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On the front lines of the equalization wars

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Terry Glavin has no time for those who argue the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou makes Canada a pawn in the Trump administration’s trade war with China, or that China’s outlandish retaliatory threats reflect the regime not knowing how things operate in nations governed by the rule of law. He writes:

Neither was her arrest a “kidnapping,” as the Chinese commerce department bureaucrat Wei Xinyu claimed in the party-owned newspaper Global Times. In the most comically intemperate language, Chinese diplomats have demanded that Canada release Meng immediately, to assuage China’s “hurt feelings.” Over the weekend, China’s deputy foreign minister Le Yucheng threatened Canadians with “serious consequences” unless we do what we’re told.

They should all be told to pound sand, of course, but it is perfectly understandable that Beijing would feel free to take this sort of tone. Among the G7 countries, Canada has adopted a uniquely supine posture in its relations with Beijing and its legions of creepy billionaires. Unlike Canada, our partners in the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance—the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom—have not been slobbering on Huawei’s slippers all these years. (Maclean’s)

In the latest on the case Meng has offered to wear a tracking device if she’s granted bail, while China has continued its over-the-top rhetoric, calling Meng’s arrest “inhumane“. (Globe and Mail, Global News)

An Alberta strategist predicts the federal Liberals will be wiped out in the province in the next election, such is the anger felt there toward the Trudeau government: “Alberta is angry. It is as angry as I have ever seen it, and it’s hard for an incumbent party when the population is [this] angry.” (Hill Times)

Each moment brings another wedge between the province and Ottawa—from Alberta resentment over Ottawa’s failure to get a pipeline built to Ottawa’s tepid response to the latest oil price crisis to Justin Trudeau’s comments while at the G20 about the danger to women from men at rural construction camps.

The latest split: the breakdown, released Sunday evening, of who’ll get what  and who’ll get squat from equalization payments in 2019/20. With Quebec in line to receive $13 billion while the oil-producing provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland will get naught, anger flared up again. (Globe and Mail)

Equalization “has not worked,” Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said. It’s “extremely flawed” said Finance Minister Donna Harpauer. Ontario threw its entry into the complaint pile too, since the province won’t receive equalization payments for the first time in a decade. “We see an inequity from from the Federal government” added Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli. (Edmonton JournalRegina Leader-PostToronto Star)

The loudest heckles came from Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney, on Twitter: “So after unilaterally cancelling this year’s planned equalization talks, Justin Trudeau’s finance minister says the issue can be revisited – in FOUR YEARS. Meanwhile, suffering Alberta continues to transfer wealth to a province blocking the source of our wealth. Truly outrageous.” (Twitter)

Meanwhile, over in #cdnecon twitter, economists were gamely trying to bring facts and, you know, numbers to the debate. (Twitter, Twitter, Twitter)

Standing before a roomful of soldiers to announce new transition services to help soldiers adjust to life after the military, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan decided it was a good time to share his own “very difficult transition”: leaving journalism for politics. Not surprisingly, it didn’t go over well. “Good Lord, what an insensitive and inaccurate thing to say,” one former soldier told the CBC. “It shows me he has no concept of what he is dealing with.” (CBC News)

 

 

 

 

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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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