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Malcolm

On the Way to the 2019 Federal Election

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Just a reality check for those who think Justin is spoiled.  So is your boy....

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/07/31/Scheer-Worry-Bills

Scheer Says He Knows What It’s Like to Worry about Bills. On $264,400 a Year

Conservative leader wants to be the working-class hero, with Trudeau the son of privilege. It’s a tough sell.

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By Paul Willcocks Yesterday | TheTyee.ca

Paul Willcocks is a journalist and former publisher of newspapers, and now an editor with The Tyee.

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AndrewScheerRedTractor.jpg ‘Scheer is paid $264,400 a year. He lives rent-free in a taxpayer-funded 34-room mansion with a chef, chauffeur and household manager.’ Photo from Andrew Scheer, Flickr.

Fortunately, I was between sips of coffee when I read Andrew Scheer’s claim to everyman status.

“I know what it’s like when families feel anxious that they won’t make it to the end of the month,” the Conservative leader told Michael Smyth of the Province. “Someone who’s never had to worry about that can’t possibly relate to it on a personal level.”

Scheer is paid $264,400 a year. He lives rent-free in a taxpayer-funded 34-room mansion with a chef, chauffeur and household manager.

He might remember his parents feeling anxious about making it to the end of the month when he was a child. They were solidly middle class — his mother a nurse, his father a unionized librarian and proofreader at the Ottawa Citizen. But they had three children, so money was likely tight at times.

 

But as a career politician, Scheer surely hasn’t worried about paying the bills for a long time. He had a history degree and limited work experience when he was elected as an MP in 2005. He’s done political staff jobs, part-time work as a server and briefly sold insurance in a friend’s agency.

 

Then at 25, Scheer hit the jackpot. He was elected MP for Regina-Qu’Appelle, and started collecting about $140,000 a year — about $195,000 in current dollars.

Less than two years later, Scheer was appointed assistant deputy chairman of committees of the whole and a deputy Speaker. The title has a vaguely Dwight Schrute quality, but the job brought a 10-per-cent pay increase over the base pay for an MP.

And after the Harper government was re-elected in 2011, Scheer was elected Speaker. That took his pay to $236,600 and gave him an apartment on Parliament Hill and taxpayer-paid housing in The Farm, a 5,000-square-foot residence on four acres.

Since he was elected as an MP at 25 in 2005, Scheer has collected about $3 million in salary. For the last eight years, he’s lived in housing paid for by taxpayers.

He isn’t doing anything wrong. Parliament approved the pay plan.

But it’s ridiculous for him to claim that “I know what it’s like when families feel anxious that they won’t make it to the end of the month.”

Scheer’s schtick is aimed at portraying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an out-of-touch child of privilege because he had a famous father and an inheritance.

From some people, it would be a useful political attack. Trudeau inherited a company now worth about $1.2 million, and had income of up to $20,000 a year from it. (Trudeau is paid $357,800.)

But from Scheer, the approach seems goofy. He has a BA and no significant work experience except for being a politician. Yet he’s paid $264,400, an income greater than 99 per cent of Canadians.

It’s a stretch to take him seriously when he talks about knowing what it’s like not to be able to pay the bills.

 

Politicians’ pay and perks is a whole separate topic. They tend to argue that long hours, travel and job insecurity justify high wages and great benefits. And that the pay rate is needed to attract good candidates, especially ones already earning big money.

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BC MLAs Join Top 10 Per Cent with Average Pay of $123,000

But at a certain point, the double standard rankles. Successive Canadian governments, for example, have done little to address the erosion of workplace pension plans. But MPs have a generous plan — if Scheer quit today, he’d collect an indexed pension of about $115,000 a year when he turns 55.

Even the fine print in the MPs’ pay plan is irksome. Governments have taken no action to address the decline of private sector unionization over almost four decades. (One reason fewer people have pension plans.) The result has been increased inequality and a decline in the quality of work.

But MPs’ pay is increased each year based on the average increases negotiated by large private sector unions.

You can debate the right level of pay for politicians and whether paying more would attract better candidates and result in better representation and policy decisions. (Though first you would have to define “better candidates.”)

But it is clear that federal politicians are living in a different world than the people they represent.

And Scheer’s claim to be a working-class hero is political fantasy.

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13 hours ago, Marshall said:

so his 264000 puts him on the same scale as your 10 million trust boy

?  I know a number of senior pilots who make more than the leader of our Conservative party.   I guess in your world they are spoiled and overpaid.   Give it a break.

Just don't make the mistake of thinking he's your 'average guy' looking out for you, he isn't.

 

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3 hours ago, deicer said:

Just don't make the mistake of thinking he's your 'average guy' looking out for you, he isn't.

 

And your favorite is an average guy who will be looking out for you?

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Trudeau's Tallurutiup Imanga announcement includes $55 M for Inuit communities

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit on Thursday to announce $54.8 million for Inuit in five communities on Baffin Island tied to the completion of Tallurutiup Imanga as a marine conservation area.

Arctic Bay and Clyde River to get small craft harbours

Sara Frizzell · CBC News · Posted: Aug 02, 2019 8:02 AM CT | Last Updated: 20 minutes ago
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes an announcement about plans to create a new marine protected area in Nunavut Aug. 1, 2019. (Sara Frizzell/CBC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit on Thursday to announce $54.8 million for Inuit in five communities on Baffin Island tied to the completion of Tallurutiup Imanga as a marine conservation area. 

 

The money will support Inuit-led initiatives that will protect the conservation area around Lancaster Sound — the entrance to the Northwest Passage. 

