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iPolitics AM: Trudeau hits Montreal year-end media circuit with SNC-Lavalin controversy back in the headlines – iPolitics.ca

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ALSO TODAY: Conservative Party reportedly looking into Scheer office expense claims — Indian foreign affairs minister visits Ottawa

After a serendipitous twist of timing led to his year-end interview with the Canadian Press taking place just hours after news broke that the embattled Quebec engineering firm at the centre of the high-stakes political controversy that dominated the news cycle last spring had struck a deal to avoid prosecution on corruption charges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found himself once again on the defensive over how he and his government handled the SNC-Lavalin case.

“Obviously, as we look back over the past year and this issue, there are things we could have, should have, would have done differently had we known, had we known all sorts of different aspects of it,” he acknowledged in an afternoon roundtable suggestion with the wire service.

“But you don’t get do-overs in politics. You only do the best you can to protect jobs, to respect the independence of the judiciary and that’s exactly what we did every step of the way.”

As CBC News reporter Peter Zimonjic points out, the agreement between the company and the federal prosecution service “looks a lot like what it asked the government for in the first place,” as it allowed SNC-Lavalin to avoid a conviction on bribery charges that could have put it on an international contracting blacklist, which is why it’s no wonder that the lawyer for SNC-Lavalin told reporters that they’re “very happy” with the outcome.

Trudeau should likely expect to face more questions on the now seemingly closed case when he hits the Montreal media circuit today, which, as per his itinerary, will include back-to-back interviews on 98.5 FM’s Puisqu’il faut se lever and TVA’s Salut Bonjour as well as his yearly chat with longtime friend Terry DiMonte, host of CHOM FM’s Mornings Rock and an evening appearance on CBC News’ Power and Politics.

Also on his itinerary today: A “community event” at Magasin-Partage Villeray, a “sharing store” that aims to help lower-income families celebrate the holidays.

Meanwhile, if Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was still clinging to a scintilla of hope that serving notice of his intention to step aside would allow him to shuffle out of the spotlight, the latest dispatch from Global News should squelch any such optimism.

The network is now reporting that the panel of senior Conservatives responsible for overseeing the party’s coffers is now raising questions over nearly $1 million in expenses claimed by Scheer’s office this year.

Citing “multiple party sources,” Global News notes that “the usual expenses submitted from the leader’s office to the Conservative National Council sit in the range of about $200,000 per fiscal year,” but “Scheer’s office expenses came in at over $900,000 for the last fiscal year.”

Finally, the list of high-profile potential contenders for the Conservative leadership now includes former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who, as per Radio Canada, is now “consulting his family” on whether to take the plunge back into federal politics.

OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne holds a tete-a-tete with his visiting Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay  will “formally unveil the updated display dedicated to Daniel J. MacDonald” during a morning event at the Charlottetown building named in honour of MacDonald, who lost an arm and a leg in the Second World War, and later served as veterans minister under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Moving west to Saskatoon, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller teams up with Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations chief Bobby Cameron to share the details of new federal support for “youth empowerment, healing and wellness.”

FRESH FROM iPOLITICS

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AT COMMITTEE

Regular House and Senate committee meetings will resume when the House and Senate re-open for parliamentary business.

Committee highlights courtesy of our friends at iPoliticsINTEL.

Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!

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'We're the same as everyone else, just smaller': Local student promoting dwarfism awareness on social media – CTV News Kitchener

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Guelph –

Isabella Lamanna is using the power of social media to raise awareness about dwarfism.

The first-year University of Guelph student was born with a form of dwarfism called diastrophic dysplasia.

“I’m trying to raise awareness and educate people who may not know about it,” said Lammana, who’s originally from Markham.

She joined TikTok at the start of the pandemic and began posting videos about what it’s like to live as a little person.

“There’s also the fun ones, the dancing ones, singing ones … the past year, I’ve gained almost a million followers, it’s pretty crazy,” said Lammana.

Lammana said her goal is to promote a better understanding of people with dwarfism.

“We prefer to be called our names … but if anything ‘little person,’ ‘dwarf’ is OK too as long as it’s not used in a harmful way,” she said. “But one word that is not tolerable in the community is the m-word.”

In some of her TikTok videos, Lammana debunks misconceptions like not being able to drive or have kids, hoping to remove barriers for others.

“We’re the same as everyone else, just smaller,” said Lammana.

Lammana’s work goes beyond the screen. She is a patient ambassador for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and a volunteer with Little People of Ontario, a non-profit advocacy group for those with dwarfism and their families.

