Author: The Wall of Law

Doug Ford Slams Carbon Tax, Says ‘Nobody Trusts’ Feds To Help Canadians Recoup Extra Costs

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford took direct aim at the prime minister as the federal carbon tax went into effect Monday, saying he doesn’t believe Justin Trudeau’s pledge that Canadians will recoup the costs of the levy.

Ford, whose government is fighting the tax in court later this month, said he doesn’t trust Ottawa to make good on its promise to provide rebates to businesses and residents of the provinces that now have the tax.

“Nobody trusts the federal government when they cross their fingers and they say they will eventually — eventually, that’s the magical word — eventually give money back to us,” said Ford, whose Progressive Conservatives cancelled a cap-and-trade program after taking power last year.

Watch: Doug Ford claims carbon tax will lead to “total economic disaster”

“The prime minister tells us that the carbon tax will be good for us, but then I sit back and say, ‘Really? Why should anybody believe what he says anymore?”‘

The federal government imposed the tax in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick after those provinces opted not to impose their own pricing schemes on carbon emissions.

Residents of those provinces will be getting rebates on their income tax returns that start at $128 annually and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home. Ottawa has yet to reveal details about a program to rebate some of the increased costs faced by small- and medium-sized businesses.

The federal government says the carbon tax is a sensible way to protect the environment — put a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions, and give back most or all of the money through income taxes.

The federal tax is $20 a tonne for this year and is set to increase by $10 annually until it reaches $50 a tonne in April 2022.

Feds launching extensive social media campaign

The starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas, about four cents to a cubic metre of natural gas, and also drives up the cost of propane, butane and aviation fuel.

Ford and his caucus flooded Twitter with photos of themselves at gas stations Sunday, warning that it was the last chance to fill up before the carbon tax took effect.

The federal government is launching its own extensive social media campaign to push the carbon price and the related income tax rebates, complete with planted questions for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to answer, in both official languages, extolling the virtues of the carbon pricing plan.

She also posted a video from former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with the hashtag “#terminatingclimatechange.”

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was in office as California prepared to introduce a cap-and-trade system though he left office about a year before it was implemented in 2012. In a minute-long video McKenna posted on Twitter, he praises Canada’s price on pollution and says all the anti-carbon price rhetoric Canada is hearing today, he heard a decade ago.

“We have heard all of this dialogue here in California, that the economy is going to come to an end, people are going to lose their jobs, and all of this stuff,” he said. “None of it came true.”

The federal government imposed its carbon tax in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick after those provinces opted not to impose their own pricing schemes on carbon emissions.

McKenna, meanwhile, dismissed Ford’s contention that the carbon price was going to lead to a recession as “irresponsible political rhetoric.”

She said putting a price on pollution and providing a rebate to consumers is a “small c conservative approach” to addressing climate change that gives consumers a choice to invest in ways to curb their energy use or pay more to maintain the status quo. She pointed to the work of Nobel Prize-winning U.S. economist Paul Romer who strongly backs a carbon price as the best way to curb pollution.

Conservative environment critic Ed Fast pointed to economists who say if a carbon price is going to have any impact it needs to be two or three times what Canada has committed to charge.

McKenna would not say whether she thinks $50 a tonne by 2022 will be enough, but said carbon pricing is only one part of the federal plan that also includes investing in energy efficiencies, eliminating coal as a source of electricity, and introducing stricter emissions standards on carbon-based fuels that we do use.

With files from Mia Rabson in Ottawa.

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/04/01/doug-ford-carbon-tax_a_23704060/

By The Wall of Law April 1, 2019 Off

Ford slams federal carbon tax, vows to fight it ‘with every tool at disposal’

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford took direct aim at the prime minister as the federal carbon tax went into effect Monday, saying he doesn’t believe Justin Trudeau’s pledge that Canadians will recoup the costs of the levy.

Ford, whose government is fighting the tax in court later this month, said he doesn’t trust Ottawa to make good on its promise to provide rebates to businesses and residents of the provinces that now have the tax.

