Only in Canada

More Tragedy Strikes Canadian Politics

Following the deaths of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and sitting Conservative MP Jim Hillyer, yet another prominent political figure was killed this past week. Former federal Liberal cabinet minister and political commentator Jean Lapierre and several members of his family were traveling to the Magdalen Islands on Tuesday when their plane crashed on its approach to the Havre-aux-Maisons airport. The family were on a private flight to attend the funeral of Lapierre's father who had recently passed. Lapierre had an extensive history in Canadian politics where he helped found the Bloc Québécois and served as Minister of Transport under the Liberal Paul Martin Administration. After retiring from politics, Lapierre became a political analyst with Quebec television network TVA and Montreal radio station 98.5 FM. Over the years, Lapierre also made numerous appearances on other radio talk shows and TV networks including CTV.

Elections are Coming

If you can look outside and watch your dog runaway for 3 days then the odds are you're about to have an election. Both the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba will be holding provincial elections this month with Saskatchewanians (believe it or not, this is an actual term) hitting the polls on the 4th and Manitobans on the 19th. Recent polls indicate that current Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall will win another major victory with the Saskatchewan Party sitting at just over 60% support. Meanwhile, Manitoba's Premier, Greg Selinger, is having a much harder time convincing his constituents that the NDP are worthy of re-election. Recent polling suggests that the party may in fact come in third while the Progressive Conservative party (currently with 45% support) achieves an easy victory.

What's Worse Than a Terrorist With a Bomb?

Well, a terrorist with a nuclear bomb. This is the scenario that concerned world leaders enough to gather in Washington last week at the Nuclear Security Summit. Over 50 delegation heads attended the summit including Prime Minister Trudeau. The PM announced that Canada would be stepping up its investment in nuclear security with a $42-million contribution over the next two years to help improve international nuclear and radiological security. So far it appears Canada is doing a fairly good job at keeping the country 'nuclear-secure' after ranking third safest on the Nuclear Threat Initiative's 2016 "theft ranking" of nations that possess nuclear material. Nevertheless, Trudeau emphasized that Canada could do more to address nuclear threats as he met privately with world leaders including the British and Indian Prime Ministers.

It was during his discussions with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, that Trudeau was invited to visit India. It was reported that Trudeau happily accepted the offer and that the two leaders discussed numerous issues including climate change, investment, and trade. It was not announced as to when the PM's visit will occur. 

Only in Canada...

Could a politician go missing for a week and survive the frigid temperatures by building an igloo. That's right, Pauloosie Keyootak, an MLA from Nunavut, went missing last week after heading out on a snowmobile trip with two family members. When the trio failed to arrive at their destination a massive search, including the use of Canadian Forces aircraft, was launched. After being missing for 8 days, the group was spotted by air searchers and were then rescued by helicopter. All three men were checked out at hospital and were deemed to be just fine asides from being cold and hungry. Things could have turned out much worse had Keyootak not managed to use a small knife to build two igloos for shelter. The trio were able to stay warm in the igloos despite the -33 degree celsius temperatures outside... A truly Canadian story with a great outcome.  

In Other News...

Edmonton is in for an Orange Weekend

Members of the NDP will be coming from across the country this weekend for the party convention in Edmonton. The most important order of business will be the much anticipated vote on whether or not to keep Thomas Mulcair as the party leader. It is estimated that about 1,500 delegates will vote on Sunday to determine the fate of Mulcair. A recent poll by Ekos shows the party's support at just 11.7% after the federal election which saw the NDP lose over half their seats and fall into third place. Nevertheless, Mulcair says he has what it takes to turn the party around and is the best person to lead the party into the next election. The President of Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, seems to agree with Mulcair and has come out in support of the leader ahead of the vote. Regardless of the outcome, a lot of eyes are sure to be on Edmonton this weekend and we will have a breakdown of all the deets next week!

Trudeau Wants a New Constitution 

Not a new Canadian constitution but rather a new Liberal Party Constitution that will help modernize and transform the party. The Liberal Leader has proposed a new set of rules that will effectively allow every Canadian to register with the party for free and be eligible to participate in policy development, nomination of candidates, party conventions, and the selection of future leaders. The changes are similar to those implemented by the Liberals 4 years ago which allowed all party supporters to vote in leadership contests. The new constitution, which will go to a vote at the party's national convention in May, simply expands the scope of the previous changes which have been called a 'huge success' by party leadership. It is hoped that the changes will allow more Liberal supporters to express their opinions and contribute to the political process. 

Thanks for reading.


Braden McMillian