The arrival of right whales forces the closure of a new fishing area

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is announcing the upcoming closure of another fishing area adjacent to the exclusion zone due to the arrival of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The federal agency explains the decision after at least two right whales were seen Sunday.

The area covered by this temporary closure is adjacent to the exclusion zone already delineated by the federal government. This 14,000-square-kilometer region of the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been closed to fishing since April 28 to protect right whales, which is where 90% of marine mammals were observed last year.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is announcing the upcoming closure of another fishing area adjacent to the exclusion zone due to the arrival of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The federal agency explains the decision after at least two right whales were seen Sunday.

The area covered by this temporary closure is adjacent to the exclusion zone already delineated by the federal government. This 14,000-square-kilometer region of the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been closed to fishing since April 28 to protect right whales, which is where 90% of marine mammals were observed last year.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada reminds fishers that they are required to consult the advice issued by the government agency.

Lockers seized

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans also confirms that fishery officers seized snow crab traps in the exclusion zone.

An investigation is underway.

At least 18 right whales died in Canadian and US waters last year. Scientists who conducted the autopsy of carcasses concluded that many of these whales have died entangled in fishing gear or struck by ships.

Cheap airlines are courting Canada

Low-cost airlines, already very popular in Europe and the United States, are trying to find a place in Canada. But tempting prices are often at the expense of other services and the battle is hard to penetrate a market already occupied by well established companies.

In recent years, Montréal has been welcoming these “low-cost” airlines, such as Interjet, which offers Quebec travelers destinations to Mexico, WOW Air, which provides non-stop flights to Iceland, or Level-France, which will offer Montreal-Paris Orly flights with three weekly flights starting in July .

“What we have seen in recent years is that there is a strong development of these low-cost companies and it is reassuring for Canadian consumers,” says Alexandre Moreau, public policy analyst at Montreal Economic Institute.

The arrival of these new players is linked to the reform of Finance Minister Bill Morneau, “which has increased foreign investment that can be made in Canadian companies,” he says.

“The significant influx of foreign investment has facilitated the development of airlines,” he continues.

That’s why travelers are seeing more and more of these offers at a discount, notes Sylvain Sénécal, professor of marketing at HEC Montréal.

Which does not fail to displease them. “The prices are very competitive,” says a lady cross at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, which is used to traveling to Mexico.

Fewer services

Another client claims to have paid about $ 500 for a return ticket. But you have to travel light because you have to pay for your luggage and just “peanuts and a drink” for a flight of a few hours, she says.

We have to compromise. We pay less, we have fewer services.

Sylvain Sénécal, professor of marketing at HEC Montréal

Mr. Sénécal explains that the lower costs can result in services at secondary airports far from the desired destination.

The effects are also felt on meals on board, which are more rare or non-existent, and often result in fees for extra baggage.

For Sylvain Sénécal, “the lower population density and the very large spaces” make Canada less conducive to the expansion of these types of companies.

“The discount companies will open corridors, which are popular, and the other corridors will not interest them because there is not [so much demand],” he says.

It would be surprising, he said, that these companies are interested in flights such as between Montreal and Sept-Îles.

The response of established carriers
The decline in airline ticket prices observed in recent years coincides with the massive influx of these new players, notes Moreau.

“We see that it has an impact on big players, and ultimately on prices,” he says.

Sylvain Sénécal recalls that there have been other attempts to introduce a low-cost air carrier service in the past. “They have not all been successful,” he says.

The big guys in the industry will not be fooled. Westjet intends to launch SWOOP, its new service at very low prices. For its part, Air Canada intends to increase the fleet of its carrier Red.

According to Alexandre Moreau, there is no doubt that there will be a price war.

“Well-established carriers will defend themselves. Everyone already has a brand or sub-brand at a discount. And that’s where it’s going to be played, “predicts Sylvain Sénécal.

The carbon tax, not always progressive

The carbon tax is a progressive tax, even if the government does not return some to the less well-off taxpayers. This statement by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is incorrect, the economists consulted said.

The Alberta leader was questioned at the meeting Tuesday by Jason Kenney, who said that “low-income people will continue to pay more for the energy they consume,” compared to the richest.

The premier said that the carbon tax “is actually progressive even without refunds (paid by the province to low-income households), because those who earn the most burn more carbon.” The tax applies to gasoline, natural gas and other fuels.

“That’s not right,” says University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe.

According to him, it is true that the better-off tend to pay more tax, because they consume more fuel: they buy more products whose manufacture and transport generate pollutant emissions, they have larger houses to heat and they often have a second car.

Someone who earns twice as much does not consume twice as much fuel. A little more, but not twice more.

Trevor Tombe, Calgary Professor of Economics

If we look at the proportion of tax revenues, it’s different: in 2018, Albertans paid less than $30,000 a year spent about 1% of their income on the provincial carbon tax, compared to only 0.4% of their revenues. % for households earning more than $ 150,000, he explains.

The Director General of the Ecofiscal Commission of Canada, Dale Beugin, who also studied the Alberta data, says the tax is “slightly regressive”.

The expert report that proposed to the Alberta government the implementation of the carbon tax had also pointed out that a carbon price, “imposed without protection for low-income consumers, would be regressive”.

This is why the implementation of the carbon tax, from January 1, 2017, was accompanied by a refund whose amount varies according to the income of taxpayers.

