If you were starting to think I all but abandoned The Dark Horse Report, think again. I'll admit there has been a bit of a lull in posting Reports in recent weeks due to a very busy schedule including moving apartments. However, I am now settled in my new home downtown Vancouver and ready to continue producing informative Reports on a regular basis! To get things going I have finally finalized my interview with Kevin Falcon (to be posted very soon) and also published an Insight article on why voters can't just vote anywhere during a federal election - click here to read. But now is time for this week's summary report:
Liberal Cabinet Minister Resigns
After just 7 months in office, Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo has resigned from his position as minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. Tootoo stated his battle with addiction for the resignation and said he was also leaving the Liberal Caucus "in order to not distract from the important work of my colleagues." Tootoo had been a territorial politician for 14 years before running in the October federal election for the Liberals. In the meantime, Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc will be taking over Tootoo's cabinet responsibilities until a new minister is appointed.
Government Misses Deadline
Today marks the deadline imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada to enact legislation on doctor-assisted dying. The deadline comes after a landmark ruling by the SCC last year which struck down a ban on doctor assisted dying and ordered Parliament to implement new legislation within one year. The deadline was later extended by 4 months to give the government more time to finalize the new doctor-assisted dying bill (C-14). Unfortunately, despite the extension, Bill C-14 is not expected to pass through the Senate before Tuesday which will officially make the government late to pass the new legislation. However, all things considered, one day behind schedule is still fairly impressive for the federal government in terms of deadlines.
Trudeau Dissatisfied With Chinese Conduct
Last Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticised a Canadian journalist for asking about human rights during a press conference in Ottawa. Wang Yi, while standing next to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, angrily called the journalist "irresponsible" for asking such a question. To the surprise of many, Dion remained silent and did not defend the journalist or address the comments during the press conference. However, on Friday Trudeau spoke out about the exchange and said that both he and Dion expressed their "dissatisfaction to both the Chinese foreign minister and the ambassador of China to Canada." Trudeau went on to underscore the importance of having a free press and his strong feels on the matter.
An announcement of ''dissatisfaction' might seem insignificant but is actually a fairly strong response in terms of foreign affairs. The Chinese government places high importance on image and honour which this incident and statement from the Prime Minister is sure to tarnish. This remains especially true since such negative statements regarding foreign diplomatic behaviour are very rare. In fact, just last month Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers tackled a protester in Dublin and yet did not received any public criticism from the Government of Ireland.
In Other News...
Trudeau is Off the Hook
An all-party committee has agreed to let Prime Minister Trudeau off the hook for his actions last month that resulted in NDP Ruth Ellen Brosseau being elbowed in the chest (click here to read more). The incident gained widespread attention around the world and was quickly dubbed 'Elbowgate.' However, after careful review all committee members agreed that Trudeau did not need to be sanctioned for his actions after Brosseau had accepted the PM's apologies.
Tories Say I Do
Last weekend the Conservative Party of Canada hosted a convention in Vancouver which saw the party change its official views on same-sex marriage. After much debate, party delegates overwhelmingly voted in favor of changing the definition of marriage in the party's policy book. The party has now agreed to drop any commitment to preserve a 'traditional' marriage between one man and one woman and instead acknowledges same-sex marriage as legal and a social reality. Such a significant change in policy is likely the start of a more dramatic and widespread reformation of the party after a devastating loss in the last election and subsequent resignation of party leader Stephen Harper. The party appears to be moving more to the political left and is realizing its conservative values are not as popular with voters as they once were.
Thanks for reading,