Tease the day: Now they’re talking about the Green Party

Elizabeth May’s face pops up in morning papers that recognize Green gains


CP/Adrian Wyld

Patience, it seems, is something the Green Party requires in bunches. The party had a big night on Monday, and there was nary a whisper of its significance in yesterday’s papers—perfectly understandably, given the news day that was. Yesterday, I asked if anyone would talk about Elizabeth May’s Greens. The answer, albeit belatedly, is yes. This morning’s papers caught up with the Green surges in Calgary and Victoria, and mostly heaped praise on the party’s cunning strategy. The Globe and Mail heralded the Greens’ “rising clout”, declared the party to be “growing up” and employing a strategy—target ridings that seem winnable—that’s “defying the trend of stagnating voter turnout.” The paper quoted a political scientist who suggested the Green surge “is something real.” The Ottawa Citizen fronted Michael Den Tandt’s column, topped by a photo of May, which declared the Greens the only “unambiguous winners” of Monday’s byelections. Meanwhile, the Toronto Star ran the same photo alongside a Tim Harper column that suggested May could “emerge as a player in the debate over unifying the left”—that is, if that discussion happens before the 2015 general election.

The National Post‘s John Ivison tempered expectations: he downplayed the significance of the byelections, second-guessed the Greens’ broader political potency, and said they have to be disappointed, given that byelections are their best chance at victory. But even those jabs, directed as they were at a party with just a single seat in the House of Commons, are a minor coup for the Greens. Whether or not they can sustain any momentum, given 2015’s election is so far off, is an open question. But they’ve proven that, in the very least, they’re worthy of superlative on the national stage.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with huge demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. The National Post fronts a territorial dispute between Canada and the United States. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Doug Ford’s plans to take his brother’s place as Toronto’s mayor. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a local homicide charge, and goes below the fold with reaction to Monday’s byelection results. iPolitics fronts the mysterious claim that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s favourite book is the Guinness Book of World Records. National Newswatch showcases a Canadian Press story claiming two-thirds of Quebecers see the Canadian flag as a source of pride.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. OxyContin. Health Canada has approved generic versions of OxyContin. Purdue Pharma, which holds the patent, has produced new pills that critics say pose a known health hazard. 2. Montreal corruption. An exclusive club in Montreal is releasing records to the Charbonneau commission that detail meetings between politicians and construction bosses.
3. Hill staff. Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe didn’t break any rules, but he did pay staffers inappropriately out of his House of Commons budget, a committee ruled yesterday. 4. Preventable death. Major Darryl Watts, who faces a manslaughter charge for the death of a colleague in Afghanistan, said yesterday that the fatality was preventable.

What should I cover?

It’s time for a little experiment. I’m going to tell you about a few things happening today on Parliament Hill, and then you tell me what I should go watch—and, following that, report on. There’s plenty of action on the Hill today. Seventeen parliamentary committees, including nine Senate committees, are talking about various studies and pieces of legislation. The list of meetings I can attend, if we’re being realistic, is below, along with the orders of the day for each. The list is below. So tell me: Where should I go?

House of Commons

Veterans Affairs Supplementary Estimates (B) 2012-2013
Citizenship and Immigration Bill C-43, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Supplementary Estimates (B) 2012-2013
Environment and Sustainable Development Urban Conservation Practices in Canada
Public Safety and National Security Bill S-7, Combating Terrorism Act


Veterans Affairs Services and benefits provided to veterans and their families
National Finance Subject-matter of Bill C-45, second Budget Implementation Act
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Bill S-12, An Act to amend the Statutory Instruments Act and to make consequential amendments to the Statutory Instruments Regulations
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada–Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act
Aboriginal Peoples The evolving recognition of the collective identity and rights of the Métis in Canada

If you think those committees are boring and know about something, you know, more interesting, pop it in a comment. You could also send it in an email or—gasp!—a Twitter DM to @TaylorVaisey, but why keep secrets from everyone?

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Tease the day: Now they’re talking about the Green Party

  1. I’m not really sure I understand how you culled these meetings down–does it mean the timing would allow you to attend them all? In any case, I’m choosing two. Environment and Sustainable development sounds interesting, and Legal and Constitutional Affairs sounds incomprehensible and therefore ominous. Or maybe you can just tell me what the heck a Statutory Instrument is, because I’d guess a bill, and what horrible way are they changing them? If you can get to the Senate Veteran’s Affairs meeting, that would be super as well. I think you’d get more information out of the Senate one than the Estimates one because understanding the Estimates requires that you have something to compare it with, and I don’t think anyone has that information, do they?

    • Some of the meetings are in-camera, and some are too early or too late for me to attend. All the rest are fair game. Thanks for the votes!

  2. I personally always think it’s the meeting that has the most boring title that’s most likely to be where the good stuff is.

    So that’d be the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee.

    • Two votes for the ominous/boring-sounding Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee. It’s officially one of the frontrunners.

  3. You should coordinate activities with Kadie , and maybe Horgan, so that
    We The People are more completely and fully served. Cooperate *and*
    compete !

    • while I’m flattered, I think there might already be enough charges of “media party” consensus building…

      • Oh, you guys … don’t you learn anything from the people
        you cover ? Just say “I reject the premise of your assertion”
        and carry on. Pardon the attitude .. I have Warren Zevon
        coming through the earphones and am unduly influenced.

  4. I also vote for Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
    Where do you post your reports on what you saw at committees?

  5. “The Statutory Instruments Act establishes a process designed to ensure that regulations are made on a legally secure foundation and are accessible through the Canada Gazette.” sounds important

    As does “Bill S-7, Combating Terrorism Act” because you never know who will be labelled “terrorist” next. And because the link seems to be broken.

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