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Don Martin: Trudeau government finally performs well in a freedom protest – CTV News



It’s a bit like a flea attacking a pit bull, but the Trudeau government deserves a thumbs-up for trying to inflict a painful Canadian bite on Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

This was a government which, until this crisis came along, was lost in botched affairs on every foreign file.

It was led by a prime minister who seemed incapacitated by hostage-taking China and still vacillates on allowing Huawei technology into 5G networks.


It’s a prime minister who infuriated India with excessive dress-ups and his meddling in a farmers’ protest.

And after being repeatedly ignored or ruled-against by the Biden administration, Justin Trudeau has become former U.S. president Donald Trump’s favorite punching bag for his bungled handling of the Freedom Convoy although, in my view, being called a “far-left lunatic” by an all-round lunatic is a badge of honour.

Now along comes Putin’s Folly — and suddenly all isn’t completely hopeless for a third-term Liberal government which recently seemed in need of leadership change.

A government which took weeks to clear the street in front of its Parliament buildings is doing everything right in trying to stop a bully sending in tank convoys to force a Soviet Union reincarnation.

It’s almost as if adult supervision or someone with a spine has taken hold of a government which often seemed stymied by difficult (and sometimes easy) decision-making.

The government stars are finally starting to shine. And unfortunately for Trudeau, he’s not among them. Rather, they’re standing right beside him.

There comes a moment where you study an Opposition leader or a cabinet minister and you just know they’re ready to become prime minister one day.

In Trudeau’s case, while he was delivering his usual breathless dramatizations of the situation at Monday’s news conference, the heir apparents framed him on the television screen.

To his right, deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland, fidgeting with a thick stack of documents. To his left, looking calm and cool, Defence Minister Anita Anand.

Either one looks ready to step into Trudeau’s shoes and deliver far superior leadership.

The bonus is that both are women in a country that still needs to make the progressive step forward by electing a woman as prime minister.

Both are whip-smart, delivering scandal-free service so far in the portfolios they’ve been assigned.

And, as their Ukrainian-invasion-handling has shown, both have risen to this character-testing crisis by orchestrating a furious political retaliation for Russia’s inexcusable invasion.

Freeland, in particular, has been readying for this showdown most of her adult life.

Fluent in Ukrainian and a published author on Russia’s post-communism transition and the rise of its oligarchs, she was such a journalistic pest while living in Moscow that the KGB tapped her phones and ultimately denied her re-entry to the former Soviet Union.

She delivered extremely poignant remarks Monday, invoking Martin Luther King, Gettysburg and the Battle of Britain as analogous to this as an historic democratic showdown against the bloodthirsty tyrant who has turned Russia into a pariah.

If that sounds like hyperbole, well perhaps, but there’s no doubting Canada is turning its words into every avenue of possible action against Putin.

It’s frankly difficult to see what more Canada could do short of putting actual soldier boots on Ukrainian soil, but that likely means we’re marching into World War 3 and Russian nukes are warming up in their silos.

Consider the retaliation list, which saw Canada leading the global charge to shut down international transactions technology to freeze Russian banks out of global markets.

Lethal weapons, including anti-tank systems, are on their way; Canadian sanctions against Putin and his billionaire buddies have been imposed; a blockade against most exports to Russia announced; matching donations for humanitarian charities offered; a crude oil import ban imposed (although we don’t currently import any); a demand to take all Russian television off Canada’s airwaves delivered (which Bell and Rogers have already done); and fast-tracked immigration for Ukrainian refugees offered.

It’s a unified reflection of Russian revulsion; a diplomatic shunning unlike anything experienced in recent memory. How we still have an ambassador in Moscow is beyond me.

But this crisis has also uncovered Liberal leaders-in-waiting for the prime minister’s job, at least until the Conservatives figure out how their next leader can reclaim the government-in-waiting position.

Thanks to the best and brightest in Trudeau’s cabinet, the tiny Canadian flea is preparing to deliver a bite greater than its size.

While sadly unlikely to happen, the world can only hope enough bites will drive a fleabag like Putin from irritation to capitulation.