It will create training programs for Inuit to take on conservation and research jobs, and look at developing fisheries in or around the conservation area. 

Nearly $2 million from the agreement will go to help the five communities' hunters and trappers organizations so they can participate in conservation efforts and wildlife management. 

For the president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) PJ Akeeagok, this is what's important. 

"Inuit will have the tools, such as the jobs, the training facilities to be able to do the important work of being truly the eyes and ears of Tallurutiup Imanga," Akeeagok said. 

He said the ice and plentiful marine life in the area has supported Inuit "since time immemorial," making it the "cultural heart" of the region.

Arctic Bay, Clyde River to get small craft harbours 

The agreement encompasses environmental protections, cultural management and sustainable Inuit harvesting within the region. 

Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Resolute Bay, and Grise Fiord are the five communities party to the agreement by the boundaries announced in 2017. 

For two years, the federal government has been working with QIA, which represents Inuit who live on Baffin Island, to finalize how the area will be managed and how Inuit will benefit. 

The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement requires all major developments in the territory to finalize an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA). 

Marine conservation areas are protected by Parks Canada and the agreement promises the department will run at least one visitors' centre for Tallurutiup Imanga in one of the communities.  

 
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A map of the proposed area for Tallurutiup Imanga, in light blue. The protected area borders five communities, all of which will receive infrastructure investments. (Qikiqtani Inuit Association/Government of Canada)

Alongside the IIBA announcement was $190 million of money coming from various federal departments. 

The largest announcement was small craft harbours for Arctic Bay and Clyde River funded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 

Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay will have work done on their harbours and Pond Inlet will get a regional training centre. 

The centre is being paid for by numerous parties and includes $10 million from Baffinland's Mary River mine IIBA agreement, also with QIA. 

More than half of Canada's protected oceans in Nunavut 

Trudeau's announcement finalizing Tallurutiup Imanga was paired with Canada's plan to protect another 5.5 per cent of the country's oceans in a protected area called Tuvaijuittuq. 

While the government is figuring out how to protect what's known as the last ice area, during a five-year feasibility study it announced a freeze of new activities aside from research 

However, as of now Nunavut's Impact Review Board, which manages development in the territory, has no upcoming development in the area north of Ellesmere Island and the closest community is Grise Fiord nearly 800 kilometres away.

And protected or not, Arctic ice is melting. 

As for concerns about foreign interest in the area, a spokesperson for the prime minister said the protected areas strengthen Canada's claim to disputed waters including the Northwest Passage.

 
Qikiqtani Inuit Association President PJ Akeeagok says the funding will help Inuit become the 'eyes and ears' of Tallurutiup Imanga. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

While Akeeagok welcomed the IIBA he acknowledged in the past Canada had treated Inuit as "human flagpoles" for Arctic sovereignty.

Nunavut's Premier Joe Savikataaq took a similar view. He called the IIBA a trade-off as Nunavut also needed development to survive.

"We're pleased to be such a large part of Canada's conservation efforts... we don't mind contributing so much because we are a large part of Canada and I just want to remind the prime minister that we are part of Canada and we have to get some nation-building from Canada in the North." 

He said he supported the goals within the IIBA.

The Government of Canada press release says the IIBA could cover other protected areas in the high Arctic basin should they be formalized, which would include the interim protected area Tuvaijuittuq, but QIA says that would have to be negotiated after the feasibility study is complete. 

If it is eventually finalized, it would bring Canada's total marine protected areas to just less than 14 per cent of all of Canada's oceans.

Fifty-five per cent of what's protected would be in Nunavut.

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18 minutes ago, Marshall said:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit on Thursday to announce $54.8 million for Inuit in five communities on Baffin Island tied to the completion of Tallurutiup Imanga as a marine conservation area.

And just like his father, continuing to piss off the Elders

In the 70’s I had a dinner with the top Inuit elder of what used to be known as Fort Chimo. He couldn’t state in strong enough terms how much he despised Pierre Trudeau for ruining the Inuit culture with government welfare. To prove his point he showed me a stack of government cheque’s about 8” high sitting on a shelf unopened, basically saying the white man can take their money and show it.

Edited by Jaydee

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The Scandal That Cost Justin Trudeau His Rock-Star Popularity

 
 
Kim Mackrael, Paul Vieira
1 hour ago
Revelations about the Canadian prime minister’s advocacy for SNC-Lavalin, which faces fraud allegations, threaten his party’s majority in October elections.

Justin Trudeau did little wrong in his supporters eyes during his first three years as Canada’s prime minister. In the fourth, his popularity has dropped so far his party may lose its majority in October elections.

A secretly taped call is one reason why. Just before Christmas, Canadian Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould turned on her iPhone voice recorder for a call with the country’s top bureaucrat, Michael Wernick. Mr. Trudeau and senior officials had already pressed her and her chief aide 20 times in calls, messages and in person to let a major Canadian firm avoid a criminal trial on bribery and fraud charges. She had resisted.

On the phone, Mr. Wernick said the company, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., was considering selling itself or moving abroad, and Mr. Trudeau believed it should be given the chance to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.

Mr. Wernick, unaware of the recording, said: “I think he is going to find a way to get it done.”

Ms. Wilson-Raybould didn’t relent: “This is going to look like nothing but political interference by the prime minister, by you, by everybody else that has been involved in this.”

That’s exactly how it looked to many Canadian voters when the recording surfaced after parliamentary hearings in February and March exposed details of the Trudeau government’s moves to advocate for the engineering-and-construction firm. Testimony in the hearings captivated the public and turned Ms. Wilson-Raybould into one of the most recognizable Canadian politicians outside Mr. Trudeau.

