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Politics Briefing: Mélanie Joly says a no-fly zone over Ukraine remains a 'red line' Canada is not prepared to cross – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says a no-fly zone over Ukraine remains a “red line” Canada is not prepared to cross as the country is invaded by Russia, but that there are other helpful measures to consider.

Ms. Joly told a forum Friday at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy that NATO has concluded a no-fly zone would trigger an international conflict.

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“That’s the red line we don’t want to cross. We will do everything possible in our power just next to that red line” she said. “We can’t cross it.”

However, Ms. Joly added that there needs to be a way for Ukrainians to defend their airspace, and she cited the use of such tools as anti-missile weapons, drones and cameras to defend their airspace.

“A lot of the fight is happening there,” she said.

As recently as this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a speech to Canadian parliamentarians, requested the creation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ruled out the idea.

On another tactic, Ms. Joly was asked about the prospect of Russia using chemical or nuclear weapons during the continuing conflict.

“I think there is a real security threat, and that is why this is the utmost priority of my team and I, of the Prime Minister, because this is the biggest security threat since the Second World War,” she said.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter sign-up page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

RCMP REVERSES JOB DECISION INVOLVING UKRAINIANS – The RCMP has reversed a decision to let go of more than a dozen Ukrainian nationals who were working on a police training mission in Kyiv, a move that would have left them without any income as Russia pounds the capital with daily bombings and artillery fire. Story here.

$36M TO DEAL WITH OTTAWA PROTEST – Local leaders in Ottawa are being told that the city’s response to the three-week convoy protest last month cost municipal coffers over $36-million. Story here.

NO DECISION ON RELEASING REPORT ON EX-UNIFOR PRESIDENT – Unifor’s leadership team told staff at an internal meeting Thursday morning that they were still debating whether or not to make public the findings of a report into the conduct of former president Jerry Dias, according to sources who were present at the meeting. Story here.

COVID-19 BLIP POSSIBLE – Canada’s top public health officials have suggested the country is unlikely to be caught up in the new wave of COVID-19 cases around the world, but could instead see a “blip” this spring. Story here.

NEW NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM IN THE WORKS – Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for emergency preparedness are working to launch a new national flood insurance program to protect homeowners in high-risk flood zones. Story here.

NEWFOUNDLAND GOVERNMENT OPENS OFFICE IN POLAND – The Newfoundland and Labrador government is opening an office in Poland to help Ukrainians fleeing Russian attacks relocate to Canada’s easternmost province. Story here.

ONTARIO NEW DEMOCRAT BARRED FROM RE-ELECTION BID – The Ontario NDP says it will not allow four-term Hamilton MPP Paul Miller to run for the party in the upcoming election, citing “unacceptable” information uncovered during vetting. Story here from Global News.

GOVERNOR-GENERAL HAD A MESSAGE FOR THE QUEEN – Governor-General Mary Simon says she told Queen Elizabeth this week that Canada’s history books should be rewritten to reflect the facts about the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous people. Story here from CBC.

PREMIER STEFANSON APOLOGIZES – Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson is apologizing for congratulating her son’s high school hockey team in the legislature chamber after being asked to answer to a woman’s death. Story here from CBC.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

I WON’T TOUCH EXISTING GUN LAWS: CHAREST – Conservative leadership candidate Jean Charest said Thursday he wouldn’t touch Canada’s existing gun laws – including when it comes to a ban on “assault-style” firearms. Story here.

AITCHISON TO LAUNCH CAMPAIGN – It’s official. Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison will launch his campaign to lead the federal Conservative Party in Huntsville on Sunday at 1 p.m. Mr. Aitchison, who has been Conservative labour critic, detailed some of his leadership ideas in a Toronto Sun column here.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – The House of Commons is not sitting again until March 21. The agenda for Monday, at this point, is here.

NEW JOB FOR O’TOOLE COMMUNICATIONS LEADER – Josie Sabatino, the former communications director for ex-opposition leader Erin O’Toole, has joined Summa Strategies Limited in Ottawa as a senior consultant. In a LinkedIn posting, Ms. Sabatino said she will use her past experience on Parliament Hill to work to help clients navigate the complexities of government.

