Everyone’s talking about Justin Trudeau

The Liberal leader stole attention from Harper’s annual trip to the north
Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Between you and me, let’s not make too much of Justin Trudeau’s run of good press in the dog days of summer. This week, which was a good week for Trudeau, may end up being a bunch of forgotten news cycles in a long, mostly boring lineup of Canadian political summers that even historians forget all about.

For a second, though, let’s make something of it and review the last few days in Trudeau’s life. The Liberal leader came out as a handyman; announced his family was adding a new member; condemned forthcoming legislation in Quebec that would ban religious symbols in public workplaces; and admitted to smoking pot while he was a Member of Parliament.

If he truly is a handyman, Trudeau might curry favour with the sprawling Home Depot crowd that covers the country’s suburbs. When his family expands, he could impress the pro-family crowd that worships working parents who sacrifice neither career nor children. Smacking down an anti-religious freedom bill wins points among the civil rights crowd. And, hey, marijuana might alienate stodgy conservatives, but plenty of young people might see their own youth reflected in their pot-smoking Liberal hero.

Either these various entreaties into various voter bases mean something, which is possible, or they mean nothing, which is possible. Asking people how they’ll vote in the middle of the summer, two years from an election, is a fool’s game. But for five days in August, matched against a prime minister’s high-profile trip to Canada’s north, Trudeau stood out. Everyone’s talking about him. Who’s talking about the Leader of the Official Opposition?

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a Senate committee’s urgent recommendation that old rail tankers be retired as soon as possible. The National Post fronts a father’s disbelief that his son, a suspect in the Bulgarian bus bombing that killed five Israelis, could commit such a crime. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a report that confirms eight of nine bullets fired at 18-year-old Sammy Yatim hit the teenager’s body. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a European company’s disappearance after agreeing to provide the Canadian military with submarine technology worth $1 million already paid by the navy. iPolitics fronts the gradual acceptance of the sustainable food movement by mainstream retailers and producers. CBC.ca leads with uncertainty about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s intention to run in another federal election. CTV News leads with tension in Egypt as supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi prepare large protests. National Newswatch showcases Greg Weston’s CBC story about Harper’s uncertain future.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Surveillance. Last year, police requested permission to conduct surveillance fewer times than in previous years, but spent more time conducting the surveillance once it was approved.2. Nunavut. Premier Eve Aariak says her territory is the last Canadian jurisdiction not to have control over its own natural resources, a situation she’d like to change as soon as possible.
3. Spying. Robert Decary, the outgoing watchdog of Canada’s national spy agency, says poor and incomplete record-keeping prevented him from concluding the agency didn’t spy on Canadians.4. Wireless. Four NDP MPs wrote to the chair of the Commons industry committee to force a meeting that would debate the merits of the government’s upcoming wireless spectrum auction.
5. Polio. The disease that’s eradicated in most of the world has experienced a resurgence on two continents: in Somalia, and in a part of Pakistan where a warlord forbade vaccinations.6. Peru. Archaeologists in a northern province confirmed that pre-Hispanic societies were ruled by women, a revelation bolstered by the uncovering of burial tombs holding female bodies.