Now, several polls show Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals trailing the rival Conservative Party or in a statistical tie, after beginning 2019 with a comfortable lead. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians disapprove of the job he is doing, according to polls released in mid-July by Ipsos Public Affairs and Angus Reid Institute. They cite the SNC-Lavalin matter as a primary reason.

The Canadian leader, who had a rock-star following among progressives for championing clean governance—and a promise to let women and ministers have more governing say—had sided with a scandal-plagued company and overruled his attorney general, eventually moving her to a lower-profile position.

Based on current data, some pollsters say, the best Mr. Trudeau can expect from the election is a minority government needing another party’s support to govern. “If the election becomes a referendum on Justin Trudeau,” says Nik Nanos, head of Ottawa-based Nanos Research, “the Liberals may lose.”

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s Office referred to Mr. Trudeau’s remarks in a March press conference that he regretted the erosion of trust between his office and Ms. Wilson-Raybould and has “learned a lot about how we can do better.”

SNC-Lavalin, which has commented on some specifics of the case in past months, declined to answer queries last month.

Mr. Trudeau, his senior advisers and other government representatives have publicly said their discussions with Ms. Wilson-Raybould were to ensure she considered all legal options, with livelihoods of 9,000 SNC-Lavalin employees in Canada at stake.

“It is our job as parliamentarians to defend the interests of the communities we were elected to represent,” Mr. Trudeau said in the March press conference. “I stressed the importance of protecting Canadian jobs and reiterated that this issue was one of significant national importance.”

Ms. Wilson-Raybould says she remains puzzled by the pressure Mr. Trudeau’s office placed on her. “I know that there was a huge lobbying effort by that company,” she says. “But the motivations for the prime minister or all of those people that engaged with me in the way that they did? You’d have to ask them.”

Mr. Wernick declined to comment. In the parliamentary hearings, he said his phone call and other communications with Ms. Wilson-Raybould “were entirely appropriate, lawful, legal.”

SNC-Lavalin is based in Montreal, a portion of which Mr. Trudeau represents in the legislature. Aides in his office met 23 times with its representatives during a roughly three-year period between the Liberal government’s election in late 2015 and late 2018, lobbying records show.

That was nearly five times as many meetings SNC-Lavalin secured over the prior three years with aides to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Compared with the Liberals, the company got little traction from the Harper administration, say people familiar with the firm and former members of the Harper government.

Members of Mr. Trudeau’s administration had personal ties with the company, a reminder of the tight circles that can make up the top levels of business and politics in Canada. SNC-Lavalin Chairman Kevin Lynch was Mr. Wernick’s boss between 2006 and 2009, when Mr. Lynch was Canada’s chief bureaucrat and Mr. Wernick was a top public servant. SNC-Lavalin said Mr. Lynch declined to be interviewed.

A Trudeau cabinet minister, François-Philippe Champagne, was the first Liberal government official to meet with SNC-Lavalin lobbyists about the firm’s bid for an out-of-court settlement, according to lobbying records. He had worked closely with the company’s then-CEO, Neil Bruce, between 2008 and 2012 while at a U.K. engineering firm, U.K. securities filings show.

Mr. Bruce didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Mr. Champagne says his past relationship with Mr. Bruce had no bearing on any meetings with SNC-Lavalin.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Trudeau says that the government’s actions on SNC-Lavalin’s behalf and meetings with its lobbyists weren’t influenced by any past links and that Mr. Trudeau’s office meets regularly with companies on a variety of matters.

In retrospect, says a senior Trudeau-government official, taking so many SNC-Lavalin meetings might not have been a wise decision.

With about 10 billion Canadian dollars ($7.5 billion) in 2018 sales, SNC-Lavalin employs 50,000 world-wide. It is working on a nuclear-power plant in Britain, Nevada freeways and Riyadh’s subway.

In February 2015, Canadian police charged that SNC-Lavalin bribed Libyan officials and defrauded Libyan organizations between 2001 and 2011. SNC-Lavalin denied wrongdoing and said the acts in question were carried out by two employees without the company’s knowledge. A former SNC-Lavalin vice president pleaded guilty in Swiss court in 2014 to corruption-related charges linked to his activity in Libya.

Mr. Trudeau’s dust-up was over whether the company should face trial on the Libya charges. A criminal conviction could trigger a ban on SNC-Lavalin’s bidding on government contracts at home and abroad.

About a week after Mr. Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister, in November 2015, SNC-Lavalin’s CEO, Mr. Bruce, argued at a Montreal luncheon for a system letting companies reach out-of-court settlements without guilty pleas. Such mechanisms in the U.S. and U.K. let prosecutors suspend criminal charges in exchange for financial penalties, pledges to strengthen compliance and other measures.

Over the following years, the company lobbied Mr. Trudeau’s office, cabinet ministers and their aides, senior bureaucrats and opposition lawmakers, lobbying records show.

In early 2018, Finance Minister Bill Morneau incorporated a measure allowing out-of-court settlements near the back of a nearly 600-page piece of budget legislation. A spokesman for Mr. Morneau says the measure was written after consulting with business groups and the legal community, among others, and was introduced after approval from cabinet—of which Ms. Wilson-Raybould was a member.

The law stipulates that only the public prosecutor’s office, which operates at arm’s length from the government, can determine whether a company was eligible. Only the attorney general can overturn prosecutors’ decisions.

In September, the public prosecutor’s office informed SNC-Lavalin it would proceed with a criminal trial. Ms. Wilson-Raybould decided against intervening, she said in parliamentary hearings this year. She and the public prosecutor’s office haven’t explained publicly why SNC-Lavalin wasn’t invited to negotiate an out-of-court deal. Ms. Wilson-Raybould in an interview declined to discuss the reasons for the decision. The prosecutor’s office declined to provide reasons for the decision.