The discounts are progressive

All households earning less than $95,000 receive a refund. For those with incomes below $60,000, this rebate is generally higher than the cost of the carbon tax.

The Alberta tax is currently $30 per tonne of carbon. It will increase to $40 in 2021, then $50 in 2022. Even though the provincial government plans to use the additional revenues for its general expenses, “the refunds will stay in place,” said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

Depriving British Columbia of Alberta oil would be devastating, say experts

Alberta’s threat to cut off oil deliveries to British Columbia to secure the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion should be taken very seriously, analysts say.

On Thursday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced that her government will introduce a bill to this effect.

Dan McTeague, Chief Analyst for GasBuddy, is forecasting a $2-per-liter price increase for British Columbian consumers if such a scenario occurs.

Rachel Notley says the goal is to convince British Columbia’s leaders not to go after the Trans Mountain project, which promises to triple the amount of oil transported by the existing pipeline.

“If the Horgan government does not take this situation seriously, it is understood that consumers will take it seriously,” says McTeague.

A harder tone

The Prime Minister said that her government will introduce a bill that will allow it to act flexibly when needed. Oil, but also natural gas could be affected, and the province does not rule out measures that could penalize not only British Columbia but the rest of the country.

Rachel Notley says the goal is to convince BC leaders not to attack Trans Mountain while creating the least negative impact for residents. “We do not want to create a crisis, we will be measured and cautious,” she promised.

This statement contrasts with the more conciliatory tone adopted by the Alberta premier in recent weeks. She suspended the wine embargo against British Columbia, which she accused of blocking the Trans Mountain project. Victoria had meanwhile brought the case to justice.

This hardening brings the New Democrats’ position closer to that of the official opposition, the Alberta Conservatives.

Visiting British Columbia on Monday, their leader, Jason Kenney, spoke of an interruption in Alberta’s oil deliveries and the imposition of British Columbia natural gas tolls via Alberta.

The Conservative leader wanted a stronger position from the Notley government for several months. “The government has accepted my position that must be done to the end,” he said Thursday.

In British Columbia, Environment Minister George Heyman does not expect this threat to be implemented. “I see no reason to believe that Alberta will take unfair measures,” he said.

He adds that his government is only defending the interests of the province.

The Prime Minister said that her government will introduce a bill that will allow it to act flexibly when needed. Oil, but also natural gas could be affected, and the province does not rule out measures that could penalize not only British Columbia but the rest of the country.

Rachel Notley says the goal is to convince BC leaders not to attack Trans Mountain while creating the least negative impact for residents. “We do not want to create a crisis, we will be measured and cautious,” she promised.

In British Columbia, Environment Minister George Heyman does not expect this threat to be implemented.

This move would be “unprecedented,” according to Simon Fraser University political scientist Nicolas Kenny. He noted, however, that it is difficult to predict how much the discussions around the Trans Mountain project could escalate.

“The more this debate grows, the more we risk seeing a constitutional crisis around this issue,” he concludes.

Greenhouse gases caused by cities underestimated, study finds

The goods and services we consume, most of which are imported, would be the main source of urban greenhouse gas emissions. This is the conclusion of a new C40 Cities study, presented Tuesday at the International Conference on Climate Change, held in Edmonton.

This is the first study that takes into account the greenhouse gas emissions generated by consumption in so many cities, nearly 80.

The authors took into account aspects of daily life such as buying food and clothing, cultural outings and online shopping.

Until then, most cities measured their greenhouse gas emissions based on the goods and services produced in their territory, rather than those consumed there.

With this new measure, the authors of the study estimate that the greenhouse gases emitted by cities are 60% higher than what could be calculated in the past.

C40 Cities is a network of some 100 major cities around the world, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, engaged in the fight against climate change.

New levers of action for cities

According to Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities, the study provides a more complete picture of the causes of climate change.

“Greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 60% since the Kyoto Protocol, and continue to grow,” he says, “despite the fact that many countries and cities have reduced their emissions using the traditional measurement method. So, clearly, something is missing. ”

The conclusions of the study, he hopes, will give local politicians new means of action.

Beyond the issues of transportation and housing, cities should review, for example, how they get their supplies, or the choice of materials used in construction sites.

Federal subsidy for employee training in Manitoba

The Manitoba government announced Thursday the companies in the province that will receive a Canada job grant.

The announcement took place at the offices of Tactica Interactive, a strategy and multi-platform digital media company located in St. Boniface.

A total of 3,600 employees from 137 private companies across the province will benefit from nearly $8 million to improve their training, including HyLife.

As a result of this grant, companies can apply for funding for skills training to get work.

This can affect various areas such as truck and transport mechanics, carpentry and computer science.

Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart says grant programs like this one help tremendously in attracting people to Manitoba.

It’s a very successful program to keep Manitobans trained and to attract new people to Manitoba.

Ian Wishart, Minister of Education and Training

St. Boniface MP Daniel Vandal, who was on hand for the announcement, says many private employers in the province are benefiting from this grant this year. He is also pleased that the announcement is made in his riding.

For me, it’s always good when ministers and premiers recognize the importance of St. Boniface in Manitoba.

Daniel Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface

Daniel Vandal explains that under this program the federal government funds training up to a maximum of $10,000.