Connect with us

Politics

Some Mexicans fear cartels are tightening their grip on politics – Financial Times

Published

 on


Silvano Aureoles, outgoing governor of the violence-plagued Mexican state of Michoacán, sat on a plastic stool outside the National Palace for hours last month, waiting in vain for an audience with the president.

In his hand, he held a pile of documents he wanted to hand to Andrés Manuel López Obrador that he said supported his claim of links between the president’s Morena party and organised crime. Those ties, he said, were putting Mexico on course to become “a narcostate”.

Critics dismissed the spectacle as a political stunt by a politician whose leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution lost the western state in June 6 midterm elections. By contrast, Morena won 11 of 15 state elections, taking control of virtually the country’s entire Pacific coast, which includes drug cartel bastions.

Some media commentators and opposition politicians seized on Morena’s Pacific victories, saying they suggested the ruling party had struck a deal with organised crime groups to win power in an election tainted by violence amid rising concerns about the government’s ability to deliver on promises to curb violent crime.

Experts said it was ludicrous to imagine the bosses of the Sinaloa Cartel or Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG, Mexico’s most powerful crime syndicates, ordering people to vote for Morena down the entire Pacific coast.

But they stressed that does not mean organised criminal groups were absent from the election, in which bargains are traditionally struck between powerful local crime, business and political bosses.

“The tide [among organised crime groups] has shifted in favour of Morena,” said Falko Ernst, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, a think-tank focused on armed conflict, citing criminal groups in the violent Tierra Caliente area in Michoacán.

“They see them as a better bet for power because popular opinion is still on the side of Morena so for some, Morena is a more pertinent vehicle [to support] . . . but that doesn’t mean collusion.”

Aguililla, a town in Michoacán, has become a major flashpoint for cartel violence © Alan Ortega/Reuters

Aureoles was not convinced. “What a coincidence that they won big in . . . the Pacific corridor. Who let them?” he told the Financial Times a few days after his sit-in.

“It’s terribly dangerous that Morena is becoming a narco party and the president is looking the other way when the most important issue for people is security . . . Morena has become the instrument of organised crime,” he said.

López Obrador denies such allegations. He refused to meet Aureoles and said the governor should take his claims to the relevant judicial authorities. Aureoles has faced similar charges of links with crime groups, which he denies.

A recent US estimate, which the Mexican president has rejected, suggested that 30-35 per cent of Mexico is controlled by organised crime groups.

There are frequent reminders of the cartels’ continued power. Presumed CJNG members recently paraded their military firepower in Aguililla, a town in Michoacán that has become a major flashpoint.

Other brutal attacks have included one in the northern state of Tamaulipas last month in which 19 people died after gunmen apparently opened fire at random on civilians, turning up the heat on López Obrador’s strategy as the government struggles to make a dent in record homicide levels.

There were 14,243 homicides in the first five months of this year, virtually unchanged from 14,673 in the same period in 2020. Last year was the second-deadliest on record, with 34,554 murders compared with 34,681 in 2019.

The president says he will not back down on his “hugs not bullets” approach — an attempt to help vulnerable young people study and work in order to avoid joining cartels.

More than 30 political candidates were killed in the lead-up to Mexico’s midterm polls last month © Armando Solis/AP

Some of López Obrador’s actions have fuelled criticism of a laissez-faire approach to cartels. He released the son of jailed Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán; met and shook the hand of Guzmán’s mother; and publicly apologised for using the drug lord’s nickname. The day after the election, he said organised crime groups had “behaved well”.

“Every president tries to negotiate with the narcos . . . In politics, you’ve got to deal with these people,” said Benjamin Smith, a professor at the UK’s Warwick University in Coventry, who has recently published a history of the Mexican drug trade.

Romain Le Cour Grandmaison, co-ordinator of the Mexico and Central America programme at Noria Research, a non-profit, said it was “a stretch” to say Morena was in cahoots with criminal groups “because this goes way beyond Morena”, and alliances were constantly shifting.

