Jason Kenney: a bright spot during a troubling week for the Tories - Macleans.ca

Jason Kenney: a bright spot during a troubling week for the Tories

Tease the day: Irish applicants for Canadian visas are through the roof, and demand is expected to remain high.


Blair Gable

Conservatives in Ottawa aren’t having an easy go of things, these days. Senator Patrick Brazeau was placed on leave yesterday. Senator Pamela Wallin is having her travel expenses audited. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is being pressured by the NDP to apologize for comments he made during last year’s debate about the government’s since-scrapped internet surveillance bill. International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino is under fire for defending the funding of a Christian humanitarian group that published controversial statements about homosexuality. Indeed, the governing party is fighting a few small fires.

And then there’s Jason Kenney, the Immigration Minister. Today, we learn that Irish applications for Canadian “working holiday” visas are through the roof. Canada’s embassy in Dublin handed out 6,350 of the visas in fewer than three days. Last year, it took months longer to hand out fewer visas. Next year, the National Post reports, demand will remain high. Kenney’s not exactly an uncontroversial political figure, but leave it to his file to be among the only bright spots during a week when the government could use a little more of that.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the Senate’s vote to place Senator Patrick Brazeau on leave. The National Post fronts sky-rocketing Irish demand for temporary work visas in Canada. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the taxpayer-funded wining and dining of Italian helicopter executives. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the transport of spent nuclear fuel rods from Chalk River to the United States. iPolitics fronts Chinese investors’ growing interest in Canada. CBC.ca leads with the presumed death of an ex-Los Angeles police officer in a deadly stand-off. National Newswatch showcases a CTV News story about the Senate’s audit of Senator Pamela Wallin’s travel expenses.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. RCMP. Human Rights Watch says the RCMP and Aboriginal communities have a “dysfunctional” relationship, just one element of which involves violence against women and girls. 2. Premiers’ swag. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation recently discovered that when premiers met in Halifax last July, they each went home with over $50,000 in goodies.
3. Vets’ lawyers. In the wake of a multi-million-dollar pension settlement, the lawyers representing a group of disabled veterans will take home $66 million in fees. 4. Zombies. Quebec’s public security department will hold a symposium that will discuss, among other things, “how to handle a zombie attack.” Braaaains.

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