Welcome to spring, Canada! Here in Toronto, Spring is making itself known through a weekend of straight rain. Wherever you are, catch up on this week’s top stories in #cdnpoli :
1. #Budget2o17 -This week Finance Minister Bill Morneau released the 2017 budget. It calls for a nearly $30 billion debt in 2017, and no plans to return to balanced books by the end of the Liberals’ tenure (as was their election promise). The big new spending points are for skills retraining and innovation. They allocated money for spending on innovation last year, but this year released the specifics of exactly what that money will be spent on. In doing so, they also extended the duration of much of their spending, thereby ballooning the long term debt. Critics say that with this budget the Liberals failed to make the tough decisions; in other words they continue to spend on everything instead of being selective and focusing on reducing debt. Click here for a look at the budget, here for a quick budget analysis from the CBC, here for an overview from the Globe and Mail, and here for an analysis on the planned innovation and training spending (CBC).
2. #ProtestingProceduralChange – There was drama in the House of Commons this week over the Liberal’s motion to begin studying to change the rules of procedure in the House. Members on the House of Commons procedure committee filibustered (or continued debate) for several days, thereby delaying the release of the budget. Both Conservative and NDP leadership are against the proposed rule changes saying it will make it harder to keep the government to account. (CTV)
3. #WeAreNotAfraid – In an act of terror, London born Khalid Masood killed 4 people and injured others when he drove a car through pedestrians on Westminster bridge and then stabbed a police officer on Wednesday. Londoner’s responded with the #WeAreNotAfraid hashtag. An interesting read this week from Globe and Mail’s Elizabeth Renzetti titled “Why do we mourn for Britain – but not Nigeria or Yemen?”. (Globe and Mail, CNN)
4. #RepealAndReplace – A major blow to the Trump presidency and one of his major campaign promises when House Republican Leader Paul Ryan and President Trump had to pull their legislation to repeal ObamaCare from the House floor on Friday. The move came after realizing that they did not have enough votes to push it through. (New York Times, Washington Post)
5. #ComeyHearing – For the first time FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that the FBI is investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia in influencing the election. (CBC)
6. #KeystoneXL – President Trump approved a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline this week, an extension of the existing pipeline to carry oil from Canada to central US and its eastern borders. (Financial Post)
This is your last chance to join the Conservative Party so that you can vote in the upcoming leadership race. Whether you’re a diehard Conservative, an undecided voter, or want to see a particular candidate succeed (or not succeed … ahem, Kevin O’Leary), this is your opportunity to have a say in the leader of the opposition (and possible next Prime Minister). A one year membership is $15, and you can join here. The last day to purchase your membership is this Tuesday March 28th in order to be able to vote in the May 27th leadership election. Look out for our profile on the top Conservative party leadership contenders being released soon!
And while you’re at it, check out our latest opinion posts, a profile on Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould and #TryPod, a summary of our favourite politics podcasts!
Image Source: Sean Kilpatrick, Canadian Press