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The leader of the Bloc Quebecois says MPs should return quickly to Parliament in person, but only if they are fully vaccinated.
If someone is not doubly vaccinated, they shouldn’t be able to return to Parliament, Yves-François Blanchet told a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday. “I do think we have to go back to working normally.”
Mr. Blanchet said Canadians have, in last week’s federal election, elected 338 MPs whose workplace is the House of Commons. “And that’s where we should be working.”
The BQ leaders’ news conference came a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held his first extended postelection news conference in which he said he will unveil a new cabinet in October, and that the House of Commons will be recalled some time before Dec. 21. Mr. Blanchet strongly condemned Mr. Trudeau’s suggestion that Parliament may not resume until December.
Asked, on Wednesday, about Conservative MPs, Mr. Blanchet said they should not enter Parliament if they are not vaccinated. “They get fully vaccinated or they stay home,” he said.
During the recent federal election campaign, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was the only leader to not disclose the vaccination status of his party’s candidates. Asked about the issue in mid-September, the NDP and the Bloc both said all of their candidates were vaccinated and the Liberals said all but one of their candidates were vaccinated, with the sole exception being someone with a medical exemption.
The Globe and Mail has reached out to other parties for comment on the BQ leaders’ suggestion.
Mr. Blanchet also said the Parliament that will be convened soon is largely the same as the one before the election so some previous decisions on bills and committees should be brought back such as Bill C-10 to ensure Canadian artists are supported as their work is consumed by global streaming giants and legislation criminalizing conversion therapy, which he said could be passed by the Senate and put into place quickly.
During the election, Mr. Trudeau said his government would move on the conversion therapy legislation if re-elected
HUAWEI 5G RULING COMING SOON: TRUDEAU - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal cabinet will soon rule on whether to ban Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. from Canada’s 5G mobile network, now that Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have returned home after nearly three years in Chinese prisons. Story here.
RECONCILIATION DAY NEEDS TO BE STAT HOLIDAY - Provincial governments are facing calls to make the new federal National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday so all Canadians can reflect on the dark and painful history of residential schools.
KENNEY FACES NEW CHALLENGE - Members within Alberta’s governing party are, once again, openly challenging Premier Jason Kenney’s leadership, with the province’s hospitals overwhelmed to the point where the government has reached out to institutions in the United States for help.
RCMP REBUKED IN LOGGING PROTEST - The B.C. Supreme Court has delivered a rebuke to the RCMP, saying the tactics used to enforce a court injunction prohibiting blockades against old-growth logging at Fairy Creek trampled on civil liberties and put the court’s reputation at risk.
HARPER HAS ROLE IN SURVEILLANCE TECH SALE - Former prime minister Stephen Harper heads the advisory committee of a Toronto-based company now looking to facilitate the sale of cutting-edge surveillance technology to the United Arab Emirates — a country with a troubling human rights record. From CBC. Story here.
NEW O’TOOLE ENDORSEMENT - John Reynolds, the former Canadian Alliance leader and Stephen Harper campaign co chair, makes the case, in The Vancouver Sun, for the Conservatives keeping Erin O’Toole as leader. “Conservatives are a national party. We made big breakthroughs in Eastern Canada in this election. Those are things we can build on next time,” he writes.
DEBATE TO BE MANITOBA’S NEXT PREMIER - The two women campaigning to become Manitoba’s next premier squared off Tuesday, both promising to revive a Progressive Conservative government running low in opinion polls. The race pits former federal Conservative cabinet minister Shelly Glover, who has not been elected provincially, against Heather Stefanson, a former provincial health minister. The two are the sole candidates in the race, which comes to a conclusion Oct. 30. Story here.
FALCON UNDER FIRE AS BC LIBERAL LEADERSHIP PROSPECTS DEBATE - Kevin Falcon, who has held the B.C. cabinet posts of finance, health and transportation for the governments of premiers Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark, was under fire this week during the first debate in the race to win the leadership of the BC Liberals. Story here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
No schedule released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet will hold a news conference in Ottawa.
No other schedules released for federal leaders.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Erin O’Toole and the wrong way to pick a party leader: “Had Mr. O’Toole not “betrayed” the base that made him leader, he would have had to run an election campaign calling for: the end of carbon taxes, which 56 per cent of Canadians support; legislation limiting abortion, in a country where 77 per cent support abortion rights; rolling back gun controls favoured by a majority of Canadians; and no vaccine passports, when 70 per cent of Canadians are in favour of them. The problem is that, to become leader, Mr. O’Toole had to appeal to a tiny and not particularly representative group. He became leader thanks to the votes of fewer than 91,000 paid-up party members – about one-third of 1 per cent of the Canadian electorate. But to become prime minister, one has to win over a third or more of the entire electorate. And more than 99 per cent of them are not Conservative Party members.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on little standing in the way of Justin Trudeau’s legacy: “It might annoy many in the 67 per cent of voters who didn’t choose Mr. Trudeau’s party, but that is the bottom line. As a practical matter, mandate is beside the point. Mr. Trudeau can advance the Liberal agenda. Even more: He can entrench a lasting legacy. On Tuesday, he went so far as to entertain the idea that he will serve out all four years of his term. “I hope so,” he said. That’s pushing it. But for a substantial period of time, there won’t be a lot standing in his way. For starters, opposition parties who complained about this year’s pandemic election can’t afford to force another. In fact, the bar triggering a vote will be pretty high for a while.”
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on whether or not we will be firmer with China now that the two Michaels are free: “But in truth Canada’s policy of strategic pussyfooting long predates the two Michaels’ arrest. The causation is, if anything, the other way: Canadian policy on China has not been weak and vacillating because they were taken prisoner – they were taken prisoner, arguably, because we were so weak and vacillating. There’s a reason China targeted Canada, rather than the U.S., for retaliation for Ms. Meng’s arrest: because they knew, or suspected, it would work better against us.”
Irwin Cotler, Amanda Ghahremani and Alex Neve (Contributors to The Globe and Mail) on the search for justice following Iran’s downing of Flight PS752: “Canada’s next minister of foreign affairs should prioritize this file. The RCMP should open a criminal investigation into what happened, given the non-existent prospect of justice and fair trials in Iran. The results of this investigation would be shared with Ukrainian authorities, who are currently pursuing possible prosecutions. The government should also promptly take all necessary diplomatic and legal steps to launch proceedings at the International Civil Aviation Organization and even the International Court of Justice, unless negotiations with Iran toward a fair resolution immediately show more promise.”
Dakota Kochie (Contributor to the Globe and Mail) on why it is essential for all Canadians to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: “The holiday that has followed from this call needs to be a day of truth-telling so that Canadians can continue to reconcile with our shared dark history. The truths of abuse, death, humiliation and lost childhoods. The fact that Canadians had a better chance of surviving battle in the Second World War than children attending a residential school had here in Canada. These are the many reasons we as Canadians owe this one day to residential school survivors. Truth must come before reconciliation.”
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