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September 29, 2016

Newfoundland and Labrador's information and privacy commissioner, Donovan Molloy, has indicated in a recent report that amounts paid to doctors through Newfoundland and Labrador's publicly-funded Medical Care Program should be released.  Molloy highlighted, "There is no principled reason why physicians' billings should not be subject to the same transparency as payments to employees, businesses, consultants and other parties receiving funding from government." A 2013, NL auditor general’s report said that 142 physicians billed MCP for more than $500,000 and eight billed for more than $1 million in a single year.

September 29, 2016

Council of Canadians organizer AJ Klein at the Burnaby Mountain protests against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, November 2014.

There is speculation that the Trudeau government is likely to approve the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline on Monday December 19.

Bloomberg News reports, "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to approve at least one new oil pipeline project in his first term, with Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion to the Pacific Coast the most likely candidate, people familiar with his plans said. ...Kinder’s proposal is seen as likeliest to win approval despite opposition among key figures in vote-rich Vancouver, the people said. The Trans Mountain expansion already has conditional regulatory sign-off from the National Energy Board. ...Trudeau’s government believes it must demonstrate to investors the country is capable of reaching consensus to build major energy projects."

The article adds, "The government hopes to approve one project before the next election in 2019, the people said."

September 29, 2016

Guelph MPP Liz Sandals

The Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Guelph says public opposition to Nestle is based on "misinformation".

The Canadian Press reports that Liz Sandals, who is also a provincial cabinet minister, "says she finds it frustrating that many opponents don't realize the company agreed to reduce its water takings from the Aberfoyle well because of the drought."

But the comment by Sandals is misleading.

September 28, 2016

Liberal health minister Jane Philpott

The Trudeau government will maintain the Harper government's funding formula for health care transfer payments.

In terms of background, the Canadian Press explains, "The last 10-year health accord, which included an annual six-per-cent increase in health transfers to the provinces, expired in 2014. The previous Conservative government refused to renegotiate it and unilaterally declared that the six-per-cent escalator would end in 2017." The Conservative plan was to tie health care transfers to the GDP with a minimum three per cent annual increase between 2017 and 2024.

The Liberals in opposition rejected the Conservative plan.

September 28, 2016

Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape at the Lax Kw’alaams resistance camp at Lax U'u'la, November 2015.

When the Trudeau government approved the Pacific NorthWest LNG project yesterday, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna stated, "Indigenous Peoples were meaningfully consulted, and where appropriate, impacts on their rights and interests were accommodated." She did not comment on their right to "consent" as guaranteed under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recently endorsed by the federal government.

The LNG terminal would be located on Lax U'u'la (Lelu Island) on Lax Kw’alaams First Nation territory.

After the announcement, Lax Kw’alaams Hereditary Chief Yahaan commented, "I think Mr. Trudeau made the biggest mistake of his career ... he's not as straightforward of a guy as everyone perceived him to be. We're trying to protect something here that belongs to the people of Canada."

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