June 25, 2019

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Politics 204 for October 15


Quote of the day

  • Kerri Irvin-Ross says the new rules allow the Family Services Department to act more quickly. (BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files )

    Kerri Irvin-Ross says the new rules allow the Family Services Department to act more quickly.

    “We want to make sure that service providers, foster parents, caregivers, social workers know that there is a responsibility — if there is an injury that is life-threatening that it is reported.” — Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross outlining Wednesday new rules that require quick and widespread reporting of all critical incidents involving children in the care of Child and Family Services in Manitoba.

The countdown continues

  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau waves to supporters as he boards his bus following a rally outside a coffee shop in Napanee. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Paul Chiasson)

    Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau waves to supporters as he boards his bus following a rally outside a coffee shop in Napanee.

    Blowback?: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is trying to minimize the impact of campaign co-chairman Dan Gagnier’s resignation. Gagnier submitted his notice late Wednesday after the public got wind of an email he sent giving advice to an oil company on how to lobby the next government. Trudeau called Gagnier’s actions “inappropriate.” The Conservatives and NDP pounced on the matter as a sign of the old-school Liberal arrogance that led to the sponsorship scandal a decade ago. Trudeau tried to turn the tables on Stephen Harper and the Conservatives over Harper’s campaigning with former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who was caught on video smoking crack. A new book out this week by a former aide details chilling accounts of working under Ford, including an excerpt about a middle-of-the-night domestic incident between Ford and his wife. The NDP, meanwhile, is gleefully following both developments hoping either might provide the Hail Mary pass that could salvage this election for team orange.
  • In Winnipeg Centre: It is a riding that’s become more about personality than politics, between MP Pat Martin’s outbursts and Robert-Falcon Ouellette comparing himself to Louis Riel. However, it also the second-poorest riding in Canada, with serious issues that should be addressed.
  • In Brandon: The seeds for the Liberals’ rise and Conservatives’ decline in the 2015 general election campaign were sown 23 months ago, during the Brandon-Souris byelection campaign. The themes and dynamics of that contest largely foreshadowed the national campaign that has unfolded over the past three months, Deveryn Ross writes in Think-Tank.

Injuries, death and surpluses — a mixed bag

  • Dr Anna Ziomek, registrar of the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons.  (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press files)

    Dr Anna Ziomek, registrar of the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons.

    CFS editorial: Grievous injuries to children in the child-welfare system will now have to be reported, but to what end? The Manitoba children’s advocate should be given the job of investigating the injuries (as it does with deaths) and analyzing this data, as recommended by the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry. That’s the Free Press editorial Friday.
  • Assisted dying: The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba has released a draft position statement on physician-assisted death and is seeking comment on it from the public. The statement follows a Supreme Court of Canada decision last winter, legalizing physician-assisted death in Canada under certain circumstances as of Feb. 6, 2016. The high court gave the federal government a year to amend its laws to comply with the ruling, but all Ottawa has done to date is to name a three-person advisory panel in July.
  • Budget surplus woes: Finance chairman Coun. Marty Morantz says Winnipeg’s projected $6.9-million budget surplus is “artificial,” as it was achieved with a series of stop-gap measures, including robbing reserve accounts. Morantz says city hall continues to spend more money than it’s able to collect from taxes.

In case you missed it

  • Conservative leader Stephen Harper holds a copy of his party's platform during a campaign stop in Richmond, B.C.  (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

    Conservative leader Stephen Harper holds a copy of his party's platform during a campaign stop in Richmond, B.C.

    Advance polls: Manitobans took advantage of the advance polls over the Thanksgiving long weekend. And the Free Press has the data that shows where the turnout was greatest.
  • Nasty to the finish: The federal election campaign is heading into its final days, and the nastiness will be amped up. Dan Lett talks about the target on the back of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
  • Rare step: River East Transcona trustees have taken the rare step of turfing five-term trustee Wayne Ritcher and declaring his seat vacant after determining that he no longer lives within the division.

Today in history

  • Prime Minister Jean Chretien  (CP)

    Prime Minister Jean Chretien

    You want nasty?: In 1993, the king of all negative ads was revealed as the federal election campaign heated up. Kim Campbell’s Conservative campaign committee released a series of TV ads attacking Jean Chrétien. Critics charged the ads make fun of the Liberal leader’s face, disfigured by a childhood disease. The ads were later withdrawn.

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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