“If you want to stay in power, or win power, you have to talk to the local strongman — that could be a narco boss, a businessman or the mayor . . . You have to make deals to win elections, sometimes with the narco, and violence is at the centre of the game,” he added.

Successfully dealing with that has, however, so far eluded López Obrador.

“Amlo to his credit recognises he has got to change course” from hardline past approaches to organised crime, said Stephanie Brewer, Mexico director at the Washington Office on Latin America, using the president’s nickname.

“But where the Mexican federal government does seem to be giving up is on the strategies — building capable, civilian police forces and strengthening criminal investigations. If criminal groups can continue to operate with impunity, that will continue to be a huge driver of violence.”

Ernst of the ICG was less hopeful: “There seems to be an acceptance that this is a non-solvable problem for now”.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Politics

The Political Strategy of Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill – The New Yorker

Published

 on


The Political Strategy of Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, addresses attendees at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference, in Orlando.Photograph by Paul Hennessy / Sipa / AP

In April, the conservative activist Christopher Rufo flew from his home, near Seattle, to Miami, to meet with Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, and to take part in the public signing of the Stop WOKE Act. A former documentary filmmaker and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Rufo was the lead protagonist of last year’s furor over the teaching of “critical race theory” in public schools and helped advise the Governor on the Florida law, which aimed to limit discussion of racial history and identity in schools and workplaces. Rufo was especially taken with how personally invested DeSantis seemed in the policy. “He shows up to the tarmac at 6:30 A.M. with a Red Bull energy drink, ready to roll through the policy papers,” Rufo said. The bill had not come from the Governor’s advisers or the grass roots: “It’s driven by him.”

Rufo also came to think that the issue he helped spark—the national conservative outcry over progressive teaching and training on race and gender—was reaching a new, more potent phase. The same legislative session had produced the Parental Rights in Education bill, denounced by its Democratic opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits schools from teaching anything about sexual orientation and gender identity to students below third grade, demands that any such instruction at any age follow requirements to be set out by the state’s board of education, makes parental permission a prerequisite for a range of mental-health counselling and interventions, and gives parent groups broad latitude to sue school districts if they believe teachers or administrators are not complying. On Fox News, the story of Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, was airing non-stop; for members of the conservative education movement, such as Rufo, the pivot from issues of race to those of gender—which combine the rhetoric of parental control with an old-fashioned sex panic—seemed to offer immense political promise.

The parental-rights movement took root before the Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade. But the same pattern within social conservatism that has shaped fights about educational control—namely, a willingness to push ahead with deliberately confrontational legislation, even if poll numbers oppose it—is likely to reappear in the post-Roe battles over abortion. Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation, said that Florida’s bill “is going to be the calling card for conservative reform efforts in education” and described Rufo as “the icon of this movement.” A spokesman for Heritage Action for America, the political-advocacy-action arm of Roberts’s think tank, told Reuters that, among the base, this issue had generated the “highest energy (among Republicans) since the Tea Party.”

After the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, in 2015, the general political wisdom was that issues around gay rights were more or less settled. Even Donald Trump largely avoided the topic. Religious adherence is steadily falling in the United States, the portion of the country that is both white and Christian is plummeting, and there is no organization like the Christian Coalition of yore. In other words, this pattern is a little different: the politics of social conservatism are surging, without a discernible cultural movement toward traditionalism.

Writing in the Times recently, Nate Hochman of National Review argued that figures like DeSantis, Rufo, and Tucker Carlson were building a new brand of social conservatism, one that has risen from the ashes of, and materially departed from, the religious themes of a generation ago. “Instead of an explicitly biblical focus on issues like school prayer, no-fault divorce and homosexuality, the new coalition is focused on questions of national identity, social integrity and political alienation,” Hochman wrote. “We are just beginning to see its impact. The anti-critical-race-theory laws, anti-transgender laws and parental rights bills that have swept the country in recent years are the movement’s opening shots.”

