Canada’s Parliament resumes Nov. 22, a full two months after the recent federal election. That’s a long wait, especially for a Liberal government that bears a striking resemblance to the one that just left office. The cabinet won’t even be announced until Oct. 26. While three ministers lost their seats, you would think that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have already prepared a cheat sheet of potential ministers. Of course, there was that break in Tofino — but still, on behalf of a public that isn’t taking many holidays of late, it’s reasonable to ask: how much time are our politicians actually spending on the job? Considerably less than before, at least when it comes to sitting days in the House of Commons, according to a recent analysis by The Globe and Mail . To date this year, the House has sat for 76 days, and 20 more are planned, for a total of 96. The past Parliament didn’t see much action, either, sitting for 86 days in 2020. And the House sat for just 75 days in 2019. From 2016 to 2020, it sat 105.6 days on average, compared with an average of 123 days per year from 1975–2015, and 138 days yearly from 1945 to 1975.
Here’s a scenario for you to ponder: A Prime Minister calls an election at a time when it’s unclear one is even needed. The election campaign takes a few weeks to unfold. Then, on election night, the results are pretty much the same as they were going into the election. The PM is still in the job. Most of the Members of Parliament who sought re-election won back their seats. OK, so here’s the question: When does Canada’s Parliament resume then? When does the PM return to doing his job? For how long should things be on pause? We’re going to wager that a lot of people are left scratching their heads at this question. They’re probably wondering why there would be any break at all. Isn’t there work to be done? Are there priorities that need to be addressed? That is, after all, what we were told during the campaign. It’s why we even had the election in the first place. How many people would say the politicians should get back to work the very next day? (After all, federal elections are always on a Monday.) A lot of people would probably say that. Politicians get a lot of break time as is, anyway. OK, let’s be generous here: Let’s give them the whole week off.
In the event of war, DO NOT call sensitive rich kid Peter Fray-Witzer. The student at US$80,000-per-year woke nirvana Oberlin College in Ohio penned an op-ed in the student newspaper declaring his outrage and that he was “angry, scared and confused.” The reason? “Cisgender men” installed a radiator in his dormitory that is labelled a “safe space.” In fact, he asked if he could be exempt and felt “mildly violated” when the contractors showed up. Made-for-mockery Fray-Witzer said in his op-ed he is “very averse to people entering my personal space.” His dorm is known as the “home of the Women and Trans Collective.” He wrote: “This anxiety was compounded by the fact that the crew would be strangers, and they were more than likely to be cisgender men. I was angry, scared and confused. Why didn’t the college complete the installation over the summer when the building was empty?” As those awful minutes ticked by, our hero notes he “waited apprehensively.” “The workers began installing in common spaces, and I could see immediately that they were all men,” Fray-Witzer wrote, adding that “other students shared my concerns.” Our brave hero was roundly mocked on social media. Journalist Glenn Greenwald summed things up.
A soon-to-be-released book written by corruption expert Frank Vogl, the founder of Transparency International and a former World Bank official, excoriates Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government over the 2018 SNC-Lavalin scandal. In “ The Enablers : How the West Supports Kleptocrats and Corruption — Endangering Our Democracy,” Vogl argues that western politicians must take greater responsibility. “For example, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lost the shine on his public image when in 2018 he intervened in the prosecution by the Justice Department into alleged bribery by one of Canada’s largest engineering companies, SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau got off too lightly,” Vogl writes. In 2018, Trudeau pressured Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in a case involving SNC-Lavalin, which was alleged to have bribed Libyan officials. She eventually resigned in 2019. That year, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion released a damning report and ruled that Trudeau violated the ethics code. By late 2019, SNC-Lavalin cut a deal and paid $280 million in fines.
As Ashley Michel approached the microphone Monday afternoon in the powwow arbour of the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc Nation, she paused and fought back tears. The 30-year-old took a deep breath, pulled off her face mask and faced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Mr. Trudeau, there is a lot I want to say, but you don’t know me,” she said, reading from prepared notes. “My voice may shake a little … but I need you to listen and I want you to hear my voice.” Michel, who stood beside her seven-year-old daughter, Aveah, shared the pain she felt for mothers who lost their children at the nearby Kamloops Indian Residential School, where unmarked graves were discovered this spring, and denounced the destructive legacy of assimilation. “I am mourning for our language, culture, traditions that I’m so desperately trying to reclaim and teach my daughter before it’s too late,” she said. Trudeau, seated onstage with an orange T-shirt pin affixed to his suit jacket, heard similar testimonies from community members over four hours, including stories from residential school survivors. […] The event was also meant for Trudeau to make amends with the First Nation and beyond. In closing remarks, he singled out Michel by name.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) filed a constitutional challenge against the Ontario government over the implementation of vaccine passports, which were mandated in the province’s Superior Court of Justice. The JCCF said in a statement released on Monday that the challenge is brought on behalf of eight Ontarians who “who are exercising their Charter rights and freedoms by not taking one or more doses of the Covid vaccine.” Among those refusing doses of the vaccine are Sarah Lamb of Kitchener, Ontario, who says she had a severe reaction from taking the first dose, and has since decided to not get the second dose. Lamb says she has been unable to obtain a medical exemption. “With respect to owners of businesses and organizations, the vaccine passports compel them to enforce unconstitutional laws, as well as laws that would typically be considered to violate human rights legislation. Ontarians should not be forced to discriminate and exclude others from society on the basis of a personal and private medical decision,” wrote JCCF lawyer Jorge Pineda in the statement.