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Politics Briefing: Several Conservatives break from the federal caucus' support for 'Freedom Convoy' – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Some Conservatives are breaking away from the federal caucus’ support for the Freedom Convoy that has led to chaos in Ottawa.

The dissension comes after parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh reported here that the Conservative Party’s new interim leader, Candice Bergen, advocated in internal discussions against asking the protesters to go home, according to an e-mail obtained by The Globe and Mail.

On Friday, Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson, a lifelong Conservative appointed to the senate in 2009 on the recommendation of former prime minister Stephen Harper, announced he’s quitting the Conservative senate caucus over the issue though he will hold on to his party membership.

“This is no longer a caucus I want to belong to,” Mr. Patterson said in an interview. “I do not support this approach, and I hope it will change.”

He said he has been disappointed at the absence of a Conservative condemnation of the continued “lawless occupation” of the downtown core of Ottawa. “It’s uncharacteristic for a party I always considered stood for law and order.”

“I was absolutely appalled at members of our caucus and even our new leadership associating themselves in any way with the racist, hateful, misogynist, white-supremacist hooligans in the so-called Freedom Convoy. That was what motivated me to finally make the step of realizing that these caucuses no longer represent the party I know,” he said, referring to the senate caucus and national caucus.

Meanwhile, Quebec MP Pierre Paul-Hus, the Conservative public-services critic, tweeted Friday that action against the protest is necessary after a week “undergoing the Siege of Ottawa.”

He suggested the motivation of truckers is unclear. “I ask that we clear the streets and that we stop this occupation controlled by radicals and anarchist groups.”

Ontario Conservative MP Dean Allison said he respects and values his colleague Mr. Paul-Hus, “but on this issue, I would have to strongly disagree with him.” He did not elaborate.

Amid the back and forth, Ms. Bergen called for a “peaceful resolution” to the impasse in a statement released by her office. She said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should “provide a clear plan” to end the situation in Ottawa. “Let’s work together to find solutions,” said the statement “To the truck drivers in Ottawa: please remain peaceful. Call out and denounce any acts of hate, racism, intolerance or violence.”

Meanwhile, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said Friday that 150 additional police officers will be deployed throughout downtown Ottawa as part of a new strategy to manage the occupying demonstrators and restore a shaken trust with residents as thousands more are expected to arrive this weekend.

Parliamentary reporters Janice Dickson and Ms. Walsh report here on this development.

Elsewhere, more than 100 vehicles taking part in a protest convoy arrived in Quebec City Thursday ahead of a rally planned this weekend in front of the National Assembly. Story here from CBC.

And in Saskatchewan, the provincial legislature was closed Friday in advance of expected protest against COVID-19 restrictions while a protest against restrictions began in Winnipeg, outside the main entrance of the Manitoba legislature grounds.

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

EMPLOYMENT PLUMMETS – Canadian employment plummeted in January and work absences because of illness soared to record levels as the Omicron variant drove a steep uptick in COVID-19 infections. The country lost 200,000 jobs last month, the first decline in employment since May, Statistics Canada said Friday. Story here.

TRUDEAU AND FREELAND MAKE APPEALS TO UKRAINE GOVERNMENT – Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland made personal appeals to persuade the Ukrainian government to not arrest and imprison former president Petro Poroshenko when he returned home in mid-January, two sources in Ottawa and one in Kyiv say. Story here.

TORIES LOOKING TO QUICKLY REPLACE O’TOOLE – Federal Conservatives say they have to move quickly to find a permanent replacement for Erin O’Toole, because the minority government means Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could trigger an early election. Story here.

MPS SUMMON GOFUNDME REPS – A committee of MPs has voted to summon representatives of GoFundMe to Parliament “as soon as possible” to answer questions about the California crowdfunding company’s ability to screen out hate campaigns. Story here.

END COMING TO ALBERTA VACCINE PASSPORT: KENNEY – Premier Jason Kenney says his government will announce next week a date to end Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine passport, with the actual cancellation coming soon after that. Meanwhile, varied premiers are taking different approaches to loosening COVID-19 restrictions. Story here.

