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.
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WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96. The Queen was the longest reigning female monarch, as well as Canada’s head of state. Over her 70-year reign, she visited Canada 31 times — more than any other country. So now what? Prince Charles automatically becomes King of Canada. (New Canadian citizens will now swear allegiance to King Charles III instead of the Queen, and the Court of Queen’s Bench is now the Court of King’s Bench.) The world said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth at her funeral Monday in London. The Canadian delegation at the funeral included PM Trudeau, Governor General Mary Simon, Indigenous leaders and former prime ministers and governor generals. September 19, 2022 - the day of her funeral - was proclaimed a holiday for federal government employees by PM Justin Trudeau, but it was up to each province to decide who else got the day off.
While many around the world mourned Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the event brought the very complex and layered feelings that many have towards the Monarchy to the front burner (particularly among the 56 member states of the Commonwealth) To Indigenous people in Canada this rings particularly true given that many had their land and culture stolen from them in the name of the Crown.
There’s a new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada! Pierre Poilievre won decisively on the first ballot, far ahead of runner up Jean Charest. The leadership announcement in Ottawa follows a race that spanned seven months, in which Poilievre campaigned on reducing the cost of living and making Canada the “freest country in the world.” (Refresher: the leadership race was sparked when former leader Erin O’Toole was ousted last February.) So, who is this new leader of the official opposition? Poilievre is a career politician who got his start as an MP at age 24, and later served as a cabinet minister in former PM Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. Learn more about Poilievre’s background and policies here. Since his big win, Poilievre has revealed his House of Commons leadership team, and a longtime Quebec MP announced he was quitting the Conservative caucus, citing the new leader as his reason for leaving.
In Saskatchewan, grief remains heavy on the James Smith Cree Nation. Ten people were stabbed to death just over two weeks ago, including one resident from nearby Weldon, and 18 people were injured. A manhunt followed, and the main suspect and his brother also died. This devastating longread delves into what happened. Amid the loss, community members are calling on the federal and provincial government to step up with long-term support, like funding to build a healing centre. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan RCMP face questions over the death of one of the suspects, who went into medical distress shortly after his arrest. Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore is asking for patience, reminding people “this is not a TV drama where we will have all of the answers by the end of the episode.” For more on what happened and what questions remain, check outthis CBC pod.
Helping Pakistan: Massive flooding in Pakistan has left more than one-third of the country underwater and affected more than 33 million people. Canadians can help, with PM Trudeau announcing donations made to one of 12 aid agencies will be matched by the federal gov until Sept. 28, to a maximum of $3 million. Canada is also sending $25 million, in response to what Trudeau called a “horrific climate disaster.”
Stepping Down: Yukon’s premier is stepping down. Sandy Silver asked his Liberal party to launch a leadership convention, and says he’ll stay on as premier until the party finds a new leader. Silver has been premier since 2016, when the Yukon’s Liberal Party ousted the conservative Yukon Party after 14 years. He says he plans to return to Dawson City, where he was a high school teacher before joining politics.
Getting Boosted: The new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant is here. It’s a booster dose available to Canadian adults, and 10.5 million doses are expected to arrive in Canada by the end of this month. Head here to find out how your province is rolling out the new vaccines and if you’re eligible to get it.
Sibling Rivalry: To a strange story out of Port Colborne, Ontario. Incumbent Bill Steele was running unopposed for the position of town mayor… until his brother decided to sign up. And the brothers haven’t spoken to each other for about 30 years. What?! Bill’s brother Charles Steele told CTV News he’s running because he believes in democracy and if he hadn’t run, his brother would be acclaimed. “I don’t think he’s happy about it,” he added.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE NIBBLING ON
It just keeps going up, up and up. The rising cost of living is challenging many Canadians, and politicians are eager for solutions. PM Trudeau recently announced new measures to help struggling Canadians: the first stage of a dental care program, boosting the GST tax credit, plus a one-time increase to the Canada Housing Benefit. It’s all part of his gov’s deal with the New Democrats. New Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is also focused on the cost of living. In his first speech to caucus, he said he’ll be holding the Liberals to account on the economy and inflation. P.S. For more on what politicians can do about the cost of living,listen to this episode of The House podcast.