In The News This Week – April 23, 2017

Hey Canada! Catch up on the weeks political news with our weekly update. This weeks top stories were:

  1. Ontario Liberals ‘Fair Housing Plan’: This week Kathleen Wynne’s government introduced several measures intended to cool the housing market in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. As explained in this Globe and Mail article, these measures include:
    • Expanding rent control to all rental properties, measures to encourage the building of new rental apartments, and changes to the taxation and legislation around rentals
    • A 15% “Non-Resident Speculation Tax” to curb foreign buyers
    • Reviewing rules around “property scalping” and “paper flipping”
    • Allowing municipalities to introduce vacancy taxes
  2. Syrian Sanctions: Last week Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada would be placing sanctions on 27 Syrian officials in response to the government’s role in a chemical weapons attack that occurred in early April. This week, Freeland announced that additional sanctions would be placed on individuals associated with the Syrian government. (Global Affairs CanadaCBCCBC)
  3. Methane Emissions: The Trudeau Liberals have put off their implementation of new methane emission regulations from 2020 to 2023 to “allow industry more time to prepare for the new regulations.” (Toronto Star)
  4. “Unfair” Canadian Dairy In President Trump’s latest trade rant, he criticized the “unfair” Canadian dairy industry. Dairy is tightly regulated in Canada, resulting in a sort-of monopoly for Canadian dairy farmers on the market. This has been a point of contention in various trade agreements between Canada and other countries. When Trump blamed the Canadian system this week for the downturn that US dairy producers are experiencing, Canadian dairy and government officials instead pointed to overproduction and decreasing global demand for dairy.  See this iPolitics article for a detailed explanation of the dairy situation in Canada and how it impacts our trading partners.
  5. French Election – Today France will go to the polls for the first round of their general election. If any candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, they will become the next leader. If not, the top 2 candidates will face off in a second vote in May. This election has many in the Western world holding their breath due to the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, whose party has a racist and anti-Semitic past, and who has run on an anti-immigration and anti-EU platform. This week when another ISIS inspired shooter opened fire on the Paris Champs-Elysées, it generated further concern that voters will turn out in great numbers for Le Pen’s National Front party. At the time this article was written, projections are that the second round will be between Marine Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, with both capturing around 22-23% of the first vote. (BBCCNN)
  6. British Election: British Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week that she is calling for an election this June – three years earlier than expected. As her and her party seek a hard exit for Britain from the EU, she is hoping this election will gain the Conservative Party a greater number of seats in Parliament to help enable the exit. (CBC)


Image source: Christopher Katsarov, The Canadian Press


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