Just Transition legislation, guided by the feedback we receive from workers, unions, Indigenous peoples, communities, and provinces and territories.
  • Developing a plan to phase-out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including from Crown corporations, including early moves in 2022.
  • Moving forward in 2022 on home energy efficiency programs that both enhance energy affordability for Canadians and reduce emissions, with investments to support multiple streams including low-income and multi-unit residential apartments. We will also ensure that this funding includes support for creating Canadian supply chains for this work to ensure the jobs stay in Canada and that we create the skills to export these valuable energy efficiency products around the world.

4. A better deal for workers

  • Ensuring that the 10 days of paid sick leave for all federally regulated workers starts as soon as possible in 2022.
  • Introducing legislation by the end of 2023 to prohibit the use of replacement workers, “scabs,” when a union employer in a federally regulated industry has locked out employees or is in a strike.

5. Reconciliation

  • Making a significant additional investment in Indigenous housing in 2022. It will be up to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to determine how housing investments are designed and delivered.
  • Accelerating the implementation of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People with Indigenous partners.
  • Creating a standing Federal-Provincial-Territorial table on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People to facilitate and coordinate this work.
  • Providing the necessary supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who wish to continue to undertake the work of burial searches at the former sites of residential schools.

6. A fairer tax system

  • Moving forward in the near term on tax changes on financial institutions who have made strong profits during the pandemic.
  • Implementing a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry by the end of 2023.

7. Making democracy work for people

  • Recognizing our shared commitment to maintaining the health of our democracy and the need to remove barriers to voting and participation, we will work with Elections Canada to explore ways to expand the ability for people to vote, such as:
    • An expanded “Election Day” of three days of voting.
    • Allowing people to vote at any polling place within their Electoral District.
    • Improving the process of mail-in ballots to ensure that voters who choose this method of voting are not disenfranchised.
    • We commit to ensuring that Quebec’s number of seats in the House of Commons remains constant.

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New job as head baker helps Ukrainian newcomer find familiarity in Winnipeg – CBC.ca

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Life in Canada is off to a sweet start for a Ukrainian baker who has found a new home for her creations in Winnipeg.

Hanna Tokar, who has only been in Canada for just over a month, is now the head baker at the Winnipeg location of the Butter Tart Lady.

Michelle Wierda, the owner of the bakery, offered her a job after seeing a Facebook post Tokar made where she shared her struggles finding employment in Winnipeg.

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“I saw her pictures and I thought, ‘I have to interview her,'” Wierda told host Marcy Markusa in a Tuesday interview with CBC’s Information Radio.

“I saw her attention to detail. Her work is just spectacular. It looked very delicious.”

Before coming to Canada, Tokar owned a bakery she operated by herself in her hometown of Kherson, a port city in southern Ukraine.

She was forced to permanently close its doors when she came to Canada, fleeing Kherson after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A woman with her dark hair pulled away from her face rolls dough on a crowded wooden surface.
Tokar says she was surprised to get the offer to work in the Winnipeg bakery. ‘It was actually my dream to have that job here,’ she says. ‘So it was amazing for me.’ (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Tokar said she was shocked to get the offer to work at the Winnipeg bakery.

“I didn’t expect [to] … have an offer to work in a bakery, because it was actually my dream to have that job here. So it was amazing for me,” she told Information Radio.

Missing home

Feb. 24 will mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

Since then, more than 800,000 Ukrainian nationals and their family members have applied for special temporary resident visas to come to Canada, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The ministry said as of late December, more than 132,000 Ukrainian nationals had entered Canada since the start of 2022.

While Tokar’s parents are safe elsewhere in Europe, she says she prays for her grandparents who stayed in Kherson, which has experienced heavy damage due to shelling. 

“I actually miss Ukraine. I actually miss my friends and my life — my previous life,” Tokar said.

“I really want  them to really be proud of me, so that’s why when I have a job I called them and my grandparents really cried.”

As she settles into her new role as head baker at the Butter Tart Lady’s Winnipeg location, the return to what has been a lifelong passion provides Tokar with familiarity in a new place. 

Woman with long curly blonde hair smiles in front of an array of baked goods.
The Butter Tart Lady owner Michelle Wierda says she instantly knew when she saw Ukrainian newcomer Tokar’s work on Facebook that she wanted the young baker to come in for an interview. (Submitted by Michelle Wierda)

Although she is still new to the position, Tokar is already infusing the menu with traditional Ukrainian treats, something Wierda is excited about. 

