The country’s capital is set to be the scene of a memorial parade and national commemorative ceremony for Queen Elizabeth next week, held as her funeral is held in England.
On Monday, Canadians are being invited to line the streets of Ottawa as a memorial parade makes its way along a 2.2-kilometre route ending at downtown Christ Church Cathedral, where the ceremony for the late monarch will take place.
The Globe and Mail’s Marsha McLeod reports that the parade will include members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and depart the Cartier Square Drill Hall in downtown Ottawa at 10:10 a.m. The approximately 75-minute ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the cathedral.
About 600 invited guests, including parliamentarians, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, faith communities, and other high-profile Canadians are expected to attend the ceremony, government officials said at a press briefing on Wednesday. The media was requested not to identify the specific officials who spoke.
Monday’s commemorative ceremony will include both secular and religious elements, including a tribute by Albert Dumont, the Algonquin spiritual teacher-in-residence at Christ Church; music performed by the cathedral organist and choir members; prayers and readings; musical interludes by Canadian artists; and an address by an “eminent Canadian,” whom government officials declined to name on Wednesday.
Members of the public will be able to watch on a screen at the Garden of the Provinces and Territories near the cathedral, as well as online.
The ceremony will take place 11 days after the death of the Queen, who reigned as Britain’s monarch for more than 70 years. She was 96 years old. On Wednesday, thousands of people lined the streets of London for a procession carrying her coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state until her funeral. Members of the public have been warned that the queue to pay their respects at Westminster Hall could be as long as 30 hours.
The Queen’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey. It will begin at 11 a.m., local time, and last for an hour. Monday has been designated a federal holiday in Canada, but the provinces and territories are taking different approaches to the day. While schools will be closed in British Columbia and the four maritime provinces, they will be open in Ontario, for instance.
Christ Church Cathedral has been the site of state funerals for several Canadian prime ministers and governors-general, as well as commemorative services for members of the Royal Family, according to a government press release.
Meanwhile, Canada’s banks will stay open on Sept. 19 after the federal government declared a national day of mourning to mark Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. Story here. Some Canadians will have time off to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth on the day of her state funeral after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced that Sept. 19 will be a national holiday. There’s an explainer here.
And some Indigenous leaders and community members say they’re concerned about making progress on reconciliation with King Charles III. Story here.
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QUEBEC ELECTION - The Quebec Liberals, on Wednesday, removed their costed platform from their website after a media report noted its debt figures were off by $12-billion. The newspaper La Presse reported that the Liberals underestimated the provincial debt at the end of the mandate, which would come in at $252.6-billion instead of the $240.6-billion projected by the party in the financial framework released 10 days ago. Story here from The Montreal Gazette.
Also: A growing number of candidates from all major parties in the Quebec election campaign have complained to police that they’ve been threatened. Quebec provincial police Sergeant Genevieve Bruneau said Tuesday that 20 people have been arrested since the start of the campaign for alleged threats against politicians or for damage to election-related property. Story here.
INTERNET DISRUPTION HIGHLIGHTS UNRELIABLE SERVICE: IQALUIT RESIDENTS - Residents of Iqaluit say a recent 24-hour internet disruption highlights the lack of reliable internet service in Canada’s northern communities, and adds urgency to calls for new backup options to secure online access for work, education and health care services. Story here.
RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM BECOMING MAINSTREAM: EXPERTS - Right-wing extremism is becoming increasingly mainstream, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an accelerant to that process, Canadian and international experts warned Tuesday. Story here.
HOCKEY CANADA EXPLAINS E-MAIL - Hockey Canada says a 2019 e-mail detailing its desire to self-govern its safe-sport cases does not reflect the organization’s current direction. Story here.
CLIMATE-CHANGE PROGRAMS CITED IN SOFTWOOD DISPUTE - A group led by the U.S. Lumber Coalition has fired a new salvo in a long-running trade dispute, alleging that programs designed to help combat climate change are unfair subsidies to Canadian softwood producers. Story here.
SUPREME COURT HOLDING UNPRECEDENTED QUEBEC CITY HEARINGS - The Supreme Court of Canada will hold its first-ever hearings in Quebec City this week, including one on whether Quebeckers can legally own and grow cannabis plants. The nine judges will also meet with young people and the legal community, and invite the public to ask them questions in person at a community event. Story here.
THIS AND THAT
COMMONS NOT SITTING – The House of Commons is not sitting again until Thursday at 10 a.m. when MPs will pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth. Beyond that, the opening of the session after the summer break will be delayed one day to Sept. 20.
QUESTIONING PARTY LEADERS - On Tuesday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was scheduled to respond, in the West Block building of Parliament Hill, to the affordability plan announced earlier in the day by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As the afternoon event loomed, media on the scene were told that Mr. Poilievre would deliver the statement but not take any media questions. Mr. Poilievre had not held a news conference since winning the party leadership the previous Saturday night. As Mr. Poilievre began his remarks, David Akin, the chief political correspondent for Global News, interrupted the Official Opposition Leader, raising concerns about his not taking media questions. Mr. Poilievre, in response, referred to Mr. Akin, a veteran journalist, as a “Liberal heckler who snuck in today.” However, Mr. Poilievre agreed to take two questions. Later in the evening, Mr. Akin apologized in a tweet here.
All of the other major party leaders have held news conferences in the past 24 hours. Here is a tally of the number of questions each took.
-Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet (Wednesday, Oka, Que. Caucus meeting) - Five questions
-Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau (Tuesday, St. Andrews, N.B. After affordability-plan announcement) - Eleven questions
-NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh (Tuesday, Thunder Bay, Ontario) - Sixteen questions.
Wednesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast addresses the issue of storms in Canada, which seem a lot more serious and to be causing a lot more damage. David Sills, a severe storms specialist and executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University, explains what changes he’s seeing in storms and how prepared we are to handle the damage from them. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Private meetings in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also scheduled to speak with Kenyan President William Ruto.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves François Blanchet, in Oka, Que., held a media availability on the sidelines of the Bloc pre-sessional caucus.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh meets, in Ottawa, with representatives of the Canadian Health Coalition.
No schedule released for other party leaders.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on why, despite being a repeat violent offender, Myles Sanderson was not given longer prison sentences: “Canada is right to make rehabilitation the goal of the justice system. Except for those sentenced to life and repeatedly denied parole, every inmate will one day be back in society. Sooner or later, all of them will be your neighbours. But why was Mr. Sanderson repeatedly returned to the community, always sooner rather than later, to prey on his neighbours? How was that justice?”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Alain Rayes departing Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives with a sour taste: “If you think Alain Rayes left Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party because the former was a Red Tory diehard, think again. It wasn’t about right and left. In the 4½-minute video in which Mr. Rayes announced he was leaving the caucus to sit as an independent, he said he was not bitter, but it was obviously a sour departure. The Quebec MP said he was dispirited by how mean-spirited and ugly politics has become. He meant within his own party. He said he had felt it.”
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how it’s the Pierre Poilievre party now; completely different and yet completely the same: “New members or old, what unites Conservatives in their present mood is a desire to be represented by a pugilist, someone who will not back down or apologize but take the fight to the hated Liberals. After 18 years in the political trenches, Mr. Poilievre has certainly earned that reputation. His was a campaign designed to make Conservatives feel good about themselves. Where Erin O’Toole admonished the party that it needed to “change and grow,” Mr. Poilievre’s message was that everything was just fine with the party as it was. The question is whether that is the kind of message that is likely to win a general election. Certainly it’s a hell of a bet. The issue before the party, it is well known, is not so much how many voters it can attract, but where. Too many of its votes are “wasted” racking up huge majorities in rural and Western Canada, while in election after election it narrowly loses ridings in suburban and central Canada.”
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how, in the world of politics, Pierre Poilievre has got it: “Effective politicians know what they think and say it out loud. They know how to get others to follow them. They attract successful people who are attracted to other successful people. They are leaders. They’ve got it. Stephen Harper had it. Though no populist, and anything but charismatic, he was able to persuade Progressive Conservatives to join the Canadian Alliance in forming the Conservative Party. He then shaped that party in his image and led it to victory in three consecutive elections. Justin Trudeau has it. He took a bankrupt Liberal Party languishing in third place and in danger of extinction. He then shaped that party in his image and led it to victory in three consecutive elections. I believe Pierre Poilievre has it, too.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on why the Liberals should fear Pierre Poilievre: “That said, however, the ebullient Alberta-born leader is still positioned well. He’s got that quality that is critical to longevity and success in politics. He’s a master communicator. He can connect, he can arouse, he can articulate, he’s adept at the rapier thrust, he can land haymakers. He may well be the best communicator, the best stump politician the Conservatives have had since John Diefenbaker. In keeping, Mr. Poilievre has a dated Diefenbaker-era look and an oratorical style that is old school as well. But he makes it work. His speech on taking the Conservative crown was rhythmic and commanding, more effective than any acceptance speech by a leader I can recall.”
Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on how Justin Trudeau may have met his match in Pierre Poilievre: “This is not to say that Mr. Poilievre is flawless, not by a long shot. He can come across as smug and arrogant, especially in the House of Commons. His overtures to the lunatic fringe in Canada are unnerving. Whether this becomes less of an occupation now that he’s won the leadership remains to be seen. A lot can happen between now and the next election. But as things stand now, Mr. Poilievre represents the best chance the Conservatives have had of regaining power in a long, long time.”
Omar Aziz (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Queen Elizabeth, for all her grace, could not redeem a disgraceful legacy: “With Elizabeth’s death, though, the grief is not so simple. By all accounts, she was a decent human being. She stood above the pernicious family politics that consumed all around her. She was also the representative of a certain legacy, and the Black, brown, and Irish people feeling a complex knot of emotions after her passing can be forgiven for still carrying the traumas inflicted by Elizabeth’s forebears. Even this dignified Queen, when constricted by the diamond-encrusted thorns of the imperial Crown, could not bring herself to apologize for any of the Empire’s crimes. She could not countenance any reparations, even purely symbolic, for the Empire’s plunder. She was, in the end, her office. Perhaps that was her duty – to preserve a connection to the past that could withstand the tornadoes of change ripping through the West.”
Thomas Mulcair (The Montreal Gazette) on some mid-campaign advice for Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade: “All five party leaders will take part in the first televised leaders’ debate of the campaign on Thursday night. I’ve taken part in this “Face-à-Face” TVA format, during the 2015 federal election. It’s fast-paced and direct. Look for Nadeau-Dubois to be white hot as he auditions for Official Opposition leader. Anglade has only one target: Legault. She shouldn’t shy away from talking about her personal journey as the child of Haitian refugees. She has to connect and cannot afford to hold back.”