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Election 2019

Canada’s in a mess up to its ears, and all we’re talking about is blackface and a reusable cup

By Michael Harris      

Today's politics is all about swift-boating—the PR pistol-whipping of your political opponent. And the transformation of political campaigns into tacky reality shows is not limited to how voters can be manipulated in the digital age. It has also affected what stories get big play, and which get short shrift. Click-bait is everywhere, including the media, which takes me to the sorry episode of Justin Trudeau’s blackface.  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on Sept. 20, 2019, campaigning in Toronto with Liberal MPs Nate Erskine-Smith and Julie Dabrusin. Much more consequential questions surround this blackface story. Given that Justin Trudeau has governed for a full term as PM, how can it be that his biggest electoral challenge, if the pollsters have it right, is to successfully apologize for events that took place in high school and early adulthood?How can this be a bigger challenge to his electability than the SNC-Lavalin affair, his foreign policy, and his broken promises? My guess? Blackface instantly inflames the emotions, while weighty policy matters are a drug on the market in the click-bait era. Photograph courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter

HALIFAX—As Donald Trump dangles by the thread of his latest impeachable offence, what one historian has called his “historical merit” is on full display in Canada’s federal election.

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Speaker Rota unveils suggestion box, calls on MPs to pitch improvements to House

'It sends a positive message. It's very much akin to a manger leaving the door open,' says Conservative MP Dan Albas.

Feds underestimate revenue loss from tax cuts, PBO says

News|By Beatrice Paez
Whereas the government projected that 1.1 millions Canadians will no longer be paying federal taxes, the PBO puts that figure at 900,000. 

Signs of political opportunism emerge as MPs on Canada-China Relations Committee urge collaboration

Bloc Québécois MP Stéphane Bergeron says he thinks motions put forward by the Conservatives show signs of a 'partisan temptation.'

Conservative Party a ‘rudderless mess’ and there’s bad blood between its fund and national council, say some Conservatives

News|By Abbas Rana
The 'huge overstep by the Conservative Fund’ to fire executive director Dustin van Vugt has created ‘bad blood’ between the national council and the fund, says Yaroslav Baran, a former senior Conservative Hill staffer.

Budget, foreign affairs, and fighting climate change among top cabinet priorities as Parliament returns

Liberal MPs have been asked to hold consultations about the government’s priorities in their ridings, and report back to cabinet.

Sen. Kutcher says transparency critical, in advising feds on assisting families of Flight 752 victims

News|By Beatrice Paez
Senator Kutcher had also advocated in favour of offering families financial assistance to alleviate the strain some may be experiencing in having to cover unexpected costs. 

Gatekeepers for Innovation, Finance, and Environment top lobby target lists

In an election year, lobbying activity dropped by 30 per cent compared to 2018, but some staffers kept busy.

Quebec Senator Gold named government’s new point man in the Red Chamber

Sen. Marc Gold has been working as the liaison for the biggest group in the Senate, the ISG.

Rota, first Speaker of Italian descent, encourages MPs to break the glass ceiling

News|By Palak Mangat
'I didn’t plan a speech at all, so it came from the heart,' says House Speaker Anthony Rota of his first remarks when he was elected to the post on Dec. 5.
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