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iPolitics AM: [UPDATED] Trudeau set to face media amid new questions on WE Charity contract controversy –



After blocking off his weekend for two days of otherwise unspecified “personal” activities, there’s no word yet from his office on exactly when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will return to the public spotlight, but when (and if) he does, he should brace for a fresh flurry of questions on the widening controversy over that now-scrapped deal to put WE Charity in charge of divvying up nearly one billion dollars in funding for youth volunteers.

UPDATE: According to a hot-off-the-presses dispatch from PMO, Trudeau is set to emerge from Rideau Cottage later this morning to deliver an update on his government’s ongoing response to the pandemic, as well as respond to questions from the media, at which point he’ll undoubtedly be asked about the latest developments in the deepening WE controversy. (11:30 AM)

According to his just-published itinerary, he’ll also be speaking with US President Donald Trump at some point today.

Last night, the Globe and Mail revealed that both his longtime chief of staff Katie Telford and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan “helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE Charity prior to the Liberals forming government” through their work with Toronto-based nonprofit Artbound.

As per the Globe, both O’Regan and Telford “were involved in raising $400,000 for WE Charity, then called Free the Children, in 2010 and 2011, according to Amanda Alvaro, one of Artbound’s founders, and a close friend of Ms. Telford,” who told the paper that Telford was also a “co-founder of the organization,” while O’Regan, “then a host at CTV, was its honourary chair.”

While both Telford and O’Regan reportedly ceased working with Artbound in 2012, one year before Trudeau was elected Liberal leader, the Globe notes that “the connections between [Trudeau’s] most senior adviser and one of his cabinet ministers, and close friends, follows several other ties between the Liberals and WE Charity over the past decade.”

Trudeau may also be obliged to respond to the prospect of being called before a House committee to testify on what led to the now-nixed $912 million contract

Speaking with reporters on Sunday, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre served notice that he and his party intend to push for Trudeau to appear before committee, and made it clear that they’re prepared to force the issue if he refuses an invitation to do so.

“There are two ways that this can be done,” Poilievre noted, as per Canadian Press.

“Either the prime minister can agree voluntarily to show up and attend and respect the invitation of a parliamentary committee … [or Parliament can compel him to appear,” which, he noted, “would take longer, but could be done — and should be done — if the prime minister hides from accountability.”


As of press time, neither GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS or FINANCE — the two committees set to launch parallel investigations into the controversy surrounding the WE Charity contract — have scheduled meetings for this week, but that could change in the next few days.

Two committees are, however, slated to gather via webcam today: HEALTH members will consider a motion from Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux before moving in camera to finalize instructions to committee to staff for the drafting of a preliminary report on Canada’s response to the pandemic (3 – 5 PM), while PROCEDURE AND HOUSE AFFAIRS will retreat behind virtually closed doors to work on a report to the House on remote and electronic voting options, which is due to be submitted to the speaker on or before July 21. (11 AM – 2 PM)

Due to the ongoing parliamentary hiatus, most House and Senate committee meetings are suspended until regular sittings resume.


Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly teams up with Sherbrooke MP Elisabeth Briere for a morning visit to Montreal arts hub Centre Phi, where the pair will unveil new federal cash that will, as per the advisory, “boost the growth of more than 40 innovative Quebec businesses and organizations.” (10:30 AM)

Back in his home riding of Quebec, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos drops by Restaurant La Taniere to share the details of a fresh tranche of support for businesses in the Quebec City region, with Quebec International CEO Carl Viel also expected to be in attendance. (11 AM)

Meanwhile, Small Business Minister Mary Ng joins Barrie mayor Jeff Lehman and Ontario attorney general and local MPP Doug Downey for a “virtual infrastructure funding announcement” related to public transit in the region. (10 AM)



Committee highlights courtesy of our friends at iPoliticsINTEL.

Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in!

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New Brunswick Karens recoil from social media stereotypes –



At first, it seemed harmless, an internet trend that would surely fade, along the lines of grumpy cat, the ice bucket challenge and that dress that’s either black and blue or white and gold. 

Instead, it got worse.

The name Karen, which first conjured images of bobbed, angry blonds demanding to speak to the manager, morphed into women having rage-infused meltdowns in grocery stores when asked to wear a face mask. 

