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‘Mad dog’ bites Trump – Macleans.ca

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Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign-up at the bottom of the page to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Term limits: The improbable rise of Rachel Notley‘s NDP in Canada’s conservative heartland faces long odds in a spring election. Jason Markusoff looks at whether Notley’s government be the first in Alberta history to only win one term:

For the NDP, this Alberta election won’t be the national project the last one was. In 2015, heavyweights from the Manitoba government and the Layton and Thomas Mulcair camps flew in for a training run. This time, federal leader Jagmeet Singh’s camp is threadbare, while the only other New Democrat government is John Horgan’s in Victoria, which Notley banned her team from helping during B.C.’s last campaign due to the Horgan NDP’s anti-pipeline stance. Trudeau’s Liberals would love to retain Notley as a provincial ally, but as much as Kenney is treating Trudeau like a campaign punching bag (an old Alberta pastime), he would be doing Notley no favours by punching back. For an Alberta New Democrat these days, getting help from the federal Liberals is about as politically appealing as buddying up to the B.C. NDP—like choosing between drinking bleach and ammonia. (Maclean’s)

With Albertans booing local politicians when they speak French and threatening to boycott Quebec companies and products, Alec Castonguay, the political bureau chief for L’Actualité, pens an open letter to the province, providing some details that have gotten lost in the angry rhetoric—like the fact that 53 per cent of Quebec’s oil comes from the West, and that not a drop of oil in the province comes from Saudi Arabia. (Maclean’s)

U.S. authorities accused two Chinese citizens of waging a four-year hacking campaign against government agencies, members of the military and private companies from a dozen countries, including Canada, on behalf of China’s main intelligence agency. Canada’s Communications Security Establishment said in a statement “it is almost certain that actors likely associated with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of State Security (MSS) are responsible for the compromise of several Managed Service Providers (MSP), beginning as early as 2016. (Canadian Press)

No, no, a thousand times, no: For the second time in less than a decade B.C. voters were asked to embrace proportional representation, and for the second time they said no. Just 16 of B.C.’s 87 electoral districts supported the electoral reform initiative in a referendum on Thursday. (Vancouver Sun)

Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis resigned as U.S. Defense Secretary Thursday evening, a day after Donald Trump blindsided his advisers and America’s allies by announcing the withdrawal of troops from Syria. Trump tried to spin Mattis’s departure as a retirement on Twitter, but the former General’s resignation letter makes it clear he’d had enough:

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. (The Atlantic)

Two years after his election, Trump is proving his personal creed that power is everything—and damn the cost to his country, writes Allen Abel:

Christmas 2018 finds us Halfway Trump, rounding the turn and heading for home with the finish line in sight in January 2021, give or take a year or three or five. Twenty-four months of astonishment fade behind us; only the saints know how many more we must sustain before, in the words of Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War, he belongs to the ages.

As far as we know, Lincoln’s Secretary of War never called his president a moron. (Maclean’s)

Dear reader, that’s all from us in 2018. Thank you for generously giving the Politics Insider newsletter your time and attention this year. We appreciate it immensely, and hope that in some small way we’ve informed and entertained you. The newsletter is going to take a break over Christmas and New Year’s. We’ll return bright and early on Jan. 7. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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