Wednesday Night #2068

Written by  //  November 3, 2021  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Immediately following the G20 Summit in Rome, The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) has begun
On Wednesday, as the leaders departed Glasgow after delivering their statements, Mark Carney and his Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero took over the headlines as he announced $130 trillion of private capital directed to meaningful decarbonisation.
With the news that COP26: World leaders promise to end deforestation by 2030, we highly recommend turning to the engaging UBC Professor of Forest Ecology and author Suzanne Simard (interviewed Tuesday on CBC’s The CurrentSuzanne Simard on the secret societies of trees)
Politico’s Ottawa Playbook offers a summary of the provisional list of Canada’s 241-member delegation excluding security and media travelling with the delegation. Note the presence of the the PM’s videographer as well as photographer.

We feel in need of a pause to reflect on the current political events and ambiance in the U.S.. Normally we turn to Heather Cox Richardson for a reassuring assessment of events situated in an historical context. But the opening sentence of her November 1 Letter fails to reassure: Americans appear to be waking up to the reality that our democracy is on the ropes.
The disturbing (although predicted by some) results of some of Tuesday’s U.S. elections (Five takeaways from a grim night for Democrats) bear out the findings of a new poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute that paints a troubling portrait of a growing segment of the public that is increasingly unmoored from reality as it embraces conspiracy theories about child abduction and stolen elections.
New York offers cold comfort: Things are as bad as they look. That’s the safe conclusion for Democrats to draw from the party’s apparent loss in Virginia’s gubernatorial election Tuesday night. Joe Biden’s approval rating has been historically bad for several weeks now. Other polls have shown that a majority of voters are extremely concerned about inflation and hold the president responsible for it; that the public trusts Republicans over Democrats on “the economy” by an 18-point margin; and that only a quarter of the public thinks the Build Back Better agenda is going to help “people like them.”

Fallout from the unceremonious removal of the Honourable Marc Garneau from his role as Minister of Foreign Affairs (GAC in Trudeau jargon) continues. This story may have longer legs than the PM and his coterie anticipated, especially with comments like L. Ian MacDonald’s What Garneau’s ouster says about Trudeau and Politico’s Ottawa Playbook devotes considerable space to the revolving door at Global Affairs Why Mélanie Joly stayed home.

Another ministry that is in trouble is IRCC – we can only pity the new minister, Sean Fraser and wonder if and how he will deal with the shameful long-festering mess, illustrated in How Sean Fraser became Canada’s immigration minister
During the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has accumulated a backlog of hundreds of thousands of applicants. This past summer, the Toronto Star reported there were more than 561,000 permanent residency applications to process, 748,000 temporary residence applications, and 376,000 citizenship applications. These figures do not include applications that were sitting in the mailroom, and not yet entered into the system.
The Liberal Party promised in its election platform to reduce processing times that have been impacted by COVID-19 to under 12 months, although the platform did not say how.

Andrew Caddell writes in The Hill Times (p.15) The party’s over—the Liberal Party, that is
The Liberal Party left me long ago and was replaced by a cult around Justin Trudeau. As a former candidate for the Liberals, I watched the government lurch farther to the left, so that we now have, as columnist John Ivison has written, “the first federal NDP government.” Gone is the pragmatism of the past, the calm hand on the tiller. Replaced by chaos and ill-thought-out policies. …
The key positions of foreign affairs and international trade entrusted to lightweights, Mélanie Joly and Mary Ng. This cabinet does not resemble any previous Liberal ministry. The promise to cave to Quebec nationalists on language issues would have died under Pierre Trudeau.

Policy Magazine has a wealth of good articles in the current issue The 44th Parliament including contributions from Thomas Axworthy (Meet the New Minority Government, Just Like the Old Minority Government), Jeremy Kinsman (How Building a Multilateral System Fairer for All Could Revive American Leadership) and Bob Rae (Letter from the United Nations: Isolationism vs. Collective Action)

Promises, Promises
With only a few days before the municipal elections, Denis Coderre has changed his tune on Bill 96 and its application to delivery of English-language services to Montreal citizens. Under pressure, Coderre finally reveals most of his private sector contracts makes for interesting reading. Meanwhile, Valérie Plante vows to increase citizen participation in city planning/

We remain baffled by the reasons for Premier Legault and Minister Dubé to pick a fight with Quebec family physicians. As might be expected, Dr. Roper has responded vigourously, as has Dr. Brian Gore of Westmount (Don’t blame us for shortage of family doctors in Quebec). Perhaps the politicians are hoping to distract from the mishandling of the health worker vaccination file (Quebec backtracks on mandatory vaccination for health workers)
Unvaccinated employees must undergo mandatory testing at least three times per week at government expense, or they will be suspended without pay, Dubé says.)

Kudos to the QCGN for their successful launch of the Open Letter to Premier Legault. I am proud to have been one of the first 96 signatories and delighted to see how many Wednesday Nighters have joined with prominent individuals and concerned citizens in sending the message that “As proud Quebecers, we reject your government’s impractical and ill-advised decision to label our community as historic Anglophones and your plan to limit government services to citizens who are eligible to attend English schools.”
Bill 96: Drop use of ‘historic anglophones,’ 96 prominent anglos tell Legault
Please continue to spread the word, and for those who have not yet signed up, please lend your support.
We also need to urge Justin Trudeau and the Quebec caucus to reverse course from their pandering for Quebec votes and heed Robert Libman: Time for Justin Trudeau to stand up to Quebec
With the federal election out of the way, it’s time for the prime minister to burnish his legacy and right some wrongs.

In case you missed it: Kinsella : Trudeau unleashes disastrous Melanie Joly on world
Columnist Kinsella envisions the PM’s notice of his new minister of foreign affairs
(Toronto Sun) You don’t know much about Melanie, now, but I guarantee you will, soon enough. She’s going to leave an impression on you, and you’re not going to like it.

Long reads
The current issue of Policy The 44th Parliament brings together “an exceptional group of writers, whose expertise speaks to the high standards of discussion of politics and public policy in Canada” with something for almost every taste or interest.
Finding the Mother Tree
From the world’s leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest–a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery. Suzanne Simard Changed How the World Sees Trees The pathbreaking ecologist on interspecies collaboration, tree sentience, and nature’s resilience.

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