Of these treats is pampushky, a Ukrainian garlic bread that is traditionally served with borscht, Tokar explained.

On the two days she made pampushky, it sold out immediately, said Wierda.

As they look toward to the future, the two women are excited for their partnership.

“I love to be so creative and imaginative, and that’s what I’ve seen in Hanna, is that she’s very determined,” Wierda said. “She has a strong ambition to excellence and she’s always researching, looking for new ideas, new things.”

For Tokar, this experience provides hope for what life in Canada can be. 

“You know, I never expect that, like, some foreign people can support me like that,” she said.

“And I really like appreciate the kindness of people.”

Information Radio – MB6:15Baker from Ukraine is frosting cupcakes while connecting with a new community in Winnipeg

Marcy Markusa speaks with local bakery owner Michelle Wierda, a.k.a. “The Butter Tart Lady,” and her new head baker, Hanna Tokar, who is settling in Winnipeg after leaving Ukraine.

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Canadian team discovers power-draining flaw in most laptop and phone batteries – CBC.ca

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The phone, tablet or laptop you’re reading this on is likely having its battery slowly drained because of a surprising and widespread manufacturing flaw, according to researchers in Halifax.

“This is something that is totally unexpected and something that probably no one thought of,” said Michael Metzger, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. 

The problem? Tiny pieces of tape that hold the battery components together are made from the wrong type of plastic.

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Batteries release power because of a chemical reaction. Inside each battery cell, there are two types of metal. One acts as a positive electrode and one as a negative electrode. 

These electrodes are held in an electrolyte fluid or paste that is often a form of lithium. 

When you connect cables to each end of the battery, electrons flow through the cables — providing power to light bulbs, laptops, or whatever else is on the circuit — and return to the battery. 

Trouble starts if those electrons don’t follow the cables.

When electrons move from one charged side of the battery to the other through the electrolyte fluid, it’s called self-discharge. The battery is being depleted internally without sending out electrical current.

This is the reason why devices that are fully charged can slowly lose their charge while they’re turned off.

“These days, batteries are very good,” Metzger said. “But, like with any product, you want it perfected. And you want to eliminate even small rates of self-discharge.”

Stress-testing batteries

In the search for the perfect battery, researchers have to watch how each one performs over its full lifespan.

“We do a lot of our tests at elevated temperatures these days. We want to be able to do testing in reasonable time frames,” Metzger said. Heat makes a battery degrade more quickly, he explained.

Different number readings are seen on a battery testing device that's a black box with six dials.
Some of the testing equipment used to regulate the temperature of each experiment. The coloured numbers indicate the temperature of each heated compartment in which battery cells are being tested. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

At Dalhousie University’s battery lab, dozens of experimental battery cells are being charged and discharged again and again, in environments as hot as 85 C. 

For comparison, eggs fry at around 70 C. 

If researchers can learn why a battery eventually fails, they can tweak the positive electrode, negative electrode, or electrolyte fluid.

Seeing red

During one of these tests, the clear electrolyte fluid turned bright red. The team was puzzled.

It isn’t supposed to do that, according to Metzger. “A battery’s a closed system,” he said.

Something new had been created inside the battery.

They did a chemical analysis of the red substance and found it was dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). It’s a substance that shuttles electrons within the battery, rather than having them flow outside through cables and generate electricity. 

Shuttling electrons internally depletes the battery’s charge, even if it isn’t connected to a circuit or electrical device.

But if a battery is sealed by the manufacturer, where did the DMT come from?

Through the chemical analysis, the team realized that DMT has a similar structure to another molecule: polyethylene terephthalate (PET). 

PET is a type of plastic used in household items like water bottles, food containers and synthetic carpets. But what was plastic doing inside the battery? 

Tale of the tape 

Piece by piece, the team analyzed the battery components. They realized that the thin strips of metal and insulation coiled tightly inside the casing were held together with tape.

Those small segments of tape were made of PET — the type of plastic that had been causing the electrolyte fluid to turn red, and self-discharge the battery. 

A piece of metallic tape sits on a wooden table.
One of the metallic sheets removed from a coil inside a cylindrical battery. Each layer of the coil is held in place by plastic tape, shown here as the greenish strips. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

“A lot of companies use PET tape,” said Metzger. “That’s why it was a quite important discovery, this realization that this tape is actually not inert.”

Tech industry takes notice

Metzger and the team began sharing their discovery publicly in November 2022, in publications and at seminars.

