Patrick Brown was removed as a candidate for the federal Conservative leadership to avoid the risk of having a prospect for the position under investigation, says the chair of the party’s leadership committee.
As the fallout over Mr. Brown’s disqualification continued Friday, the party issued a statement from Ian Brodie, head of the leadership election organizing committee (LEOC), to members of the Conservative Party.
“LEOC could not afford the risk of having a leadership candidate under the investigation of Elections Canada for breaking federal law – especially one that did not answer the questions we put forward to him to bring him into compliance,” the statement read.
“Our leadership race is to select a person to contend for the role of prime minister of Canada. The process must be beyond reproach and in full compliance with the law.”
Five candidates remain in the race: Ontario MPs Scott Aitchison, Leslyn Lewis and Pierre Poilievre, as well as former Quebec premier Jean Charest and Roman Baber, a former member of the Ontario legislature. The winner, based on a mail-in vote, is to be announced Sept. 10.
Mr. Brodie acknowledged transparency questions on the Brown issue. “I would love to share all that we have,” he said. “But we have legal restrictions of what we are to say when we are dealing with allegations of breaking federal law. That’s why we referred this case to Elections Canada.
“The reality is our party received credible, verifiable information alleging serious wrongdoing in the Patrick Brown leadership campaign that violated not only the leadership election rules, but the Canada Elections Act.”
He said the party spent a week, working with the party lawyer, looking for a path to bring the Brown campaign in compliance with party rules and federal law.
“To be clear, the Brown campaign knew full well what the allegations were. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply incorrect,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former campaign organizer for Brown says the disqualified candidate was aware that a corporation was paying her for campaign work, which is illegal under federal election laws. There’s a story by Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife and I here.
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ROGERS NETWORK OUTAGE – A widespread Rogers Communications Inc. network outage across the country Friday morning is interrupting internet, cellular and 911 services and affecting payment systems. Story here.
NEW CANADIAN SANCTIONS – Canada has imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia’s media machine that is designed to puncture disinformation campaigns about the war in Ukraine. Story here.
LICH DENIED BAIL – Freedom convoy leader Tamara Lich has been denied bail for violating the conditions of her release when she attended an awards gala in Toronto and had contact with another convoy organizer. Story here from CBC.
TRUDEAU DENOUNCES “HORRIFICALLY DISTURBING” ASSASSINATION OF ABE – The assassination of Japan’s former prime minister during a campaign speech is “horrifically disturbing” and demands pushback against rising violence and threats that are harming democracy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Story here. Globe and Mail Asia Correspondent James Griffiths reports on the assassination here.
AMBROSE BACK IN POLITICS – Former federal cabinet minister Rona Ambrose is back in politics, chairing the campaign of one of the contenders for the leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party. Story here from Global News.
SURPRISE JOB LOSS – The Canadian economy posted a surprise loss of jobs in June, the first monthly decline that was not associated with tighter public-health restrictions since the outset of the pandemic. Story here.
SCHOLZ COMING TO OTTAWA – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is coming to Ottawa next month to push for liquefied natural gas terminals on Canada’s East Coast and the release of a turbine, caught up in sanctions against Russia, critical to the flow of gas to Europe. Story here.
REVIEW OF AFN FINANCIAL POLICIES – First Nations chiefs from across Canada have voted in favour of reviewing the Assembly of First Nations’ financial policies, and if deemed necessary, conducting a financial audit. The vote, which took place on the final day of the AFN’s annual general assembly, solidified support for National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, who was suspended by the AFN’s executive committee last month. Story here.
JAMES SENTENCED – A man at the centre of one of the biggest spending scandals in the history of British Columbia politics has been sentenced. Story here from CTV.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison, Roman Baber, Jean Charest and Pierre Poilievre are all in Calgary. Leslyn Lewis was en route from Yellowknife to Calgary on Friday.
THIS AND THAT
The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.
GUILBEAULT IN SUDBURY – Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Sudbury, made an announcement on engaging youth in the fight against climate change.
WILKINSON IN ST. JOHN’S – In St. John’s, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson held a news conference at the conclusion of an energy and mines ministers’ conference.
PREMIERS MEETING NEXT WEEK – Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders – members of the Council of the Federation – will be holding a summer meeting next Monday and Tuesday in Victoria. Please check The Globe and Mail for coverage.
PUBLIC SERVICE APPOINTMENTS BY THE PM – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Erin O’Gorman, current Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board, as the new president of the Canada Border Services Agency as part of a series of changes to the senior ranks of the public service announced Friday and detailed here.