HORGAN FEELS “PRETTY GOOD” AFTER CANCER TREATMENT – B.C. Premier John Horgan says he’s “feeling pretty good” after treatment for cancer diagnosed in November, and has lost 25 pounds in the process. “I had a couple of jackets taken in, so I’m ready to go,” Mr. Horgan said outside the B.C. legislature this week. Story here from City News 1130. Meanwhile, voting to elect the next leader of British Columbia’s Liberals is under way. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

The projected order of business at the House of Commons, Feb. 4 is here.

PARLIAMENTARY BLACK CAUCUS SPEAKS OUT ON PROTESTS – The Parliamentary Black Caucus, representing MPs and senators, is denouncing protests in Ottawa and Gatineau. “We strongly support the right of Canadians to protest. Regrettably, we believe that this protest became a venue for extremist elements to intimidate Members of Parliament, Senators, and the residents of Ottawa and Gatineau,” said a statement issued on Friday. The full text, including proposed actions, is here.

DEFENCE MINISTER TRIP TO EUROPE CONCLUDED – Defence Minister Anita Anand has concluded a week-long trip to Europe that included stops in Ukraine, at NATO headquarters and in Latvia. In Ukraine, Ms. Anand’s meetings included talks with Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, and Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on the Operation UNIFIER training mission. During the tour, she also met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

FEDERAL LIBERALS GATHER IN ONTARIO – The Liberal Party of Canada’s Ontario wing is holding a virtual convention on Friday and Saturday, with party leader Justin Trudeau expected to join 1,300 party members. Other speakers include Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Anita Anand and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

COLLEGIALITY IS POSSIBLE – Amidst turmoil across the aisle during the week, the federal Transport Minister here records a moment of collegiality with a member of the Official Opposition.

THE DECIBEL – On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Asia Correspondent James Griffiths is in Beijing as the 2022 Winter Olympics begin in China’s capital. Mr. Griffiths talks about what it’s like to be inside the Olympic bubble and how politics are playing into these Games. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Private meetings. The Prime Minister was scheduled to speak with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to virtually meet with students from Smallwood Academy in Gambo, Newfoundland and Labrador.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet holds a media availability at Parliament Hill.

No schedules provided for other leaders.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how protest is a legal right, but a blockade isn’t a legal protest: “Canadians have the right to protest – regardless of whether the cause is left, right, centre, trucker, whatever. But any time that interferes more than minimally and temporarily with the rights of others – and particularly when it moves from persuasion by words to physical interference – it ceases to enjoy the protection of the law. It becomes instead a threat to law and order. Police always have every reason to show patience, and to lean on negotiation rather than force. But at some point, one way or the other, the law and the rights of others must ultimately be upheld against illegal protests – be they left, right, centre, trucker, whatever.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on why it already looks like no Conservative will be able to challenge Pierre Poilievre for the party leadership: “He is a love-him-or-hate-him politician who garners tub-thumping applause from those who agree and revulsion from those who don’t. He made his name as a partisan pitbull and placed his flag on the right wing of his party. He is probably the best communicator the federal Conservatives have, but will nonpartisans learn to like him? That’s a question that gnaws at some in his party, and at some in the caucus of MPs around him, who fear that he will shrink the blue tent to a hard core, and turn off broad swaths of moderate suburban Canada. But a lot of them think he will win the leadership.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how Erin O’Toole pushed around the Conservative caucus, as leaders always have but didn’t count on caucus pushing back: “Mr. O’Toole’s leadership was not the only problem facing the party – its internal divisions, as I wrote recently, are the real issue, of which his uncertain leadership was more consequence than cause – nor will it necessarily fare any better under a new leader. But the decision to remove him could have highly salutary effects in the long-term, and not only for the Conservative Party. After this, any future Conservative leader will be on notice: treat the caucus with respect, or face the same fate as Mr. O’Toole. The example having been set, it is not inconceivable that members of other party caucuses may one day demand a similar measure of respect. It was one thing when all caucuses were under the same yoke, seemingly in perpetuity. But now that the Conservatives have broken free, there is at last the potential for a “backbench spring,” a fundamental change in the balance of power between leader and caucus.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on why the Conservatives need an affable, relatable new leader more than a right-wing one: “In theory, it was probably the right approach – tactically speaking – for Mr. O’Toole to campaign for the Conservative leadership as a true blue, then pivot to the centre for the general election in order to be as palatable as possible to the widest swath of Canadians. But his change was so stark that it left the membership feeling duped and betrayed, and he never quite found a way to relay to Canadians what his centre-right vision would look like. Constantly changing your mind will do that. The Conservatives need a normal, affable, relatable new leader far more than they need one who will bring the party back over to the right. But they might be too busy laughing at Mr. Poilievre’s jokes to come to that realization.”

