You get the sense, watching the Conservative government these days, that they don’t have much to be excited about. There’s the annual Economic Action Plan, of course, that untouchable set of measures to save Canada from a perilous global economy. There’s also Keystone XL, the pipeline the government praises effusively at every opportunity. This week, there’s also the anti-terror legislation that renews a series of measures that expired in 2007.
The economic action plan—seems more natural without the capital letters, no?—is the centrepiece of most government talking points, and has been for some time. That wasn’t always the case. The government used to hang its hat on a number of issues, including the law-and-order file (which it still does, occasionally, with respect to victims’ rights); and pet projects that, for example, eliminated the long-gun registry. Mostly, that’s been stripped away in favour of the economic action plan.
That might be why there’s so much chatter every time a political party releases a new ad; or why a dozen reporters packed the Press Gallery yesterday for any hint of rebellion on the Conservative backbenches; or why the future of a $2-million research station in northern Ontario, the Experimental Lakes Area, is hotly debated. Of course, these are valuable conversations and debates, worthy of this country’s attention. As are continued opposition questions about tariff increases and youth unemployment.
But you get the sense it’s all the calm before the storm. One day, the enabling legislation that accompanies this year’s economic action plan will be introduced to the House. And that’s when everyone will get excited all over again.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with the improved working relationship between the RCMP and Muslim community leaders. The National Post fronts Barrick Gold shareholders’ rejection of a $17-million package offered to co-chairman John Thornton. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with an apparent meeting abroad between accused terror plotter Chiheb Esseghaier and an Al-Qaeda operative in 2008. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the passage of the government’s anti-terror legislation, a package of measures criticized by civil rights advocates. iPolitics fronts Lawrence Martin’s column about why Justin Trudeau’s new ad is effective. CBC.ca leads with warnings about cracks in the Bangladesh garment factory that collapsed and killed almost 200 people. National Newswatch showcases Martin’s column in iPolitics.
Stories that will be (mostly) missed
|1. Keystone XL. The union representing Canadian diplomats says an ongoing labour dispute will make it more difficult for the feds to lobby American counterparts to approve Keystone XL.||2. UN agency. There’s only one UN agency based in Canada: Montreal’s International Civil Aviation Organization. Qatar hopes to lure the agency away, a pitch that will go to a vote in the fall.|
|3. National parks. Parks Canada has slowly approved more recreational activities in national parks, and paragliding could be next, as the agency attempts to lure urban Canadians.||4. Justice. A group of task forces have suggested Canada’s justice system embrace technology and create a massive online portal that Canadians using the justice system could access with ease.|