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B.C. Liberals’ pile of surplus cash masks serious deficit in services

JUSTINE HUNTER

On Monday, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong will make his regular pilgrimage to the Olde Towne Shoe Repair shop in Victoria, where he will pick up his resoled budget shoes. He’ll have another merry exchange with cobbler Mike Waterman, who runs a lean, no-frills operation featuring a non-electric cash register that should be in a museum.

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Trump’s plan to ‘tweak’ NAFTA a big question mark for Canadian trade

CAMPBELL CLARK

What’s in a tweak? That question has to linger after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to the White House and got just about everything he could reasonably hope for out of a visit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

We’re not the trade target. Reciprocal trade is important to both countries, Mr. Trump said, and he wants a “stronger trading relationship” with Canada. Bad things have happened with Mexico, but when it comes to Canada, he’s just looking to “tweak” the North American free-trade agreement.

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Pre-election theatre aside in B.C., there’s still a government to run

Justine Hunter

The B.C. legislature will be recalled on Tuesday for a pre-election session that promises to be dominated by campaign theatre. The governing BC Liberals will have their Throne Speech and budget, and one or two signature bills crafted for maximum voter appeal. The opposition will take every available opportunity inside and outside of the House to persuade voters that they have better ideas.

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Furor over Trump’s Supreme Court pick signals new era of U.S. politics

DAVID SHRIBMAN

Only rarely do the three separate, equal and sometimes-conflicting branches of the U.S. government converge on one political issue, but this winter’s collision over President Donald Trump’s selection to fill a Supreme Court vacancy has engulfed them all in a high-stakes conflict that illuminates the emerging new politics in the United States today.

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Which Trump will Trudeau meet on Washington visit?

CAMPBELL CLARK

The Canadian government is doing all the traditional things to foster relations with Donald Trump, reaching out to cabinet counterparts quickly and trying to find common ground. But there’s one key thing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can’t know: which Donald Trump he is going to get.

After all the legwork that Canadian ministers have done in Washington, will it be a President who reflects the new administration’s friendly words about Canada, or the President who picked a fight with Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull?

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Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch may be most traditional choice he’s made

DAVID SHRIBMAN

President Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Tuesday evening was unveiled with show-business flair and reality-show mystery, but amounted to a cloistered whisper compared with the chaotic shouts that the new President has hurled across the American political landscape since his inauguration less than two weeks ago.

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Washington prepares for battle over Supreme Court pick

David Shribman

Donald J. Trump, who in a year-long presidential campaign reshaped American politics and who in a week in the White House has reshaped the American profile in trade, health care and immigration, is about to give shape to American law – and, with it, American society and culture – for decades.

Mr. Trump is expected to announce his choice Tuesday night to fill a rare vacancy on the Supreme Court, which now is divided evenly between four Democrats and four Republicans. The three apparent finalists for the job are all regarded as conservatives, reflecting the new President’s campaign pledge to select a jurist who would replicate the intellectual vigour and ideological instincts of Antonin Scalia, the strict constructionist and devout conservative who died a year ago.

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Proposal to revive Taseko mine looms as test for B.C. government

JUSTINE HUNTER

The Tsilhqot’in First Nation played host to federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett on Friday, wrapping up her visit to their territory in B.C.’s Interior with a signing ceremony committing the two governments to reconciliation. It’s a well-timed pact, as both sides will be in court together on Monday, fighting the latest effort by Taseko Mines Ltd. to revive its proposed $1.5-billion New Prosperity open-pit gold and copper mine project.

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Trump’s negotiation tactic for NAFTA? Creating chaos

CAMPBELL CLARK

With Donald Trump, it’s hard to tell the difference between a negotiating tactic and a move that marks the end of North American trade as we know it.

For Mexico, they’re probably starting to feel like the same thing. Mr. Trump’s threat Thursday of a 20-per-cent tariff on all Mexican imports was menacing to the country’s economy, and, if the U.S. President follows through, it will kill the North American free-trade agreement.

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Trump plan to fund Mexico wall likely to draw strong opposition

DAVID SHRIBMAN

It began perhaps as no more than an impulse, part of his newly acquired role as the agent provocateur of American politics. It caused a sensation, as it was intended to do, and many political professionals thought it would fall away in the breezes of an autumn presidential drive, one more leaf signifying a titillating but ultimately meaningless campaign promise. But there was something to the idea of building a wall across the Mexican border, and making Mexico pay for it, that appealed to Donald Trump and, what is more, that appealed to Mr. Trump’s growing group of followers.

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