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Will the spirit of collaboration take hold in this Parliament? | CBC News

This article is part of the Minority Report newsletter, which is your weekly tip-sheet from CBC News to help you navigate the parliamentary waters of a minority government. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday. Full disclaimer. I love this time of year. Christmas is coming. People are in a social mood,…

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Will the spirit of collaboration take hold in this Parliament? | CBC News

This article is part of the Minority Report newsletter, which is your weekly tip-sheet from CBC News to help you navigate the parliamentary waters of a minority government. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday. Full disclaimer. I love this time of year. Christmas is coming. People are in a social mood, the drinks are flowing and there’s a general, and enjoyable, uptick in the feeling of goodwill that people have for one another. It’s even like that on Parliament Hill. Behind the scenes, there are a ton of holiday get-togethers and MPs greet each other jovially in the halls of Parliament, sending best wishes to one other’s families (I’m not kidding, I’ve witnessed it).  Normally though, the goodwill has dissipated by the time MPs return to Ottawa in January and the session begins in earnest. Will this time be different?  The rhetoric certainly indicates it could be. Just listen to what party leaders said following the election of the Speaker of the House of Commons. Their speeches were replete with references to the C-word: COLLABORATION. Over and over, Canadians heard their political leaders promise to have received the message they were sent in the election: Voters want them to work together for the betterment of our country.  Lest you think I’m Pollyanna — I do have a few doubts about whether that will happen. First, there are the personalities involved. Remember the campaign? Dude, it was bitter. It’s hard to cast that aside and I’m not sure anyone feels inclined to. Especially in the case of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.  Governor General Julie Payette delivers the Throne Speech in the Senate chamber, Thursday December 5, 2019 in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) I remember interviewing the prime minister a few years ago, about six months after Scheer became leader of the Tories. My final question in the interview was to ask him — in the holiday spirit — what are Scheer’s best qualities. You would have thought I asked him how it feels to have an appendix removed with a rusty spoon. After a spell, Trudeau said: “he’s a nice enough guy” and quickly changed the subject.  Scheer’s not exactly gushing about his love for Trudeau either. Think back to his opening salvo in the English-language debate, when the Conservative leader called the prime minister a phoney and a fraud. That kind of language really makes you believe in his willingness to collaborate: #amiright? There’s more evidence the holiday spirit might not take hold too fervently. Just a few short hours after the post-Speaker speeches were delivered, the big one happened; the speech from the throne. Right after, both Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh came out swinging, with Scheer saying he was disappointed and Singh saying the speech was full of empty promises. They both had genuine reasons for dismay, but all that post-speaker talk of getting along appeared to have evaporated with the three taps of the Usher’s Black Rod. Take the speech itself. Sure, it threw the opposition a few bones on parental leave, tax benefits and money laundering, but the majority of the areas singled out by the government as having potential for collaboration were focused on policy areas that help ensure the Liberals a path to re-election. The Liberals, it seems, can collaborate on ideas with the opposition on areas of policy aimed at voters the Liberals want to win back — primarily in Ontario and Quebec.  And that’s their right —  but it’s also a clear, and not unexpected, signal that we shouldn’t expect some sort of altruistic discarding of partisanship, on anybody’s part.  In the end, collaboration will probably come through on policies that can produce benefits for more than one political party. Action on climate change, tax cuts, and health care are some examples that come to mind.  That’s what happened in the past, and as a result, minority governments did some productive stuff. This country’s 12 previous minority Parliaments introduced universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, the Canadian flag, and legalized gay marriage. I’m excited to see what this Parliament does — and how collaborative it may, or may not, be. We’ll get our first look this week, when MPs take their seats in the House of Commons.  This is just one part of the Minority Report newsletter. In this week’s issue, Éric Grenier looks at what happens to the minority math if parties abstain from voting on key bills. Plus, the Power Panel gives its advice on what the parties should be doing in the week ahead, and we profile new Liberal MP Lenore Zann. To read all of that and more sign up for the newsletter here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday.
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B.C. voters heading to the polls as snap election called for Oct. 24 | CBC News

After weeks of speculation, B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan has made official the worst-kept secret in the province: British Columbians are heading to the polls.  Horgan said Monday he had called an election for Oct. 24 after meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and asking her to dissolve the legislature.”I’ve struggled mightily with this decision, and it did not come easily to me,” said…

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B.C. voters heading to the polls as snap election called for Oct. 24 | CBC News