Kelly Egan (The Ottawa Citizen) on how it’s time for Ottawa police to stop saying “all options are on the table” to deal with protest, and instead pick one and try it: “Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly seems like a nice guy. Here’s the problem. We don’t need a nice guy right now. We need a strong leader, someone not afraid to pick the right fight. At the end of his initial presentation to the police services board Wednesday, Sloly dramatically took off his glasses, stared into the camera and said one of the most dispiriting things we’ve heard all week: “There may not be a policing solution to this demonstration.” You know, the truckers must be laughing at us. We’ve basically admitted we think it’s too risky to attempt to forcibly remove them, one by one, because someone might get hurt or even killed.”

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Roe v. Wade: How abortion came to divide US politics – CTV News

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WASHINGTON –

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, the issue has become one of the defining fault lines in U.S. politics, with Democratic politicians firmly supporting abortion rights and Republican lawmakers lining up in opposition.

In 1973 the lines were more blurred. Republican and Democratic voters were equally likely to say abortion should be legal, while it was easy to find Republican officials who supported abortion rights and Democrats who opposed the procedure.

So what changed?

NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE AT FIRST

Abortion on demand was legal in four states in the early 1970s, while 14 more allowed it under some circumstances.

While the Catholic Church opposed abortion, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination, was on record saying it should be allowed in many circumstances.

Neither party viewed abortion as a defining issue.

Republicans like first lady Betty Ford said the Roe decision was “a great, great decision,” while some Democrats, like a newly elected senator named Joe Biden, said the court’s ruling went “too far.”

Voters also did not see the issue along partisan lines. The General Social Survey opinion poll found in 1977 that 39% of Republicans said abortion should be allowed for any reason, compared to 35% of Democrats.

A CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT MOBILIZES

In the years that followed, conservative activists like Phyllis Schlafly seized on the issue as a threat to traditional values and enlisted evangelical churches, which had shown a new interest in politics following a series of court rulings that limited prayer in public settings.

These groups portrayed abortion as a threat to the family structure, along with broader social developments like gay rights, rising divorce rates, and women working outside of the home. For pastors and parishioners, abortion became a proxy issue for concerns about a liberalizing society, said Mary Ziegler, a legal historian at University of California-Davis.

“For many evangelicals, this was more about family and women and sex,” she said.

In 1980, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing abortion, reversing its earlier position.

Republican Ronald Reagan’s presidential victory that same year gave abortion opponents a powerful ally in the White House. At the same time, women’s rights activists gained more influence within the Democratic Party and pushed leaders to support abortion rights.

But support for Roe still did not line up along party lines.

In a 1983 Senate vote, 34 Republicans and 15 Democrats voted for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have overturned the Roe decision, while 19 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against it.

Biden was among those voting no, even though he had backed the legislation in committee the previous year.

POLITICIANS PICK SIDES – VOTERS FOLLOW

In the years that followed, the dividing lines became more apparent as political candidates found it increasingly necessary to align with activists who were becoming more influential within their parties.

Republican George H.W. Bush, an abortion opponent who had earlier supported abortion rights, won the presidency in 1988. In 1992 he was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton, an abortion rights supporter who had earlier opposed abortion.

Since 1989, abortion-rights groups have donated $32 million to Democrats and $3 million to Republican candidates who support keeping abortion legal, according to OpenSecrets, which tracks money in politics. Groups that opposed abortion have given $14 million to Republicans and only $372,000 to Democrats over that time period.

Voters were slower to sort themselves out. As late as 1991, 45% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans said they supported abortion for any reason, according to the General Social Survey.

Partisan differences widened in the following years, however, as the issue became a staple of TV attack ads fundraising appeals and mass rallies by interest groups.