In court filings, SNC-Lavalin lawyers said prosecutors, in a phone call with the company, cited the gravity of the alleged crimes, the involvement of senior officers and the company’s lack of self-reporting.

About two weeks after prosecutors told SNC-Lavalin the trial would proceed, Ms. Wilson-Raybould met with Messrs. Trudeau and Wernick, according to parliamentary hearings. The meeting’s agenda was aboriginal policy, but the conversation swiftly turned to SNC-Lavalin.

Mr. Trudeau asked whether a solution could be found, given the jobs at stake, Ms. Wilson-Raybould testified, saying Mr. Wernick warned SNC-Lavalin would likely move its headquarters to London if an out-of-court settlement wasn’t an option.

An SNC-Lavalin spokesman in March said the company provided documents to prosecutors indicating a headquarters move was a worst-case scenario.

Mr. Trudeau reminded Ms. Wilson-Raybould he was an elected official from SNC-Lavalin’s home base, she testified, saying she responded: “Are you politically interfering with my role, my decision?”

Mr. Trudeau backed off, she said. He has publicly confirmed the thrust of her account.

The next day, Sept. 18, SNC-Lavalin’s Mr. Bruce met with Mr. Wernick, according to handwritten notes Mr. Wernick provided lawmakers, and discussed strategies for persuading the prosecutor’s office to reconsider. Mr. Wernick told Mr. Bruce the company should focus on the public-interest argument.

SNC-Lavalin requested a meeting of its lawyer and Mr. Bruce with the chief prosecutor, according to a copy of a letter sent by prosecutors to the company and filed in the Federal Court of Canada. The prosecutor’s office declined and, on Oct. 9, told company lawyers its decision was final.

In an Oct. 15 letter to Mr. Trudeau, submitted in hearings, Mr. Bruce said the company had been treated poorly and one of its lawyers, former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci, “was not afforded the courtesy of a meeting or even a call.”

Mr. Wernick testified he got a call that day from Mr. Lynch, his former boss and now SNC-Lavalin chairman, who warned the company would have to make tough decisions and asked: “Isn’t there anything that can be done?” Mr. Wernick said he told Mr. Lynch “in the firmest, curtest possible terms” that queries had to go through Ms. Wilson-Raybould and the public-prosecutions director.

A spokeswoman for SNC-Lavalin, speaking on Mr. Lynch’s behalf in May, says Mr. Lynch had requested a call with Mr. Wernick to inform him of a press release the company had issued on the prosecutors’ decision.

Through the fall, officials in Mr. Trudeau’s office pressed Ms. Wilson-Raybould and her chief aide to change course, according to Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony. On Dec. 19, she and Mr. Wernick spoke in the recorded call. She told him she realized her refusal would have consequences.

“I knew that this situation was coming to a head,” says Ms. Wilson-Raybould, explaining her recording. “This was an extraordinary situation that required me to ensure that I protected myself.”

Three weeks later, while Ms. Wilson-Raybould was vacationing in Bali, Mr. Trudeau told her she would be demoted to heading veteran’s affairs, she said in testimony.

On Feb. 7, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported allegations Ms. Wilson-Raybould had faced pressure to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case before her demotion, sparking a media flurry and criticism from opposition lawmakers. Mr. Trudeau initially said the allegations were false. Ms. Wilson-Raybould quit her post heading veterans affairs five days later.

At the urging of the opposition parties, members of Canada’s parliamentary justice committee agreed Feb. 13 to hear testimony from certain witnesses about the allegations. Those hearings officially ended March 19 after the Liberal majority on the committee voted to cease calling witnesses and hear additional testimony, arguing Canadians possessed the information required. Ms. Wilson-Raybould submitted the recording as additional evidence.

In April, Mr. Trudeau expelled Ms. Wilson-Raybould from his party’s caucus, saying trust had been broken by the recorded phone call. Mr. Wernick in March announced his retirement from the civil service, citing fallout from the uproar.

A judge ruled on May 29 the case against SNC-Lavalin could head to trial. On June 11, the company said Mr. Bruce would retire immediately.

In a LinkedIn note, he said his family had moved “and I was keen to join them.”

Ms. Wilson-Raybould is running for re-election, as an independent lawmaker.

Write to Kim Mackrael at kim.mackrael@wsj.com and Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

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3 hours ago, Marshall said:

And your favorite is an average guy who will be looking out for you?

As I have said before, they are all greasy. 

My question to you, which is highlighted by what is happening in Ontario, is why would I vote for someone who will still tax me more, only give it to a small percentage of the population while raising my taxes and cutting services.

At least I got something from the other party.....

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1 hour ago, deicer said:

As I have said before, they are all greasy. 

My question to you, which is highlighted by what is happening in Ontario, is why would I vote for someone who will still tax me more, only give it to a small percentage of the population while raising my taxes and cutting services.

At least I got something from the other party.....

Yes, lots of debt.

Frankly I do not care what is happening or happened in Ontario. My focus is on the upcoming Federal Election. By the by, since when did federal policy blindly mirror that of provincial policy?  In other words, the Ontario and Federal Conservatives may be both horses but are different breeds and don't share everything in common.  We are facing very limited choices in the next Federal election, No to Green and the NDP.  Liberals would be possibility   if they dumped Trudeau (not likely) so the party that will do the least harm as far as I am concerned remains the Conservatives.  Not up to debate on the subject as I will not be changing my mind.

