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Politics Briefing: Ukrainian MPs appeal to Canada for lethal military aid in fight against Russia – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

A delegation of five Ukrainian members of Parliament are in Ottawa Friday for meetings with governmental and parliamentary officials.

Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill Friday morning, the Ukrainian MPs urged Canada to quickly provide military assistance, saying the country needs lethal weaponry to defend itself against Russian forces.

The delegation met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland this week and said that while they appreciate the support the Canadian government has provided so far, they need more. Yevheniya Kravchuk, one of the visiting Ukrainian MPs, said her husband is a police officer and fighting Russian forces. She said the Ukrainian army has been liberating villages in key regions and said she wanted to “get this message really straight: We cannot do this with rifles. We have to have heavy weaponry to kick Russians from our territory.”

“The time is crucial for us. To be slow means to fail, so we ask for the support to be in time, to be fast, and we will win,” said Ms. Kravchuk.

For more, read parliamentary reporter Janice Dickson’s report here. The MPs’ press conference was also streamed lived and can be viewed here.

The Ukrainian delegation is accompanied by Canadian MPs who sit on the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter. 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

POPE FRANCIS APOLOGIZES TO INDIGENOUS DELEGATION FOR RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL ABUSE IN CANADA – The Pope has apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in the tragedy of residential schools – a move that residential school survivors have been awaiting for decades. Story here. Read the full text of the apology here.

TRUDEAU SAYS RUSSIA CANNOT BE CONSTRUCTIVE PARTNER AT G20 TABLE – Mr. Trudeau said on Thursday that Russia cannot be a constructive partner in the G20, a group composed of most of the world’s largest economies, because of its invasion of Ukraine. Reuters reports here.

CARBON PRICE RISING TO $50 A TONNE IN MOST PROVINCES TODAY, ADDS 2.2 CENTS TO A LITRE OF GAS – The national price on pollution will go up another $10 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions as scheduled today in most provinces. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is withstanding political pressure to delay or cancel the increase as fuel prices surge due mainly to the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Story from The Canadian Press here.

CANADA’S SPORT SYSTEM MUST CONFRONT GROWING COMPLAINTS OF ATHLETE ABUSE, SPORT MINISTER SAYS – Canada’s sport system is in the midst of a crisis and the problems need to be confronted, federal Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge says, after calling a high-level meeting in Ottawa to discuss the growing number of complaints from athletes about abuse and maltreatment. Story here.

PIERRE POILIEVRE’S ‘AXE THE CARBON TAX’ RALLY DRAWS HUNDREDS OF SUPPORTERS IN OTTAWA – Conservative Party leadership hopeful Pierre Poilievre drew hundreds of supporters at his “Axe the Carbon Tax” rally in Ottawa, mere hours away from the criticized hike that will make carbon cost $50 a tonne and add some extra cents at the gas pump. The National Post reports the story here.

CONSERVATIVE PARTY SAYS MEMBERSHIP DATA IS SAFE AFTER REPORTS OF ALLEGED HACK -The Conservative Party of Canada says it’s confident data about its members has not been compromised following reports of an alleged breach. Story from The Canadian Press here.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, April 1, accessible here.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly delivered the opening remarks at the Canada-CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Group Meeting Friday morning. CARICOM is a Caribbean alliance of 15 countries.

THE DECIBEL

On Friday’s Decibel podcast, Globe climate change columnist Adam Radwanski talks about what is required from companies and from the government to meet goals set out in its latest climate change plan, and whether it is ambitious and feasible enough to give people hope that Canada can actually meet its targets for once. Listen on your favourite podcast platform. More information can be found here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Mr. Trudeau virtually attended an infrastructure announcement with Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok and Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell Friday morning. Mr. Trudeau will later chair a meeting of the Incident Response Group on the war in Ukraine.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh joined Deputy Leader Alexandre Boulerice at a press conference in Gatineau Friday, where they called on the Liberal government to implement a 3 per cent surtax on the excess profits big businesses and banks that are making record profits while Quebecers struggle to get by.

