Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to give an another apology for historic wrongs today, this time to Canada’s Jewish community. In 1939, the Liberal government of Mackenzie King turned away a ship of 900 German Jewish people trying to seek refuge from the Nazis. Hundreds from the MS St. Louis died in concentration camps when the ship was forced to return home.
Today will certainly not be the first time a prime minister has tried to make amends for a shameful act the Canadian government committed in that period: In the 1980s, Brian Mulroney apologized for the internment of Canadians of Japanese descent during the Second World War. Two years ago, Mr. Trudeau apologized for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, in which a ship of mostly Sikh refugees was turned away, many of whom died when they were forced to return home.
Mr. Trudeau will meet this morning with Ana Maria Gordon, the last surviving Canadian member of the St. Louis. He is set to offer the official apology in the House of Commons at about 3 p.m. ET.
In the U.S. midterms, both major parties are claiming victories of a sort. The Democrats had the biggest night, winning back control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, electing a number of new governors (including a much sought-after victory in Wisconsin against Scott Walker) and breaking barriers, such as electing Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim women in Congress. The Republicans had their biggest victory in the Senate, knocking off three Democrats and slightly increasing their slim majority in that chamber. Notably in the Senate, Ted Cruz squeaked out a win in Texas and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is headed to Washington to represent Utah.
Back in Ottawa, the Trudeau government is dismissing a call from senators to make human rights a more important part of Canada’s arms-export process. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says such a move would be out of step with other Western countries and could be counterproductive for Canada’s diplomatic efforts. “Export controls are most effective when they are adopted and implemented multilaterally and in co-ordination with our allies,” Ms. Freeland wrote in a letter to senators. The government is still weighing whether to suspend shipments that are part of a $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia because of human-rights abuses in that country.
The Speaker of the House of Commons says there are some measures in the Liberal budget implementation bill that were not mentioned in the budget tabled in the spring.
Veterans advocates say some former soldiers will be worse off because of the Liberal government’s new pension system.
Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Sharpe, an MP who fought in the First World War and took his own life when he returned to Canada, will have a plaque honouring him installed in the halls of Parliament today. The Globe told Mr. Sharpe’s story earlier this year.
David Johnston says he’ll proactively disclose the expenses he’s been billing taxpayers as a former governor-general.
Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry has died.
Hamilton police continue to investigate possible voter fraud at an Ontario Progressive Conservative nomination meeting.
Alberta MLA Robyn Luff, who was kicked out of the Alberta NDP caucus after complaining of “bullying” by her party’s leadership, says she and her provincial New Democrat colleagues were warned not to be photographed with federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Conservative MP Tony Clement, who held senior cabinet positions in Stephen Harper’s government, has stepped down from many of his duties after revealing he sent “sexually explicit” images to someone who, he says, is now trying to extort him. The RCMP have confirmed they are investigating.
And Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio, who has quit and unquit and not been seen in the House of Commons for weeks, says he will finally quit for real...in January. Given the rules for when a by-election must be called, it’s very possible that the Quebec seat will remain vacant until the general election next fall.
Sarah Kendzior (The Globe and Mail) on the U.S. electorate: “Conspiracy or clarity, corruption or compassion, integrity or impunity – these were the choices voters were asked to make in Tuesday’s 2018 midterm elections. The character of the country was on the ballot, and we emerged a Cubist portrait of contradictions and embarrassments.”
Jill Filipovic (New York Times) on the record number of women elected: “But I am worried, too. The women are here, and the expectation is that they will do what women so often do: act as a cleanup crew.”
Liz Peek (Fox News) on Republican victories: “And yet, once again his critics underestimated President Trump. Yes, Republicans lost the House. But keeping the Senate was far more important to the ongoing rebalancing of our nation’s courts and to keep a check on Democrats in the House. It also is a bulwark against impeachment.”
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on what comes next: “The Democrats will use their power in the House to rein in the worst excesses of Mr. Trump’s domestic agenda. He will have a very difficult time, for example, trying to revoke citizenship for children born in the United States to parents who are not citizens themselves. There will be no wall on the southern border, no further erosion of Obamacare, no more tax cuts for the rich.”