Chief Spence: hunger striker no more

Tease the day: Attawapiskat chief resumes eating, releases renewed list of demands


Theresa Spence can finally go home. The chief of Attawapiskat First Nation, who trundled into the national spotlight a fortnight before Christmas, made passionate pleas to government, refused solid food, found support among thousands and opposition among many others, played some role in forcing a meeting with the prime minister (and the governor general, at least ceremonially), and continued her fight even as prominent supporter after prominent supporter urged her to start eating. Spence made lots of friends and enemies between Dec. 11 and Jan. 24, she raised more awareness than most Canadians over those six weeks, and now it’s over. She leaves a 13-point declaration of demands in her wake, and can look forward to a few weeks where people like me don’t write about her.

What’s her legacy? How will she be remembered? Does she even have any control over that? You tell me.

Obligatory Sun News reference: As you might have heard, Sun News Network hopes to convince the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that it deserves a spot on basic cable. The merits of that request made the rounds on Twitter yesterday, where people made fun of and sometimes defended the fledgling network’s credibility. For your own education, here are a couple of journalists’ opinions: Postmedia’s Andrew Coynex, who doesn’t so much like the idea; and J-Source contributor Justin Ling, who argues the CRTC should grant Sun News Network’s request.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with outgoing Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s final days in office. The National Post fronts outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony to the Senate foreign relations committee about last year’s terrorist attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with lengthy processing periods for citizenship applicants in Canada. The Ottawa Citizen leads with uncertainty surrounding Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page‘s ability to formally respond to this year’s federal budget. iPolitics fronts interim Liberal leader Bob Rae’s fundraising trip to southwestern Ontario. leads with the search for three Canadians in Antarctica. National Newswatch showcases a Postmedia story about House of Commons and Senate lawyers, representing the chambers’ respective Speaker’s offices, arguing only Parliament has jurisdiction when it comes to defining Page’s role.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. First Nation. A new chief elected at Gull Bay First Nation earlier this month discovered that the community is bankrupt. The feds have stepped in with over $1 million in emergency funding. 2. Quebec corruption. Michele Lalonde testified to the Charbonneau Commission in Montreal that his engineering firm funnelled kickbacks from contacts to political parties.
3. Inmate death. Canada’s corrections investigator is looking into the case of a Saskatoon inmate who died of an apparent heart attack after several calls for help allegedly went unanswered. 4. Carbon monoxide. Sickened workers at an industrial construction plant in northern New Brunswick were exposed to carbon monoxide, the source of which is still unknown.

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