Election 43 leaves nation fractured with a Liberal minority
If four years’ worth of Liberal government policy, refracted through an identity politics lens and subsequent brow beating of any dissent wasn’t enough, Canada’s electoral map paints a clash-of-colours portrait of how divided the country actually is having endured it.
And the ultimate loser for this tactic, employed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his righthand man Gerald Butts (the de facto PM), who gamed most everything as an “anointed versus neanderthals, bigots and racists” issue, was the nation.
Even when Trudeau was mocked for correcting a woman at a town hall for using “mankind”, when according to our PM that henceforth it should be referred to as “peoplekind”, Butts saw Nazis everywhere.
To be sure, the identity politics and related hypocrisy on this front, by the Liberal leader himself (i.e. #TrudeauBlackface being the most egregious), hurt the party as it dropped 20 seats and lost majority government status after Monday night’s federal vote.
In the aftermath of Canada’s 43rd general election, Trudeau and the Liberals held just 157 seats – a baker’s dozen of MPs shy of majority carte blanche for another four years – while Conservatives and their leader Andrew Scheer added just 26 MPs to their caucus, falling far short of beating Trudeau.
And not since incumbent-Progressive Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell’s stunning election blowout in 1993, has the Bloc Quebecois been in position to play an influential role in a new federal government.
Then it was the Reform Party’s rise under Preston Manning, a western-centric party whose success in Alberta basically gifted then-Bloc Leader Lucien Bouchard the unlikely role leading Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition against Jean Chrétien’s Liberal majority.
Today, it’s an overcrowded left and a weakened New Democrat Party, whose third-party status was gutted after Monday’s election, much of that support likely going to new Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet’s separatists, who won over Quebecers unimpressed with any federalist alternative.
The Bloc’s won in 32 ridings – a 22 seat boost from the last federal vote – also knocked Singh and the NDP from third party spot in the House of Commons, while the nation watched Quebec’s political pendulum swung back toward a more nationalistic, self-interest.
But this loss for Canada’s stalwart, left-wing party could hardly be detected in Singh’s rambling, congratulatory speech that sounded more like a victory address.
As ironic as the separatist Bouchard’s station in Parliament some 26 years ago, was that Singh’s losing night – New Democrats dropped 15 seats and lost official third party status – remains enough to hold the balance of power in Ottawa, by propping up Trudeau and the Liberals.
Looking West, the federation’s economic engine Alberta has turned nearly completely Conservative blue, and Saskatchewan is all blue; Quebec is again beset with a separatist insurgency, while incumbent-Trudeau’s party remains strong in the Laurentien regions; Maritimes, urban regions of Quebec, Toronto’s 416 and the Ottawa valley.
Given this result, the embattled TMX project and other moribund pipelines to get Albertan oil to tidewater, western separatism is now trending on social media via #Wexit, complete with the added vitriol that only anonymous Twitter accounts can provide; in the following instance, aimed at Newfoundland voters.
But vitriol is not required to divide, as Butts’ social media presence proved, and combined with anointed Liberal bromides heard through the past four years impressed upon the plebes that only they could lead us to a new era of “inclusion” and “strength in diversity”.
To see what the country looks like today – the posturing of separatists in Quebec, disaffected westerners and indigenous groups who back TMX and those who don’t – it is clear to anyone who isn’t a mushroom that there is little “inclusion” in today’s Canada, just weakness in a sea of diversity.
And even while his own party race hustled – Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told a largely Somali crowd on Canada Day that Conservatives “danced with white supremacists” – then fielded anti-Semites like ex-activist Sameer Zuberi, Butts pretended it was only the other guys who did this sort of thing.
On October 21, Butts took particular Twitter glee after Scheer got hammered by a reporter for hiring political fixer Warren Kinsella to dig, then gin up any racist dirt he could find on Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada.
But the facile narratives pushed by Butts, and let’s face it, given plenty of oxygen by our establishment media, for example that “only conservatives can be racist”, was but just one Canadians have been assailed with, in increasing intensity since Trudeau took power in 2015.
Other bogus narratives pushed on the public included that it was somehow “unCanadian” to question Canada’s current open border policy loophole regarding our Safe Third Country Agreement with United States.
