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Alberta, Ottawa argue before province’s Appeal Court over carbon tax dispute

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Lawyers for the Alberta government have started arguments before the province’s top court against the federal carbon tax.

They are expected to tell the Alberta Court of Appeal that the reasons Ottawa is using to justify the tax will lead to an unnecessary expansion of federal power.

Federal documents say Ottawa is to argue that climate change is an urgent national concern and that only Parliament can deal with it adequately.

More than two dozen lawyers are sitting in rows in the Edmonton courtroom, where the attorneys-general of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are also to speak during the three-day hearing.

Eight First Nations, non-governmental groups and Crown corporations have also been granted intervener status.

Ontario and Saskatchewan lost challenges to the federal tax in their top courts, but are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Eric Adams, a University of Alberta law professor, said he doesn’t expect to hear any new arguments in the Alberta case.

“It’s just a new panel of judges to bring these arguments in front of,” he said.

“The argument is that justice on a local level requires judges who live in a jurisdiction and understand its peoples and its concerns. Sometimes, constitutional arguments made in a particular place can have the flavour of that particular place.”

Adams said he believes Alberta is unlikely to win. But if there’s a dissenting judge, that could bolster the government’s argument before the Supreme Court, which has already scheduled a January date for the Ontario and Saskatchewan appeals.

“If they don’t win, they hope for a judgment from some judges that lends weight and credibility, and maybe a new perspective to add to the dissenting opinions that have already been rendered in Saskatchewan and Ontario,” said Adams.

Ottawa argues that the peace, order and good government clause of the Constitution gives it power to pass legislation on matters of national concern. Establishing minimum national standards on greenhouse gas emissions “is a matter of national concern that only Parliament can address,” it argues.

Alberta says using that clause is an unwarranted expansion of a federal power that in the past has been used sparingly. It says provinces already have the power to deal with emissions and should be left to do so.

“The federal government made a gamble here that this was a case that was worth opening up that previously neglected box,” Adams said. “They’ve taken a bit of a risk here.”

Three out of five Saskatchewan appellate judges agreed with Ottawa, as did four out of five of their Ontario colleagues. Past judgments have recognized the environment as a matter of shared jurisdiction.

Either way, Adams cautions against putting too much weight on these cases. If current arguments for a national carbon tax are rejected, the federal Liberals have invested too much political capital not to try new ones, he suggested.

“If they lose the case, they’ll look at other ways to bring legislation that can deal with the climate crisis. No matter how this case goes, it won’t be the end of parliamentary attempts to deal with climate change.”

Alberta Premier Kenney ditched a consumer carbon tax that the previous NDP government had brought in soon after his party won the provincial election in April. He has established a $30-a-tonne carbon tax on industrial emitters, replacing somewhat stronger measures introduced by the former NDP government. The Trudeau Liberals have approved that tax.

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Toronto 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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