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Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper will both attend the funeral of Shimon Peres in Israel, but won't be flying there together. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)
Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper will both attend the funeral of Shimon Peres in Israel, but won't be flying there together. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

Politics briefing

Trudeau, Chrétien en route to Israel, but Harper opts to fly commercial 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

> Justin Trudeau leaves for Jerusalem today as part of an official delegation of Canadians attending the funeral of former Israeli leader Shimon Peres. Also part of the delegation are interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and former prime ministers Stephen Harper and Jean Chrétien. But don’t expect a group shot of the PM club on the government jet like there was on the way to Nelson Mandela’s funeral – Mr. Harper has decided to fly commercial. “He made his own arrangements,” said Cameron Ahmad, press secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was invited but had to decline because of a son's wedding, New Democrat spokesman George Smith said.

> As the federal and provincial governments prepare to negotiate health-care reforms, many provinces are saying demographics should be taken into account when distributing federal money. Provinces with older populations are concerned about what they will have to spend on health care.

> So what exactly is needed to expense something in the Prime Minister’s Office? The company tasked with relocating employees now says it doesn’t always need to see receipts.

> One of the causes of the fiasco over the Phoenix payroll system for public servants may have been because the government skimped on training people how to use it.

> And the subject of a terror investigation – who, by all accounts, now lives a normal life – got close enough to the Prime Minister to take a selfie.

U.S. ELECTION 2016

> United States of Apocalypse: Stalwart U.S. conservative Jim Pethokoukis takes issue with Donald Trump’s dystopian vision of America at Vox.com. “Vote for Trump. Vote for Hillary Clinton. But … don’t make your decision based on some nightmarish view of the state of the union. … also deeply troubling is the apocalyptic picture Trump paints of the American project in 2016, one that may frighten voters into supporting him but is totally at odds with the facts.”

> Stories of the stiffed: J. Michael Diehl perked up Monday night when Hillary Clinton went after Donald Trump in the first presidential debate for failing to pay contractors who have worked on various Trump real estate projects. Diehl thought he had the contract of a lifetime when the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City asked him to supply it with grand pianos at a cost of $100,000. “But when I requested payment …  I got a letter telling me that the casino was short on funds. They would pay 70 percent of what they owed me. There was no negotiating.” … for a deep review of Trump’s shady business dealings, Andrew Prokop of Vox.com takes a look at the history of the family business.

> Economics one-oh-none: Policy has been missing from the U.S. campaign, but Donald Trump’s team did release a ‘detailed’ economic policy document on Monday ahead of the first debate. Jordan Weissmann of Slate calls it, “a dog's breakfast of factual errors, conceptual nonsense, and regurgitated industry flimflam.”

> In Trump they trust: Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine takes aim at Republicans who continue to stand by Donald Trump after the candidate’s disastrous debate performance. Many still “cling to the wan hope” that he might become a plausible politician despite displaying the “factual command of a small child, the emotional stability of a hormonal teen, and the stamina of an old man.”

> The huff over heft: The Washington Post looks at Trump’s attacks on people who are overweight, which go back “decades” ... “Trump’s obsession with weight carries some irony for a candidate who boasts about his unhealthy eating habits. ... By his own public accounting of his medical health, Trump is just five pounds shy of being considered obese under the body mass index.”

> Grey swans: If you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter and feeling good about her chances after Monday’s debate, The Globe’s Tony Keller will bring you back to earth with a chronological scenario of how Trump could seize control of the campaign – largely via events beyond his control.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail): “Justin Trudeau had two big political reasons to approve the Pacific NorthWest LNG project. The first is to show his Liberals can say yes to big resource projects. The second is that he needs provincial premiers, especially B.C.’s Christy Clark, if he’s going to strike a bargain on climate change and an oil pipeline. Mr. Trudeau’s big political promise on energy and the environment is that Canada can both get resources to market and tackle greenhouse-gas emissions. The flip side is that politically, he can’t put together a national climate-change plan without an oil pipeline, or vice versa. That’s his grand bargain.” (for subscribers)

Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star): “There is no doubt that had the Conservatives been re-elected, they would have approved B.C.’s LNG project, possibly with many of the same conditions imposed by their Liberal successor. Trudeau, for his part, spent the last campaign talking about righting the environment/energy balance. Based on the LNG decision, equilibrium between Canada’s contribution to the mitigation of climate change and its energy ambitions remains as elusive as ever.”

Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail): “Pity today’s centre-left politician. Voters are fed up with the status quo of evermore trade liberalization, budget austerity and free-market capitalism. Yet, parties of the mainstream left have been unable to harness this discontent or offer a compelling antidote to it. They have seen their share of the popular vote collapse almost everywhere, as many traditional supporters – intellectuals, social activists and working-class voters – opt for more extreme alternatives on both the left and right.”

John Polanyi (Globe and Mail): “These two activities, science and innovation, are linked. New ways of thinking precede new ways of doing. Canada needs to be committed to both activities, but should not smuggle one under the guise of the other. We need the [Fundamental Science] Review to come clean with the public.”

Andrew Coyne (National Post): “All of the other disputes over the Senate, whether it should be elected or appointed or how many senators there should be from each province etc., are ultimately rooted in the Senate’s power to defeat legislation. Take that away and these become issues we can debate at our leisure.”

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Follow us on Twitter: @rgilroy, @channay

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