Summertime news: cabinet shuffles and Egyptian unrest

Tease the day: Speculation in Ottawa builds, as Egypt’s future looks uncertain


Mostafa Elshemy/AP

Three words on the tips of Ottawa tongues these days are, on their own, harmless: cabinet, shuffle, and speculation. Mash them together and you have all the fodder you need for a summertime news story that forecasts, maybe, the next incarnation of the government’s front benches. Place your bets in the comments at your peril: all guesses, with only the luckiest exceptions, will be roundly mocked when the prime minister takes his new team to Rideau Hall for their fresh assignments.

More pressing for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, even if his time in that role is limited, is the shaky situation in Egypt. Canada’s official line is non-committal, and avoids pledging support to any particular faction of ongoing political unrest: neither President Mohamed Morsi, the democratically elected president who’s under fire for reforms he implemented late last year; nor the protesters in Tahrir Square and across Egypt who seek Morsi’s ouster; nor the popular army, which has given Morsi 48 hours—a number quickly dwindling—to honour protesters’ demands.

The government’s response to Egypt’s shaky democracy? On Sunday, Baird released a statement: “Canada calls on all parties to remain calm and participate in the political process. We urge the government of Egypt to foster more meaningful political participation by the opposition to focus on rebuilding the Egyptian economy. Respect for pluralism and a robust political dialogue are essential if Egypt is to stabilize.”

With little direct influence in the region, perhaps there’s little more Baird’s office could have said. For now, he watches as Egypt once again captures the world’s attention.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the alleged Canada Day terror plot foiled by the RCMP. The National Post fronts the alleged terror plot, including a photo of a pressure cooker confiscated by police. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a judge’s decision to keep sealed a number of documents related to a gang sweep that may involve Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the alleged terror plot. iPolitics fronts the federal government’s uncertain trade relationship with China. CBC.ca leads with the stand-off between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the army that’s threatening to set its own “road map” for the country. CTV News leads with Egyptian army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi meeting with his commanders. National Newswatch showcases a Toronto Star story about Senator Patrick Brazeau’s wages being clawed back as a means of repaying improperly claimed expenses.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Mental health. A new report that estimates the number of soldiers who returned from Afghanistan suffering from mental illness—13.5 per cent—underestimates the problem, say specialists. 2. Guns. Canadian researchers produced a handgun using a 3-D printer in their lab. They hope the government will take notice of the ease with which Canadians can produce homemade firearms.
3. Ring of Fire. Frank Iacobucci, a former Supreme Court justice, will serve as Ontario’s lead negotiator as the province works with aboriginal groups on an economic development agreement. 4. Montreal. Marcel Côté, an economist, will challenge former Liberal MP Denis Coderre in the race for the mayor. Côté has the support of former PQ minister and mayoral candidte Louise Harel.
5. Somalia. Somalia’s largest money transfer company is urging international banks not to stop transferring money into the country—a move that would send transfers underground. 6. UAE. Dozens of people in the United Arab Emirates, including a cousin of one of the country’s rulers, were charged with attempting to plot a coup and jailed for up to 15 years.

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Summertime news: cabinet shuffles and Egyptian unrest

  1. “… the democratically elected president who’s under fire for reforms he implemented late last year; nor the protesters in Tahrir Square and across Egypt who seek Morsi’s ouster …”

    Thomas Jefferson – The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

    • are you aware of the irony of you quoting Jefferson?
      You know he was talking about the Stamp Act of 1765, which was trying to stop an american’s god given right to bootleg.

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