We Still Have a Government, Right?: Canadian Politics 2020

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I was thinking it was strange that afaict Trudeau has not made any comment at all about the assassination of Soleimani and resulting tensions in the Middle East. (Afaik, this fairly wishy-washy statement from the Foreign Affairs Minister is the only official comment I've seen reported?: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/canada-calls-for-restraint-in-iran-following-death-of-iranian-general-qassem-soleimani. Singh came out against it.) Then I started wondering if it might actually be a smart move to completely wait things out.

Un sang impur (Sund4r), Monday, 6 January 2020 16:50 (four months ago) link

Keeping in mind that four of the passengers killed were from my university, so I am in no way taking any of this lightly, I'm really nervous about what Trudeau's active response to all of this will be.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Thursday, 9 January 2020 20:43 (four months ago) link

don't really expect anything drastic from trudeau regarding this? i mean it's not really his mo and not much canada could do unilaterally in any case.

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 9 January 2020 20:44 (four months ago) link

Isn't this something:

It would be a reversion to pre-1952 norms to have an actual British noble as GG.

Un sang impur (Sund4r), Friday, 10 January 2020 00:17 (four months ago) link

Isn't this something:

It would be a reversion to pre-1952 norms to have an actual British noble as GG.
Thats the kind of conservatism I can get behind.

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Friday, 10 January 2020 01:43 (four months ago) link

As long as we don’t have to pay for their retinue...

pomenitul, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:13 (four months ago) link

I mean, we pay for every GG's housing and retinue but, yeah, it would be a bit obnoxious if the cost were to significantly increase bc we have an actual! Royal! in that position.

Un sang impur (Sund4r), Friday, 10 January 2020 16:35 (four months ago) link

he seems underqualified to be governor general

symsymsym, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:39 (four months ago) link

Sorry, I meant that GG or no, Royals settling in Canada theoretically means we as taxpayers would have to pay for their security. Or so I gather.

pomenitul, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:42 (four months ago) link

good thing BC has that foreign property buyers tax

symsymsym, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:48 (four months ago) link

not that I support this idea in any way, but what qualifications are required to be governor general? All it seems to be is about participating in various ceremonies and dissolving parliament every once in a while. I'm sure he'd be fine.


silverfish, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:55 (four months ago) link

I try to ignore hearing anything about these people, but wouldn't H becoming GG conflict with their desire to not be a Royal or do Royal-style things? Maybe I missed some nuance here

rob, Friday, 10 January 2020 16:58 (four months ago) link

As far as I know, he hasn't expressed any interest in the job of GG. I'm not sure where this idea came from but I think it's just some weird hypothetical.

silverfish, Friday, 10 January 2020 18:30 (four months ago) link

it's dumb and i hate it.

gg should be what it is. some non-partisan canadian prominent member of civil society like, you know, an astronaut or a figure from sports or culture

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Friday, 10 January 2020 18:35 (four months ago) link

I actually thought Trudeau was pretty good on Flight 752 here (not that informative on the coastal gaslink pipeline): https://globalnews.ca/news/6404191/justin-trudeau-iran-plane-crash-2020/

“If there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” said Trudeau.

“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing.”

One must put up barriers to keep oneself intact (Sund4r), Tuesday, 14 January 2020 14:40 (four months ago) link

Didn't hold back from both expressing that he would have preferred a heads-up wrt the assassination and that there are concerns about being able to trust the Iranian regime wrt investigating this.

One must put up barriers to keep oneself intact (Sund4r), Tuesday, 14 January 2020 14:45 (four months ago) link

Short of shrugging off our centuries-old American yoke and dealing with the ensuing fallout, I have no idea what Trudeau could do to make Canada look like less of a pushover on the world stage.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 14 January 2020 14:52 (four months ago) link

Surely the yoke was British before the mid-20th century?

One must put up barriers to keep oneself intact (Sund4r), Tuesday, 14 January 2020 15:07 (four months ago) link

Why not both? But yes, hyperbole got the better of me.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 14 January 2020 15:08 (four months ago) link

Not all heroes wear capes. pic.twitter.com/Z1qD2t0OL2

— Waylon, vicariously (@BannockHammock) January 15, 2020

symsymsym, Thursday, 16 January 2020 05:54 (four months ago) link

I've never been to Vancouver and this is exactly how I picture it.

pomenitul, Thursday, 16 January 2020 09:31 (four months ago) link

that is some excellent microphone use.

