Weekend Posted: Some great stories you may have missed

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Somehow, to our absolute astonishment, it’s already December. A few weeks back, we recall suggesting everyone try to get an early start on their Christmas shopping. Needless to say, we did not take our own advice, and will be scampering around town tomorrow trying to find gifts.

POILIEVRE RIDING THE WAVE

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Upstarts are winning elections and right-wing parties, even those considered hard-right, are rising in the polls. Just look at Argentinian president-elect Javier Milei or the possibility of the Dutch anti-immigrant populist Geert Wilders forming government. In Canada, Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative party, is riding the same wave — often described as a populist moment, but perhaps more of an “anti-incumbent” moment. Stuart Thomson, the National Post’s parliamentary bureau chief, writes that Poilievre is on the verge of power at a time when younger voters have turned away from liberalism, because the economy seems to have left them behind. “If it’s true that many Canadians feel left behind in the new global economy and agree with the Conservative leader that the country is broken it may not be long before the global wave hits Canadian shores,” Thomson writes.

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I WORKED AT A SAFE-INJECTION SITE GONE ROGUE

Security guards outside of The South Riverdale Community Health Centre in Leslieville where local resident Carolina Huber-Makurat was killed by a stray bullet across the street during an altercation, Friday August 18, 2023.
Peter J. Thompson/National Post Photo by Peter J. Thompson/National Post

Tara Riley says she worked as hard as she could to keep drug dealers away from the safe-injection site in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. Speaking to Derek Finkle, who wrote earlier this year that harm reduction had destroyed his community, Riley, gives her first-person account of working at a safe-injection site at South Riverdale Community Health Centre that was anything but safe. People brought stolen goods. Drug dealers prowled. Colleagues overdosed. And, tragically, Karolina Huebner-Makurat was killed in a gunfight between drug dealers. “I was constantly going outside and telling my clients not to shoot up there. I would often say, ‘Do you realize you can be arrested out here?’ The truth was, though, this became less and less of a possibility as time went on. Police were not allowed inside the building unless they spoke to a manager. It was frowned upon for me to speak to them,” said Riley.

DEAR DIARY

In the weekly satirical feature Dear Diary, the National Post re-imagines a week in the life of a newsmaker. This week, Tristin Hopper takes an imagined journey into the mind of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s Versace tote bag: I myself am a potential symbol of this austerity. Any number of Prada or Louis Vuitton bags retail at higher prices to my own. While I do not like to consider it, there remains the possibility that I was Mr. Singh’s “budget” choice.

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ET CETERA

  • If you’re looking for a home in Toronto, this hotel might be a better deal than renting an apartment. The Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites is offering rooms for rent for about $2,000 a month. That may sound steep, but the average one bedroom in Toronto is more like $2,600.
  • The union that represents York University teaching assistants and contract faculty is pushing for a strike mandate, wanting an increase in wages. The union says some employees are resorting to the food bank to feed themselves and their families.
  • Both medicinal and recreational cannabis is legal in Canada. But, for whatever reason, veterinarians are forbidden from using the drug to treat their furry, feathery or scaly patients. Vets say cannabis can be used to treat everything from anxiety to joint pain in aging animals.

SNAPSHOT

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This isn’t quite the gloomiest Christmas photo of all time, but it certainly doesn’t scream “holiday spirit.” Presumably, these trussed up trees for sale in southwestern France will be taken to warm homes, decorated and absolutely ooze festive cheer.  Thibaud Moritz/AFP via Getty Images Photo by THIBAUD MORITZ /AFP via Getty Images

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