No schedule released for the other party leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

ADVANTAGE POILIEVRE BUT CHAREST COULD BE COMPETITIVE – A new Abacus Data poll shows that one in five voters across Canada say they have a positive impression of Pierre Poilievre and Jean Charest. Neither has particularly high negatives, with Poilievre at 21 per cent and Charest a few points higher, at 24 per cent. Patrick Brown and Leslyn Lewis are less well known, and both have an equal mix of positive and negative impressions. The details are here.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on politicians acting like the pandemic is over as COVID-19 is on the rise again – “Welcome to the sixth wave of the pandemic, brought to you by a government near you.

April Fool’s joke? If only. Rising infection and hospitalization rates seen in many provinces this week are entirely due to provincial governments lifting most, if not all, of their indoor capacity limits, proof-of-vaccination mandates and mask mandates in March.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Everything, must tell Liberals they can’t have it all – “The Chrystia Freeland this country needs is the one who took the microphone on the day Russia invaded Ukraine and spoke with personal conviction about the role Canada plays in the international order. Yet it’s unlikely that when she presents her budget next week, that’s the one the country will get.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on how politicians are poisoning Canada’s democracy – “Something rather remarkable happened in the House of Commons earlier this week: A sitting MP accused this country’s Prime Minister of running a jackboot dictatorship.”

Maria Popova (Policy Options) on how Canada can help Ukraine by leading on the world stage – “In sum, it is time for Canada to lead at the international stage. We need to help Ukraine win this war. We also need to salvage the international rules-based order from Russia’s attack and make it stronger and safer for democracies.”

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Politics Briefing: Trudeau says government working to tackle overrepresentation of Indigenous women in prisons as part of justice reform – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is working to deal with the “appalling” overrepresentation of Indigenous women in federal prisons as part of justice reform.

Globe and Mail reporter Patrick White has reported on the situation in recent stories here and here.

Mr. Trudeau was asked about the matter Tuesday while in St. John’s at the beginning of a visit by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

He told a news conference that his government has made significant investments in reconciliation that have had an impact, but there is much more to do.

“Recent reports have just been appalling in seeing the overrepresentation, particularly of Indigenous women in our criminal system,” Mr. Trudeau said.

He said that’s one of the reasons the government has moved forward on such files as eliminating mandatory minimums, which he noted lead to an overrepresentation of marginalized and vulnerable people in the criminal system.

“This is one thing we’re doing but we know there is much more to do and we will because tackling systemic injustice, systemic discrimination which is real is long hard work that we are committed to.”

On another note, Mr. Trudeau says it was not “a very good idea” for Soccer Canada to invite the Iranian men’s soccer team to Canada for a friendly soccer game given the Canadians who died on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 when it was shot down on in 2020 after taking off from Tehran, by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. 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

KENNEY IN WASHINGTON FOR SENATE COMMITTEE HEARING – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney appeared Tuesday before a U.S. Senate committee on energy and natural resources in Washington and to make a pitch: Help get another pipeline built to further fortify North American energy security. He was there on the same day that federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was to make a virtual appearance before the gathering. Story here.

GOOGLE ESCALATES ONLINE NEWS ACT OPPOSITION – Google is ramping up its opposition to the federal government’s Online News Act, warning the proposed new law would “break” its popular search engine. Story here.

ROYAL VISIT BEGINS – The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are in Newfoundland and Labrador at the beginning of a three-day tour that will also include stops later this week in Ottawa and the Northwest Territories. Story here. There’s a Globe and Mail explainer here on the visit. Meanwhile, monarchists in Canada say they’re disappointed with what they call the federal government’s “lacklustre” plans to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, an event that honours the sovereign’s remarkable seven-decade reign. Story here from CBC.

CHINA-CANADA COMMITTEE RELAUNCHED – MPs have voted to re-establish a special committee on Canada-China relations. Story here from CTV.

PLANS FOR $789-MILLION MUSEUM IN B.C. CAUSE A STIR – British Columbia’s new Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon said that, if he becomes premier‚ he would halt plans by Premier John Horgan’s NDP government to build a new Royal B.C. Museum, expected to cost about $800-million, calling it a “billion-dollar vanity project.” Story here.

N.B. LIEUTENANT.-GOVERNOR SPEAKS OUT ON APPOINTMENT RULING – New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy has broken her silence on a recent Court of Queen’s Bench ruling that said her appointment to the role as a non-French speaker violated the Charter or Rights and Freedoms. Story here from CBC.

