It’s by-election day in Calgary Centre, Durham, and Victoria! While Durham is expected to be a Conservative hold, and Victoria likely to stay NDP (though the Greens are really pushing for a second seat there), all eyes will be on Calgary Centre. Over the weekend, at the final debate, Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt was making bizarre statements, like only a government MP could help you if you lost your passport while in Mexico because they could go across the hall to the minister’s office – which is patently not true (especially since you would go to the nearest consulate for non-partisan, civil service assistance). But then again, Crockatt has made a campaign of saying terribly wrong things about our political system, so why should she change now? (Recall this particular post after one of her very wrong statements early in the campaign. Yeah, this is a problem).
In the wake of the Trudeau apology, Aaron Wherry digs up some great moments in regional politics history, like the “no more prime ministers from Quebec” ad that the Reform Party launched – and Harper defended. Peter Armstrong wonders if Alberta has become the new Quebec. In this clip, Paul Wells makes some additional observations of the context of the interview that Trudeau said the aforementioned comments. And yes, Conservative Party headquarters has a big binder full of controversial things that Harper has said in the past. One wonders if the Trudeau camp is now compiling their own, so as not to be surprised when the next impolitic quote is dredged up.
The government is looking to offload some of its responsibilities for resettling refugees by capping the number of private sponsorships, but then directing some of the refugees they promised to sponsor as a government to those private groups, who may not have the capacity or the connection to the refugees that the government wants them to sponsor.
Paul Wells dissects this very interesting leaked EU memo about the state of our trade negotiations as of a week or so ago. IT looks like it’ll soon be up to the PM to start making a few judgement calls about what he’s willing to accept and sacrifice for access to the much larger EU market.
Stephen Harper has written a couple of letters to Peter MacKay ordering him to get the Canadian Forces to find some new useful purpose for CFB Goose Bay. Apparently the calculus is that if the can find a meaningful role for the base, and generate jobs in the area, that it’ll be a good thing for the embattled local MP, Peter Penashue.
Anne Kingston details what went down in the Senate when they killed off a bill around CCSVI for MS suffers while in committee. One of the biggest issues is that it continues the government’s move to decentralise healthcare (despite the federal government being the second largest healthcare provider in the country).
Remember how the Conservatives have been “really close” to getting an ambassador in place for their new Office of Religious Freedoms? Well, it seems they’re still having trouble locating a suitable candidate, a year-and-a-half later. Not that this should surprise anyone.
Joe Clark fears that we may be turning into a nation of indifferent gated communities that will lose federal cohesion.
And here is your recap of the Sunday morning political shows, chock-full of prognostications about how Justin Trudeau will lose the Calgary Centre by-election for the Liberals (never mind that they haven’t had a chance in that riding for 40 years).
Also up today – Liberal MP Joyce Murray is set to announce her candidacy for the leadership.