Politics Briefing: Ontario Premier Doug Ford commits to repeal legislation banning education strike – The Globe and Mail

Hello,

Ontario education workers say they will return to work and bargaining in response to Premier Doug Ford’s pledge to repeal legislation that imposed a four-year contract on their union.

Ryan Bird, spokesman for the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest board, said schools will be open on Tuesday.

About 55,000 workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ Ontario School Board Council of Unions walked off the job on Friday and Monday.

They were defying the province’s legislation and use of the Charter’s notwithstanding clause to take away the union’s right to strike and challenge the contract. This prompted many school boards to shut their doors for two days.

Earlier on Monday, despite the repeal, Mr. Ford said his government had had “no choice” but to invoke the notwithstanding clause in order to keep students in class after two years of pandemic-related learning disruptions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has criticized Ontario’s use of the clause, said the situation offers a lesson to other premiers.

“If premiers across the country want to avoid the kind of disruption that we’ve seen in Ontario over these past few days, the answer is obvious: Don’t use the notwithstanding clause proactively,” he told a news conference in Laval, Que.

Story here by Education Reporter Caroline Alphonso, and Queen’s Park Reporters Jeff Gray and Dustin Cook.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

ANGLADE QUITS – Dominique Anglade, the first Black woman to lead a major Quebec political party, resigned as Liberal leader on Monday, five weeks after her party suffered a crushing defeat in the provincial election. Story here.

PM AT VACCINE FACTORY GROUNDBREAKING – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part Monday in a groundbreaking ceremony for biotechnology company Moderna’s new mRNA vaccine factory in Laval, Que. Story here.

FORD WON’T HAVE TO TESTIFY – Ontario Premier Doug Ford has won his legal fight in which he resisted testifying at the Emergencies Act inquiry. Story here.

UN CHIEF WARNS OF `HIGHWAY TO CLIMATE HELL’ – With the world on “a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator,” the United Nations chief on Monday told dozens of leaders to co-operate to avoid further climate catastrophe, singling out the two biggest-polluting countries, China and the United States. Story here.

STOP SQUABBLING: NURSING LEADER TO PROVINCES AND OTTAWA – The president of Canada’s nurses’ unions is urging Ottawa and the provinces to stop “squabbling” and to focus on finding practical solutions to the country’s health care crisis, including addressing a chronic shortage of nurses, as they meet this week to discuss federal health transfers. Story here.

BUSINESS GROUPS URGE OTTAWA TO SETTLE NEXUS DISPUTE – Nearly 60 Canadian business groups are urging Ottawa to resolve a dispute with Washington over the popular Nexus trusted-travel program that allows citizens of both countries to cross the border more quickly. Story here.

HEARINGS BEGIN ON BILL 21 – Quebec’s highest court is set to begin hearing appeals on the constitutionality of the province’s secularism law, known as Bill 21. Story here.

THE PERFECT STORM SWAMPING CANADA’S BUREAUCRACY – What has gone wrong with passports, airports and basic federal services? A perfect storm swamped Canada’s bureaucracy. For months, Canadians who want to travel or newcomers hoping to immigrate have been left behind by short-staffed, slow-to-adapt institutions. The Globe and Mail asked the experts how it happened and who’s responsible. Story here.

UTILITY COSTS AT EMPTY 24 SUSSEX DRIVE – For $146,000 you could buy a new Mercedes-Benz EQS, or you could keep the lights on at 24 Sussex Drive for about a year. Story here from The Ottawa Citizen.

THIS AND THAT

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IS NOT SITTING AGAIN UNTIL NOV. 14.

DAYS SINCE CONSERVATIVE LEADER PIERRE POILIEVRE TOOK MEDIA QUESTIONS IN OTTAWA: 55

NEW TORY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR – The Conservative Party of Canada has a news director of communications. Sara Fischer has announced here that she is taking on the job.

BY-ELECTION IN MISSISSAUGA-LAKESHORE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called a by-election in Mississauga Lakeshore for Dec. 12. Liberal Sven Michael Spengemann won the riding in 2015 with 47 per cent of the vote, and was re-elected in 2021 with 44.9 per cent of the vote. He resigned his seat in May to take a job with the United Nations. Candidates in the current by-election include former Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa running for the Liberals and Ron Chhinzer, a member of the Peel Regional Police Service, running for the Conservatives. The Politics Briefing newsletter asked Nik Nanos, chief data scientist of Nanos Research and the official pollster for The Globe and Mail and CTV News, about the by-election: “Mississauga Lakeshore is a key bellweather riding held by both the Liberals and the Conservatives. Having most recently voted Progressive Conservative provincially and Liberal federally the stakes are high for Trudeau and Poilievre.”

FREELAND AND DISNEY+ – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s comment about Disney+ and affordability, which you can see here, has stirred up some debate

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND MUNICIPAL ELECTION – Voters are going to the polls for municipal elections in Prince Edward Island on Monday. In Charlottetown, incumbent Philip Brown is seeking a second term as mayor and facing a challenge from two rivals.

