In The News This Week – May 22, 2016

Catch up on the political news on this beautiful May long weekend:

1.#Elbowgate was trending this week on Twitter after Prime Minister Trudeau, frustrated with the House, walked urgently through a line of NDP MPs, elbowing one in the process and ‘manhandling’ Conservative Whip and MP Gord Brown. After the incident, Trudeau apologized in the House of Commons and publicly on Twitter, and the incident is now under review by the House Affairs Committee. Possible consequences include being ‘called to the Bar’The Globe and MailCPACHuffington Post

2. On Tuesday, also International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Trudeau government introduced federal legislation that would guarantee legal and human rights protection to transgender people across Canada. Bill C-16 “…would ensure that Canadians will be free to identify themselves and to express their gender as they wish while being protected against discrimination and hate.” The bill would update the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression.’CBC

  • FYEI (For Your Extra Information): The inclusion of gender identity in the Canadian Human Rights Act has been at least 12 years in the making. In fact, proposals to do so have already twice passed the House of Commons, mostly recently in 2013. – CBC

3. In case you missed The Globe and Mail’s front page on Monday, a 57-page Climate Change Action Plan from the Ontario government was leaked to the newspaper last week. The “sweeping” proposal, which includes plans to spend $7 billion over four years, “will affect every aspect of life” – including a shift from natural gas to electric/geothermal heating systems, incentives for drivers purchasing electric vehicles and requirements for gasoline in the province to contain less carbon.The Globe and Mail

4. A “rogue” group of RCMP officers investigating the leak of a secret document spied on two Canadian journalists for over a week without authorization, according to CBC News. The investigators  placed two Ottawa-based reporters under physical surveillance for nine days in 2007 in the hope they might lead them to the unidentified leaker. Only after the surveillance of the reporters had occurred did officers ask for permission to conduct this surveillance. They were immediately denied and told to cease all activity.CBC

5. Canada joined the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) this week, with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion joining the talks in Vienna. The purpose of the ISSG is to “immediately facilitate the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254”, including facilitating a Syria-owned political transition, stopping the indiscriminate use of weapons, implementing a ceasefire and stopping terrorism (among other things). – UNInternational Business TimesGlobe and Mail

Elbow Gate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Apologizing for #ElbowGate in the House of Commons

Source: Adrian Wyld, The Canadian Press, Vancouver Sun

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