In The News This Week – September 17, 2017

Hey Canada! We hope everyone had a great weekend. Here are the top political stories to kick off your week informed:

  1. Rohingya Crisis: Canada has pledged to give $2.5-million to Bangladesh to aid with the influx of Rohingya Muslims amidst a growing crisis in Myanmar. This money is meant to target care for women, new mothers and children under five, and follows a $4.3 million contribution by the European Commission earlier this week. (The Globe and Mail)
    • Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says both she and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plan to “focus” on the issue at next week’s UN General Assembly in New York. (The Globe and Mail)
  2. Tax Reform Objections Continue: Liberal MP Wayne Easter, the Liberal Chair of the Commons finance committee, is rebuking his own government’s rollout of proposed tax changes, stating that it was a mistake to portray small-business owners as tax cheats. “The communications was just god-awful,” he said in an interview. The proposed changes have been decried by small business owners and associations across the country. Editorials published this week by The Globe, the Toronto Star, and the Ottawa Citizen all point to a good idea gone bad. 
    • This Globe and Mail article has a great explanation of the Liberal’s proposed tax reforms and a useful analysis of why greater tax reform (and simplification) would be beneficial.
  3. BC Budget: The B.C. NDP has added significant new spending in its 2017 Budget update, with plans to spend $51.9 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year (nearly $2 billion more than the Liberals planned to spend). The budget focuses on making the province more affordable for residents, with plans for the construction of new affordable rental housing, modular housing for homeless people, a 50 per cent cut in MSP premiums and an increase of $100 per month for people on income and disability assistance. (CBC)
    •  What’s missing? Money to provide a $400 renters rebate, a freeze on B.C. ferry fares and BC Hydro rates, $10-a-day daycare, and a $1000 completion grant for university and college students — just some of several things that were prominent in the NDP’s campaign platform.
    • This article from Huffington Post Canada takes a look at some of the budget’s winners and losers.
  4. Missile Defence Policy: Current U.S. policy directs the American military not to defend Canada if it is targeted in a ballistic missile attack, says the top Canadian officer at the North American Aerospace Defence Command. The House of Commons defence committee is currently studying how ready Canada is for an attack by North Korea, in light of their recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests. (The Globe and Mail)
  5. Census 2016: Results from the 2016 census show that Canadian median income rose 13 per cent for individuals over the past decade, but that gains were uneven from a regional perspective. Ontario and Quebec saw the slowest increases, while resource-rich provinces had solid increases, with Saskatchewan leading the way with a 36.5-per-cent jump in the median income. This Globe article has all the stats. 
Source: Danish Siddiqui, Reuters

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