Flashy national stories crowd out hunger strike - Macleans.ca

Flashy national stories crowd out hunger strike

Tease the day: Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence said she’d die for her people


CP/Sean Kilpatrick

“I’m willing to die for my people.”

Those were the words of Theresa Spence, the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation that came to prominence in recent years thanks to a protracted housing crisis. Spence made the statement on Parliament Hill yesterday, as she told reporters she’d go on a hunger strike that started as the sun rose this morning. She wants a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Ottawa Citizen ran the story, and a photo of Spence, in its front section. It was the only paper to do so. (iPolitics‘ Laura Stone, who’s followed closely recent Aboriginal demonstrations on the Hill, also covered Spence’s announcement.) The Toronto Star—and the Citizen, too—were preoccupied, entirely fairly, with strikes of a different sort: those launched by teachers that will affect many thousands of students in Toronto’s biggest cities. The Globe and Mail also found space on its front page for Ontario’s teacher strikes. And the National Post, much like its counterparts at the Globe and Star and the Citizen, spilled plenty of ink on foreign takeovers and F-35 procurement. Those two files, which are dominating Parliament Hill these days, deserve all the coverage they receive. (It’s worth noting that the Globe, CBC News and APTN ran stories online, and the local Metro daily printed it this morning.)

But still: someone walked up that hill, asked for a meeting with the prime minister, and said she wouldn’t eat until that happened. And it registered barely a blip for anyone who picked up a newspaper this morning. Talk about a lonely fight.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads what no extracurricular activities in Ontario public schools means for students. The National Post fronts the assassination of Afghani women’s advocate Najia Sediqi. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with teacher strikes in Ontario. The Ottawa Citizen leads with yesterday’s Federal Court proceedings related to alleged voter suppression during the 2011 federal election. iPolitics fronts Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau responding to questions about reopening Canada’s constitution. CBC.ca goes above the fold with Chinese workers paying to work in CanadaNational Newswatch showcases Postmedia‘s look at opposition calls for government clarity on the F-35 file.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Bilingual officers. Conservative MPs will support NDP MP Alexandrine Latendresse’s private member’s bill that would mandate all officers of Parliament be bilingual. 2. Skilled trades. The federal government’s move to fast-track more skilled workers to Canada—3,000 in various trades, starting next year—has impressed companies facing labour shortages.
3. Arctic re-freeze. Scientists are suggesting it’s possible to re-freeze the Arctic’s sea ice by injecting aerosols into the atmosphere that would allow less sunlight to warm the earth’s surface. 4. Green crime. Canada’s commissioner of environment and sustainable development is joining a global team that will fight so-called “green crimes”, including illegal logging.

Filed under: