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Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney pauses while speaking following the announcement of the $60 million Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney pauses while speaking following the announcement of the $60 million Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics Briefing

France to name Mulroney to Legion of Honour Add to ...

POLITICS BRIEFING

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By Chris Hannay (@channay)

Brian Mulroney is set for more international recognition next month: he’ll be named a commander in the French Legion of Honour on Dec. 6.

The award is France’s highest honour, established in 1802 by Napoleon. A statement from the office of the French ambassador to Canada says Mr. Mulroney is being recognized for increasing ties between Canada and France, and for the international promotion of French culture.

Mr. Mulroney is the first former Canadian prime minister to receive the honour, which had been previously given to some Quebec premiers. Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein had been named to a lower rank in the legion.

Late last year, Mr. Mulroney was appointed a gold member of the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo, South Africa’s highest honour for foreign citizens, to recognize his work fighting apartheid. Last month, St. Francis Xavier University announced the creation of the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> The Liberals will announce this morning they are introducing changes to the Criminal Code, which unfairly targeted gay and lesbian Canadians. As well, Edmonton MP Randy Boissonnault has been tasked with the nature of the apology and redress to Canadians convicted for being gay or who lost government jobs because of it. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said they will move on the apology, but the government is still working out the scope.

> Mr. Trudeau is pitching Canada as a safe place for investors to put their money amid international uncertainty from, among other things, the election of Donald Trump in the United States.

> The Prime Minister is now headed to Cuba.

> The federal government is changing the immigration points system to make it easier to bring in students and highly skilled workers.

> Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says it’s up to troops to decide whether they want to take mefloquine, an antimalarial drug that Health Canada is warning could cause permanent brain damage.

> Both government and opposition benches are threatening a procedural war in the House over financial bills.

> A Liberal MP has apologized for incorrectly saying he was a “professional engineer” during last year’s campaign.

> And Canadians say they’d be happy to pay more taxes to get better health care, according to a new poll.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Kevin Cokley (Globe and Mail): “The rejection of multiculturalism appears to have come home to roost in the United States. In Ms. Clinton’s concession speech she characterized her campaign as “hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.” Many of us believed an inclusive campaign that promoted an optimistic message which embraced people of colour, women, Muslims and people with disabilities would be victorious over a campaign that disparaged these groups. We were wrong. Trump rejected attempts to moderate his language as ‘political correctness.’ ”

Gillian Steward (Toronto Star): “For despite government leaders moving ahead with climate change action plans that include carbon levies, shuttered coal plants, more renewable energy, it’s hard to see at this point how and when the old jobs, many of which have already disappeared because of the plunge in the price of oil, are going to be replaced by newer and better jobs.”

Nik Nanos (Globe and Mail): “It was the perfect storm: a Democratic Party looking to extend a third presidential term; an America still scarred by the Great Recession and the housing bust; and, very importantly, Twitter. Whether one loves or hates it, Twitter helped Mr. Trump get elected.”

André Picard (Globe and Mail): “As momentum builds for soda taxes, the question is: Will taxes reduce consumption and, if so, will it make a difference to people’s health? The theory – and the early evidence – is a cautionary yes.”

David Tanovich (Globe and Mail): “By bringing Trump values into his courtroom, Justice Zabel has caused significant harm to the integrity and repute of the administration of justice in Ontario. It is conduct that has the potential to irreparably shake public confidence in the judiciary if not properly addressed.”

Paul Wells (Toronto Star): “Trudeau has made few changes to the tax structure he inherited from Stephen Harper, which was delivering the lowest government revenue as a share of GDP since John Diefenbaker was prime minister. But he has made substantial changes to Ottawa’s spending habits – he’s doing more of it – and he would like to spend a lot more still. The result is deficits, but they will be much larger if Trudeau can’t find something to plug the gap between Diefenbaker revenues and Trudeau ambition. The hope is that these men and women who sit atop the world’s largest pension funds and investment portfolios will come to view Canada as a good place to store their plugs.”

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