The governing Liberals return to Ottawa today fired up after their weekend convention in Halifax. The gathering of Liberals from across the country saw a strong endorsement of progressive policies that encroach on the NDP’s territory, including a call for universal pharmacare and the decriminalization of drug possession for small amounts. (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the former and shot down the latter.)
Still, the party wasn’t all sunny ways. Liberal MP Francis Drouin says he is being accused of groping a woman’s backside at an afterparty. The incident allegedly took place the evening before a workshop on how to create harassment-free workplaces.
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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to travel to Bangladesh next month, where she plans to visit a Rohingya refugee camp and see the crisis for herself. Ms. Freeland is in the region for the Organization of Islamic Co-operation meeting of foreign ministers. She is not expected to visit Myanmar itself.
The Canadian government is expected to welcome diplomats from Iran to Ottawa as part of a thaw of relations. The meeting is unscheduled, but could take place this year. Canadian officials traveled to the country twice last year.
A lawsuit challenging B.C.’s civil forfeiture laws begins today in Vancouver – a case that could affect similar measures across Canada. The case involves the Hells Angels, whose lawyer argues it’s unconstitutional to seize assets of people suspected of a crime but who haven’t been convicted or even charged.
Vancouver’s mayor, Gregor Robertson, has delivered a formal apology on behalf of the city to residents of Chinese descent for historic wrongs: “I sincerely apologize for these past injustices and their cruel effects on individuals and their families and commit to ensuring that similar unjust practices are never again allowed to fall on any group or community.”
And a Canadian man who has been a leading global activist against child poverty is now being accused of having sex with minors. Peter Daglish, who was appointed to the order of Canada in 2016, was arrested by Nepalese police earlier this month. A Globe investigation details the allegations against him, which he denies.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the NDP and Trans Mountain: “It’s understandable that Mr. Singh wants to paper over the divide and hope his ambivalent stance prevents any damage. Most of his caucus, and probably most NDP supporters across the country, lean to Mr. Horgan’s stop-TMX position. But the NDP also doesn’t want to undercut Ms. Notley, who faces another long-shot election next May.”
Denise Balkissoon (The Globe and Mail) on energy: “I’m glad the oil sands are a sunset industry: they’re an absolute environmental nightmare. That doesn’t mean those who work there are bad people, but that everyone in Canada needs to help them move on.”
Tzeporah Berman (The Globe and Mail) on the power of protest: “There are moments in history when our governments fail us – when they are too influenced by the next election cycle or those that stand to benefit from the status quo. These are the moments when we are called to stand up. The power of the people to speak out, to demand better – it is the most powerful tool we have, and we will continue to use it.”
Ian Bremmer (The Globe and Mail) on a world in turmoil: “Many of the storms creating political turmoil in the United States and Europe – including job-killing technological change in the workplace and a sense of grievance at income inequality – are now crossing into the developing world, where governments and institutions are even less prepared than their Western counterparts.”
Conrad Black (National Post) on American democracy: “ The arrogant façade of the fascistic American criminal justice system that had been infiltrated by the Clinton-Obama Democratic party has been torn down and the director and deputy director of the FBI revealed as potential felons who will possibly have their own day in the kangaroo courts they so delighted in sending less deservedly accused to face. There are many vicissitudes but the American leviathan is, however awkwardly and inelegantly, reviving.”
Eternity Martis (CBC) on the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks: “Black and brown bodies, once they enter in white spaces, are often and immediately perceived as a threat to the perfectly established whiteness — the normalness — of the area. People experience fear because they’re not supposed to be there; they’re supposed to be in some far-away place closed into itself: the hood. The ghetto. Public housing. Somewhere where they are not a nuisance.”
Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on the global property boom: “Property tax, commonplace in North America and Europe, has proven impossible to implement, assess or collect in much of the rest of the world. It’s a big part of the reason why otherwise successful countries have filthy streets, inadequate schools, and, I’d argue, faltering democracy.”
Elizabeth Renzetti (The Globe and Mail) on cannabis legalization: “ Yes, there have been careful discussions, as there should be, about the placement of marijuana stores near schools and the proper age for purchase. But the more fraught issues of who wins and who loses in this new green rush have not yet been properly understood, and if no efforts are made now, existing inequalities are likely to be further calcified. ” (for subscribers)
Andrei Sulzenko (The Globe and Mail) about the Supreme Court of Canada beer case: “Paradoxically, the SCC’s endorsement of the status quo constitutes a form of judicial activism in further tilting the playing field in the economic union toward provincial and territorial ability to restrict legitimate trade in the name of some higher calling.”
Dambisa Moyo (The Globe and Mail) on democracy and the middle class: “With the IMF warning this week that global growth is set to slow by 2020, the need for strong economic leadership is urgent. Only far-reaching reform can shift the focus of political leaders from short-term electioneering to restoring growth.”
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