1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Blogs

AppleMark

Embattled NDP taps Jagmeet Singh to succeed Tom Mulcair, lead federal party

CityNews | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

The Jagmeet Singh juggernaut began barrelling towards Parliament Hill on Sunday as the 38-year-old turbaned Sikh bounded past his three more experienced rivals and claimed a historic first-ballot triumph in the race to become leader of the federal New Democrats.

Singh, a charismatic, fashion-forward member of the Ontario legislature, became the first visible minority to claim the leadership of a federal party, romping to victory with a convincing 35,266 votes – 53.8 of the eligible ballots, well past the margin required to end the race early.

Northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus, who was widely seen as Singh’s closest challenger, came in second with a disappointing 12,705 votes, followed by Manitoba MP Niki Ashton with 11,374 and Quebec MP Guy Caron with 6,164.

As Singh’s victory and its margin became apparent inside the Toronto hotel meeting room, supporters leaped to their feet and hoisted their champion in the air before gathering behind him on the stage, many of them with tears in their eyes.

“Canadians must stand united to champion the politics of courage over the politics of fear, the politics of love to fight the growing politics of division,” Singh said, with supporters, friends, family members and fellow candidates crowded in around him.

“Canadians deserve the kind of government that only New Democrats can deliver … that gets the job done, that keeps its promises. That’s why today I’m officially launching my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada.”

Singh told the story – a staple of his campaign – about his family’s struggle to get by during a period when his father was unable to work. He described it as a “glimpse” of the sort of challenges countless Canadians endure every single day, people whose priorities have been abandoned by government.

“It’s unacceptable that our government tells people to just get used to unstable work,” said Singh, referring to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s infamous comments about what he considers the realities of the modern economy.

“Maybe if you look at employment as a hobby, you can get used to unstable work. But if your work means the difference between putting food on the table or a roof over the heads of your family, then job insecurity is unacceptable.”

Singh sang the praises of his predecessor Tom Mulcair as well as his rival candidates, whom he celebrated for helping to generate a renewed sense of excitement and vitality around the party over the course of the campaign.

With its long-haul leadership race now over, the party – which has just 44 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons – is now free to focus on presenting a unified front to battle Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the 2019 federal election.

Insiders and political observers alike say it’s high time the NDP regrouped, put the disappointment of the 2015 election result in the past and start laying the foundation for a strong showing in two years.

More than 124,000 card-carrying members were eligible to take part in the vote, which was conducted online and by mail by way of a ranked ballot – voters were able to rank the candidates in order of preference.

Kathleen Monk, an NDP stalwart who worked as director of strategic communications to former leader Jack Layton, said a new leader will now allow the party to begin growing again after two years in the political wilderness.

Mulcair, who took over the party after Layton’s death in 2012, carried on his shoulders the party’s long-standing dream of forming a federal government for the first time.

Those hopes were dashed during the 2015 election campaign when the party’s support collapsed in the face of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal juggernaut – an electoral disaster many blamed on Mulcair himself.

Even after party members voted resoundingly to turf their leader during a spring convention in Edmonton, Mulcair chose to remain on an interim basis until a successor could be named.

Following that convention, the party opted to take the long road towards choosing a new leader, culminating in Sunday’s first round of voting results.

“The reason I was able, with eyes wide open, to stay on after Edmonton is my profound belief that the NDP offers the only real hope for a progressive government in Canada,” Mulcair said in an interview.

The two front-runners brought diametrically opposed perspectives to the race: Angus the elder statesman, with years of House of Commons experience and name recognition among party members, versus Singh the outsider, a member of the Ontario legislature with a youthful, more suburban following.

Former NDP national director Karl Belanger admitted it is “long overdue” for the NDP to get on with building towards 2019.

“Hopefully that is what is going to happen,” he said. “I think there’s lots of people who are still reeling and debating the reasons behind the defeat in 2015.”

It’s also high time the party got serious about fundraising: Elections Canada returns show the NDP has some $5.5 million worth of debt on its balance sheet.

But perhaps most importantly, Job 1 for Singh will be to “knit together the teams that may have supported different candidates,” said Peggy Nash, a well-regarded former NDP MP and leadership candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Mulcair.

“Get out there and build the party and restore our voice as the legitimate voice of progressive Canadians.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his congratulations, saying he looks forward to working together with Singh.

 

Sniper in highrise hotel kills more than 50 in Las Vegas

SALLY HO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

DLH0oCoVwAInZd5

A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 58 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

There are reports that two Canadians have been killed in the shooting. According to the CBC, the parents of a 23-year-old man from British Columbia said he was at the concert with a girlfriend when he was shot and killed. CTV reports an Alberta woman was also killed.

At least 515 others were injured in the Sunday night attack, authorities said.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.

There was no word on a motive for the attack. But a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the still-unfolding investigation, said there was no immediate indication it was connected to international terrorism.

In the Mideast, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and said the gunman was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago. But it provided no evidence.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the 44-floor Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.

Monique Dumas from British Columbia said she was at the concert, six rows from the front of the stage when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, and then a burst of popping sounds that may have been fireworks. She said as she made her way out, it was “organized chaos” as everyone fled. “It took four to five minutes and all that time there was gunfire.”

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel: “We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened.”

In an address to the country, President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and added: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.” He ordered flags flown at half-staff.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered the support of the FBI and other federal agencies but noted that the investigation is being led by the sheriff in Las Vegas. That was seen as another possible sign the shooting was not believed to be an act of international terrorism.

Las Vegas authorities put out a call for blood donations and set up a hotline to report missing people and speed the identification of the dead and wounded. They also opened a “family reunification center” for people to find loved ones.

Aldean was in the middle of a song when the shots came rapidly: pop-pop-pop-pop. Video showed Aldean stopping and the crowd getting quiet as if it were unsure of what had happened.

The gunman paused and then fired another volley, the muzzle flashes visible from the casino, as victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some hid behind concession stands, while others crawled under parked cars.

Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and then started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash, flash, flash, flash.”

Monique Dumas, of British Columbia, said she was at the concert, six rows from the stage, when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, then a burst of pops that sounded liked fireworks.

Couples held hands as they ran through the dirt lot. Faces were etched with shock and confusion, and people wept and screamed. Some were bloodied, and some were carried out by fellow concertgoers. Dozens of ambulances took away the wounded, while some people loaded victims into their cars and drove them to the hospital.

Police shut down busy Las Vegas Boulevard, and federal and state authorities converged on the scene. Interstate 15 was briefly closed, and flights at McCarran International Airport were suspended.

Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with the wounded. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat whose congressional district includes a portion of Las Vegas, visited a hospital were some of the victims were taken and said: “Literally, every single bed was being used, every single hallway was being used. Every single person there was trying to save a life.”

The dead included at least three off-duty police officers from various departments who were attending the concert, authorities said. Two on-duty officers were wounded, one critically, police said.

“It’s a devastating time,” the sheriff said.

Nearly every inch of the Las Vegas Strip is under video surveillance, much of it set up by the casinos to monitor their properties. That could yield a wealth of material for investigators as they try to piece together the attack.

Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and that the shooting was “beyond horrific.”

“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” the country star said.

Before Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in June 2016, when a gunman who professed support for Muslim extremist groups opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 people.

Sunday’s shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in 2015.

Page 15 of 15« First...1112131415