Canada: government & governance March 2021-

Written by  //  June 10, 2021  //  Canada  //  No comments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Canada: government & governance 2019
Quebec 2020
Canada: government & governance 2019- Feb 2021

Trudeau will fight discrimination against Muslims – so long as they don’t live in Quebec
Robyn Urback
(Globe & Mail) How does one reach the level of shamelessness to at once pledge that the government will do everything in its power to combat discrimination and Islamophobia in Canada, and then, moments later, shrug off questions about Ottawa’s indifference to a patently discriminatory provincial law that prohibits those who wear religious symbols from working certain jobs?
Does partisan politics rewire certain structures in the brain? Is there an invisible border at Gatineau beyond which prejudice becomes imperceptible to federal politicians lusting over majority mandates? Or are leaders merely hoping that most Canadians won’t be able to understand the difference between separation of church and state and state-mandated secularism?
Surely it was not lost on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the same symbols that ostensibly made the Afzaal family a target for the man now charged with their murders and attempted murder in London, Ont., would have also made them ineligible for certain jobs in Quebec.
Bill 21 is quite clearly legislated discrimination, and it would almost certainly be in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had Premier François Legault not pre-emptively equipped it with the notwithstanding clause when he tabled it years ago.

8 June
Susan Delacourt: There’s a line Justin Trudeau won’t cross when it comes to fighting Islamophobia
(TorStar) reminding federal leaders that their unwillingness to call out Quebec’s discriminatory Bill 21 — which forces Muslims, Sikhs and Jews, among others, to relinquish any religious clothing if they want to work in public professions — proves there is much more work to do to curb institutional racism.

2 June
Terry Glavin: Canadians have known about unmarked residential school graves for years. They just kept forgetting
This might have something to do with why the Indigenous community’s wounds remain unhealed after all these years
Because this history is important and still unfolding, and facts matter, it may be useful to know that, strictly speaking, there was no discovery of a mass grave at the site of the Kamloops residential school last week. That is not what Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Roseanne Casimir announced last Thursday, in a statement that was reported in such a way as to draw the whole country into a moment of genuine anguish and perfectly righteous outrage.
New ground-penetrating radar that was brought to the effort over the Victoria Day weekend “confirms” what the Tk’emlúps elders had long known, Chief Casimir stated. By precisely situating the remains of what would appear to be 215 children who had been enrolled at the residential school, the technology had allowed the Tk’emlúps community to “verify” what the people had known but could not properly document.

21 May
Andrew Coyne: Mere symbolism? Simple statements of fact? In a constitution, there’s no such thing
Here we go again. As if mounting deficits, resurgent inflation and fights over energy did not provide enough of a 1980s frisson, we seem bent on restarting the constitution wars. Have we learned nothing since then? Or is it merely that we have forgotten everything?
That Bill 96, Quebec’s new language law, would come wrapped in the notwithstanding clause, further depriving the province’s minorities of the protection of the Charter of Rights, was expected. What was not expected was the insertion of two clauses purporting to amend the Constitution of Canada: one declaring that “Quebecers form a nation”; the other, that the “common language” of that nation is French, “the only official language of Quebec.”
A constitution is supposed to provide us with the tools to govern ourselves, together with the principles by which we hope to be governed. To bend it from that purpose, from the prescriptive to the descriptive, from firm commitments to principle to bland assertions of fact – the majority language of Quebec is French, its principal exports are aircraft, aluminum and wood products – is not just beside the point, but hostile to it.

10 May
Canada is approaching four months without a Governor General. Can we do that?
Technically, Canada’s judicial, executive and legislative branches are all in the hands of the same guy
It’s not unusual to see First Nations contacting Rideau Hall directly regarding treaty matters. Most of Canada sits on treaties that were struck with the Crown, and many First Nations hold the view that while these initial contracts were good faith nation-to-nation agreements, they’ve been sullied under the devolved management of successful generations of Canadian authorities. …
When all your branches of government are in the hands of the same guy, awkwardness can result
Wagner is technically the head of Canada’s judicial, executive and legislative branches of government. On paper, this Montreal-born lawyer appointed by Stephen Harper is one of the most powerful Canadians to have ever lived — and there are a number of ways in which his varying roles are starting to overlap in strange ways.
… There’s also the issue of Wagner potentially having to write Supreme Court decisions about the same individuals or organizations whose interests he’s expected to faithfully represent as de facto governor general. The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations mentioned this explicitly in their letter to Buckingham Palace. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as a ‘stand in’ does not give us comfort,” it read. “Many times, our Nations have been involved in litigation that ends up before the Supreme Court.”