Some of the world’s largest computer-hardware companies and electric-vehicle manufacturers were very interested.

“A lot of the companies made clear that this is very relevant to them,” Metzger said. “They want to make changes to these components in their battery cells because, of course, they want to avoid self-discharge.”

The team even proposed a solution to the problem: use a slightly more expensive, but also more stable, plastic compound.

A man in a plaid shirt walks through a room full of battery technology.
Metzger walks through one of the battery-testing laboratories at Dalhousie University. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

One option is polypropylene, which is typically used to make more durable plastic items like outdoor furniture or reusable water bottles. 

“We realized that it [polypropylene] doesn’t easily decompose like PET, and doesn’t form these unwanted molecules,” Metzger said. “So currently, we have very encouraging results that the self-discharges are truly eliminated by moving away from this PET tape.”

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U.S. escalates trade concerns over Canada's online news and streaming bills – The Globe and Mail

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U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive for a joint news conference at the conclusion of the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City, Mexico on Jan. 10.KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters

Washington has escalated its concerns about the trade implications of Ottawa’s online streaming and online news bills, prompting a legal expert to predict the issue will be raised during President Joe Biden’s planned visit to Canada in March.

Deputy United States trade representative Jayme White stressed “ongoing concerns” about the two Canadian bills at a meeting last week with Rob Stewart, Canada’s deputy minister for international trade.

Senior Democrat and Republican senators on the influential U.S. Senate finance committee also weighed in last week, writing a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai about Canada’s “troubling policies,” which they said target U.S technology companies.

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Both bills are making their way through Canada’s Parliament. Bill C-11 reached a third-reading debate in the Senate on Tuesday.

The U.S. is concerned that the two bills unfairly single out American firms, including Google, Facebook and Netflix.

Bill C-11 would update Canada’s broadcast laws, giving the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the power to regulate streaming platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Spotify.

The streaming platforms would have to promote Canadian content – including films, TV shows, music and music videos – and fund its creation.

Bill C-18 would force Google and Facebook to strike deals with news organizations, including broadcasters, to compensate them for using their work. The CRTC would have a role in overseeing the process.

Two sources told The Globe and Mail that the CRTC’s lack of experience regulating print media and digital platforms was raised by Ms. Tai and her team in previous talks with Canada’s Trade Minister, Mary Ng. The Globe is not naming the sources because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

A U.S. readout of Mr. White’s meeting with Mr. Stewart said the American official had “expressed the United States’ ongoing concerns with … pending legislation in the Canadian Parliament that could impact digital streaming services and online news sharing and discriminate against U.S. businesses.”

Shanti Cosentino, a spokeswoman for Ms. Ng, said the Minister “has reiterated to Ambassador Tai that both Bill C-11 and C-18 are in line with our trade obligations and do not discriminate against U.S. businesses.”

Last week, Democrat Ron Wyden, chairman of the U.S. Senate committee on finance, and Republican Michael Crapo, a senior member of the committee, raised concerns in a letter to Ms. Tai that the bills could breach the terms of the United-States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Michael Geist, the University of Ottawa’s Canada Research Chair in internet law, said the intervention from both parties means it is now likely the issue will be on the agenda when Mr. Biden visits Canada.

“To see this raised in a bipartisan manner by two U.S. Senators from the powerful finance committee suggests that the issue is gaining traction in Congress,” he said.

The senators urged Ms. Tai to take enforcement action if Canada fails to meet its trade obligations.

Their letter said the online streaming bill would “mandate preferential treatment for Canadian content and deprive U.S. creatives of the North American market, access they were promised under USMCA.”

It added that Bill C-18 “targets U.S. companies for the benefit of Canadian news producers and raises national treatment concerns under USMCA.”

But Toronto-based trade lawyer and former diplomat Lawrence Herman, founder of Herman and Associates, said the U.S. politicians’ intervention is “a reflection of a well-orchestrated lobbying effort by the major digital platforms.”

He said there is no evidence that either bill discriminates against American companies.

“Canada is well armed to defend any trade complaint,” he said.

On Thursday, as Canada’s Senate debated Bill C-11 at third reading, Senator Dennis Dawson, sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said the legislation has been thoroughly scrutinized and should now be passed.

The Senate was due to begin debating C-18 this week. But that could now be delayed because of an error in the printed text of the bill sent over from the Commons, the Speaker of the Senate said.

The incorrect text included a sub-amendment that had not actually passed in a Commons committee. It will now have to be pulped and reprinted.

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