From fighting ivory trade in Canada to fixing your fridge: Six things you may have missed in Trudeau’s mandate letters

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland no longer has the condition that said: ‘You will avoid creating new permanent expenses’

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Federal ministers received their marching orders from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday in the form of letters of mandate, with a particular focus on environmental policies, fighting climate change and creating a more diverse and inclusive Canada. But within the nearly 30 letters there were also some assignments for ministers that attracted much less attention, but the National Post still found it particularly noteworthy. Here are six things you may have missed:


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Money to fix your fridge

Your refrigerator has been making a strange noise, but you can’t spend the money to fix it? Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is now tasked with helping you with that by introducing a new 15 percent tax credit (up to a maximum value of $ 500) to cover the cost of appliance repairs performed by homeowners. technicians. The goal is to encourage Canadians to extend the life of appliances rather than throw out a faulty device because the cost of repair can be prohibitive.

Protect firefighters from toxic flame retardants

When he’s not too busy dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic brought on by Omicron, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos should pay attention to creating a new action plan to protect Canadians, but even more so to protect Canadians. firefighters, from dangerous exposure to toxic flame retardants that can still be found in a large number of everyday household products, according to their mandate letter.


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According to Health Canada, these chemicals can be found in all types of home appliances and electronics, as well as in polyurethane foam products contained in mattresses, pillows, and even children’s toys.

In August, the government announced that a review of 150 flame retardants found that 18 cause harm to human health or the environment, particularly when exposed to a home fire.

And while he’s at it, Trudeau also wants Duclos to introduce legislation to end animal testing.

Fighting the ivory trade in Canada

Trudeau’s new Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault received one of the cabinet’s longest laundry lists in his mandate letter, but one item stands out as a more surprising touch to some on social media.


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“Working with partners to curb the illegal wildlife trade and end the trade in elephant and rhino tusks in Canada,” Trudeau charged Guilbeault in the letter.

Elephants and rhinos may not be native to Canada, but Environment and Climate Change Canada says the ivory trade in Canada accounts for three to five percent of the world market. Since 2012, the ECCC seized 32 ivory items in Canada. ” The seizures tend to be made from elephant ivory in the form of art or jewelry, “a spokesman said Friday.

In spring 2018, Guilbeault’s department seized a whopping 19 tons of eel meat as part of INTERPOL’s Operation Storm targeting wildlife trafficking.

A new park in each province and territory

City parks were a godsend to many Canadians during the COVID-19 closures, so Environment Minister Guilbeault is also tasked with creating several new ones.


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His letter of mandate calls for him to establish “at least” one new national urban park in all 13 provinces and territories as quickly as possible “to ensure that all Canadians have access to green space.”

Ultimately, the prime minister wants there to be 15 new urban parks by the end of the decade. To this day, there is only one national urban park in Canada: Rouge National Urban Park in the greater Toronto area.

“It will also invest in existing national parks, and more Canadians than ever before will visit these sites,” the mandate letter adds.

No more order to avoid creating permanent expenses

When Chrystia Freeland was first appointed finance minister last January, the prime minister wrote in her mandate letter that she hoped she would “use all necessary short-term fiscal power” to support Canadians and businesses during the pandemic. .


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But he had one condition: “It will avoid creating new permanent expenses.”

Fast-forward almost a year, and Freeland’s new mandate letter contains similar marching orders from Trudeau, but now omits the part where he asks him to refrain from creating new permanent expenses. Instead, he urges her to provide “emergency” or “temporary” support in some places.

It’s also worth noting that since January, the Liberals have created significant ongoing spending in the form of their national child care program of $ 10 per day with each province (all of which have signed up except Ontario) at a cost of $ 10. 30 billion for five years. .

Ban on the export of live horses for slaughter

Unbeknownst to many, Canada is in fact one of the world’s largest exporters of live horses to Japan for its domestic meat industry. About 41,000 horses have flown to Japan (mainly from the Calgary airport) since 2013, where they are fattened prior to slaughter, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

But the controversial practice appears to be in its final stages, as Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was formally tasked in her mandate letter to ban the export of live horses destined for slaughter.

That’s a decision likely to please one of the practice’s most vocal critics: Canadian singer Jann Arden, who tweeted in Trudeau on Thursday to “put an end to this sinister part of Canadian agriculture.”



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