“Nobody trusts the federal government when they cross their fingers and they say they will eventually — eventually, that’s the magical word — eventually give money back to us,” said Ford, whose Progressive Conservatives cancelled a cap-and-trade program after taking power last year.

“The prime minister tells us that the carbon tax will be good for us, but then I sit back and say, ‘Really? Why should anybody believe what he says anymore?”‘

The federal government imposed the tax in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick after those provinces opted not to impose their own pricing schemes on carbon emissions.

Residents of those provinces will be getting rebates on their income tax returns that start at $128 annually and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home. Ottawa has yet to reveal details about a program to rebate some of the increased costs faced by small- and medium-sized businesses.

The federal government says the carbon tax is a sensible way to protect the environment — put a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions, and give back most or all of the money through income taxes.

The federal tax is $20 a tonne for this year and is set to increase by $10 annually until it reaches $50 a tonne in April 2022.

The starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas, about four cents to a cubic metre of natural gas, and also drives up the cost of propane, butane and aviation fuel.

Ford and his caucus flooded Twitter with photos of themselves at gas stations Sunday, warning that it was the last chance to fill up before the carbon tax took effect.

The federal government is launching its own extensive social media campaign to push the carbon price and the related income tax rebates, complete with planted questions for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to answer, in both official languages, extolling the virtues of the carbon pricing plan.

She also posted a video from former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with the hashtag “.terminatingclimatechange.”

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was in office as California prepared to introduce a cap-and-trade system though he left office about a year before it was implemented in 2012. In a minute-long video McKenna posted on Twitter, he praises Canada’s price on pollution and says all the anti-carbon price rhetoric Canada is hearing today, he heard a decade ago.

“We have heard all of this dialogue here in California, that the economy is going to come to an end, people are going to lose their jobs, and all of this stuff,” he said. “None of it came true.”

McKenna, meanwhile, dismissed Ford’s contention that the carbon price was going to lead to a recession as “irresponsible political rhetoric.”

She said putting a price on pollution and providing a rebate to consumers is a “small c conservative approach” to addressing climate change that gives consumers a choice to invest in ways to curb their energy use or pay more to maintain the status quo. She pointed to the work of Nobel Prize-winning U.S. economist Paul Romer who strongly backs a carbon price as the best way to curb pollution.

Conservative environment critic Ed Fast pointed to economists who say if a carbon price is going to have any impact it needs to be two or three times what Canada has committed to charge.

McKenna would not say whether she thinks $50 a tonne by 2022 will be enough, but said carbon pricing is only one part of the federal plan that also includes investing in energy efficiencies, eliminating coal as a source of electricity, and introducing stricter emissions standards on carbon-based fuels that we do use.

— with files from Mia Rabson in Ottawa.

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source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ford-slams-federal-carbon-tax-vows-to-fight-it-with-every-tool-at-disposal-1.4360471

By The Wall of Law April 1, 2019 Off

Bankruptcy? Consumer Proposal? Here Are Your Options When You Just Can’t Pay Your Debt Anymore

TORONTO — If you’ve found yourself with an overwhelming amount of debt, you can at least take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Canadian debt levels have been rising for decades, with the average family now owing $1.78 for each dollar of disposable income, compared with 66 cents for each dollar of income in 1980. Overall household debt has climbed 54 per cent in the last decade to reach $2.2 trillion.

The rising levels of indebtedness have left many households vulnerable, said Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions Inc.

“Debt levels have never been higher than they are now…there’s no wiggle room.”

More from HuffPost Canada:

For those feeling overwhelmed and unable to pay their debts, there are two regulated, last-resort options: bankruptcy, and the less drastic consumer proposal.

Both put a freeze on creditors and allow you to eventually get out of debt while only paying part of what you owe.

WATCH: How to still save and invest when you’re living with debt

Under a consumer proposal the amount paid back is negotiated with creditors, while bankruptcy payments are set by laws that also require you to sell assets.

But people shouldn’t rush into either option despite the stress, said Campbell.

