April 17th, 2024

Noteworthy: More seats in hard places spells trouble for beleaguered Trudeau

By Bruce Penton on February 14, 2024.

As if Justin Trudeau’s re-election chances weren’t already fairly dim, the situation will be worse for the beleaguered PM come April. On April 22, a redistributed and expanded House of Commons comes into effect, with five new electoral constituencies established – three of them in Alberta, one in B.C. and one in Ontario. Since electing a Liberal in Alberta is as likely as taming a grizzly in the Rockies, that puts an already underdog Trudeau facing an even more daunting task. An election must be held before October 2025. But if an election is called before April 22 of this year, it will be conducted without the expansion and redistribution. Politicians don’t play games with election rules, do they?

– Happy Valentine’s Day. Give your bestie a hug, a box of chocolates or a nice bouquet. Then you can go back to being an inconsiderate jerk tomorrow.

– It’s still winter, of course, but it’s never too early to be thinking about baseball. Medicine Hat Mavericks are about three months away from their opening day, May 25 at Moose Jaw. First home game for Greg Morrison’s crew is May 29 against the Saskatoon Berries.

– Too bad we can’t get some of that ‘atmospheric river’ water that last week slammed into the the West Coast of the U.S directed into the South Saskatchewan River. This southern Alberta drought talk is worrisome, considering life as we know it might cease to exist without water. A report from CNN said an ‘atmospheric river’ “is like a conveyor belt of moisture that can carry more than 20 times the amount of water as the Mississippi River, but as vapour.”

– Naheed Nenshi may be right: The former Calgary mayor, reportedly considering a run for leader of the Alberta New Democrats, was quoted in a Globe and Mail story after leaving the mayor’s office in 2021 as asking rhetorically, “Is our country ungovernable? Are the voices of anger and hatred and division simply too loud?”

– It’s not quite golf season in Medicine Hat yet, but golf was certainly in the news Sunday when Canadian Nick Taylor (born in Winnipeg; raised in Vancouver) won his fourth PGA Tour event in a playoff over Charley Hoffman at the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Arizona. The win – Taylor birdied five of six holes at the end of the day – vaulted him to No. 28 in the Official World Golf Rankings, giving Canada eight golfers in the top 200. The others are Corey Conners at 47, Adam Hadwin at 52, Adam Svensson at 66, Mackenzie Hughes at 76, Taylor Pendrith at 83, Ben Silverman at 150 and Aaron Cockerill at 193.

– Another offering from the Axios story about how to live a long life: “Keep moving. That’s supercentenarian Herlda Senhouse’s best advice, and she should know: At 112, she dines out regularly, attends church and plays the slots at a casino outside Boston. Even something as humdrum as a little brisk vacuuming, experts say, can benefit our bodies and our minds.”

– Like or abhor her political leanings, you’ve got to admire Sarah Hoffman, who announced last week she’ll be running to replace Rachel Notley as leader of the Alberta NDP. During the press conference announcing her intentions, Hoffman said “I’m fat. I’m sassy and I’m really bad at pretending to be something that I’m not, so I’m going to lean into being who I am.” Transparency and honesty from politicians is what we all want, so I’d say Hoffman is off to a pretty good start.

– Sign of the times: A photo I recently saw of a busy sidewalk in New York City from the 1920s was accompanied with the question: Why is everyone so thin? It was true; no one in the photo – man or woman – had an ounce of fat on their bellies, a far cry from today when so many people, including myself, carry far too much weight. So, why? We eat too much of the wrong foods, obviously, but it might be because we ride everywhere rather than walk, like our forefathers did 100 years ago.

– Which leads me to this: Medical professionals would not approve, but McDonald’s in some locations is offering a double Big Mac – four patties with all the usual additions – pickles, special sauce, etc. I can think of only two or three of my talkative acquaintances with a big enough mouth to handle such a load.

Bruce Penton is retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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