Premier Jason Kenney’s backers sincerely hope their Battle of Alberta ends the very night the monumental Flames-Oilers version begins.
The Russian government slapped sanctions on 61 Canadians Thursday, prohibiting them from entering Russia in what Moscow called retaliation for measures enacted against its own people.
The sanctions targeted politicians, government officials, journalists, military leaders and academics.
The measures come as Russia’s military assault on Ukraine nears two months in duration. Canada has hit Russia with a slew of punitive sanctions over the aggression and has sent $110-million in military aid to Kyiv with another $500-million promised including heavy artillery.
Those targeted include Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae and Katie Telford, chief of staff to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A number of Canadian premiers were also named including Ontario’s Doug Ford, Manitoba’s Heather Stefanson, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, Alberta’s Jason Kenney and B.C.’s John Horgan.
Among the journalists named are The Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief David Walmsley and Globe senior international correspondent Mark MacKinnon, as well as Catherine Tait, president of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio Canada and Michael Melling, head of CTV News.
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OTTAWA SCALES BACK DRUG PRICE REFORMS THAT WOULD HAVE COST BIG PHARMA BILLIONS – Ottawa is dramatically scaling back regulatory changes to reduce the cost of drugs, five years after heralding them as a once-in-a-generation effort to cut costs and shave billions off industry profits. Story here.
WIFE OF JAILED RUSSIAN HUMAN-RIGHTS ACTIVIST ASKS CANADA AND ALLIES TO PRESS FOR HIS RELEASE – The wife of Russian human-rights activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was jailed this month after a CNN interview in which he condemned Moscow’s war on Ukraine, is urging Canada and other Western countries to press the Kremlin to release him and other prisoners of conscience. Story here.
NEW POLICY WILL PROVIDE FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS A ‘BASELINE OF KNOWLEDGE’ ON INUIT HOMELAND, HISTORY – A new policy set to apply across federal government departments will fundamentally change how business is done with Inuit in Canada, says the president of a national advocacy organization. The policy, which has the support of Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet, is expected to be formally endorsed on Thursday at the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, which is designed to advance work on shared priority areas between Inuit and the federal government. Storyhere.
CANADA-WIDE ACTION NEEDED TO CRACK DOWN ON HANDGUNS, ADVOCATES TELL FEDERAL MINISTER – Prominent firearm-control advocates are urging the Liberal government to abandon plans to allow provinces to ban handguns, saying regional measures will lead to a disastrous patchwork across Canada. In a new letter to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, several high-profile groups call instead for countrywide measures to phase out the private ownership of handguns. Story here from The Canadian Press.
PIERRE POILIEVRE AMONG THE DOZENS OF MPS WITH RENTAL PROPERTY AMID HOUSING CRUNCH – Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre is among the dozens of MPs who own rental property even as he blasts the unfairness of Canada’s housing market for young Canadians, Global News reports. Mr. Poilievre, the perceived frontrunner in the party’s leadership race, has made housing unaffordability a central part of his campaign so far, and has frequently criticized what he calls the “gatekeepers” keeping homes out of reach for home-buying hopefuls. Story here from Global.
‘SOAP OPERA’: ALBERTA PREMIER SAYS HE’S BEEN TOO TOLERANT OF OPEN DISSENT – Premier Jason Kenney says Albertans don’t appreciate the intraparty fighting “soap opera” of his United Conservative government and, if anything, he has been too soft on public dissenters. Kenney made the comments while taking questions on a Facebook town-hall meeting. Story here from The Canadian Press.
SENIOR SOLDIER ONCE TASKED WITH ARMY COMMAND RETIRED WHILE FACING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROBE – The senior military leader who was poised to take command of the Canadian Army retired from the military earlier this month as an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him continued. Retired lieutenant-general Trevor Cadieu was set to be sworn in as the head of the army in a ceremony last fall. Story here from CBC.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
The newsletter reached out to the Conservatives leadership campaigns to see what they were up to Thursday.
Pierre Poilievre is in Toronto, where he made an announcement about his proposed housing policy. He will later hold meet and greets with party members in Fergus and St. Catharines, Ont.
Jean Charest is in Toronto, where he released his plan to end COVID-19 lockdowns and get the Canadian health care system off “life support.”
Leona Alleslev will host a meet and greet in Kingston Thursday evening.
Marc Dalton will hold a rally in Pitt Meadows, B.C. Thursday evening.
The other campaigns did not reply.
