FIRST READING: U.S. calls for more foreign oil (so long as it’s not Canadian) – National Post

The dairy cartel jacks up prices (because they’re a cartel, you see)

Author of the article:

Tristin Hopper

Publishing date:

Nov 02, 2021  •  3 hours ago  •  5 minute read  •  162 Comments

U.S. President Joe Biden at the G20 summit on Sunday, where he urged oil producing nations to pump more oil. The invitation did not, unfortunately, extend to us.
U.S. President Joe Biden at the G20 summit on Sunday, where he urged oil producing nations to pump more oil. The invitation did not, unfortunately, extend to us. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent direct to your inbox every Monday to Thursday at 6 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. on Sundays), sign up here.

Advertisement

TOP STORIES

Recent months have seen a massive spike in the price of gas, housing, beef and telecommunications, among others. Not wanting to be left out , Canada’s dairy farmers recently called for milk prices to rise an incredible 8.4 per cent. Wait, isn’t it illegal for an industry to collude on the price of a commodity? Didn’t Loblaws get into trouble for doing that exact thing with bread ? Yes, it is illegal – for every other agricultural sector in Canada except the one that produces dairy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off his appearance at the COP26 UN climate conference by repeating his election promise that Canada would “cap” emissions from its oil and gas industry . It’s not quite a promise to cap production, as Trudeau is only counting the emissions required to produce oil and gas (ie: the natural gas burned to power an oil sands operation in Athasbasca), and not the much higher emissions that result when that oil and gas is eventually burned. So, if Alberta just ran all its oilfields on nuclear power or something, we’d be in the clear.

Advertisement

Trudeau said that Canada’s voluntary emissions cap would be an inspiration to the world’s other oil and gas producers. Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden told those exact same oil producers over the weekend to start emitting more . More specifically, he urged the likes of Saudi Arabia and Russia to produce more oil and ultimately bring down the price of gasoline. Biden’s call did not mention the country just across his northern border that happens to sit on an ocean of oil that is incrementally less accessible to American consumers because Biden keeps cancelling pipelines that connect to it .

Brian Mulroney still sleeps soundly every night knowing that he was the last conservative (and the last prime minister) to win more than 50 per cent of the vote in a general election. Speaking to CTV , Mulroney had some advice for Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole regarding members of his caucus who refused to get vaccinated: Fire them . Mulroney cited an instance during his premiership when he had two caucus members who didn’t support the GST. “Out they went,” he said.

Advertisement

Mulroney also had advice for Trudeau , telling him to “ get his hands dirty ” in counteracting Biden’s “buy American” plan for the auto sector. Apropos of nothing, here’s a video of Mulroney singing When Irish Eyes Are Smiling to Ronald Reagan.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, Erin O’Toole is here to loudly espouse his views on something that is not the unvaccinated status of his caucus. In an op-ed , O’Toole said we should end Canada’s six-month marathon of half-staffing all our flags .

Proving once again that Canadian politicians will do anything to fix housing affordability except increasing the supply of housing, Denis Coderre is trying to win back the mayor’s seat in Montreal by promising to start covering residents’ down payments . Specifically, any first-time buyer in Montreal would get an interest free loan equivalent to 10 per cent of their property’s value . Because, as anyone knows, when the price of a good goes up due to scarcity, artificially making it easier for more people to buy that good will fix the problem somehow.

Advertisement

Something in Canada just got cheaper! The price of lumber has taken a dive after reaching meteoric post-pandemic heights just a few months ago, leading to 2x4s that are now costing just a quarter of what they were last spring.

On the right, an Oxfam protester outside the COP26 UN climate summit removes his giant head representing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. For years, the charity (which was originally founded to help alleviate famine) has made it a point to appear outside global summits wearing giant heads.
On the right, an Oxfam protester outside the COP26 UN climate summit removes his giant head representing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. For years, the charity (which was originally founded to help alleviate famine) has made it a point to appear outside global summits wearing giant heads. Photo by Oli Scarff / AFP

COVID

One of the major threats posed by COVID-19 (aside from the obvious) is the disease’s ability to overwhelm health-care systems and rack up peripheral victims by simple virtue of the fact that health care becomes unavailable to the general populace. In an ironic twist, that precise thing is now happening in B.C. due not to COVID-19, but to the vaccine mandates designed to combat it . After 4,000 healthcare workers were placed onto unpaid leave due to their failure to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, B.C. hospitals are needing to respond to the sudden understaffing by postponing surgeries and limiting diagnostic tests .

Advertisement

DATA NERD

Moody’s thinks that our real estate may be a tad overvalued . In a new report the credit rating agency said that select Canadian housing markets may be overvalued by up to 91 per cent . However, the only crash (or “correction,” as they call it) is forecast for Montreal. Everywhere else, prices are simply expected to plateau as interest rates (and inflation) catch up.

In a very important poll released last week by Research Co., nearly three quarters of Canadians now express tacit approval for the placing of pineapple on pizza . The addition of the tropical fruit to pizza is generally considered to be the invention of Ontario pizzeria owner Sam Panopoulos, and is most beloved in Alberta (with more than 90 per cent approval), and most hated in Quebec (with only 55 per cent).

Advertisement

On Saturday, G20 leaders gathered at Rome’s Trevi fountain to toss coins into the water in a bid for good luck. Throwing money away has been very popular among this crowd of late, although Trudeau was apparently not able to join them.
On Saturday, G20 leaders gathered at Rome’s Trevi fountain to toss coins into the water in a bid for good luck. Throwing money away has been very popular among this crowd of late, although Trudeau was apparently not able to join them. Photo by Andreas Solaro / AFP

SOLID TAKES

The Ontario government is three years into a project to forcibly densify areas around transit infrastructure, such as subway stations. In the midst of a Canadian housing crisis that is fundamentally driven by lack of supply, it’s a tiny step towards getting more homes into Ontario cities. But the National Post’s Adam Zivo highlighted some rather brazen attempts by municipal governments – including the City of Toronto – to actively undermine provincial densification efforts and “ protect rich homeowners at the expense of new buyers .”

With interest rates at 0.25 per cent and inflation approaching five per cent, saving money in Canada is now very much a fool’s errand. The mere act of holding a dollar in the bank now means that it will lose at least four cents per year. As Russell Napier wrote for the Toronto Star , “ There is no greater enemy for a saver seeking to fund retirement than a rising rate of inflation .” The column even included a picture of libertarian hero Milton Friedman who, needless to say, doesn’t usually get a tremendous amount of positive ink in the Toronto Star.

“I told you unchecked government spending would devalue the currency.”
“I told you unchecked government spending would devalue the currency.” Photo by AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File

Get all of these insights and more into your inbox every weekday at 6 p.m. ET by signing up for the First Reading newsletter here

Posted Newsletter logo

NP Posted

Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300