After weeks of speculation, B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan has made official the worst-kept secret in the province: British Columbians are heading to the polls.  Horgan said Monday he had called an election for Oct. 24 after meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and asking her to dissolve the legislature.”I’ve struggled mightily with this decision, and it did not come easily to me,” said Horgan, acknowledging the controversy of calling an early election during a pandemic.  But he said that, with COVID-19 expected to be a fact of life for the next year, an election made sense now.  “We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the 12 months … or we can do what I believe is always the right thing and ask British Columbians what they think.” The announcement comes after weeks of speculation that Horgan would call an election just over three years into his mandate, and it comes after six cabinet ministers announced their retirements in the past seven days. The NDP currently have 41 seats in the legislature, as do the opposition Liberal Party, while the Green Party has two. WATCH | B.C. premier announces Oct. 24 election: British Columbia voters will head to the polls on Oct 24. Some are criticizing the premier for moving forward early, but John Horgan says COVID-19 would have been a factor no matter when he called an election. 1:59 How did we get here? Horgan has led a minority government since July 2017 after his New Democratic Party and the Greens teamed up to defeat the Liberals in a confidence vote following a May election with no clear decision.  Since that time, he has led the province with the support of the Green Party — under a unique and formal agreement — and passed legislation setting a fixed election date for October 2021. The agreement also stipulated Horgan “will not request a dissolution of the legislature … except following the defeat of a motion of confidence.”   But, in calling the election, Horgan argued the province found itself in unique circumstances because of the pandemic and that the Green Party had also broken a rule of the agreement by introducing an amendment to a government bill without notification. “The issues of 2017 are not the issues of 2020,” said Horgan.  “What we did in the past is one thing, and what we need to do in the future is quite another matter.”  Horgan also repeatedly argued that an election would create more certainty for the province if one party had a majority government and the ability to make decisions without consulting other parties. “We need a stable government,” he said.  Up in the polls Horgan will attempt to become the first two-term NDP premier in B.C. history and heads into the campaign with his party up in the polls and with the highest personal approval rating of any premier in Canada, according to recent surveys by Angus Reid. In recent weeks, the B.C. Liberal Party and the Green Party have criticized Horgan for considering an election during a global pandemic. While British Columbia received plaudits for its initial containment of the virus, cases of COVID-19 have surged in recent months, and the effects of students returning to class are still not fully known.  The opposition parties quickly attacked Horgan for calling an election.  “Today, John Horgan chose politics over people,” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, who said his party will announce its platform and full list of candidates in the coming weeks. “The only reason for this general election is to try and secure the jobs of the NDP … it’s not necessary.” Horgan is seen after the news conference in Langford, B.C., where he announced the election. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press) Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau said she spoke with Horgan on Friday, and told him she and fellow Green MLA Adam Olsen would continue to support the NDP on legislation if an election was not called.  “When people are worried about their kids being back in school, when people are worried about their jobs, when people are worried about their housing, this is not a time where we put the interest of a political party ahead of British Columbians,” she said.   A number of longtime MLAs have said they won’t be seeking re-election, including NDP cabinet ministers Carole James, Judy Darcy, Shane Simpson, Michelle Mungall, Doug Donaldson, Claire Trevena and Scott Fraser. Liberals Rich Coleman and Linda Reid, and former Green Party leader Andrew Weaver have also said they will not run again.
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First man to climb Everest 10 times dies at 72

All the ascents to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit of the world’s tallest mountain between 1983 and 1996 by Ang Rita, who went by his first name, like many Sherpas, were made without bottled oxygen.The 72-year-old, who had suffered brain and liver ailments for a long time, died at his home in the Nepali capital of…

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First man to climb Everest 10 times dies at 72

All the ascents to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit of the world’s tallest mountain between 1983 and 1996 by Ang Rita, who went by his first name, like many Sherpas, were made without bottled oxygen.The 72-year-old, who had suffered brain and liver ailments for a long time, died at his home in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, his grandson, Phurba Tshering, said.Ang Rita was also known as the “snow leopard” for his climbing skills.”He was a climbing star and his death is a major loss for the country and for the climbing fraternity,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.The body will be placed at a Sherpa Gomba, or holy site, in Kathmandu, and cremated on Wednesday according to sherpa tradition, Ang Tshering said.Many other climbers have since surpassed Ang Rita’s feat, with one member of the community setting a record of 24 ascents.

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U.S. Justice Department threatens to strip federal funds from cities it says allow ‘anarchy’ | CBC News

World·NewThe U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets.New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have been identified as 3 cities that could lose fundingThomson Reuters · Posted: Sep 21, 2020 4:22…

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U.S. Justice Department threatens to strip federal funds from cities it says allow ‘anarchy’ | CBC News

World·NewThe U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets.New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have been identified as 3 cities that could lose fundingThomson Reuters · Posted: Sep 21, 2020 4:22 PM ET | Last Updated: September 21Police and protesters square off Saturday, July 25, 2020, near Seattle’s Central Community College. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for cities such as Seattle, which it claimed has allowed anarchy and violence on the streets. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press )The U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets. “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.In a joint statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler accused the Trump administration of playing politics and said withholding federal funds would be illegal. “This is thoroughly political and unconstitutional. The president is playing cheap political games with congressionally directed funds,” the statement said. “Our cities are bringing communities together; our cities are pushing forward after fighting back a pandemic and facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, all despite recklessness and partisanship from the White House.” Many cities across the United States have experienced unrest since the May death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. In some cases the protests have escalated into violence and looting, but the majority have been largely peaceful.  Protesters march in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Last week, the DOJ urged federal prosecutors to consider sedition charges against protesters who have burned buildings and engaged in other violent activity in American cities. (Mark Graves /The Oregonian via The Associated Press) The federal government has mounted a campaign to disperse the racial justice protests, including by sending federal agents into Portland and Seattle and encouraging federal prosecutors to bring charges. Last week, the Justice Department urged federal prosecutors to consider sedition charges against protesters who have burned buildings and engaged in other violent activity. Monday’s threat to revoke federal funds was the government’s latest escalation in its quest to curb the protests. It comes after U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month issued a memo laying out criteria to consider when reviewing funding for states and cities that are “permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction in American cities.” The criteria include things such as whether a city forbids the police from intervening or if it defunds its police force. In all three cities, the Justice Department said, leadership has rejected efforts to allow federal law enforcement officials to intervene and restore order, among other things. In a press briefing earlier on Monday, New York City Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson promised a court battle if the Trump administration proceeds to cut off the funds. “The president does not have the authority to change the will of Congress,” he said. “We are preparing to fight this in court if, ultimately, he actually takes concrete steps to withdraw federal funds.”With files from The Associated Press
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