Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken up for the first time since his calls for Israel to show “maximum restraint” in its war against Hamas led to a rebuke from Israel’s Prime Minister.
A social media post and a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office today disclosed that Trudeau spoke yesterday with Benny Gantz, a former Israeli general and defence minister who is now a member of Israel’s war cabinet.
Trudeau’s call earlier this week for “maximum restraint” prompted Benjamin Netanyahu to tag Trudeau on X, formerly Twitter, saying the “forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism.” Leaders of the Jewish community in Canada were also critical of Trudeau’s remarks during a news conference in British Columbia.
“I reaffirmed Canada’s support for Israel and its right to defend itself, in accordance with international law, and emphasized the importance of taking all possible measures to protect civilians,” Trudeau said in today’s posting on X.
Also, he said he unequivocally condemned Hamas’ terrorist attacks, including the “atrocious use” of Palestinian civilians as human shields. Trudeau also said he noted that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people nor the legitimate aspirations they have.
Gantz referenced his discussion with Trudeau in his own posting on X, writing Trudeau conveyed his long-standing support for the state of Israel and its right to self defence.
“We discussed the war’s development in Gaza, the atrocious Hamas terror attack and the efforts to release the hostages held in Gaza immediately. I shared my concern for rising antisemitism globally and I emphasised the cynical abuse by terrorist Hamas of Palestinian citizens as human shields,” Gantz wrote.
The Prime Minister made his initial remarks during a news conference in Maple Ridge, B.C., and yesterday departed Vancouver for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in San Francisco, where he is today.
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Ottawa’s focus at APEC is economic growth across Pacific Rim: International Trade Minister – Mary Ng says Canada will be especially focused on creating conditions for companies to expand their business in the region.
Ontario introduces promised bill to reverse municipal expansions onto farmland – The changes being reversed would have put 11,000 extra hectares of land into the development queue in municipal official plans meant to accommodate growth until 2051.
Rare trial of ex-RCMP intelligence director hears closing arguments – A defence lawyer for Cameron Ortis addressed the jury today, saying his client was acting to better situate the country and Five Eyes partners, through actions that he took and that he had the authority to do what he did. Story here.
Saskatchewan introduces bill on withholding carbon tax on natural gas – The bill would protect Crown corporation SaskEnergy, all of its current and former directors, officers, employees and other associates from legal consequences of not remitting the levy.
Ontario advised to abandon tuition freeze as universities and colleges face financial strain – A blue-ribbon panel commissioned by government to examine the system’s financial sustainability recommends a 5-per-cent increase in tuition in 2024-25, then raises of 2 per cent a year thereafter, or at the rate of inflation.
Off-reserve Indigenous children say they’ve been ‘forgotten’ by federal government, seek compensation over child-welfare system – The lead representative plaintiff of a class-action lawsuit says that as a result of her being taken into the child-welfare system, she suffered mentally and emotionally, owing to a loss of her culture and identity. Story here.
Alberta COVID-19 panel calls for consideration of ‘alternative scientific narratives’ for future health emergencies – The panel made more than 90 recommendations on legislation and governing processes, with suggestions that, if implemented, would strengthen individual rights and could inhibit public-health measures. Story here.
Former Manitoba premier Heather Stefanson leaves door open to exit in near future – Stefanson says she may leave the Progressive Conservative helm once the party works out the procedures for electing her successor.
The Globe and Mail wins two Jack Webster Awards for B.C. journalism – One award was for an investigation into the failure of police oversight bodies to hold officers accountable, and the other was for coverage of arts institutions challenged by cultural controversies. Story here.
Eby honours Deadpool star – B.C. Premier David Eby and provincial Liuetenant-Governor Janet Austin have honored Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds with the Order of B.C. at a private ceremony. Eby comments here. The star of such films as Deadpool and its sequel spoke here about the honour, his B.C. roots and career.
THIS AND THAT
No plans to quit: Environment Minister – Steven Guilbeault has addressed speculation that he will quit if there are any further adjustments or carve-outs to carbon pricing. “I love being Environment Minister,” he said at a news conference today. “It’s a dream job for me and I have no intention of leaving the job anytime soon. Canadians may decide otherwise, obviously, in our democracy, but for the time being, I want to stay right where I am.” Speculation about an exit arose after the federal government exempted home-heating oil from carbon pricing, adjusting one of their key policies. Guilbeault said there would be no carve-outs with him as Environment Minister, in line with the government’s current position. “The Prime Minister said there would be no more carve-outs. I take my marching orders from the Prime Minister of Canada. That’s the scenario I am working with.”