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Ontario is just a continuation of what happens when you get a conservative government.  Most recently Harris, Harper, et al.

That's the reason you get liberal majorities until the next naive generation comes in.

Different breeds, same race, same results.

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The election story shouldn’t be about Scheer, but why Trudeau has so disappointed Canadians

Trudeau's re-election strategy has consisted of trying to tie Scheer to the unpopular Doug Ford, while working to rev up a controversy no one can see

The polling business must be a highly lucrative trade, judging by the number of companies churning out soundings on everything from Alberta separatism to the exact level of disgust in which Canadians hold Donald Trump.

A favourite, naturally, is the upcoming federal election. Canadians can be counted on to have an opinion about their politicians, even if they haven’t really been following the issues, don’t know much about the candidates’ records and would have trouble naming the party leaders. Three months before voters are due to choose the next government, an avalanche of surveys has been thudding down on news desks across the land, purporting to reflect public sentiment. Trudeau’s down! Trudeau’s up! Everyone loves Elizabeth May! No one remembers that scandal from three months ago!

Canadians can be counted on to have an opinion about their politicians

 
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It’s a curious thing. A poll published in August 2015, three weeks into the campaign that would eventually produce a majority Liberal government, indicated that the top choice as the next prime minister was … Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democrats. Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau were well back in a virtual tie, with less than 33 per cent each. Seven weeks later Mulcair’s NDP lost 51 of their 103 seats, dropped to third, and his leadership was over.

It’s therefore well advised that current outpourings be treated with a very jaundiced eye. The conclusion you’d get from the presentation they receive is that there’s a very close race underway, with the Liberals having clawed back a bit of the support they’d lost over a miserable winter of scandals and missteps. Depending on the pollster, they may or may not have retaken a very slim lead over Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives, who had been enjoying the fruits of Liberal troubles. Good news for the Liberals, right? Oh, and now that No. 1 sage and acknowledged guru Gerald Butts is back, who knows what could happen?

canada-stampede_-e1563542616783.jpg?w=414&quality=60&strip=allConservative Leader Andrew Scheer flips pancakes during a visit to a Calgary Stampede breakfast event on July 7, 2019. Todd Korol/Reuters

If you stand back far enough from the crowd, you might reach a very different interpretation. Justin Trudeau ascended to the prime ministership on a wave of popular excitement that surpassed anything since the first, halcyon days of his father’s leadership 50 years ago. His face was in demand for magazine covers and selfies well beyond the borders of Canada. The Liberals raised their seat count by 148, to a lead of 85 over the considerably reduced Tories, with a deluge of promises of better times, better policies and more … much more … spending. It was all to be sunny ways, my friend. Sunny ways.

They’ve had much going for them since. The economy may not be vibrant, but it’s not terrible. Unemployment is low. We’re not at war with anyone. Quebec is not threatening to separate.

Trudeau is in danger of being ousted after just four years

In the wake of their 2015 defeat, the opposition Conservatives chose Andrew Scheer as their leader. In the two years since, Scheer has had to endure much ribbing about his lack of charisma, his innate cheeriness, the fact many Canadians could join him in an elevator without a clue as to who he is. The man who placed second in the leadership race, Maxime Bernier, broke away in a snit and formed his own party, which for a time was seen as a threat. Scheer backtracked on a pledge to balance the budget within two years, blaming the Liberals for creating “an even bigger mess” than anticipated. His much-awaited climate-change plan was widely panned as all bun and no sausage.

Yet with all the advantages enjoyed by government, and all the disadvantages of being in opposition, Scheer remains neck-and-neck with one of the most-recognized faces in the country and a party that has dedicated its summer to a non-stop orgy of coast-to-cost cheque-giving as it seeks to remind Canadians it’s willing to spend their money in great gobs to win their votes.

Scheer remains neck-and-neck with one of the most-recognized faces in the country

 
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The obvious question, then, is this: how is it that a charismatic leader at the head of a majority government willing to spend well beyond its means on public programs is struggling so mightily just to stay even with the opposition? It took Stephen Harper, maligned as he was as a tight-fisted sourpuss, just short of a decade in office to wear out his welcome, yet Trudeau is in danger of being ousted after just four years.

Trudeau’s government has been the most image-conscious in Canadian history. Enormous effort has gone into presenting it as enlightened, “progressive,” and positive. Yet his re-election strategy to date has consisted of trying to tie Scheer to the unpopular premier of Ontario while working mightily to rev up a controversy over abortion that no one but his war room can see.

The election story to date shouldn’t be about Scheer, but about Justin Trudeau. Why has he so disappointed Canadians? And when will the prime minister realize that’s happened?

 

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THE ELECTION IS ALMOST HERE — AND WE DON’T CARE ENOUGH

It’s too easy to blame old, white men for vote results, says Ellen Spannagel.

  • Calgary Herald
  • 3 Aug 2019
  •  

I have voted in four elections now. The 2015 Canadian federal election. The 2016 United States federal election. The 2018 Ontario election. Most recently, the 2019 Alberta election.

In each one, the party I voted for did not succeed. After each one, resigning myself to political defeat, my tendency was to blame older generations. It was so easy to blame the old, cisgender, straight, rich white men. Outof-touch. Stuck in their old ways. Desperately trying to keep a “simpler” past, longdead, alive.

But this letter isn’t for them. It’s for people like me, a recent university graduate, 21 years old. In blaming this older generation, I found myself looking at my own complacency, and the inadvertent negligence of my colleagues and friends. Students. Young professionals. I am asking my own generation to bear more responsibility for what is happening and to understand why it’s important to talk about.