And this “unCanadian” line was trotted out several times, by Trudeau and his minions whilst Immigration Canada was straining under the growing backlog of asylum claims; nearly 50,000 made by people illegally entering the country from New York State.
Another classic fake narrative that predated Trudeau, but was serially employed by his Minister of Environment and Climate (action) Catherine McKenna, was anyone who questioned the science of a looming climate apocalypse, is akin to questioning the Holocaust, ie; “a denier”.
So here we are as a federation after four years of toxic discourse: divided and adrift, led by a prime minister that barely three out of 10 voters supported, and no opposition worthy of earning a mandate to carve a different, unifying path.
The Ontario teachers’ strikes are proving to be more acrimonious than anyone expected. Elementary teachers have now opted out of writing report cards and have already begun to engage in rotating strikes.
The Ontario government, on the other hand, have offered up to $60 per day for parents who are feeling the fiscal consequences of the strike, and rumours of back to work legislation is being floated around the corridors of Queen’s Park.
The teachers’ strikes are deeply consequential and have affected the day-to-day lives of 13 million Ontarians who live in the most populace province in Canada. Due to the vast impact this strike, and the mainstream media’s lack of balance in the coverage (often siding with the unions and tecahers), The Post Millennial has compiled a list of things you need to know about the Ontario teachers’ strikes.
1. Ontario’s teachers are among the highest paid in the country
Ontario’s teachers are among the best paid in the country. In the Greater Toronto Area, for instance, top teachers can expect to get paid up to $96,000 a year. The average salary for a teachers in Ontario is $89,300 for elementary teachers and $92,900 for high school teachers. In contrast, the average Ontarian earns $55,000 per year.
2. Ontario teachers are taking more and more sick days
A 2017 study found that teachers have been taking more and more sick days over the past five years. On average, sick days have increased by over 30 percent. In 2020, another report revealed even starker results with teachers taking 70 percent more sick days than over a decade ago.
3. Teachers get a whole lot of time off
Ontario’s teacher’s have a pretty great job. Not only do they get paid a wage that is far higher than the average Ontarian, they also get a lot of time off. Due to breaks in the school year, teachers are allowed three whole months off, on top of the aforementioned sick days.
4. Teachers’ Unions are spending big bucks to win the PR war
So far, the OSSTF has spent $336,389 on Facebook ads alone. These ads usually attack the Ford government and have been running since June. In one week alone, they spent over $40,000. They’re also waging a war of words against Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce through the mainstream press.
5. The Ontario government has already made concessions, but unions won’t meet in the middle
Premier Doug Ford has offered numerous concessions to the teachers’ unions from the government’s initial demands. Ford, for example, offered to meet the teachers half-way on classroom size. This, however, was not good enough for the teachers, and they walked away from the negotiation table. They’re also refusing to do report cards and help out in after school activities, despite claiming the strikes are primarily for the students, not their pay cheques.
6. Ontario’s students are flunking math tests
If you’re going to teach mathematics to a new generation of students, you should probably have to prove that you have some basic ability to do so. This hardly unreasonable request, however, created some tension with the teachers’ unions. Despite EQAO tests showing all-time lows, the unions were upset that teachers had to score at least 70 percent in a math test.
7. Ontario’s debt is astronomically high
After a decade of Liberal government, Ontario’s debt stands at over $350,000,000,000. This figure constitutes one of the highest sub-national debts in the world. Due to this, the Ford government is trying to cut back public sector salaries, which means slowing down the rate at which teachers are paid. Teachers in Ontario also have what many experts consider to be a great pension package.
Shawn Lewis, city councillor for London, brought forth a motion to move the annual London Santa Claus Parade at Tuesday’s Community and Protective Services Committee meeting. The idea for the move is due to its proximity to the Remembrance Day Parade according to CBC.
The motion Lewis introduced was to restrict any parade permits on public streets between Nov. 1-11, the idea being so that the public doesn’t lose focus on the veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made. Lewis serves as chair on the committee.
