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'Yes' campaigners holding Scottish Saltire flags gather for a rally in George Square, Glasgow, Scotland September 17, 2014. (© Paul Hackett / Reuters/Reuters)
'Yes' campaigners holding Scottish Saltire flags gather for a rally in George Square, Glasgow, Scotland September 17, 2014. (© Paul Hackett / Reuters/Reuters)

Politics Briefing

Scottish MP coming to Canada to learn how Trudeau won Add to ...

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POLITICS BRIEFING

By Chris Hannay (@channay)

The U.K. Parliament’s lone Labour MP in Scotland, Ian Murray, will visit Canada to learn how Justin Trudeau’s Liberals came from behind to win October’s election, The Herald in Scotland is reporting.

Britain’s Labour Party, which is roughly analogous in terms of policies to Canada’s Liberals, were in power from 1997 to 2010, and lost seats in both the 2010 and 2015 elections.

But Labour’s current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is no Justin Trudeau (who The Herald calls a “political pin-up”): Mr. Corbyn is an old-school socialist more in the vein of Bernie Sanders, and who Globe columnist Konrad Yakabuski once compared to Donald Trump in terms of style.

Mr. Murray is also set to visit Montreal and Quebec City, the Herald reports, to learn how federal-provincial relations may have dampened calls for another independence referendum in Quebec, after the near-tie in 1995. The leader of Scotland’s independence drive quietly declined help from the Parti Quebecois ahead of the Scottish referendum in 2014, though separatists from both nations have kept tabs on each other’s efforts.

“Scotland and Canada have long and historic links and today the U.K. and Scotland have a lot to learn from the experience of Canada and Quebec. We now have in Scotland one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world – Scottish politics has changed for good. We now need to learn how our governments and politicians can work together for the benefit of everyone in Scotland,” Mr. Murray said, according to The Herald.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS MORNING

> The U.S. Agriculture department has found serious sanitation problems with Canada’s meat, poultry and egg processing systems. An audit found the Canadian Food Inspection Agency met the “core criteria” for overall food inspection, but raised concerns about, among other things, testing for listeria bacteria.

> The Quebec government will seek an injunction against TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, the Huffington Post reports.

> Doctors are urging the Liberal government to put specific guidelines into its assisted-dying legislation concerning patients with psychological conditions, after a parliamentary committee’s recommendations left some things open to interpretation.

> Immigration Minister John McCallum says that the influx of Syrian refugees may lead Ottawa to have to cut down the number of people accepted in another immigration streams. “We will be aiming for a relatively high level of total immigration, so to a degree, the additional refugees will be accommodated by a higher total, but … to some extent, it’s a zero-sum game. If you let in more of one, you let in less of another,” he said.

> The Liberal election platform suggested tightening up small business tax rules so that they are not used by high-income professionals as a way to pay less tax, and doctors, lawyers and others are now waiting to see if those measures will be in the upcoming budget.

> And tonight is Super Tuesday in the United States, so called because about a dozen states will be holding Democratic and/or Republican primaries.

SECUREDROP

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

“Obviously, psychiatric illness can produce grievous suffering. But it is not the same as terminal cancer. Psychiatrists’ practices are filled with people who want to die. Their decision making is frequently impaired by their illness. People who are suicidal often change their minds. And major mental illness, although often incurable, can often be relieved. So can the conditions that make it worse, such as social isolation, poverty and homelessness. You are not likely to find a mental health leader in Canada who has argued that the right to die would serve the greater good of psychiatric patients.” – Margaret Wente.

William Thorsell (Globe and Mail): “Simply because he was a practising homosexual, George Everett Klippert was designated a dangerous sexual offender and sentenced to indefinite prison in the Northwest Territories in 1965. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld that sentence in 1967 – this morbid story well recounted by John Ibbitson in these pages on Saturday. It was an interesting time to come of age in Canada: A new generation would reimagine itself and the country.”

Nik Nanos (Globe and Mail): “Canada’s likely best strategy is to articulate common goals as to how the U.S. can support the policy aspirations of Canada and then to say how Canada both supports and charts its own path on issues of importance to the U.S. as a superpower. Prosperity, fighting terrorism and the environment are the low hanging fruit for dialogue currently.” (for subscribers)

Colin Robertson (Globe and Mail): “Mr. Trudeau needs to press Mr. Obama to reinvigorate improved border access because it will increase our trade in goods and services, especially with the U.S. economy in recovery.” (for subscribers)

Glen Pearson (National Newswatch): “Years of political dysfunction and financial restraint had ultimately resulted in a critical mass of the Canadian electorate pining for something more dynamic. In voting with the pen in the ballot box instead of remaining isolated in their detached cynicism, citizens were confirming they were capable of transcending their pessimism in order to be part of the change they sought.”

Vaughn Palmer (Vancouver Sun): “As with the disability allowance, the [B.C.] Liberals are realizing that if they’d been up front ahead of time, they might not be in such a scramble to cover their tracks.”

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