THE DECIBEL

On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Elizabeth Renzetti is a columnist for The Globe who has been reporting on and off on violence against women for over 30 years, and discusses the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence, how to recognize coercive control and the debate over the criminalization of it. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY.

In the Ottawa region, the Prime Minister held private meetings, and spoke with Micheál Martin, the Taoiseach – the Prime Minister and head of government – of Ireland. The Prime Minister also chaired a meeting of the Incident Response Group on the situation in Ukraine.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Toronto, visited small businesses with NDP Member of Provincial Parliament Jill Andrew, and met with volunteers at Ms. Andrews’s campaign office. He also visited a small business with MPP Faisal Hassan and hosted a small business round table.

PUBLIC OPINION

New data from the Angus Reid Institute finds higher approval numbers for most of Canada’s premiers, including Ontario’s Doug Ford, who – less than three months before an expected provincial election – rises 13 points. Nova Scotia’s Tim Houston also springs well forward, up 16 points. Details here.

OPINION

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how the world has changed so our policies on defence, the economy and beyond will have to as well: “What has yet to be fully understood is what a permanent rupture has just occurred in the world order. Unlike the pandemic, there can be no going back to the status quo ex ante. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has become not merely a source of instability or the occasional outrage, but an existential threat; even if it can be returned to its cage in the short term, it will be the work of decades to contain it. Predictions of Mr. Putin’s imminent demise will, I’m afraid, prove illusory, and whoever succeeds him could in any case be as bad or worse. This is not a short-term crisis, but a long-term one. One consequence of this, clearly, will be a requirement – no longer a request – that Canada improve its contribution to the collective defence of the democracies: an increase in defence spending from its current 1.4 per cent of GDP to at least 2 per cent, and probably beyond that. (In the days of Lester Pearson, the great peacemaker, it was closer to 4 per cent.)”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on commodity markets possibly allowing Canada to afford both guns and butter: “The irony is tragic, but the war that has choked off Russian and Ukrainian exports could provide Canada with revenues to upgrade its defences, if the Liberal government has the will. Russia’s wanton invasion of Ukraine revealed how dangerously our military has been run down. Defence Minister Anita Anand made the humiliating admission Wednesday that Canada exhausted its surplus armament capacity when it sent a few antiquated anti-tank missiles and sundry additional supplies to Ukraine. “We need to make sure we do retain capacity here for the Canadian Armed Forces should the need arise,” she told CBC.”

Tanya Talaga (The Globe and Mail) on radical change being overdue for the Thunder Bay Police Service and board: It is hard to watch what has unfolded in Thunder Bay. The findings of “systemic” racism in the simultaneous underpolicing and overpolicing of Indigenous people; the ways that the board failed to do its job, which is to police the police; the cannibalization within the force, featuring officers filing complaints about superiors at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario; yet another round of provincial investigations; senior level officers being removed – it all must stop.”

Rona Ambrose, Frank McKenna and Colin Robertson (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, to truly support our allies, Canada needs a C.D. Howe moment: “This courageous effort, and the heroic sacrifices of the Ukrainian people, must be matched by a herculean effort by allies around the world to supply the war effort. And so Canada – endowed as we are with an abundance of food and energy – cannot respond as if things are business as usual. We have already opened our doors to the displaced, but we also have the oil and gas Europe needs and, like Ukraine, we are a breadbasket to the world. Canada must be part of the solution to help our friends and allies. Throwing up our hands wasn’t an option in 1939 – and is not an option now. Harnessing our natural resources to do so, including oil and gas, hydroelectricity, uranium and critical minerals, requires a strategic approach.”

Steve Paikin (TVO) on what you do when your conflicts of interest are a family affair: When you have a problem, Robert F. Kennedy used to say, hang a lantern on it. This column is my lantern. I’m now in my 40th year as a working journalist in the province of Ontario. In that time, I’ve met a lot of people inside and outside politics. I’ve also had numerous family members and friends who’ve been active in politics, which often makes things very interesting – and very sticky.”