THIS AND THAT
TODAY IN THE COMMONS – The House is adjourned until Monday, April 25, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
On Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Dr. Ken Fry tells us why it’s so hard to get rid of mosquitoes – and why learning to live with the pesky bloodsuckers is the better solution. Warmer weather means summer, picnics, camping … and mosquitoes. Edmonton is particularly famous for their mosquito season. But with a focus on environmental sustainability, the city is ditching the pesticide spraying they’ve used for years to control mosquitoes, instead turning to a more natural solution – bats and dragonflies. Dr. Fry is an entomology instructor in the School of Life Sciences & Business at Olds College in Alberta, and grew up in Edmonton. He studies pest control management and mosquitoes. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
The Prime Minister is in Ottawa, where he will co-chair a meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee with President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Natan Obed. They will hold a media availability Thursday afternoon, where they will be joined by Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is in Toronto Thursday, where he will address the Canadian Club on “making the very rich and wealthiest corporations pay their fair share to invest in Canadian families.”
The Bloc Québécois is holding a forum on forests and climate change Thursday in Trois-Rivières, Que., here leader Yves-François Blanchet will deliver a speech.
People’s Party of Canada Leader, Maxime Bernier, is in Ottawa Thursday to announce the appointment of “regional lieutenants” who will represent the party in four areas of Canada: western Canada and the territories, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.
No other schedules released for party leaders.
CANADIANS MORE OPEN TO CUTTING TIES WITH MONARCHY, BUT STILL SUPPORT QUEEN: POLL – Canadians are growing more open to severing ties with the British monarchy, a new poll suggests, despite an ongoing affection for Queen Elizabeth herself. The new Angus Reid poll — released Thursday on the Queen’s 96th birthday — found while 51 per cent of Canadians are against continuing as a constitutional monarchy, nearly two-thirds still view Elizabeth favourably. Story here from Global.
ONTARIO PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES LEAD BY FOUR AS DOUG FORD’S IMAGE AND PERFORMANCE RATING IMPROVES – When asked how they would vote if an election was held today, 36 per cent of Ontarian respondents said they would vote PC followed by the Ontario Liberals at 32 per cent and the NDP at 23 per cent. The Greens are at 6 per cent while four per cent would vote for another party. The poll was conducted by Abacus Data, which is conducting regular surveys to gauge public opinion and reaction to the Ontario election campaign. Poll here.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how Mr. Poilievre’s message about “normal life” has hit home: “It’s not so much that Pierre Poilievre drew a crowd to an event in downtown Toronto. It’s that after the rally, hundreds stood in a long, swirling line for as long as an hour-and-a-half, waiting for a picture and a few words with the politician and his wife, Anaida.
So if you are still wondering: Yes, this is a thing. Mr. Poilievre has hit a nerve, and has some people responding in a rare way in Canadian politics: expending shoe leather to hear a politician speak.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Patrick Brown dives dangerously into diaspora politics: “At 43, Brampton, Ont., Mayor Patrick Brown is too young to have pioneered diaspora politics. But he has emerged as one of its most adept practitioners, and it may just be his secret weapon in his below-the-radar bid to win the Conservative Party of Canada leadership. He aims to sell thousands of party memberships to members of targeted ethnic groups, who can swing the vote in critical urban and suburban ridings, by promising to pay special attention to their concerns.”
Don Martin (CTV) on how an unlikely Conservative rock star takes the stage in the heart of Liberal-owned Toronto: “And in the here and now, it must be acknowledged that Pierre Poilievre is attracting impressive crowds to large halls in very unlikely locations. He is getting euphoric reactions from the base to his quip-filled policies, even if they are politically problematic. And his team is undoubtedly selling hundreds of loyal Poilievre memberships at every pitstop of the tour.”
Heather Scoffield (Toronto Star) on how Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter should be setting off alarm bells in Ottawa: “The list of worrisome social media tentacles is never going to get any shorter, and the polarization around whether government needs to take a heavier hand or be hands-off completely is only intensifying.
The platforms themselves have taken some initiatives to self-regulate, partly in an attempt to get out ahead of regulation. But Musk’s push to take over Twitter suggests even the tendency toward self-regulation goes too far.”
“Office politics” often gets a bad rap. It’s thought of as the domain of catty gossip, shady backroom deals or sycophantic compliments reminiscent of the movies “Office Space” or “9 to 5.”
Thankfully, in real-life, office politics is often much tamer — and also unavoidable for anyone with the ambition to advance.