ONTARIO ELECTION – Ontario’s opposition leaders took aim at Doug Ford’s handling of the pandemic and his $10-billion proposed Highway 413, among other subjects, at the province’s televised debate Monday, with some of the tensest clashes over COVID-19 and climate change. Story here. Meanwhile, Queen’s Park reporter Dustin Cook reports here on five highlights from the debate.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in Vancouver where he released a foreign policy and national defence platform that includes Canada spending 2 per cent of its GDP on defence, per NATO’s benchmark. Patrick Brown is campaigning in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. From Montreal, Jean Charest released a “safer communities” platform that includes stronger sentences for crimes motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, language, or other forms of hate. No events are listed for Tuesday on the websites of Roman Baber, Leslyn Lewis or Pierre Poilievre.

POILIEVRE ON `WHITE REPLACEMENT THEORY’ – Leadership contender Pierre Poilievre has denounced the “white replacement theory,” which was believed to be a motive for the May 14 mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., as “ugly and disgusting hate-mongering.” Story here. Meanwhile, former Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative leader Ches Crosbie is supporting Mr. Poilievre’s leadership bid. Story here from CBC.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, May.17, accessible here.

POLITICAL BOOK COMPETITION – The winner of the Shaughnessy Cohen Price for Political Writing will be handed out Tuesday night at the first in-person Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa in two years. The prize, named for the late Windsor-area MP, Elizabeth Shaughnessy Cohen, honours a book of literary nonfiction on a political subject relevant to Canadian readers that can influence thinking on Canadian political life.

This year’s finalist books, and their authors, are:

China Unbound: A New World Disorder by Joanna Chiu.

Flora! A Woman in a Man’s World by Flora MacDonald and Geoffrey Stevens.

Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power by Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future by Stephen Poloz

The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War by Mike Blanchfield and Fen Osler Hampson

Please watch the globeandmail.com for news of the winner.

SAJJAN IN BERLIN – International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan is travelling to Berlin to attend the G7 Development Ministers’ Meeting from Wednesday to Thursday. Topics on the agenda include the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing global food security crisis.

THE DECIBEL

On Tuesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Report on Business reporter and columnist Tim Kiladze explains why there is so much uncertainty as global markets falter, how inflation and interest rates are playing into it and why investors should prepare for more than a short-term market blip. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

In St. John’s, the Prime Minister held private meetings, and, with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey visited a local child-care facility and held a media availability. The Prime Minister also attended the official welcome ceremony for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet holds a news conference on the protection of the French language before attending Question Period.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was scheduled to hold a news conference about his party’s plan to deal with oil and gas prices, participate in Question Period, and speak, in the House of Commons, about what his party described as the NDP’s “plan to help Canadians.”

No schedule provided for other party leaders.

OPINION

Alex Bozikovic (The Globe and Mail) on how diversity is the key idea of the winning design for Ottawa’s Block 2:Architecture won a rare victory in Ottawa this week. On Monday, Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi announced the results of an international design competition for so-called “Block 2,” a complex of two office buildings on Wellington Street that will serve Parliament. The winning design, led by David Chipperfield Architects (DCA) of London and Toronto’s Zeidler Architects, will have to work hard. With a structure of mass timber, it will provide committee rooms, support space and 150 offices for parliamentarians. But the project also promises to deliver the most interesting and thoughtful public architecture Canada has seen in a generation.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how it’s time for potential political leaders to say which conspiracy theories they reject: Last week, Conservative leadership candidates stood on a debate stage answering yes-or-no questions in a lightning round, before fielding a series of getting-to-know-you questions: What are you reading? What was the last TV show you binged? Which historical figure would you invite for dinner? But there’s a more critical getting-to-know you question anyone aspiring to lead a national party should answer right now: Which conspiracy theories do you reject? In 2022, Canadians need to know – and not just to know whether potential political leaders have gone down rabbit holes.”

John Doyle (The Globe and Mail) on how the cultural ignorance of the Conservative candidates is a revealing insult: The Canadian film and television industry generates about $9.5-billion a year in production volume. It employs about 120,000 full-time and many more part-time or in connected roles. Those are people concerned about their jobs, mortgages and inflation. They also make phenomenally successful TV. Have these candidates not heard of Letterkenny, Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek, Alias Grace, Frontier, Transplant and a dozen more? Their taste is in their mouths and their ignorance an insult to a Canadian industry and Canadians.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the two factors that could shake up the Ontario election now that the debates are finished: And despite the rantings in much of the mainstream and social media, this Progressive Conservative government is anything but a hotbed of conservative ideology. It has invested, not only in roads, but in transit, education and health care. That only leaves Mr. Ford’s populist personality as an issue. But polls show that he is in fact the most popular of the three major party leaders. The PC Leader is not out of the woods yet – far from it. Polls also show that about half of all voters feel it’s time for a change of government in Ontario. But to these eyes, nothing happened in the debate to galvanize that discontent. All it did was make Mike Schreiner look real good.”

