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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, February 8, 2016. (CHRIS WATTIE)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, February 8, 2016. (CHRIS WATTIE)

Politics Briefing

With the premiers, Trudeau doesn’t quite get what he wants Add to ...

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By Chris Hannay (@channay)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won an agreement with the premiers at their climate talks yesterday, but it’s not the deal he wanted: The first ministers agreed they needed to take further steps to meet Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels, but they would not sign on to the federal proposal for a minimum national carbon price.

The group agreed to a framework and common goals and four working groups will start hashing out the details before another first ministers meeting in October. Those groups are devoted to: clean technology; carbon pricing mechanisms, which will be “adapted to each province’s and territory’s specific circumstances” and respect indigenous people’s rights; specific opportunities to cut emissions; and ways to adapt to a changing climate.

According to sources who spoke to The Globe’s Ian Bailey and Shawn McCarthy, the first ministers’ meeting started chilly, but then slowly warmed up.


> The Lobbying Commissioner is looking into the activities of former Quebec premier Jean Charest in promoting the Energy East pipeline. The Prime Minister’s Office had declined Mr. Charest’s offer to set them up with a meeting with officials from TransCanada.

> The Ontario Progressive Conservatives are meeting in Ottawa this weekend, but as Jane Taber writes, the gathering risks being overshadowed by some potential federal leadership contenders – including former Harper cabinet minister Tony Clement, who’s already got his hospitality suite booked. (for subscribers)

> Canada’s spy agency is asking the Prime Minister to reconsider pledges to repeal many powers granted to the organization by the previous Conservative government.

> Speaking of spies, a top-secret room is causing Shared Services Canada a headache as it builds a new data centre on a Canadian Forces base.

> Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau will be front and centre during the state dinner next week, and will join first lady Michelle Obama to promote an initiative on girls’ education. Meanwhile, Campbell Clark points to the odd Liberal Party contest to win tickets to Washington.

> And as Donald Trump storms ahead in the Republican nomination race, immigration lawyers in Vancouver say they are fielding tons of queries from Americans about how to move to Canada (which they warn is not easy).


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“In tax terms, the B.C. [carbon pricing] model moves the overall tax burden to consumption instead of income, a shift economists would hail. It also taxes a pollutant. The result has been a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the province and a better tax policy, a win all around.” – Jeffrey Simpson (for subscribers).

Denise Balkissoon (Globe and Mail): “The ‘bystander effect’ is an idea that comes up often in discussions about school bullying and campus sexual assault. The idea is that onlookers can help reduce these events by stepping in when they see something disturbing; the debate is whether or not they have a responsibility to do so. It’s not a term that’s used specifically by anti-drunk-driving advocates, but it’s a common underlying message.”

Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail): “The Republican Party has descended into civil war, with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney leading a charge by the GOP establishment to stop Donald Trump from winning the 2016 nomination at all costs.”

Michael Den Tandt (Postmedia): “There is a way the economically vital Energy East pipeline gets built; one that requires time, patience, forbearance, a willingness to consider other points of view, a collective sense of national responsibility, a … oh never mind. We’re doomed. Prepare ye the straw bale house with composting toilet.”

Carol Goar (Toronto Star): “There is a conspicuous gap in most of the reports, studies and books on income inequality in Canada. They don’t talk about taxes.”

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