By the turn of the century, only 31% of Republicans supported on-demand abortion, while Democratic support remained steady at 45%, according to the General Social Survey.

BOTH SIDES DIG IN

Other opinion polls have consistently shown that most Americans support some restrictions on abortion but oppose an outright ban.

At the same time, Democrats have grown more absolute in their support for abortion rights.

Biden, who supported a ban on federal funding for most abortions in the Medicaid program for the poor for most of his political career, reversed his position as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

In the current Congress, only one House Democrat and one Senate Democrat voted against legislation that would make abortion legal nationwide under all circumstances. The bill failed in the Senate, but Democrats have said they plan to make it a central issue in the November 2022 elections.

Among Democratic voters, support for unrestricted abortion has jumped from 56% in 2016 to 71% last year, according to the General Social Survey, while Republican support continues to hover around 34%.

Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Ross Colvin and Lisa Shumaker

——-

Have you tried accessing abortion services in Canada?

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, CTVNews.ca wants to hear from Canadians who have had an abortion.

Did you struggle to access abortion services or information in Canada? Was it difficult to secure an appointment?

Tell us your story by emailing dotcom@bellmedia.ca, and include your name and location. Your comments may be used in a CTVNews.ca story.

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Politics Briefing: Ottawa police preparing for protests at Canada Day celebrations – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Ottawa police say they are preparing for protests at this week’s Canada Day celebrations, and planning to balance the rights of protestors and those celebrating the holiday.

“We will not, however, accept unlawful behaviour,” Steve Bell, the interim Ottawa police chief, told a news conference on Monday.

Mr. Bell said the police are rallying public-order units, traffic teams and tow trucks and will take “decisive and lawful action” to deal with threats, occupation attempts and other unlawful action.

The city has been the scene of several large demonstrations since supporters of the self-described freedom convoy occupied the downtown core for three weeks in January and February. Now there are concerns about new anti-government protests during Canada Day.

Celebrations in the national capital have been moved from the lawn of Parliament Hill due to reconstruction work on the House of Commons and will be held at LeBreton Flats, west of the downtown core.

“We expect there to be demonstrations. This is a right of all Canadians and it will be protected. We will not, however, accept unlawful behaviour and we will not allow vehicle-based demonstration in the motor vehicle control zone,” said Mr. Bell.

The zone refers to an area of downtown Ottawa being established over the Canada Day weekend to prevent the movement of vehicle protests in the area.

”Visitors and community members will see a significant police posture and presence throughout the city,” said the interim chief.

Mr. Bell said officers from the Ottawa police have met with affected community groups in the city affected by the “illegal occupation of our streets,” and take the harm and trauma residents suffered very seriously, and have considered it in planning for Canada Day.

Police liaison officers have also tried to reach out to protest organizers about expectations for appropriate, lawful protest, he said.

Mayor Jim Watson offered a warning to prospective protesters. “There are not going to be warnings and second chances. If the law is broken, regardless of who breaks it, there will be consequences,” he told the news conference.

In late April, the Ottawa Police Services Board approved a request from Mr. Bell to appoint up to 831 RCMP officers to help with the Rolling Thunder motorcycle events, and made those appointments valid until July 4.

Meanwhile, a community group called the Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation officially launched Monday with the appointment of three commissioners to hold public hearings on the convoy occupation of the city earlier this year.

The commission, according to a statement, has secured the support of the Centretown Community Health Centre as its anchor agency and fundraising portal and it will deliver a final report within a year. The OPC will be funded by donations from the public, foundations, businesses, unions and local agencies.

“We need this independent, non-partisan inquiry to hear from ordinary citizens, advocacy organizations and social agencies, business owners, workers and others whose lives were turned upside down during the occupation,” said commission spokesman Ken Rubin.

With a file from The Canadian Press.

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

GOOD GRADES FOR CANADA’S HANDLING OF COVID-19: NEW STUDY – Canada handled the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and weathered the ensuing upheaval better than several other nations with comparable health-care and economic infrastructure, a new study suggests. Story here.

CONVICTED MURDERERS SEEK PAROLE AFTER COURT RULING – Several men convicted of multiple murders are pressing claims for early chances at parole, after the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s life-without-parole law, retroactive to the legislation’s 2011 enactment. Story here.

