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photo of total solar eclipse

Totality fails to eclipse politics

The moon blotted out the sun across much of North America on Monday, but it did not put politics entirely out of mind.

Conservatives on both sides of the border used the occasion to compare their champion to the moon, blotting out the incumbent sun, while incumbents merely marveled at the moment.

In the United States, Donald Trump released an odd ad on his Truth Social network in which his face blotted out the sun. In Canada, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre just posted a photo of the moment, but one of his MPs posted an image showing a smiling Poilievre eclipsing Trudeau.

Meanwhile, Fox News issued a warning that the eclipse might make it easier for migrants to cross into the United States.

Justin Trudeau posted a video of himself taking in the sight from the roof of his office while Joe Biden posted a safety warning, a subtle reminder, perhaps, of the time, in 2017, when Trump gazed directly into an eclipse, which is said to be unwise.
Annie Gugliotta

A club for hemming China in

On Monday — the day that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that Canada is interested in joining the AUKUS defense alliance — documents were released at a public inquiry that showed that Canada’s intelligence agency believes China “clandestinely and deceptively interfered in both the 2019 and 2021 general elections.”

Also on Monday, as Chinese ships carried out exercises in disputed waters in the South China Sea, the US, UK, and Australia announced that they were talking to Japan about inviting that country to participate in Pillar II of the security pact.

China’s growing military and political belligerence is rattling other countries, and they are responding by drawing together in a way that would have been out of the question a decade ago.

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Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: US trade deficit with Canada & Mexico

The US trade deficit in goods with Canada and Mexico reached an all-time high in 2023 of over $220 billion — and despite what you may hear from certain former US presidents, that’s a good thing. Yes, more money than ever is leaving the US and going to the neighbors. And in exchange, American consumers get more stuff from their neighbors than ever before and for better prices than they can find at home.

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Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota looks on during Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.


Dead cats, Nazis, and murder

Has politics ever been this interesting? In trying to understand wild stories about a Nazi in Canada’s Parliament and allegations that India assassinated a man on the steps of a temple in Surrey, British Columbia, I started to think about dead cats, wagging the dog, and flooding the zone with sh-t.

Dead Cats? Let me explain.

There are various ways to describe strategies that governments use when they want to distract public attention from one crisis. Often, they simply introduce another.

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A graphic showing English-French bilingualism in Canada.

GZERO Media/ Luisa Vieria

The Graphic Truth: English-French bilingualism in Canada

Parlez-vous le français? Probably pas très bien if you live outside Quebec, according to census data from Statistics Canada.

The share of Canadians who can hold a conversation in both English and French has plateaued around 18% for two decades, despite strong legal protections for the French language and official encouragement of bilingualism.

The background: Political rivalries between English and French-speaking Canadians dominated the early history of the country, and fuel some radical independence movements in Quebec even today. Official adoption of bilingualism at a federal level in 1969 was meant to help heal the rift.

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Conservative MP Michael Chong speaks during a news conference in Ottawa.


China's threats as Mr Chong goes to Washington

National security threats have a way of uniting politicians from across the aisle and that was on full display this week when the US Congress, investigating Chinese foreign interference, asked a Canadian politician named Michael Chong to testify. Not your average Tuesday on Capitol Hill, but Chong has a compelling story to tell.

In 2021, after he tabled a motion in the Canadian Parliament to declare the Chinese repression of the Uyghur population a genocide, he and his extended family in Hong Kong were actively targeted by agents of the People’s Republic of China. China has denied the allegation, but there is plenty of evidence to support Chong’s claims about Chinese interference. With a US election in just over a year and Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns ratcheting up, US politicians are looking to learn from his experience to develop their own countermeasures.

Chong, now the Conservative Party’s chief foreign affairs critic, was elected in 2004, which is when I first met him as I covered his campaign. Born in Canada, Chong has relatives in Hong Kong, who he now fears will experience ongoing reprisals by Beijing.

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Britain's King Charles III waves.


Hard Numbers: Ditch the monarchy, eh?, we’re #2! , here comes Hurricane Lee, Ontario housing boom falls short

63: Barely one year into the reign of King Charles III – who is technically the king of Canada – 63% of Canadians say it’s time to rethink ties with the British crown. That’s up seven percentage points from March. And just over half of Canadians agreed with the statement that “we have to get rid of” the monarchy altogether.

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The Graphic Truth: Arctic meltdown

Ever since satellite observations started in the late 1970s, sea ice extent levels have been falling. That is the area of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at any given time, which is important for the regulation of ocean and air temperatures, as well as safeguarding animal habitats.

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