Some days, there is good news.
India's Supreme Court has struck down a ban on consensual sex between people of the same gender. The law had been around longer than Canada has been a country. (Sex between people of the same gender was briefly decriminalized between 2009 and 2013, before being made illegal again.) "Down with barriers to love! Love cannot be a criminality, humans cannot be discriminated against for their sexuality!" said Priyanka Chaturvedi, a member of the Indian congress. But though the laws have changed, attitudes may take a bit longer to adapt. "We are no longer criminals, (but) it will take time to change things on the ground – 20 to 30 years, maybe," activist Debottam Saha told Reuters.
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning Albertans not to expect a quick fix to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion back on track. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has called on Ottawa to intervene quickly to salvage the project, following a Federal Court of Appeal decision last week, but Mr. Trudeau says the government will follow the court's direction and do what's needed to get the pipeline approved.
The court decision also focused on the plight of the Southern resident killer whales, ordering the National Energy Board to study the impact on the threatened species. Less than a week later, the federal government has extended the protected area for the orcas.
Mr. Trudeau said Canada must work to preserve dispute-resolution measures in the North American free-trade agreement negotiations, because Canada can't always trust the U.S. "We need to keep the Chapter 19 dispute resolution because that ensures that the rules are actually followed. I mean, we have a President who doesn’t always follow the rules as they’re laid out," he told an Edmonton radio station.
Maxime Bernier says he's raised $90,000 for his new political party, which will have a new name and logo by next week.
The federal Health Minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, says the Trudeau government is committed to keeping supervised-injection sites open despite Ontario Premier Doug Ford's apparent resistance to them. Ontario put a hold on the opening of any new overdose-prevention sites to conduct a review of such facilities.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has instructed the new commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada to reduce the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons while also focusing on addressing the needs of Indigenous offenders.
And a new poll suggests Canadians are open to a national day to mark the legacy of residential schools, but most also object to removing statues of our first prime minister, John. A Macdonald. The survey from the Angus Reid Institute found slightly more than half of respondents supported either a statutory holiday commemorating the legacy of residential schools or a “day of remembrance.” At the same time, 70 per cent said the name and image of John A. Macdonald should remain in public view, despite calls to remove statues over his treatment of Indigenous people.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on NAFTA: "Canada must assume, even with a NAFTA deal, that its trading partner will be faithless again someday. The whole world will have to assume so. Mr. Trump has not just challenged specific free-trade agreements, he has devalued all free-trade agreements."
Denise Balkissoon (The Globe and Mail) on debating Steve Bannon: "More to the point, racism and xenophobia are not reasonable. They aren't ideas, but harmful actions, happening now. Ask the Latin American migrants still separated from their children, or the people in Puerto Rico mourning their 3,000 dead while living without basic services almost a year after Hurricane Maria."
Allison Hanes (Montreal Gazette) on an unusual pitch for Quebec to join the United States: "With dedicated paternity leave (on top of maternity leave), subsidized daycare, universal health care — even partial public dental care! — Quebec would be an outlier in a U.S. where even the most basic of social programs are cast as sucking on the taxpayer teat."
Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Trudeau, Bernier and diversity: "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in particular could spend less time repeating 'diversity is our strength' and more time talking about how Canada has the best of both worlds. 'Our strength is diversity on the cultural plane and unity on the civic level' makes a less resounding slogan, but a truer one."
Bob Plamondon (The Globe and Mail) on Conservatives: "Mad Max not only has ideas on his side, but charisma and that rare political quality of authenticity. If Conservatives in Ottawa doubt its importance they have only to look at the election of Doug Ford in Ontario, where he began the leadership race with virtually no support in caucus or among party apparatchik."
John Ivison (National Post) on New Democrats: "There is a growing consensus among members of caucus that the party’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, will have to step down if he fails to win the byelection in Burnaby South, likely to be called early next year."
Adrienne Tanner (The Globe and Mail) on electoral reform in Vancouver: "B.C. is an outlier among most Canadian provinces where cities tend to have ward systems. Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg and Halifax voters typically choose from manageable lists of between two and 10 council candidates to represent their specific area."
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