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Roland Paris

Roland Paris

Politics Briefing

Trudeau’s top foreign adviser steps down Add to ...

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POLITICS BRIEFING

Roland Paris, the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser on foreign affairs, says he is resigning after an “extraordinary journey.”

“For someone like me, who cares deeply about Canada playing a positive and effective role in global affairs, there is no greater reward than having contributed in a small way to renewing our country’s energetic leadership and good name in the world,” he said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for affording me this opportunity.”

Mr. Paris began working for Justin Trudeau as the Liberals crafted their campaign platform, and said in the statement that he even assisted with debate prep. He said he will return to his old job as a professor at the University of Ottawa, from which he had been on leave.

“Great working w @rolandparis. Lucky students at @uOttawa. Thanks for everything, my friend. Glad you’ll be close,” Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts said in a tweet.

Mr. Paris, who assisted the Liberal team with a battery of international summits shortly after Mr. Trudeau took office, said he will stay in government until the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa at the end of June.

Mr. Paris did not give a reason for leaving, though he signalled that he would be spending time with family this summer before returning to academia.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> Conservative MP Bob Zimmer last month sponsored a petition to the House of Commons to loosen controls for the kind of semi-automatic rifle that was used in the Orlando shooting.

> A legal case that has inflamed veterans is back in the courts this week. The central issue is whether the government has a special responsibility to veterans, an argument advanced by the previous Conservative government that may be continued under the current Liberal one.

> Senators continue to debate amendments to the assisted-dying bill, and last night narrowly voted down allowing nurse practitioners to carry out the procedure. A bid to allow advance requests was rejected by a larger margin. Conservative senator Dennis Patterson warned his colleagues not to go too far in changing the bill. “We should not do this lightly, honourable senators. The new Parliament has a clear majority,” he said.

> The Liberals are taking a big step in addressing their innovation push, unveiling today what the government believes to be six major economic challenges standing in the way. (for subscribers)

> And Nathan Vanderklippe and Steven Chase provide a detailed account of the attempts to save Canadian Robert Hall, who was executed by an extremist criminal group in the Philippines.

REGIONAL ROUNDUP

> Ontario: The provincial government is giving Fiat Chrysler $80-million in grants. (for subscribers) Yesterday, Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled a new 30-person cabinet that is younger and has more women than the old team of ministers. Ontario’s cabinet is now the same size as the federal Liberal cabinet.

> Quebec: Prominent Parti Québécois politician Bernard Drainville is stepping down.

> Alberta: A provincial farm agency is facing allegations of sky-high salaries and lavish spending.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

John Ibbitson (Globe and Mail): “There is an obvious objection to paying too much attention to the Egale report. It addresses past wrongs, brings up old grievances. The Orlando shootings grip us today. How safe now are people living in gay villages, going to gay bars, just walking down the street holding hands? Is Islamist terrorism a specific threat to homosexuals, or should that community be seen as simply part of the mix of Western values and liberties that violent fundamentalists so despise? How do complaints about past discrimination compare to the trauma of the attack on the Pulse nightclub? In response, [Helen] Kennedy pointed out that homosexual kids today still die by suicide at higher rates than heterosexual kids. About a quarter of youth on the street identify as LGBT.” (for subscribers)

André Picard (Globe and Mail): “What is obvious is that the dire warnings that an absence of federal legislation could lead to chaos were ridiculous. What is increasingly clear, too, is that having no law – as has been the case with abortion for 28 years – is a legitimate option, and certainly much better than having flawed legislation.”

Nik Nanos (Globe and Mail): “Many of the signature initiatives of the [Liberal] government, all of which are important, do not directly connect to a broader strategy or plan to make Canada’s middle class better off. Climate change, while very important, will not be easy to translate into a stronger middle class by the next election. Democratic renewal is very important but disconnected to better jobs for Canadians. Updating our anthem to reflect Canada today? Hard to argue with, but it won’t create jobs. Assisted dying? People are passionate about that, but it is not related to a stronger middle class. Throw in the mainstream media fixation on Trudeau’s child-care arrangements and one could argue that a good part of the dialogue during the beginning of the Liberal mandate has not been directly related to improving the economic well-being of citizens.” (for subscribers)

Jen Gerson (National Post): “As we all wait for answers, what we do know leaves us with a veritable Pick-Your-Own-Political-Narrative: Gun Control, Homophobia, Islamophobia, Terrorism are all in play. Choose the one you favour most and start tweeting. Which angle you prefer to see it from will depend entirely on which ideological sympathies you had before you clicked on the headline, of course.”

Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star): “Just last month in this country, Canada’s Conservatives voted by a margin of two to one to strike the heterosexual definition of marriage from their policy book. The would-be and declared candidates for Stephen Harper’s succession all came out in support of accepting – if only implicitly – the decade-old marriage rights of same-sex couples. South of the border, a similar move by the Republican Party would be seen as a hugely bold step. In Canada, it was considered an overdue move. The federal Conservative Party may have been the last mainstream political organization to jettison the notion that access to marriage should be restricted to heterosexual couples. The current consensus on gay rights in Canada did not emerge overnight, nor did it come easily.”

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