Somewhere along the way, being a Karen also became shorthand for being a white female racist. 

“That is very upsetting to me,” said Fredericton photographer Karen Ruet. 

Karen Ruet said she finds the Karen memes upsetting. (Submitted/Karen Ruet)

She was most disturbed by the viral video that came to be known as “Central Park Karen.” 

It was taken in May by Christian Cooper, a birdwatcher in Manhattan, who said a woman tried to racially intimidate him after he asked her to put her dog on a leash. 

The woman, Amy Cooper, responds by threatening to call the police. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African-American man threatening my life,” she says repeatedly.

“Those traits have nothing to do with me at all,” said Ruet, recoiling from the memory of the video. 

“I asked a friend to describe me and she said I’m a very kind, loving and genuine person. Actually, she said I’m a very kind, loving and genuine Karen.

“And that’s a description of a lot of the Karens I know. They’re fun-loving, genuine people.”

A popular name once

Karen Quinn, 63, said growing up in Moncton, she had three or four Karens in every class. In her birth year, Karen was the fifth-most popular female baby name, according to websites that track Social Security statistics in the U.S. The name would only become more popular in the next decade.  

“I have eight Karens on my Facebook friends,” said Quinn. 

Karen Quinn said Karen memes stopped being funny after ‘the first 400 times.’ (Submitted/Karen Quinn)

Quinn said the meme was funny “the first 400 times” she heard it but now, not so much. 

“If I need to invoke my inner bitch, I can do that, but I don’t live there,” she said, referring to the early connotation of Karen as the bleached blond who stands up for herself. 

“If something doesn’t go my way, I’ll try to get my point across in a nice manner, and if that doesn’t work, well, then I can speak my mind as well as anybody else. It’s not an often-used super power, but it is there.” 

Karen Woolley says views the Karen memes as a misogynist putdown. (Hadeel Ibrahim/CBC)

Karen Woolley, who was born in 1974 and whose birth name is Kevin David Woolley, recently changed her legal name after using it, informally, for about two years. 

“When I decided to transition into a woman, I wanted to just be normal,” she said. “I just wanted to fit in. I didn’t want a drag name or a modern name. 

“I just wanted to be as if my mum had had a girl and decided to give her a girl name. [Karen] would have been appropriate for the era I was born in.”

‘A misogynist putdown’

Women named Karen in New Brunswick say they’re tired of having their name used in memes to represent entitled, even dangerous, white women. 3:01About five months ago, Woolley’s legal name change certificate arrived in the mail, just as she was figuring out what Karen had come to stand for. 

In her view, it’s a misogynist putdown, used to shut up women, especially on social media or in mainstream media comment sections.  

“They treat me like a woman and unfortunately, being a woman on the internet is not a very pleasant thing,” said Woolley. “I find myself monitoring myself and checking myself.

“Because more often than not, there will be some douche-nozzle out there that will totally just be, ‘OK, Karen’ and dismiss what I have to say.

“And it’s getting worse,” she said. 

Sabine Lebel, assistant professor at UNB in the department of culture and media studies says the popularity of the Karen meme hasn’t stopped because of continuing incidents of white women using their privilege against others. (Sabine Lebel/Zoom)

Sabine LeBel, an assistant professor at UNB in the department of culture and media studies, said the meme hasn’t died because there are ongoing incidents in which white women are using their privilege to put racialized individuals in danger, including that incident in Central Park.

LeBel says the so-called Central Park Karen acted on assumptions about who should or shouldn’t be in the park and assumed that black men aren’t birdwatchers. Lebel said Black Live Matter has raised awareness about how calling the police on a black man could put his life in danger. 

Meme has ‘complexity’

“What’s interesting about memes,” said LeBel, “is that they bring together the visual and often text and sometimes audio,  and it becomes this short-hand, and if we think about how we communicate through Twitter and on social media, we want that instant understanding.

“I think the other level of usefulness, which is particular to the Karen meme, is that it has really sharpened our conversations about race so that we’re not just talking about racialized folks, but we’re talking about white folks and some of the privileges that people with white skin walk around with.”

“We used to talk about privilege being the domain of men, and I think that where the complexity is happening with the  Karen meme is that we’re thinking about the different ways white privilege can function. It can function really differently depending on what your gender is.” 