In American politics, ideology is often a smoke screen for individual ambition. We have movements, but really we have movers. The situation is especially pronounced in the right wing of the Republican Party, where the post-Trump chaos has left few permanent factions, and allegiances are being constantly remade. Even the most basic questions were foggy in Florida, including whether this sort of campaign against indoctrination struck most voters as necessary. One nonpartisan poll conducted by the University of Florida found forty per cent of voters in favor and forty-nine per cent opposed. But another, by the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, found a wildly different result: sixty-one per cent in favor and twenty-nine per cent opposed.

In such a situation, the particular steps that DeSantis took were important. One was obvious from afar: he and his allies described their political opponents not just as leftists, but as “groomers”—a watchword deployed to suggest that the Democratic Party is somehow complicit in pedophilia. On March 4th, while debates were still under way, DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, tweeted, “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children.” In an official statement, DeSantis celebrated the bill’s signing by saying, in part, that parents “should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.” (The rhetoric has since spread: Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking member of the Republican leadership team in the House of Representatives, tweeted that the “usual pedo grifters” had failed to respond to the infant-formula shortage.)

Since there is no evidence to support claims of a widespread surge in sexual abuse in the schools, and since DeSantis and his allies described the problem in such general terms, there wasn’t really anything specific for Democrats to refute. To even argue that claims of grooming were baseless seemed in some ways to raise their profile. Some Democrats saw only a collection of familiar interest groups: as the progressive Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani told me, “The school-choice movement is, like, a hundred per cent invested in this kind of stuff, because they benefit from public education being attacked as extreme or inappropriate, because that leads parents to take their children away.”

As a result, the statements from Democrats tended to be very general, too: calling DeSantis’s program one of “authoritarianism and censorship”; suggesting that it was the program of a “homophobe”; or that the campaign against grooming in schools amounted to “gaslighting.” Meanwhile, the specific rhetoric of grooming was growing louder. Referring to a new conservative grassroots group involved in the fights over schools, Carlos Guillermo Smith, a progressive legislator from the Orlando area, told a reporter, early in April, “Every single day, I am bombarded by baseless accusations of pedophilia by Moms for Liberty-type advocates that say I need to stay away from children. It’s unhinged.”

A familiar way to view the allegations of widespread grooming is that they operate as signals to adherents of the QAnon conspiracy, which alleges a broad, secretive pedophilia network organized by leaders of the Democratic Party. Sarah Longwell, a Republican strategist affiliated with the Never Trump movement, told me that the grooming claims solved a more mundane political problem for Republicans, too. “There’s a very important psychological aspect to how one defends Donald Trump if you’re a Republican, and that means the Democrats have to be worse.” Trump’s attempted coup against the government on January 6th, Longwell said, had raised the stakes. “You have to believe the Democrats are worse than trying to overthrow the government, and, if they’re worse than that, it means they want men to play women’s sports and that they are grooming little kids.”

DeSantis made a second significant move during the debate over the bill, one that Rufo in particular emphasized: the Governor escalated. The C.E.O. of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Chapek, told shareholders during an annual meeting early in March that he opposed the bill and had called DeSantis to say so; DeSantis retaliated with a new bill that stripped Disney (Central Florida’s largest taxpayer) of certain special legislative benefits that it had enjoyed since its establishment, a half century ago. “At the time, I remember some conversation, ‘Oh, DeSantis will never be able to vanquish Disney, Disney’s too powerful, too beloved,’ and at the time Disney had a seventy-seven per cent favorability rating with the public,” Rufo told me. He credited the Florida Governor with two insights: “A, that the bill is popular, and B, that though Disney is an economic and cultural power, it is really a novice political power, and, as many people are saying lean out of it, he leans into the fight, I think, brilliantly.”