Hamed Esmaeilion (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada’s World Cup friendly match against Iran is an insult to the victims of PS752: “I recognize that Canada Soccer is striving to increase the sport’s popularity in Canada, where it lags behind other activities such as hockey. Indeed, it has been wonderful to see the successes of Canada’s national women’s team growing that popularity and attracting a large youth following over the years. My daughter Reera was among the young Canadians inspired by the women’s team, and she joined the Richmond Hill youth club, playing left defence every week in her club’s practice sessions. But that was before Reera and her mother – my wife Parisa – were killed when the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a ruthless and destructive military organization, shot down their passenger plane. The incident left them and 174 other passengers dead, many of whom were Canadian.”

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John Robson: Winning ways to achieve mediocrity in sports and politics – National Post

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Speaking of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ontario election …

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Among my favourite book titles is “How Not To Play Chess.” As one of my favourite author names is “Eugene A. Znosko-Borovsky.” But I digress. The point is that the world is full of advice on how to be incredibly great and it’s nice work if you can get it. However what most of us actually need, in most areas, is clear explanations of common basic blunders.

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Consider “How Not To Play Golf.” If you ever saw me try you might rush forward, book contract in hand. But the simple, vital fact is that if I understood what I was doing wrong, I might have struggled out of the slough of triple-bogey to the sunlit fairway of mediocrity. I never did.

Yes, mediocrity. In school they say you can be anything you want, along with much other nonsense and the occasional genuine nugget like SOHCAHTOA. But you can’t. So forget the rah-rah seminars. Nothing I could ever have done would have let me win a Stanley Cup with the Maple Leafs. Or any other team, I hasten to add, since the Leafs present special problems. But I might not kill all the leaves in my garden.

The Leafs present special problems

Likewise, young people probably gravitate to blog posts on how to have the greatest marriage and best sex ever. But “10 Ways to Get Divorced Within 5 Years” would be more useful, along with “10 Good Ways to Get Fired.” Still, I mentioned the Leafs so let’s dry our eyes and discuss them.

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Elsewhere in Canada there’s apparently this “Battle of Alberta.” But in the centre of the universe, while we’re not exactly bitter about the dreaded Buds not winning a playoff series since 2004, never mind a cup, it is intriguing. Sure, the other guys get paid too. It’s still a remarkable achievement.

No, really. If you could explain it, I’d buy “How Not To Play Hockey” and read it. There isn’t one player left today from 2005. Management has seen massive turnover. Yet there’s this amazing continuity of predictable futility.

  1. Gas prices reached $2.229 a litre in Coquitlam, BC., on May 8, 2022.

    John Robson: Congrats to the Trudeau Liberals for making their dream of high gas prices come true

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    John Robson: Pay no attention to Tiff Macklem, the man behind the Bank of Canada curtain

A Google search “Why are the Yankees so good” brought 57.6 million hits in 0.51 seconds. But face it. You’re not Mickey Mantle and neither am I. Whereas if anyone could persuasively list ways an organization can sustain a culture of failure over decades, you’d arise each day clad in the armour of avoidance. Which brings me to the Ontario election.

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If you were wondering when, as a pundit, I’d say something oracular about the leaders’ debates between Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca, I flip through my well-worn “How Not To Be Oracular” and make a vulgar noise. Then I retort that “leaders’ debates between Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca” is an oxymoron. I know we play the game “ELECTION PANEL: Who won the Ontario debate?” where a NDP strategist hails Horwath, a Liberal Del Duca and a Tory Ford. But one important reason we have such lousy politicians is we pretend otherwise. (See also “How Not To Retain Readers.”)

Aha! A key to failure hidden in plain sight. Just as a key to the Leafs’ long run of incompetence is sellout arena crowds, and to endless health-care waiting lists re-electing people who call our system world-class, so Ford coasting to victory by being so vague it stifles discussion happens because we reward it. As we reward world-beating school lockdowns and avoiding intelligent debate there too.