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Thursday, 16 January 2020 13:24 (four months ago) link

i see that guy around at after hours and stuff lol. has gone very viral in my east vancouver bubble

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Friday, 17 January 2020 00:06 (four months ago) link

don't know that I'd be able to get that many words in, in such a short time

symsymsym, Friday, 17 January 2020 03:44 (four months ago) link


symsymsym, Monday, 20 January 2020 19:01 (four months ago) link

Guess who was picked to build an extension to our disaster of a new LRT/subway in Ottawa: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/snc-lavalin-technical-evaluation-1.5438697?cmp=rss

SNC-Lavalin was awarded the $1.6-billion contract to extend Ottawa's north-south Trillium Line last March even though the team assembled to assess the bids reached a "unanimous consensus that the proposal should not be considered further in the evaluation process," according to documents released by the city Thursday night.

The SNC-Lavalin bid failed to include a signalling or train control system, had no plan for snow removal and, at one point, appeared to believe the trains that run on the Trillium Line were electric, not diesel...

On Oct. 3, the team concluded SNC-Lavalin's proposal "failed all four technical categories."

It sometimes seems like Ford is paying Watson to throw the next election to a hard-right populist.

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Friday, 24 January 2020 17:00 (four months ago) link


Not even picking up the phone is unfortunately par for the course, in my experience.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 14:24 (three months ago) link


With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 15:09 (three months ago) link

USMCA ratification legislation tabled, with only the Bloc dissenting on the ways and means bill: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberal-government-nafta-implementation-bill-trump-1.5444947

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Friday, 31 January 2020 04:27 (three months ago) link

Haven't seen anything in the mainstream press yet but this seems like it might shape up to be an odd story: https://pressprogress.ca/mysterious-group-uses-made-up-name-and-fake-mom-to-attack-teachers-in-canadas-biggest-newspapers/

FFS. 🤦‍♂️

See the Vaughan Working Families twitter account, thanking Lecce for the fight against teachers? Check out the photo they used.

That's dead NYC billionaire Matthew Mellon. Ironically, the Mellons spend millions to fight for more teacher engagement. 🙄#onpoli pic.twitter.com/vXVV3wY8Ba

— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) February 3, 2020

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Monday, 3 February 2020 14:47 (three months ago) link

That's pathetically low.

toilet-cleaning brain surgeon (pomenitul), Monday, 3 February 2020 15:54 (three months ago) link

I'm hearing a lot about this on Radio-Canada: https://www.google.com/amp/s/montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/legault-blasts-trudeau-for-federal-funding-granted-to-emsbs-bill-21-challenge/amp

Afaict, the EMSB is receiving funding through the Court Challenges Program, which, afaik, is a program that allows any group to receive funds for a charter rights court challenge. I'm not sure that Trudeau even has much to do with it? He did make a supportive statement at the least, though.

Major strike day for teachers in ON today I gather (albeit not at the schools where I worked).

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Thursday, 6 February 2020 19:24 (three months ago) link

Holy shit

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheers says the "protesters" need to check their "privilege" and let the rail system open again. #Wet'suwet'en. pic.twitter.com/dQKZ6IKouU

— APTN National News (@APTNNews) February 14, 2020

jmm, Friday, 14 February 2020 19:36 (three months ago) link


bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Friday, 14 February 2020 19:37 (three months ago) link

inject it into my veins!

frederik b. godt (jim in vancouver), Friday, 14 February 2020 19:42 (three months ago) link

been out at actions most days for the last week so thank you, scheer for the added impetus to keep on going

frederik b. godt (jim in vancouver), Friday, 14 February 2020 19:45 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

So positive reports from the first day of negotiations with the hereditary chiefs?

Will admit I've been finding the Coastal Gaslink issue hard to fully get a handle on/take a position on, insofar as I can see why both the band leaders and the hereditary chiefs hold the positions they do. The BC govt's support for it is also interesting in light of their opposition to TransMountain.

Sund4r, Saturday, 29 February 2020 13:19 (two months ago) link

I know many (maybe most) Canadian ILX people aren't big on Trudeau. Are you okay with him in charge of the coronavirus response? Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am. I think he'll at least take counsel from the right people, act on it, and spend whatever needs to be spent.

clemenza, Thursday, 5 March 2020 03:29 (two months ago) link

My one big international work trip this year is Montreal, so he better be on his game

El Tomboto, Thursday, 5 March 2020 03:32 (two months ago) link

I might just be lowering the bar and comparing him to Trump, but at the very least, I can't see him ever, under any circumstances, looking to Trump for the right response (even if he might pay lip service in public--there has to be a certain amount of coordination between the two countries).

clemenza, Thursday, 5 March 2020 03:44 (two months ago) link

I'm no expert but it mostly seems appropriate so far?

