Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc First Nation to meet Trudeau but 'not interested in apologies'

Politics Insider for Oct. 8, 2020: Trudeau tries again; Kenney faces leadership pressure; antivaxxers out of a job

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The Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc First Nation Thursday agreed to meet with Justin Trudeau but have rejected his apology for ignoring their previous invitations and instead vacationing in Tofino on Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Star reports. “We are not interested in apologies that don’t lead to institutional and widespread change,” the First Nation said in a written statement.

In May, more than 200 unmarked graves were discovered on the grounds of a former residential school near the band. Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc later sent two invitations to the Prime Minister’s Office requesting Trudeau’s presence at an event to honour the national holiday, which his office apparently ignored. The Prime Minister apologized publicly for the slight on Wednesday.

A lot of grovelling: Tanya Talaga, author of two important books about the struggles Indigenous youth face as a result of Canadian colonialism, has a strong column in the Globe in which she lauds the First Nation for agreeing to meet with Trudeau.

This is the beautiful thing about so many Indigenous Peoples: No matter what crap is thrown at us – from genocidal laws and policies aimed to extinguish us, to racists yelling for us to get off the sidewalk – we rise. Our existence is our resistance. That isn’t just a slogan. It is the truth. That Kúkpi7 [Chief] Rosanne Casimir and the band council are willing to extend their hands, once again – after he had declined their offers to attend events for the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation not once but twice – is astounding.

And she takes Trudeau to task for failing to have shown up.

The Prime Minister, after all, had a lot of grovelling to do. After the discovery of unmarked graves of little children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, Mr. Trudeau hasn’t bothered to show up to the community to express his remorse personally. The unspeakable discovery of the bones of children seems like the kind of thing a leader should drop pretty much everything for, and yet he did not.

Gunning for Kenney: At least 10 UCP constituency associations are pushing for a leadership review for Jason Kenney before March 1, instead of April, CBC reports, citing three confidential sources. At least 22 CAs are required to pass the motion to force the party to act on it. Kenney is unpopular.

Voting problems: The NDP has written to Elections Canada to ask for an investigation into whether the  organization failed to follow correct procedures, denying citizens the right to cast their vote, CP reports.

Tough Singh:  Jagmeet Singh was talking tough after the NDP caucus met on Thursday, saying he is willing to “withhold votes” for Liberal legislation, signalling  a tougher stance on co-operation with the Liberals in Parliament, CTV reports. The Liberals also met in Ottawa, said farewell to defeated colleagues, but apparently didn’t give MPs much of a clue about the agenda for the months ahead, the Globe reports.

Murder charge: The CBC has an interesting and sad story about Rakesh David, a CPC volunteer who has been charged with murdering three relatives in Trinidad and Tobago. It adds more facts after a similar story in the National Post.

Manning seeks entry: U.S. intelligence whistleblower Chelsea Manning is fighting to be allowed into Canada, CBC reports. Canada is trying to stop her from visiting.  “I really like Canada,” she told the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Antivaxxers canned: A hospital in Windsor, Ont. has fired more than 60 workers who declined to get vaccinated, Postmedia reports.

Not so fast: Lawrence Martin, in the Globe, has a good column suggesting that other commentators are too quick to declare Trudeau a lame duck, and he could very well run again.

He’s just 49 and has been in office only six years and there is no heir apparent. Men of his age do not relinquish enormous prime ministerial power unless forced. He has a progressive policy vision to implement, maligners to spite and his Liberal Party behind him. Why wouldn’t the party back him? While not getting a majority and scoring a pathetic popular vote total, Mr. Trudeau still smashed his nearest rival by 40 seats. He extended his own mandate while leaving other leaders fighting for their jobs or losing them. He gave life to the People’s Party, which suits his party just fine as it divides the right.

— Stephen Maher