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The JP&N goes one-on-one with Pierre Poilievre

By BERNIE BELLAN (Note: This article first appeared in the June 7, 2023 issue of the JP&N, but our website was under reconstruction, so it didn’t appear here until July 5.)

In the waning days of the 2015 federal election I was one of a small group of journalists representing “ethnic media” that was invited to meet with then-PM Stephen Harper. I agreed to attend.
Frankly, I wondered though, what was I doing there? After all, Harper had a well-known disdain for journalists and I wasn’t especially keen at the notion that I would be representing an “ethnic” publication which, I thought, was so parochial. Further, the Conservatives were clearly in trouble at the time. Why else was the publisher of a small Jewish newspaper who would, under any other circumstance, not be invited to meet with the prime minister of the country now being asked to meet with him?
As a result, when I wrote about that meeting, I titled my piece “My accidental meeting with Stephen Harper.” (That piece was picked up by the CBC and posted to its website. I guess the CBC couldn’t resist taking one final poke at a PM who had long held them in disdain – by publishing my somewhat sarcastic piece.)
And so, on Wednesday, May 31, when I received an invitation to conduct a one-on-one interview with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre on Friday, June 2 (over the phone) – well, again, I was somewhat skeptical. We’re in the midst of a byelelection in which the Jewish vote in Winnipeg South Centre might be pivotal though, which would help to explain the logic in reaching out to a journalist who normally wouldn’t get the time of day from the Leader of the Opposition.
I was asked in advance what kinds of questions I might like to ask, but I was very general in my response, saying that I’d like to ask about climate change, Pierre Poilievre’s support for the convoy that laid siege to Ottawa in 2022, and abortion. The person who had contacted me didn’t say that I couldn’t ask about any of those subjects, which didn’t really surprise me, since Poilievre is an excellent debater and would surely be able to handle himself easily with the likes of me.
As it was, I did manage to get in all the questions that I had in mind – along with one more relating to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
Here is the interview:
JP&N: I’ve got to tell you before we begin to chat – you were on my street with Joyce Bateman in 2015 when she was running for re-election and you were helping her run. I met you. I remember you were wearing a black suit and a white shirt and it was a Saturday and I was thinking “You’re overdressed for this.”
Poilievre: Oh my goodness. Was it summer?
JP&N: Well, the election was in October, so it might’ve been in September, but it was a warm day. I wonder – are you dressed for the weather we’re having today (over 30 degrees when we spoke), or are you still wearing a suit?
Poilievre: I’m wearing a dress shirt and luluemons. They’re comfortable but not quite light enough for a day like this.
JP&N: Anyway, I was told I can ask you any questions I’d like, but I know you’re pretty fast on your feet so I don’t think I can corner you. Let me ask you this: Given the weather we’re experiencing and the conditions across the country, what would you say in answer to the question: “Do you believe in climate change, first of all? Do you believe it’s a reality?”
Poilievre: Yes
JP&N: Okay, but what about lessening the use of fossil fuels and drilling for oil? Does this change your thinking in any way – what we’re experiencing now?
Poilievre: I think we have to reduce emissions, which is different, so we will continue using hydrocarbons for everything from asphalt to plastics to medical equipment to components in electric cars for at least generations, and possibly centuries to come. The challenge is how to reduce the emissions into the atmosphere and the answer to that is you produce energy with less emissions, so that for instance in Alberta and Saskatchewan they’re investing in carbon capture and storage, which puts industrial emissions back in the ground where they came from.
You know, so power in the oil sands sustains emissions-free nuclear power instead of coal-fired electricity. We can speed up nuclear power production. It doesn’t take 15 years to get a big plant built; it can be done in five.
Fast- tracking hydroelectric dams in places like Manitoba, Quebec, and British Columbia to allow us more affordable, green emissions-free electricity.
We can incentivize large industrial corporations to reduce their emissions with a carb tax on their emissions so that they’re forced to reinvest in technology if they don’t bring their emissions down. The key here is investing in technologies to bring down the cost of carbon free alternatives rather than bringing up the cost of traditional energy that we still require.
JP&N: I’ll admit, the readership of our newspaper skews older, but a lot of our readers are as concerned about global warming as younger generations, but for younger generations – they’re so engrossed with what’s going on now, what can you say to them about the future because, quite frankly, the Conservative Party has aligned itself with the forces that would continue drilling for oil and continue building pipelines. What would you say to the younger generation – and the older generations that are also very concerned about that?