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A key to failure hidden in plain sight

Actually there are two keys here. Though to avoid “How Not To Use Metaphors” let’s substitute “two numbers in the combination” to unlock durable world-class inadequacy. Namely complacency and self-deception. Because it’s hard to be smug if you’re also honest with yourself about yourself. And with others.

For instance, I confess that I didn’t watch the pundit-obligatory debates because the intellectual sloth, rhetorical sludge and appalling self-satisfaction of participants and commentators alike make me physically ill. Sure, it’s “How Not To Get Along With Colleagues.” But I will not pretend I have not seen this. It’s trivial compared to the Holodomor that prompted that inspiring resolve in Malcolm Muggeridge. But one legitimate key to success is practising on easy things before tackling hard ones.

Like king and pawn endings. All I can really tell you about golf is I’m unfit for burial in a bunker. But I could show you what not to do in chess because there I’m exceptionally mediocre.

As for coaching the Leafs, possibly my hockey ignorance would produce better results than we’ve seen since Paul Martin was prime minister … or Lester Pearson. But on politics, I can state firmly that if they’re telling lies so boring you can’t get mad, and you vote for them anyway, you’re ready to write “How Not To Be A Citizen” and sell a million copies. Even if you don’t have a cool name.

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One for the books: 2022 Politics and the Pen – Ottawa Business Journal

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Pity poor Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota, who had the job of getting a roomful of social butterflies to hush up and listen during this year’s Politics and the Pen dinner, which was back in the flesh Tuesday for its first time since 2019.

It took a bagpiper to get the roughly 500 guests to clear out of the cocktail reception areas and into the Fairmont Château Laurier’s main ballroom, where the laughs, smiles and chatter continued. Rota repeatedly called for order. Former politician Brian Tobin, now vice chair of BMO Financial Group, tried the tapping-the-utensil-against-a-glass trick. Eventually, folks took their seats and settled in.

“After two years of COVID, an event like this is just wonderful for the soul,” Rota told the black-tie dinner crowd. “It’s nice to see people interacting in person rather than on video conference.”

The sold-out gala, which had the support of CN, CIBC, Imperial and other corporate sponsors, is the largest fundraiser for the Writers’ Trust of Canada, a charitable organization that advances, nurtures and celebrates Canadian writers and writing. It also brings politicians together with prolific authors and journalists to poke a little fun at each other and themselves. 

The event raised more than $300,000 this year, culminating with the awarding of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing to Joanna Chiu, senior journalist for the Toronto Star and author of China Unbound: A New World Disorder.

Rodger Cuzner, former long-time Liberal MP for Cape Breton, may have left politics but everyone was happy to have him back for his always-popular video to open the evening program, done by Shaw Communications. Cuzner is now Canada’s consul general in Boston.

Elizabeth Gray-Smith and Patrick Kennedy were co-chairs of the Politics and the Pen literary gala that took place at the Fairmont Château Laurier on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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It was a sold-out crowd at this year’s Politics and the Pen gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota tries to quiet the crowd in order to start the evening program at Politics and the Pen. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Elizabeth Gray-Smith, co-founder of GSD&Co, co-chaired this year’s Politics and the Pen with Patrick Kennedy, principal at Earnscliffe Strategies. They were joined by fellow volunteer committee members Jim Armour (Summa Strategies), Hardave Birk (Shaw Communications), Maureen Boyd (Parliamentary Centre and Carleton University), Heather Bradley (Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons), Catherine Clark (Catherine Clark Communications) and Dan Mader (Loyalist Public Affairs).

Clark also chairs the board of the Writers’ Trust of Canada, a Toronto-based national organization led by award-winning Canadian author Charles Foran as its executive director.

Clark’s famous parents — former prime minister and former PC leader Joe Clark and Maureen McTeer, who’s a long-time advocate for gender equality and women’s health — attended that night as authors.

So did former governor general David Johnston and his wife, Sharon Johnston, and retired Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin, who in 2020 was presented the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for her memoir.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien, 88, was also among the distinguished guests. 

Marci Ien and Seamus O’Regan, both of whom are federal cabinet ministers, served as this year’s delightful co-hosts. They’re close pals from their days together in television broadcasting on CTV’s former morning news show, Canada AM.

