Three characters in Canadian political life are preparing to leave their posts. They represent three very different corners of Ottawa: Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer, has held the government to account since his appointment in 2008; David Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador, has served as President Barack Obama’s face in Canada since his appointment in 2009; and Theresa Spence, the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation, who’s been consuming only liquids since Dec. 11, 2012. Each has had a profound impact, in their own way, on Canada’s public policy.
The three personalities will give way to successors, in some form or another, though it’s unclear who will carry their torches in every case. Page’s term is up in March, and the Library of Parliament is plodding through the process to replace him. Jacobson will apparently be replaced during Obama’s second term, a traditional move, say sources at the embassy. And Spence is in the middle of tricky negotiations to end her protest on Victoria Island and fade from the national spotlight, a move that would leave her protest to a complex web of parliamentary, Aboriginal and grassroots opposition to the government.
Today’s papers are cause to reflect on the impact each of Page, Jacobson and Spence has had on Canadian life since they walked into the spotlight, whether that was years or months ago, and became household names.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with who might form a coalition government with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The National Post fronts Netanyahu’s potential partner, political newcomer Yair Lapid. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird demanding proof from the Algerians that Canadians were among the militants at a deadly gas plant hostage-taking. The Ottawa Citizen also leads with Baird’s demands. iPolitics fronts a tease of how Idle No More might disrupt the government’s legislative agenda when the House of Commons reconvenes. CBC.ca leads with frigid temperatures across Canada. National Newswatch showcases a Canadian Press story that suggests Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is negotiating to end her protest on Victoria Island.
Stories that will be (mostly) missed
|1. Emissions warnings. Environment Canada sent hundreds of warnings to energy companies for environmental infractions that could have allegedly warranted fines—or even jail time.||2. U.S. ambassador. Officials at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa said Ambassador David Jacobson will likely be replaced this year, but had few details about his successor.|
|3. Ontario deficit. In the wake of a teachers’ dispute and the collection of a large sum of corporate taxes, Ontario’s deficit shrunk by almost $3 billion from earlier estimates.||4. Sovereignty. Quebec premier Pauline Marois is headed to Europe, where she’ll meet with Scottish officials to discuss their efforts to separate from the United Kingdom.|