Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday July 17, 2019
Tomorrow’s Ambitious Goal
Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party is struggling to make inroads in Ontario, the battleground province that’s likely to decide October’s federal election. He might have Ontario Premier Doug Ford to thank for that.
Multiple polls suggest Ford and his Progressive Conservative government are deeply unpopular, just one year after ousting Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals from office.
While those polls undoubtedly aren’t being welcomed by provincial Progressive Conservatives — and may have been the motive behind Monday’s about-face on cuts
to municipal funding — they don’t necessarily represent a pressing problem for Ford. He still has another three years to go before the next provincial election.
But the Ford government’s dismal poll numbers could present a big problem for Scheer, who needs Ontario if he’s to win the federal vote that’s now less than five months away.
The Conservatives continue to hold a six-point lead over the Liberals nationwide in the CBC’s Canada Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polling data. The Conservatives have led ever since the SNC-Lavalin affair sent Liberal support tumbling.
The party has seen some significant gains in certain parts of the country. Compared to where the Poll Tracker pegged Conservative support in January and early February (before the SNC-Lavalin story broke), the party has gained up to five points in Quebec and the Prairies and between five and nine points in Atlantic Canada. (CBC)
Meanwhile, Five decades after sending humans to the Moon, NASA is tasked with repeating the feat—and doing it by 2024, the ambitious deadline set by U.S. President Donald Trump’s team. But it is unclear how the space agency will surmount some formidable technical, political and financial challenges to pull off a lunar landing in just four and a half years.
“If the pieces come together in the right way they can pull it off,” says Ryan Watkins, a lunar scientist with the Planetary Science Institute who is based in St Louis, Missouri. “But they have to come together.”
NASA’s leaders have yet to make key decisions about how the Moon effort, called Artemis after Apollo’s twin sister, will proceed. The agency does not have a rocket ready to fly humans into deep space, and it has not developed a lunar lander since the Apollo programme ended in 1972. Then there is Congress, which controls NASA’s budget and seems increasingly uninterested in paying for the Moon mission. (Scientific American)