26 April
Kelly McParland: Justin Trudeau’s war on committees
The less Canadians know about the government’s mistakes, the easier it is for the government to do nothing about them
(National Post) The see-no-evil performance put on by the Liberals is just about what women have come to expect when they try to bring forward complaints about the treatment they receive in the military. Trudeau, Vance and Vance’s successors have all loudly declaimed their determination to root out any form of discrimination or abuse, only to have committee members presented with ample evidence that nothing of the sort has been done.

14 April
Kenney’s political capital heading for bankruptcy
(iPolitics) The pandemic has made ashes of his promise for jobs, the economy and pipelines.
It has undermined his credibility, emboldened his enemies and demonstrated his United Conservative Party is not so united.
Then again, it was less COVID itself that upended Kenney’s world than his response to COVID.
He has vacillated between action and inaction, often choosing inaction as a salve to his anti-masking supporters. That has managed to simultaneously anger those who demand more action and irritate his supporters when he’s finally forced to take more action.
In the end, he has satisfied almost nobody and forced himself into no-win situations.

11 April
IP experts say Ottawa’s proposed regulations could harm their business and drive up patent costs for domestic innovators
By Sean Silcoff
(Globe & Mail) Canadian intellectual property professionals are warning that proposed federal regulations could devastate their profession and drive up patent costs for domestic innovators.
At issue is a change stemming from the Trudeau government’s IP strategy introduced in 2018 to address longstanding concerns that domestic innovators lacked savvy when it came to protecting their ideas. The government pledged to establish a Canadian College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents, which would take over regulation of the profession from Ottawa. Professionals had asked for their own self-regulating body for years.

31 March
iPolitics: WE Charity probe continues at House ethics committee
Under the binding order adopted by the House of Commons last week, the star witness for today’s session is supposed to be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policy director, Ben Chin, who, according to evidence unearthed from the thousands of pages of internal documents turned over to the committee last year, received a LinkedIn message from WE Charity co-founder Craig Kielburger thanking him for his assistance in “setting up” the program.
As per the latest committee notice, however, the witness list is still “to be determined,” which would seem to suggest that the government hasn’t backed away from its decision to instruct the staffers named in the order to ignore the demand, which, they contend, is at odds with the basic principle of ministerial responsibility.

24 March
Is the carbon tax fight about to end?
(Politico) The Liberals seem confident they’ll emerge victorious when the Supreme Court of Canada rules Thursday on the constitutionality of the carbon tax. And they have some reason to be. Anyone watching the September hearing would have noticed several of the justices seemed sympathetic to the federal government’s argument that climate change is an existential threat requiring a national response.
But it’s not a slam-dunk. Appeal courts in all three provinces that challenged the law — Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan — issued split decisions. The Court of Appeal of Alberta sided with the province, finding the federal law is a “constitutional Trojan horse” that would give Ottawa sweeping powers to intervene in provincial affairs.
The carbon tax is the central pillar of the Liberals’ climate strategy, even more so since December, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new climate plan that would see the tax rise to C$170 per metric ton by 2030. It’s hard to see how the government could hit any climate target without it.

12 March
Liberals revive governor general advisory panel to help find replacement for Julie Payette
Canada needs a new governor general “on an expedited basis,” LeBlanc said, so the panel will work as quickly as it can.
The Liberal government is re-establishing an advisory panel to help select the next governor general.
The newly struck advisory group is mandated to submit a shortlist of candidates for the prime minister’s consideration.
Six people are on the panel, which was announced Friday by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
He’ll co-chair the group with Janice Charette, a former high commissioner to the United Kingdom now filling in as clerk of the Privy Council
In addition to LeBlanc and Charette, the members are:
— Inuit leader Natan Obed
— Université de Montreal rector Daniel Jutras
— Former secretary to the governor general Judith LaRocque
— Interim Canada Post chair Suromitra Sanatani

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