Russell Wangersky (Saskatoon StarPhoenix) on how Pierre Poilievre’s attack show threatens to split Conservatives: “The Conservative leadership campaign will run for the next six months, with ample opportunity for personal attacks to become deep-seated antipathy. The risk is that the successful Stephen Harper model of bringing all manner of conservatives into the same big tent may be replaced by a spread-out field of competing and varied pup-tents. That’s a very bad thing not only for conservatives, but for the country I’m often accused of being a liberal, and to a degree, that’s fair, because my ideals do trend to the left. (At the same time, never towards any particular party.) But I think the Conservatives absolutely have to have a candidate who can win across the country, not just in areas that already vote Conservative. (If he wins, Poilievre may be able to revamp himself – but it won’t be easy.)”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

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Election unlikely in 2023 despite recent political posturing, pundits say – CBC News

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Even though federal political leaders have been using some heated, election-style language to snipe at each other in recent weeks, pundits say it’s unlikely Canadians will go to the polls in 2023.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was active during the six-week parliamentary break, making stops in Saskatoon, Windsor, Ont. and Trois-Rivieres, Que. to talk up his government’s accomplishments. He also occasionally took shots at Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and his recent assertion that “everything seems broken” in Canada.

“Crossing your arms and saying ‘Canada is broken’ is not the way to build a better future for Canadians,” Trudeau said.

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Poilievre, meanwhile, toured Quebec in an attempt to boost his poll numbers in that province. He also met with Indigenous leaders in Vancouver to discuss a proposed opt-in policy for First Nations to share the revenue generated by resource development on their lands.

The Conservative leader also hit back at Trudeau on Friday during an address to his caucus prior to the House of Commons’ return. He blamed the prime minister for inflation, the recent travel chaos and deficit spending while appearing to goad Trudeau into an election battle.

“If you’re not responsible for any of these things, if you can’t do anything about it, then why don’t you get out of the way and let someone lead who can?” Poilievre said as his MPs cheered and applauded.

WATCH | Poilievre says ‘everything is worse’ under Trudeau

Addressing his Conservative caucus, Poilievre says ‘everything is worse’ under Trudeau

4 days ago

Duration 1:44

Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre addresses his Conservative caucus and highlights crime rates during Justin Trudeau’s time as prime minister.

Speaking to his own caucus earlier this month, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh touted his party’s confidence-and-supply agreement with the Liberals, saying that the deal was “delivering for Canadians.”

But Singh also indicated that he had his eyes set higher.

“We’re going to fight for every bit of help and hope we can win for Canadians and then I’m going to run for prime minister of Canada,” he said.

But Tim Powers of Summa Strategies said he doesn’t think any of the leaders are itching for an election right now, despite their recent posturing.

“The conditions don’t exist for an election this year,” he told CBC. “I don’t think anybody’s really going to have a breakaway moment.”

WATCH | How do the federal parties stack up as MPs prepare to return to Ottawa?

How do the federal parties stack up as MPs prepare to return to Ottawa?

4 days ago

Duration 10:19

Shachi Kurl, president at the Angus Reid Institute, and Éric Grenier, writer and publisher of TheWrit.ca, joined Power & Politics Friday to discuss the latest polling data.

Powers said the Liberals are unlikely to seek a new mandate with the threat of an economic slowdown this year hanging over the government’s head.

“We will only have an election this year if Justin Trudeau sees the winning conditions exist for him,” Powers said. “I don’t think the Liberals are yet ready to manufacture an election.”

Sharan Kaur of SK Consulting agreed that an election is unlikely this year. She suggested the Conservatives will still use the economy to needle the Liberals and position themselves as a government-in-waiting.

“I would say the biggest looming issue of 2023 is going to be cost of living, a potential recession, and that will probably be the main pivot point for the Conservatives,” she said, adding that she thinks the Conservative Party is the only one that wants an election this year.

But Powers said Poilievre might be happy to wait and give himself more time to pitch himself to Canadians.

“I think Poilievre is content to have the time to let the Liberals age and build a brand and a platform that can be useful to him,” he said.

If the Liberal-NDP deal holds for its intended duration, the next election won’t happen until 2025. 

But the agreement may face a tougher test in 2023 than it did in 2022 because it includes more benchmarks for progress — including a commitment to table pharmacare legislation. Singh also threatened to pull out of the deal if the Liberals don’t address the health-care crisis.

“The confidence-and-supply agreement gets a little bit more muscular [this year],” said Brad Lavigne of Consul Public Affairs.

