In The News This Week – February 5, 2017

It’s Superbowl Sunday! Before you head out to watch the game, don’t forget to catch up on this week’s top political stories:

  1. Quebec mosque shooting: Six people were tragically killed this week after a mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City’s Sainte-Foy neighbourhood. The suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a 27-year-old student at Laval University.  He was known in the city’s activist circles as a right-wing troll who frequently took anti-foreigner and anti-feminist positions and stood up for U.S. President Donald Trump. (The Globe and Mail)
    • The Prime Minister quickly condemned the brutal attack as an “act of terrorism” and reiterated Canada’s overall commitment to diversity: “Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.” Here is the PM’s full statement.
  2. Trudeau abandons electoral reform: The Trudeau government has abandoned its commitment to change Canada’s voting system before the next election, citing a “lack of consensus” among Canadians, and that the issue itself is not a priority for Canadians. On the campaign trail in 2015, Trudeau had promised that “the 2015 election will be the last federal election using first-past-the-post.” 
    • The move has been called a “betrayal” by the NDP party, with Justin Trudeau countering that “I’m not going to do something that is wrong for Canadians just to tick off a box on an electoral platform.” (Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail)
  3. Conservative leadership debate in Halifax: Kevin O’Leary made his political debating debut on Friday at the Conservative Party leadership debate in Halifax. The debate covered a number of topics, including: carbon emissions (13/14 candidates object to a carbon tax), mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault offenders, economic growth for Atlantic Canada, and the recent Quebec City  mosque attack. (CBC)
    • You can watch the full debate here, courtesy of the CBC.
Trudeau, Couillard, Labeaume, Coderre
Political leaders pay their respects at the funeral of Quebec mosque shooting victims. Source: Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press
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