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Good evening to you.
We begin with dates: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that he will name his new cabinet on Oct. 26 and that the next Parliament will begin sitting on Nov.22. His cabinet will remain gender-balanced, according to a statement. Heading into September’s election, cabinet had 36 members. Four female ministers — Catherine McKenna, who did not run for re-election, and three others who lost their seats — are no longer in government. On top of cabinet having gender parity, there will also be pressure that a regional balance is struck.
Trudeau also announced he’ll be speaking with opposition leaders next week to discuss the return of Parliament, including to ensure MPs are fully vaccinated before they sit in the House of Commons. “Canadians expect their elected representatives to lead by example in the fight against this virus, and the prime minister will be raising this with other leaders,” the PMO’s statement reads. While Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have also urged all MPs to be fully vaccinated before their return, it’s not clear what Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is going to do, given some dissension within his party’s ranks on that front. That story from Janet Silver.
There was also word today that perhaps as soon as 2024, there will be 342 seats to fill in the House of Commons instead of the current 338. As CTV News reports, the number of bums in seats for most provinces won’t change, but Alberta will add a few to the roster and Quebec will lose one.
Still with the PM, after not responding to two invitations from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation to join them on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation last month, Trudeau is set to meet with members of the B.C. First Nation on Monday. Indigenous leaders criticized his decision to vacation in Tofino on Sept. 30, a move that seemed particularly tone deaf given the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation is near the site of a former resident school in Kamloops where the remains of 215 children were uncovered earlier this year. CBC News reports.
The Liberals plan to proceed with two key pieces of their environmental agenda without introducing new legislation, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tells iPolitics. The Liberal election platform promised to cap greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from the oil and gas sector “at a pace and scale needed to achieve net-zero by 2050, with five-year targets” starting in 2025 and 2030. It also promised an electric vehicle (EV) mandate to ensure “at least 50 per cent of all light-duty-vehicle sales be zero-emissions vehicles in 2030.” “We believe they can be done through existing regulatory tools,” Wilkinson said. “Our view is that it does not require new legislation.” More from Aidan Chamandy.
The Ontario government has begun the rollout of its vaccination verification system, which many businesses in the province will start using on Oct. 22. As of 6 a.m. today, people born between January and April who have been fully immunized against COVID were able to download a scannable QR code to represent this status, after providing their health care information on the Ontario government’s website. People born from May to August will be able to download their QR codes beginning Saturday, followed by those born from September to December on Sunday. Using the province’s new app, Verify Ontario, which was added to digital stores yesterday, businesses will be able to scan these codes, which will permit people entry to certain events and spaces where being fully vaccinated against COVID is currently required. Charlie Pinkerton has more.
Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford said today the province is finalizing plans to lift more public health measures, given that Ontario continues “to do well in this battle” against COVID-19, noting stable hospitalization and ICU rates and declining case counts. The plan is expected next week.
In addition to choosing their next municipal leaders on Monday, Albertans will vote on two referendum questions: whether Canada should keep equalization payments, and if the province should be on daylight time year-round, instead of changing their clocks in March and November. In July, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that two yes/no referendum questions would be added to the municipal-election ballot on Oct. 18. Jeff Labine has the details.
Although Adm. Art McDonald saw fit to send a letter to senior military officials insisting he’s been exonerated and deserves to have his job back as Canada’s top soldier, it’s not exactly landing well with others in the military’s senior ranks. In response to the letter, Gen. Wayne Eyre, acting chief of the defence staff, penned his own to senior staff, a copy of which was obtained by Global News.
“We must remember that in a democracy the military is subordinate to our duly elected civilian leadership. This fundamental is paramount to our profession. I was asked to act as Chief of the Defence Staff on February 25, and I will continue in that role until told otherwise by our civilian leadership,” Eyre wrote today. “To that end, this shocking letter changes nothing with respect to our vital work of defending our nation, changing our culture, and preparing for the threats ahead.”
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan also called McDonald’s letter “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
In related news, CBC News is reporting that two weeks have been set aside for the trial of retired general Jonathan Vance. Canada’s former top soldier is facing one count of obstruction of justice that relates to a probe into allegations of sexual misconduct. No date for the start of the trial has yet been set.
Net Zero: Royals criticize climate inaction
The Sprout: Canada watching ports ‘very, very closely’
In Other Headlines:
New COVID cases continue downward trend, but officials urge caution as flu season approaches (CBC)
Canada-U.S. land border to open for fully vaccinated on Nov. 8: official (Global)
Ottawa eyes charging airport security with vaccine verification for travellers (CP)
A new ‘Buy American’ plan is alarming the auto sector — and the federal government (CBC)
Big Six banks join Mark Carney-led Net-Zero Banking Alliance (CP)
Kenney’s calendar suggests light vacation workload while Alberta’s fourth wave grew (CTV)
Separated from her fiancé by Afghanistan’s collapse, a Canadian begs Ottawa for help (CBC)
N.B. government employees ordered to stop making First Nations title acknowledgements at events (CBC)
B.C. minister not a minister when at Chinese Communist Party events: Ministry (Business in Vancouver)
British MP David Amess died earlier today after being stabbed while meeting with constituents at a church in Essex. Police have arrested a 25-year-old man and recovered a knife. They are not looking for any other suspects. The 69-year-old Amess was married with five children. He was first elected in 1983, and described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson “one of the kindest” people in politics. As the BBC notes, he is the second sitting MP to be killed in the recent years. Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in 2016. She was stabbed and shot in the street ahead of meeting with constituents in the village of Birstall.
Former president Bill Clinton is in a California hospital with a “non-COVID infection.” A spokesperson said today the 75-year-old has a urinary tract infection that developed into sepsis, but is “on the mend” and “in good spirits” after being admitted on Tuesday. Word is he’ll be headed home soon.
Still south of the border, the Department of Justice says it will ask Supreme Court to block a contentious Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Today a department spokesperson said that the Biden administration plans to ask the country’s top court to “vacate” a recent appeals court ruling that upheld the law. As the Associated Press reports, the move comes as abortion clinics are running out of options to stop the Republican-engineered law, which makes no exceptions for circumstances involving rape or incest, and amounts to the biggest curb to abortion in the country in nearly 50 years.
In Other International Headlines:
U.S. FDA panel backs booster shot for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine (AP)
China crackdown on Apple store hits holy book apps, Audible (AP)
Deadly explosion hits Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar (Al Jazeera)
Hungry for fuel, China looks to the U.S., Europe eyes relief plans (Reuters)
Italian captain given jail term for returning migrants to Libya (Al Jazeera)
Daniel-Robert Gooch: It’s time for the government to re-engage with Canada’s airports
Finally, Bill launches a “rhetorical rocket” back at Will: A day after Prince William said the world’s great minds should be focused on trying to save this planet, not taking tourists to space at great carbon cost, William Shatner, who this week became the oldest person ever to travel to space, said the future king has “got the wrong idea” and is “missing the point.”
On that note, here’s to a weekend that’s out of this world.
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