The group’s president, Allan Redford, said Lammana is helping share their key message that “we’re not a character, we’re a real person. We would like to be treated the way you would like to be treated.”

Lamanna and Redford both said while there are still those who are ignorant, pointing and laughing or telling insensitive jokes about little people, they’re hopeful for more acceptance.

“With a little bit of accommodation, a little bit of help, a little bit of equitable treatment and kindness and inclusion … we can get there and that’s where we want to go,” said Redford.

National Dwarfism Awareness Day is Oct. 25, a day to wear green, the official colour of support.

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Trump's Truth Social media platform is a perfect mess – MSNBC

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Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced the launch of a media company and a social media platform designed, in his words, to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.” And so far the platform, called Truth Social (of course!), has been as true to form as one could’ve imagined: a ramshackle, derivative project that expresses Trump’s desperate thirst for power and profit.

Trump isn’t trying to win over the market by creating a unique media experience.

The janky and rushed nature of Truth Social was immediately apparent. While in his announcement Trump said a beta version is meant to be available to invited guests in November and a national rollout is expected in early 2022, pranksters and curious journalists found what appeared to be an unreleased test version of the site within hours and proceeded to flood it.

Immediately people snatched up VIP handles like “donaldtrump” and “mikepence.” The person who grabbed “donaldjtrump” swiftly pinned a photo of a pig defecating on their profile. That site has been pulled offline, but at least one other test version has been circulating, as well, suggesting striking technical vulnerabilities.

Oct. 22, 202103:29

As Washington Post tech reporter Drew Harwell notes in his analysis, the website is a crude, uncreative knockoff of Trump’s favorite social media platform — and it is also somehow already violating licensing codes:

The site looks almost entirely like a Twitter clone: A user can post Truths, which are like tweets, or Re-Truths, which are retweets. There’s also a news feed, called the Truth Feed, a notification system so users can know “who’s interacting with your TRUTH’s,” the social network’s App Store profile states.

The site’s code shows it runs a mostly unmodified version of Mastodon, the free, open-source software launched in 2016 that anyone can use to run a self-made social networking site.

Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko told The Post Thursday that Trump’s site may violate Mastodon’s licensing rules, which require developers to share any modifications and link to the original source code. Rochko said he has contacted the company’s legal counsel to make a determination.

Using a link to what appeared to be another test site that hasn’t been taken down, I was easily able to create a profile. Given its extreme similarity to Twitter (although with a strikingly drab color scheme) it wasn’t hard to navigate. But when you publish posts you don’t hit “Tweet” — you hit a button that says “TRUTH!”

Every post from every user is a “Truth,” not because of the substance of what someone is saying, but by virtue of where they are saying it.

In addition to the vapid design, it was easy to sense the next step in Trump’s project to lay waste to the idea of shared reality. Every post from every user is a “Truth,” not because of the substance of what someone is saying, but by virtue of where they are saying it: Trump’s social media space. This principle is key to Trump’s authoritarian paradigm, in which truth is not tethered to reality or reason, but instead to the will to power and tribalism — something is true because my tribe and I want it to be true.

The site’s technical woes and uninspired design might not deter new users, because Trump isn’t trying to win over the market by creating a unique media experience. Instead he’s looking to create a unique ideological space. Trump’s media group claims it wants to create a “non-cancellable global community,” by which it means a social media platform that is populated solely by people on the right, and establishes little to no regulation surrounding abuse, disinformation, calls to violence and bigotry.

The crux of the matter, however, is to create a forum where Trump has free rein to speak as he wishes to and be adulated for it. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced,” he wrote in his announcement. “This is unacceptable.”

Trump’s new media venture ticks all the classic Trump boxes: money, power, ego. If it’s successful, it could be an asset in keeping his potential 2024 aspirations alive. But whether his base finds the site to be a tolerable experience remains an open question.

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Media Advisory: Premier Furey to Provide Details on Period Products in Schools – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador will join the Honourable Pam Parsons, Minister Responsible for the Office of Women and Gender Equality and the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education to provide an update on plans for providing free period products in K-12 schools.

The event will take place Monday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Brother Rice Junior High, 75 Bonaventure Avenue, St. John’s.

The event will be live-streamed on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Facebook account. Media are invited to attend and are asked to RSVP by contacting Tina Coffey (tcoffey@gov.nl.ca).

Physical distancing and other public health guidelines will be in place.

– 30 –

Media contacts
Meghan McCabe
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
meghanmccabe@gov.nl.ca

Tina Coffey
Education
709-729-1906, 687-9903
tcoffey@gov.nl.ca

2021 10 22
3:30 pm

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