Two days to go – two days until Joe Biden is in and Donald Trump is out.
There is a middling chance that Ontario voters will be going to the polls twice in 2021.
The more likely one is a federal election. As suggested in last week’s column, Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government will soon be living on borrowed time.
Minority governments are relatively common in Canada, with 14 of them at the federal level since Confederation, but most don’t hang around long – an average of 479 days. Today is the current government’s 434th day. If it lasts until Oct. 21, it will join just five others that made it to the two-year mark.
Once again, it is the season when hoary journalism tradition dictates that the columnist pause, review the year about to end and peer through his or her foggy glasses at the one that lies ahead.
The federal government announced last week it will give the provinces and territories an additional $1-billion to help them keep their long-term care residents safe during this wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
One billion is a lot of loonies, even in these inflated times, but there was no scramble among the 13 premiers to express their gratitude to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Minister of Just About Everything, Chrystia Freeland, for their generosity with the public purse. That’s not way it works in federalism, Canadian style.
“A national emergency is an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that (a) seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it …” – from Article 3, Emergencies Act of 1988.