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Thousands gather in Edmonton Climate strike

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Blair Armstrong Tucker, 7, speaks to the crowd during the Global Climate Strike rally at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Thousands of students across the country joined together to call for action on climate change.


Ian Kucerak / Postmedia

They came with signs, songs and a lot of spirit, thousands upon thousands of them all across Canada, including one of the largest rallies I’ve ever seen outside the Alberta legislature.

“Economics are cool, but the Arctic isn’t,” read one of the placards from among the masses of young climate change strikers who showed up Friday.

“No planet, no profits,” read another.

Other posters were equally insightful: “Make Earth Great Again,” “Climate change doesn’t care if you believe,” and “When leaders act like kids, the kids become leaders.”

I have to admit, that last one struck a chord.

Because the painful truth for our younger generations — and the central message they were trying to deliver Friday — is that they will bear the brunt of what’s coming to a far greater degree than the political leaders too often telling them to calm down. If I was them, I’d be frustrated, too.

Unfortunately, as the strikers pointed out, getting our legislatures and parliaments to treat climate change as the crisis it is has been a struggle.

Take Friday, where you might have hoped someone from the UCP government would have chosen to participate in the Edmonton climate rally, or at least watched it from their legislature office windows in the hopes of gaining a new perspective.

Instead, at least a couple of those windows used by the premier’s communications staff were adorned with signs saying, “I (heart) Canadian oil and gas.”

Apart from a potential security issue posed by antagonizing the crowd, the signs also violated the spirit, if not the letter, of a long-standing policy that the Alberta legislature — the people’s house — not be used for any form of partisan advertising.

While support for the oil sector is not typically seen as “partisan” in Alberta, there is no question the signage on this occasion came across as a divisive and cynical, feeding the erroneous idea that being anti-climate change also means being anti-Alberta.

Of course, in talking to some of the rally participants, this is nothing new for the climate concerned, who say they are used to being treated with a mix of indifference, condescension, pandering and derision — or having their legitimate anxiety dismissed as a mental illness.

And such attitudes certainly aren’t limited to Alberta, evidence of which can be seen in the various offerings coming from the federal election — a combination of climate policies either insufficient, unrealistic or unfairly distributed.

Take the Conservatives, which have based much of their campaign on cancelling the carbon tax, but aren’t providing much of substance to replace it. A vague plan to get heavy emitters to invest in green technology, along with promises to get more international emissions credits isn’t going to excite anyone.

The Liberal scheme is more balanced and ambitious, but suffers from its own make-believe on how to meet climate targets — not to mention a trust deficit in the form of a leader who too often fails to live up to his own rhetoric on social issues.

As for the NDP and Greens, their proposals are the most aggressive and contain some good ideas. Yet both plans place too much burden on the Alberta economy and fail to understand that the transitions our country must make still require revenue from the key industries we have.

Back in Alberta, the UCP climate strategy is also a disappointment, a plan that takes Alberta back 10 years, provides the best rewards to the dirtiest facilities and puts an unhealthy emphasis on unproven technology to reduce emissions.

In their defence of these policies, Premier Jason Kenney and many of his MLAs continue to trot out arguments that entirely miss the point. This includes the old chestnut that Canada’s emissions are a fraction of world totals so it’s really someone else’s problem — which to me is the equivalent of a six-year-old refusing to clean his room because his sister has a bigger mess in her room.

The truth is, we have many of the necessary tools to deal with this problem, and in a way that should have relatively minimal impact on people’s quality of life.

Yet the climate alarm we’re seeing isn’t based on a lack of solutions; it’s based on the lack of political will to even acknowledge the crisis — let alone respond to it with the seriousness it deserves.

As right as Kenney is about the need to ensure we don’t leave a financial catastrophe for coming generations, it would be nice if he showed the same urgency in tackling the arguably much more existential threat staring those generations in the face.

Our politics are not just failing our planet, they are failing those we claim to regard as our most precious resource — our children.

While those who marched Friday don’t have all the answers, we at least owe them our respect and our ears. Instead of treating their anxiety as an annoyance or a mental illness, the best way to calm their fears is to actually do something meaningful to show them we care about their future.

When the adults fail, sometimes the kids have to lead. It’s time to listen to them and to the science that overwhelmingly supports them.

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Doctored video shows Trump violently attacking media figures

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Issued on: 14/10/2019 – 13:20Modified: 14/10/2019 – 13:31

A video showing a doctored image of US President Donald Trump shooting and assaulting members of the media and political opponents was shown at an event for his supporters last week at Mar-a-Lago, The New York Times reported.

In the internet meme entitled “The Trumpsman”, the US president‘s head is superimposed on an image of a man attacking people whose faces have been replaced with the logos of media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, NBC and the BBC. The video has been taken from a scene in the film “Kingsman: The Secret Service”.