“It’s not something to be taken lightly.”

“Get help quickly. Don’t wait until it impacts every part of your life.”Laurie Campbell, Credit Canada Debt Solutions

Campbell recommends first getting free advice from non-profit credit counsellors to look at your full financial picture, and explore gentler options like an interest freeze to help pay off debt.

She said there is a risk of falling back into debt if other budgeting issues haven’t been sorted out yet, while bankruptcy and consumer proposals have long-term implications that need to be understood.

“Everyone should look at all their options very carefully before making that decision, because it’s a very final decision.”

How long will it last?

The bankruptcy process generally lasts either nine or 21 months depending on income, and then the bankruptcy stays on public record for six years. A consumer proposal generally lasts five years and then stays on your record for three more. A second and third bankruptcy have much longer terms.

During the bankruptcy process, a trustee will take stock of your assets and income to determine what needs to be sold and what you’re required to pay.

The law allows keeping essentials like clothes as well as a low-valued car and other assets, with rules varying by province. Bankruptcy also requires minimum payments of $200 a month through the process to cover administration costs, and significantly more if your income is above a threshold. For those unable to pay, the fee can be waived in certain circumstances.

If you have a house with a mortgage, you may be able to keep it if your equity in it is small and you can manage the mortgage payments. If your equity is above a threshold, which varies by province, you’d have to find a way to pay that back as well or the trustee would have the power to sell it.

Throughout the process you will also have to report your income and expenses on a monthly basis to the trustee. Any changes in circumstance, such as a raise or inheritance, could increase your payments.

Despite the requirements, the process is simpler than many fear, said Shelley Koehli, a licensed insolvency trustee in New Westminster, B.C.

“For most people that go through the bankruptcy, it doesn’t impact their way of life, other than they don’t have access to credit until they’re discharged.”

For those who don’t want to go through the bankruptcy process, or want to keep more of their assets, the consumer proposal is less invasive.

While a longer process, it provides more control on keeping assets while still only paying back part of your debts.

“It’s kind of that in-between option,” said Koehli.

Not everything is covered by insolvency

Both a bankruptcy and a consumer proposal can cover unsecured credit and debt like credit card debt, unsecured bank loans, back taxes, lines of credit, payday loans and unpaid bills.

However, they will not deal with secured debt like your mortgage, secured car loan or lease. They will also not include debts like spousal or child support, court imposed fines and student loans that are less than seven years old.

Koehli said the biggest mistake is waiting to talk to someone. Some clients sell off assets they could have kept before approaching her, while others fear they wouldn’t be able to cross the border or that they may go to jail.

“No, we don’t have debtors’ prison anymore.”

Campbell also said it’s important to reach out for help as early as possible, even before the situation becomes desperate.

“Get help quickly. Don’t wait until it impacts every part of your life.”

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/04/01/debt-insolvency-options_a_23703918/

By The Wall of Law April 1, 2019 Off

Bankruptcy? Consumer Proposal? Here Are Your Options When You Just Can’t Pay Your Debt Anymore

TORONTO — If you’ve found yourself with an overwhelming amount of debt, you can at least take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Canadian debt levels have been rising for decades, with the average family now owing $1.78 for each dollar of disposable income, compared with 66 cents for each dollar of income in 1980. Overall household debt has climbed 54 per cent in the last decade to reach $2.2 trillion.

The rising levels of indebtedness have left many households vulnerable, said Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions Inc.

“Debt levels have never been higher than they are now…there’s no wiggle room.”

More from HuffPost Canada:

For those feeling overwhelmed and unable to pay their debts, there are two regulated, last-resort options: bankruptcy, and the less drastic consumer proposal.

Both put a freeze on creditors and allow you to eventually get out of debt while only paying part of what you owe.

WATCH: How to still save and invest when you’re living with debt

Under a consumer proposal the amount paid back is negotiated with creditors, while bankruptcy payments are set by laws that also require you to sell assets.

But people shouldn’t rush into either option despite the stress, said Campbell.

“It’s not something to be taken lightly.”

