The federal Liberals are facing more pressure to place significant restrictions on firearms as cabinet ministers prepare to meet in British Columbia this week, after the Montreal city council passed a motion pushing for a nationwide ban on handguns and military-style assault weapons.
The city council motion, which passed unanimously, goes further than a similar vote in Toronto that only for called for a handgun ban within the city. Montreal councillor Alex Norris said the federal government must put in place gun control measures that he argued are “crucial to the safety of Montrealers and all Canadians.”
The cabinet retreat begins tomorrow in Nanaimo, B.C., located on Vancouver Island, and while gun control isn’t specifically listed on the agenda, it’s expected to come up. The federal government has already put forward its gun control legislation, Bill C-71, but recent violence in Canadian cities, in particular the Danforth shooting in Toronto, has led to far more restrictive proposals, including outright bans.
Last month, The Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seriously considering Toronto’s call for a handgun ban and had asked advisers to report back on the issue in time for this week’s cabinet meetings.
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa and James Keller in Vancouver. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.
Omar Khadr, a former child soldier who was given a $10.5-million settlement by the federal government for abuses he suffered in custody, was on Parliament Hill in June and sources tell The Globe that the Liberals tried to keep their distance from him – even making sure he could not attend a celebration of a Muslim holiday.
Mr. Trudeau says extremism and intolerance are bad for politics. “There are people who are trying to feed fears and intolerance for a broad range of reasons. … I will remain positive and remain pulling people together, pulling communities together right across this country,” he said.
The federal government is changing how it assesses immigration applications under the parental sponsorship program, switching from a lottery system to a first-come-first-served model. A Globe and Mail report earlier this summer exposed problems with how the government conducted its lottery.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is going to India.
Calgary MP Darshan Kang – a former Liberal – has lost his appeal of a House of Commons investigation that found he harassed a female staffer.
B.C. Premier John Horgan is expected to get some face time this week with Mr. Trudeau and the federal cabinet, but the most contentious issue between the two leaders — the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion — isn’t officially on the agenda. The Premier and Prime Minister will meet this afternoon, and later in the week Mr. Horgan will address the federal cabinet retreat. Mr. Horgan’s press secretary says the Premier will touch on NAFTA negotiations and ocean protection, but won’t say whether he plans to specifically lay out his province’s case against the Trans Mountain.
Experts say the B.C. government isn’t doing enough to protect its forests from wildfires by clearing debris that can easily ignite in drought conditions. Millions of hectares of forests are littered with dead or dying trees, particularly in areas hit by the pine beetle epidemic. There are more than 500 wildfires currently burning across B.C.
The City of Toronto is taking the Ontario government to court over its plan to slash the size of city council.
A group of activists in Toronto have set up their own overdose-prevention site in defiance of the province’s order to review supervised drug-use sites.
And for readers of this newsletter who like to e-mail us about typos, you may be interested in this news: The federal government is going to start reporting every time it corrects a grammatical or typographical error in legislation.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Canada’s elections: “Canada is not immune from the phenomena recently evident in elections elsewhere, from malicious outside interference to political polarization caused by parties’ use of new communication tools. But if the Liberals want to imminently beef up C-76, as reported before their retreat, they should proceed with caution.”
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the growth of the suburbs (and suburban voters): “Both the Conservatives and the Liberals face major challenges in wooing the auto-suburban voter. The Tories are plagued by nativist, anti-immigrant attitudes among some supporters. The Liberals often treat auto suburbs, and the people who live in them, as a problem to be solved rather than as a community to be respected.”
André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on the withdrawal of Saudi medical students: “Made pawns by their thin-skinned, authoritarian king, they are being uprooted abruptly and, if there is no resolution to the dispute before the Aug. 31 deadline, they will have to find training spots in other countries. Practically that will mean at least an additional year of study and fewer doctors in Saudi Arabia. Take that Canada!”
Edward Greenspon and Taylor Owen (The Globe and Mail) on digital threats to democracy: “Some people say we need to invest in digital literacy. This is true, as is the broader need to increase civic knowledge and sharpen critical thinking skills. Yet this isn’t sufficient in itself.”
Richard Florida and Alan Broadbent (The Globe and Mail) on how Toronto should be governed: “While outsiders may resent it, Toronto has an outsized impact as a magnet for the country’s immigrants and the source of the innovations and startup companies that drive the Canadian economy. The province and the country as a whole can’t afford to have an economic entity of this size and economic importance kicked around like a proverbial political football.”
Saskatoon StarPhoenix editorial board on plans for a new statutory holiday: “The concept of creating a new federal statutory holiday to commemorate the legacy of Canada’s residential schools on Indigenous people is well worth supporting.”
Murad Hemmadi (Maclean’s) on rewriting history: “The mission is not to exclude certain people from the story of us, but to more accurately remember them, and to rewrite peoples who have been purposely excluded from that story into it; not to replace the facts that we have in our shared set, but to update them and to re-place the facts and narratives that have been left out back in.”
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