[embedded content]

As the rampage continues inside the “Church of Fake News”, the Trump character strikes late senator John McCain on the back of the neck and torches the head of Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential rival.

He throws former Republican senator Mitt Romney to the ground and strikes former president Barack Obama in the back before slamming him against a wall.

The video also depicts Trump attacking people including his 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton; former president Bill Clinton; Congressman Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee who is leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump; actor Rosie O’Donnell; and financier George Soros, who is often a target of alt-right conspiracy theories. Trump is also shown attacking someone whose head has been superimposed with the Black Lives Matter logo.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

The organiser of last week’s “American Priority” event – which was held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Miami – said the clip was part of a “meme exhibit”. Speakers at the conference included the president’s son Donald Trump Jr and former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech,” Alex Phillips told The New York Times.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported on Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

‘Enemies of the people’

The White House Correspondents Association said in a statement that it was “horrified” by the video and that “all Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed towards journalists and [Trump’s] political opponents”.

CNN wrote on Twitter: “This is not the first time that supporters of the President have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining, but it is by far and away the worst.”

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

Trump, the White House and his campaign must denounce the clip, the channel said, adding that “anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence”.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump’s 2020 election campaign, told the Times the “video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence”.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

Media organisations have come under regular verbal attack from Trump and his supporters.

At rallies, the US president repeatedly encourages the crowd to boo and heckle journalists covering the event, calling them “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

Trump has previously tweeted a roughly edited video clip of him attacking a wrestler whose head had been superimposed with a CNN logo.

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Everything you Need to know About Maxime Bernier

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Maxime Bernier PC MP (born January 18, 1963) is a Canadian businessman, lawyer and politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Beauce since 2006. He is the founder and current leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC).

Prior to entering politics, Bernier held positions in the fields of law, finance and banking. First elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative, Bernier served as Minister of IndustryMinister of Foreign AffairsMinister of State for Small Business and Tourism, which later became the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism and Agriculture in the cabinet of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Following the Conservatives’ defeat in the 2015 election, he served as opposition critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development in the shadow cabinets of Rona Ambrose and Andrew Scheer, until June 12, 2018.

Federal party leaders

Bernier ran for the Conservative Party leadership in the 2017 leadership election, and came in a close second with over 49% of the vote in the 13th round, after leading the eventual winner, Andrew Scheer, in the first 12 rounds. Fifteen months later, in August 2018, Bernier resigned from the Conservative Party to create his own party, citing disagreements with Scheer’s leadership.[1] His new party was named the People’s Party of Canada in September 2018.

He has been a separatist, a Conservative cabinet minister, even ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party. So how did Maxime Bernier wind up leading a brand new party in this election campaign?

And when did some of his more controversial positions take hold? 

In the sixth and final Canadian leadership profile, Jayme Poisson speaks to the CBC’s Jonathan Montpetit about Maxime Bernier, the controversial head of the People’s Party of Canada. 28:05

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Everything you Need to Know About Yves-François Blanchet

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Yves-François Blanchet (born April 16, 1965) is a Canadian politician serving as Leader of the Bloc Québécois since 2019.

He is a graduate from the Université de Montréal where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology in 1987. He later worked as a teacher and was a founder of an artist, disc and concert management firm, YFB Inc. while being the president of the ADISQ from 2003 to 2006. He was named the local business personality of the year by the Drummondville Chamber of Commerce, while he and associated artists received 10 Félix Awards.

Yves-Francois Blanchet in October 2009.jpg

Blanchet was elected to represent the riding of Drummond in the National Assembly of Quebec in the 2008 provincial election. In the 2012 election, he was reelected, this time in Johnson electoral district. He was defeated by CAQ candidate André Lamontagne in the 2014 Quebec election. A member of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Blanchet was Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks from 2012 until 2014.[2] He was also a member of the Youth National Committee of the Parti Québécois in 1988 as well as a regional director of the PQ.

On November 26, 2018, Blanchet announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Bloc Québécois (BQ). As no other candidate had entered the race by the time nominations closed on January 15, 2019, Blanchet was officially acclaimed leader on January 17, 2019.

He’s definitely not as familiar outside of Quebec as he is in his home province. But the Bloc Québécois has been the official opposition in the past and so it’s important to know what Yves-François Blanchet stands for and what he would fight for on behalf of Quebec.

If nothing else, listen to learn Blanchet’s nickname — and how he earned it. 

The Bloc Québécois was once a powerful federal political party, forming the official opposition in 1993 and holding around fifty seats in the House in the mid to late 2000’s. But the last two elections have nearly wiped the Bloc from existence, and the party has had a revolving door of leaders. This year, Yves-François Blanchet took over the reins. Today on Front Burner, as part of our series on the federal party leaders, we take a look at who Blanchet is and what he stands for with Martin Patriquin, a freelance political journalist based in Montreal. 21:28

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