Snow covers a fence surrounding Parliament Hill, Friday, January 20, 2023 in Ottawa.
Snow covers a fence surrounding Parliament Hill on January 20, 2023. MPs are set to return to the House of Commons on Monday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

NDP MP Daniel Blaikie told CBC News this month that the 2023 federal budget will be a key factor in deciding whether the Liberals are holding up their end of the deal.

But even if the deal falls apart this year, Lavigne said, it wouldn’t necessarily trigger an election.

“If you look back at recent history, [former prime minister Stephen] Harper had minority Parliaments in which he had no such supply agreement with any one opposition party, yet he maintained the confidence of the House for many years,” he said. “That is an option that is open to Mr. Trudeau as well.”

Even if an election doesn’t happen this year, Kaur said she doesn’t expect the political posturing to stop.

“We’re going to see a lot of pandering in the next year, especially around economic challenges, cost of living for people — just like the bread-and-butter issues,” she said.

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Politics Briefing: Singh says representative to combat Islamophobia victimized over calls to quit – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the newly appointed federal special representative to combat Islamophobia is being victimized by calls for her to quit over past remarks on Quebec.

“I think, for any woman seeing this, they look at this and see this looks really familiar, the piling on of a woman in particular, particularly a racialized woman, I think, is really troubling in general, and in this case, it seems to be problematic,” Mr. Singh told a Monday news conference on Parliament Hill.

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Mr. Singh’s comments follow calls from the Quebec government for Amira Elghawaby to resign or be fired over a 2019 opinion piece she co-wrote in the Ottawa Citizen linking “anti-Muslim sentiment” to Quebec’s Bill 21, which bans certain government employees from wearing religious symbols at work. The column is here.

Mr. Singh said Ms. Elghawaby has clarified her remarks, and that the issue of Islamophobia is not relegated to one province or one community but is a problem for the whole country. “We need to take it seriously.”

In response to criticism over the column, Ms. Elghawaby tweeted on Friday, “I don’t believe that Quebecers are Islamophobic, my past comments were in reference to a poll on Bill 21. I will work with partners from all provinces and regions to make sure we address racism head on.”

On Monday, Jean-François Roberge, Quebec’s minister responsible for relations with Canada and for state secularism, said in a statement that the province had initially demanded an apology from Ms. Elghawaby, which he said did not happen. Now, he said, she has to go.

“All she did was try to justify her abhorrent remarks,” Mr. Roberge said. “That is not acceptable. She must resign, and if she does not, the government must remove her immediately.”

Ms. Elghawaby was appointed to her post by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Asked Monday about calls for her resignation, Mr. Trudeau told journalists before going into Question Period, “She is there to speak for the community, with the community and to build bridges across.

“Obviously, she has thought carefully over many years about the impacts that various pieces of legislation, and various political positions have had on the community. Her job now is to make sure she is helping the government, and helping everyone move forward in the fight against Islamophobia.”

He said he was satisfied with the clarification presented in Ms. Elghawaby’s tweet.

Elsewhere, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said, at a news conference of his own, that Ms. Elghawaby had associated Quebec with Islamophobia, “whatever the definition of that might happen to be.”

“I am not surprised that she is opposed to Bill 21, but Bill 21 is a Quebec jurisdiction about Quebec national identity, and it is the most absolute right of the Quebec National Assembly to make such a decision and to implement such a decision,” he said.

“But what she said in the past is not that she was in disagreement with this law, but that we were, basically, Islamophobic and racist. This s the problem.”

Meanwhile, an emotional ceremony took place Sunday marking the sixth anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting, held for the first time in the same room where many of the victims were killed. Story here.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

L’ARCHE FOUNDER LINKED TO ABUSE – At least 25 women were abused over nearly seven decades by Jean Vanier, the Canadian co-founder of L’Arche, a global organization for the intellectually disabled, a lengthy independent report has found after a two-year investigation. Story here.

LIBERAL MP PRESSES FOR MORE ROOM FOR UYGHUR REFUGEES – Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi is calling on members of the federal cabinet to support a motion that would urge Ottawa to make room in its refugee intake for 10,000 Uyghurs and members of other Turkic groups who have fled China and are living in third countries such as Turkey. Story here.

CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES CONDUCTING JOINT RESEARCH WITH CHINESE MILITARY SCIENTISTS – Canadian universities have for years collaborated with a top Chinese army scientific institution on hundreds of advanced-technology research projects, generating knowledge that can help drive China’s defence sector in cutting-edge, high-tech industries. Story here.

OUELLET RETIRING – Marc Ouellet, the Quebec cardinal who oversaw the Vatican’s powerful bishops’ office and has been recently accused of sexual misconduct, is retiring. Story here.

GYMNASTICS CANADA CEO IN THE HOT SEAT – Gymnastics Canada chief executive officer Ian Moss was on the hot seat at the status of women hearings on safety of women in sport on Monday. Story here.

LOCAL REPORT OUT ON IMPACT OF CONVOY OCCUPATION – A report into the impact of the so-called Freedom Convoy occupation on residents of Ottawa has accused all three levels of government of failing to uphold the human rights of people who live and work in downtown Ottawa. Story here from CTV.

DETAILS REVEALED ON DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION PLAN IN B.C. – British Columbians are getting a clearer picture of what the province’s three-year plan to decriminalize small amounts of certain illicit drugs for personal use will look like when it launches Tuesday. Story here from CTV.

ALBERTA CONCERNED ABOUT MAID POLICY – Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s office says the province objects to Ottawa’s plan to extend eligibility for medically assisted death to people whose sole underlying condition is a mental illness. Story here.

CABINET SHUFFLE IN MANITOBA – Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson has demoted three ministers who recently announced they will not be running in the next election and promoted four backbenchers from Winnipeg to cabinet. Story here.

OTTAWA CITIZEN MP SAYS WELLINGTON STREET SHOULD REMAIN CLOSED – The MP for Ottawa Centre tells The Ottawa Citizen here that Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill should remain closed to facilitate “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine the area as a nationally significant, people-first space.” But the paper’s former city columnist has a sharply different take on the subject here.

2023 FEDERAL ELECTION UNLIKELY: PUNDITS – Even though federal political leaders have been using some heated, election-style language to snipe at each other in recent weeks, pundits say it’s unlikely Canadians will go to the polls in 2023. Story here from CBC.

THIS AND THAT

The House of Commons is sitting again. The Projected Order of Business is accessible here.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY – Chrystia Freeland, in Ottawa, held private meetings , attended Question Period, and also met with Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market. She also held a working dinner with Mr. Breton.

PREMIERS PLEASED – The premiers Council of the Federation has issued a statement, available here, saying they are looking forward to the Feb. 7 meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on health care. “As a federal proposal has not yet been received by Premiers, this meeting will mark the beginning of the direct First Ministers’ dialogue and follow-up required to achieve the significant investment and outcomes expected by all Canadians on this fundamental priority,” it says.

COMMONS COMMITTEE HEARINGS – Hearings on Monday include: The standing committee on Government Operations and Estimates on Federal Government Consulting Contracts Awarded to McKinsey and Company. Details, including video link, here. Also, the standing committee on veterans affairs is meeting on a national strategy for veterans employment service. Details here. The standing committee on industry and technology, details here, is holding a hearing on a contract awarded to Sinclair Technologies – a situation recounted here. And the standing committee on the status of women is holding a hearing on women and girls in sport. Details, including videolink, are here.

SENATE COMMITTEE HEARINGS – There are details here on a pair of Senate hearings later this afternoon. The national security, defense and veterans affairs committee is looking at issues related to security and defence in the Arctic and the official languages committee is conducting a study on Francophone immigration to minority communities.

THE DECIBEL

On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, the Globe’s senior political reporter Marieke Walsh talks about changes to the Liberal government’s gun-control legislation, Bill C-21, brought in last May. Amendments to the legislation have led to confusion with some types of guns banned in some of those amendments, but not in others – and the Liberals’ lack of communication is frustrating people on all sides of the issue. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, held private meetings, attended Question Period and, in the evening, delivered remarks at a Tamil Heritage Month Reception hosted by Scarborough-Rouge Park MP Gary Anandasangaree and the National Defence Minister Anita Anand.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, held a news conference on the return of Parliament and participated in Question Period.

No schedules held for other party leaders.