There have been many times where I have been described as someone “who loves politics.” The truth is I don’t love politics. I love being informed. To me, this seems like a necessity. Who wouldn’t want to know how their day-to-day life might be affected by an election? For example, how their OSAP grant might be slashed in half. How their birth control might no longer be covered. Conversation about the potential outcomes of political activity is often spun as a discussion that should be left only to elites.

In our age of overwhelming information (and misinformation), young adults are left scratching their heads, not knowing where to start. But we give up too easily. “Ah, I’ll just vote for who my parents are voting for.” “Oh, I haven’t had time to read the platforms.” “It’s not like my vote matters anyways.”

We like to blame the news. Yes, there is the problem with coverage. A struggling Canadian news industry means that there is a local news famine. The everyday campaigning of politicians is a myth from the news world of the past, which is why politicians such as NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have barely attained name recognition. But it’s also too easy to blame the news.

We need to blame our distraction. Why is it that no one is talking about our own federal election looming mere months ahead? We prefer to talk about the U.S. Our dramatic, dysfunctional neighbours to the south. We brush aside our own issues and revel in a false superiority. “Look at their detention centres. Their Cheeto president.”

We need to blame our unchecked privilege. If you are still saying that you don’t need to vote, don’t need to be informed, because your life won’t change anyways, you are condemning the thousands of people whose lives will.

The people most affected are the ones most marginalized. While you sit on your couch unscathed, there is a Muslim woman in Quebec who won’t be able to become the teacher she always dreamed to be. A child in an Alberta junior high who is afraid to join a gay-straight alliance lest his unsupportive parents find out.

We need to blame our silence. We love our echo chambers. Our catered Twitter feeds. Our resounding discussions with friends who have the same beliefs. We keep to ourselves and “our people,” afraid of bursting our bubble. This is divisive.

If, at every holiday dinner, you choose not to engage or have honest discussion because “it’s just not worth it,” you too are complicit. Our political climate, and democracy itself, revolves around discussion. Discussion is often the only thing people have when they go to the ballot box. Disagreeing doesn’t have to be negative. Silence always is.

There is too much at stake in Canada’s upcoming federal election. The environment. We declare a climate emergency and go on to build a pipeline. Broken promises to Indigenous communities, many of which do not have access to basic human rights such as clean water. Representation. We live in a country that does not have a single woman premier. Right-wing populism. Hate-speech and white-nationalism is rearing its ugly head, with some media giants standing idly by.

All of this matters. And we are running out of time to talk about it.

It’s not too late. Read.

Speak with people outside your comfort zone. Write. Protest.

I’m not going to listen to one more old white man call my generation a bunch of “slacktivists.”

Ellen Spannagel is a Carleton journalism and humanities graduate and soon-to-be law student at Mcgill University.

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Thank you Marshall for that.

This is why we need to spend more on education, to enable the average youth to engage with critical thinking and to ask questions.

 

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Election outcomes swayed by 'The Hidden Conservative Voter

They’re hidden.

They showed up, however, at Brexit. They showed up in the U.S. presidential race in 2016. They showed up in Alberta in 2019, and Ontario in 2018, too.

They’re the THCV — The Hidden Conservative Voter. And they’re changing politics.

June 2016: shocking just about everyone, 52% of Britons voted to leave the European Union. No one really expected that result, including many of those who campaigned for Brexit.

Polls conducted in the years leading up to the Brexit vote consistently showed public opinion split on the EU membership question. A year before the crucial vote, support for the European Union spiked upward, with many more Brits favouring remaining than leaving. That, perhaps, may have been what persuaded then-Prime Minister David Cameron to push for a vote.

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This file photo taken on June 28, 2016 shows then British prime minister David Cameron at a press conference during a European Union summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels. (Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

It was a critical error, as historians will forever note.

Subsequent vote analysis showed that young Brits favoured remaining in the Union. So did big business, lawyers, economists, scientists and the well-to-do. Voters with lower incomes and fewer higher-education degrees, however, just didn’t.

And they, unlike the young Brits and the others, came out to vote. The “leave” side surged on voting day.

Pollsters and pundits hadn’t seen it coming. Neither did the bookies, even: on the day of the vote, Ladbrokes had been giving six-to-one odds that Brexit would fail.

What happened? Sifting through the Brexit results afterwards, public opinion experts and political scientists saw something they hadn’t previously spotted: what they called, antiseptically, “unrepresentative samples.” In other words, pollsters had too many “stay” voters in their computers — and not nearly enough “leave” voters. That, the British Polling Council determined after a lengthy inquiry, was “the basic problem.”

What is most shocking is that the pollsters repeated their error in the U.S. presidential race, which happened just a few weeks after Brexit. Every single pollster, pretty much, got it wrong. Again.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (inset) and Hillary Clinton. Martin H. Simon - Pool/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The New York Times declared Hillary Clinton – who, full disclosure, this writer worked for in three different states in 2016 — had an 85% chance of victory. Huffington Post said she had a 98% chance of winning. The respected poll analyst Nate Silver pegged her chances at 67% — while Princeton University went even further, saying it was 99%.

All wrong, wrong, wrong.

And, as in Brexit, the same thing had happened: pollsters had relied upon unrepresentative samples — allowing Trump voters to hide, in effect.

One analyst told GQ that Trump voters hid on purpose: “It may also turn out to be the case that supporters for Donald Trump were shamed into keeping their support quiet. Shy Trump supporters may have kept their support secret from pollsters out of social pressure not to admit their support for a candidate labelled as racist and sexist.”