LABRETON CONCERNED ABOUT CPC DIRECTION – A former Conservative Senate leader is expressing concern about the direction Pierre Poilievre is taking the party, worrying the Tories might be reaching the point of “fracturing beyond repair.” Story here from Global News.

FREELAND TOUTS BALANCE IN INFLATION STRATEGY – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says she must strike a balance between helping Canadians suffering from the effects of inflation and pursuing a policy of fiscal restraint – or risk making the cost of living problem worse. Story here from CBC.

TASK FORCE STRUCK TO DEAL WITH IMMIGRATION/PASSPORT ISSUES -The federal government has created a special task force to help tackle the major delays with immigration applications and passport processing that have left Canadians frustrated. Story here from CTV.

MENDICINO “DEEPLY COMMITTED” TO RCMP OVERSIGHT – The federal Public Safety Minister says he is “deeply committed” to enhancing oversight of the RCMP by strengthening the role of the national police force’s management advisory board. Story here.

BECK TO LEAD SASKATCHEWAN NDP – Saskatchewan’s NDP has chosen Carla Beck to be its new leader, making her the first woman to lead the party in 90 years. Story here.

FORMER LEADER DONATED $300,000 TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR TORIES – Ches Crosbie, the former leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Progressive Conservative Party, donated $300,000 to the party last year – more than 40 per cent of its overall income – as it waged a drawn-out and controversial election campaign that was thrown into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic. A political scientist, however, says the situation is further proof that Newfoundland and Labrador’s elections rules are in need of an overhaul. Story here from CBC.

TRUDEAU AND JOHNSON COMPARE PLANES – ‘Very, very modest’: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson vs Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on whose private jet is smaller. Story here from The Guardian.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in the Ontario community of Corbyville on Monday taking part in the Conservative Leadership Meet & Greet hosted by the Hastings-Lennox and Addington Conservative Electoral District Association. Patrick Brown is in also in Corbyville, Belleville and Richmond Hill on Monday. Jean Charest is also in Belleville on Monday. There was no campaign information available for Roman Baber, Leslyn Lewis and Pierre Poilievre.

MACKAY BACKS POILIEVRE – Pierre Poilievre says, in a tweet, that Elmer MacKay is backing him for the Conservative leadership. Mr. MacKay was a cabinet minister under former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He is the father of Peter MacKay, who was a cabinet minister under Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, and who also sought the Conservative leadership in 2020. “Pierre’s message of affordability and freedom is resonating widely,” Elmer MacKay said in a statement attached to Mr. Poilievre’s tweet. “I know he has what it takes to be our next Prime Minister.”

THIS AND THAT

The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20

DUCLOS IN MONTREAL – Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos was in Montreal to make a funding announcement on long-term care in Quebec.

FORD MEETS TORY – In Toronto, Premier Doug Ford met with Toronto Mayor John Tory at Queen’s Park, with the pair scheduled to hold a joint news conference after their discussions.

GOULD IN WINNIPEG – Families Minister Karina Gould is to make an announcement, in Winnipeg, with Manitoba’s Education Minister Wayne Ewasko on increasing licensed child-care spaces and the implementation of a wage grid for the child-care work force.

ALGHABRA IN OSHAWA – Transport Minister Omar Alghabra was in Oshawa, Ont., to announce about $14 -million for an expansion project at the port of Oshawa.

THE DECIBEL

On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Hannah Sung, co-founder of Media Girlfriends, host of the podcast At The End of the Day and BTS fan, explains what makes the superstar K-pop group BTS so popular and why they’re so influential. BTS announced recently that they are taking a temporary break as a group and pursuing individual projects. This moment was a big deal for their millions of fans worldwide, the company that brings in billions of dollars managing them and for South Korea, which considers its members cultural ambassadors for the country. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

