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Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Blair Gable For The Globe and Mail)
Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Blair Gable For The Globe and Mail)

Politics Briefing

Rumble on the Hill Add to ...

POLITICS BRIEFING

> The Liberal government will announce a plan this week to virtually phase out the use of coal in the country by 2030. Provinces will be allowed some flexibility in the use of coal if they make steep emissions reductions in other areas, sources said.

> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returns to Ottawa this morning after the annual summit of Pacific nation leaders.

> As Canada continues to offer military aid to the Kurds in northern Iraq, the group is planning a push for independence.

> MPs of all parties on the veterans affairs committee want Health Minister Jane Philpott to take another look at mefloquine, an antimalarial drug used by soldiers that may have serious side effects.

> The federal government will reform how it handles the no-fly list, to deal with Canadians who are innocently caught up in the system.

> Stricter rules could force political fundraising events underground, Canada’s outgoing chief electoral officer says.

> The Liberals have made 3,000 funding announcements, a faster pace than the former Conservative government, according to a Postmedia count.

> And trouble is brewing in the Senate, as Mr. Trudeau’s new crop of “non-affiliated” senators run up against the old partisan appointments. “When you weaken the foundations of a parliamentary system, that’s when tyranny starts taking over and the executive spreads itself out,” Conservative Senator Leo Housakos – a speaker of the chamber under Stephen Harper – said. Peter Harder, the senator who is the prime minister’s point man in the chamber, says he expects the roles of “government” and “opposition” to go away as the Senate becomes less partisan.

DUSTUP IN THE LOBBY

While Canadians expect heated words inside the House of Commons, there’s been an unexpected increase in tensions just outside its doors, sources tell The Globe.

A traffic jam in the government lobby – a small space where members of Parliament pass through to enter and exit the House – has led the Liberal whip’s office to set up partitions to keep keen staffers from waiting for their bosses.

Last Thursday, as things got crowded, Liberal whip Andrew Leslie told Cameron Ahmad, Mr. Trudeau’s press secretary, to leave. Mr. Leslie did not appear to know who Mr. Ahmad was, sources told The Globe.

And tensions boiled over on Friday in the lobby as staffers in the whip’s office tried to get ministers’ staffers to leave.

Perhaps with temperatures plunging below zero in Ottawa this weekend, tempers will cool inside Center Block, too.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail): “Sending Canadian peacekeepers to Mali should now be an obvious political choice for the government, which has pledged to announce a deployment of up to 600 peacekeepers within weeks. It’s not that the African country matters to Mr. Trump. It seems likely the president-elect couldn’t find Mali on a map and that his national-security staff might not bother pointing to it in his early briefings. But Mr. Trump’s priority is combating the spread of Islamist terror, and that’s key to the mission in Mali. That makes sending peacekeepers to Mali just the sort of international security initiative that fits a Canadian Liberal prime minister.”

Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail): “The Alberta government will mark the one-year anniversary of its climate action plan on Nov. 22. The plan imposes an economy-wide carbon tax starting in 2017 and a cap on emissions from the oil sands, while offering incentives to ensure 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity is generated from renewables such as wind and solar by 2030. In the past six weeks, Alberta has rolled out a dozen initiatives and actions to implement the plan. Up next, they’ll begin auctions for renewable energy contracts to phase out coal-fired power plants, which promises to make Alberta the single largest market for new renewable energy projects in Canada.” (for subscribers)

Lawrence Hill (Globe and Mail): “When a woman steps forward to say that she is not safe or has been ill-treated in her university studies or in the office with her boss or at home with her partner, there can only be one response: You are welcome to speak. We will investigate and you will be safe.”

Andrew Coyne (National Post): “Is [electoral reform] something we can leave to the public to decide? Is the question even answerable? No system is perfect, as the political scientists remind us; each has its pluses and minuses. But that does not mean we cannot say one is better than another. It’s a judgment call, but so are most things; politics is all about judgment calls.”

Thomas Walkom (Toronto Star): “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describes his climate-change strategy as good economics. Indeed, at times it seems to be more about economics than climate. How else to explain the government’s recent decision authorizing a Pacific coast liquefied natural gas project that is destined to massively increase carbon emissions? Still, the Liberal government seems intent on pursuing its somewhat inconsistent climate-change policy with or without the U.S. That is new.”

This is the daily Globe Politics newsletter. Sign up to get it by e-mail each morning and let us know what you think.

Compiled by Chris Hannay. Edited by Steven Proceviat. With a report from Robert Fife.

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