Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole faces a caucus revolt, with 35 MPs signing a letter calling for a leadership review vote over concerns about the direction of the Official Opposition party.
The letter, sent to caucus chair Scott Reid yesterday, would require a leadership review vote by Conservative MPs as early as Wednesday’s regular caucus meeting. If Mr. O’Toole were to lose the vote, he would have to step down immediately.
MPs would then have to elect an interim caucus leader while the Conservative Party calls a leadership race. Sources say at least 63 of the elected 119 Conservative MPs are willing to vote against Mr. O’Toole.
- Justin Trudeau accuses Erin O’Toole of irresponsible leadership, says Canadians ‘disgusted’ by protesters’ actions
- Campbell Clark: Honks outside, and inside Parliament, a debate about the protesters’ character
- Opinion: Will the Ottawa convoy morph into a Tea Party-style populist movement?
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Defence Minister Anand discusses possibility of Canada sending weapons to Ukraine
Ukraine has once more asked Canada to supply it with lethal weapons, as the U.S. warned the United Nations Security Council that Russia was still building up forces and intended to attack its neighbour.
Ukraine has pleaded for Canadian armaments multiple times in recent months, as Russia has amassed an invasion-sized military force around Ukraine. Yesterday’s appeal was made by Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, in a meeting in Kyiv with Defence Minister Anita Anand, who said she would take the request back to Ottawa for consideration with her cabinet colleagues.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration have repeatedly warned that they see signs Russian President Vladimir Putin could soon order a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia, which has demanded guarantees that Ukraine will never be allowed to join the NATO military alliance, has amassed an estimated 130,000 soldiers around Ukraine.
- Ukrainian-Canadians fear for their loved ones as confrontation with Russia continues
- Baltics on edge as Russia menaces Ukraine
- Russia, U.S. exchange harsh words over Ukraine at UN Security Council
With paid sick days and COVID leave, why are so many essential workers still falling through the cracks?
In north Toronto, an employee of a large food manufacturing plant used all three of her paid sick days after testing positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19. It was the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day and she still had symptoms, so she was contemplating using the last three of her 10 annual paid vacation days to continue staying home.
In the end, she took two more days, then forced herself back to work, fearing she would otherwise be asked to take unpaid leave. She was unaware that she was eligible for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, a $450-a-week federal subsidy for people who are ill or who need to isolate because of COVID-19.
The Globe and Mail is not naming the worker because she was not authorized by her employer to speak to the media.
Economists, business lobby groups and labour advocates are divided over whether it’s feasible for the federal government to continue offering pandemic-relief programs such as the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, but there is also debate over a more fundamental question: Are these programs actually helping people deal with the financial consequences of staying home while ill?
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Boris Johnson receives report citing ‘failures of leadership’: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing renewed political pressure after a preliminary report regarding allegations his staff repeatedly violated COVID-19 restrictions found leadership failures at Downing Street and highlighted heavy drinking.
Ontario, Quebec remove some COVID-19 restrictions: Canada’s two largest provinces went ahead with previously announced plans to remove some COVID-19 restrictions yesterday, after a wave of hospitalizations caused by the more transmissible Omicron variant appeared to be subsiding.
- André Picard: Vaccines matter – and not just for COVID-19
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tests positive for COVID-19
- Omicron subvariant BA.2 more infectious than ‘original’, Danish study finds
U.S. to reduce softwood levies: The U.S. Department of Commerce plans to decrease tariffs for most Canadian softwood producers but raise them for West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Canada’s largest lumber company. Canadian lumber producers have been on a roller-coaster ride when it comes to duty rates in the cross-border dispute that dates back nearly 40 years.
Spotify under pressure to police content: As Spotify navigates the fallout from Neil Young’s dispute with the company over podcaster Joe Rogan, the audio-streaming giant is under increasing pressure to join other major digital platforms forced to monitor the content they provide.
Wordle acquired by New York Times: The New York Times Co. said yesterday it had acquired Wordle, a website-only word game that has seen a recent burst in popularity, for an undisclosed price in the low seven figures. The acquisition will help the media company broaden its digital content as it tries to reach the goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025.
Global stocks gain: World stocks looked set to leave a volatile January in the past on Tuesday, starting a new month on firmer ground as a slew of reassuring comments from Federal Reserve officials helped calm rate-hike jitters. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.63 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.69 per cent and 0.98 per cent, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.28 per cent. Markets in Hong Kong and China were closed. Wall Street futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.89 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Editorial: “After years of inaction, there’s a sudden rush of ideas, and signs of real competition among politicians and levels of government. What’s more, there seems to be a widespread realization that allowing more housing to be built, in the existing neighbourhoods where more people want to live, has to be a big part of the solution. Canada is finally rethinking how we zone cities, and how we decide what is allowed to get built, and where. It’s an opportunity that must not be wasted.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Does the timing of protein intake matter for muscle-building?
If you’re trying to put on muscle, you probably pay close attention to protein. Is there an optimal time, though, to eat that protein? Here’s what to know about the link between protein timing and muscle mass and strength.
MOMENT IN TIME: FEBRUARY 1, 1956
Lucile Wheeler wins Canada’s first Olympic skiing medal
The daughter of a ski resort owner in Quebec’s Laurentian mountains, Lucile Wheeler strapped on the boards at the age of two in the late 1930s and quickly proved herself a skiing phenomenon. By 10, she was competing and, two years later, she was Canadian junior champion in the downhill. Her father, Harry, always ensured she had top coaches and her dazzling speed landed her on the European circuit. In the Oslo Olympics in 1952, her mid-pack finishes in the slalom, giant slalom and downhill were downright impressive for a teenager. On Feb. 1, 1956 – 66 years ago today – in the Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympics, she made history by winning bronze in the downhill, making her the first North American Olympic medalist in that Alpine event (she placed sixth in the giant slalom). Wheeler didn’t stop there. At the 1958 World Championships in Bad Gastein, she won two gold medals and a silver. In the same year, she was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy, given to Canada’s top athlete. She retired from skiing at 24 but her fame lived on and, in 1988, she earned thunderous applause as the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Calgary Olympics. Eric Reguly