Justin Ling (Has Left) Profile picture
Aug 25, 2018 25 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
It's the main event at #cpc18 — the policy plenary. I'm going to do a few updates as interesting things come up.
Policy 1: Bring back Energy East. Big endorsement.
2: No national carbon price, leave environment policies to the provinces, no "federal interference or federal penalties or incentives." Basically the entire room votes for it.
There's gonna be lots of other policies that are perfectly reasonable, but not terribly exciting — give the North more power to develop itself, simplify the tax code — if you want updates on those, I recommend watching CPAC.
Some of the more contentious policy issues up now. Here's the one being voted on. It's about an even split in the room. (Underlined text is what's being added to the existing policy book.)
That policy — to specifically exclude abortion from Canada's foreign child and maternal health programs — passes.
And now what promises to be the most controversial policy — deleting Article 65.

It would strike out the following section of the existing policy book:

"A Conservative Government will not support any legislation to regulate abortion"
One Quebec delegate tells the crowd "the government should stay the hell out of people's private lives!" and gets very enthusiastic applause.

I spoke to some social conservatives last night who were cryptically optimistic about this vote.
Oh, and the vote is pretty even. It *looks* like the motion, which would delete the moratorium on abortion policy, will pass.
I was wrong! The motion is defeated. Conservative Party will continue its policy of banning legislation or restrictions on abortion.

Yay: 43%
Nay: 57%
And now a motion on "compelled speech," which isn't a thing. The policy would recognize compelled speech, which isn't a thing, as a Charter violation, even though it's not a thing.
(The legislation that supposedly implemented compelled speech, which again isn't a thing, simply extended Human Rights Act protections on the basis of gender identity. You can still be rude to trans people, under the law, just like you can still be rude to gay people.)
Anyway, one young Conservative delegate just made exactly that point, encouraging everyone to support free speech while also noting that compelled speech isn't a thing.
And now a policy on harm reduction...

...for pornography.
A woman gets to the mic: "The state has no business in our browsing history!" How about we focus on the opiate epidemic, she posits.
We are now on to a recorded vote on the resolution to regulate and restrict access to pornography, policy number [giggles] 69.

For: 47%
Against: 53%
Debate on moving the embassy to Jerusalem has gotten weird, featuring some conspiracy theories around the white helmets and the slogan "Youtube it!"

But also a young activist who delivered a thoughtful speech about Israel and got an enthusiastic round of applause. That was nice.
Can I just say: Never search for it on Youtube. There's never anything to be gained by searching for geopolitical issues on Youtube. Just watch this instead.
Ok, now one of the more controversial policies: Eliminating birthright citizenship.

This really hasn't been discussed in Canada, but this would be a massive change, and would potentially create a statelessness problem. Background: bccla.org/2014/08/born-e…
Alice Wong, an elected MP, up talking about "passport babies." As I pointed out yesterday, evidence that this is a problem is purely anecdotal, and the statistics don't bear out that this is an issue. "WE NEED TO LOOK AFTER OUR OWN BABIES," she concludes.
Deepak Obhrai, also an MP, is against the policy. "We don't get to decide who is a Canadian!" He says.
Goes to an initial vote — close enough to warrant an electronic vote. Looks like it'll pass, but I can't quite tell. (Where I'm sitting gives me a bit of a skewed perspective.)

If this passes, it'll be the single largest policy shift of the whole day.
It carries. I didn't catch the breakdown, but the Conservative Party just voted to support ending birthright citizenship in Canada.
For context, this is a policy that has, thus far, proved too toxic for the Trump administration. It made it through here, at convention, with a pretty cursory chat. thefederalist.com/2018/07/23/end…
As some have pointed out, other European countries have limits on birthright citizenship. And that's true. (They also have the Schengen Zone.) But jus soli has been Canadian policy since it became an independent nation.
I'll be writing a bunch on the convention, and immigration specifically. Keep an eye on @walrusmagazine this week.

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More from @Justin_Ling

Aug 24, 2018
I'm in a room where Conservative members are debating policy resolutions around immigration (also, defence and democratic reform.) Will be offering a few updates. This meeting will decide which resolutions go forward to the main floor tomorrow.
The first one to come up is this, on irregular border crossings. For all the vigour around immigration, this policy basically doesn't call for Ottawa to do anything that different than what is currently being done.
Another one. Michelle Rempel gets up to say, yup, this is basically party policy. A member goes to the mic to contend that changing the language in the Safe Third Country Agreement really ain't gonna change much. (FYI, underlined text is the modification.)
Read 24 tweets
Aug 20, 2018
We need to be paying attention to Faith Goldy's bid for mayor. Not because she's likely to win, the odds of that are incredibly long; but because she represents a new strain of global, media savvy, white supremacy. And that, we can't ignore.
I actually don't think the issue is underestimating Goldy. She may well, come election day, score 1% of the vote. And it's not about treating her as a "serious" candidate. (She's not.) I think we simply need to be paying attention to who's behind her, who's supporting her, etc.
I can tell you that Goldy was none too happy that we were pursuing this story. A few weeks ago, I spoke to Todd, the owner of a pro-Trump Facebook page in Florida who had been running an ad boosting Goldy. I mentioned this may break Toronto election law, and the ad came down.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 30, 2018
Senator Frum is, here, tipping her hat to a completely insane conspiracy theory, one that tries to suggest the Toronto Danforth shooter was part of some giant plot to kill half of Toronto, or something, despite there being *zero evidence of this.*
So I'm usually on team Ignore The Crazy Conspiracy Theories but the Honourable Senator Frum decided to lend some of her Very Serious Credibility to the lunacy, so here we are.
So I've no idea where this conspiracy theory actually started, but it has cropped up on a handful of far-right conspiracy blogs, and in the ramblings of a one Faith Goldy. You know, really respectable outlets.
Read 4 tweets
Jul 24, 2018
Warmington writes: "We are on a record setting for shootings and homicides."

This isn't even remotely true. Let me tweet out some graphs, here.
Per the Toronto Police Service, here are the homicide statistics. On the left is the Year-to-Date homicides for the past several years (meaning each year includes only January-July) and on the right is the year-end statistics, going back a bit further.
Here are the same statistics for shootings. Left is YTD, right is year-end.
Read 7 tweets
Jun 15, 2018
In a very interesting decision from the Supreme Court of Canada today, the justices concluded that two law societies were well within their rights to not accredit Trinity Western University because its admissions policy discriminated against LGBTQ students.
The decision went 7-2, with the majority and concurring judges reasoning, separately, that: the impact on Trinity Western's religious freedom was minor; it was significant, but the impact on LGBTQ students was greater; and it didn't come into it at all.
The most interesting reasons, for my money, comes from Justice Rowe, who concluded that you can't claim a policy is protected by religious freedom if it seeks to compel behaviour of nonbelievers.
Read 5 tweets
Jun 7, 2018
It's election night. When polls close I'll be coming at you live (in the sense that I'll be on twitter) from Ford Nation headquarters where, I assume, there will be nachos. #onpoli
I will be bringing you very little in the way of results because why do you need me to tell you a thing you can just read yourself.

But expect my usual nonsense. And mute this thread if you don't care at all.
Heres my view for the evening, from the Toronto Congress Centre. They have a special kind of WiFi here that costs $200 per journalist. So that's cool.

No nachos yet, but holding out hope.
Read 46 tweets

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