December 6, 2019

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Politics 204 for January 27


Quote of the day

  • Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde looks on as First Nations Child and Family Caring Society executive director Cindy Blackstock speaks about the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling regarding discrimination against First Nations children in care during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday. (The Canadian Press)

    Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde looks on as First Nations Child and Family Caring Society executive director Cindy Blackstock speaks about the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling regarding discrimination against First Nations children in care during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday.

    “This is a complete victory for children. It strips away any sensibility that First Nations children are being treated fairly by the government of Canada.” — Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of Caring Society. Blackstock was one of the people behind a complaint that the federal government has been discriminating against First Nations kids on reserve for years.

Balancing act

  • Dissident MLAs (from left) Andrew Swan, Theresa Oswald, Jennifer Howard, Erin Selby and Stan Struthers

    Dissident MLAs (from left) Andrew Swan, Theresa Oswald, Jennifer Howard, Erin Selby and Stan Struthers

    Balancing life: Jennifer Howard, MLA for Fort Rouge is announcing today that she is not seeking reelection. She's one of the five Manitoba MLAs that went public with their concerns about the future of the NDP under Premier Selinger.
  • Balancing use of force: A Toronto cop says he was merely defending himself when he fired two volleys into a deranged teenager on a Toronto street car. A jury decided he went too far. Indeed, police forces must strike a better balance between the right of self-defence and the duty to protect.
  • Balancing environment: Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr will announce this afternoon how he intends to amend the National Energy Board process to assess pipeline projects. Carr and the Liberals have been under pressure all week, particularly over the Energy East pipeline, as a growing disconnect between the East and West in Canada takes hold. Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have an announcement planned in Ottawa at 3 p.m. CST today. Energy East will run through Manitoba as well, taking oil from Alberta to refineries in Quebec and on the East Coast.

Anniversary celebrations

  • Nellie McClung  (C. Jessop / National Archives of Canada / The Canadian Press files)

    Nellie McClung

    What would Nellie say?: Shannon Sampert spoke with a number of trailblazers in politics in Manitoba and asked: “What would Nellie say?” as we get ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Canada.
  • Not just Nellie; Penni Mitchell writes about the important immigrant women who also fought for the right to vote and Carol Sanders is heading off to Welcome House where they’re also celebrating the right to vote with a focus on the immigrant women who led the push.
  • Women’s studies: Manitoba was way ahead of its time in introducing women’s studies in Canada. Leslie Hughes writes about her attempts in the 1970s to introduce a feminist perspective to curriculum in Manitoba.

In case you missed it

  • Councillor Russ Wyatt. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press)

    Councillor Russ Wyatt.

    On hold: Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt wants council to abandon the Waverley underpass project until city hall learns which of the rail lines that criss-cross Winnipeg can be removed or relocated. Wyatt said it makes no sense to spend $155 million on the underpass project when it might not be needed.
  • New regime: With the installation of new masters in Ottawa, we have the expectation the business of government will be carried out differently. The prime minister has issued guidelines for the conduct of political staff. He has indicated ministers will have a degree of independence from the steely hand of central control. Openness and transparency are the new watchwords — government appointments will be on merit rather than party loyalty. Political interference has had its day. We are entering the era of good feelings. But there will be slip-ups.
  • Nick Martin blog: When is a draft budget not a draft budget?

On the calendar

  • Former Prime Minister, Kim Campbell  (CP)

    Former Prime Minister, Kim Campbell

    Anniversary: Thursday marks the 100th anniversary of the extension of the rights to vote to women. Most Manitoba women won the right to vote in 1916 and the franchise expanded. Tonight, former PM Kim Campbell talks to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights about this important part of Manitoba’s history.
  • City hall agenda: Council is being asked to give final approval to the controversial expropriation of properties for the transit corridor and the Parker pond projects, as well as approve heritage designations for three south Main Street properties that a Toronto developer wants to demolish and replace with a $35-million, 150-room hotel.
  • On the Hill: Political parties meet to discuss tactics and strategy in their caucuses, as part of the regular Wednesday in federal politics. Thursday, former Manitoba MP Steven Fletcher will testify at the House of Commons committee studying the issue of physician-assisted dying. Fletcher became an unexpected advocate in favour of limited allowances for physician-assisted suicide.

Today in history

  • In 1914, Nellie McClung led a delegation of the Political Equality League to Manitoba’s provincial legislature to present several petitions and request that women be granted the right to vote. Premier Rodmond Roblin spoke against the proposal. Two years and a day later, Manitoba women won that right.

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