Politics
2 min

Still “New” after all these years

Well, the NDP had their convention and left with their name intact. They are still indeed the New Democratic Party, though not without accusations that they were stalling the resolutions on the floor to run down the clock before that particular one could come up. That said, they also apparently affirmed the resolutions regarding trans rights and the gay organ donor ban (note to our prolific commenter on the issue – I’m just reporting the resolution, not its merits), and I’ll be writing up full coverage for the Xtra.ca national page likely later today.

Otherwise, Jack Layton chastised the governor of the Bank of Canada for declaring the recession to be over, and there was a lot of talk about how an NDP government would cut the red tape for small businesses and possibly eliminate taxes for them, which some people have pointed out seems vaguely Harper-like circa 2006. Also, former Toronto MP Peggy Nash was elected party president, so I’ll no doubt be seeing more of her around Ottawa in the months to come.

Natural Resources minister Lisa Raitt says that if she could do it over, she would be more upfront with the medical community about the real timelines for repairing the Chalk River reactor. Gee – you think? I would venture to say that it’s a wonder she has much in the way of credibility left on the issue.

And Suaad Hagi Mohamud is back in Toronto and reunited with her son, and she’s talking about suing the government for the treatments he received – as well she should, as much as I’m not a fan of litigiousness. She’s now in hospital to try and recover from the illness she picked up in that Kenyan jail cell before she made bail.

The Toronto Star had a video interview with her once the charges against her in Kenya were dropped, and it’s heartening to hear that she hopes this will be a learning experience for Canada – that no one else will have to go through what she did. But when you look at the fact that our disinterested foreign minister was virtually nowhere to be found during this whole issue – too busy in his riding announcing local stimulus spending rather than actually doing his job as foreign minister. Nor was Peter Van Loan available to give his account of how the CBSA failed Mohamud (though he says the department is “investigating” the case, but those seem a lot more like their usual excuses not to comment). When you add it up to the various other ways in which this government has failed its citizens abroad, I fear that it won’t be lesson enough for them.

Up today: Honorary drag queen Hedy Fry is in Saskatoon to attend the AGM of the Canadian Medical Association, but while she’s there, she’s going to stop by the University of Saskatchewan Student Union Pride Centre. Cool!