Poilievre: I would ask: “What is their alternative?” The world is going to continue to consume between 60 and 100 million barrels of oil a day for at least the next two decades, according to the International Energy Agency, so where do you want that oil to come from? Canada, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia? I want it to come from Canada and why not incentivize to grow greener, to reinvest in lowering emissions so that we have the lowest emitting barrel of oil on planet Earth? That’s the common sense solution. You can shut down our energy sector tomorrow. It’ll just mean more oil will come from Russia – where they have no climate change standards.
JP&N: Except that the oil sands are one of the dirtiest sources of oil on Earth.
Poilievre: No, not at all. Actually the oil sands have dramatically reduced their emissions from each barrel of oil. Alberta has had some of the most aggressive emission reductions policies for two decades that have worked through the “tier” program – the technology in a program that requires them to meet targets and, if they don’t, they have to contribute to a technology fund that all businesses can draw from to reduce emissions.
They also have an alliance of the five biggest oil companies that have drawn up a plan to get to net zero in the next several decades that is well advanced of almost all the oil producing countries in the world.
JP&N: Okay, the time is limited and we’ve been dwelling on this issue, so I want to switch gears and talk about what is undoubtedly going to be a wedge issue between you and the Liberals, which is the issue of abortion. I know the Liberals are looking forward to trying to trap the Conservatives in some way – I don’t know if that’s the right word, but does the Conservative Party have a unilateral position on abortion or is it left to each member to vote their conscience on that?
Poilievre: A Poilievre-led government will not have any laws restricting abortion, period.
JP&N: So if an individual member wants to bring it up as a private member’s motion, would you allow it?
Poilievre: No such bill would pass and no such bill has come from a Conservative MP – to ban abortion – in the 17 years that I’ve been a Member of Parliament, I’ve never seen that happen.
You know, a lot of people fear monger about it, but I’ve never seen it happen, so no such bill would pass.
JP&N: Another issue – perhaps it’s yesterday’s issue, but it still relates to the tone you adopted when you came out to greet the members of the (truckers’) convoy in Ottawa. Do you have any misgivings about having done that?
Poilievre: I think we had a group of people that had lost their jobs because the Prime Minister brought in unscientific and unnecessary mandates on the people who are least likely to spread a virus. A person sitting in a truck all day – we called these people heroes for two years while they brought us our goods and services across the border.
All of us were comfortable in our homes. These people were on icy highways bringing the essentials that kept us alive and suddenly, and inexplicably, Trudeau broke his own promise that the vaccines would be voluntary. He hit them with a mandate and took away their jobs, so they came to the nation’s capital to try to get their jobs back and I supported them in that.
I do regret the nasty, divisive approach the Prime Minister took. It was a political opportunity to divide people. What he really wanted to do is make you afraid of your trucker, forget about the fact you can’t pay your rent, you can’t pay your mortgage, you can’t afford groceries, the streets are more dangerous. Forget about all that and focus on the scary guy who delivers your food and your medicine in a truck. Maybe it was a successful political strategy but it was a terrible way to divide our people.
I’ll be a prime minister who unites our people, brings everyone together. That includes hard working truckers and others. What we need right now is less division and more unity.
JP&N: If you have a little bit more time, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you a question that’s close to the hearts and minds of a lot of Jews, especially in Winnipeg South Centre, which has one of the highest proportion of Jewish voters in the country.
Stephen Harper was here two weeks ago speaking at our Jewish National Fund Negev Gala and came out, as expected, four score in support of Israel. I wouldn’t expect anything different from you, but I’m wondering, what would you say to Jews who would like to see Israelis and Palestinians brought together in a way that maybe hasn’t been done? Do you have any ideas on how to do that?
Poilievre: Yes, I do. In fact, it’s a big priority of mine. I think there’s a lot of common ground between Israelis and Palestinians and one area in which Conservatives can help is by encouraging more trade and commerce between Palestinians and Israelis.
The Israeli economy is probably the most entrepreneurial in the entire world. If not – a close second to Singapore. And Palestinians are desperate for an opportunity to feed their families and to build a better future. I think if we – Canada – can assist in bringing together Palestinians and Israelis that share a common economic purpose to reduce poverty and desperation and division, I think it could create the foundation for a lasting peace. That’s how I’d like to proceed.