Why? Because, at its core, office politics is about relationships with colleagues and decision-makers. And nurturing those relationships can go a long way toward advancing your career goals.
While politics is often derided as purely a popularity contest, there are actually two components — being popular and getting things done.
Let’s think about “real” politics for a moment. You can be very good at getting things done, but if you’re unpopular, you’re not going to be elected in the first place. On the other hand, if you get elected because you’re popular, but fail to accomplish anything, you’ll probably find yourself voted out in the next election.
In office politics, exactly as in “real” politics, you can often get small things done without the support of others. But the more impactful your goals, the more you need to get other people on board to make them happen.
To have influence, colleagues need to like you, trust you and respect you.
If you’re not liked, well, that’s pretty much curtains for influencing decisions, unless you’re already the boss. It’s worth noting that to be liked, you must first be known.
If you’re liked, but not respected, you might be involved the discussion, but your view won’t carry any weight. We could call this “Charlie Brown syndrome” after the classic Peanuts character.
If you’re respected but not trusted (think of a well-qualified politician whose agenda you dislike), you may be consulted on an issue but colleagues may have misgivings about your motives.
To influence behavior and decisions in the office requires all three. Liked + Trusted + Respected = Influence.
Everything we do at CareerPoint is based on our philosophy that career success is driven by the value you create for your employer.
We talk about value creation by referencing eight drivers of value. You could think of these as the atomic elements of employee value. It’s a framework you could use to analyze almost anything in relation to HR or career advancement. Why? Because anything that affects your value as an employee influences both the success of your career and the success of your company.
What we know as “office politics” touches on several of these value drivers, but let’s focus on just two: Relationships and positioning.
Of all the categories of relationships that drive value for a company, none are more significant than customer relationships. If customers like, respect and trust you, they are more likely to highly value your services, keep buying them and recommend them to others. They’re also likely to be patient with you when things go awry, as things inevitably do.
The value of customer relationships can be tremendous and long-lasting. In a law firm, a single relationship can be worth tens of millions of dollars. Relationships are so important that when a partner moves from one firm to another, they often take the relationships with them. In fact, it’s hard to think of an industry where good customer relationships can’t move the dial on company success.
This means good customer relationships are a source of influence for employees. If customers highly regard you, the business won’t want to lose you and ought to value your opinion. If, on the other hand, no customer would notice or care if you left, your influence on decisions and events will be more limited.
The value driver most closely aligned with office politics is the one we’ve named Positioning. It’s all about navigating office politics to position yourself for advancement. After all, you could be the hardest working and most valuable employee in the business but fail to secure advancement if you don’t understand the politics.
The best way to think about this is to imagine a meeting of your company’s management team. Your potential promotion is being discussed. What do you want everyone to say and do?
Obviously, you want everyone to say that you are the best choice for the role. But will they?
There’s nothing you can do at this moment. It’s too late to influence any further.
In some ways, the discussion is a culmination of everything you’ve said and done since you’ve joined the company. The decision will be made largely on how the participants feel about you and the idea of you in a new, more influential role.
This is no idle abstraction. This is exactly how most advancement decisions are made. If you want to advance, the advocacy of every person around the table is what you’re solving for in the game of office politics.
Here are five quick tips you can use to help build trust, respect and likeability in your workplace.
Remember, no matter how much you hate it, office politics is a part of office life we all have to contend with. Instead of avoiding it, put your best foot forward, take smart risks, make mistakes, and learn from them.
To find out how CareerPoint can help you and your team navigate office politics and create the win/win relationships you need to succeed, visit CareerPoint’s website today.
Originally from the west coast of Scotland, Steve McIntosh is a recovering accountant (ICAEW), HR professional (GPHR) and MBA (University of Oxford). After starting his career with global accounting firm KPMG in 1998, Steve founded offshore financial services recruitment firm CML in 2004, which he led as CEO for 16 years.
In 2020, he founded CareerPoint.com, the virtual coaching platform that helps companies and their people get ahead of the curve. With customers and coaches in more than 30 countries around the world, CareerPoint is well on its way to achieving its twofold mission to help a million young people advance in their careers and level the playing field for underrepresented groups.
McIntosh is a “zealous convert” to the value of HR as a driver of business value and the author of “The Employee Value Curve: the unifying theory of HR and career advancement helping companies and their people succeed together.“
Prague, Czech Republic- As the war between Ukraine and Russia rages on, the Czech Republic has now become the latest country to offer military support to Ukraine.