Sund4r, Thursday, 5 March 2020 03:48 (two months ago) link

seems fine

sean gramophone, Thursday, 5 March 2020 04:08 (two months ago) link

Blockades come down in Quebec: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-kahnawake-blockade-1.5486733

Sund4r, Friday, 6 March 2020 04:29 (two months ago) link

I owe them another donation.

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Friday, 6 March 2020 04:33 (two months ago) link

New ON Lib leader: https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/03/07/ontario-liberals-new-leader/

Sund4r, Monday, 9 March 2020 00:19 (two months ago) link

I freely admit to remembering nothing about him from his cabinet days.

Sund4r, Monday, 9 March 2020 00:21 (two months ago) link

I said to a friend yesterday that when I try to get my mind around two weeks from now, I can't.


clemenza, Thursday, 12 March 2020 16:38 (two months ago) link

Legault just asked everyone who is arriving from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days. This will be me tomorrow.

romanesque architect (pomenitul), Thursday, 12 March 2020 17:11 (two months ago) link

This was posted 10 hours ago, but I just heard it now from CNN--I thought my FB wall would have been filled.


clemenza, Friday, 13 March 2020 02:02 (two months ago) link

I think this at least partially explains that big "jump": https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/confirmed-covid-19-cases-in-quebec-near-32-000-after-missing-april-data-found-1.4922826

dip to dup (rob), Monday, 4 May 2020 15:28 (three weeks ago) link

If you subtract those 1,317 retroactive cases from yesterday, that would bring the total down to around 1,450, which is right in line with the past two weeks. So that would explain it--that's good.

clemenza, Monday, 4 May 2020 15:35 (three weeks ago) link

"Computer error"?

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Monday, 4 May 2020 16:22 (three weeks ago) link

This seems like a mistake:


I know a phased-in loosening feels unfair, but in Perth County, where I am, you've got 35 positive tests (still two in St. Marys--not a single positive in three weeks); treating that the same as Toronto or Peel doesn't really make sense. I'm not saying we don't proceed cautiously here, but I can't see having an identical timetable across the province.

clemenza, Friday, 8 May 2020 16:35 (two weeks ago) link

That's a little garbled...Should read "I know a flexible loosening feels unfair..."

clemenza, Friday, 8 May 2020 16:36 (two weeks ago) link

yeah I have zero objection to opening up parts of Quebec before Montreal, though I do worry about travel between regions

dip to dup (rob), Friday, 8 May 2020 16:38 (two weeks ago) link

That's the concern, and yeah, you're taking it on blind faith that people are going to confine themselves to their town/county. That's a strong argument against.

clemenza, Friday, 8 May 2020 16:44 (two weeks ago) link

Good point. I saw a story yesterday that smartphone location data showed people traveling to Georgia when they lifted restrictions

dip to dup (rob), Friday, 8 May 2020 16:45 (two weeks ago) link

I suppose I'm more in the middle than I thought I was. But I'm retired; from the point of view of local retailers, it must be maddening.

clemenza, Friday, 8 May 2020 16:48 (two weeks ago) link

"If they loosen up restrictions in one area, guess where all the people from Toronto and the GTA are going, if they want to go have dinner? They're all going flock to Kingston, and I don't think that'd be very fair for that jurisdiction to have everyone coming in in one shot like that."

I'm really enjoying the mental image of hordes of Toronto families driving for 2.5h on the 401 to have dinner in Kingston.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Friday, 8 May 2020 19:20 (two weeks ago) link

What about all the Montrealers who are going to swarm the dining establishments of Shawinigan?? Legault isn't thinking.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Friday, 8 May 2020 19:24 (two weeks ago) link

xpost More concern about the number of Ottawans driving for a day trip to Kingston, including dinner in a sitdown restaurant before heading back to our locked-down city. It'd odd that Kingston would actually want to risk that situation, esp when the Muskoka area clearly does not.

doug watson, Friday, 8 May 2020 19:41 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, I thought the Premier's phrasing was funny but you're right that there could be a credible risk there.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Friday, 8 May 2020 20:02 (two weeks ago) link

You might be surprised how far some city goers would travel just to shop or do “stuff”. If rural opens first, my money would be on places like Wasaga, Prince Edward County, and Grand Bend being more problematic than Kingston, but all are far from Toronto, and anything along major routes is going to get busy. Even as is, with lack of public toilets basically the only thing limiting travel, I’ve been kinda shocked by others from my town that are routinely driving to Costco in Guelph and beyond just for something to do.