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How Live Casino Dealers Enhance Your Gaming Experience

In the booming online gaming world, live casino dealers stand out as the bridge between the virtual and the real. They bring the physical casino’s authenticity and excitement to your screen, creating a more immersive and engaging experience. But how exactly do live casino dealers enhance your gaming experience?

From fostering a social atmosphere to increasing trust in online games, these professionals make gaming sessions more enjoyable and genuine.

Real-time Interaction

Real-time interaction revolutionizes the online gaming industry, particularly in live casinos. By leveraging advanced streaming technology, live casino dealers can engage with players just as they would in a traditional casino environment.

This dynamic interaction enhances the gaming experience by fostering a sense of presence and camaraderie. Through chat features and live video feeds, players can communicate with the dealer and even with other participants, creating an immersive and social atmosphere.

The role of the live dealer is crucial, as their real-time responses and professional demeanour elevate the authenticity and enjoyment of the game. This interactive experience makes the games more exciting. It instills greater trust and transparency, replicating the feel of a brick-and-mortar casino from the comfort of home.

Enhanced Trust and Transparency

Trust is essential in online casinos as it dramatically impacts players’ peace of mind. Gamblers look for confidence that their selected platform is dependable, safe, and runs transparently and fairly.

Online casinos build trust and transparency by acquiring proper licensing, offering secure transactions, ensuring fair play, and providing high-quality customer service. Moreover, other online casinos introduce live casino games with live dealers to enhance trust and transparency.

In addition to real-time interactions, live dealers can interact with the players like in brick-and-mortar casinos. Players can ask questions, make comments, and receive immediate responses, fostering a sense of community and reliability.

This interaction mimics the social aspects of land-based casinos, where players can gauge the dealer’s demeanour and professionalism, thus bolstering their confidence in the game’s integrity.

Additionally, live dealer games are often overseen by regulatory bodies and broadcast from high-quality, secured studios, adding another level of accountability. Multiple camera angles and advanced streaming technology ensure every action is visible and transparent, diminishing potential fraud concerns.

Professional and Entertaining Conduct

Professional conduct is the backbone of any successful live casino. Dealers who are well-trained in the game’s rules, adept at handling cards or other gaming equipment, and capable of managing the game flow efficiently create a seamless gaming experience.

They also uphold the principles of fairness and transparency, providing players with peace of mind that the game is being conducted properly.

Beyond professionalism, a dealer’s entertainment ability sets a live casino apart from its online counterparts. Engaging dealers who interact with players, share witty banter, and maintain a lively atmosphere can transform a simple game into a memorable event.

Their charisma and energy help to foster a social environment, encouraging interaction between players and setting the stage for a more immersive experience.

The best live casino dealers master the delicate balance between professionalism and entertainment. They effortlessly shift from explaining complex game rules to keeping the mood light and engaging. This balance ensures players feel respected and entertained, enhancing their satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits.

Varied Game Options

The success of online casinos heavily depends on the calibre and diversity of their game offerings. In the fiercely competitive online gambling industry, casinos must provide a wide range of top-notch games to draw in and keep their players engaged.

One essential reason online casinos need a diverse game selection is to keep players interested and entertained. Another advantage of offering a wide range of games is that it meets players’ diverse preferences. Gamblers have unique tastes, motivations, and gaming styles.

That said, live casino dealers are trained to handle multiple game types, ensuring players enjoy various gaming options.

Their professionalism and capability allow seamless transitions between games, keeping the gaming environment dynamic and engaging. This variety caters to seasoned gamblers seeking depth and strategy and welcomes newcomers eager to explore and learn.

Moreover, live dealers often introduce unique game variants and themed events that you might not find in a traditional online casino. These unique offerings can include everything from high-stakes poker tournaments to themed game nights featuring popular TV shows or movie franchises, enhancing the gaming experience.

Personalized Gaming Experience

Another key benefit of having live casino dealers is the personalized gaming experience they provide. Dealers are trained to cater to each player’s unique preferences and behaviours, making adjustments and offering insights that make each session feel exclusive.

Their friendly demeanour and professional approach ensure that the games run smoothly and that players feel valued and entertained.

