Welcome to The Feed, your bi-weekly resource to Canadian politics and policies broken down into itty bitty (super witty) bite-sized knowledge by Apathy is Boring.
Follow The Feed on Instagram to get a little more #cdnpoli on the side.
WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
Welcome to June, which is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. But a recent discovery in Kamloops, B.C. reminds us there’s still a lot of history hidden away to learn. Last Thursday, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced that the remains of 215 children were uncovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. It was once the largest residential school in Canada, operating from 1890 to 1969. Flags have been lowered on federal buildings and city halls and vigils are being held across the country. There are also calls for much more to be done, such as Indigenous leaders urging government officials to provide the resources to locate other unmarked burial sites. Looking to learn more? Understand the dark context with these 12 readings, learn why so many children died at Indian Residential Schools, and find out the responsibility we all have to enact real change.
To another story out of B.C., this one on Vancouver Island. Anti-logging protests are spotlighting the government’s management of old growth forests. What’s going on? Since last summer, a group has been using blockades in an attempt to stop the Teal-Jones Group from logging old growth forests. The Fairy Creek blockade, as it’s known, is in the news again for a few reasons. First, an injunction granted by the BC Supreme Court meant RCMP could remove protestors. They’ve done just that, arresting more than 100 people. As well, a photo of a massive old-growth tree on the back of a truck on a B.C. highway went viral. That led protesters to show up at B.C. Premier John Horgan’s constituency office, calling for an end to old-growth logging. For more on the story, this detailed read has you covered.
Let’s end with a pandemic milestone worth celebrating: more than half of all Canadians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine! And, depending on where you live, you may get your second dose of the vaccine earlier than expected. While chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says we’re over the peak of the third wave, she’s still cautioning provinces against re-opening too quickly. Plus, the pandemic outlook isn’t rosy everywhere. Intensive care units are over capacity in Manitoba, and the federal gov is deploying epidemiologists and lab techs to help out. In other pandemic news, PM Trudeau says Canada backs efforts by U.S. President Joe Biden to better understand the origins of COVID-19.
We’re getting closer to a national day for truth and reconciliation, after MPs passed legislation to create a new statutory holiday. The day to commemorate the victims and survivors of residential schools is set for September 30. Bill C-5, as it’s known, now goes on to the Senate.
Countries around the world, including Canada, are condemning Belarus, after a dissident journalist was arrested via a diverted flight involving a fake bomb threat. PM Trudeau says our gov is looking at further sanctions against Belarus, and Canadian air operators are being advised to avoid Belarusian airspace. Listen to this pod for more on the Belarusian president’s escalating crackdown on opposition.
We’ve talked previously about an Aitamekw mother named Joyce Echaquan. She recorded a Facebook Live video showing Quebec hospital staff insulting and swearing at her, all as she lay dying in a hospital bed. Now a coroner's inquiry is exploring her death and how Indigenous people are treated within the Quebec health-care system. Meanwhile, the province announced new funding for Indigenous community health clinics.
This wild story is worth a read. It’s about a provincial government employee whose job was to distribute pandemic payments to Ontario families. But instead, he found an ingenious way to make millions for himself. What?! Head inside the scam, and learn about the chaos and culture of fraud at Queen’s Park that it uncovered.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE NIBBLING ON
Updates, updates, updates! Let’s go rapid-fire here… A new governor general is expected to be announced by the end of June, according to Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc. Election speculation is off — for now. MPs from all parties recently voted in favour of a Bloc Québécois motion urging the government not to call an election until after the pandemic is over. Cool cool cool… except the motion they voted on doesn’t define just when “over” will be. Last but not least, dive into why Trudeau’s longtime promise to end the blood donation ban for gay men and others in the LGBTQ2S+ community still hasn’t happened.
Share Your Feed-back!
Fill in this survey to tell us what you think of The Feed.