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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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Feds’ policing reforms should respect self-governance of Indigenous people, say experts, Parliamentarians, in wake of deadly, violent run-ins with police

News|By Palak Mangat
'Our relationship with police has been one of violence, from the colonial nature of everything that has happened in Canada,' says Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in Port Alberni, B.C.

Lack of privacy oversight could hurt buy-in for COVID contact-tracing app, say critics

'I get we're in a pandemic, and I'm very supportive of using the technology, but until I know that it respects the basic rights and has the highest standards, I can't see that it's going to work,' said MP Charlie Angus.

‘I felt silenced’: voices missing from Upper Chamber’s systemic racism debate, say some Senators, highlighting need for hybrid model

Senator Mobina Jaffer is among those who say the in-person-only approach to spring Senate sittings limited participation and worries it will remain in place when Parliament returns in September.

Mounting deaths stemming from police wellness checks a ‘wake-up call,’ says Senator

‘We need to address poverty and support community programs to prevent many of the situations that police are being asked to handle with guns and handcuffs,' says NDP critic Don Davies.

New NAFTA comes into force after months of testy renegotiations, but ‘disruptions’ will need to be addressed

News|By Neil Moss
'We all have to expect that there's going to be some bumps over the next six months,' said Ohio-based trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo.

Backroom, Capitol Hill lobbying key to fighting possible return of tariffs, says MP Wayne Easter

News|By Neil Moss
'At least at this stage, it's better to work the backrooms, work the players that have some influence with the White House, and try to ensure that such a threat doesn't become a reality,' says Canada-U.S. group co-chair.

‘Just not the same’: Parliamentarians plan Canada Day festivities around the COVID-19 pandemic

Feature|By Palak Mangat
'We do not celebrate the existence of this country in the same way other people do, because we think that the existence of this country came at a price to our ancestors and to us,' says Senator Murray Sinclair.

Transformative global pandemic could bring positive changes to society, but will require ‘an incredible amount of political will,’ say politicos, pollsters

News|By Abbas Rana
The deeper the impacts of COVID-19, the more likely that major changes will occur in our society, says EKOS president Frank Graves.

MacKay’s victory could be a ‘threat to the party unity,’ says Conservative MP Kusie

News|By Abbas Rana
'Peter MacKay has a proven track record of uniting Conservatives, and that's precisely what he's doing in the leadership campaign. And that's what he'll do if he's elected as leader,' says Conservative MP Michael Cooper.
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