Moreover, the live casino setup often includes multiple camera angles and high-definition streaming, ensuring players don’t miss a moment of the action. This level of engagement and transparency boosts player confidence and trust in the game’s fairness, further enriching the overall experience.

Conclusion

Live casino dealers significantly enhance the online gaming experience by bringing authenticity, interaction, trust, and entertainment. With varied game options and the ability for personalization, players can enjoy a casino experience that closely mirrors the excitement of playing in a physical casino.

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Is There Enough Time Before Summer to Get a Summer Body?

Do you think there’s enough time to get a summer body before the height of summer? Of course! If you start right now, you still have two months before August, which we’d class as the height of summer. Two months is enough time to make good progress and see some changes that’d make you look and feel incredible.

Read on to find out more.

Lean Diet and Lifting Weights

It’s the part that nobody likes to think about – the hard work. Yes, if you want to get a summer body before summer, you must be ultra-strict with your lean diet and lifting weights, with a sprinkle of cardio. Combining a lean diet with weight training forms the basis for your summer body.

If you’re ultra-strict with your diet and training four or five times a week, there’s a massive difference you can make, especially if you get your training plan spot on. You can also speed up the process with supplements – supplements will be your best friend! Check out Canadian Made Labs (canadianmadelabs.com) for example, to find the best supplement for you.

Stick to eating whole, unprocessed foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Reducing refined sugars and unhealthy fats will help you lose fat and build muscle. Swap your sweet snack for 0% low-fat Greek yogurt, granola, honey, and mixed fruits, and you’ve already made a massive difference to your diet and outcomes. And it tastes good!

Weight training is equally essential for muscle development, metabolism, and how quickly your physique changes. Focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscles for maximum results.

Hybrid Training

Hybrid training works well. If you’ve got some fat to trim, cardio is essential. Don’t worry, you don’t need to run. A moderate-paced walk on a steeper incline can burn more calories than running, is more enjoyable for most people, and won’t leave you gasping for breath. The stair master is another good cardio machine for a quick blast that will leave you gasping for breath but feeling good.

If you really want to make quick changes, do high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT workouts consist of short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief periods of low-intensity exercise or rest.

This form of workout can help you lose body fat within a short period compared to steady-state cardio exercise, for example – a 20-minute session doing these intervals may benefit you more than one hour of slow walking. Apparently, you can burn 40% more body fat with HIIT. And what’s 20 minutes of sweating and suffering if you want quick gains?

Psychological Resilience and Self-Control

It doesn’t only involve physical fitness; mental strength and willpower also play a huge role in achieving a perfect summer body. Discipline and a positive mindset are necessary for maintaining focus on one’s goals. Set achievable targets, and understand that progress takes time. If you’re ever lacking motivation, pick the body you want and imagine it in your mind. Tell yourself, over and over, that you need that body. In times of low motivation, reminding yourself repetitively of the body you want can make a big difference.

Consistency in the eating plan and daily training will encourage habits that can become part of you. And, don’t only measure your progress through weight or inches alone but also how good you feel physically and mentally.

It’s time to think about your summer body…because you’re running out of time. Start today and see what difference you can make by August!

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Want to know about a a Muslim Arab state that’s been “occupied” by another Muslim Arab state? Read about Western Sahara

Contributed by DOMINIC MARTIN Did you know that a mere four hour flight from London lies a self-proclaimed Arab state chafing under a decades-long occupation? And that their haughty overlords, motivated in part by dubious historical claims to the land, partly by naked territorial aggrandizement, annually encourages thousands of its settlers to move in and tilt the demographic balance in its favour? And all this with the tacit support of its Western allies, and in blatant violation of numerous UN resolutions? Meanwhile the indigenous inhabitants of this land are left to eke out a threadbare existence in the arid scraps left to them, whilst many more languish in refugee camps in neighbouring states. And yet, undaunted, this oppressed people fight on, standing proudly under their red, green, white and black flag. Their occupiers, in a move equal parts desperation and exasperation, have resorted to constructing an enormous barrier across the entirety of the territory, de facto annexing the choicest areas to the ‘motherland’.

