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Saskatchewan’s carbon tax court challenge launches today

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When Scott Moe became premier of Saskatchewan, he vowed to do all he could to fight the federal government’s carbon pricing plan, stealing a famous political threat from a former prime minister: “Just watch me.”

Now, a year later, that battle — pitting several provinces against the federal government — will play out over two days in a Regina courtroom as the province’s Court of Appeal hears arguments Wednesday and Thursday on Saskatchewan’s constitutional challenge of the carbon tax.

The court will decide whether Ottawa has the jurisdiction to impose a price on carbon pollution in provinces that don’t have federally-approved plans of their own.

Most legal experts believe Saskatchewan doesn’t have a strong case. That may not matter to the provincial government itself, or to the governments in Ontario and New Brunswick that are backing Saskatchewan’s court play.

Saskatchewan’s justice minister makes no secret of the fact that the constitutional challenge is at least partly about sending a message to voters.

“Politically, it’s important for the message to the people of our province that we are sticking up for them, that this is something that’s fundamentally important to us as an oil-producing, energy-exporting province,” Don Morgan told CBC News.

‘See? We’re fighting for you’

Duane Bratt, a political science professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said he suspects Saskatchewan would be content to lose the case in court — because that would make it easier to “go back to their own constituents in their own province to say, ‘See? We’re fighting for you’.”

For the federal government, Bratt said, the stakes are higher — with an election looming this fall and both Liberals and Conservatives looking to use carbon pricing as an issue to galvanize supporters.

“If they lose this case, even if they appeal it, they will have to spend time on the hustings trying to explain why they lost and why they’re going to appeal it,” Bratt said. “It would really put a damper on climate change efforts by the federal government.”

Odds are, however, that this constitutional challenge will end up in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.

“Almost all [federal environmental laws] have been upheld by the courts in the last 50 years, with the only exception being one obscure section of the Fisheries Act, which was struck down in 1980,” said Stewart Elgie, professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa.

The court proceedings will be divided over two days, with the anti-carbon price arguments happening on Wednesday, along with interventions from Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta’s opposition United Conservative Party.

Thursday will be devoted to the government’s arguments, with interventions from British Columbia, the Assembly of First Nations, the Canadian Public Health Association and several environmental groups.

The voters’ verdict comes first

All of the arguments will be live-streamed by CBC News, after the court approved a media request from the CBC and other outlets.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the public attention doesn’t bother her at all.

“I think transparency is great,” she told CBC News.

“We need to have a conversation about this. We need to stop having these Conservative politicians fighting everyone else on serious climate action. I don’t want to fight in court. I want to fight climate change.”

McKenna added that the decision on Ottawa’s climate plan ultimately will be in the hands of voters this year, while she agrees the constitutional challenge will end up on the Supreme Court’s plate.

“This certainly is not the end of the story,” McKenna said.

Assuming nothing else changes, the carbon pricing plan will be back before the courts in April, when a court challenge instigated by the province of Ontario begins.

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Ottawa Book Expo 2020 – Authors, Publishers look forward to a top-notch Canadian book fair

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Diversity has always been a complex issue, no matter where you look.Case in point, world-famous writer, Stephen King, has recently come under criticism for his views on diversity. The best-selling author had stated, “I would never consider diversity in matters of art, only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.” Many criticized the novelist as being out of touch and “ignorant,” but one cannot deny that King’s opinions on diversity, mirror the thoughts of a whole lot of people in the creative industry.

The Toronto Book Expo is coming back in 2020, with a multi-cultural concept that aims to include marginalized authors.  The Expo intends to celebrate literary works of diverse cultural backgrounds, and the entire literary community in Canada is expectant. Book-lovers and writers alike, are invited to three days of uninhibited literary celebration where diverse cultural works will be prioritized. At the event, authors will be allowed to share their culture with a broad audience. The audience will be there specifically to purchase multi-cultural works.

Multicultural literary expos do not come every day. In Canada, there is a noticeable lack of literary events celebrating other cultures. This leads to a significantly lower amount of cultural diversity in the industry. The Toronto Book Expo would aim at giving more recognition to these marginalized voices. Understandably, more recognizable work will be prioritized.

The Toronto Book Expo is making a statement that diversity is needed in the literary community. The statement is truly motivating, especially if you consider the fact that this could mean more culturally diverse works of literature.

There is a lot of noticeable cultural ignorance in literature. This is an issue that needs to be addressed and books are one of the best means of improving multi-cultural diversity in literature. The Toronto Book Expo is going to fully utilize books to fight ignorance in the literary industry.

Real progress cannot be made if there is a substantial amount of ignorant people in the industry. In spite of advancements made in education in recent years, there is still a considerable percentage of adults who remain unable to read and write.The Toronto Book Expo aims to bring awareness to social literacy issues such as illiteracy.

It is important to uphold high literacy levels in the community and to support those who are uneducated. A thriving society cannot be achieved if the community is not able to read their civil liberties and write down their grievances.

The major foundation of a working and dynamic society is entrenched in literature. Literature offers us an understandingof the changes being made to our community.

The event would go on for three days at three different venues. Day 1 would hold at the York University Student & Convention Centre at 15 Library Lane on March 19. Day 2 would be held at the Bram and BlumaAppel Salon Facility on the second floor of the main Toronto Reference Library near Yonge and Bloor Streets in downtown Toronto on March 21 and day 3 of the expo would take place at the internationally famous Roy Thomson Hall.

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A Week In Ottawa, ON, On A $75,300 Salary

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Welcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.Attention, Canadians! We’re featuring Money Diaries from across Canada on a regular basis, and we want to hear from you. Submit your Money Diary here.Today: a biologist working in government who makes $75,300 per year and spends some of her money this week on a bathing suit. Occupation: Biologist
Industry: Government
Age: 27
Location: Ottawa, ON
Salary: $75,300
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,930
Gender Identity: Woman

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Ottawa doctor pens nursery rhyme to teach proper handwashing

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An Ottawa doctor has turned to song to teach kids — and adults, for that matter — how to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs.

Dr. Nisha Thampi, an infectious disease physician at CHEO, the area’s children’s hospital, created a video set to the tune of Frère Jacques and featuring the six-step handwashing method recommended by the World Health Organization.

Thampi’s 25-second rendition, which was co-authored by her daughter and Dr. Yves Longtin, an infectious disease specialist at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, is featured in the December issue of The BMJ, or British Medical Journal. 

Thampi said as an infectious disease physician and a mother of two, she thinks a lot about germs at home and school.

“I was trying to find a fun way to remember the stuff,” she said. “There are six steps that have been codified by the World Health Organization, but they’re complex and hard to remember.” 

Thampi said she came up with the idea to rewrite the lyrics to the nursery rhyme on World Hand Hygiene Day in May, when she was thinking about how to help people remember the technique. 

She said studies have shown that handwashing is effective in reducing the risk of diarrhea-related illnesses and respiratory diseases. 

“So I’d say it’s one of the most important and easiest things we can do.”

The video includes such often-overlooked steps as “wash the back,” “twirl the tips around” and “thumb attack,” which pays special attention to the first digit.

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