Kim, Friday, 8 May 2020 20:08 (two weeks ago) link

Haha, OK, fair enough. Of late, I hardly go anywhere (even pre-quarantine) but I can see it.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Friday, 8 May 2020 21:15 (two weeks ago) link

By contrast, this guy had no choice but to resign: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/05/uk-coronavirus-adviser-prof-neil-ferguson-resigns-after-breaking-lockdown-rules

pomenitul, Saturday, 9 May 2020 01:53 (two weeks ago) link

and they were both just checking the plumbing

fatuous salad (symsymsym), Saturday, 9 May 2020 04:28 (two weeks ago) link

It’s like when Zac and I tell the kids that there will be no more treats so late at night, put them to bed, then we bust out a bottle of wine and a pack of butter tarts.

Kim, Saturday, 9 May 2020 14:55 (two weeks ago) link

As baldy hypocritical as this is, I find myself not particularly bothered by it, wholly because he continues to proceed cautiously as premier. (I was questioning him yesterday for moving too cautiously, but I'd rather he err on that side.)

clemenza, Saturday, 9 May 2020 15:45 (two weeks ago) link

I had to laugh when "Doug Ford admits daughters visited his home on the weekend" came up on last night's CBC news ticker; that would have sounded so weird as a scandal a few months ago.

jmm, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 16:56 (one week ago) link

This story got by rather low key last week. Good! But also lol.


Kim, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 17:13 (one week ago) link

Ha, those new plates were ridiculously illegible whenever I saw one in the wild.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 03:01 (one week ago) link

Now even The Guardian has an article about how awful the situation is in Montreal:


pomenitul, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 15:36 (one week ago) link

Do think the ethical implications of only those with means being able to stay safe should be cause for some re-evaluation of blanket self isolation measures. Now that most lower risk populations have isolated enough to reduce the chance of being transmitters, it seems wrong to have another group of people continue to take on the risk for them. In terms of procuring essentials at least.

Kim, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 19:13 (one week ago) link

It was the Victoria Day long weekend here--tomorrow is a major step towards reopening across Ontario. Not restaurants or schools or gyms, but I think any store is okay for curbside now; not sure if there is a loosening of in-store restrictions for some stores also. The daily cases look pretty good for the last couple of weeks, but who knows.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 05:39 (six days ago) link

yeah lots of ppl sharing that article, but imo it's not all the policy response. i feel like montreal just got dealt a tough hand, blasted on multiple fronts by (i) late spring break (ii) proximity to NY (iii) snowbirds in NY/FL all coming home (iv) more travel from Europe. seems like Legault went all-in on lockdown an social distancing and i also give him props for backing down on re-opening schools given the numbers weren't right. the nursings homes stuff is awful; my friend's grandmother died of covid in one in Monteal Nord, after every single person on her floor got it. sad too because due to lack of centralized quarantine options even after everyone else had tested positive she had no choice but to stay there and wait to get it

flopson, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 05:54 (six days ago) link

No surprise, but the right call. (Still think the delay served no purpose, unless they sincerely thought they had a chance to resume.)


I don't know what they do in September. Cutting class sizes is close to impossible, because they just had a big labour dispute over that. They can continue online, but I doubt anybody would be happy with that. In any event, that's what they have to focus their attention on immediately, rather than pointlessly going back in June.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 19:58 (six days ago) link

Here in BC they are reopening in June, but students will attend on a part-time optional basis. I don't understand how it can be safe for teachers, and some parents will be pressured to return to work by employers: https://globalnews.ca/news/6959148/keep-schools-closed-bc-petition-coronavirus/

fatuous salad (symsymsym), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 20:04 (six days ago) link

The optional June opening will help a lot of parents, I sympathize with and get that. But, as you say, it puts teachers in harm's way, and as to what will actually be accomplished--it's hard enough getting grade-school kids to learn in June in a normal year--not much, I'd say, from personal experience. (My June program my last few years before retirement: "Look, just do these couple of things that I need for your report card, then we'll go outside or watch a movie.")