“Get help quickly. Don’t wait until it impacts every part of your life.”Laurie Campbell, Credit Canada Debt Solutions

Campbell recommends first getting free advice from non-profit credit counsellors to look at your full financial picture, and explore gentler options like an interest freeze to help pay off debt.

She said there is a risk of falling back into debt if other budgeting issues haven’t been sorted out yet, while bankruptcy and consumer proposals have long-term implications that need to be understood.

“Everyone should look at all their options very carefully before making that decision, because it’s a very final decision.”

How long will it last?

The bankruptcy process generally lasts either nine or 21 months depending on income, and then the bankruptcy stays on public record for six years. A consumer proposal generally lasts five years and then stays on your record for three more. A second and third bankruptcy have much longer terms.

During the bankruptcy process, a trustee will take stock of your assets and income to determine what needs to be sold and what you’re required to pay.

The law allows keeping essentials like clothes as well as a low-valued car and other assets, with rules varying by province. Bankruptcy also requires minimum payments of $200 a month through the process to cover administration costs, and significantly more if your income is above a threshold. For those unable to pay, the fee can be waived in certain circumstances.

If you have a house with a mortgage, you may be able to keep it if your equity in it is small and you can manage the mortgage payments. If your equity is above a threshold, which varies by province, you’d have to find a way to pay that back as well or the trustee would have the power to sell it.

Throughout the process you will also have to report your income and expenses on a monthly basis to the trustee. Any changes in circumstance, such as a raise or inheritance, could increase your payments.

Despite the requirements, the process is simpler than many fear, said Shelley Koehli, a licensed insolvency trustee in New Westminster, B.C.

“For most people that go through the bankruptcy, it doesn’t impact their way of life, other than they don’t have access to credit until they’re discharged.”

For those who don’t want to go through the bankruptcy process, or want to keep more of their assets, the consumer proposal is less invasive.

While a longer process, it provides more control on keeping assets while still only paying back part of your debts.

“It’s kind of that in-between option,” said Koehli.

Not everything is covered by insolvency

Both a bankruptcy and a consumer proposal can cover unsecured credit and debt like credit card debt, unsecured bank loans, back taxes, lines of credit, payday loans and unpaid bills.

However, they will not deal with secured debt like your mortgage, secured car loan or lease. They will also not include debts like spousal or child support, court imposed fines and student loans that are less than seven years old.

Koehli said the biggest mistake is waiting to talk to someone. Some clients sell off assets they could have kept before approaching her, while others fear they wouldn’t be able to cross the border or that they may go to jail.

“No, we don’t have debtors’ prison anymore.”

Campbell also said it’s important to reach out for help as early as possible, even before the situation becomes desperate.

“Get help quickly. Don’t wait until it impacts every part of your life.”

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source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/04/01/debt-insolvency-options_a_23703918/

By The Wall of Law April 1, 2019 Off

Toronto neurosurgeon accused of killing his wife returns to court

The Toronto neurosurgeon accused of killing his doctor wife returned to a courtroom on Monday as lawyers prepare to get the trial underway.

Dressed in a dark, fitted suit, Dr. Mohammed Shamji sat handcuffed in a prisoner’s booth and stared straight ahead while his lawyer talked with Crown prosecutors.

Shamji has been in custody since his arrest on December 2, 2016.

The 40-year-old is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of his wife, Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji.

The family physician was found stuffed in a suitcase that was discarded in a wooded area in Kleinburg, Ont. on December 1, 2016.

Police believe Fric-Shamji was murdered at her home either Nov. 30 or Dec. 1. An autopsy determined that the 41-year-old died by strangulation and blunt force trauma.

At the time of her death, friends suggested the couple’s marriage was troubled.

The couple has three children together.

Fric-Shamji’s friends family were in attendance on Monday, all wearing purple ribbons on their shirts as a symbol of domestic violence awareness.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on April 10. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

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source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-neurosurgeon-accused-of-killing-his-wife-returns-to-court-1.4360164

By The Wall of Law April 1, 2019 Off