Government Representative in the Senate Sen. Peter Harder makes his way the the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. iPolitics/Matthew Usherwood
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Good evening, readers.
The government’s point person in the Senate is stepping down.
In a surprise move, Sen. Peter Harder, government representative in the Senate, and Sen. Grant Mitchell, government liaison in the Senate, announced they will be departing their roles.
Harder, who was responsible for shepherding government legislation through the Senate, will step down on Dec. 31, with a replacement to be named later. Mitchell will continue as government liaison until a replacement is named for Harder.
The Conservative party released its list of critics ahead of the new Parliament on Friday.
Many Conservatives who were re-elected last month will return to their critic roles they held in the previous “shadow cabinet” at the end of the last Parliament. However, one former Harper-era cabinet minister says he rejected an offer to serve as a critic because of his concerns with Andrew Scheer Scheer’s leadership.
Ed Fast, a former trade minister, told CBC News that he spoke with the Conservative leader this week about serving in the shadow cabinet and “expressed my desire not to be included at this time.”
“Mr. Scheer, I believe, is entitled to surround himself with a team that fully supports his leadership and I’m looking forward to remaining fully in the affairs of our Conservative caucus and to holding Justin Trudeau to account for his actions, his words and how he leads this country,” Fast said.
Rachael Harder, the party’s status of women critic in the last Parliament, is also not part of Scheer’s shadow cabinet.
The Federal Court on Friday ruled that it would not grant the federal government’s request to stay the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s (CHRT) Indigenous child welfare decision pending its application for judicial review. It also dismissed a competing application to adjourn the government’s application for judicial review.
The CHRT’s decision awarded a multi-billion dollar settlement to First Nations children that landed in the child welfare system for reasons other than emotional, sexual or physical abuse.
Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann, accompanied by three opposition members in the provincial assembly, announced on Friday an all-party consultation on opening up the province’s law on physician-assisted suicide.
The Quebec law, adopted in 2014, two years before the federal government’s Bill C-14, now requires that a person who is mortally ill and near death must make informed consent to medical-assisted death before it is allowed.
McCann commissioned a panel of 22 experts to look into allowing medically assisted death in cases where the patient was no longer apt to affirm such consent or when the timeline of the disease means death may be certain but not imminent, such as Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.
Tensions have been rising this week between Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Quebec Premier François Legault, days before a meeting meant to soothe division in Canada.
Pallister announced this week that his government was taking out ads in Quebec, welcoming those impacted by Legault’s controversial Bill 21 — which prohibits those in positions of authority such as judges or teachers from wearing religious symbols — to his province.
A full-page ad in the French-language newspaper Le Devoir on Thursday was headlined “21 raisons,” appearing to be a play on the legislation itself, Bill 21.
The head of the Canadian Armed Forces has warned Canada will inevitably be challenged by growing international upheaval as the effect of climate change and global political struggles intensify.
“The country will be tested,” General Jonathan Vance told a special summit on global leadership in Ottawa Thursday.
“Climate change will drive conflict,” the chief of defence staff told a summit session, in response to moderator questions that centred mainly on strengthening women’s participation in peace processes and conflict resolution.
The Supreme Court of Canada Friday completely exonerated a woman who was arrested and fined for refusing to hold a handrail on the escalator in a subway station in Laval, Que.
A question the top court had to settle: Is a pictogram cautioning people to hold on to a handrail a safety warning, or, is it a law?
In a 9-0 decision, the top court found Bela Kosoian was entitled to refuse to obey an unlawful order. Justice Suzanne Côté, writing for the court, said, “The police officer committed a civil fault by ordering Kosoian to identify herself and by arresting her and conducting a search based on a non-existent offence, namely disobeying a pictogram indicating the handrail should be held.”
In Other Headlines
Two members of the public have died after a stabbing attack at London Bridge that authorities have declared a “terrorist incident.” The suspect, who died at the scene after being shot by police, was wearing a hoax explosive device, according to London police.
Videos on social media appear to show passers-by holding down a man. An officer arrives, seems to indicate to the group to move, and fires a shot. The attack in Britain’s capital comes only weeks before voters head to the polls in the Dec. 12 general election. (BBC News)
Also, Dutch police on Friday said several people were wounded in a stabbing on a shopping street in The Hague. Local police said in a statement that emergency services were at the scene. In a separate message, Hague police said they were seeking a man aged 45-50 and described him using a Dutch term often applied to people of North African descent. (Reuters)
Canada is being asked to contribute funding to support Mexican labour reforms as part of a renegotiated North American free-trade deal, according to a source familiar with negotiations. The news comes as Mexico’s undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in Ottawa on Friday to discuss ratification of the new trade deal. (Globe and Mail)
In Featured Opinion
Kelly Harris: Calgary Accord, part two?
As you surely know, today is Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days in the U.S., and increasingly, the entire world (even though it’s not a day off anywhere aside from the United States).
According to CNN, early data suggests online sales in the States will reach a record-high of $4.4 billion. And that’s not factoring in Cyber Monday on Dec. 2.
Have a great weekend!