New episodes of The Decibel are not being published on Fridays for the months of July and August. You can check previous episodes here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Private meetings, and the Prime Minister participated in the unveiling of the Humanity Art installation in Ottawa, with Treasury Board President Mona Fortier, and Toronto Raptors President and Vice-Chairman Masai Ujiri attending.
No schedules released for party leaders.
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how the very nature of a leadership race based on selling memberships as fast as you can is corrupting: “At the very least, the choice of party leader should be restricted to the party’s existing members at the start of the campaign. In the best of all worlds, they would be elected by the parliamentary caucus. Perhaps these could be supplemented by the candidates of record in ridings not held by the party. Or perhaps, for those who object to the choice being left to mere MPs – those nobodies, as our quasi-presidential system makes them out to be – some hybrid scheme could be adopted, like the one now used by the British Conservative Party: The caucus narrows the choice to two, on which the membership votes. Or we can stick with the present system, and endure more scandals, more takeovers by single-issue zealots, and still greater marginalization of MPs under leaders chosen not by them, but by a phantom electorate bought with gobs of cash.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on how Pierre the Polarizer has got the Conservative Party and he could certainly take the country too: “Having already won with a Reform brand of conservatism under Stephen Harper, it’s hardly a stretch to think that a Conservative Party under Mr. Poilievre, a former Harper cabinet member, could win again. Mr. Harper was able to avoid the extremist tag, and benefited from a great run of fortune: the sponsorship scandal, the Jean Chrétien-Paul Martin split, the RCMP incredibly calling a midelection criminal investigation into the Liberals’ finance minister’s office – which was similar to what the FBI did to Hillary Clinton in 2016 as she was campaigning against Donald Trump. Throw in some breaks like that to the many trends already working in its favour, and a Poilievre-led Conservative Party could win the country handily.”
Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on how dairy market protectionism is exposing Ottawa’s hypocrisy on free trade: “Canada wants the world to believe that it’s committed to free trade. But when it comes to dairy imports, other countries are calling our bluff. New Zealand is the latest trading partner to complain about fettered access to Canada’s dairy market, alleging that Ottawa is violating provisions of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Pacific island country’s grievance follows that of the U.S., which is pursuing its second such trade challenge of our dairy restrictions under the auspices of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. These dairy disputes are damaging Canada’s credibility as a free-trading nation, and the timing couldn’t be worse. Ottawa is busy negotiating bilateral trade agreements with other countries including Britain and India, but its protectionist dairy policies are under scrutiny like never before.”
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how poor Patrick Brown is the subject of a takedown again: “Maybe Patrick Brown is the most unfairly persecuted politician on the planet. Despite his deep fidelity to the rules and squeaky clean procedural history, trouble seems to find him – or rather, is maliciously assigned to him, in the form of repeated and deliberate political takedowns (which, not coincidentally, inspired the title of his 2018 memoir, Takedown). Perhaps there’s something about Mr. Brown that his many enemies, both past and present, have feared – enemies that have at times included the news media, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and, now, the federal Conservative Party, which disqualified him from its leadership race Tuesday evening over “serious allegations of wrongdoing.” Is it his moderate form of conservatism? His vision for Canada that is radically … uh … inclusive? Why else would Mr. Brown – noted choirboy, scrupulous ethicist, the Ned Flanders of contemporary Canadian politics – so routinely be the subject of financial, moral and procedural scandal?”
Don Braid (The Calgary Herald) on federal Conservative candidate Jean Charest promising Alberta a new deal in Canada: Conservative leadership candidate Jean Charest vows to break the bronco of Alberta anger with a unique special deal for the province. If he becomes Conservative leader and then prime minister, Charest said Thursday, he would immediately develop an “Alberta Accord – a specific agreement with Alberta on the issues Alberta cares about.” “I want this Alberta accord to say to the rest of the country that we are responding to the issues of Alberta,” Charest said in an interview before starting Stampede appearances. “We are going to answer. We’re not just going to pretend the problems aren’t there.” Charest says he would ask to meet the Alberta premier within 30 days of being sworn in. Shortly thereafter, he would co-chair a meeting with all premiers.”
Opinion: Iowans want health care focused on patients, not politics, and Democrats are delivering – Des Moines Register
President Joe Biden’s health care proposals have received widespread support from voters across the political spectrum.
Joe Biden signs Inflation Reduction Act to tackle climate, health care
The legislation signed by President Biden aims to address climate change, lower prescription drug costs and provide health care subsidies.
Anthony Jackson, USA TODAY
- Matt Sinovic is the executive director of Progress Iowa, a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization.
