Canada. At the end of January, the pressured conservative minority government presented the budget for 2009-10, which included a stimulus package of 40 billion Canadian dollars. Tax cuts and investment in infrastructure and jobs would help Canada out of the economic crisis. According to the government, the budget was expected to give the country a growth of 1.4 percent in 2009 and create 190,000 jobs by 2011. The global financial crisis had also hit Canada in the fall of 2008 and in just two months over 100,000 people lost their jobs.
According to countryaah, the stimulus package resulted in a deficit in the state budget for the first time since 1997, but the Ministry of Finance expected to be at plus again in 2013-14. Parliament approved the budget because the majority of the members of the largest opposition party, the Liberal Party (LP), voted in favor. New Democratic Party (NDP), Quebec Bloc (BQ) and individual liberals voted against.
For Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the budget was a matter of fate. If the government had not received sufficient support for the budget in Parliament, it would have had to resign. In December 2008, a united opposition had threatened to trap Harper in a vote of no confidence because he believed he could not solve the country’s financial problems. However, Harper managed to stop the vote pending the budget presentation.
Between April and August, over a hundred forest fires occurred every day in the state of British Columbia in western Canada due to a heat wave with thunderstorms and lightning strikes. When two large fires broke out near the town of Kelowna in July, about 17,000 people were evacuated from their homes. In total, over 63,000 hectares were burned during the spring and summer. The fires were fought by thousands of firefighters supported by helicopters that dropped water bombs.
In the fall, Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff declared that his party no longer had confidence in the government because of its economic policies. Ignatieff initiated a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons on October 1. The government passed the voting figures 144–117 and could remain. This time, the government was supported by the Social Democratic Party New Democrats who cast their votes. NDP leader Jack Layton said his party would continue to support the government at least until a promised law on increased unemployment benefits was passed in the House of Commons.
A 19-year-old woman was killed in October by two coyotes in a national park in the state of Nova Scotia, eastern Canada. Taylor Mitchell, a promising Toronto singer and songwriter, was walking alone in the park when the wolves attacked her. Other hikers alerted the park guards, who shot one wolf while the other managed to flee. The woman was bleeding to hospital where she died from the injuries. It is very uncommon for coyotes to attack humans.
Ontario shuts down
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is shutting down again on the second day of Christmas in an effort to reduce the spread of covid-19, Ontario’s head of government decides. The closure will apply for 28 days in the southern part of the province, which has high infection rates, and 14 days in the northern part, where fewer people are infected. The largest city in Toronto has already been closed for almost a month. The measure is being taken after more than 2,100 new cases of covid-19 were discovered in one day and there is great concern that care will be overloaded. A few days earlier, Canada had passed half a million cases of covid-19, according to official figures. this means an increase of 25 percent in just two weeks. More than 14,000 inhabitants have so far died of the viral disease.
India criticizes Trudeau
The High Commissioner of Canada in Delhi has been summoned to the Indian government criticizing statements made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, some Canadian ministers and members of Ottawa’s parliament about Indian farmers, and has accused them of “supporting extremists”. It is about Indian farmers protesting against new legislation in India which they fear will lower their incomes. Until now, Indian farmers have been able to sell their crops to the government at fixed prices. Trudeau has expressed concern over how the Indian government has responded to the protests, in which authorities have tried to disperse Indian protesters with tear gas, water cannons and batons. Some Canadian farmers have demonstrated and campaigned in support of Indian farmers on social media.
Rapid increase in covid-19 in Canada
The number of cases of covid-19 is increasing rapidly in Canada. In the last two weeks alone, 100,000 people have been infected, according to data compiled by the public service company CBC. As a result, several provinces, including Québec and Alberta, have reintroduced strong restrictions. In total, over 400,000 people have been confirmed infected with the new coronavirus and 12,470 residents have died in covid-19.