Rufo himself was a central player in the fight with Disney. A few days after the bill passed, Rufo published a “shocking new report on Disney’s child-predator problem,” as he termed it—a re-airing of a 2014 CNN report that had found thirty-five Disney employees with histories of sexually abusing children. He also published clips from a leaked webinar that Disney had conducted for its staff, in which an executive producer at Disney Television Animation mentioned her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” and executives pledged to introduce more L.G.B.T. characters and to greet visitors without describing them as “boys” and “girls” but with less gender specific terms, such as “friends.” These were distinct things: one, an investigative report from years ago about actual sexual abuse; the other, a pro-forma corporate-diversity campaign. But on social media they bled together. “These videos did billions of impressions over three weeks,” Rufo told me. “We got ‘Disney’ trending, ‘Disney groomer’ trending, all these popular hashtags for about three weeks straight.”

By the end of this campaign, Rufo said, Disney’s favorability ratings had dwindled to about thirty-three per cent. Its stock price is down nearly fifty per cent from a year ago. On Twitter, Rufo celebrated DeSantis’ shock-and-awe strategy: “The way to win the culture war is to demonstrate strength, blast through fake taboos, and play for keeps.”

When I asked Republican activists and operatives about the rise of the school issues, they told a very similar story, one that began with the pandemic, during which many parents came to believe that their interests (in keeping their kids in school) diverged with those of the teachers and administrators. As Roberts, the Heritage Foundation president, put it to me, parents who were in many cases apolitical “became concerned about these overwrought lockdowns, and then when they asked question after question, there was no transparency about them, which led them to pay more attention when their kids were on Zoom. They overheard things being taught. They asked questions about curricula. They were just stonewalled every step of the way.” The battles regarding the COVID lockdowns, Roberts told me, opened the way for everything that came after. “This is the key thing,” he said. “It started with questions about masking and other aspects of the lockdowns.”

Both parties right now are trying to answer the question of how fundamentally COVID has changed politics. “From 2008 to 2020, elections were decided on the question of fairness—Obama ’08, Obama ’12, and Trump ’16 were all premised on the idea that someone else was getting too much, and you were getting too little, and it was unfair,” Danny Franklin, a partner at the Democratic strategy firm Bully Pulpit Interactive and a pollster for both Obama campaigns, told me. But the pandemic and the crises that followed (war, inflation, energy pressures) were not really about fairness but an amorphous sense of chaos. “People are looking for some control over their lives—in focus groups, in polls, once you start looking for that you see it everywhere,” Franklin said.

Both parties had shifted, in his view. Biden had sought to reassure Americans that the government, guided by experts, could reassert its control over events, from the pandemic to the crisis in energy supply. Republicans, meanwhile, had focussed on assuring voters that they would deliver control over a personal sphere of influence: schools that would teach what you wanted them to teach, a government that would make it easier, not harder, to get your hands on a gun. A moral panic about gender identity might seem anachronistic, but it served a very current political need. Franklin said, “It’s a way for Republicans to tell people that they can have back control of their lives.”

At first, these curricular concerns centered around race, and the teaching of critical race theory became a defining issue in the Virginia gubernatorial election, won last November by the Republican Glenn Youngkin. Rufo had been a central figure in that fight, but as he watched the conflicts in local districts unfold he came to think that, for the conservative base, the pull of racial issues paled in comparison to those that invoked gender. “Put yourself in the shoes of an average parent,” Rufo told me. “You’re looking at critical race theory and thinking, The maximum damage that can be done is that my child will be taught that America is a racist country. Perhaps if it’s a white family, our skin color will be called into question as some sort of marker of oppression. But really it’s limited to an intellectual plane. There’s a ceiling on it.” With gender, he went on, there was “essentially no ceiling”—the emotional reaction was “much more visceral and deep-seated.”

Rufo recounted a story that he said he’d heard from a mother on the Upper East Side, who told him that her daughter was transitioning, with the help of an online community, and felt that this community “had essentially taken her away from me.” The mother, he said, told him that she knew half a dozen other Upper East Side parents with similar stories. “It’s not just that we’re going to teach your child that the country is evil,” he went on. “It’s really the fear—and I think the legitimate fear—that my child will essentially be recruited into a new identity.”

