Citizen X’s top half dozen issues — Ontario election, Abolishing monarchy, India on Ukraine, Indigenous Reconciliation, Arctic sovereignty, Anhad Accord

Apr 22nd, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
Untitled collage by prize-winning Toronto artist Michael Seward.

SPECIAL FROM THE DEMOCRATIC DESKTOP OF CITIZEN X, BUCKHORN, ON. K0L 0C1. 22 APRIL 2022. At last it’s starting to seem like spring in Southern Ontario. Looking at the minor forest outside through a large back window, as I sit in front of this smaller screen on the electronic highway, I am inspired to compile a list of my current top half-dozen issues in the news, with linkages to at least somewhat greater detail in various online resources :

(1) ONTARIO ELECTION — WILL THE FORD NATION PCs WIN AGAIN? Two recent polls have suggested slight hints of a surprise in the June 2 election in Canada’s most populous province. See “Provincial election race tightens as Liberals gain ground on PCs: Ipsos poll”; and (on a similar poll from Abacus) “Ontario Liberals in ‘striking distance’ of PCs, poll suggests.”

Steven Del Duca on the campaign trail.

Strangely enough, just as these polls have hit the news I hear over the phone from progressive left-wing friends in West Toronto that someone has just seen Liberal leader Steven Del Duca speaking, and reported that he sounded and even looked surprisingly good. (And this from sources not inspired by either Andrea Horwath or Steven Del Duca in the more recent past.)

At the same time, my residual sense of professionalism also prompts me to report that Philippe J. Fournier’s 338Canada Ontario aggregator of all recent public polls (Latest update: April 21, 2022) is still projecting the PC s with a majority government of 75 seats on June 2 (where 63 is a bare majority) based on 38% of the province-wide popular vote.

And yet for those who are absolutely appalled by the prospect of four more years of Premier Ford (and his still-freely-breathing Nation), it is also true that five of the half-dozen most recent polls in M. Fournier’s calculations are only rated A minus. And the one full A-rated is the Ipsos poll that has the Liberals (32%) within three points of the PC s (35%). Personally, I’m waiting to see what happens at the May 10 leaders’ debate in North Bay.

Untitled collage by prize-winning Toronto artist Michael Seward.

(2) ABOLISHING MONARCHY IN CANADA WHEN QUEEN’S REIGN ENDS. A crazy Canadian cause I support myself, along with at least a current bare majority of my fellow Canadians, as a matter of strengthening our democracy in the 21st century. See “More than half of Canadians want independence from the monarchy, survey finds” and “Majority of Canadians in favour of abolishing constitutional monarchy, new survey finds.”

For the actual Angus Reid pollster’s report on which these mass media reports are based see “The Queen at 96: Canadians support growing monarchy abolition movement, would pursue after Elizabeth II dies … Prospects of ‘King Charles’ and ‘Queen Camilla’ received coldly.” In fact, on these numbers almost two-thirds of Canadians do not support continuing with a “constitutional monarchy” under “King Charles.” And among those who believe Canada should not remain a constitutional monarchy, 92% say Yes to “change the constitution to cut ties with the monarchy even if it is difficult.”

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his British counterpart Boris Johnson during the latter’s visit to New Delhi. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna).”

(3) HAVE NARENDRA MODI AND BORIS JOHNSON FOUND ELUSIVE COMMON GROUND?? I find Ashok Sharma’s account “Britain, India call for immediate ceasefire in Ukraine” almost endlessly fascinating. The royal family is certainly losing its allure, and Elizabeth II has never been Empress of India. But can fellow conservative British and Indian prime ministers of the 2020s walk where angels fear to tred?

As Mr. Sharma explains : “India and Britain on Friday called on Russia to begin an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an expansion of economic and defence ties that could help India reduce its dependence on Moscow.” During his April 21–22 “official visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi” Johnson “used the Hindi language to describe Modi as a ‘Khaas Dost,’ or special friend, and said, ‘Our relations have never been as strong or as good between us as they are now.’”

Steven Del Duca in a contemplative moment.

(4) RECONCILIATION IN THE NEWS. Part of “Reconciliation” in Canada today, it seems, is just giving Indigenous stories more attention in the news. And in that spirit see : “Southern Chiefs plan $130M redevelopment of The Bay as symbol of reconciliation … Beaver pelts, elk hide to be transferred to Hudson’s Bay Co. in exchange for Winnipeg landmark” ; “Tears after Federal Court ruling ends decades-long ‘dictatorship’ in northern Ontario First Nation … Judge orders referendum on new election code by the end of October” ; and “Winnipeg-based Cree author’s book temporarily removed by school district in Ontario.”

(5) ARCTIC SOVEREIGNTY IN CANADA. Another crazy Canadian cause I support. And I have vast scepticism about such reports as “No way for Canadian military to match Russian footprint in Arctic: defence chief.” We need a more innovative military in Canada. Just another challenge for new defence minister Anita Anand.

Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh and his wife Gurkiran Kaur with their baby daughter Anhad. Jagmeet Singh/Twitter,

(6) ANHAD ACCORD IN OTTAWA. See “Jagmeet Singh calls NDP-Liberal pact ‘Anhad Accord’ after his daughter.” Personally I think this is a great nickname for the March 22, 2022 document, Delivering for Canadians Now, A Supply and Confidence Agreement … And I like the excuse as well : “Singh disclosed he wanted to secure an agreement with Trudeau to enhance co-operation between the two parties right after the September 2021 election but the talks didn’t progress … Talks were kick-started, his office said last month, after the Prime Minister called Singh to personally congratulate him on the birth of his daughter in January. The conversation was so cordial they both agreed to pursue negotiations.”

And this final note of liberal social democratic cordiality is also where I want to end my April 22, 2022 report from the minor Southern Ontario forest, on the edge of the Canadian Shield, I can still see through my large back window … as the darkness of the evening quietly creeps in.

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