TRIBUTE

VIOLA LEGER – Former senator Viola Léger, whose career as an actress saw her prolifically play the character La Sagouine more than 3,000 times in Antonine Maillet’s play of the same name, has died at the age of 92.

HAZEL MCCALLION – Hazel McCallion, the 12-term mayor of Mississauga, Ont. has died, aged 101. In an obituary here, Adrian Morrow writes about how, over 36 years in office, Ms. McCallion rode the winds of public opinion, reading the changing moods of her city and transforming it.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how new energy is needed for clean power at Gull Island:One of Canada’s best opportunities to build more clean power and to reduce emissions – and dare we say it, foster national unity – starts with solving a knotty problem that stretches back more than half a century. The idea makes economic sense, and it makes climate sense – it’s up to Ottawa, the provinces, and Indigenous peoples to make sure decades of fraught politics do not once again derail the potential to generate a new bounty of clean hydro power.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the broken clock policies of Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre:Mr. Trudeau has a set of fiscal-policy instincts that only operate on one side of the ledger. As it happens, he faces an opponent, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who operates only on the other. Part of that is just their partisan identities, Liberal and Conservative. But these two leaders are so defined by those brands that they stick to them without worrying about balance or circumstances. Each has their own hammer, so everything looks like their kind of nail.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how the Alberta UCP needs to be cautious as an election approaches despite Moody ugrading the province’s long-term rating:One thing is sure: This UCP government can no longer legitimately blame the province’s fiscal problems on the NDP government of 2015-19, as it has done in the past. By now, everything lands squarely on their shoulders. The UCP will, however, still campaign on the premise that electing an NDP government will lead to a spending binge. The Smith government wants to hold onto its rep for being more fiscally disciplined than the NDP, especially as interest rates rise. But as the province draws nearer to the campaign period, the desire to announce things – all of them costing money – will be strong.”

Michael Adams, Jobran Khanji and Keith Neuman (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada must continue modelling its refugee efforts on its response to the Syrian crisis:Canada acted quickly to take in 40,000 Syrian refugees in a short span of time between November, 2015, and December, 2016, and it is important to know how they are doing today (and not just through the success stories captured by the media). This is the question that the Environics Institute sought to answer in a national study with a representative sample of Syrian refugees on their lived experience since arriving in Canada. The answer is that Syrian refugees who arrived in the first wave are doing remarkably well. Our study shows that most Syrian refugees who arrived in 2015 and 2016 have established new lives for themselves and their families in Canada, largely overcoming the initial hurdles that face all refugees (and especially those who come from societies with different languages and cultures).”

Jann Arden and Jessica Scott-Reid (Contributed to the Globe and Mail) on how horses are still being exported for slaughter, and the question of whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will take action: Ahead of the most recent federal election, as Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party were racing toward voting day, campaign promises were hitting the news cycle fast and furiously. Banning the export of live horses for slaughter was an easy appeal. Most Canadians love horses and the thought of ending the heinous practice of loading these sensitive, skittish animals onto gruelling long-haul flights only to be slaughtered in a foreign country was enough to inspire many Canadians to vote red. We did. The Liberals won. But here we are more than a year later and live horses are still being exported from Canada, as recently as this month, to be cut up for sashimi in Japan and leaving many of us who voted with great hope feeling duped.”

Benedikt Fischer (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how B.C.’s overdose crisis needs life-saving interventions more urgently than decriminalization: Tuesday marks the first day of B.C.’s “drug decriminalization” initiative: Adults carrying up to 2.5 grams of most illicit drugs for personal use will no longer be arrested or have the substance seized by police. For the federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the measure represents “bold actions and significant policy change,” reduces drug users’ “stigma and harm” and provides “another tool to end the overdose crisis.” This optimistic impact projection is questionable for several concrete reasons.”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

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Trump 2024 is locked and loaded, analyst says – CTV News

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More than two months after his presidential announcement, Donald Trump now has the key tools he will need to make his entry into the race complete: access to social media.

Recently, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced reinstatement of Trump’s social media accounts following a two-year suspension.

The suspension was levied in the aftermath of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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This was certainly good news for the Trump campaign and his legion of loyal and dedicated supporters.

However, as the wreckage inflicted on that cold January day still lingers, political opponents, real and perceived, are bracing for the potential dangers that could lie ahead.