“It is so much fun, I have to say, co-hosting with you here again,” Ien told O’Regan on stage during an affectionate moment shared between the two. 

Ien went on to point out that she’s the second black woman from the GTA to serve in cabinet, after Jean Augustine, while O’Regan is the second gay man to serve in cabinet, after Scott Brison.

“Yeah, yeah, the second gay man to serve in cabinet,” replied O’Regan with a ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ expression that had the whole room laughing. “This is a political award for non-fiction, right?”

Ien, who’s the MP for Toronto Centre, is minister of women, gender equality and youth while O’Regan, who’s the MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl in Newfoundland and Labrador, is minister of labour.

Also finalists for the literary prize were Mike Blanchfield, international affairs writer for The Canadian Press, and Fen Osler Hampson, Chancellor’s Professor at Carleton University, for The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War; Stephen Poloz, former governor of the Bank of Canada, for The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future; Geoffrey Stevens, former managing editor of Maclean’s and The Globe and Mail, for Flora!: A Woman in a Man’s World; and Jody Wilson-Raybould, former justice minister and attorney general, for “Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power. Wilson-Raybould was not in attendance.

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt, vice chair of global investment banking at CIBC, was part of the three-member independent judging panel for the literary prize, joined by Charelle Evelyn from The Hill Times and Jacques Poitras from CBC News in New Brunswick.

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Federal cabinet ministers Marci Ien and Seamus O’Regan, who had former broadcasting careers on CTV’s Canada AM, reunited to host the Politics and Pen literary gala dinner held at the Fairmont Château Laurier in support of Writers’ Trust of Canada. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Former prime minister and former PC leader Joe Clark and his wife, Maureen McTeer, both published authors, with their daughter Catherine Clark, board chair of The Writers’ Trust of Canada, and her husband, Chad Schella, general manager of government and community affairs at Canada Post, at the Politics and Pen literary gala held at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Stephen Poloz, finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, with his wife, Valerie, at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Sen. Donna Dasko, a former pollster, with retired Supreme Court chief justice and author Beverley McLachlin at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Allan Thompson, head of the journalism program at Carleton University, with former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Michael Scrivens, partner  at Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions, with Janice McDonald, author of Fearless: Girls With Dreams, Women With Vision, and Heather Bradley, member of the organizing committee for Politics and the Pen and director of communications for the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, at Politics and the Pen. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Former Newfoundland premier and federal cabinet minister Brian Tobin, vice chair of BMO Financial Group, with his colleague Kimberley Goode, chief communications and social impact officer with BMO Financial Group, at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Power Play, with National Post political columnist John Ivison, former environment minister Catherine McKenna (who’s now chairing a UN panel related to climate change), Rodger Cuzner, consul general of Canada to New England, and François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry,  at the Politics and Pen literary gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Sharon Johnston and her husband, former governor general David Johnston — both of whom attended as published authors during this year’s Politics and the Pen literary dinner — seen with Joyce Napier, Ottawa bureau chief for CTV National News, at the Fairmont Château Laurier on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Sean Finn, executive vice president, corporate services and chief legal officer for CN, with Politics and the Pen committee member Jim Armour, managing partner of Summa Strategies, and author Alex Marland at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillip
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From left, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng with Cindy Woodhouse, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and Susan Smith, co-founder and principal at Bluesky Strategy Group, at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, former Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt with Treasury Board President and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Jennifer Madigan, executive vice president of media and communications at Syntax Strategic, with Jennifer Stewart, president and CEO of Syntax Strategic, and Liberal MP Jenna Sudds (Kanata-Carleton) at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillip
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Charles Foran, executive director of The Writers’ Trust of Canada, with Geneviève Dumas, who recently took over as the new general manager of the Fairmont Château Laurier, at the hotel on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, for Politics and the Pen. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Dan Mader, founder of Loyalist Public Affairs, with Rob Rosenfeld, vice president, national capital region and public sector lead, at LifeWorks at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillip
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From left, retired senator Jim Munson with Rodger Cuzner, consul general of Canada to New England, and Paul Genest, senior vice president of Power Corporation of Canada, at the Politics and Pen literary gala held in support of the Writers’ Trust of Canada on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Photo by Caroline Phillip

caroline@obj.ca

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