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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a town hall meeting in Ottawa on Dec. 16. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a town hall meeting in Ottawa on Dec. 16. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics Briefing

Inside Justin Trudeau’s Prime Minister’s Office Add to ...

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In case you missed it this weekend, The Globe and Mail published a rare look inside the Prime Minister’s inner circle, the people who have the key positions in his office so far. And learn more from Jane Taber’s in-depth profile (for subscribers) of Katie Telford, Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff and top adviser.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS MORNING

By Chris Hannay (@channay)

> A group of Syrian refugees and Canadians welcoming them were pepper-sprayed by a lone man on a bicycle outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre in Vancouver Friday night. Police are calling it a “hate-motivated” crime. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who represents a Vancouver riding, said: “The true Canadian way is when we welcome other human beings who are going to make a wonderful living in Canada, and I’m proud to be part of that. The majority of Canadians think the same way.”

> Ottawa says it will release a redacted version of its human rights assessment of Saudi Arabia.

> A former Toronto deputy police chief says only licensed firms should be allowed to grow marijuana once it’s legalized.

> Advocacy groups are awaiting details of just what the Liberal government will spend on “social infrastructure.”

> Morale at Shared Services Canada, tasked with consolidating the federal government’s massive IT infrastructure, is “very poor,” sources tell The Hill Times. (Presumably the IT problems are more complicated than just turning it off and on again.)

> And Justin Trudeau has returned to Ottawa (a balmy –11 this morning) after a 10-day vacation with family and friends on Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean. A spokeswoman says the Prime Minister paid for the entire trip, including the use of a government jet to fly there and back.

EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY FROM NIK NANOS

Canadians are more hopeful about the federal government than any time since Nanos Research started tracking mood in 2007. But Justin Trudeau’s high popular could be threatened by gathering (and dark) economic clouds, Nik Nanos writes. (for subscribers)

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

“Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling for new taxes to cool the [real estate] market and some measures are expected in the next provincial budget on Feb. 16. But the impact of those changes may be limited – in part because the municipal, provincial and federal governments are attacking the problem in different and sometimes counteractive ways.”

Justine Hunter (for subscribers) on the cost of housing.

Barrie McKenna (Globe and Mail): “[Bill Morneau] has been uncharacteristically quiet on another file that deserves his attention – the long struggle to create a national securities regulator.” (for subscribers)

Frank McKenna (Globe and Mail): “The government’s decision to direct certain immigrants to certain parts of Canada allows us to dust off an old idea, that concept of a social contract, which is urgently needed, particularly in Atlantic Canada.”

David Perry (Globe and Mail): “The deal doesn’t just benefit the company – it bolsters Canada’s domestic defence industry and the country.”

Michael Den Tandt (Postmedia): “There is not a shred of doubt about why the government of Canada is pressing ahead with a $15-billion, 14-year contract to sell Ontario-made armoured troop carriers to Saudi Arabia. At issue is whether doing so is in keeping with Liberal rhetoric about human rights, and Ottawa’s explicit rules governing arms sales to foreign countries. The answer in both cases is no.”

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