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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Here come the debates! Join us on IG Live on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT as we chat with Palak Mangat, reporter for Parliament Today, and set the table for the English leaders debate. How's it going to work? What should we watch for? How do we handle the leaders bickering on national TV? Just follow AisB on Instagram and tune in to find out!
WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
We’re 25 days into this 36-day election campaign, and there’s a lot going down as Canadians get ready to choose our next PM! Such as? The first leaders’ debate is now in the books. Four main party leaders — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole — faced off in a French-language debate last week. Topics up for discussion included COVID-19, obvi, plus medical assistance in dying, firearm legislation and climate change. There’s another French-language debate today with five federal party leaders — Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is invited this time — and the only English-language debate takes place tomorrow. Find out how to watch or listen to both debates here. Game on!
What else is happening on the campaign trail? Well, there’s been anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown protestors showing up to events. That led to safety concerns and Liberal Leader Trudeau getting a handful of gravel thrown at him (and the reporters covering his campaign). The other party leaders have denounced those actions. Meanwhile, promises continue to roll out on everything from mental health and the opioid crisis to housing affordability. (P.S. Find a complete list of all the #Elxn44 promises made here.) And there’s been some lighter moments, too, like when NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s custom poutine truck lost a wheel on the way to an event in Montreal, or when Green Party Leader Annamie Paul accidentally endorsed the Liberals’ plan on climate change. Oopsie!
In other news, Canada has made its last flight evacuating Canadians and Afghans who worked with Canada from Kabul, Afghanistan. That’s where the Taliban recently seized control, amid U.S. troops withdrawing from the country after 20 years. But now there’s many people left behind, including roughly 1,250 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members. The last days of the evacuation in Afghanistan were very chaotic. Learn more about how it ended with this longread on the lengthy struggle to get Canada’s allies out of Afghanistan, or this pod , where a correspondent shares a view from the ground in Kabul. Now individuals and groups are continuing to try to help people out of the country. One such situation is detailed on this pod , with The Globe and Mail arranging for two Afghan men who worked with the paper to flee to Ukraine.
There’s a new premier in Manitoba. Wait, what...there wasn't an election?! Right, but Premier Brian Pallister resigned and left office last week, so the Progressive Conservative caucus chose an interim leader: Kelvin Goertzen. He’s served as an MLA since 2003, and will now be Manitoba’s premier for a two-month term, until the Progressive Conservative leadership vote on October 30.
Understand the Underdogs
Sure, you've heard of the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP, but what about the Animal Protection Party of Canada, the Christian Heritage Party, or the Rhinoceros Party? CBC takes a closer look at the country’s 20 registered political parties, which includes many lesser-known parties you've maybe never heard of. Find out what’s driving leaders and members involved in these minor political parties.
So Elections Canada got rid of the Vote on Campus program this election, blaming the pandemic and short timeline to voting day. The program, which started as a pilot in 2015, brought voting booths to post-secondary campuses. Now more than 20,000 students have signed a petition asking Elections Canada to bring back the program. If you’re away at college or university, here’s how you can vote. The deadline to apply to vote by mail is September 14!!!
March for Michaels
A grim milestone was marked last weekend… Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have spent 1,000 days in captivity in China. The allegations of espionage against the two Michaels are widely seen as political retribution for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou. To mark this milestone, a march for the Michaels was held, with people encouraged to walk 7,000 steps — the same number Michael Kovrig walks in his cell every day.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE NIBBLING ON
Amid an election campaign, we’re hearing less from top doc Theresa Tam. But she did recently provide an update, releasing COVID-19 modelling that warns of up to 15,000 cases per day by the end of the month if more people don’t get vaccinated. Uh oh. While some provinces, like Ontario, Quebec and B.C., have introduced vaccine passports, Alberta is trying a diff approach: paying $100 to people who get a first or second dose of the vaccine. Finally, learn how the pandemic has dramatically changed the soundtrack of this federal election campaign.
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