Essential reading: your morning five

Kyiv’s truce shatters in a matter of hours

Vlad Sodel/Reuters

Vlad Sodel/Reuters

While you slept, we tracked the failed truce in Kyiv, Justin Trudeau’s big opportunity, a Nigerian central banker’s suspension, Canada’s newest mailboxes, and Colorado’s overachieving pot smokers.

1. Ukraine’s truce collapsed. When Canadian newspapers went to bed, Ukraine had settled into a tenuous truce. By morning, peace was shattered and fighting in Kyiv resumed anew. The BBC reports that European Union officials are threatening sanctions against whomever might have triggered new violence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and urged him to sit down for peace talks with his opposition. Bogdana Matsotska, a Ukrainian skier, left the Sochi Olympics in protest. Events are moving quickly, and the pressure’s on Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to react to the sudden chaos.

2. This is Justin’s moment, maybe. Today, Liberals start to filter in to Montreal for their party’s biennial convention. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will deliver an evening speech to his faithful. Trudeau’s earning plaudits that he may be worth more than the sum of his follicles. The National Post‘s John Ivison says so, after watching a seven-minute YouTube summation of Liberal economic strategy. “We are starting to see glimpses of a Trudeau Liberal Party that is not just about a debonair leader afloat on a sea of platitudes,” writes Ivison. His Post colleague, remains unconvinced. The Toronto Star‘s Chantal Hebert says Trudeau should be bold on policy, or stand ready to lose. Paul Wells talks about pressure. There’s lots of it.

3. Nigeria suspended its central banker. Lamido Sinusi made an extraordinary claim earlier this month that $20 billion in Nigerian oil revenue had, poof, disappeared. The accusation earned Sinusi rebukes from President Goodluck Jonathan and a skeptical oil industry. Jonathan fired back that Sinusi’s term in office has been marred by “various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct,” while the state oil company said the central banker exhibited “little understanding of the technicalities of the oil industry.” Sinusi enacted significant reform in 2009, and was eventually awarded Central Bank Governor of the Year by global finance website The Banker in 2011.

4. Canada Post unveils its new mailboxes. Canada’s city dwellers are still getting used to the idea that the mailboxes beside their front doors will soon be made redundant by the national mail carrier’s new plan. But Canada Post announced the first phase of its plan to plunk community mailboxes into cities across Canada. If you live at T2B or T3J households in Calgary, you’re one of more than 10,000 addresses in the city that will shift to a community mailbox during this first wave, which also targets 12,500 homes in Winnipeg, nearly 10,000 addresses in Halifax, 8,450 in Fort McMurray, Alta., and thousands more in seven other cities.

5. Colorado’s pot tax pays off. The state that legalized marijuana and slapped a 12.5-per-cent tax on all sales, beginning on New Year’s Day, has earmarked $99 million in expected revenue for substance abuse prevention programs. The windfall, sourced from a projected $610 million in overall sales during the next fiscal year, beat initial tax revenue projections of about $70 million. Among Governor John Hickenlooper’s largest pledges is $45 million for youth use prevention. Trudeau’s team, fending off Conservative attacks that pot legalization only drives schoolchildren into welcoming arms of drug dealers in dark alleyways, may want to take note.

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Essential reading: your morning five

  1. I think some essential reading would include post on Que and Feds trolling Macleans readers with these ‘have a sacred communion at Que’s National Shrines’ ads while the prov gov’t claims to want secular society. If my tax $$$ are going to be used, I would prefer it if the Feds did not collude with racists and xenophobes of Quebec.

  2. So the national media has decided that mailboxes will now be national news? Was it national news when the half of the country that isn’t in urban areas had community mailboxes installed? No? I wonder why that is…..

    • It’s all part of an insidious media conspiracy against the poor Cons. Just ask any Harper mouthpiece.

      • Thanks for the meaningless response. Are you people even capable of answering a question seriously?

        • OK, here’s a serious response. Explain this, if you can:

          Cons would have us believe that they stand for mainstream or core Canadian values but are routinely ignored or misrepresented by so-called MSM. Your comment opening this thread implies as much.

          These media outlets are owned by corporations whose mission is to leverage shareholder value. They do this by generating content that attracts readership, thereby enhancing ad revenue. To attract readership, they presumably reflect (rather than challenge or denigrate) views and values that resonate with those of their target audience.

          So, if Cons represent core Canadian values, why wouldn’t media, in their own self-interest, embrace and echo those values as well? Why the perpetual whining that MSM are conspiring to ignore your poor, misunderstood Cons?

          Put another way, Why is Sun TV struggling for its life?

          • So why are community mail boxes something that “resonates” now, but didn’t years ago when most of the country was switched over to community mail boxes?

          • Because, in the context of the Post Office committing corporate suicide with the Cons as enablers, the media consider it newsworthy?

            If it’s something else, I’m asking you (above) to explain what it is.

          • I have a strong suspicion that the unionized media in Canada are trying to support their unionized postal brethren.

          • Even if you were right, organized labour has no influence over the media content or bias of the corporations that employ its members, nor do media corporations have any history of collaborating with organized labour on such matters. If anything, there’s as much antagonism between media organizations and their unions as there is in any other sector in Canada – maybe more.

            You’re inventing bogeymen now.

          • You could very well be right, but I seem to watch a lot of ads on all the media that talks about how the oil sands is good for Canada. I bet you the corporations spend a lot more flogging their ideas than the unions.

          • There are only two policies that I like from this government and that is the post office and the refugee policy. I would think that the conservatives would be happy if this was a big debate.
            As for your bias in media comment, even the cbc does not note Rex Murphy’s conflict of interest when he takes money from oil companies to be their cheerleader on the cbc. That is far from left wing bias. And yet they made Bruce Anderson note that his daughter works for the Liberal party before he spoke.

  3. look at how much tax revenue is being collected by Colorado. And that does not even include the savings in prison costs as well as the cuts to gang finances that come from this policy.
    And here is Canada we can not get ourselves off the puritan pulpit.
    But I did read in the post where a new Canadian lobby group has been set up to support the legalization of marijuana.