Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday January 21, 2016
Justin Trudeau distances himself from Harper at World Economic Forum in Davos
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his moment on the main stage of the World Economic Forum today in Davos, Switzerland to present Canada as uniquely suited for the transforming global economy.
“If you are looking for a country that has the diversity, the resilience, the positivity and the confidence that will not just manage this change but take advantage of it, there has never been a better time to look to Canada.”
Trudeau spoke to a few hundred attendees inside the main hall at the WEF, attended annually by world leaders and the business elite.
The prime minister and several of his cabinet ministers are there for four days of presentations and meetings. This year’s summit is focused on the idea of the “fourth industrial revolution,” the idea that rapid technological innovation will drive a new era of change in the global economy.
“Today, we are gathered here to contemplate whether we are in the early stages of a fourth industrial revolution. What a breathtaking possibility that is,” Trudeau said. “Steam power changed the world utterly. So did electricity and more recently, computers. And now we may be on the cusp of change equal in magnitude and of a far swifter pace.”
In explaining why and how Canada could lead be at the forefront of this change, Trudeau attempted to differentiate himself from Stephen Harper, who addressed Davos as prime minister in 2012.
“My predecessor wanted you to know Canada for its resources,” he said. “I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness.”
The public stage of the WEF’s annual meeting in Switzerland is an obvious showcase for Trudeau and his ministers to be seen before the global elite. But the private meeting rooms of Davos will also be the stage for the unseen wooing of a wealthy audience, with the hope of attracting potential investors to Canada.
Before addressing the forum, Trudeau met privately with Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, the oil giant. He was also scheduled to meet Wednesday with famed financier George Soros, as well as executives from Facebook and Microsoft.
Trudeau’s presence in Davos has been widely touted by the international press and his speech was followed by an onstage interview with American journalist Fareed Zakaria, which was to be later aired on CNN. (Source: CBC News)
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton remain overwhelming front-runners in races for 2016 nomination
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton remain the overwhelming national front-runners to win the 2016 nominations for each of their parties, a new poll released Tuesday showed.
According to the latest NBC News / Survey Monkey survey, Trump got the support of 38% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters nationally.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was his next closest competitor, with 21%, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio came in third with 11% support.
On the Democratic side, Clinton remained the leader, with 52% support nationally among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, compared with 36% for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley got 1% support.
The results for both parties are unchanged from the poll NBC News and Survey Monkey released last week. (Source: NY Daily News)
Trudeau’s silence on terrorism is deafening
It’s early still in the life of this government. Yet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Grits closing in on 100 days since their Oct. 19 electoral triumph, a pattern begins to emerge. It’s one that does the new regime and its leader little credit. It smacks of an inability or unwillingness to perceive sentiment beyond the urban Liberal echo chamber. It bespeaks a lack of imagination — including an inability to imagine threats to the government’s capacity to endure and succeed long-term. Tunnel vision and obduracy are not supposed to set in quite so soon.
Let’s begin with this: Trudeau’s Achilles heel. Every politician seems to have one. For this PM, for the longest time, it was his tendency to blurt silly things about serious geopolitical issues at inopportune times. There was his tone-deaf statement in an interview with the CBC that the Boston Marathon bombers must have felt excluded; his offhand praise of China’s system of government; his curious joke about the Russians invading Ukraine over hockey. Most memorably, there was the juvenile quip about former prime minister Stephen Harper whipping out Canada’s CF-18s to “show them how big they are.”
That series of gaffes, combined with Trudeau’s decision in the fall of 2014 to vote against Canadian participation in the U.S.-led air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, was a factor in the collapse in public support that led to the Liberals entering last year’s election campaign an underdog. That they recovered and won resoundingly is a testament to Trudeau’s political skills and the quality of the campaign he ran. None of that mitigates that his perceived instincts and judgment about foreign policy — especially as concerns the war against Islamist, jihadist terrorism — are his greatest weakness.
Tonally this manifests as an inability, or unwillingness, to emit more than the minimum necessary wattage in public responses to terrorist atrocities perpetrated by ISIL and its fellow travellers. That was on display immediately after the massacre in Paris last November. It was on display again this past weekend, in the aftermath of Islamist killing sprees in Jakarta, Indonesia and Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso, that left seven Canadians dead. (Continued: Michael Den Tandt, Postmedia)
Hamilton gets Garth Brooks times 5
Garth Brooks has upped the ante to five record-breaking concerts at FirstOntario Centre.
Brooks initially announced that he and his wife Trisha Yearwood would perform one show at the downtown Hamilton arena on Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
Within less than 45 minutes of tickets going on sale Friday morning for that show, however, four additional concerts were added to the venue in four separate announcements, the first released at 10 a.m. and the fourth released at 10:42 a.m.
The timing of the five FirstOntario Centre shows by the American country superstar are between March 24 and 27th.
“Garth Brooks has smashed his Hamilton and Toronto ticket sales record combined in 45 minutes,” Leigh Ann Pigue, advertising and promotions manager for Nashville-based promoter Varnell Enterprises, said in a statement. “He last played Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Sept. 5, 1996, and SkyDome in Toronto, Sept., 6, 1996, and sold a combined 47,910 tickets. Today he has sold 54,048 tickets for FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton and tickets are still selling.”
Tickets for all shows are on sale now for $79.81 including service fees and HST, with an eight-ticket per purchase limit. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)