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Mary Simon named as Canada's first Indigenous Governor General – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
“Today, after 154 years, our country takes a historic step. I cannot think of a better person to meet the moment,” he said, adding that he sees Simon’s new position as one in which she “will help continue paving that path ahead, and we will all be stronger for it.”

Queen Elizabeth II approved the appointment, on Trudeau’s recommendation. Simon is currently Canada’s Governor General Designate and, once installed, will out-rank Trudeau in holding the second-highest federal office in Canada after the Queen.

Trudeau’s office told CTVNews.ca that Simon’s installation will happen “soon.”

Simon began her introductory remarks in Inuktitut, and went on to thank both Trudeau and the Queen for their confidence in her taking on this “very historic opportunity.”

“I believe we can build the hopeful future in a way that is respectful of what has happened in the past…If we embrace our common humanity and shared responsibility for one another, Canada’s greatest days are yet to come,” Simon said.

Simon’s appointment comes as Canada struggles with reconciliation and as more unmarked graves are discovered on former residential school grounds across the country, with Trudeau heading on Tuesday afternoon to a ceremony at the largest site of unmarked graves discovered to date.

Once a student at a federal government day school, Simon said she hopes to develop a relationship between Indigenous people and Canadians “where this will never happen again.”

From Nunavik, in northern Quebec, Simon has long been an advocate for Inuit rights and culture. She has worked as a radio host with CBC North and later served as chair of national advocacy organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the National Inuit Education Committee.

She has also worked alongside the federal government on several files over many years, including on the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on the Charlottetown Accord, the repatriation of the Constitution, and during the implementation of Canada’s first land claims policy.

Simon was the first Inuk to be a Canadian ambassador, representing Canada both as the ambassador of circumpolar affairs and as the ambassador to Denmark.

Now, she will take on the role of the Queen’s representative in Canada.

SIMON ‘HUMBLED, AND READY’

Simon said Tuesday that she is “honoured, humbled, and ready” for the job. Noting the inspirational aspect of her appointment, Simon called it a step forward on the path towards reconciliation and a moment that she hopes all Canadians feel a part of as it reflects a “collective progress” towards a more just society.

“My appointment comes at an especially reflective and dynamic time in our shared history. During my time as governor general, I will work every day towards promoting healing and wellness across Canadian society,” she said, vowing to do her part in ensuring the country fully recognizes, memorializes, and comes to terms with atrocities of the past.

In offering some personal backstory, Simon spoke about her family and childhood—her mom is Inuk and her father “from the south,” a manager of a local Hudson’s Bay post—and acknowledged that she does not speak French but plans to learn.

Simon said that she was denied the chance to pick up the language when she attended day school as a child, but is determined to conduct her work in English, Inuktitut, and French.

She views her past experience as offering her the ability to act as a “bridge” between realities in Canada.

During her life she’s made headlines for speaking out on a range of issues including mental health, the seal trade, and dumping of sewage in Arctic waters, speaking up for the oft-marginalized voices in the North. It’s work that led her to be previously speculated as a potential pick for the job she’s now entering.

PLAYING A KEY ELECTIONS ROLE

While the position is largely ceremonial, Simon will play a crucial role in constitutional matters and within minority governments when it comes to questions of confidence.

Perhaps most notably, given the rampant speculation that a summer or fall election call is likely, the governor general has the power to dissolve Parliament and draw up the writs for a general election, on the advice of the prime minister.

Mary Simon

On Tuesday, the two said they had not yet discussed elections but that Simon understood the importance of her parliamentary responsibilities.

“I give due regard to these very important roles, but at this time, I have not talked about the election at all,” she said.

She also becomes the top commander of the Canadian Armed Forces, and during her remarks she thanked the troops for their work in fighting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic at home while maintaining operations abroad, and said she looks forward to meeting members of the military.

An Officer of the Order of Canada as well as a recipient of the Governor General’s Northern Award, Simon will now be in charge of granting these kinds of honours and medals of honour to others, and will be responsible for reading the speech from the throne, and swearing-in cabinet members.

REACTION TO NEW GG

The initial reaction to Simon’s appointment has been largely positive, with national Indigenous groups welcoming the choice, but voicing some caution.

“The federal government has made an excellent choice in selecting Ms. Simon as Viceregal representative of the Monarch. She has been a human-rights activist and outspoken champion of her people,” said the Native Women’s Association of Canada in a statement. “We must point out, however, that Ms. Simon is being asked to serve the senior role in what is still a colonial system of governance.”

It’s a tension that Simon acknowledged Tuesday, saying that she personally doesn’t view it as a conflict to have an Indigenous representative of the Crown.

“I do understand as an Indigenous person that there is pain and suffering across our nation… But when I was asked whether I would take on this important role, I was very excited,” she said. “This is what we call reconciliation, and it’s a lifelong experience.”

