Quote of the day
- "No one has ever given me the manual on how to be a politician. Sure, sometimes I get myself in trouble because someone asks me a question I actually answer, or someone is really rude and sometimes they get it back. Politicians, journalists and political scientists look at me, aghast, and say 'That’s not how it’s done,' but with me, even if all my foibles get myself into trouble, people see who I am and I think, in some way, people appreciate that." — Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
Assisted dying bill hits Senate
- Sinclair speaks out: Manitoba Independent Sen. Murray Sinclair isn’t known for taking the easy route and he’s not starting now. Sinclair will deliver his first speech in the Senate today and the topic is one of the most hot-button issues in Canadian politics right now — medically-assisted dying. Sinclair will be the first independent senator to speak to the government’s legislation, which passed the House of Commons on Tuesday and has now made it’s way over to the upper chamber for review. Sinclair, a former Manitoba judge, will tell the upper chamber he supports the bill and that the government is correct that there will be a legal void if the bill isn’t passed by June 6, when the Supreme Court deadline hits for implementing its decision legalizing assisted suicide in certain circumstances.
Budgets, balanced or otherwise
- Old boss, new boss: As Dougald Lamont writes, the conventional wisdom, presented by Finance Minister Cameron Friesen and echoed in the budget itself, is that “NDP overspending” is to blame for the deficit. This fits in with the NDP’s “brand” of being big-spending socialists, but is totally at odds with everything the government actually did while in power: they governed like PCs, both economically and socially.
- Tories kill Tory law: The Balanced Budget Law (BBL), as it was commonly known, was one of the seminal pieces of legislation introduced by former Tory premier Gary Filmon in the volatile 1990s. The NDP maintained the law through their 16 years in government while introducing many amendments, weakening many of the original provisions and strengthening a few others. But then, in his budget speech on Tuesday, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen announced the BBL would finally and mercifully be repealed.
- More cash for cities: Canada’s mayors plan to push the new federal Liberal government to ensure quick access to new programs offering billions of dollars for infrastructure, transit and environmental projects. Meeting Thursday morning in Winnipeg, the mayors of Canada’s 21 largest communities said they want assurances from Ottawa that the $60 billion promised in the last federal budget will be available when the communities need it.
Inquiry and investigation
- High expectations: Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett has released the framework for the inquiry that will begin soon into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. This inquiry will give voice to indigenous people — those who have been victims, and the families of the missing and murdered. But the recommendations call for the inquiry to be able to open independent investigations into cases of missing women — that’s an ambitious goal, which could dangerously raise expectations of families.
- Minister calls for investigation: Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen has formally asked Health Canada to investigate interim NDP leader Flor Marcelino for importing and distributing a form of natural medicine, specifically the dried leaves of the guyabano fruit plant, which she purported has healed and cured cancer in several people.
Today in history
- On June 2, 1862: With the signature of the deed for a plot of land at the northwest junction of two cart-trails, Main Street and Portage Road, Henry McKenney and John Schultz established a lumber and hardware store, the first building at what would become Winnipeg's iconic intersection.
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