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Politics Politics Briefing: Manitoba election could kick off today

Hello,

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is expected to announce this afternoon that the province’s election is officially underway.

The election was initially scheduled for October 2020, but Mr. Pallister said earlier this summer he would call an early election for Sept. 10.

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Mr. Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives swept to victory just three years ago, and ending 17 years of NDP government.

The Manitoba NDP, now led by former broadcaster Wab Kinew, are running on a platform centred on reversing many of the changes the PCs brought in, particularly in health care.

The election call means a busy few months for politicians and volunteers in the province – many of whom will spend the next four weeks knocking on doors for the provincial election, and then they will keep on knocking for the federal campaign that begins right after.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

The Liberals have declared a “national electoral urgency” as the party prepares for an election campaign scheduled to begin in just a few weeks. Triggering the clause allows party officials to circumvent the usual nomination process and appoint candidates directly in ridings that don’t yet have a nominee. According to the Hill Times, the Liberals have nominated 235 of their 338 candidates. The Conservatives, meanwhile, are almost finished their nomination process – 327 of 338 – and the NDP are far behind with just 133 candidates.

Canadians’ view of the Chinese government has continued to sour as the Canada-China foreign-relations issue stretches into its eighth month. Ninety per cent of respondents to a Nanos Research survey said they had a negative or somewhat negative view of the Chinese government. And 40 per cent said they thought Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had handled relations poorly. About a quarter said Mr. Trudeau had done an average job, and another quarter thought he had done well.

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Some Syrian refugees who came to Canada just after the last election are hoping to vote this fall. “The democracy, the elections, the transfer of power peacefully and seamlessly – it’s all new to us,” Ahmad Almahmoud told the Canadian Press.

A non-partisan group says it has organized 117 riding-level election debates on environmental issues for Oct. 3.

Residents of the Grassy Narrows First Nation are worried that the election call will jeopardize the chances that the community will finally receive a treatment centre to deal with the mercury poisoning that began decades ago. "I feel like we’re desperate now,” Judy Da Silva, environmental health co-ordinator, told the Globe. Chief Rudy Turtle announced two weeks ago he would run for the New Democrats because of his concern with the project delays.

Protesters in Hong Kong continue to clash with police in the nation’s streets, raising worries from observers that the violence could provide an opening for more brutal crackdowns from mainland China.

The Conservatives have dropped a promise to give tax deductions to parents who put their kids in private schools.

The federal Conservatives hope to win two seats in Cape Breton, which are being vacated by retiring Liberal MPs. “The Liberals might have gone 32 for 32 in 2015,” Leader Andrew Scheer told a crowd in Glace Bay, N.S., of the Liberal sweep in the 2015 election, “but the people of Atlantic Canada have gone 0 for 32 under Justin Trudeau.”

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And the People’s Party of Canada, founded by former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier, has recruited quite a few candidates who were either rejected by the Conservative Party or who abandoned their attempts to get a nomination to run for them. “Ultimately, a party, and the credibility of a party, is in part shaped by those who put their name on a ballot,” Tim Powers, a political strategist, observed.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the other prominent voices in the Conservative party: “[Leader Andrew] Scheer himself still isn’t a well-known leader with a defined image, but his campaign isn’t aimed at bolstering his leadership with a star team, as Mr. Trudeau did in 2015. Instead, they have looked for people who are well-known in their riding, figuring that might give them a more practical edge at the ballot box. An example they cite is Yves Lévesque, who served as mayor of Trois-Rivières for 17 years and is now running for the federal seat there.”

Chris Ragan (The Globe and Mail) on the success of carbon pricing in other countries: “Economists know the more we lean on carbon pricing, the better off our economy will be. Other countries are seeing this, too. China’s carbon market launches next year; India is piloting cap-and-trade; and France and Germany are breathing new life into the European conversation. If Canadians want to shrink emissions as cheaply as possible, we should embrace the power of markets.”

Shachi Kurl (Ottawa Citizen) on the popularity of a handgun ban: “Most Canadians also support a civilian ban on handgun ownership, though most past and current firearms owners do not. The latter may represent a motivated cohort of voters. But others are motivated too. Women, for example, emphatically support an outright ban on handguns. So do people in urban centres.”

Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun) on the cost of a handgun ban: “Rather than spend $2 billion compensating legal handgun owners for taking away their guns, surely this money would be better spent enhancing police resources to fight gun crime, increase border security and address such root causes of gun violence as poverty.”

Jane Goodall (The Globe and Mail) on why Canada should ban the sale of elephant ivory: “This magnificent species, which once roamed across Africa in great herds, has been pushed toward extinction. In 1930, as many as 10 million elephants inhabited the continent. Today, there are only some 400,000 left. This decrease is almost entirely the ugly result of poaching, which is backed by criminal cartels to satisfy the demand for ivory. How shameful that human greed threatens these majestic, intelligent beings, slaughtering them for their tusks.”

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