May 26, 2019

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More on the crisis on reserves, the election campaign and the red chamber: Politics 204 for April 18


What we're talking about

  • A tattered Canadian flag flies over a building in Attawapiskat, Ont. (CP)

    A tattered Canadian flag flies over a building in Attawapiskat, Ont.

    Suicides: The chief of a remote First Nation says he hopes a planned meeting with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett will be the beginning of real change for Attawapiskat. Increasing suicide attempts by youth in the community on James Bay prompted the northern Ontario First Nation to declare a state of emergency on April 9. And Chief Bruce Shisheesh says five more young people attempted to take their lives last Friday evening.
  • Our editorial: A series of suicides and suicide attempts on a northern First Nation has Canadians searching for answers once again. That’s because the problem of self-harm and suicide is neither unusual nor unique to one reserve or community. Politicians are offering short-term solutions, such as counselling, but the country needs to focus on long-term plans that will help aboriginal peoples develop lives worth living.
  • Welcoming signs: Stores around Winnipeg's downtown will now be welcoming you in different languages. Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and its aboriginal peoples' advisory committee are inviting businesses to install decals with the word "welcome" in different indigenous languages — Ojibwe, Cree, Dene, Michif, Dakota and Inuktitut — in addition to English and French.

On the day before the election

  • A Manitoba election polling station.

    A Manitoba election polling station.

    Advance poll turnout: Not a lot of action on the campaign trail, but Elections Manitoba did have some interesting numbers to share as voting in the advance polls concluded over the weekend. Record numbers showed up to vote as Elections Manitoba made voting in advance easier and more convenient.
  • Here’s what got ignored: Policy is very much what governments decide to do as well as what they decide NOT to do. We’ll have a look at what got ignored in this election campaign.

The red chamber

  • Suspended senator Mike Duffy arrives for his first court appearance at the courthouse in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.  (CP)

    Suspended senator Mike Duffy arrives for his first court appearance at the courthouse in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

    Duffy trial: Sen. Mike Duffy will learn his fate Thursday when the judge in his fraud and breach of trust case delivers the verdict in an Ottawa courtroom. Duffy is the first of three senators to go on trial. His case is related to his expense claims as a member of the upper chamber. Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb are both set to go on trial later this year.
  • Other senators: Thursday is also the day the Senate can begin to take legal action against any of the senators who have not yet repaid money owing from the Auditor General of Canada's audit of two years' worth of Senate expense claims. Thursday is one month since former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie delivered his binding arbitration report reviewing the findings of the audit for 14 senators. Since then Manitoba Conservative Sen. Don Plett and former Manitoba Conservative senator Terry Stratton have repaid their amounts owing. Former Liberal senators from Manitoba Sharon Carstairs and Rod Zimmer have not yet repaid, and are expected to face legal action by the Senate to recoup the money. Meanwhile, two more senators have repaid the money they owe.

Election stories you may have missed

  • NDP Leader Greg Selinger

    NDP Leader Greg Selinger

    Lawsuit filed: NDP Leader Greg Selinger, senior cabinet minister Steve Ashton and the Manitoba government are being sued by Omnitrax Canada. Selinger and Ashton, the province’s infrastructure and transportation minister, are accused of breaching a non-disclosure agreement in relation to the proposed deal to sell the Hudson Bay Railway and Port of Churchill to a group of First Nations.
  • Nasty: Barbs were flying Sunday as the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats exchanged attacks on the second-last day of the campaign.
  • Ignoring cities: Nearly 55 per cent of Manitoba’s population lives inside Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway, representing more than 60 per cent of the province’s employment and two-thirds of its GDP. Despite this concentration of people and commerce, urban issues have seemingly not been a central focus of the provincial election campaign. Manitoba’s provincial budget is 12 times greater than Winnipeg’s municipal budget, meaning the province’s values and civic priorities have a substantial influence on the type of city we build.

Today in history

  • Louis Riel, pictured here in a photo circa 1876, is considered the founder of Manitoba. (Winnipeg Free Press photo archives)

    Louis Riel, pictured here in a photo circa 1876, is considered the founder of Manitoba.

    Naming the province: Today in 1870, Louis Riel advised his Ottawa delegates that the name of the new province should be Manitoba or North-West.

The Free Press Election Extra lets you know about everything that matters in 2018’s civic election. Receive it in your inbox three times a week until Election Day.

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