Quote of the day
- “Minority governments are no longer exceptional political mishaps that will automatically be corrected at the next election. Since the country was founded, 11 minority governments have been elected. Nine of these occurred in the last 18 general elections held since 1957. Given the recent political cleavages in the country and the shortcomings of our political parties, our first-past-the-post electoral system has not fulfilled its presumed virtue of ‘manufacturing’ majority governments when no party captures a majority of the popular vote.” — Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba, on the likelihood that on Oct. 20, we’ll wake up to a minority government.
First Nation issues
- Urban reserves: Mary Agnes Welch is at a joint meeting of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce on the issue of urban reserves. According to the news release from both organizations: “Urban Reserves are a new concept in Manitoba and Winnipeg, and many are not aware of what they are, what they mean or how they develop.” The luncheon hopes to help folks understand the concept.
- MKO newser: Meanwhile, our Bartley Kives is off to a news conference with Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. and Chief Arlen Dumas of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. They’re going to talk about the issues facing First Nations with the federal election just 12 days away. And Mary Agnes Welch provides a riding profile for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski.
- Provincially: Here in Manitoba, the provincial Conservatives are standing by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ Cora Morgan, who was appointed as the First Nations Family Advocate. PC family services critic Ian Wishart said it’s disrespectful to muzzle the newly appointed advocate. According to a news release, the PC’s point out Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross recently announced the government is going back to the drawing board on long-overdue legislative changes to children’s services, and rather than seeking partnership will appoint her own deputy associate First Nations children’s advocate.
The federal election campaign
- The leaders tour: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is facing criticism today after national media reported his office directed immigration officials to stop processing applications from Syrian refugees referred by the United Nations and for several months required any such refugees to require approval directly from him. Harper himself has not yet responded to the story but a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said it was done for security reasons. Liberal Justin Trudeau and NDP’s Tom Mulcair pounced on the story as evidence of political meddling in the issue.
- Charleswood; What’s going on in the riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley? Incumbent Steven Fletcher faces off against Liberal Doug Eyolfson and the NDP’s Tom Paulley, who was the former campaign manager for Stefan Jonasson, who was asked to step down from the campaign. Kristin Annable is doing the riding profile. Mary Agnes Welch warns us about reading the tea leaves in trying to call this election.
- In our Think Tank: Deveryn Ross says until we see the details on TPP, no one can say if what Canada is giving up balances what the country gains. And UofM professor Shauna Labman says the federal government is “privatizing” refugee sponsorship — increasing the number of fleeing families taken in through the generosity of individual Canadians, while cutting the numbers of government-sponsored refugees.
In case you missed it
- Interchange chaos: St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard wants city hall to scrap its ambitious plans for a massive interchange and underpass at Marion and Archibald streets and start over with a search for a solution to the problematic intersection that is hobbled by frequent train crossings. Meanwhile our editorial on Friday wonders whether it’s good intentions gone astray. A plan to ease congestion in an east St. Boniface community has evolved into a monster. Would something simpler work? Or is that just avoiding short-term pain for long-term gain?
- Health minister in waiting?: Former provincial-health-minister-turned-federal-NDP-candidate Erin Selby says the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will prevent Canada from changing drug-marketing laws to lower prescription-drug costs for provinces and patients.
Today in history
- In 1971, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Indian woman cannot be deprived of Indian status because of her marriage to non-Indian.