Canada column for Sunday, June 24/12
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Might there some day be another Trudeau leading Canada?
With the Liberals looking for a new leader, polls indicate Canadians would be almost twice as likely to vote for the party with Justin Trudeau as the leader.
Now that interim leader Bob Rae surprisingly said he will not seek the job, pressure is mounting on the Montreal politician who is the eldest son of the late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
Trudeau, 40, would attract 33 percent of the vote according to a Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll – far more drawing power than other Liberals.
The poll showed that former astronaut and Montreal politician Marc Garneau was a distant second at 18 percent to Trudeau, the highest profile federal Liberal in Canada.
There are no official contenders so far as the Liberals seek to rebuild from a devastating federal election loss last year that put them third behind the governing Conservatives and the New Democrats.
Even with Trudeau, the poll found that 67 percent of respondents would be “unlikely” to vote Liberal, with the number rising to 82 percent to 89 percent with another leader.
“Naturally” air-conditioned Canada is facing a long, hot summer.
Environment Canada predicts that now through September will be “warmer than normal from coast to coast to coast (Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans),” said Dave Phillips, senior climatologist.
The 90-plus Fahrenheit temperatures and high humidity late in the week across southern Ontario and parts of Quebec were “almost a dry run” to the weather ahead, he added.
Most of Canada had the warmest spring in 65 years and the ninth hottest on record, while along with the heat comes a heightened risk of such things as forest fires and tornadoes, Phillips said.
News in brief:
- Concern over rising household debt has prompted the Canadian government to further tighten controls on lending. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the amortization period on home mortgages will be reduced to 25 years from a maximum of 30 years along with lower limits on home equity loans. Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said the moves are “prudent” and “timely.”
- The federal government is cutting deportation appeal options for immigrants convicted of crimes. The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act will seek to cut off ways for convicted criminals to appeal their deportation. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said many now abuse the system and remain in Canada for years.
- Armored car guard Travis Baumgartner, 21, accused of murdering three co-workers and wounding another, has been arrested at the United States border near Abbotsford, British Columbia. Authorities said a backpack with $330,000 was found in his truck. Killed in the shooting at the University of Alberta in Edmonton were Eddie Rejano, Michelle Shegelski and Brian Ilesic, while a fourth guard, Matthew Schuman, was severely wounded.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is lower at 97.25 cents in U.S. funds while the U.S. dollar returns $1.0282 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.
Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 11,438 points and the TSX Venture index 1,210 points.
Lotto 6-49: (June 20) 1, 6, 10, 26, 31 and 38; bonus 11. (June 16) 1, 8, 19, 26, 37 and 44; bonus 16. Lotto Max: (June 15) 8, 11, 20, 28, 36, 43 and 47; bonus 18.
- Porn movie actor Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, of Montreal has been returned from Germany to face a murder charge in the death of Jun Lin, a university student from China. Police identified body parts as those of Lin that had been mailed to federal government offices in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver.
- The threat of a summer election in Ontario was averted as the minority Liberal government passed its contentious budget bill. After forcing some concessions, including adding a surtax on incomes above $500,000, the socialist New Democrats abstained from voting, allowing the bill to pass.
- Another oil spill in Alberta has environmentalists concerned about pipeline safety. About 60,520 gallons of heavy crude oil leaked at a pumping station on the Enbridge Athabasca pipeline near Elk Point. Earlier in the month near Sundre, Alberta, about 125,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a pipeline into a tributary of the Red Deer River.
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com