According to the Czech Republic Presidency, President Milos Zeman has granted 103 citizens a special exemption, allowing them to join the Ukrainian military.
Some 400 volunteers had applied for a waiver with the goal of fighting for Ukraine against Russia.
The country requires special permission signed by the President and the Prime Minister to serve in a foreign military force. Otherwise, they face prosecution at home and potentially a five-year prison term.
In addition, the Defense Ministry then reviews each case individually in cooperation with the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry before forwarding the paperwork to the President’s Office for approval.
At the same time, the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a US$39.8 billion package of military and other assistance to Ukraine.
“Ukrainian people are fighting the fight for their democracy, and in doing so, for ours as well. With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering determination to stand with the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is won,” said House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
The package is expected to provide US$6 billion for weaponry, intelligence support, training and other defence assistance to Ukrainian forces, as well as US$8.7 billion to replenish American equipment sent to the country. It will also allocate US$3.9 billion for European Command operations, including intelligence support and hardship pay for troops in the region.
In addition, Legislation also set aside US$13.9 billion for the State Department, with the bulk going toward the Economic Support Fund to help Ukraine’s government continue to function, another US$4.4 billion for emergency food assistance in Ukraine and around the world as well as US$900 million to assist Ukrainian refugees, including housing, English language, trauma and support services.
Premier Jason Kenney’s backers sincerely hope their Battle of Alberta ends the very night the monumental Flames-Oilers version begins.
Kenney will hold an event at Spruce Meadows for supporters, with media also attending, starting late afternoon Wednesday. The results from a vote on his leadership are expected by about 6 p.m.
“We’re anticipating a very exciting and intense evening with the eyes of the entire province glued to a bitterly contested battle, the result of which will reverberate across Alberta maybe for years to come,” says key Kenney campaigner Brock Harrison.
“Oh, and we’re also going to finally see the result of our leadership review.”
The count will come from Cynthia Moore, the UCP president, and chief returning officer Rick Orman.
Shortly after that, the Flames and the Oilers face off at the Saddledome for Game 1 of the second round of Stanley Cup playoff action.
Harrison says, “Although our results won’t be known until the early evening, we will absolutely make sure we’re all wrapped up in good time for people to settle in and watch the game.”
The unforgivable political sin for the next two weeks would be to interfere with the real Battle of Alberta.
In hockey, unlike politics, conflict is right out there on the ice. There’s a serious chance of sportsmanship breaking out, and we know it will be over by May 30 at the latest, with one team clearly the winner.
There’s no certainty at all that the political fight ends Wednesday, even if Kenney wins a majority and can technically stay on as party leader and premier.
Many of his opponents are in no mood to fall into line. New UCP member Brian Jean may not accept the result.
Other caucus members like Peter Guthrie, Angela Pitt and Leela Aheer are unlikely to reconcile with Kenney, even if he has a substantial majority.
The premier is being advised to purge the whole group from caucus, sending them to sit as Independents with already expelled members Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes.
Kenney may not follow that advice right away. Some effort at conciliation is possible.
But after all that’s been said and done in recent months — the anti-Kenney letters and comments from his own MLAs — it’s hard to imagine a sudden burst of goodwill popping up with the spring tulips.
And there’s a chance that the premier doesn’t get a majority and must resign; or that his majority is so small he would still be under extreme pressure to quit.
One curiosity is that the political result, unlike the hockey series, is already decided and has been since May 11.
That was the cutoff date for returned mail-in ballots to reach the auditor, Deloitte Canada in Edmonton. No ballots received later were allowed.
This return mail has been examined for voter verification but the actual ballots remain in their sealed envelopes. They will be opened and counted starting the morning of May 18 — this Wednesday.
Suspicion that envelopes were improperly handled may actually have been amplified by the party’s running livestream of voter ID verification. The sight of people repeatedly opening envelopes and discarding some paper seemed mysterious.
But even Kenney opponents who did some of the work (they were allowed by the party) say there’s no way the verification could have been gamed.
Once voter ID was established, the ballot envelopes were packed into clear plastic boxes, each sealed with a unique code.
When the votes are counted Wednesday, dozens of people will be present including scrutineers from hostile UCP riding associations.
That doesn’t answer questions about membership sales, some of which are now being investigated by Elections Alberta. In today’s political climate, there’s always doubt.
That’s one reason the hockey series is so welcome. At least we’ll be absolutely sure who won.
Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald
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