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Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

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Max Peck
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Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:37 am

Today we have a new Prime Minister and a new government, so we'll need a new thread to engage in the Canadian tradition of bitching and whining about how the government we elected fails to live up to our unrealistic expectations. We're a fickle and demanding people. :)

Canada's new PM to move quickly on pledges, faces refugee challenge
Incoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will move quickly to implement campaign promises such as overhauling security legislation, sources in his party say, but faces early challenges with pledges on Syrian refugees and climate change.

The Liberal leader, who is expected to enjoy an extended honeymoon after his massive Oct. 19 election win ended a decade of Conservative governing, plans to call Parliament to return in early December, the sources said, to start work on an agenda which will also include middle-class tax cuts.

"All the low-hanging fruit, all the ones that he can make a decision on right away, I'm expecting we'll see a lot of that happening," said one Liberal Party source, who declined to speak on the record because of the sensitivity of strategic plans.

A second party source, who also spoke off the record, said other measures the Liberals would quickly act on include reinstating a mandatory long-form national census that was canceled by the Conservatives, and naming a commissioner to head an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.

"His instinct to try to tick off as many promises as he can is the right thing to do," former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister John Manley said in an interview.

Trudeau pledged during the campaign that his first piece of legislation would enact tax cuts for income from C$44,700 ($34,140) to C$89,401 and tax hikes for incomes above C$200,000.

He also promised to repeal controversial elements of Conservative anti-terrorism legislation to give more weight to civil rights.

Moving quickly on easily fulfilled promises will give the Liberals time to work out how to deliver on pledges for major infrastructure spending and legalizing marijuana, which the second Liberal source said was likely to occur towards the end of the Liberals' four-year mandate.
Mr Trudeau's first opportunity to disappoint me (just a little) will be if he doesn't announce that all parties with seats in Parliament will be granted official status. It would be a good sign that he really is serious about working with all members of parliament. I'd specifically like to see it for the lone Green MP, and while I'd prefer that the Bloc go pound sand it would be impolitic to withhold it from them but grant it to the Green party.

Full list of Justin Trudeau's cabinet
Image
Justin Trudeau - Prime Minister.
Ralph Goodale - Public Safety.
Stéphane Dion - Foreign Affairs.
John McCallum - Citizenship and Immigration.
Carolyn Bennett - Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Scott Brison - Treasury Board President.
Bill Morneau - Finance Minister.
Jody Wilson-Raybould - Justice.
Harjit Sajjan - National Defence.
Chrystia Freeland - International Trade.
Jane Philpott - Health.
Patricia Hajda - Status of Women.
Jean-Yves Duclos - Families, Children and Social Development.
Marc Garneau - Transport.
James Carr - Natural Resources.
Mélanie Jolie - Heritage.
Kent Hehr - Veterans Affairs, and Associate Minister of National Defence.
Catherine McKenna - Environment and Climate Change.
Maryam Monsef - Democratic Institutions.
Carla Qualtrough - Sport, and Persons with Disabilities.
Hunter Tootoo - Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coastguard.
Kirsty Duncan - Science.
Lawrence MacAulay - Agriculture.
Navdeep Bains - Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Judy Foote - Public Services and Procurement.
Dominic Leblanc - Government House Leader
Marie-Claude Bibeau - International Development and La francophonie.
Dianne Lebouthillier - National Revenue.
Maryam Mihychuck - Employment Workforce Development and Labour
Amarjeet Sohi - Infrastructure and Communities.
Bardish Chagger - Small Business and Tourism.
My local MP (Catherine McKenna) has a challenging portfolio: Environment and Climate Change.
Image
Last edited by Max Peck on Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Jeff V » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:01 pm

I remember watching him play quarterback in college. Oh wait, that was Jack Trudeau. Who did Justin play for?

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:15 pm

Jeff V wrote:I remember watching him play quarterback in college. Oh wait, that was Jack Trudeau. Who did Justin play for?
He's a boxer. His big victory was in defeating a Conservative senator (who is currently suspended from the Senate due to allegations of expense claim irregularities and has gone on to manage a strip club).
Enlarge Image
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:25 pm

Say, have you guys cut your military spending yet? Just, you know, wondering.

:ninja:

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:51 pm

El Guapo wrote:Say, have you guys cut your military spending yet? Just, you know, wondering.

:ninja:
Short answer: No, but the new government will spend it differently than their predecessors.

Extended answer: I'd prefer that we commit to meeting the NATO requirement of 2% GDP, but the Liberals didn't ask for my input when they drafted their policy. For the last couple of years, it has been at about 1% GDP (although some of the budgeted money wasn't actually spent); by comparison, when I left the Canadian Forces in 1994 defence spending was about 1.8% GDP. At any rate, since our defence spending has been at historically low levels for the last couple of years, I don't see how it could possibly go lower.

FWIW, here is the Liberal policy plank for defence spending:
We will maintain current National Defence spending levels, including current planned increases.