In Elmau, Germany, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, attending the Group of Seven summit, was scheduled to hold meetings with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as well as Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to participate in the G7 Working Session, entitled The World in Conflict: Exchange on Ukraine as well as a working luncheon with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations, and to participate in the official family photo with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to meet with Senegal President Macky Sall, and to participate in a working session with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations, entitled Stronger Together: Addressing Food Security and Advancing Gender Equality. Beyond that, the Prime Minister was scheduled to meet with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then meet with Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia. And the Prime Minister’s summit day was expected to end with a dinner with G7 Leaders and international partner countries and organizations hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

LEADERS

No schedules released for party leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

Fifty-two per cent of Canadians are pessimistic about the future of Canada, a considerably higher finding than responses in recent years, according to new research by the Angus Reid Institute. Meanwhile, in the Conservative leadership race, MP Pierre Poilievre continues is the most appealing option to 26 per cent of Canadians, followed closely by former Quebec premier Jean Charest (21 per cent). Details here.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how francophones outside Quebec became the minority English Canada forgot about: The Quebec government of Premier François Legault has been criticized, and with good reason, for invoking the notwithstanding clause to curtail the rights of the province’s English-speakers in his flagship language reform, Bill 96. It’s no excuse – as Mr. Legault sometimes falsely suggests – but francophones outside of Quebec often face an even less hospitable reality. Without succumbing to issue-dodging whataboutism, or pretending that two minority communities wronged somehow makes it all right, it’s worth reflecting on the perennial battle for survival waged mostly under the radar in Shediac and Sudbury and St. Boniface. Too often, a basic level of respect eludes French-speaking communities in the Rest of Canada.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how it’s time for Canada to get serious about defence: “The Liberal government’s $4.9-billion commitment to modernizing NORAD represents an important step in preparing Canada for this increasingly dangerous world. But it’s only a start. With threats to the left of us in the Indo-Pacific, to the right in Europe, and with Russia to our north, this country must get serious about defence.”

Richard French (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the PMO wields too much power in Ottawa: “Similar criticisms have been heard in Ottawa since the arrival of the current government. But perhaps there is a novelty here. I would argue that, while the centralization of power in Westminster prime ministerships always reflects the personal character and desire of the person in the office, in our case today, the person in the office does not want to dominate his government. He wants the Prime Minister’s Office to dominate it for him and is quite content to be its creature. What we have in Ottawa is the Justin Trudeau Regency.”

Fahad Razak, Arthur Slutsky and David Naylor (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how we need new strategies to tackle COVID-19 this fall: But governments also need a new storyline – one that celebrates the effects of vaccines in preventing serious disease and death, while acknowledging the declining marginal yields of repeated administration of current vaccines when it comes to preventing infection with later variants. That shift explains evolving vaccine mandates and underpins the case for vaccines currently in development and regulatory review. It’s also counterproductive to talk about two doses as “full vaccination” – the number of vaccine doses needed for protection against serious COVID-19 varies by age, health status and circulating variant. Public-health restrictions must also evolve. Not because of the lies being told about their past ineffectiveness, but because every effort should be made to avoid broad-brush restrictions on public gatherings, as well as school and business shutdowns.”

Vaughn Palmer (The Vancouver Sun) on why B.C. Premier John Horgan may defy speculation and lead the B.C. NDP into the next provincial election: One can readily imagine why Horgan might have decided to go. He’s been through a lot on the health front. He’d be leaving the NDP in a strong position in the opinion polls and with two years to regroup under a new leader. But it is easy to come up with a rationale for a decision to stay. He loves the job, leastways he has done so up to this point. There’s no one waiting in the wings with his communication skills and populist touch. The government faces huge challenges with inflation, the crisis in health care, and public sector bargaining. His rivalry with B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon is personal. Horgan would like to beat him, not have people think that he walked away from a fight. The latter scenario is the preferred one for most New Democrats.”

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Politics Podcast: What The Politics Of Abortion Look Like Now – FiveThirtyEight

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FiveThirtyEight

 

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn constitutional abortion rights. Which states now have abortion bans in place, how have Americans across the political spectrum responded with protests and celebrations, and how could this decision impact the midterm elections? 

The podcast also analyzed two more notable opinions released by the Supreme Court in the last few days: the ruling on gun restrictions that has significant implications for gun control in five other states and a ruling on prayer at public schools.

Finally, the team does a quick tour of the biggest primary elections in Illinois, New York, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah on Tuesday.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

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