Kevin O'Leary pulls ahead: Ottawa Power Rankings

Who's up in the nation's capital? An NDPer with a choice to make. Who's down? Our collective human decency.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked a fine line, while his feminist cred took a tumble.  See who’s up and who’s down in and around Parliament Hill’s corridors of power. And check out the rest of our weekly power rankings.




First Mr. Trudeau went to Washington, and then he went to Europe. The Prime Minister walked a delicate line in his first meeting with the mercurial President Donald Trump, emphasizing common bonds and Canada’s priorities. A few days later, Trudeau touched down in Strasbourg to address the European Parliament right after it approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which Trudeau hailed as “a blueprint for all ambitious, future trade deals.”



Federal NDP members are apparently begging the Ontario MPP, who represents the suburban GTA riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton, to enter the leadership race to replace Thomas Mulcair. Singh’s name has popped up periodically with a hopeful tone, and this week, he told CBC it’s “something I’m really considering quite seriously.” He says he’s hesitant only because he sees a strong chance for his party to oust Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and lead Ontario.



A new poll shows the businessman/showman edging out self-styled libertarian Maxime Bernier as the top leadership choice of Conservative voters. More than one-third picked O’Leary as the leadership candidate most likely to beat Trudeau at the polls in 2019. His chief weakness appears to be in Quebec. On Monday in Montreal, he participated in an unofficial debate where he trotted out rickety French that nonetheless seemed appreciated by the crowd.




The Prime Minister himself had a good week, but his loudly touted feminism—not so much. While in Washington, he participated in a roundtable discussion on women in the workplace. At the table were Canadian and American entrepreneurs and the President—who views women as buffet items or biological liabilities when it suits him—and his daughter, Ivanka, who functions as his woman-friendly fig leaf and cashes in on her own brand as a supposed working mom who champions others like her. The whole thing was incongruous.



At times, the debate over M-103—a private member’s motion calling on the government to “quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear” toward Muslims—became truly unhinged. Exhibit A was Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu, who said she had been attacked online as a Christian, evidence that “hate crimes and these attacks are happening across different faiths.” She argued the term “Islamophobia” needs to be clarified. “If I think of myself, I am afraid that if ISIS jihadists came over, they might cut my head off and rape me. Is that Islamophobia?” she said in the House. “I do not know.”



Back in December, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid had introduced that private member’s motion, which is supported by her party. This week, she revealed that she has been deluged with hundreds of racist and threatening messages lobbing sentiments like, “Kill her and be done with it. I agree she is here to kill us. She is sick and she needs to be deported.” Whatever the specific merits or faults of Khalid’s motion, the response is grotesquely revealing of a certain subset of Canadians.

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