That’s the bottom line…

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Canada’s Climate Crisis: An In-Depth Look at the Current State and What’s Being Done to Combat It



Canada's Climate Crisis

Canada’s annual average temperature increased by 1.9C from 1948 to 2021. According to the Government of Canada, northern regions exhibited an increase in annual mean temperature three times over the global mean warming rate.

Climate change affects food security, biological diversity, and people’s health. Many believe that Canada’s dealing with a climate crisis and wondering what’s been done to combat it. Here’s a quick overview of the current situation and the plans the government has available to tackle this problem.

What’s the Current Climate Situation in Canada?

According to the last update from the Climate Action Tracker, the action taken by Canada has been rated as “highly insufficient.” That means the country isn’t in line with the global agreement made in Paris to stick to the 1.5C limit.

Furthermore, CAT experts believe the emission reduction target by 2030 is only enough to be in line with a 4C warming. They warn that Canada should strengthen their climate policies and targets while offering more support to others to reach set goals.


Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

The plan for reducing emissions by 2030 was adopted in March 2022, and the government itself describes it as achievable but ambitious. The idea is to lower emissions in 2030 by 40% when compared to 2005. It’s worth noting that Canada has a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

According to this plan, the country will invest over $9 billion to promote pollution-cutting effects. The strategy includes:

  • Improving electric vehicle infrastructure. People who want to purchase ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) can hope for financial support.
  • Greening buildings and homes. The idea is to adopt revised building codes that are in line with the environmental goals.
  • Clean energy projects. These include investing in solar and wind power, electricity, and other projects.
  • Reduce gas and oil emissions. It seems to be the most ambitious part of the plan, especially since Canada keeps supporting the Trans Mounting pipeline and exporting LNG to Europe.

Some other details include empowering farmers to implement sustainable practices and communities to launch climate action projects.

What Can You Do to Help with Climate Change?

Collective action is important to restrict climate change, and some suggestions for individuals include the following:

  • Consider how you travel. Use public transport or walk when possible. If you are heading to far destinations, consider not taking frequent long-distance flights. For example, if you want to go to Vegas to enjoy casino games, consider playing online roulette while at home, which can provide immersive fun while reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Use LED lightbulbs and energy-efficient appliances. Many modern appliances come with an energy efficiency rating.
  • Eat veggies to reduce a carbon footprint. It takes less energy and greenhouse gas emissions to produce vegetables. Apart from lowering your carbon footprint, this is a healthy diet that could help you lose pounds and manage weight.
  • Focus on reusing and recycling items. Consider shopping for second-hand clothes and not purchasing anything you don’t absolutely need. Consider donating the items you don’t need anymore, and make sure to recycle those that you throw away properly.

A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy

The federal authorities adopted this long-term plan in 2020, and its goal is to secure a future with a healthier environment and economy. The main principles of this plan include the following:

  • Making energy-efficient structures more affordable. The idea is to make locations where Canadians live easier to purchase, maintain, and upgrade while ensuring houses and buildings energy-efficient.
  • Affordable and eco-friendly transportation. From clean electricity supply to ZEVs and other details, the idea is to reduce congestion while making communities healthier.
  • Carbon pollution pricing. The idea is for pollution to be pricey but ensure that the households get back more than they pay.
  • Achieving a clean industrial advantage. The country aims to focus on “Made in Canada” services and products with low carbon footprints.
  • Embrace the power of nature. Restoring and conserving natural spaces while planting billions of trees is another way to reduce pollution and fight climate change.

The government has released the final National Adaptation Strategy for comments. It’s the first strategy of this type that was designed by working with Indigenous People, municipal, territorial, and provincial authorities, as well as other relevant platforms. The idea is to design shared priorities and unite everyone across Canada to take joint action to decrease climate change risks.

Final Thoughts

Scientists are racing to find the most effective climate change solutions, with the potential options leaving them divided. However, they agree on one thing – it’s necessary to take strong action in the soonest possible timeframe.

Canada has already adopted a climate change action plan, and the only question is if it’s aggressive enough. It remains to be seen whether some changes to the strategy will be made in order to reach the long-term goals of dealing with the climate crisis.

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Debt in Canada: What’s normal for your age?



If you’re like most people, you have at least some debt. Your mortgage, car payment, credit card balance, and student loans are all liabilities that contribute to your total debt.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how much debt is normal for your age, though?

