The (Right) News Rundown
- "Slashing school fees, capping power bills, more affordable housing for families and seniors, new mental health programs — none of it was wildly off the mark from the NDP’s stated goals of helping families and Alberta’s most vulnerable."
- With the economy expected to see improvement this year, the government said families can expect help on the road to recovery.
- To that end, it promised to go to bat for pipelines.
- Using stronger language than before, it vowed to defend the Trans Mountain pipeline to B.C. in the federal court and do all it can to get a thumbs up for the Energy East project to New Brunswick.
- B.C.’s Ironworkers threw their support behind Premier Christy Clark on Wednesday, attacking their old allies in the NDP for failing to support their jobs and criticizing the B.C. Federation of Labour for its new anti-Liberal ad campaign
- 1800 member union feels abandoned by NDP over their opposition of Site C, the George Massey Tunnel reconstruction project, and the natural gas industry, which would provide thousands of jobs.
- “We strongly believe that the Liberals have the best jobs plan and we’re going to support them. That’s what we’re going to stand up for,” said Doug Parton, business manager of Ironworkers Local 97. “I’ve been elected to do a duty as much as she has, to support these guys. When they are not working, they are looking to me. And when I’m not working, I’m looking to her. So we all have people to answer to.”
- He said the workers don’t agree with everything the B.C. Liberals say, but Clark’s jobs plan is the best chance to create jobs for their members in mining and bridge and dam construction.
- They haven't formally endorsed a party in the past, but traditionally support the NDP, and former 1996-1999 NDP Premier Glen Clark (no relation to Christy) was a key Ironworkers organizer.
- Parton also took a shot at the B.C. Federation of Labour’s new attack ads, which depict current Christy Clark as a videogame character in a hardhat who poses for photo ops to collect points, while closing schools and seniors’ homes.
- “I’m glad I was in a hard hat, at least that’s one thing they got right,” joked Clark.
- The threat of political blackmail could figure in a wide-ranging review of risks to Canada's electoral system, says a senior official from the national cyberspy agency.
- Safeguarding personal information on voters lists, ensuring election ballot tallies aren't manipulated and preventing fake news from swaying the public might also be part of the study, said Scott Jones of the Communications Security Establishment.
- Jones is also mindful of forces that can unduly influence public thinking, such as fake news and ill-informed tweets. "Our opinions could be shaped by a Facebook post with no way of determining whether it's legitimate or not."
- It is unclear how far the review will delve into such interference, or whether anything can be done about it, Jones said.
The Firing Line
- This is a follow up from episode 4. The story while initially discussed in our Canada segment has made it to the firing line.
- Between April of last year and Feb. 15, Vancouver’s Welcome Centre dealt with 1,140 refugee claimants, compared to 801 in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. About 80 per cent of those came here by crossing through Peace Arch Park or nearby, avoiding the controlled border crossings where they would be refused entry.
- The facility, where refugees go to get support services like temporary housing and primary health care, had 99 new clients in January and another 84 the next month. Those are unusually high numbers, according to Chris Friesen, settlement services director for the Immigrant Services Society, which operates the Welcome Centre. In December, there were 63 new clients.
- Most of those walking across the border have been Kurdish-speaking Iraqis, including families and single men, but there have also been several young families from Afghanistan. Iraqis make up the biggest overall portion of recent new arrivals, with at least 65 over the last phree [sic] months.
- But Mexicans are making up a growing segment of the Welcome Centre’s clients. Twenty-two got services there in February and seven the month before. In comparison, there were just 30 in the entire year leading up to Dec. 1, when Canada officially lifted the requirement for Mexican visitors to carry visas. Now that asylum seekers can arrive from Mexico as tourists, most make refugee claims at Vancouver International Airport.
- Meanwhile "refugee" crossings in Manitoba, Quebec, and even Saskatchewan are increasing. Ralph Goodale had said the government was looking into the situation. We have failed to hear an update from Goodale and both the Prime Minister and immigration minister have been silent. What could have easily been fixed with a minor amendment to an agreement between Canada and the US is slowly turning into our own illegal immigration problem.
- Since Manitoba is the hotspot here are some numbers: There have been 143 total crossings in 2017. 39 of which between Feb 22 and 27. The media has covered this story sparingly over the last week but still attributes it to President Trump and doesn't address that the government could stop this immediately if they so chose to. They also seem to be unaware that the immigration minister or Prime Minister should be asked for comment.
Word of the Week
a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: A Switching of Roles
Teaser: The Alberta NDP government throne speech goes to bat for pipelines, the Ironworkers union in BC supports the Liberals and attacks the NDP over a lack of jobs plan, and a look back at the refugee issue on our southern border.
Recorded Date: March 4, 2017
Release Date: March 5, 2017
Edit Notes: None