I talk of course of Western Sahara, or the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic if you prefer (Morocco, which has occupied the bulk of this former Spanish colony in north-west Africa since 1975, prefers the term ‘Southern Provinces’). Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Despite lying just 60 miles east of the Canary Islands, this Britain-sized slab of rock and desert occupies a position in the average Westerner’s imagination somewhere between East Timor and Ambazonia. There are no weekly protests in support of the oppressed Sahrawi people, no calls to boycott Moroccan goods, no ICC court case against Morocco, and no ceaseless stream of hand-wringing pity pieces for the Sahrawis in the left-leaning media.

Why not? Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, right? Those on the progressive left endlessly tell us that their support for the Palestinian cause is due solely for their compassion for an oppressed people – ‘you don’t have to be Muslim/Arab to support Palestine, just human’, as the phrase de jour goes. Yet Western Sahara? Crickets. This is perplexing – after all, it has all the right ingredients; if anything, it offers a far more clear-cut case than Palestine, given that the Polisario Front (Western Sahara’s answer to the PLO) has refrained from terrorist attacks on civilians and focuses its armed struggle solely against Moroccan military targets, and therefore doesn’t require the kind of awkward moral hedging demanded by supporters of the Palestinians.

And yet Western Sahara is comprehensively ignored. Its flag emoji has failed to take its place next to the EU, Ukraine and trans flags in the Twitter and Instagram bios of the right-on set. Could it be that this intra-Arab dispute between two Muslim peoples who look the same and speak the same language simply lacks the gravitas and high-stakes excitement of the Arab-Israeli imbroglio? That this dispute over a remote desert fastness, whose main exports are fish and a bit of phosphate, is simply not sexy enough? (Even Lonely Planet, usually a-gush with fawning admiration for the most dangerous and dusty ‘up and coming’ developing world destinations, calls it “featureless, arid, inhospitable and uninviting.”) Is it possible that despite the evident wrongs committed against the long-suffering Sahrawi people, that the slacktivist set simply don’t care? It certainly seems that way, which would suggest to this author at least that their support for Palestine represents for the most part less a genuine outpouring of righteous fury against injustice, than a performative display of allegiance to ‘the current thing’. Having long since grown bored of the grim trench warfare in Ukraine, this is now the sole foreign policy issue on which our progressive panjandrums absolutely insist that one must take a stand. The only other similar dispute which even comes close is the moribund ‘Free Tibet’ movement, which has long since fizzled out as its supporters realised the futility of protesting the regime in Beijing.

We are often told that the world doesn’t care about Palestine, that “Palestinian blood is very cheap” as former Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf put it. Yet the complete opposite is in fact the case. No other foreign policy issue attracts as much international attention as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and no other ‘national liberation’ struggle attracts as much foreign support as that of the Palestinians. Would a major flare up of fighting in Western Sahara be capable of swinging a British by-election, as happened recently in Rochdale? Hardly.

So, that’s the progressives. Meanwhile the vociferous rage of their erstwhile allies in the Islamic ‘ummah’ is perhaps at first glance more understandable, their religious sensibilities understandably inflamed at seeing Muslims dying by the score, and at the hands of the infidel no less. Yet even here we see a similar double standard at play. Where has been the outrage at other violent oppression committed against Muslims, such as China’s brutal suppression of the Uighurs, Burma’s genocidal attacks against the Rohingya, or the Alawite Assad regime’s brutal bloodbath in Syria? To say nothing of the tens of thousands of deaths caused by intra-Muslim civil wars in Yemen, Sudan or Iraq? It’s hard not to notice that Muslims generally ignore those issues and reserve especial ire for Israel and Israel alone. Ad for Western Sahara – it doesn’t even get a look in. It would seem that Laayoune, Dakhla or Boujdour simply lack the heady religious allure of Jerusalem, Jenin or Jericho. It would seem that some Muslim lives are worth more than others.

At some point the brutal fighting in Gaza will come to an end. The rent-a-protestors will find a new trend to get excited about. It is quite likely that we will see yet another international push to reanimate the interminable Arab-Israeli ‘peace process’. Forget potential nuclear war in Korea or Kashmir, or the slow-motion implosion of Myanmar – the entire weight of the world’s efforts and attention will once again be bought to bear on the great, grand cause of creating a corrupt, authoritarian (if not outright Islamist) Palestinian statelet in the Middle East. And when that happens, spare a thought if you will for the Sahrawis, as they waste away in their desert shantytowns. After all, no one else will.

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