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Meltdown in Lebanon

By Gwynne Dyer      

Popular anger was great even before the 2.75-kilotonne explosion last week. The currency has collapsed, most people’s savings have been wiped out, the country has defaulted on its debt, and there are no jobs for the young.

The damage following the explosion in the port area of Beirut. There is a lot of sympathy for the Lebanese, and foreign governments are willing to bail the country out of its troubles—but only on condition that the loans don’t just get pocketed by the same thieves in silk ties. Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons via Voice of America, Anchal Vohra

LONDON, U.K.—Beirut has been living with car bombs and air raids on a sporadic, but continuing basis for so long that it would probably make sense to rebuild this time with shatterproof glass. The torrent of broken glass falling from a thousand shattered buildings probably accounted for half the 158 dead found so far in Beirut, and certainly for most of the 6,000 wounded.

‘It’s much lonelier’: MPs talk about doing politics in the age of the pandemic

News|By Abbas Rana
MPs from all parties are also watching the provincial election in British Columbia carefully to learn how to run a campaign in the midst of a pandemic.

Lapse in early pandemic warning system ‘a colossal failure,’ says former federal Liberal health minister Dosanjh

News|By Mike Lapointe
'We would have been far better prepared, we would have had far more robust tools at our disposal, had we not put GPHIN to sleep,' said former federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

Committee should study proposed changes to election rules to prepare for future vote, say MPs

News|By Palak Mangat
'What better time to innovate your election system than during a pandemic? Because you're going to have to start thinking outside of the regular way,' says Stéphanie Plante, who has worked with Elections Canada.

Liberal fall agenda takes shape: what’s new, and what has to go through the House

The Throne Speech included a long list of promises. Most were old, some were new. At least 20 will likely require the approval of the opposition-majority House of Commons.

‘We have to put the safety of Canadians first,’ says NDP MP Jenny Kwan, as Parliamentarians return to work in person and virtually

News|By Mike Lapointe
Some Parliamentarians returned to the House on Sept. 23 for its first sitting following the prorogation of Parliament on Aug. 18.

Conservative riding presidents, 2019 candidates want O’Toole to deliver on promise to return election rebates

News|By Abbas Rana
Erin O’Toole told riding association presidents last week that the party will return election rebates to them. Some of the presidents want to know when the money will arrive.

Conservative Party finalize nomination rules for its 217 unheld ridings

Conservative Party members will be able to vote on the phone, online, mail-in ballots, or by drive-through, in ridings where in-person voting is not possible because of the pandemic, say Conservative sources.

Trudeau says some promises ‘clearly’ touch provincial jurisdiction after premiers slam Throne Speech, but calls for unified approach

News|By Palak Mangat
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the Liberals' Throne Speech committed to 'more policies that would invade provincial jurisdiction than I could count.'

Throne Speech’s climate promises draws mixed reviews, with NDP saying it’s a rehash of old pledges

The Throne Speech promised action on climate change like the country has never seen before, but some experts and politicians are skeptical the Liberal government can deliver.
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