The same sort of thing has happened in recent Canadian electoral contests.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (C) is joined by MInister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer (L) and Minister of Energy Sonya Savage in Calgary on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Jim Wells / Postmedia

Polls in Alberta suggested the race between Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party and Rachel Notley’s New Democratic party was far closer than it ended up being.

Ditto in Ontario, the year before: mid-campaign polls proclaimed the Andrea Horwath New Democrats had moved ahead of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives. But it wasn’t so: the PC vote surged on voting day, and Ford won a huge majority government.

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Doug Ford addresses supporters at the Toronto Congress Centre after winning the election June 7, 2018. (Jack Boland/Toronto Sun)

The moral of the story, here, is clear: pollsters are either missing conservative-leaning voters in their sampling or those voters are keeping their intentions secret — until they sit down with a stub of pencil and a ballot, that is.

It’s the THCV — The Hidden Conservative Vote. And it’s changing outcomes in elections across Western democracy.

And for guys like Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, the THCV could be very good news in October.

 

Edited by Jaydee

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The crazy left has pushed a great many people way further right than they ever would have gone of their own accord... and most don't like it. 

The polls get it wrong because the people from the previous sentence are not the least bit interested in arguing or engaging with the crazies and consider it a lost cause to even try. They aren't really hidden either, they roll their eyes and shake their heads at the antics but the choice of not engaging is not born out of fear....  its a function of futility. Left wing narratives are almost always based on opinion rather than experience. If you are shouting Islamophobia at someone who is concerned about demographic concentrations I'm usually right in thinking that you have never lived or served in a fundamentalist Muslim country. The expat thing in UAE most definitely doesn't count. If you are screaming about the world being flat you can expect to be ignored rather than engaged... this is that.  

To its credit, the right is far more likely to cut their crazies adrift than the left and we see that with the Democratic party which now borders on collective left wing madness. That's exactly why Trump will win in 2020 and exactly why the Democrats can't see it coming. People who don't even want to vote for DJT will because of the lack of credible options. I have often said, right here.... don't be crazy and I'll vote for you. I'm pretty sure most centre of the road people feel the same way.

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned this happening in Quebec. !!

Trudeau's sunny days clouding over in Quebec: Poll

A new poll shows federal Conservatives, Liberals tied in Quebec, with Andrew Scheer's party gaining ground.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s sunny days have become a little greyer in Quebec.

With the federal election less than three months away, a new poll shows the Conservative Party gaining ground and running neck and neck with the Liberals in a province that was key to Trudeau’s win in 2015.

Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are polling particularly well among those who propelled the Coalition Avenir Québec into power in the last provincial election, and those who live in the Quebec City region.

At the same time, the environment remains the top concern among residents of the province.

The Forum Research poll of 977 Quebecers taken in late July shows that 30 per cent would vote for the Liberals if a federal election was held today, while 28 per cent would support the Conservatives. The Bloc Québécois garnered 15 per cent of the vote, while 10 per cent said they would vote for the Green Party and 9 per cent for the NDP.

The fledgling People’s Party of Canada, led by Maxime Bernier, took 4 per cent of the vote.

In a similar poll taken June 11-12 in Quebec, 32 per cent said they would vote Liberal, and 25 per cent chose the Conservatives. Support for the NDP, Green Party and Bloc remained stable.

“The gap between the Liberals and Conservatives is narrowing in Quebec and that is bad news for the Liberals,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research. “The Liberals need a strong showing in Quebec and Ontario to win government, and a strong Conservative Party and a resurgent Bloc make that much, much more difficult.”

Quebec was a key factor in Trudeau’s victory in the October 2015 election.

The Liberals’ took 40 of 78 seats in the province, surpassing expectations. Trudeau won 36 per cent of the popular vote in Quebec, the NDP 25 per cent, the Bloc 19 per cent, the Conservatives 17 per cent, and the Greens three per cent.

In the latest poll, support for the Liberals was strongest in Montreal, garnering 41 per cent of the vote compared to 17 per cent for the Conservatives. Support for Scheer was strongest in the Quebec City region, where he took 48 per cent of voters’ intended votes. In the rest of Quebec, the Conservatives were ahead of the Liberals by 6 per cent, representing a gain over June’s poll, when the Conservatives only had a 3-per-cent lead over the Liberals.

Those who voted for the provincial Liberals last fall favoured their federal counterparts, with 72 per cent saying they would vote Liberal. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of those who voted for the CAQ said they would support the Conservatives in the federal vote, but only 18 per cent would favour the Liberals.

Support for the parties was also split among gender and linguistic lines, with Liberals earning the vote among 54 per cent of anglophones, with only 18 per cent of English-speakers going Conservative. Support for both parties was almost equal among francophone voters. Men were more likely to vote Conservative, while the Liberals had a greater share of the female vote.

A separate poll of 1,733 Canadians showed the Conservatives pulling ahead of the Liberals nationally, with 34 per cent favouring Scheer and 31 per cent saying they would vote for Trudeau if the election was today. The Greens and the NDP each scored 12 per cent, and the Bloc and the PPC garnered 5 per cent.

Trudeau’s approval rating was 34 per cent, while his disapproval rating was 55 per cent. Scheer had 27 per cent who said they approved of him and 48 per cent saying they disapproved.

Quebecers said the environment was the most important issue for them heading into the federal elections on Oct. 19, with 31 per cent listing it as their leading concern, followed by the economy (22 per cent) and health care (15 per cent).

Other recent polls showed similar figures nationally, but a different picture for Quebec, with the Liberals leading by at least 10 points. A Léger/Canadian Press web survey taken July 19-23 had the Liberals with 37 per cent of voter intentions in Quebec, and the Conservatives at 24 per cent. In Ontario, the parties were tied with 36 per cent of the vote, while in Alberta the Conservatives had 59 per cent support and the Liberals 24 per cent.

