What We’re Watching: Is the land of Anne about to go Green?

Is Prince Edward Island ready for a Green revolution?

Exactly one week after Albertans ended Rachel Notley’s four-year term as the province’s first ever New Democrat premier, Prince Edward Islanders may be about to make a little Canadian electoral history of their own by electing a Green government.

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According to the latest polls, the PEI Greens are poised to win a majority of the 26 seats up for grabs in the provincial legislature, which would make party leader Peter Bevan-Baker the first capital-G Green premier in the country.

It’s hard to imagine a more welcome wedding present for federal Green leader Elizabeth May, who is set to tie the knot with British Columbia hops farmer John Kidder at a low-carbon ceremony in Victoria today, which, fittingly, is also Earth Day.

According to CBC News, the event includes “emission free shuttles,” a “pot-luck reception” and “locally gathered” flowers for May’s hair and the bridal bouquet. Floral decorations from the Easter Sunday celebrations at the church are also set to be recycled.

A Green victory would, however, be tinged with sadness.

On Friday, Charlottetown-Hillsborough Green candidate Josh Underhay and his young son drowned in a canoe accident, prompting all three parties to suspend campaigning on Saturday. The election in that riding has been postponed until a later date.

Singh’s ‘My Story’ hits the shelves, Scheer rallies Conservatives in Quebec

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh is set to lift the curtain on Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected, which hits bookstores tomorrow. His publisher insists it is “not a political memoir.”

Over the weekend, the Toronto Star published an “exclusive first excerpt” that details “some of the racial and sexual abuse Singh was subjected to when he lived in Windsor and was in grade school.”

“As soon as I hit fourth grade, the bullying became relentless. It wasn’t just at school but wherever I went. I was stared at, mocked, made fun of, and often assaulted for the way I looked,” Singh recalls.

“Kids made fun of me for my name, calling me ‘Jughead’ or saying I was a jug of rotten meat. Even the teachers who were well-intentioned would end up butchering the pronunciation of my name. ‘It’s Jagmeet, like ‘Jug-meet,’ I repeated, over and over, to little effect.”

After his parents suggested that he could “maybe learn some self-defence techniques” to help him “stand up to bullies,” he started taking taekwondo classes with an instructor who would go on to sexually abuse him.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to praise it as “a powerful and important story to read,” and told his political adversary that his “courage to speak up will fight against stigma, and help so many people know they are not alone.”

Meanwhile, after dropping off the radar for the first week of the Easter House hiatus, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will return to the pre-campaign hustings in la belle province later this week. That’s courtesy of the General Council of the Conservative Party in Quebec, which is scheduled to hold a two-day session in Victoriaville.

According to the advisory, the get-together “will be an opportunity for Andrew Scheer’s team to clearly demonstrate they are ready to lead, and form the next government.” On the program? “Training, conferences, guest panels, and inspiring speeches” — including one from Scheer himself.

As for the other party leaders, Trudeau spent at least part of his weekend surfing with his family in Tofino, as reported by CHEK News, but has no other events on his itinerary as yet. May, as noted above, will be on her honeymoon.

Senate’s environmental assessment study heads East 

A week after the Senate transport committee travelled to northern British Columbia to sound out the locals on Team Trudeau’s proposed ban on oil tanker traffic, their Upper House colleagues on the energy, environment and natural resources committee are heading East to survey Atlantic Canadians on the government’s plan to overhaul the federal environmental assessment regime. It’s triggered widespread criticism in Western Canada over fears it will further erode investor confidence in the prospect of getting the green light for new pipelines and other mission-critical projects.

The four-day tour is set to get underway in St. John’s tomorrow morning, where the committee will kick off its consultations with a panel discussion focused on the potential impact of the new rules on the offshore oil sector. Senators will hear from representatives from Husky Energy, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the St. John’s Board of Trade and the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association, as well as several other energy specialists and the Grand Riverkeeper Labrador Inc.

Later in the day, they’ll hear from various environmental scientists, as well as the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union, the Nunatsiavut government and the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association before departing for Nova Scotia.

On the agenda for round two, which will take place in Halifax: The Clean Ocean Action Committee, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Ecojustice, the Ecology Action Centre, the Council of Canadians and the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat, as well as Nova Scotia Power Inc. and the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association.

The committee has also booked a one-hour session with Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, who will present his province’s perspective on the new framework.

After that wraps up, it’s off to Saint John for the final stop of the Atlantic Canada part of the tour, which will include an appearance by New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, as well as local conservation groups, industry representatives and Indigenous communities.

On Friday, senators will descend on Quebec City for the final day of hearings, which, as per the itinerary, will begin with a presentation from provincial Environment Minister Benoit Charette, as well as representatives from Enbridge, the Montreal Economic Institute and Equiterre.

Also on the green itinerary in Quebec this week: The National Champions Summit, a two-day (April 23-24) meet-up hosted by Environment and Climate Change Canada. According to the program, it will “bring together major international leaders from government, business, foundations, Indigenous communities, and non-governmental organizations” to “ramp up global action to protect nature.”

As of yet, no additional details on exactly who will be in attendance have been released.

Bank of Canada set to reveal latest decision on overnight rates, economic projections

Is Canada — or, at least its economic health and well-being — headed for a downgrade? That’s the big question for the fiscal crowd as the Bank of Canada prepares to release its latest monetary policy report. According to some dollar-watchers, it could see a downward revision of projected growth from the previous 1.7 per cent guesstimate, although other economic experts aren’t expecting any major shift in the numbers.

As for the overnight rate, the overall consensus seems to be that the number will hold steady for now — and possibly for the rest of the year.

Out and about as the second week of the House hiatus gets underway

Finance Minister Bill Morneau drops by the 519 Centre Community Centre Ballroom for the official unveiling of a new one-dollar coin that will “recognize 50 years of progress in the journey to equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians.” Guests are invited to “trade their pocket change” for the new loonie when the formal ceremony wraps up. (TUESDAY)

Also making the rounds in the Greater Toronto Area on Tuesday:

  • Environment Minister Catherine McKenna outlines new federal funding earmarked to “help protect and conserve Canada’s nature” during a mid-afternoon visit to the Evergreen Brick Works.
  • Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough teams up with local Liberal MP Marco Mendicino to “highlight” the ongoing rehabilitation of the Arthur Meighen Building. As per the overview, it will eventually “serve as a flagship model” of the government’s “commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.”
  • Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould stops by a local high school to detail the “next phase” of the Canada Summer Jobs program. Similar events anchored by local MPs are scheduled to take place across the country throughout the day.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau makes back-to-back stops in Neguac and Fredericton to share the details of a fresh tranche of federal cash that aims to “support the promotion and export of Canadian wild blueberries.” Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier hits the road to New Richmond to deliver “financial support” for the Petite-Cascapédia Regional Park. (TUESDAY)

Moving West, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale treks to Prince Albert to announce what his office is billing as “a series of community safety investments for Northern Saskatchewan” that will include cash from both the National Crime Prevention Strategy and the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. (TUESDAY)

Finally, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor previews a “major investment” that will “make it easier for researchers to access and share health research data” during a morning visit to the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health. Still in the province, Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne embarks on a one-day tour of the Greater Victoria area. (TUESDAY)


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