What about children without playhouses?

Tease the day: Canadian Tire donates playhouse to Saskatchewan toddler, Duffy floats over Ottawa

Adrian Wyld/CP

Isabelle Webster suffered immensely when her house just outside Regina was blown down by a suspected tornado earlier this week. “Somebody broke my house,” she said. “I’m mad at the wind.” Sure, Webster is only three years old. Sure, the apparent wind gusts spared her real house and targeted only her playhouse. But tragedy is defined by those who live it.

After the National Post gave voice to Webster’s hardship with front-page coverage yesterday, a local hero came out of the woodwork. Canadian Tire will donate a playhouse to the family, allowing Webster to rebuild her shattered dreams. What’s unclear is exactly how many Saskatchewan playhouses were demolished in Monday’s wind storm, and whether or not Canadian Tire will offer similar relief to crying children across the province. Notably, all levels of government remain silent on the issue.

Not surprisingly, the provincial government is preoccupied with other things. This morning, the Post fronts Premier Brad Wall’s intention to propose legislation that will “get the ball rolling” on abolishing the Senate. “The premier wants to take a national leadership role,” a source told the newspaper. Whatever happened to standing up for children with lost playhouses? Where’s the leadership?

Wall’s valiant stand against the Senate won’t go unnoticed by at least one group: taxpayer advocates. Yesterday, on the banks of the Ottawa River, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation inflated a larger-than-life imitation of Mike Duffy. The CTF called for a national referendum on the future of the Senate, adding the majority of its members want to scrap the Red Chamber. The group spent $5,000 on the oversized Duffy balloon, the cost of about a dozen playhouses at Canadian Tire. With untold playhouse-less children across the land, talk about misguided priorities.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the composition of the crude oil in the train that levelled Lac-Mégantic and killed at least 42 people. The National Post fronts Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s plan to introduce legislation to abolish the Senate. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Ontario government keeping complaints about unlicensed daycare facilities secret, due to apparent privacy concerns. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the greater freedom awarded to Mohamed Harkat, a man the feds want to deport because he’s allegedly a threat to national security. iPolitics fronts the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on a refugee’s complicity in war crimes committed by Congolese officials. leads with Transport Canada’s unwillingness to disclose various rail safety rules, in the wake of the Lac-Mégantic disaster. CTV News leads with a Boston Police photographer’s stark images of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. National Newswatch showcases a Postmedia story that reveals Chris Woodcock, a Conservative staffer who allegedly knew about the Wright-Duffy secret payment, no longer works in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. War chest. Conservatives in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, an Ottawa-area federal riding, have amassed a $409,353 bank account—the largest of any riding association in Canada. 2. Flooding. Residents of High River, Alta., are still recovering from devastating flooding that damaged their homes. Many are unsure how much disaster compensation they’re eligible to receive.
3. Army. Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse took command of the Canadian Army yesterday at a ceremony on Parliament Hill, a promotion for the former NATO deputy commander. 4. Lac-Mégantic. Almost two weeks after the rail disaster that levelled the town, 187 residents remain unable to return to their homes—and it might be months, or years, before they can.
5. Monk. Wirapol Sukphol, Thailand’s “jet-setting, fugitive monk” and millionaire YouTube sensation, was charged with crimes including statutory rape and manslaughter. 6. Heat wave. A surprise dose of withering heat in the United Kingdom is responsible for 650 deaths in just six days. Ambulance calls are apparently up 20 per cent in some locations.

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