No matter where we live or the color of our skin, we all deserve to get the care we need without going broke. Luckily, President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have delivered on their promise to lower costs and improve health care for American families. Along with making key investments in climate and energy, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 drives down prescription drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, institutes a cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and protects Americans against outrageous and arbitrary price increases. The legislation also includes measures that will lower health care premiums for millions by extending Affordable Care Act financial assistance for three years.
This bill is testament to the Democrats’ unwavering commitment to ensuring health care is affordable, accessible, and equitable for every American. While Biden and Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to lower health care costs for people like me and other Iowans, Republicans like Sen. Chuck Grassley are continuing their attacks on health care, putting their own political interests over the health and financial well-being of their own constituents.
Every single Republican in Congress opposed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. By voting against the bill, Republicans voted to raise health care costs for working families and maintain Big Pharma’s broken system. Even worse, Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst helped block a critical provision that would cap insulin costs at $35 per month for millions of diabetics with insurance. As many as one in four of the 7.5 million Americans dependent on insulin are skipping or skimping on doses, which can lead to death. As voters across the political spectrum have demanded action to rein in drug prices, Republicans have opposed any meaningful reform.
Instead of offering solutions to curb inflation or lower people’s cost of living, Republicans have laid out a radical, corporate plan that would raise costs, threaten Medicare coverage for millions, and rip protections from people with existing conditions. Republicans are still fighting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to make premiums more expensive for middle-class families.
The Republican war on health care doesn’t stop there — Republicans have worked to undermine access to care for women, seniors, and people with disabilities. Republicans, especially those aligned with former President Donald Trump, have attacked abortion rights and opposed legislation to end the maternal mortality crisis. They voted against capping drug costs and extending hearing benefits for seniors. Republicans in Congress also continue to fight closing the coverage gap in 12 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion, which has left more than 2 million vulnerable Americans uninsured. Failure to support these policies disproportionately harm people of color, who face increased barriers to accessing care and worse health outcomes.
By fighting efforts to lower health care costs, Republicans are turning their back on the American people. It isn’t surprising that Biden’s health care proposals have received widespread support from voters across the political spectrum. However, if it were up to Republicans, health care costs would skyrocket, the rich would become richer and millions of Americans would be thrown off their coverage with nowhere to turn.
The contrast is clear: Between fighting to lower health care costs and expanding affordable coverage to working families in Iowa, Democrats are working tirelessly to lower everyday costs for all Americans. Meanwhile, Republicans unanimously oppose legislation to lower health care costs, expand affordable coverage, and give families more breathing room to pay for other essentials like food, child care, and rent.
Some things never change: Republicans want to raise health costs, ditch critical protections, and put profits over patients.
Matt Sinovic is the executive director of Progress Iowa, a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization. Year-round, Progress Iowa promotes progressive ideas and causes with creative earned media strategies, targeted email campaigns, and cutting-edge new media.
Mintoff seeks return to politics, running to be Tiny mayor – MidlandToday
A former Tiny Township councillor, who abruptly resigned in September of 2021, has decided to jump back into the political arena and is seeking to become the municipality’s mayor.
“I truly believe that Tiny’s at a crossroads right now,” said Tony Mintoff. “I think that there has been a need for strong, decisive leadership and a steady hand at the helm, and I think I can offer that to the residents.”
Mintoff has entered as a candidate for mayor of Tiny in the Oct. 24 municipal election. (Recently, David Evans also announced a candidacy for the mayor’s seat next term.)
“I think the elephant in the room is that I resigned my position (as councillor) this current term, this past year. A number of people have some concern about that, and I understand that,” said Mintoff.
Despite plans of a relaxing retirement, the 71-year-old Tiny resident chose to enter the mayoral race after seeing the experience others were offering to bring to the role.
“I’m really concerned, to be quite frank, that we could very well elect both a mayor and deputy mayor that have absolutely no municipal experience or political experience,” Mintoff explained.
“Having gone through the learning curve of just being a councillor who got on with a number of other members of council who had experience, I found it to be a pretty steep and difficult learning curve,” he explained.
“I think, given the fact that the mayor and also the deputy mayor would be not only trying to manage and steer Tiny but also to participate at the county council as well is a pretty tough act if you have no experience or background at all.”
With this intention, Mintoff simultaneously declared a joint candidacy with fellow resident Steve Saltsman as a candidate for deputy mayor.
“You’ll see our campaign signs showing up pretty soon, and you’ll see that our signs have two names on them, not one. We are running as a tandem,” Mintoff said.
As for the mayoral candidacy, Mintoff has more than 40 years of municipal and provincial experience with roles as a Toronto firefighter, fire chief, and throughout six years as an assistant deputy fire marshal for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He served on Tiny council for 10 years leading up to his resignation.
