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Shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump took office, the number of people walking across the Canada-U.S. border between official crossing points surged. And more than a year and a half later, most of those people still haven’t had their refugee claims decided.

An in-depth report from The Globe’s Michelle Zilio shows that those seeking asylum in Canada are now waiting, on average, 19 months for their case to be processed. Of those who crossed, the bulk came across the border into Quebec, and only 4,019 of the 27,674 in that province have had their cases “finalized.” Of those, half have been accepted and half rejected – though only 157 people have been deported so far.

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This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Negotiators working on the North American free-trade agreement have decided they need a time out.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’s still considering whether tax cuts would help Canadian business be competitive with the United States.

The Veterans Ombudsman says former soldiers have to wait too long for medical benefits, and the problem is particularly bad for francophones.

The New Democrats say they are rebuilding their fundraising program and that is why they haven’t been pulling in many donations in the past year. Leader Jagmeet Singh also said he’s not going to reconsider his decision to boot Erin Weir out of caucus, despite the outcry from Saskatchewan NDP members.

City of Toronto lawyers are working on their options to challenge the province’s use of the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause. At issue? Whether city council has 25 seats or 47.

And Calgary estimates its bid for hosting the 2026 Olympics would be more than $5-billion, of which $3-billion would come from government. Municipal, provincial and federal politicians are still working out who would pay what.

U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft in The Globe and Mail on Canada-U.S. relations: “Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars, that’s not who we are. Sure, it’s business, and it’s important, but Gander, [Nfld.], is the place that – in a snapshot – illustrates the Canada-U.S. relationship.”

Pat Carney, former trade minister, in The Globe and Mail on negotiating pet issues in Canada-U.S. trade: “For President Ronald Reagan, when the world’s two greatest trading partners negotiated the original Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement in 1987, his ‘must-have’ was wine. Specifically, the former Hollywood movie star and California governor wanted access to Canadian markets for California wine.”

Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on Ontario Premier Doug Ford: “At some point, [Progressive Conservatives] will need to come to terms with the fact that this week’s bedlam is exactly what they signed up for when they went to work for a chaos agent.”

Scott Reid (The Globe and Mail) on humility in politics: “It is humility that keeps our leaders rooted and level-headed, even as the impressive trappings of power feed one’s sense of importance. It is humility that discourages those awarded the enormous authority of high office from abusing that authority, either deliberately or indeliberately. It is humility that reminds premiers and prime ministers and even presidents that their discretion is not – and cannot be – regarded as boundless."

Calgary Herald editorial board on their city’s Olympic bid: “Keep in mind the proposed cost of nearly every Olympic Games was just the starting line before the gun goes off for further escalation.”

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