Canada will redistribute seized assets to victims of war

Politics Insider for April 27: Poilievre’s pipeline plan; Charest’s carbon tax repeal; a “disgraceful” leaked email

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly speaks with the media as she arrives for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 7, 2022. (Olivier Matthys/AP Photo)

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly speaks with the media as she arrives for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 7, 2022. (Olivier Matthys/AP Photo)

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Seized assets: Melanie Joly said Tuesday that Canada will change its sanctions law to allow seized and sanctioned foreign assets to be redistributed as compensation to victims of war, Reuters reports.

Canada is among a number of countries to have imposed sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a “special operation.”

“Today, we are seeking the capacity to not only seize but to allow for the forfeiture of the assets of sanctioned individuals and entities and to allow us to compensate victims with the proceeds,” Joly said in a statement on Tuesday. “These changes would make Canada’s sanctions regime the first in the G7 to allow these actions.”

The changes will mean that funds seized from Russia could be paid out to help rebuild Ukraine or to those impacted by Russia’s invasion.

Pipeline plan: Pierre Poilievre said Tuesday that he would revive a natural gas liquefaction project that Quebec quashed last year, the Post reports.

GNL Quebec’s Énergie Saguenay wanted to build a $14-billion, 780-kilometre natural gas pipeline from northern Ontario to the coast near Quebec City. But Ottawa rejected the project seven months after the Quebec government first nixed it. Poilievre said has a plan to change Quebec’s mind: “There needs to be a permit from the Quebec government and that won’t change. But I will work with the Quebec government to convince them that it is better to produce that energy here in Canada, instead of giving that market to Putin.”

No carbon tax: Jean Charest released a climate plan Tuesday promising to repeal the consumer portion of the Liberal carbon tax, CP reports. He pledged to stick with an older target for reducing the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions. The plan contains no details about how much it would cost.

Tax panned: Canada’s environment commissioner says the Liberal carbon tax hits Indigenous communities and small businesses too hard, and takes it easy on the biggest emitters, CP reports. Jerry DeMarco there is a “broad consensus” among experts that carbon pricing is a critical tool for curbing greenhouse gas emissions but says Canada’s system hasn’t done enough to ensure the carbon price is applied fairly to the biggest industrial emitters.

Disgraceful?: Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie called an NDP-initiated study into the relationship between resource development and increased violence against Indigenous women and girls “disgraceful” in a private email, CP reports. The email, about a committee hearing, was inadvertently sent to the federal NDP, who gave it to CP. Kusie said Tuesday said she found it disgraceful that the NDP’s study “fails to recognize the many positive contributions the natural resources sector has made to Indigenous communities and stakeholders.”

Ryerson now TMU: Ryerson University announced Tuesday that it will now be called Toronto Metropolitan University, CP reports. A statue of Egerton Ryerson on the university’s campus was torn down by angry protesters last summer in response to the discovery of what are believed to be unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school in B.C.

Bring a book: The Post’s Bryan Passifiume has a good story on the interminable delays at Passport Canada, where you best bring a book and show up really early.

While processing times sit at 10 days for regular, in-person applications and those requesting expedited pickups report getting their new documents in under a week, just getting into a passport office has become the challenge.

Louisiana north: François Legault warned Tuesday that two new political parties would prefer Quebec be bilingual, which would make Quebec a new Louisiana, the Gazette reports:  “What these people want is to have a bilingual Quebec. If we want French to still be in place 50 and 100 years from now, we have to have Bill 96 and Bill 101.” Two new minority language rights parties, the Canadian Party of Quebec and Mouvement Québec, are hoping to field candidates in the fall general election.

Truck tax: In the StarEmma Teitel argues that although the Liberals aren’t planning a truck tax, they should.

So far most of the discussion around this “tax” has concerned itself with proving that it’s non-existent. But maybe it should exist. In reality, we’re all paying the price — in climate damage, health costs and urban road safety — for the popularity of these vehicles. Why shouldn’t their owners pay too?

McGrath speaks: Paul Wells has an interesting conversation with the NDP’s Anne McGrath about how her party sees the supply and confidence agreement it has made with the Liberals.

— Stephen Maher