His reasons for leaving as councillor were multi-faceted involving several concerns, some of which included the municipal handling of short-term rentals, aggregate operations at French’s Hill near Wyebridge and the threat to clean water in the township, and contentious beach ownership along the township’s shores of Georgian Bay.
These issues are on Mintoff’s campaign list to address, along with affordable housing and the potential opportunities the Huronia Airport can provide.
“We’re just on the cusp of that now,” said Mintoff. “There’s a huge opportunity there to develop some of that property to create aerospace-type jobs, or even unrelated jobs, that would be higher-end scale and that would employ skilled workers.
“I think creating jobs for people is just as important as creating houses for them. If you create the jobs around here, then, hopefully, they’re going to want to live around here. They’re hand in hand.”
Tiny council chambers remains physically closed to members of the public, although meetings are livestreamed and archived for residents to participate through phone or by virtual means. However, Mintoff feels more could be done.
“We really need to do a better job to engage the residents, to give them the sense that in a democratic society they have access to their elected representatives in a meaningful way, not just through Zoom,” he said.
“I think what we need to do is open the council chambers. The province has been open for months. There is no legitimate reason for the council chambers to be closed still. People know that. They’re very offended by it; they’re angry about it.”
He added, “People are starting to become apathetic, which is probably one of the worst ways to undermine our system.”
Information on the Tiny municipal election can be found on the Tiny Township website.
The politics of climate change | TheRecord.com – Waterloo Region Record
In her brilliant 2019 article “The challenging politics of climate change,” Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow with the Washington-based Brookings Institution, explores how “the lack of intensity around (climate change) is simultaneously incomprehensible and totally understandable.”
She offers four explanations: “complexity; jurisdiction and accountability; collective action and trust; and imagination.”
Our climate crisis is a political hot potato because it is complex and voters don’t like complexity. As well, it isn’t obvious how our actions impact the climate — for good or bad. We can’t see greenhouse gas emissions the way we can see water pollution from a chemical plant, or toxic smoke pouring out of a smokestack.
Kamarck says climate change and cybersecurity are “two of the stickiest problems of the 21st century … because it’s so difficult to nail down jurisdiction.” Who is responsible for what? Where does the buck stop? And do we trust our government and politicians to do the right thing?
A half-credit of Civics in high school is not enough for most of us to untangle the Gordian knot of responsibilities in the multiple levels of government impacting our lives.
The politics of climate change is about government action, or the lack of it, but it’s also about navigating the strategies we use to tackle the issue. Since we politicized climate change in the 1970s, our response has been highly divisive. This has to change because everyone is affected and a vigorous and collaborative political response is essential.
Despite the sound science, we still have climate deniers and liars, who come in many forms. The Guardian’s environment editor, Damian Carrington, categorizes them as “the shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool.”
In a Scientific American interview, climate scientist Michael Mann, famous for his hockey stick graph showing the exponential growth in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from human activity, said that climate deniers have been replaced by inactivists. The deep pockets from the fossil fuel industry are now funding “legislative efforts blocking clean-energy policies” through “deflection, delay, division, despair mongering, doomism.”
Both the oil and tobacco industries share the same devious strategy to shift the blame and responsibility from the corporation to the individual. In 2005, British Petroleum created a marketing campaign for people to calculate their personal carbon footprints. There is no question that we each bear responsibility for our own actions to live sustainably, but who is holding corporations to account?
For the past 10 years, Ottawa-based Gerald Kutney has taken on the climate denialists, bots and trolls to clean up the Twitter-verse. His goal is to stop the propaganda and lies being repeated by the “denial-saurs” from becoming the truth.
Kutney picked Twitter because it’s “the best, ongoing teaching ground about climate denialism in the world, day in and day out.” To counter the piling on from followers of the biggest climate deniers, Kutney introduced #climatebrawl. Just like the bat signal in Batman’s Gotham City, the hashtag alerts an international support system prepared to do battle, armed with the truth about our climate crisis.
We have to trust the evidence-based solutions from our best climate scientists and not the ramblings and rants of disbelievers. Denial-saurs, like most of the contenders for the Canadian Conservative party leadership, are treating our future like a political football.
Kutney’s best advice is “Vote. Just vote,” and hold our elected officials to effective climate-action plans. We cannot afford to be silent in our winner-take-all electoral systems unless we want to be governed by the choices of a minority of climate denialists.
This goes for municipal politics as well. There will be many new faces on councils after this fall’s municipal elections. Our future depends on their commitment to climate action.
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