Welcome to The Feed. Your bi-monthly resource to Canadian politics and policies broken down into itty bitty (super witty) bite-size knowledge by Apathy is Boring. Pun intended.
WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
Thought we were in for a bit of a news lull, what with the election over and parliament not yet in session? Think again, friends. You may have heard by now - Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry was fired over calling immigrants “you people” and saying they don’t wear poppies to honour veterans, and of course everyone is weighing in. That includes politicians Harjit Sajjan, Jagmeet Singh and François Legault, Hockey Hall of Famers, former and current soldiers, ordinary Canadians and Cherry’s fellow host, Ron MacLean. Totally behind on this story that’s been dominating headlines? Listen to this Front Burner podcast episode to catch up. In more positive news involving a Canadian TV personality, Alex Trebek’s response to a Final Jeopardy answer is giving us all the feels.
All eyes are on a December date, and no it’s not December 25! (...nor boxing day, for that matter). We just learned Prime Minister JT will convene the new Parliament on December 5. The 43rd Parliament will begin with MPs electing a new House of Commons Speaker, a wanted room in the house, that several MPs are already campaigning for. Next is Trudeau’s throne speech, where he’ll outline his minority government’s priorities. Already, the Green Party’s Elizabeth May and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have been open about the potential of voting against the upcoming throne speech. Singh says his party could vote against the speech if it doesn’t offer commitments to parts of his party’s platform, while May says her party isn’t ready to give support to a government that doesn’t understand “we’re facing a climate emergency.” Keep in mind, however, it’s not guaranteed the speech will go to a vote. While debate and a vote on the throne speech traditionally happens, it’s not actually mandatory.
In the lead-up to December 5, JT has been busy determining who’s in his cabinet (aka choosing his squad). He’s expected to reveal a larger crew than normal on Wednesday (today), and here are five things we’re watching for. Breaking news, *drumroll* Chrystia Freeland, former Foreign Affairs minister will be appointed as deputy prime minister. That's like being the Robin to JT's Batman. Freeland will now be the nation's second-in-command. Trudeau has also been in meetings, meetings and even more meetings, with opposition party leaders Andrew Scheer, Yves-François Blanchet, Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May, plus premiers Scott Moe and Brian Pallister. While no one is feuding quite as much as Taylor Swift and music industry execs, things aren’t exactly rosy, either. Each leader wants something different from Trudeau. *Plays Under Pressure*
Soap Operas: Televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have begun. “It is a right mess, and a peculiarly American piece of political performance art,” writes Joseph Brean in a primer to the proceedings. Watch how Saturday Night Live turned the inquiry into a melodramatic daytime soap opera...because of course they did.
Sweatshirts: A provincial politician in Quebec known for wearing toques, T-shirts, and Doc Martens to work is attracting attention for her latest casual clothing choice: an orange hoodie. Catherine Dorion, elected last year to Quebec’s National Assembly, is causing debate over what elected officials should — and shouldn’t — wear in the legislature. The situation has spurred its own hashtag: #MonCotonOuateMonChoix (or “my sweatshirt, my choice”).
And we thought we were the only ones who had to worry about what to wear to work.
Struggles: We told you recently about how Twitter is banning all political ads, starting this Friday. But what exactly constitutes a political ad? The social app seems to have a definition laid out in theory, but basically we’ll all have to wait and see how all of this actually gets applied, reports the New York Times. While campaign ads from candidates are obviously political, there’s less clarity on ads on contentious issues, like abortion and climate change, which will be a major challenge within the US especially.
Smudges: File under “really?!” CBC reports on how Elections Canada responded to online rumours that electoral officers were smudging pencil marks on voters’ ballots to intentionally spoil those ballots. Such claims are “unsubstantiated” and “implausible”, Elections Canada says, but that didn’t stop them from spreading online. (Speaking of smudges, you have to meet this Ottawa cat named Smudge.)
What Else We’re Nibbling on
It’s not just Disney Plus we’re watching this week. Our gaze is more global: on ongoing protests in Chile over staggering inequality, nearly 50 years after capitalism came to the South American country. We’re also watching what’s going on in Bolivia, where an electoral-fraud scandal, protests and military pressure have led to the exit of a longtime president. The Canadian government has condemned the escalating violence. And we’re still paying attention to people protesting in Hong Kong. Increasingly violent anti-government protests have led Canadian universities to advise their students on exchange programs to return home, while China's telling foreign countries like the United States and Britain to stop interfering.
On a lighter note, we are extending our RISE recruitment deadline to December 8th for Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Halifax and Winnipeg applicants have until January 6th to apply. We are also giving away 100$ CHAPTERS-INDIGO gift cards to any of our readers who refers someone a successful Ambassador to RISE program’s 5th Cohort, starting in January 20th, 2020. At AisB we firmly believe that friendships should come with great benefits ;)