 

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/trudeaus-sunny-days-clouding-over-in-quebec-poll-shows

 

Edited by Jaydee

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4 years ago we did not vote a PM in we voted one out.  Look where that got us.  Now we are on track to make the same mistake.

Its time we started demanding better government.

 

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Canada just needs to keep on being Canada, and we'll be fine...

https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canada-overcomes-trumps-metal-tariffs-with-record-exports

Canada overcomes Trump's tariffs with record exports

Boost from oil and aircraft more than overcame declines in exports of steel and aluminum

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit was lower than forecast after the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, as oil producers and aircraft makers led exports to a record high.

The trade gap narrowed to $626 million in June, down from $2.7 billion a month earlier, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting a deficit of $2.3 billion.

Exports rose 4.1 per cent to a record $50.7 billion, with energy shipments rising 7.1 per cent to their highest since 2014 and aircraft sales jumping by almost 45 per cent. The return of several Canadian refineries to production after shutdowns also played a role in the 0.2 per cent decline in imports as demand for foreign gasoline tumbled.

Those boosts to the trade balance more than overcame declines in exports of steel and aluminum to the U.S. of 37 per cent 7 per cent respectively. President Donald Trump’s administration imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum in June, predicated on national security considerations; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government retaliated dollar-for-dollar on July 1.

Canada’s exports are on pace to advance faster than imports over the next year according to Bloomberg forecasts, reflecting higher crude oil prices and demand for building materials in a growing global economy. The Bank of Canada is counting on trade and investment to contribute more to an economic expansion as it raises interest rates, while saying protectionism remains the biggest risk.

Those risks include talks with the U.S. and Mexico to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Trump’s threats of new tariffs on automotive imports.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Details

  • The trade deficit was the smallest since January 2017
  • Exports rose 6 per cent between April and June, the fastest quarterly increase in a decade.
  • The quarterly trade deficit narrowed to $4.9 billion from $8.6 billion.
  • The volume of exports, considered a more reliable reading of economic growth because it strips out price changes, climbed 2.1 per cent.
  • Import volumes fell 1.3 per cent
  • The year-to-date trade deficit of $13.5 billion is the second-largest on record
  • The trade surplus with the U.S. grew to $4.1 billion in June from $3.3 billion in May

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Just thought I'd post some background on the creators of that meme, seems they are both followers of Qanon and 8chan....

https://twitter.com/NeonRevolt

https://twitter.com/Shazlandia

So if you want to know more about Qanon:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=qanon+posts&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP3ar15fHjAhUSK80KHVY4DM0Q_AUICSgA&biw=1670&bih=841&dpr=1.15

Or about 8chan:

https://www.google.ca/search?biw=1670&bih=841&ei=CE9LXbXnM9uFtQbpn5ywCw&q=8chan&oq=8chan&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i10j0l9.56306.57302..61894...0.0..0.91.411.5....2..0....1..gws-wiz.BoW9GgRAtSs&ved=&uact=5

These are the sites that could technically be referred to as the generators of 'Fake News'.

 

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August 8, 2019 / 8:53 AM / Updated 2 hours ago

Canada's point man in Washington, key Trudeau advisor, resigns

  •  
 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unexpectedly announced on Thursday that the Canadian ambassador to the United States, who played a pivotal role in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will leave Washington at the end of August.

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Canadian Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, arrive for a meeting with U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

David MacNaughton became ambassador in March 2016. Due to his importance in trade negotiations with Canada’s closest neighbor and biggest partner, he had cabinet level status in Ottawa. MacNaughton was also an adviser in Trudeau’s 2015 campaign.

In a letter, MacNaughton said his decision to leave was not taken “quickly or lightly” and that he “had long planned to complete my work” before Canada’s national election on Oct. 21, particularly after the United States lifted its tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products earlier this year.

“It is with great affection and gratitude – and of course, considerable regret – that I have accepted Ambassador David MacNaughton’s decision to leave Washington, D.C., at summer’s end, to return to his home in Toronto, and take up new challenges in the private sector,” Trudeau said in a statement.

MacNaughton told reporters at a news conference in Washington that he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Leslie, his four grown daughters and six - soon to be seven - grandchildren.

Canada’s deputy U.S. ambassador, Kirsten Hillman, will become acting ambassador following MacNaughton’s departure, Trudeau said.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who worked closely with MacNaughton during the NAFTA talks, praised him for his “steady hand... insight, intelligence, and grit as a negotiator.”

“Our country would not have succeeded in the negotiation of the new NAFTA or in securing the removal of the U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum without David’s leadership, wisdom, and hard work,” she said in a statement.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Twitter that “the U.S. has been fortunate to have (MacNaughton) as Canada’s representative in D.C.”

Canada and the United States have yet to ratify the new North American trade pact, now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), reached late last year. Canada has said its ratification process will remain in line with the United States.

On Thursday, MacNaughton warned his departure should not be seen as a “premature victory lap” and said the agreement still faces “considerable challenges” such as the need for passage by the U.S. Congress.

A senior government source told Reuters prior to MacNaughton’s departure that Canada does not expect movement in Washington on the USMCA for months.

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“I won’t say that it is a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think that there is broad support even among Democrats,” MacNaughton said on Thursday. He said he believes the agreement will pass both U.S. Houses with broad support from both parties.

Canada, he added, will need to ratify the agreement after its federal election.

MacNaughton said Canada was not willing to reopen the North American trade pact, but said officials could consider additional clarifications, like side letters or other “tweaking,” within the existing framework.

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