Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 6, 2019
Doug Ford’s role in OPP turmoil raises questions of political interference
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are political opposites who right now share something: both face allegations of political interference in the justice system.
Partisans will no doubt disagree on whose alleged political interference is worse: the federal Liberals’ handling of the SNC-Lavalin corruption case or the provincial Progressive Conservatives’ alleged meddling with the upper echelons of the Ontario Provincial Police.
You can read plenty of analysis throughout cbc.ca of why the SNC-Lavalin affair matters, why the testimony of former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould is resonating, and why the Trudeau Liberals are engulfed in a deepening crisis about just how much political pressure they exerted over a criminal case.
Why are Ford’s PCs being accused of interfering with the OPP? The government appointed a close friend of Ford to head the provincial police force, and fired a veteran officer who had produced evidence that Ford tried to influence police operations.
Why does it matter?
“The OPP can be called in to investigate provincial politicians, and the citizens of Ontario need to have faith that the OPP is truly independent, above political interference, and free from abuses of power,” said Brad Blair, the deputy commissioner who was fired on Monday after a spotless 32-year career with the OPP.
In a written statement Tuesday, Blair said he went public with his concerns about “real and/or perceived political interference” in the force because “the cost of a compromised OPP is too great a price to pay.” (Continued: CBC)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday October 25, 2018
On Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Trump Administration Sends Mixed Signals
The Trump administration, confronted with further evidence of a cover-up in the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, veered on Monday between defending the value of its alliance with Saudi Arabia and pressing the Saudi government for answers.
The White House sent the director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, to Istanbul to help the Turkish government with its investigation into the killing, according to an official. But in Riyadh, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a wide-ranging meeting with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who is suspected of playing a role in the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident.
Mr. Mnuchin, who canceled his attendance at this week’s Saudi investment conference in the wake of Mr. Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, traded views with Prince Mohammed on economic ties and counterterrorism initiatives, as well as on the investigation into Mr. Khashoggi’s death, according to a Treasury Department spokesman.
There are also fresh doubts about the Saudi government’s claim that Mr. Khashoggi was strangled accidentally after he got into a fist fight with 15 Saudi operatives, with video of a body double surfacing on Monday. A Saudi operative donned Mr. Khashoggi’s clothes after he was killed and left the building to create a misleading trail of evidence, surveillance images leaked by Turkey show. (Continued: New York Times)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday May 19, 2018
Why Prince Harry is giving the British press the cold shoulder
In many ways, Prince Harry’s raucous relationship with the media has been leading up to this.
His upcoming wedding to Meghan Markle signals the culmination of a lifelong tug of war over access to him and his family. And by allowing nearly no journalists into St. George’s Chapel on May 19, Harry may be indicating he finally has the upper hand.
“The Prince Harry that I know doesn’t like the press,” said Duncan Larcombe, a former tabloid reporter who wrote the book Prince Harry: The Inside Story.
While 28 reporters and 17 still photographers were allowed into Prince William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, only one reporter and two photographers will be welcome this time — a reflection, perhaps, of Harry’s antagonism.
“William allowed the press in,” Larcombe said. “Harry is basically shutting the door.”
Larcombe concedes the chapel in Windsor can only hold a fraction of the 1,900 guests invited to Westminster Abbey for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s nuptials.
But, he said, “hiding behind the excuse that this is a private wedding is pretty nonsensical.”
Longtime royal photographer Arthur Edwards describes Harry as genuine and warm in private. But he acknowledges the prince’s relationship with the press has “been a little bit difficult recently.” (Source: CBC News)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 28, 2017
White House reveals Trump only decided on transgender ban yesterday
President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets Wednesday morning saying that transgender people wouldn’t be allowed to serve in the U.S. military ‘in any capacity’ with no plan in place for active duty transgender personnel.
‘This was a decision based on what was the best for the military and military cohesion and on the counsel of his national security team,’ said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was bombarded with questions about the ban at a televised press briefing.
With no details available, she offered no immediate assurance that a transgender service member wouldn’t have to get sent home from a deployment in a place like Afghanistan.
‘That’s something that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully,’ Huckabee Sanders said.
‘The implementation of the policy is going to be something that the White House and the Department of Defense have to work together to lawfully determine.’
Her comment came after a flat-footed Pentagon spokesman told reporters asking for details about the new policy announced on Twitter to ‘call the White House.’
Huckabee Sanders said Trump reached the decision ‘based on consultation that he’s had with his national security team’ to reach the conclusion.
She repeatedly cited ‘unit cohesion’ as the reason, and batted back inquiries about Trump’s campaign statements to be there to protect gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans.
‘When the president made the decision yesterday, the secretary of defense was immediately informed, of as were the rest of the national security team that had been part of this ongoing conversation,’ said Huckabee Sanders.
‘Sometimes you have to make decisions and once he made a decision, he didn’t feel it was necessary to hold that decision and they’re going to work together with the Department of Defense to lawfully implement it,’ she said.(Source: Daily Mail)