In 2016, Trump used social media to great effect in his bid to win the U.S. presidency. During his tenure in the White House, he often made news and kept the entire media landscape on edge with a robust social media presence. His posts ran the gambit from inflammatory to bewildering.

CLAIMS SHATTERED NORMS OF PRESIDENTIAL ETIQUETTE

The unceasing and outlandish claims made by the former reality television star shattered the norms of presidential etiquette. Even accusing former president Barack Obama of spying on him! Like a maestro leading an orchestra, his cadre of henchmen and followers soon began to play along as if on cue.

Donald Trump, over the years, enlisted a powerful chorus of voices from Congress, the media, state capitals and beyond all belting out conspiracy theories, laced with violent undertones, on one note; one accord; in unison.

The twice-impeached ex-president has access to all the social media tools that not only fuelled his political rise but also served as a catalyst to the growing political violence playing out across the nation.

With 34 million followers on Facebook; 23 million on Instagram; and 87 million on Twitter; Trump has built a formidable and engaged audience that hangs on his every word.

AN ALREADY FRAGILE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE

Showing no remorse and characterizing the suspension as an injustice, the ex-president said on Truth Social, his own social media platform: Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting president, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!

Trump has continued his penchant for perceived grievances and victimization exacerbating an already fragile and unstable political landscape. Now, with the ability to enact a mob in 280 characters or less, Donald Trump wields these accounts like a loaded weapon.

Political onlookers are bracing for the onslaught as the ex-president ramps up his presidential campaign. Laura Murphy, an attorney who led a two-year audit of Facebook stated: I worry about Facebook’s capacity to understand the real world harm that Trump poses…

This “real world harm” Murphy describes is already a stark reality. Recently released video footage of the violent attack on the husband of former U.S. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is sending a collective shiver through the political class.

The assailant, David DePape, 42, claimed: “I’m sick of the insane f——— level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C.” He is charged with attempted murder, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening a public official. Some on the right, including Donald Trump Jr., made fun of the attack, sharing an image of a Paul Pelosi Halloween costume that included a hammer, as it was a hammer that was in the assault.

In the aftermath of the recent 2022 midterm elections, the nation breathed a sigh of relief as the results came and went with no acts of violence and the results reported largely without incident. Unfortunately, that moment of euphoria was only fleeting.

Failed GOP candidate, Solomon Peña, was arrested by Albuquerque police accused of paying and conspiring to shoot candidates that won. Prior to the attacks, Peña (like Trump) alleged the election results were fraudulent. An arrest warrant affidavit obtained from police says the suspect “intended to (cause) serious injury or cause death to the occupants inside their homes.”

Trump’s proclivity for subjecting maximum cruelty on others has been a mainstay since he entered politics. His affinity for tyrannical government; fascist and dictatorial leaders; combined with an ambivalence for democratic institutions makes his return to the political arena fraught with peril.

TRUMP FIRMLY BACK IN CONTROL OF SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

In a recent article, columnist Charlie Sykes described Trump’s penchant for violence as: Brutality is an ideology, not just an impulse. Many of the MAGA crowd eagerly subscribe to this ideology. Close confidante and fellow MAGA conservative, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene, said recently at a Republican event in New York, if she had organized the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol “we would have won” and “it would’ve been armed.”

Donald Trump’s inner circle continues to push the big lie and foment violence. Now that Trump is firmly back in control of his social media accounts, nothing stands in his way of once again eschewing political safeguards and standards in favor of amplifying sharp, abrasive, and yes, violent rhetoric aimed at perceived enemies and institutions.

Trump’s hold on rank-and-file Republicans remains just as strong today as it did the day he descended that gold-plated escalator in 2015. His loyal lieutenants continue to engage in violent and inflammatory language and some have even escalated to full-scale physical attacks on their opponents as evidenced by recent events in New Mexico and San Francisco.

Trump 2024 is locked and loaded and many would-be targets are in the crosshairs. By allowing Trump back on social media, companies such as Meta and Twitter might think they are lowering the political temperature. However, Trump’s truculence knows no bounds and could certainly end up backfiring. That fire nearly consumed the nation on January 6. Now, with a second chance, Trump gets to finish what he started.

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