NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has a message for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: just call a federal by-election already. “It looks like Trudeau is again delaying by-elections in Burnaby South,” Mr. Singh told supporters in B.C. on Sunday, adding: “This is a decision that impacts the bedrock of our democracy. Having an elected representative in Ottawa is the bedrock of our representational government, of our system.” Mr. Singh has been hoping for months that winning the seat would finally gain him entrance into the House of Commons. Mr. Singh was elected leader of the federal New Democrats more than a year ago while a member of the Ontario legislature. The governing Liberals, who recently selected local small-business owner Karen Wang as their candidate against Mr. Singh, have until March to call the vote.
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The NDP’s ethics critic said Mr. Trudeau should not have filmed a fundraising video in his Parliament Hill office.
Casting ahead to the full federal election later this year, Richard Fadden, the former national security adviser to prime ministers Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, said he’s not confident in the government’s ability to prevent foreign interference in the vote.
The foreign affairs minister’s office says Russia may be using the arrest of a Canadian-born former U.S. marine as a “political tool."
A group of Canadian MPs and senators are in China this week, and the employer of a Canadian detained in the country says he hopes the politicians raise the case with Chinese authorities at every opportunity. Robert Malley, president and chief executive officer of the International Crisis Group, said the arrest of Michael Kovrig is hurting China’s international reputation.
One third of all foreign students in Canada come from China, and universities are privately worried whether the tensions in the Canada-China relationship will cause a drop in enrollments.
And the U.S. may be walking back its withdrawal of troops from Syria. Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced that he would withdraw soldiers, but now one of his top aides, John Bolton, said the country will do so slowly only after finishing its campaign against the Islamic State.
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the carbon tax in the next election: “The answer is that political movements of both the left and the right hold to core values, and for conservatives, fighting tax increases is one of those core values. Liberals are, in contrast, more about trade-offs: To combat global warming, the Trudeau government is imposing a carbon tax in provinces that don’t have one, or its cap-and-trade equivalent, and combining that tax with income-tax rebates.”
Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on the prime minister’s persona: “Mr. Trudeau’s biggest asset is also his biggest drawback – his celebrity, his charm and his (now not so youthful) vitality. We like having someone on the cover of Rolling Stone. But in this increasingly unstable world, what people really want is someone whose skills are more than just performative. Is he up to it? That will be the ballot question.”
Michael Healey (The Globe and Mail) on former prime minister Joe Clark: “Mr. Clark’s personal liabilities were real. He was astoundingly uncharismatic (especially beside Pierre Trudeau, arguably the coolest guy on the planet at the time), had a speaking style reminiscent of a shoe in a dryer and presented physically in a way that suggested adolescence wasn’t quite done with him yet. But he had more than enough political intelligence, personal integrity and determination to get him to the highest office in the country.”
Toronto Sun editorial board on former prime minister Kim Campbell using a swear word on Twitter: “Everyone of course, including Campbell, is entitled to their opinion and where Trump is concerned, many have strong opinions. But it’s unseemly for a former PM to add fuel to the partisan hysterics occurring south of the border.”
Anne Kingston (Maclean’s) on Elizabeth Warren’s run for U.S. president: “Qualities in a man that win descriptors such as ‘passionate,’ ‘determined,’ and ‘relentless’ in the political realm tend to translate into ‘strident,’ ‘shrill,’ and even ‘hysterical’ in a woman. People like the familiar. And that doesn’t include women running for the highest political office in the U.S., or Canada for that matter.”
Lisa Skierka (Calgary Herald) on women in politics: “The fact is a woman has to be asked seven times on average to run for office before she will actually run (while her male counterpart often may not even wait to be asked). The fact is women face different challenges on a campaign and are held to a different, and oftentimes double, standard.”