“It’s very hard to play politics with the pandemic,” said David Coletto at Abacus Data, whose poll this week showed the Liberals had lost four points since the previous survey in June, though they still lead the Conservatives. “But an ethics scandal is music to [the opposition’s] ears.”After several months of lockdown, Canada is gradually opening up again. The sense of urgency has passed, Coletto said, making way for additional scrutiny that will slow the creation of future COVID-19 aid or stimulus.”The nature of this crisis is no longer, Move fast!” he said. “Public appetite for a slower, more deliberative process is higher now than it was.”Trudeau lost his majority in parliament in October and depends on opposition parties for support. The latest ethics scandal has united those three parties — at least temporarily — and they have opened their own investigation in the House of Commons finance committee. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s third ethics probe in as many years will bring greater parliamentary scrutiny to his government’s COVID-19 spending, analysts said on Tuesday, as polls showed him losing gains made while managing the pandemic.Trudeau’s Liberal Party was soaring in polls earlier this month after having shoveled more than C$210 billion in direct emergency aid out the door in less than four months and as Canada got the coronavirus outbreak under control.But the tide turned quickly after Canada’s ethics commissioner put the prime minister under investigation for breaking conflict-of-interest rules when his government tapped WE Charity Canada, which had paid significant speaking fees to his mother and brother in recent years, to run a C$900 million student grant program. Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose daughter works at WE Charity, have been called on to testify to the committee. Morneau is due to appear on Wednesday. Trudeau has yet to say whether he will go.The government “did have a bit of a free ride for a long time,” said Garry Keller, a former senior conservative staffer who is now vice president at Strategy Corp, a public affairs consultancy. “Now the opposition can control the agenda.”The shift was evident. The House of Commons, which has been mostly closed during the pandemic, has been open this week so the government can pass changes to its wage subsidy program. But Trudeau’s ethics have been the heart of the debate.”Justin Trudeau cannot be allowed to sweep this latest scandal under the rug,” Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said Monday in the House. “We are going to use every tool at our disposal at the various committees.”Peter Donolo, vice chair at Hill+Knowlton Strategies and previously the director of communications for former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien, said there will be additional scrutiny for many months to come.”I’m quite confident that within the year, [the opposition] will be going through this stuff with a fine-tooth comb,” Donolo said. “It’s irresistible. … It was evident from the beginning that when you spend that kind of money, there’s going to be spillage.”Topics :
FRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian catcher Luis Trevino is the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week and New Orleans hurler Brandon Mitchell is the Pitcher of the Week, the league announced Monday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank. Hitter of the Week – Luis Trevino, Abilene Christian – Senior – Catcher – Mission, TexasTrevino started the week with a 2-for-3 performance against TCU with a run driven in and a run scored. He followed it up with another two-hit outing in the series opener against UNO, homering off Mitchell for ACU’s first run of the ballgame. Trevino hit .643 (9-for-16) from the plate, reaching base at a .700 clip and slugging 1.571 over four games last week. He set a Division I era school record with three home runs in a 7-3 win over New Orleans on Saturday. The senior catcher and designated hitter drove in six runs, scored six on his own and drew five walks. Pitcher of the Week – Brandon Mitchell, New Orleans – Freshman – Pitcher – Houston, TexasMitchell scattered five hits and punched out seven Wildcats over five scoreless innings before ACU got on the board with a Trevino home run. The Houston, Texas, native responded by retiring six-straight batters and finished his day with just one walk, opposite of 10 strikeouts. Honorable Mention: Colton Cowser, Sam Houston State; Shea Gutierrez, Incarnate Word; Salo Iza, New Orleans; Clayton Rasbeary, McNeese; Chase Talbot, Houston Baptist. The Wildcats (23-23, 10-14 Southland) take on Central Arkansas in a three-game weekend series, beginning at 6 p.m. CT on Friday in Conway, Ark. With a sweep, ACU would match its program record for Southland Conference wins after posting 13 in 2015. Mitchell posted career-high numbers in innings pitched (8.0) and strikeouts (10) in the series opener against ACU last Friday, improving to 3-3 in his first year. His eight innings tied the most by a Privateers starter this season and his 10 strikeouts marked the second-most by a UNO hurler. Honorable Mention: Jared Biddy, Southeastern Louisiana; Jason Blanchard, Lamar; Zach Carter, Houston Baptist; Rhett Deaton, McNeese; David Hodo, Northwestern State. In his first two at-bats of Saturday’s contest, Trevino rounded the bases and added a third for good measure in the seventh to finish 4-for-4. The Mission, Texas, native led off the sixth inning with a base knock and scored on a sac fly for the eventual gamewinning run. Pitchers’ reluctancy to face the slugger showed in the series finale as Trevino drew four free passes, including three intentional walks. The Privateers (24-24, 9-15 Southland) wrap up a seven-game homestand against Southern at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday before hosting Houston Baptist for a three-game weekend slate, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch on Friday. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
…to commence before next high tideTemporary interventions that are currently being used to prevent the Atlantic waters from flooding villages along the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) will be fixed shortly, as four projects are currently underway for the construction of permanent riprap structures.A section of the area at Uitvlugt that was mended with bouldersThis was according to the Chief Sea and River Defence Officer, Kevin Samad, who noted that the projects were taken to the National Tender Board and are currently being reviewed to find potential contractors. He posited that by the final days in July, the contracts should be awarded for the commencement of the construction.“We have opened tenders on May 22 at the National Tender Board for these projects and at this point, the evaluation is still ongoing so I would say by next month, we expect to award them and possibly commence them by the end of July.”Three of the projects will see the construction of riprap structures at Leonora, Uitvlugt and Den Amstel, while the fourth is a bundle of drainage structures that will be rehabilitated.“We’ve had a temporary intervention which would entail placing some rocks for the critical section at Uitvlugt. The current status is that we went ahead with four projects on the West Coast for riprap works at Leonora behind the hospital, Uitvlugt, the Den Amstel area some other areas along the coast at Windsor Forest and Blankenburg where we have the sluices and drainage structures,” Samad noted.He added, “We are fortifying the sea defenses that join the sluices at La Jalousie, Blankenburg, Windsor Forest and Cornelia Ida. Pretty much what we’ve done is bundled all the sluices into one lot so we have four projects.”Samad also highlighted that the unit is pushing to commence the works at the earliest and as such, they will commence before the next spring tide during October-November.“It depends on the contractors that are successful with the necessary resources required and at this point, I wouldn’t be able to say which contractor will be going first. But with our timeline, we would want all the contractors to mobilise at least by July month-end to August before we have our next high tide in October-November.”Earlier this year, plans were announced to modify the sea defence structure by replacing it with a robust riprap structure to withstand the crashing waves and high tides that residents experience at various periods of the year. The areas mentioned were assessed after visits from Central and Local Government concluded that the structure required a new design to avoid any destruction in the future.This was a result of the many ruptures that were caused along the concrete structure that lined the coast during a high spring tide, causing devastation to many residents.Immediately, members of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) were deployed to the varying areas, where sandbags were used to temporarily fill the open gaps. When the water retreated, the Public Infrastructure Ministry hired contractors to conduct temporary repairs by placing boulders along the gaps where sandbags were once used.However, these works were halted due to a shortage of the boulders for the completion of the ruptured sections of the seawall, which were later completed upon the attainment of the remaining boulders needed. Presently, this makeshift model is acting as the barrier to protect the people from the devastating waves.