Half-price lunches – Tories release plan to help hurting hospitality sector – Western Standard

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“A Conservative government will act quickly to recover the one million jobs lost during the pandemic and help these businesses get back on their feet.”
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There is such a thing as a free lunch – well a half-price one, if the Tories get elected.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole released his plan Wednesday to get the hospitality and tourism sectors “back to work.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on Canada’s tourism and hospitality sectors,” said O’Toole.
“A Conservative government will act quickly to recover the one million jobs lost during the pandemic and help these businesses get back on their feet.”
Nestled within Canada’s Recovery Plan, the Tories will introduce the “Dine and Discover” program in order to target these industries. The initiative will:
“We will help Canadians deal with the rising cost of living, while supporting those who work in our hospitality sector,” said O’Toole.
Access to services included in O’Toole’s initiative will not be available to those who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine in several parts of the country, as ordered by their respective provincial health authorities.
Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Reid Small is a BC Correspondent for the Western Standard.
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CPC idiots
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The costing was released after it was looked over by the Parliamentary Budget Office, only hours before the leaders’ French-language debate on Wednesday night.
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The Conservatives have released a detailed cost breakdowns of all their election promises they say will slash the country’s deficit to less than $25 billion in five years, and balance the budget in less than seven.
The costing was released after it was looked over by the Parliamentary Budget Office, only hours before the leaders’ French-language debate on Wednesday night.
“With the only shrinking economy in the G7, (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau has nothing to show for running reckless deficits and spending more than all of the previous Canadian governments combined,” said O’Toole in a statement.
“We cannot afford four more years of Justin Trudeau hiking taxes and saddling future generations with mountains of debt.”
The Tories said their plan maintains current federal spending commitments for public programs in 2021-22, while reducing the deficit by 85% over the next five years from $168 billion this year down to below $25 billion in 2025-26. 
“Canada’s Recovery Plan will get the economy firing on all cylinders and ensure workers benefit from higher wages, more secure jobs, and better supports for families,” said O’Toole.
“Our fully costed plan will secure the future for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”
The Tories said a $5-billion investment in the Canadian Advanced Research Agency would increase gross domestic product (GDP) between 0.6% and 1.6% over five years according to the GDP multiplier of three to eight cited by PBO.
Conservatives estimate the $7.6-billion Canada Job Surge Plan will drive employment up 180,000 jobs above the PBO baseline.
The Tories said their $5.6-billion per year Canada Workers Benefit will also increase employment by 95,000 workers by bringing more people into the labour force.
Conservatives estimate the $13.8 billion from the Canada Investment Accelerator combined with regulatory reform will drive a 2% increase in business investment over four years.
Overall, in the next 5 years, the Tories are proposing $78 billion in new spending, which is nearly the exact same as the Liberals. But they said they will save $27 billion by cancelling programs like $10 a day daycare, meaning the net total is $51 billion in spending.
One of the Tories’ key platforms, the carbon tax, didn’t come with any costing at all. Neither did their promise to bring all Canadians high-speed internet access by 2025.
Their promised $60 billion increase in health spending to the provinces doesn’t kick in for three more years.
The Tories say using the PBO growth projections, it would take seven years (either 2028 or 2029) to balance the budget.
Finally, the Tories claim Trudeau’s deficits will rise to more than $150 billion per year with total debt reaching $1.8 trillion.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

A Freedom of Information request obtained by the WS shows stays at the Banff Springs Hotel, cocktail parties, and gourmet dinners expensed.
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Edmonton mayoral candidate Cheryll Watson spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive dining and hotels during her term as head of Innovate Edmonton.
The Western Standard obtained details of Watson’s expense claims in a Freedom of Information request. 
The documents show that from 2017-2020, Innovate Edmonton under Watson spent $229,286 on items like client dinners and more than $40,000 for access to the SXSW music festival.
Innovate Edmonton is a branch of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.
Watson declined repeated requests for comment from the Western Standard. She eventually told a reporter that she would respond on Friday.
2017
A total of $48,125.40 in expenses were filed by Watson, including $12,928.65 for furniture in December of that year. 
2018
A total of $31,868.04 in expenses were filed by Watson, including:
• $970 for dinner at The Butternut Tree in Edmonton with TrendWatching presenters on March 15.
• 728.28 for dinner at Sorrentini’s in Edmonton for dinner with the University of Alberta’s Dr. Mathais Ruth.
• $1,205.40 on October 10 at the Uccellino in Edmonton on July 23.
• $4,890.18 at the Craft Beer Market in Edmonton on October 10 for the Singularity U launch dinner.
•$6,001 to Ikea for office furniture on October 25.
2019
A total of $83,896 in expenses, including:
• $1,901 for three rooms at the luxurious Banff Springs Hotel on June 7.
• $2,011 for eight rooms at the Fairmont Edmonton Macdonald on November 19-20
• $10,664.94 for setting up a booth at the Collision Conference in Mississauga.
• $1,630 for a working breakfast June 6 at Calgary’s Pallister Hotel.
• $5,761 at the Mercer Tavern in Edmonton for the Mercer Block Party.
• $5,222.58 at the Sabor restaurant in Edmonton for AI Accelerator investors.
• $3,635.31 at the Revel Bistro and Bar in Edmonton for a dinner with TechStars
2020
A total of $65,397.47 in expenses, including:
• $5,271 for a dinner December 10 at Revel for Women in Technology event
• $40,000 for SXSW festival access on February 21, to be used next year as it was cancelled in 2020.
One of the planks in Watson’s platform includes the creation of a “Chief Accountability Officer.” 
The mandate of EEDC is the “promotion of economic development” in Alberta’s capital city.
Watson’s expenses raised the eyebrow of Kevin Lacey, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“Taxpayers should expect people serving in publicly funded agencies to treat tax dollars like their own, and not go spend-crazy,” said Lacey.
“The question taxpayers should be asking is, if you can’t control your own agency’s expenses, how would you control the expenses of the entire municipal government.
“Innovate Edmonton should do its job. There will be expenses associated with it, but taxpayers should take a long look at this list and ask themselves if they believe these are reasonable” 
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

The Rebel said they planned on sending 11 journalists to Wednesday’s night French leaders’ debate.
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Score one for The Rebel.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had barred the news organization from attending the federal leaders’ debates – a decision overturned Wednesday by a federal court judge.
“Today we scored one for liberty,” said founder Ezra Levant of the ruling.
The Rebel said they planned on sending 11 journalists to Wednesday’s night French leaders’ debate.
The Rebel won’t actually get to take part in the debate, but they will be able to attend the press conferences after the event.
The same thing happened with the 2019 debates – The Rebel was initially barred, but a court overturned Trudeau’s decision.
“I wish I could say this encouraging court ruling would cause Trudeau to rethink his censorship schemes, but I honestly don’t think he cares,” said Levant.
“We know he doesn’t think the law applies to him — he’s broken the Conflict of Interest Act more than all previous prime ministers combined. And during this election campaign he said he plans to remove the ability of ordinary Canadians to sue in court to protect their rights under his vaccine passport schemes. He really hates civil liberties.”
Later Wednesday afternoon, Trudeau tried to block one Rebel reporter on the grounds they couldn’t produce a proper negative COVID-19 test.
Another emergency court hearing was held – this time by phone – and the reporter was allowed in.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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