Political leaders also offered their congratulations to a woman who could soon become a key figure in their political futures.

“I would like to congratulate Mary Simon on her appointment as our country’s first Indigenous Governor General. This is an important day for both our country as a whole and particularly Indigenous peoples. The role of Governor General is important in unifying our country and bringing Canadians together. I wish her well in this role,” said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole in a statement.

Taking to Twitter, calling her by her name in Inuktitut “Ningiukadluk” NDP MP for Nunavut Mumilaaq Qaqqaq said that: “The accomplishments of Inuit are often overlooked in Canada. It’s nice to see an Inuk leader being recognized with this position.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said in French that, while he does not view the role as a legitimate or democratic one, he hopes that the appointment would “make it easier for the Crown and Canada to admit the abuse suffered by aboriginal people.”

Trudeau, Mary Simon

Julie Payette, who Simon will be formally replacing, also offered her congratulations.

“It is the highest honour and the greatest responsibility our nation can bestow and I am confident that Ms. Simon will fulfill its many obligations with dignity and distinction,” she said in a statement to CTV News. “I have had the chance to meet Ms. Simon and I am at her disposal as she transitions into this vital role.”

A 6-MONTH REPLACEMENT SEARCH

Canada has been without an official governor general since late January, when Payette resigned from the role.

Payette, a former astronaut and engineer had been a controversial choice for governor general from the outset, and eventually left amid reports that she fostered a “toxic” work environment. Her departure came after a “damaging” independent review into workplace harassment allegations against her was conducted.

In the interim, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Richard Wagner has been acting as the administrator, assuming the powers of the role without taking the official title.

On Tuesday, Trudeau thanked Wagner for his interim assistance.

When the vacancy was created, O’Toole had called for Trudeau to consult other parties before nominating a replacement, given the dynamics of the minority Parliament. Instead, in March the government struck an advisory panel tasked with helping select the next governor general.

The panel was co-chaired by President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc and Janice Charette, who is filling in as Privy Council clerk. The other members included President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Natan Obed, Universite de Montreal rector Daniel Jutras, former secretary to the governor general Judith LaRocque, and interim Canada Post chair Suromitra Sanatani.

Trudeau was expected to receive the shortlist of prospective candidates by mid-June, according to LeBlanc. He recently told a House committee that the advisory panel hosted 12 meetings and the list of potential appointees for Trudeau to consider was “interesting.”

When the prime minister travelled to the U.K for the G7 two weeks ago, he spoke with Queen Elizabeth about the status of the process to choose a new governor general.

While at the time the vacancy was created, LeBlanc said that it would not take months to tap a replacement, the search and likely vetting process to pick the next governor general has taken half a year, after Trudeau came under fire for not properly vetting his last pick.

On Tuesday, he said that there were “close to 100 different names vetted and reflected on” before Simon rose to the top of the list.

With files from CTV News’ Sarah Turnbull

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Prime Minister Trudeau pledges more aid and loans to Ukraine at G7 summit

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SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY — Canada is looking at developing new infrastructure to help other countries transition away from Russian oil and coal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Germany focused on the conflict in Ukraine.

In their final communique for the meeting, the G7 leaders said they are working to make sure Russia does not exploit its position as an energy producer to profit from its aggression at the expense of vulnerable countries.

The conflict has squeezed energy markets in Europe and the security of the supply around the world.

Over the course of the three-day summit, the leaders agreed to consider a cap on the price of crude oil and petroleum from Russia, and even a comprehensive ban on Russian oil and coal.

“Canada obviously as an oil and gas producer is ensuring that in the short term we’re doing what we can to alleviate pressures,” Trudeau said at a news conference at the close of the summit.

“We’re also looking medium term at expanding some infrastructure, but in a way that hits that medium -term and -long-term goal of accelerating transition, not just off Russian oil and gas, but off of all our dependence on fossil fuels.”

The leaders agreed compromising on climate and biodiversity goals was not on the table to address the growing energy crisis.

The idea to ban Russian oil is still only in discussions, and would need to be implemented careful to mitigate the potential fallout for vulnerable countries that rely on Russia for power.

Trudeau said Canada remains determined to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“It’s important that the world doesn’t lose its attention and focus over what’s happening in Ukraine, we must and we will remain committed until Ukraine and democracy prevail,” Trudeau told a news conference.

He announced more money for Ukraine on Tuesday, including a $200-million loan through the International Monetary Fund.

In addition to the loan to the Ukrainian government, Canada is giving $75 million in humanitarian assistance to help with operations in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries. The aid will include the provision of in-kind food assistance, emergency cash and vouchers, protection, shelter and health services.

Earlier in the summit, Trudeau announced $52 million in agricultural aid including mobile grain storage equipment to increase grain storage capacity as well as help to provide speedy diagnostic testing and monitoring of animal diseases to allow for export certification.