Under Stephen Harper, investments in the Canadian Armed Forces have been erratic, promised increases in funding have been scaled back, and more than $10 billion of approved funding was left unspent.

This mismanagement has left Canada’s Armed Forces underfunded and ill-equipped, and the courageous members of the Forces unsupported after years of dedicated service.

We will not let Canada’s Armed Forces be shortchanged, and we will not lapse military spending from year to year. We will also reinvest in building a leaner, more agile, better-equipped military, including adequate support systems for military personnel and their families.
Speaking of defence, meet Harjit Sajjan, the new Minister of National Defence:
Enlarge Image
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:35 pm

El Guapo wrote:Say, have you guys cut your military spending yet? Just, you know, wondering.

:ninja:
Actually the conservatives had already done some fine work in that area.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Rip » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:53 pm

All good. You really don't need it.

There are no nearby threats.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:58 pm

Sikh minister, dude!
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:24 pm

Civvies are impressed with the new minister. I haven't heard rumblings from the members yet though.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:23 pm

GreenGoo wrote:Civvies are impressed with the new minister. I haven't heard rumblings from the members yet though.
I've heard there was a lot of chatter to the effect that Andrew Leslie was expected to get the call, although he would have been unpopular with some of the headquarters elements after his 2011 "more tooth, less tail" report. While he didn't get the nod for a cabinet post, I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up on a prominent committee or three. There'll be plenty of work for anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and get to it.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with what I've seen so for with regard to the cabinet picks. I've just been cherry-picking a few of the new ministers and skimming over their backgrounds, but from what I've seen the pundits weren't wrong in talking about the "embarrassment of riches" that Trudeau had when it came to selecting his ministers. I'm impressed that he actually pretty much met his diversity goals (gender, minorities, geographic respresentation) while still selecting what look to be amply qualified people. He wasn't wrong in saying that the cabinet "looks like Canada."

My favourite moment during the swearing-in ceremony and initial presser was Trudeau's response to the question of why it was important to him to have gender parity in the cabinet: "Because it's 2015." (followed by a shrug, as if to say "It's the right thing to do. Why do you even need to ask?"). Well, that and the throat singers -- it cracked me up when they cracked each other up. :)
Last edited by Max Peck on Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:29 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
El Guapo wrote:Say, have you guys cut your military spending yet? Just, you know, wondering.

:ninja:
Actually the conservatives had already done some fine work in that area.
Here is a good essay discussing the difference between the perception and the reality of Harper's support of the military.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:20 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Sikh minister, dude!
Nice.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:17 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:Sikh minister, dude!
Nice.
Apparently a lot of people agree. My fave (cribbed from the CBC article):
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:26 pm

GreenGoo wrote:Civvies are impressed with the new minister. I haven't heard rumblings from the members yet though.
I had a chat last night with a friend who serves as my military bellwether (he's career Naval Reserve, but more of a miltary traditionalist than any reg forces people that I ever served with). He is very impressed with the pick, but was wondering where Leslie will fit in, since he expected him to end up in cabinet in some capacity, probably as MND (he sees Leslie's role as Chief of Transformation as an asset rather than agreeing with my view that it might be a liability when dealing with senior military staff).
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Rumpy » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:48 pm

Makes me feel proud at seeing such a diverse cabinet. Heh and Marc Garneau, former astronaut as transport minister (on earth!). This is making the rounds on Facebook:

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:02 pm

Four Sikhs
So here are the four Indo-Canadians who made it to the cabinet:

- Harjit Sajjan as Canada's defence minister

- Navdeep Bains as minister of innovation, science and economic development

- Amarjeet Sohi as infrastructure minister and

- Bardish Chagger as minister for small business and tourism.
* Maybe.

Amarjeet Sohi
Sohi was born in 1964 into a close-knit Sikh farming family in Punjab. He was 17 when he moved to Edmonton in 1981, sponsored by an older brother.
...
In 1988 at age 24, he returned to India to study with a noted Punjabi playwright and reformer, Gursharan Singh.

There, the young actor joined a group of activists advocating for land reform in the impoverished state of Bihar. Powerful landlords controlled the farmland, and landless peasants had few rights. That November, he went to Bihar to help local villagers organize a protest. The night before their rally, police raided the village.

“When they saw me, a Sikh, there from Punjab and from Canada, they said, ‘We must have a terrorist here.’”
Chagger's father is Sikh.
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:02 pm

Openly Ginger. :D

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Rumpy » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:05 pm

Heh oops, guess whoever compiled the list miscounted somewhere. Still amazing.
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:18 pm

I don't know who Tweener Shephard is, but I can't argue with these:
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:20 pm

I'm pretty sure he had to hitch a ride with the neighbors.
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:27 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:I'm pretty sure he had to hitch a ride with the neighbors.
Even more relevant then. He's been space cargo, and cargo is what transport is all about.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Rip » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:37 pm

Of course there is no telling what we may have done to him while we had in all alone up there....


