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Politics Briefing

What you should know this morning in Canadian and U.S. politics Add to ...

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POLITICS BRIEFING

by Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics newsletter is back. You’ll begin receiving this note in your inbox again every morning. We’re also pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until the election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> The B.C. government is asking the federal Liberals to crack down on tax cheats, after a Globe and Mail investigation uncovered how speculators are playing Vancouver’s real estate market.

> Speaking of investigations, 14 years after The Globe named Jacques Corriveau as a central figure in the sponsorship scandal, he is finally headed to trial.

> When Hunter Tootoo left the Liberal cabinet and caucus earlier this year, there were a lot of unanswered questions. Now we’re starting to learn more about what happened. Sources say he was having a sexual relationship with one of his Parliament Hill staffers, and broke it off to pursue the young woman’s estranged mother. Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife has more.

> The Ontario Liberals are set for a Speech from the Throne today, and are expected to cut residents’ electricity bills a year and a half before the next provincial election.

> Former justice minister Peter MacKay says the Conservatives at one point considered giving women a majority on the Supreme Court’s bench – though they did not end up doing so.

> Conservative leadership news: Tony Clement, who is set to announce his national security policies today, says the party’s campaign last year was “not well run.” Deepak Obhrai is the first Albertan officially in the race, while former House speaker Andrew Scheer is expected to announce shortly.

> And Stephen Harper has another new job. After setting up shop on his own, the former prime minister has also secured a gig at Denton LLP’s Calgary office. (for subscribers)

U.S. ELECTION 2016

> Clinton’s health: Hillary Clinton’s near-collapse at a Sunday 9/11 memorial in New York sent the Twitterverse into a speculative feeding frenzy that will almost certainly dominate the campaign early this week. The Democratic candidate, as NBC says, likely has what’s known as ‘walking pneumonia’: “patients don’t feel great, but they’re not sick enough to stay home in bed or to be hospitalized.” The New York Times says this episode will certainly put more pressure on Clinton – who is already the subject of Internet conspiracy theories surrounding her health – to release more detailed information about her medical records. Vox reminds readers that the public knows surprisingly little about the health of candidates during a presidential campaign. And, the Guardian says this is just another example of Clinton’s poor media strategy.

> The path to Pennsylvania Ave.: With about eight weeks to go in the oddest U.S. presidential race in memory, the White House is in sight for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And, with the polls tightening in the past couple of weeks, both candidates are about to begin the final sprint. As The Globe and Mail’s Joanna Slater points out, time is running out to convert voters into supporters. She surveys strategists and pollsters and outlines what each candidate should do to sway voters down the stretch.

> What goes around, comes around: Karma has long been a bedfellow of politics, Konrad Yakabuski writes, as the populist monster unleashed by the Tea Party in 2010 now threatens to turn on its masters. That monster, in the form of Donald J. Trump, may become such a drag on down-ballot races that “many of the Republicans swept in by the Tea Party wave could be swept out in an anti-Trump tsunami in November.”

> America needs a ‘bitch’: Andi Zeisler, in The New York Times, says Hillary Clinton is “The Bitch America Needs.” Zeisler writes: “For those who want her to be president, which is not synonymous with liking her, she’s the human embodiment of a shrug emoji, dodging flamethrowers from both sides and continuing to take care of business.” Elsewhere in The Times, Lee Siegel with a different take on the rise of Donald Trump: “He is the first candidate to embrace a slice of the country that sees everything... through the logic of cutthroat American capitalism. For those who can afford to idealize politics, it may seem alien. But for many people, it is everyday life.”

> How to stump Trump: In the Washington Post, Melinda Henneberger reminds Americans nervous about tightening polls that “Washington has some pretty high walls in place, too,” and that “this town exists to serve the liberal, constitutional order, and President Trump would face fierce and sustained resistance to his ‘because I say so’ threats.” Also in The Post, David Fahrentold has been following the money in and out of the Trump Foundation the old-fashioned way – with pen and paper. He shows how Trump retooled his charity to spend other people’s money.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail): “If you are Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, you want one thing from the National Energy Board and its review of the proposed Energy East pipeline: a little peace and quiet. He might get a little more of that now that the NEB panellists reviewing Energy East have stepped down after embarrassing, and bungled, revelations that they discussed the pipeline privately with former Quebec premier Jean Charest while the latter was on the payroll of pipeline promoter TransCanada Corp. By stepping aside, the recusals might tamp down the noise. But the NEB has already given the PM a big headache.”

Ron Atkey, Craig Forcese and Kent Roach (Globe and Mail): “We hope that this fall, the government will be persuaded to move on the legal changes needed to create a new, renewed expert review body (or bodies) able to scrutinize the detailed work of the security and intelligence community. Moreover, Parliament should accord the new committee of MPs enough access to information to look at the big picture issues of national-security agency efficacy and efficiency. They will also need this information to work closely with expert review and complaint agencies scrutinizing the day-to-day operations of security agencies.”

Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star): “At a time when some are making the argument that the federal Conservatives should similarly become the self-appointed keepers of Canadian values through proactive measures, the Parti Québécois saga features striking similarities to the nascent Conservative Party of Canada debate and offers some sobering lessons for those who would look to that avenue for electoral growth.”

Michael Den Tandt (National Post): “Is it excessive to lay the rise of Trump entirely on 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq? Certainly. There are important contributors beyond these, including the Great Recession of 2008-09, the slow-running decline of American manufacturing, and of course political personality. Anti-establishment populism, amplified by social media, is also a big factor. Some would blame Twitter, all by its lonesome. But there is no denying that a weed needs fallow ground in which to grow – in this case, historical circumstance and a broadening sense that the global struggle with Islamism is still in its infancy.”

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Follow us on Twitter: @rgilroy, @channay

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