Today’s blog post is brought to you live from Ottawa where we are recovering from Canada 150 celebrations! To any of our international readers, July 1 marks the birthday of Canada and 2017 is our 150th year as a nation. Read on for an overview of the festivities coast to coast, and other top political news:
- Canada 150 Celebrations: Ottawa hosted a party on Parliament Hill with appearances by Prince Charles, Cirque du Soleil, U2, Rick Mercer and many other Canadian singers. Check here for Prime Minister Trudeau’s Canada Day speech, and a history of Canada Day, and here for a recap on the celebrations coast to coast (CBC).
- #ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): Not everyone is celebrating Canada 150, in particular many indigenous populations are opposed to the celebration of confederation. Some have started movements such as Canada 150 plus, while others erected a tee-pee by Parliament Hill this week. See the Globe and Mail’s Elizabeth Renzetti’s take on how activism is a founding principle of our nation.
- Mission against ISIS: Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced this Thursday that Canada will extend it’s mission to train Iraqi forces in the fight against ISIS for another two years. (CBC)
- On a related note, the battle to recapture Mosul from ISIS is almost over. (Reuters)
- Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA): The new inter-provincial trade agreement kicked in on July 1, eliminating trade barriers between the provinces. The deal is expected to add $25 billion to the economy annually, but there are also many drawbacks, as outlined in this Macleans article and this Globe and Mail article.
- Trump’s Travel Ban 2.0: As of 8pm on Thursday, aspects of Trump’s second travel ban went into effect after rulings by the Supreme Court. The new ban limits entry to those who do not have credible relationships or ties to the US. (CNN)
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act: You may recall that a few weeks ago the House passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare). But the Bill has been struggling to make its way through the Senate, where several Republicans have refused to vote for it, either because they think the coverage changes are too drastic, or for some, that they don’t go far enough. Though President Trump has been trying to force the Bill through, it looks unlikely that anything will be passed before the July 4th break. (New York Times, Globe and Mail)
Image Source: Adrian Wyld, Canadian Press