Below, I’ll outline the average and median debt by age in Canada, so you can see how your finances compare. Then I’ll explain some of the key reasons why Canadians’ debt is increasing.

Average debt by age group in Canada

First of all, it’s important to understand that debt is normal. Very few Canadians are 100% debt-free. Even those with near-perfect credit scores likely have an auto or student loan they’re paying down.


These are the debt metrics measured by Statistics Canada during census surveys.

Here’s the average debt by age group in Canada as of 2019, according to the latest data sets from Statistics Canada:

Note – this data applies to individuals who are not in an economic family. The numbers differ for economic families, which include married/common-law partners and families with dependent children.

The total debt measured includes:

  • Mortgage debt
  • Lines of credit
  • Credit card debt
  • Student loans
  • Vehicle loans
  • Other debt (doesn’t fit in the categories above)

Median debt by age group in Canada

Looking at average debt provides a decent overview of the data. However, the averages are very skewed by the debt incurred by Canada’s ultra-wealthy taxpayers.

When calculating the average, all values are added together and divided by the total number of values. This means that a few extreme values can greatly influence the result.

In contrast, the median is the middle value in a dataset when values are arranged in order. As such, it is less affected by outliers and provides a more accurate representation of typical values.

For example, a multi-millionaire with a $2-million mortgage will skew the average higher than the average Canadian.

For a more accurate look at Canadian debt, I find that the median data as of 2019 provides more accurate insight:

Why is consumer debt increasing in Canada?

Over the past year, consumer debt has notably increased. This is especially true for credit card debt. The average monthly spending per credit card increased by 17.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a recent report by Equifax Canada.

In the report Rebecca Oakes, vice-president of Advanced Analytics at Equifax Canada, stated that “Gen Z and Millennials are driving up higher consumer spending the most.”

Even though inflation is slowly easing, it’s still relatively high. The high inflation has driven up the cost of everyday goods, including groceries and fuel. This, in turn, means that Canadians are spending more per month than they were before 2022, when inflation started to rise.

Unfortunately, workers’ pay hasn’t grown with inflation. This means that the average Canadian simply has less money to spend, increasing their reliance on credit cards to purchase daily necessities.

  • Pent-up demand and travel

Oakes goes on to state that “Pent-up demand and increased travel with the easing of COVID restrictions, combined with soaring inflation, have led to some of the highest increases in credit card spending we’ve ever seen.”

It makes sense that Canadians would be eager to travel after several years of travel restrictions, even if it means incurring more credit card debt.

  • Increased interest rates

To keep inflation under control, the fed steadily increased interest rates throughout 2022 and is discussing more rate hikes this year. As the federal interest rate has increased, variable interest rates, such as those offered by credit card companies, have also increased.

Those who carry a credit balance over to the next month must now pay even more interest on their credit card debt, increasing their overall debt.

Creating a plan to manage your debt

Accruing debt in the short-term may be inevitable due to high-interest rates and inflation. However, it’s important to create a plan to get your debt under control.

A reliable budget plan paired with consistent action is the best way to get out of debt.

Revisit your monthly budget to find areas where you can save, try to pay down high-interest credit card debt as quickly as possible, and consider taking up a side hustle to earn extra money that you can put towards your debt.


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Six bodies, including one child, recovered from St. Lawrence River




The bodies of six people, including one child with a Canadian passport, were recovered from the St. Lawrence River late Thursday afternoon, according to Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude.

The St. Lawrence River flowing east past Cornwall Island.
The St. Lawrence River flowing east past Cornwall Island. (CBC News)

The bodies of six people, including one child with a Canadian passport, were recovered from the St. Lawrence River late Thursday afternoon, according to Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude.

Dulude said he could not provide any information on the nationalities of the other five deceased.


The Mohawk community of Akwesasne straddles the Canada-U.S. border and occupies territory in Ontario, Quebec and New York state.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Police, with the assistance of the Canadian Coast Guard, is leading the ongoing investigation, Dulude said.

The bodies were spotted in Canadian waters by a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter, he said.

The discovery of the bodies coincided with the search for a missing Akwesasne community member that also began Thursday, Dulude said.



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