Politics Insider for September 30, 2021 – A Day of Reflection; The order of the Canadian Court of Human Rights was confirmed; and more COVID records
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Today is the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, a new federal statutory holiday (with provinces under pressure to follow suit) that coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which has been unofficially recognized since 2013.
The new governor general, Mary Simon, has a statement on residential schools that is more resonant than the typical Rideau Hall press release:
As the son of a white father and an Inuk mother, I was not allowed to attend. I stayed behind, was homeschooled, and visited families where there was a palpable void. I was a surrogate, a beloved surrogate for mothers and fathers who desperately missed their children. We all feel it. The pain of losing a part of our community.
At Globe and mail, Dakota kochie writes that a national day to take stock of the treatment of indigenous children Couldn’t have come at a more necessary time, and highlights the work done by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (its executive Summary is a must read). At Hill times, Liberal MP Mi’kmaq Jaime Battiste speaks of the power of listen to indigenous language in the House of Commons, but Rose lemay have sobering advice to the class of newly elected MPs as they prepare for a new Parliament: “Most of the time, The Hill protect themselves over the lives of indigenous peoples. “
Victory: Yesterday, the Federal Court sustained the 2019 Canadian Human Rights Court decision ordering compensation to be paid to First Nations children (and some family members) affected by child welfare systems on reservations since 2006; and children who needed to leave the reserve to access services or were denied services according to the Jordanian principle. (Read the 2019 decision here.) Judge appeals dismissed by the federal government, which complained that the court overreached. P.M Justin trudeau, who happened last night at a Truth and Reconciliation event, will now face doubts about whether his government will continue that fight with more appeals.
Mark the day: Take a look online programming at the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation. You can watch Unreserved’s Rosanna Deerchild on CBC Radio One at 12pm local time for a special with the retired senator Murray sinclair, who chaired the CVR. ICYMI, CBC also has a fascinating interactive report by Ka’nhehsí: io Deer investigates an indigenous boy who died in a residential school, and who has special coverage on TV and radio at 8 pm local time. If you are in Ottawa, the Remember me walking honoring children and families affected by residential schools includes an opening ceremony on Parliament Hill at 10 am and a march at noon.
So Trudeau’s victory is legitimate and impressive. It sets a different course for the country in the things that matter. So why do so many people feel that the country is no better for dragging themselves through this campaign? Perhaps because the problems facing Canada demand realism and tough decisions, and the dynamics of a modern campaign reward denial and emojis.
Double vaxxed or bust?: Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet took the podium on Wednesday and demanded a swift return from Parliament, less than a day after the PMJT suggested it will happen at some vague moment. “Before the end of autumn.” Blanchet said that as long as MPs have dual power, Zoom-based parliamentary sessions should follow the path of the dodo. Conservative unvaccinated PM, if any (Erin O’Toole did not say), should “stay home”, said:
“Parliament shouldn’t go back under any kind of hybrid formation now that we know we can stick with the way this building is supposed to work, and we shouldn’t refrain from doing so because some people don’t believe the vaccine will work. This belongs to another century ”.
Meanwhile in Ontario, some companies are challenging immunization passport rules to welcome “everyone”. And meanwhile on the Internet, YouTube announced that it is ban all Vax misinformation from their platform, not just about COVID-19 injections, but about other vaccines like measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
Crisis mode: The Canadian Medical Association is asking for new closures in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadian Press reports, as each province breaks its previous COVID-19 hospitalization records. This as Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney faces the question about his refusal to accept help of Newfoundland, and how the current MLA support a “Free Alberta Strategy” that would seek provincial veto power over federal laws. Don Braid, in the Calgary herald, warns against firing the sentiments behind the fringe group:
Many Albertans will like this plan. Federal leaders shouldn’t ignore it. They need to offer real solutions for a province that is expected to shrink its core industry. So far, damn everyone.
Where is a coherent Chinese policy going? Unsurprisingly, the commentator is envisioning the scope of what a re-elected Liberal government should do regarding its relationship with China now that the two Michaels are home (and be vaxxed). Despite some calls for the feds to “stop hanging around”, Andrew Coyne remind us at Balloon that Canada’s policy of “stepping on strategic ground” predates his arrest and predicts that it will continue for the foreseeable future.
Let us put aside that China continues to host more than 100 Canadians, including Robert Schellenberg, sentenced to death for drug trafficking shortly after the arrest of the two Michaels, and Huseyin Celil, the Canadian and ethnic Uighur citizen who has been sitting in a Chinese jail cell since 2006. If we were not willing to confront China while the two Michaels were incarcerated, why would we be more willing to do so while the others remain?
the StarHeather Scoffield offers an alternate view, foreseeing that most Canadian industries may gradually shift their business interests out of China. Canada finally has “some room to maneuver,” he says, and can withstand more economic pressure from the Chinese government than we think. “As a country, we are not as dependent as many would have us believe.”
Finally, #HISLBV: For the uninitiated, that means “Harper is still on the prowl. Stay tuned, ”a helpful tagline tweeted columnist Michael Harris in the wake of the 2015 election. We learned Wednesday that the former prime minister was found lurking, er, heading the advisory committee of a Toronto-based company seeking sell surveillance technology to the United Arab Emirates. Yet another business partner whose human rights record leaves much to be desired.