5 at 5: The Ontario election and a tractor photo op

Kathleen Wynne on a tractor and other top stories this afternoon

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne drives a tractor with instruction from farmer Sandra Vos (right) at a campaign event in Paris, Ontario on May 20, 2014, 2014. (Frank Gunn/CP)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne drives a tractor with instruction from farmer Sandra Vos (right) at a campaign event in Paris, Ontario on May 20, 2014, 2014. Frank Gunn/CP

Five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon.

Another gay marriage ban struck down in the U.S. A federal judge has struck down a gay-marriage ban in the state of Pennsylvania, adding it to the growing list of states where courts have deemed a ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. This decision overturns a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It will also allow for out-of-state marriages to be recognized. This decision makes Pennsylvanian the 19th state to allow same-sex marriage. The state can still challenge this decision. On Monday, a judge in Oregon overturned that state’s gay-marriage ban.

Pierre Karl Péladeau bails while bike riding. The PQ’s most famous rookie politician won’t be in the National Assembly for the first day of the new session tomorrow, after suffering serious injuries in a bicycle crash over the long weekend. Péladeau was cycling in the Eastern Townships, near his cottage, when he hit an obstacle on the road and fell. Radio-Canada reports that he broke eight bones, including his collar bone and hip. Péladeau, a media owner in Quebec, is pegged as a possible new leader of the PQ party after Pauline Marois lost both the election, and her own seat, last month.

Charles and Camilla tour Canada, Day 3. It’s a short but jam-packed tour for Prince Charles and Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall, who were in Charlottetown Tuesday. There, Charles delivered a speech, talking about his grandson, George, and the need to address environmental and social issues for future generations. Tomorrow, the couple is on to Winnipeg before heading home. By the end of the four-day tour Charles and Camilla will have made a whopping 41 engagements between the two of them. Pretty impressive, considering that Will and Kate made 48 engagements during their 19-day tour of Australia and New Zealand.

At least 46 killed in two bomb blasts in Jos, Nigeria. A pair of bomb blasts, one at a bus terminal and one at a busy market, have killed at least 46 people in the Nigerian city of Jos, authorities said Tuesday. Many more were injured and it’s possible the death toll could be higher. Though no one has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, reports say they resemble other attacks from Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group that has been in the news this month for kidnapping nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls. Despite international assistance, the Nigerian government has yet to find the missing girls and citizens are increasingly impatient with the government’s inability to crack down on the terrorist group.

Ontario election and Tractorgate. Today in political silliness, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made a campaign stop at a beef farm near Paris, Ontario where she drove a tractor, with farmer Sandra Vos sitting beside her, and talked about support for food processing and agriculture. The PCs wasted no time issuing a press release with the all-caps headline: “PREMIER IS SETTING A BAD EXAMPLE,” and objecting to a media event with “someone hanging off the side of a tractor.” In the last 15 years, 250 people have died in tractor accidents in Ontario, the press release scolded, and Wynne (a former agriculture minister) should know better. Full disclosure: I learned how to drive a tractor the exact same way on a farm in Alberta, with my step-father perched on the side of the seat. And, at the time, I didn’t even have my driver’s license yet. Good thing the PC’s safety police weren’t watching.




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5 at 5: The Ontario election and a tractor photo op

  1. After the subway fiasco, now this. Maybe combined with robotic sloganeering, mindless repetition, this could become a joke campaign. We need a comedian to ape the Hudak style. But he’s becoming his own caricature without any help!

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