“As a member of the Royal Canadian Legion myself, I think it is important that Remembrance Day and the lead up to it have a public focus on our veterans and the sacrifices they have made for us,” Lewis wrote in a letter.
The London Santa Claus Parade has taken place on the second Saturday of November in the past, a date that often falls just before Remembrance Day, leaving many veterans feeling unappreciated.
The organizers of the Santa Claus parade agreed to move the date in the future but Lewis wanted to ensure that this didn’t become an issue down the line.
“As time goes on, people retire from organizing events, other people take over, councils change, mayors change, and I think it’s just a good idea to formalize it in our procedures and policies with respect for our veterans,” he told the committee.
Much to Lewis’ delight, the motion passed 4-1.
Ward 3 Coun. Mo Salih voted against the decision however stating, “Me personally, I’m supportive [of the motion], … but I’m struggling on restricting people from choosing to make their own decisions,”
He went on to add, “Many of those people who have served, served to ensure people can make whichever decisions they want to make and do what they want to do on certain days, but I recognize where this is coming from,”
“It seems like a simple solution,” said Ward 1 Coun. Michael Van Holst, who voted in favour of the motion. “[It’s] surprising that someone hasn’t thought of it before.”
Lewis stressed the importance of dealing with this procedurally, saying it’s the only way to address the issue but the decision will still require approval from city council.
Striking elementary teachers in Ontario are refusing to produce reports cards due to the ongoing work-to-rule action.
In a statement produced by the Toronto District School Board, they reminded everyone that “ETFO members have been engaged in legal job action, which includes sanctions related to report cards.”
They went on to add that, “as per the sanctions, teachers will not complete term one report cards … [nor] undertake the role of report card administrator … [nor] file the progress report.”
As well as this, the Toronto District School Board informed it’s members that the teachers will also not conduct parent-teacher interviews, creating severe disruptions for parents.
These latest disruptions follow a long list of strike action that teachers have been engaging in throughout the province. Teachers, for instance, have been conducting “rotating strikes,” thereby forcing parents to look after their children who would otherwise be in school.
In response to the strikes in the province, Premier Doug Ford vowed to compensate parents who would have otherwise felt the financial strain. Ford offered parents up to $60 a day, depending on the age of the child and other factors.
Despite concessions from the Ontario government, the negotiations between the teacher’s unions and the government have remained acrimonious.
A liquor store in Edmonton is testing out a new security program to combat a string of thefts over the past 18 months. Under the proposed new security system, customers will have to scan their ID before they can enter the premises according to a recent article in CBC.
Alcanna, Canada’s biggest private retailer of alcohol is launching a pilot project in partnership with Edmonton police. The project will be tested at Ace Liquor, located at 11708 34th St. in northeast Edmonton. Alcanna stated the intent of the project is to deal with “the epidemic of liquor store robberies that has plagued the city,” a problem that has escalated rapidly in the past year and a half.
“In 2019, EPS officers responded to almost 9,600 calls of theft of liquor — about 26 calls per day across the city,” Const. Robin Wilson said in the release. An increase of 200 percent since 2018.
“It’s not just people taking advantage of something that is easy, it’s somebody preying on people as well,” he said.
Dale McFee, Chief of Edmonton police told CBC News that investigators often find that some of the thefts are gang-related and that it presents a huge problem for the city.
“Ultimately, the way we are right now and the amount of officer time and different things that are going on in this space, it’s not working. So it’s time to try a few things.”
The new scan system requires patrons to scan their identification before the door will unlock and allow entry into the store. This practice has already been used by bars and nightclubs in Edmonton for years.
The Alcanna pilot project has been positively received by many including Const. Wilson who commended the company for “taking proactive steps to increase the safety of both their employees and the general public,”
Joe Cook is the vice-president of Alcanna which in addition to Ace Liquor, also owns the Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis brands. “Just as was done with pre-pay and pay at the pump for gas stations, we are hoping Patronscan creates a safer shopping experience,” said Cook in a news release. “This is not shoplifting,” he said. “It is robbery with real or threatened violence.”
Edmontonians won’t have to worry about their privacy rights as the customer ID information will not be kept in the devices but stored in Patronscan’s data centre with restricted access, according to a press release from Alcanna.