Cartoons are posted below but the most recent one is at least one week late.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday August 10, 2019
To reduce global warming, people need to eat less meat: UN report
Global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming, reduce growing strains on land and water and improve food security, health and biodiversity, a United Nations report on the effects of climate change concluded.
Although the report stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat free, it called for big changes to farming and eating habits to limit the impact of population growth and changing consumption patterns on stretched land and water resources.
Plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food could free up several million square kilometres of land by 2050 and cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.
“There are certain kinds of diets that have a lower carbon footprint and put less pressure on land,” Jim Skea, professor at London’s Imperial College, said on Thursday.
The IPCC met this week in Geneva, Switzerland to finalize its report which should help to guide governments meeting this year in Chile on ways to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“The IPCC does not recommend people’s diets … Dietary choices are very often shaped or influenced by local production practices and cultural habits,” Skea, who is one of the report’s authors, told reporters in Geneva. (National Post)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 8, 2019
Has Doug Ford finally put the cronyism scandal behind him?
It is the calm after the summer storm in Premier Doug Ford’s government.
Seven weeks ago, Ford shook up his cabinet in a bid to reboot an administration that polls suggest is struggling — only to be immediately rocked by a cronyism scandal.
Dean French, the premier’s chief of staff, quit on June 21, a Friday night resignation that swamped news coverage of the massive switch of a dozen ministers just one day earlier.
While seven French-linked appointees have also stepped down or been forced out in the wake of the controversy, the departure appears to have triggered the reset the cabinet shuffle was meant to signal.
Yes, staffers have left or are leaving shortly — some because they’re seen as too close to the hard-charging ex-chief; others because they had long been fed up working for him.
However, Ford’s dismal poll numbers are fuelling anxiety within his Conservative caucus, suggesting the party has not put its problems behind it.
Overall, though, a sense of quiet professionalism has descended upon the premier’s office thanks largely to interim chief Jamie Wallace, a former Queen’s Park press gallery president and Postmedia executive who ran the Sun tabloid chain.
“It’s palpable,” confided one senior Progressive Conservative, like others speaking on background in order to discuss the scene in the premier’s office.
“Jamie’s been around Queen’s Park forever. He understands the place, he treats (the political staff) well, and he’s respectful to (the public servants),” said the Tory insider.
“He knows what he doesn’t know and isn’t afraid to ask someone who does,” said a retired cabinet minister, who has advised Wallace.
“You’d be surprised how rare that is in any government,” said the former PC minister, who has worked with Tories and Liberals at Queen’s Park.
Another PC official said Wallace, who worked briefly in government when Ernie Eves was premier, is implementing processes and discipline that were sorely lacking in a freewheeling 14-month-old administration.
“He understands the need for a plan,” said the official, noting things were so chaotic and ad hoc in the government that it at times seemed as if “message planning” was being driven by what happened to be on CP24, the premier’s favourite cable news channel, at the time.
Now that the “French connections” scandal appears to be fading from the headlines, the premier insists “we’re moving forward as a government.” (Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 7, 2019
Toronto’s weekend of gun violence ‘frustrating, angering and sad,’ says Tory
The gun violence in Toronto during the Civic Holiday long weekend that saw 17 people shot during 14 separate incidents is “heartbreaking,” Mayor John Tory said Tuesday.
“It’s frustrating because we are doing a lot to try and get at it,” Tory told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
He said police resources have been beefed up in response to the violence, echoing remarks by police Chief Mark Saunders on Monday, but didn’t give specifics. Tory also called for stricter gun control and tougher sentences for gun-related crime.
“I’ve come to realize that there is no magic answer to this,” he said.
“So when this kind of thing happens in a concentrated way, it’s very frustrating, angering and sad. And bottom line, unacceptable.”
The most significant shootings were at the District 45 nightclub in suburban North York, where at least five people were injured, and at an Airbnb in the swanky Bridle Path neighbourhood where a man was left with life-threatening injuries.
Tory has pushed for a handgun ban, saying it would help address some of the city’s gun violence. City council debated a handgun ban in June, but it would require action by both the federal and provincial governments.
“If we have a choice of doing absolutely everything we can to stem this type of violence, then I do believe a handgun ban would make some difference, if it would stop a handful of the shootings and certainly any of the deaths that we see,” the mayor said.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told CBC News that Canadians will soon see a “strong and effective” package of proposals from Ottawa, but wouldn’t say whether a proposed ban would be included.
Stronger background checks, licence verification, better record-keeping, and a significant investment in a strategy to fight guns and gangs are some of the measures the federal government has already taken to curb gun violence, he said at a news conference Tuesday in Ottawa. (CBC)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday August 3, 2019
New credit card payment rules for Quebecers take effect today
Quebec’s new rules on minimum credit card payments, which take effect Thursday, will likely be followed closely by other provinces, the head of a consumer advocacy group says.
The new rules require banks to set a minimum payment of at least two per cent of the balance owing starting Aug. 1. It will eventually rise to five per cent.
“I suspect that other provinces are looking at this carefully, looking to see the impact from this, [and if there are] any objections from the credit-granting community,” said Scott Hannah, president and CEO of the Credit Counselling Society.
“But really this just makes good fiscal sense. For those who’ve gotten themselves into debt, this will help them.”
Twenty years ago, a five per cent minimum payment was fairly standard, Tanguay said. But the minimum percentage has dropped since then.
Banks have the option of raising the minimum payment rate to five per cent right away, although Hannah doubts many institutions will do so because that change could have negative consequences for people with higher debts.
There are no federal rules about minimum payments, but there is nothing preventing other provinces from coming up with their own.
Consumer protection policies can happen at a provincial level, but Hannah said that there tends to be continuity between provinces on these kinds of rules.
“Other provinces in Canada will be looking at this carefully, and if they’re not seeing a lot of challenges or uproar from consumers or credit granters, they may elect to adopt similar legislation,” he said. (CBC)