“Our farmers typically face big challenges and have been proven to be inventive and creative. So we’ll bring this expertise to Ukraine to help as much as we can,” Trudeau said.

Canada is also contributing $15 million to help fund demining efforts and $9.7 million for those tracking human rights violations in Ukraine.

The leaders have also agreed to intensify their efforts to mitigate rising food prices and scarcity, which have been exacerbated as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

They plan to expand their resettlement programs to accommodate the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by the conflict.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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More than half of Canadians oppose Oath of Allegiance to the Queen

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OTTAWA — Most people in Canada do not think people should have to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, according to a poll ahead of Canada Day.

A Leger poll for the Association of Canadian Studies found that 56 per cent of respondents did not agree with swearing allegiance to the Queen.

New Canadians have to swear an oath to the monarchy at citizenship ceremonies including a pledge to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors.”

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said most people born in Canada were probably unaware that new Canadians had to swear an oath to be faithful to the Royal Family.

“If you ask Canadians about their identity, few would mention the monarchy,” he said.

The poll of 2,118 people earlier this month cannot be assigned a margin of error because online panels are not considered truly random samples.

While 58 per cent of those who responded are positively disposed toward the Queen, with only 28 per cent negatively disposed, Canadians are evenly divided — 40 per cent positively and 40 per cent negatively — in their view of the monarchy overall.

The poll asked whether, “as a Canadian, we should all agree to be faithful and bear true allegiance” to the Queen and her heirs.

Those who are very favourable toward the monarchy were more likely to approve of pledging allegiance.

Sixty per cent of men and 52 per cent of women who did the survey answered no. Opposition was stronger among Canadians aged 18-34 than those over the age of 55.

Almost three-quarters of people living in Quebec opposed the oath, compared to only 47 per cent in Alberta.

A large proportion of those polled — including 20 per cent of women — said they had no view or did not want to answer.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen as the head of state. She is represented federally by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, and at a provincial level by lieutenant-governors.

Any change to the position of the Queen or her representatives in Canada would need the unanimous consent of the House of Commons, the Senate and provincial legislatures.

Taking an oath of citizenship is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. Ceremonies take place across the country, with special ceremonies on Canada Day.

New Canadians must also promise to faithfully observe the laws of Canada.

Earlier this month, the Queen celebrated her platinum jubilee with celebrations in Canada, the U.K. and across the Commonwealth. She ascended the throne at age 27 in 1952 and is England’s longest-serving monarch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press

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How to play online casinos with minimal investment

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If you walk into a traditional brick-and-mortar casino, you have to buy a minimum number of chips. Similarly, in online casinos, you need to deposit a minimum amount to begin playing. Some casinos have a minimum low deposit, known as the minimum deposit casinos that remain on top of the players’ list. A minimum deposit casino is the one that charges less than 10 units of any currency, be it euro (€), dollar ($), or pound (£).

Minimum deposit casinos are increasing in popularity as these allow players to experience the full benefits of high deposit casinos but at a lower risk. The gamers can experience new games without risking much money.

Now you might be wondering that as the operators are asking for less money, the minimum deposit casinos might not be as good. This is far from the truth as minimum deposit casinos offer some unique advantages, like:

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Busting the myths

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One can also have mobile optimised minimum deposit casinos, or a full-fledged mobile app for a C$1 deposit. One can even play slot games like 3-reel classic slot, and 5-reel video slot on these casinos. Online roulette, blackjack, and online poker are some of the table games that you can play at minimum deposit casinos. Live dealer casino games, like baccarat, blackjack lobbies, and craps are also available at some minimum deposit casinos.

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The risk of loss remains the same

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Getting started with minimum deposit casinos

To start with a minimum deposit casino, pick a brand listed on the trusted casinos’ websites such as https://bestonlinecasinocanada.com/minimum-deposit-casino/, read its reviews and ranking by the experts, visit the minimum deposit casino’s website and sign up there, deposit the minimum amount using any of the offered methods, claim any bonuses, promotions or checkboxes, and start playing right away.

Best for the new games and new gamers

Gambling carries an element of risk. The more you play, the more are your chances of losing money. With minimum low deposit casinos, you can play more for less, and would be saved from blowing all your bankroll in a single session. Also, look at online reviews of the casinos by real users, and be careful about withdrawal requirements. Avoid casinos that have a low minimum deposit but high withdrawal requirements. You will certainly not like to lock your money because of the casino’s wagering requirements. You can play plenty of games on the low minimum deposit casinos without worrying that there is a lot of money that you can’t withdraw. You can have more fun and games playing for real money without risking too much. Minimum deposit casinos are best for those who are new to the world of online casinos and online gaming, and want to test the waters.

 

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