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 20:17 (six days ago) link

How practical do you think it might be for them to continue putting all the core assignments and materials into the online system alongside regular instruction in September? If it’s not a logistical nightmare, I can see that helping things continue as seamlessly as possible if students are expected to temporarily drop out of the class whenever a member of their household falls ill. (That’s not policy yet afaik but would make sense)

Kim, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 20:37 (six days ago) link

They'll probably need to do both, yeah. I'm a little removed from it all now, so I don't know how much online participation teachers are getting, either because of accessibility or apathy. I'm sure it varies from place to place and board to board. I do have a feeling that any teacher who had been contemplating pre-COVID working beyond their early retirement date will be getting out immediately (some may even take a pension hit and get out before their eligible date).

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 20:51 (six days ago) link

I sometimes forget this actually affects me too. I'll have to decide whether I go back to supplying in the fall. I don't need to do it, but I love going back to my old school, and the extra money's great. I'm heavily leaning in the direction of yes, but I'll have to see where things are at then.

clemenza, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 05:24 (five days ago) link

Hoping Ford follows through on being the bastard he's threatening to be.


clemenza, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 13:40 (five days ago) link

The bit that mystifies me is who do those guys think is going to lease their units if their current tenants go under? Commercial properties are bound to become a half vacant wasteland very soon, even in a good case scenario.

Kim, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 15:57 (five days ago) link

ok who's been converting Ford to Maoism

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 16:07 (five days ago) link

I was recently thinking I may be able to but yeah I'm not going to be able to afford a downpayment that's 10% of the value of an apartment in Vancouver

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 16:22 (five days ago) link

We are so thankful now that we bought ten years ago when the market was down, and we bought small. Even so we worry! I have no idea how people who got in high and big are going to manage. I think affordable rentals are finally expected to open up some though, if there’s a silver lining.

Kim, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 17:00 (five days ago) link

Just 10 cases in Halton Hills, where I grew up.


This continues to astound me: there were two cases in St. Marys right at the beginning, around March 12; two months later, according to the local paper today, there hasn't been a single case added.

clemenza, Thursday, 21 May 2020 03:40 (four days ago) link

Semi-pointless update, but I’m noticing a willful return to normal here. The mom sphere is polling each other on whether it’s ok to let their 12 year olds bike to their friends’ houses and the consensus is yes. Saw several neighbours down the street crossing the street to another backyard with booze, so that’s happening too. People are openly complaining about not being able to take small children into garden centres and newly opened stores too (mama bears offended by seeing kids listed on the same line as pets in “no x pls” signs.)

Also took a peek through my fingers at the vitriol soaked conservative relatives online presence and they seem to have no problem simultaneously bitching about planes still landing while also declaring the virus not dangerous enough to have ever required a lockdown.

Kim, Thursday, 21 May 2020 15:44 (four days ago) link

mama bears offended by seeing kids listed on the same line as pets in “no x pls” signs

This reminded me of my favourite exchange in Albert Brooks' Lost in America, just after Julie Hagerty loses all their money.

Hagerty: "Why are you treating me like an animal?"
Brooks: "I'll explain it to you later."

clemenza, Thursday, 21 May 2020 20:22 (four days ago) link

lol yeah I should add that it was also a *self described* mama “bear” objecting to the implication that her child could be in any way like an animal. I feel truly bad for the retail workers having to deal with such a gauntlet of entitlement.

Kim, Thursday, 21 May 2020 21:37 (four days ago) link

Wu Tang's collaboration with Jim Watson continues: https://exclaim.ca/music/article/wu-tang_clan_and_the_city_of_ottawa_are_building_a_better_tomorrow

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Friday, 22 May 2020 16:02 (three days ago) link

Posts on Trinity Bellwoods Park--packed--have shown up on my FB feed four or five times today. I'm just so far removed from that, thankfully.


clemenza, Sunday, 24 May 2020 01:45 (yesterday) link

I mean, a lineup of four people outside Canadian Tire yesterday--spaced six feet apart--is about the most shocking thing I've seen here all week.

clemenza, Sunday, 24 May 2020 01:46 (yesterday) link

over two weeks without a new positive in Newfoundland. It is very strange watching places reopen quicker than us. We've just been lucky.

maffew12, Sunday, 24 May 2020 01:59 (yesterday) link

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