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Politics Briefing

Trudeau weighing dangers of Mali mission Add to ...

CANADIAN NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW

The federal government, aided by former prime minister Brian Mulroney, is trying to win the release of Chinese-Canadian billionaire Xiao Jianhua, who was taken from a Hong Kong hotel and whisked away by police to China.

Canada delayed a decision to embark on a major peacekeeping mission partly because of uncertainty around the incoming Trump administration. Now that the U.S. cabinet has suggested it’s fine with Canada undertaking a mission in Mali, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now considering whether it’s worth getting into a conflict with child soldiers.

The Liberal cabinet is this week examining what to do about illegal border crossings, with evidence that not all asylum seekers were driven by the actions of the U.S. president.

The Liberal government is also rejecting a bid to give more powers to a security oversight committee.

Lobbyists in Ottawa have been talking more with senators now that they are more independent and more unpredictable.

And the politics of honours: the Liberals have quietly killed an award named after John Diefenbaker, the type of move the Conservatives did before them.

U.S. NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW

The “new Trump” didn’t last long. A rocky weekend began with a conspiracy theory on right-wing radio. Then on Saturday morning came an explosive tweetstorm, in which Mr. Trump accused former president Barack Obama of ordering a wiretap of Mr. Trump’s phones. On Sunday morning former director of national intelligence James Clapper, who would’ve known about such actions, went on NBC and denied that Trump Tower was tapped. Later in the day, reports emerged that FBI Director James Comey had gone to the Justice Department and asked them to publicly refute Mr. Trump’s allegations. The whole affair has left lawmakers and allies baffled and has made Mr. Trump furious.

It may have been a whirlwind of a weekend south of the 49th but the week ahead promises to be just as eventful. Today, Mr. Trump is expected to replace his controversial immigration ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries with a new executive order.

Elsewhere, immigration officials have been active in deporting individuals. Despite Mr. Trump’s promises that only “bad hombres” would be deported, many non-threatening and non-criminals have been forced out of the country. Other reports indicate that tens of thousands of individuals detained by officials were forced into manual labour, which would violate anti-slavery laws.

And while much of the Republican legislative agenda has struggled to get off the ground, a massive effort to deregulate America is well under way.

LUNCHTIME LONG READ

As Globe reporters continue to delve into the world of political fundraising, Kathy Tomlinson in Vancouver has revealed the large sums of money that lobbyists are giving to the B.C. Liberal government. Elections B.C. is now investigating whether those lobbyists were funnelling money from companies, which is against the law.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Graham Hudson and Idil Atak (The Globe and Mail): “In 2013, Toronto became Canada’s first sanctuary city. City council’s first action was to assess the feasibility and costs of implementing sanctuary-city policy. Four years later, no additional funding or resources of note have been provided. ... Only a handful of the city’s thousands of employees have been assigned the task of making the policy work. As a result, the policy is faltering.”

Barrie McKenna (The Globe and Mail): “Dramatically curtail immigration, and watch jobs and wages soar. Buy into the logic, and the wall on the Mexican border (estimated cost: $22-billion U.S.) and the refugee ban make perfect sense. This is, of course, economic nonsense. And Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans should know better.” (for subscribers)

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail): “Allies were just starting to be soothed by promises that the United States isn’t planning to ditch them. Now there’s a spy psychodrama in Washington that will make them wonder about U.S. leadership.”

Kathleen Parker (The Washington Post): “While Democrats were basking in Obama’s sunny smile, Republicans were busy building benches of future leaders, especially at the state attorney general level, where they are now in the majority. The strategy has been to recruit and help elect strong attorneys general who could be groomed to become governors, senators — and possibly presidents.”

Toronto Star editorial board: “It’s important to speak out. Our political and community leaders do themselves and us credit every time they are quick to denounce acts of hatred or violence against other cultures or religions. Just as a slow response can encourage haters, a quick one sends a powerful signal that Canadians are better than that.”

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

Written by Chris Hannay and Mayaz Alam.

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