How Toronto’s Papers Covered Trump’s New Travel Ban and International Women’s Day
Not everyone is excited about International Women's Day.
In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.
International Women’s Day is tomorrow (March 8) and this year’s festivities in the United States include a general organized strike (“A Day Without a Woman”) and another massive women’s march on Washington, big disruptive events taking place against the backdrop of President Trump’s revised Muslim travel ban and troubling plans to separate illegal immigrants from their children when apprehended at the Mexican border. This could be a fiery week for news, and the heat is on for Toronto’s daily newspapers to give their readers the goods this morning.
The Globe and Mail
The Globe‘s top story this morning is Ottawa’s decision to distinguish itself from America’s new attitude towards relations with Russia and stick with our original commitment to deploy Canadian Armed Forces in Ukraine, a decision Moscow is not pleased about. (Trump is rumoured to have demanded that the 2016 Republican party platform excise a commitment to support Ukrainian independence, a possible hint that America would now recognize Russia’s claims to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula). The Globe also reports on Trump’s revised executive order on barring citizens of some Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States (this revised order drops Iraq from the list of banned nations and is supposedly less sweeping in scope, but critics expect this order is just as Islamophobic and unconstitutional as the one previously gunned down by the federal courts). The paper also provides updates on two of their long-running front page obsessions: the fundraising tactics of the British Columbia Liberal Party, and new prescription standards introduced in Alberta and B.C. to counter the growing opiate crisis plaguing the two western provinces.
The National Post is curiously urging its readers this morning to not weigh themselves anymore with the headline “Don’t Get On The Scales,” saying the courts have ruled that a person’s weight is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Oddly, the Post buries the context for this news: this ruling pertains to drunk driving cases, where the police attempted to weigh a suspect during a field sobriety test. The Post summarizes Trump’s new travel ban in anodyne language the administration would prefer to hear from the media, quoting Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the subhed that the order provides “a necessary pause” to better determine the overall immigration process and not as a, well, Muslim Ban. And contrarian conservative columnist Colby Cosh writes about Hamilton City Council’s recent decision to lift a decades-old ban on kids street hockey, which Cosh commends as the right thing to do even though he feels it doesn’t matter and makes no difference to anyone, a curmudgeonly conceit common in columns conceived by the cantankerous Colby Cosh.
The Star‘s coverage of Trump’s revised travel ban is more critical of the executive order than that of the Globe or the Post, emphasizing one immediate effect it would have on this country: permanent residents of Canada with citizenship from the six countries Trump’s order identifies would now be denied entry to the United States unless they applied for a waiver that “may” be granted on a “case-by-case” basis. The Star‘s main front page feature today is on “The future of feminism,” with six profiles of Toronto women and their insights on the next steps for the feminist movement on the eve of the big march on Washington tomorrow. And Edward Keenan celebrates Toronto’s 183rd birthday and coins a new word (Deseptimodecimobicentennial) to mark the occasion; he finds much to love in Tourism Toronto’s new “The Views Are Different Here” promotional campaign that launched yesterday.
Metro is also pumped for International Women’s Day with the feature “How To Build A City For Women” that offers constructive suggestions on civic design improvements like brighter streetlights, wider sidewalks, and more statues and street names that honour the contributions of women in our history. But an incident over the weekend offering a sharp reminder of how much work is to be done also makes Metro‘s front page, about the social media firestorm when local actress Wendy Olunike Adeliyi tried to see a film at the Kingsway Theatre; the theatre staff refused to sell her a ticket if she wouldn’t remove her backpack, and the manager wound up calling the police to enforce the situation. Columnist Vicky Mochama says it’s no small thing for the black community to have the threat of police involvement invoked arbitrarily.
Night Scrawler Joe Warmington lands the big front page story on the Sun this morning, in his piece about the Toronto Police Association’s claims that there is a growing exodus of the rank-and-file from the force, claiming burnout and demoralization as the main reasons for transferring to other regions or leaving policing outright. Columnist Mark Bonokoski thinks Trump’s weird claims over the weekend that former President Obama had wiretaps on the phones at Trump Tower may have some merit, because of course he does.
This week’s winner: The Star wins this week’s Front Page Challenge for providing Page One details for how Canada will actually be impacted by Trump’s travel ban, and for providing advance coverage of tomorrow’s historic IWD protests.
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