What’s a ‘good Karen’ to do?

Woolley said there’s no way she’s changing her name again.

The process is arduous, expensive and emotional, she said

“I’m not going to abandon it and become a Claire,” she said. “I’ve bonded with the name. So, Karen and I, we’re together. We are who we are.

“I’ll stay with the name Karen, and it will hurt but I’m not going to run away from my name.”

Karen Ruet says she’s not changing her name.

“I think a real Karen just tries to be herself and carry on,” she said. 

“I mean, what else can you do, right?”

Karen Quinn said she’s tried to push back on Facebook. 

“I’ve commented, ‘Enough Karen bashing, can you deal with the subject?'”

And then somebody commented, “Maybe the good Karens should police the bad Karens.”

“And I just responded with humour and said, ‘No way, I’m going near those bitches.”

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Unifor to begin negotiations August 12th with Detroit Three automakers



TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ – Unifor will begin formal contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers, Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, to reach collective agreements for nearly 20 thousand members on August 12, 2020.

“These are significant negotiations at a time when the auto sector needs new investment to rebuild our economy with more Made in Canada manufacturing,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Our union is committed to negotiating a solid agreement that makes progress on wages and working conditions for our members.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, strict safety protocols will be in place for the duration of the negotiations to ensure compliance with Ontario health directives. Unifor will make every effort to provide media with all necessary materials to allow for safe, remote coverage.

In-person attendance will be restricted for opening photo ops but we will have space for one pool videographer and one pool still photographer. The news conference will be less restricted and also streamed live on Facebook and available for 4K download upon request.  Journalists unable to attend in person can ask questions by phone. Any interested media should register in advance by emailing [email protected]  who will provide call in details.


Media conference and photo opportunities, opening of Detroit Three negotiations


Wednesday August 12, 2020

9:30 a.m.

Fiat Chrysler opening photo op – Grand Ballroom

11:30 a.m.

General Motors opening photo op – Grand Ballroom

2:00 p.m.

Ford opening photo op – Grand Ballroom

3:15 p.m.

News Conference – Dominion Ballroom and live on Facebook


Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto


Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Master  Bargaining Committee representatives

For more background on Canada’s auto sector please download our fact sheet here.
A digital media kit will be available next week.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.



Source:- Canada NewsWire

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New media platform putting Dene in control of their stories – Cabin Radio



A Dene woman in the Northwest Territories is working to amplify Indigenous voices and perspectives in media.

Tyra Moses, who is known for her photography work, recently launched Dené Media, a new platform for Indigenous photography, film, documentaries, and research through a Dene lens.

Moses said she wants to counter prejudiced and inaccurate representations of Dene in media. 


“I find the Dene peoples [are] very hardworking, industrious, and strong, resilient nations that are able to survive in tough conditions,” she said. “I want this to be shown in media. And I want Indigenous youth, like my daughter, [to] have positive … community role models to look up to.” 

Moses is currently studying anthropology and business management at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. She began developing Dené Media this summer while she has been at home in Łíídlįį Kûę First Nation, but she said it’s something she’s been working toward for some time. 

“While attending university and completing academic research into the Dene peoples, I found that there’s a lot of representation from non-Indigenous people,” she said. “I think it’s important that we start bringing back the Indigenous Dene histories to the people so they’re in control of their own histories and their own stories.”

Moses is currently creating all of the content for Dené Media. As the organization grows, she hopes to develop a quarterly e-magazine where people can contribute content on things like Dene history or land back. She also wants to provide training for youth so they can help tell Indigenous stories.


Moses said it’s also important to her that Dené Media’s research methodology is based on the Dene values of respect, sharing, and a connection to land, water, and all living things. 

“We’re trying to find the best venue to approach and translate Dene laws into the modern day processes and ensuring that all our research is approached ethically and respectfully within Indigenous communities,” she said.

Inuit TV increasing Inuktut content

This is not the first media organization to be launched in the North in recent months that’s aiming to improve Indigenous representation.

In July, Nunatsiaq reported that a new Inuktut TV channel would be receiving $2.4 million in funding over three years from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Inuit TV is the culmination of long-standing efforts by Nunavut broadcasters to create such a channel. There are plans for it to provide educational programming in a variety of Inuktut dialects across the circumpolar North. 


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