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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:40 pm

So he's a Manitoban Candidate?
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:48 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:So he's a Manitoban Candidate?
A for effort.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:49 pm

I'll take it. :D
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:49 pm

:D

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:51 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:I'll take it. :D
I will also say that I think your "Sikh candidate, dude" joke here was under-appreciated.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:51 pm

:lol:

I appreciate an appreciative audience.
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:54 pm

Isgrimnur wrote::lol:

I appreciate an appreciative audience.
Especially since I don't think comedy comes naturally to robot-Americans.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:09 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:I'll take it. :D
I will also say that I think your "Sikh candidate, dude" joke here was under-appreciated.
I didn't get it.

Wait, was it supposed to be "sick candidate, dude!"?

If so...well. You're doing your best, and that's all we can ask for. Keep up the good work, little buddy. <tussles hair>

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:11 pm

The candidate is a Sikh, and then there's the use of homophones for comedic effect.
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:19 pm

To the best of my knowledge, it's pronounced "seek".

I'm willing to be educated on the subject.

edit: Looks like both might be applicable. I've only ever heard "seek".
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:22 pm

GreenGoo wrote:To the best of my knowledge, it's pronounced "seek".

I'm willing to be educated on the subject.
You are correct (at least, I have always heard it pronounced "seek"). Nonetheless, it's close enough in my book (especially since phonetically it would be "sick").

Also, as Americans mispronouncing foreign terms is kind of a tradition.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:24 pm

My funny bone may have broken recently.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:25 pm

Wikipedia pronunciation lists two options:

's' in 'sigh', /iː/ long 'e' in 'bead', 'k' in 'kind'
's' in 'sigh', /ɪ/ short 'i' in 'bid', 'k' in 'kind'
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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:28 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Wikipedia pronunciation lists two options:

's' in 'sigh', /iː/ long 'e' in 'bead', 'k' in 'kind'
's' in 'sigh', /ɪ/ short 'i' in 'bid', 'k' in 'kind'
Interesting. This T-shirt wouldn't work with the second pronunciation, though:

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Jeff V » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:14 pm

Rip wrote:All good. You really don't need it.

There are no nearby threats.

:whistle:
Well, their entire northern border is secured by polar bears.

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by silverjon » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:18 pm

Rumpy wrote:Heh oops, guess whoever compiled the list miscounted somewhere. Still amazing.
Or, and I hate to say this, based their count on the number of gentlemen wearing turbans.

Sohi does not. His seat was closely contested, so it was very exciting to see him take office, taking our lefties where we can get them. And now he's a minister.
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

Unless one loses a precious thing, he will never know its true value. A little light finally scratches the darkness; it lets the exhausted one face his shattered dream and realize his path cannot be walked. Can man live happily without embracing his wounded heart?

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Max Peck » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:47 pm

Colour me surprised -- I wasn't expecting to see anything concrete accomplished within the first 24 hours. This is definitely one action of which I approve. The Conservatives canned the mandatory long-form census, mainly because why collect data if you have no interest in using facts to help formulate policy (and as we all know from Colbert, facts have an annoying liberal bias).

Mandatory long-form census restored by new Liberal government
The Liberal government is reinstating the mandatory long-form census that was scrapped by the Conservatives five years ago.

"We need good, reliable data," said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, who made the announcement on Parliament Hill.

Bains could not say what the penalty would be for refusing to fill out the compulsory questionnaire, but said there will be a "robust" communication plan. The vast majority of Canadians understand the importance of this data and want to participate in the process, he said, noting that 93.5 per cent of the population filled out the forms last time.

The data is invaluable for everyone from city planners and provincial governments to businesses and non-government organizations, Bains said.

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos said Canadians are happy to fill out the long form because they understand it is critical to the well-being of the country.

A promise to "immediately" restore the long-form census was was one of the planks in the Liberal Party's platform during the recent federal election.

Today's announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his new cabinet was sworn in.

"We committed to a government that functions based on evidence and facts and long-form censuses are an important part of making sure we're serving constituents in our communities," Trudeau said, pausing to take a question as he sprinted up the steps to his office on Parliament Hill.

New census packages must be ready to mail out by May 2.

The long-form census would have to be distributed to about 2.9 million households.

The Conservative government cancelled the mandatory long census form for the 2011 census, replacing it with a voluntary national household survey. Bains said that was a bad move based on ideology.

"We know the history of the past government and they very much focused on ideology," he said. "We're focused on sound, evidence-based policies. We want to make sure we're driving good policies based on good evidence and quality data."
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

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Re: Canada 2015-19: New Hope or Phantom Menace?

Post by Rumpy » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:39 pm

silverjon wrote:
Rumpy wrote:Heh oops, guess whoever compiled the list miscounted somewhere. Still amazing.
Or, and I hate to say this, based their count on the number of gentlemen wearing turbans.

Sohi does not. His seat was closely contested, so it was very exciting to see him take office, taking our lefties where we can get them. And now he's a minister.

Ahh yes, good catch! The real number is even more impressive.
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