FREELAND VISITS COMPANIES – Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Monday, was in Milton, Ont., attending private meetings, touring a facility that manufactures sustainable building materials, and touring a Canadian transportation and logistics company. She was scheduled to hold a media availability.

GUILBEAULT IN EGYPT – Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, leading the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, through to Nov. 18.

LAMETTI IN MONTREAL – Justine Minister David Lametti, in Montreal, announced a total of $246,000 in federal funding to support projects to help raise awareness about the new conversion-therapy offences in the Criminal Code and the rights of LGBTQ sexual assault survivors in Quebec.

LEBLANC IN MONCTON – Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, in Moncton, answered media questions after a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial infrastructure ministers. Joining him was Jeff Carr, New Brunswick’s Infrastructure Minister.

MINISTERS TOUTING FALL ECONOMIC STATEMENT – With the House of Commons not sitting, ministers are free to be on the road, and many are at events on Monday talking about the government’s fall economic statement. They include Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, in Cambridge, Ont.; Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault, in Winnipeg, holding a roundtable discussion with the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce; Rural Development Minister Gudie Hutchings on Prince Edward Island; Seniors Minister Kamal Khera in Calgary; Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, in Toronto, at an event held by the Canadian Trucking Alliance; International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan, in Burnaby, B.C.; Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, in Yellowknife.

NEW B.C. MAYORS – New mayors are being sworn in in Vancouver and Surrey, B.C. Ken Sim is the new mayor in Vancouver and Brenda Locke the new mayor in Surrey, B.C.’s second most populous city.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Laval, Que., visited the future site of a vaccine manufacturing facility. Mr. Trudeau also held a roundtable discussion with the Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters business association to discuss the fall economic statement.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is in Berlin for meetings and events with the NDP’s sister party, the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Events on Mr. Singh’s schedule Monday included meetings with Parliamentary State Secretary Anette Kramme and Head of Chancellery Wolfgang Schmidt. He was also scheduled to participate in a public lecture and discussion on populism, political movements and challenges for democracy in Canada.

No schedule released for other party leaders.

THE DECIBEL

In Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Brandon Wolf of the LGBTQ civil rights group Equality Florida talks about the impact of the Don’t Say Gay law in Florida, which prevents teachers from telling children in Grade 3 or younger about sexual orientation or gender identity. Mr. Wolf explains what it means when so many Republican candidates for this week’s midterms are using it as a model for what they’ll do in their home states. The Decibel is here.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the empty fight over a symbolic oath in Quebec: “We admit that it might be hard for some people to swear an oath to a living monarch who is much in the news, and accept that they are in fact pledging allegiance to an abstraction. The concept of a liberal democracy whose head of state is Charles III is not the most obvious of things on the surface. But it shouldn’t be too much to ask of elected officials that they take a basic Canadian civics course and grasp the meaning of the words the Constitution requires them to speak. The vast majority of Quebec’s newest crop of MNAs were adult enough to take the oath and get on with their jobs. Once the National Assembly returns later this month, they can debate and adopt laws, call for the abolition of the monarchy and even advocate for the end of the country, all thanks to the King of Canada.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how we have a crucial chance to lift the inertia on the health care crisis: “The meeting of health ministers that opens Monday night in Vancouver is of crucial importance to the country, but the participants themselves don’t seem to realize it. The health care system is in crisis, but Canada’s political leaders, provincial and federal, have so far failed to deal with their citizens’ number one issue. That could change on Tuesday if provincial health ministers show leadership and force the federal government to follow. To do that, 13 provincial and territorial health ministers have to set a national health care agenda.”

Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on the world making progress on climate, despite the COP27 doomsayers: “The vibes heading into COP27 are not good. There are many reasons that this year’s edition of the United Nations climate summit, which starts on Sunday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, is widely being pre-emptively cast as a failure. Not least is that the repressive host government seemingly chose the remote location largely to avoid protesters, some of whom it’s rounding up in advance anyway.”

Eileen Dooley (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on giving female leaders a fighting chance: “I have heard several people say, and have read several articles to the same effect, that what Hockey Canada needs is more women in leadership. That’s undoubted, but often what accompanies such statements about the need for more women leaders is the smoking wreckage of a company or organization whose culture is in dire need of fixing. And too frequently, the mess has been made by an all-male, or mostly male, leadership team. Politics is not much different, especially for parties that have traditionally formed government in Canada.”

Monia Mazigh and Alex Neve (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on why it’s time to bring detained Canadians home from northeast Syria: “For years, families were bluntly told that the situation in northeast Syria was too dangerous for Canadian officials, who could not travel there safely to attend to the formalities needed to arrange repatriation. That remained Canada’s position even as a growing number of other governments were actively intervening to assist their citizens. Recent developments make it clear that if it ever was too perilous, that is no longer the case, as at least three Canadian officials were on the ground to facilitate this repatriation.”

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