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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson speaks about the proposed tax on vacant homes outside City Hall in Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 14, 2016. (DARRYL DYCK/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson speaks about the proposed tax on vacant homes outside City Hall in Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 14, 2016. (DARRYL DYCK/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Mayors warn Trudeau he needs to take aim at housing prices Add to ...

POLITICS BRIEFING

By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year’s election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> The B.C. and federal governments waited too long to address the out-of-control real-estate prices in Vancouver and Toronto, and the market is pushing out families, says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Middle-class Canadians being able to buy a house in Vancouver and Toronto, those days have probably passed because the interventions didn’t come,” he said. Canada’s big-city mayors are meeting in Toronto today and are expected to focus on housing. The federal government says its second phase of infrastructure spending – the massive stimulus that was a key Liberal election promise last year – is coming this fall, and will contain billions for affording housing. In a joint op-ed for The Globe, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson lay out their seven principles for fixing the housing crisis.

> Saudi Arabia says the controversial $15-billion arms deal with Canada for weaponized armoured vehicles was a sign of friendship between the two countries. “This contract has been given to Canada to improve the relations and enhance the relations,” Ambassador Naif Bin Bandar al-Sudairi told The Globe.

> There were fireworks between the Quebec health minister and his federal counterpart, ahead of discussions between Ottawa and the provinces about health-care funding and climate change. “The ongoing discussions on a new health accord are off to a bad start, because they are based on issues [such as home care], while what we really need to talk about is funding,” Quebec’s Gaétan Barrette said. “If you think that I am here to squabble, you will be disappointed,” said federal Health Minister Jane Philpott.

> What governments have agreed to is not nearly enough to stop dangerous levels of global warming, scientists warn.

> Montreal professor Homa Hoodfar is back in Canada.

> A new Liberal bill would force companies to disclose how many women work in their senior ranks.

> Deepak Obhrai, so far the only person of colour in a crowded race for the Conservative leadership, has come out strongly against rival Kellie Leitch’s plan for a “Canadian values” test for immigrants. “I say this proposal is anti-human rights because people coming to our country are seeking the freedom that we’re providing them,” he says in a video.

> And the Canadian Museum of History’s exhibits are getting a massive overhaul, which will lay out the country’s 13,000-year history from our first people to Mr. Trudeau’s welcoming of 25,000 Syrian refugees.

U.S. ELECTION 2016

> The truthiness of Trump: Ezra Klein of Vox explains why no words seem to stick to Donald Trump. “When he utters words, his primary intent is not to say something ... his primary intent is to do something, i.e., to position himself in a social hierarchy. This essential distinction explains why Trump has so flummoxed the media and its fact-checkers.”

> Truth for a postmodern era: In the Post, Barton Swaim takes a different approach, and says Mr. Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s regard for the truth is a simple battle of postmodern vs. modern. “Trump’s rage against Washington’s power elite ... absolves him of any need to abide by the petty dictates of literal truth. He is the ironic, self-referential embodiment of the newer postmodern conception of truth.”

> Wither U.S. conservatism: George F. Will worries that Donald Trump may have ushered in the end of the Republican Party as a vehicle for conservatism. “The world’s oldest political party is an exhausted volcano,” he writes. “A political idea without a political party is an orphan in an indifferent world.”

> White supremacists go mainstream: Lisa Mascao of the L.A. Times caught up with former KKK leader David Duke, who she says may have lost the robes but “has not shed his relentless proselytizing for the white race.” Ms. Mascao says Mr. Trump has “re-energized white supremacist groups and drawn them into mainstream American politics like nothing seen in decades.”

> How blue turns to red: In Youngstown, Ohio, The Globe’s Patrick Martin continues his motorcycle journey through the U.S. heartland. It’s a former Democratic stronghold, but “Trump’s anti-free-trade message hit home with these people, and Democratic Party organizers say they have an uphill battle to try to get people motivated to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

> USA Today breaks tradition: The national U.S. newspaper has never endorsed a presidential candidate, and while it didn’t go all in for Ms. Clinton, it was more than clear about who it didn’t want in the White House. “Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II.”

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail): “The two MD/ministers [of health in Ottawa and Quebec City] couldn’t be more unalike. They’re the champions of two mismatched positions on Canada’s health-care system. Dr. Philpott presses Ottawa’s demand for transformation, and new services, and Dr. Barrette responds with the provincial view that burgeoning demands mean the provinces need more money just to cope.” (for subscribers)

Gary Mason (Globe and Mail): “The decisions that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government faces with regard to the Kinder Morgan and Energy East pipelines were always going to be more about politics than so-called social licence. With the decision this week to green light the Pacific NorthWest LNG enterprise in northern British Columbia, Mr. Trudeau has rendered that catch phrase even more meaningless than it already was. Social licence stands for whatever a government feels it needs to do in its own political self- interest.”

James Baxter (iPolitics): “Funding the CBC has a profoundly chilling effect on would-be entrepreneurs in this country, particularly when there are no undertakings as to how and where that money will be spent. Investors are justifiably reticent to put their money into (the) market — even where there is a clear void — because of the likelihood that once they prove there’s a market, the CBC will begin shifting funds there to compete. That is the single-biggest obstacle to there being a vibrant and innovative marketplace of ideas in the media space.”

John Ivison (National Post): “The discovery that the adhesive seals on postal votes were defective has caused the postponement of the Austrian election until early December, with the result that the government of social democratic chancellor, Christian Kern, is maintaining its opposition to CETA [the Canada-EU trade deal]. He has pointed out that 88 per cent of Austrians in one opinion poll oppose CETA on the grounds it shifts power in favour of global enterprises.”

Ottawa Citizen editorial board: “This crowd of mostly unknowns [in the Conservative leadership race] speaks, in our opinion, not to a problem in the party but to its health. People run for the leadership of a political entity because they believe it can win with them in charge. Maybe not immediately, but in time. Many of these candidates are young. They come from across the country. There is ethnic and gender diversity. They present a wide swath of ideas – from Leitch’s controversial Canadian values platform to Bernier’s government-be-damned libertarianism. There will be Christian Conservatives, big-tent Tories and narrow ideologues. The competition between them will be healthier for the Conservative party than any coronation of an early favourite or old face.”

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