Rae term extended – Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, says his term representing Canada has been extended until the summer of 2025.
Commons and Senate on a break – The House of Commons is on a break until Monday. The Senate sits again on Tuesday.
Deputy Prime Minister’s day – At a news conference with Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, Chrystia Freeland announced $2-million in federal support for a former industrial brick factory that’s been turned into a community environmental centre.
Ministers on the road – Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier, in the town of Chandler, Que., announced federal support for 16 businesses and organizations in the tourism sector in Gaspésie and Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine. Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan, also minister for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, was in Vancouver to announce funding to help Vancouver-based tech businesses. Later, in Burnaby, Sajjan attended the Burnaby Business Excellence Awards to announce funding for an innovative Burnaby-based clean energy development business.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Justin Trudeau, in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit, held a series of meetings with Pacific leaders. He met individually with Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, and Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. He participated in a family photo of leaders attending the gathering, and the APEC leaders’ working lunch. Trudeau later met with Vietnam President Vo Van Thuong, then Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Trudeau attended the opening session of the APEC leaders’ dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council. His day is to end by attending the APEC leaders’ dinner.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves François Blanchet is in Quebec on a tour of Rimouski and the Gaspé Peninsula.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre held an evening rally in London, Ont.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, on Vancouver Island, attended a monthly breakfast meeting of the Sidney by the Sea Rotary.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was scheduled to attend the Broadbent Institute’s 2023 Progress Gala in Toronto where Mayor Olivia Chow is keynote speaker.
On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, The Globe’s Janice Dickson talks about Afghans who are waiting to be resettled in Canada and have taken refuge in Pakistan since fleeing their homes when the Taliban took control in 2021. Some have been deported already. She explains the dangerous limbo they’re in, and why it’s taking so long to get help from the Canadian government. The Decibel is here.
Karl Tremblay – Quebec Premier François Legault, in a posting on X, paid tribute to “a big star, a beautiful star. A shooting star” – Karl Tremblay, singer for Les Cowboys Fringants, an award-winning Quebec band. Tremblay, 47, died of prostate cancer, band members announced yesterday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also honoured the singer, calling him an icon. “Karl Tremblay’s impact on Quebec and its culture is unmatched. With his music, he entertained millions across the province – and with his voice, he inspired countless others,” Trudeau wrote on X.
Carbon pricing – The Angus Reid Institute has new polling research out that suggests a majority of Canadians want federal carbon pricing scrapped or waived for the next three years. Details here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how, with a flawed labour bill, the Liberals are striking a blow for the Liberals: “The Trudeau government’s new bill banning temporary replacement workers during strikes and lockouts in federally regulated workplaces is bad in so many ways. It is unnecessary, given that the gains made in the past year by workers in the auto industry, in the federal public service, in grocery stores and elsewhere are evidence there is a balance in labour-employer relations. The ban’s implementation would unjustifiably tip the scales in favour of unions. There is also plenty of research showing that a ban on replacement workers could result in more frequent strikes that last longer – evidence the government has chosen to ignore but which contradicts one of its main reasons for implementing the ban.”
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on what should be – but won’t be – in Canada’s federal mini-budget: “The polls have been taken, the focus groups have been convened, the stakeholders have been consulted: Next week it all comes to a head in the Finance Minister’s fall economic statement, an annual ritual that in recent years has taken on the trappings of a mini-budget. For myself, I have a short list of “asks,” none of which I expect to see in the statement.”
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how Jewish Canadians are living in rising fear as violence and vitriol increase: “Everyone has an explanation for the frightening rise of violence directed at Jews in Canada. What we seem to lack are hard facts and a way to respond.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on how, if history is any indication, the Trudeau Liberals are doomed: “The latest poll from Abacus Data has Justin Trudeau’s Liberals trailing the Conservatives by 16 percentage points, 25 to 41. That’s landslide territory for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party, right up there with John Diefenbaker’s 208-seat victory in 1958 and Brian Mulroney’s 211-seat record-breaker in 1984. This isn’t an isolated poll.”
Ahmed Khalifa and Karen Mock (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how conflict in the Middle East has affected efforts to build peace between Israeli and Palestinian teens: “We are deeply disappointed in Canadian adults who enjoy all the rights and freedoms of this great country and choose to use those freedoms to promote anger and hatred. In all of our years of assisting young people from the Middle East, we didn’t think we’d need to address the heightened displays of vitriol and hate put on by adults in our own neighbourhoods here in Canada.”