People who identify as trans are growing in number and visibility: in 2019, the C.D.C. found that nearly two per cent of high-school students identified as transgender. The political debates over whether trans high-school athletes should compete according to the sex they were assigned at birth or according to their gender identity arise naturally from that increased visibility, and conservative media has aggressively amplified those cases. But the law in Florida and the rhetoric accompanying it make more ambitious claims: that school staff are at least partly responsible for these changes and that trans people have—as Rufo put it—been “recruited into a new identity.” (This is an especially insidious allegation to make, in that it implies that trans people’s gender identity should not necessarily be understood as reflective of their own volition.) The idea that school counsellors are responsible for that recruitment is what connects the increase in trans visibility to the preëxisting conservative campaign for control of schools. I found a few cases in which parents alleged in lawsuits that school staff had held conversations with their children about transitioning without informing them—but nothing at all widespread. I asked Roberts, the Heritage Foundation president, about whether there was reason to believe that such “recruitment” was happening. “I think you ask the right question, the prevalence question,” Roberts said, adding that he would disagree with me “with a smile.” He went on, “It’s not on the verge of being undocumented from the perception of eighty per cent of Americans, even if they haven’t seen it firsthand at their own child’s swim meet.”

Of course, we were talking about somewhat different things. I had expressed doubt that teen-agers were really “recruited” into a new gender identity, and Roberts was talking about the conservative political reaction to activism on behalf of trans youth. Parents’ perceptions, Roberts went on, are shaped by events such as those in last fall’s session of the Texas legislature, when pro-trans-rights groups organized protests and testimony in opposition to a bill requiring student athletes to compete in alignment with the gender on their birth certificate. “In Texas of all places, this agenda—and I’m putting this as delicately as I can—of advocating for gender ideology, of allowing young men to compete in women’s sports has been pushed by the other side, by several dozen—if not a few hundred—activists who have showed up to testify in the Texas legislature.”

Really, political power in Texas is on the side of the Governor, not those few hundred activists. Despite the trans-rights groups’ fervent objections, Texas’s Governor, Greg Abbott, signed the bill. In Florida, DeSantis has moved to exclude certain medical treatments for transitioning people from Medicaid. Despite this momentum, there isn’t much evidence that anti-trans politics broadly are popular. Shortly after Roberts and I spoke, a new poll, funded by the Wall Street Journal, appeared: sixty-five per cent of Americans had said that being transgender should be accepted by society while just thirty-two per cent discouraged it.

But those numbers suggest a reckoning for conservatives that may never come. One of the costs of President Biden’s low standing in the eyes of American voters is that Republicans can campaign on some unpopular ideas without much risk of losing votes in the midterms. David Shor, the Democratic strategist and election analyst, compared the Republicans’ current position to where Democrats were in 2018, when President Trump was viewed with similar disdain by the public, and progressive candidates pushed transformative approaches to immigration, such as decriminalizing border crossing, without much fear of reprisal. “The reality is people are really mad about inflation and the economy and crime and all these other things,” Shor said. “The issues that people care the most about are the issues that people don’t trust Democrats on right now. And the only issues that people do trust Democrats on right now are issues that people don’t care about.”

In other words, Americans haven’t suddenly become traditionalists; DeSantis has simply seized a political opportunity. The school issues have solidified his standing with socially conservative voters, and elevated him as the main alternative to Trump. Longwell, the strategist, told me, “One of the things I marvel at is that, in focus groups with Trump voters all over the country, I ask, ‘Who would you want to run in 2024?’ Usually about half the group says Trump, and the other half says, ‘Eh, I don’t know. He’s a little old. Maybe some new blood—Ron DeSantis!’ And the idea that a guy in Texas or Alabama actually knows who the Governor of Florida is is stunning.” As I write this article, the betting market PredictIt puts the chances that Trump wins the Presidency at twenty-six per cent and DeSantis at thirty-two per cent. (Biden’s odds are at twenty-two per cent.) The more extreme parts of the parental-rights campaign—the talk about groomers, the singling out of educators—are being pursued not because they are popular, but because they don’t need to be. ♦

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

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

Published

 on


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.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

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

Published

 on


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.”

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

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending