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There’s been talk in legal circles that Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who is currently B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, had the inside track to become Canada’s first aboriginal Supreme Court justice this fall. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
There’s been talk in legal circles that Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who is currently B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, had the inside track to become Canada’s first aboriginal Supreme Court justice this fall. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics Briefing

‘I never go where I’m not invited,’ non-Atlantic judge says of Supreme Court Add to ...


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

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year’s election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.


> The House of Commons – including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – unanimously voted that the next Supreme Court justice should come from Atlantic Canada, following convention. That would seem to put to bed the idea that the Liberals had been floating to appoint a non-Atlantic judge, but one who brought diversity to the bench in terms of gender and ethnicity. An aboriginal legal star who could be a candidate for the top court – but who is from Western Canada – said she wouldn’t want the job without the backing of the legal community. “I’ve learned a very important lesson in my career: Although I’ve had to break down barriers, I never go where I’m not invited,” Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond told The Globe and Mail.

> World leaders are privately expressing concern about a Trump presidency, sources tell The Globe. A particular source of the increasing anxiety appears to be Donald Trump’s heavily protectionist stand toward trade.

> The Liberals have approved – with conditions – the Pacific Northwest terminal to export liquefied natural gas from northern British Columbia. Environmentalists argue the project will increase greenhouse-gas emissions, making it more difficult for Canada to meet its international commitments, but the Liberals were under pressure to approve some kind of energy project in B.C.

> Ottawa police say the death of Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook is “suspicious,” and they are investigating one of their own officers for comments he made on Facebook.

> The NDP are preparing to use their opposition day on Thursday to press for MPs to have an increased role in policing arms exports.

> The company that moved incoming Liberal staffers say they only reimburse expenses that have receipts, which seems at odds with explanations providing by senior officials that Gerald Butts and Katie Telford had no idea how high their moving bills had gotten. The Privy Council Office, however, says receipts aren’t always necessary when claiming expenses.

> And eating aboard the government Airbus seems awfully expensive.


> Will Clinton recover lost ground? Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of Monday night’s U.S. presidential debate – a consensus that would have been unanimous but for one prominent candidate. Nervous Democrats who watched an eight-point lead virtually evaporate as summer turned to fall are now eagerly awaiting fresh polling that will likely set the tone for the final six weeks of the campaign. The ‘bed-wetters’ probably got an extra bounce in their steps before the debate even ended, as prediction markets surged in real time as Donald Trump stumbled down the stretch.

> But ... Nate Cohn at Upshot has a warning for those suddenly reinvigorated Clinton supporters: “The record of post-debate polling suggests that a victory might not matter quite as much as you might think. … Historically, the polls that follow the first presidential debate have differed from the pre-debate polls by an average of just 2.5 points.”

So, to pass time while you refresh fivethirtyeight.com’s polls tracker, here’s some more post-debate commentary.

> Hillary Clinton, destroyer of brands: In The Globe and Mail, Sarah Kendzior  says “Trump’s attempt to present himself as someone who understood American economic pain crumbled when he was outed as a man who caused it. … Hillary Clinton, the daughter of a drape maker, revealed the man behind the curtain. Combining the personal with the political, she hit Trump where it hurt – his brand, revealed to be as bankrupt as the businesses he bottomed out.”

> Carrot hair, meet stick: John Ibbitson says “Donald Trump handed his opponent a stick with which she will beat him from now until Nov. 8: He admitted he pays no income tax. ... He boasts about it. This is the soul’s dark night.”

> Trump doubles down: Before Monday’s debate, The Atlantic took a prescient look at “Donald Trump’s cruel streak,” a decades-long affliction whereby he “willfully causes pain and distress to others.” It’s a handy guide that might explain why Trump’s started Tuesday by “fat-shaming” Miss Universe Alicia Machado – again. It’s worth reading this piece just to see the screengrab of the Fox News hosts staring at the camera in stunned disbelief.

> On trade, don’t cheer for Clinton: As The Globe and Mail reported today, Canada and other G20 countries are discussing the potential global economic fallout of a Trump presidency. During Monday’s debate, Mr. Trump called NAFTA the “worst trade deal in history.” But, as Lawrence Herman writes in today’s Globe, “Ms. Clinton didn’t give much comfort in her responses to Mr. Trump’s tirade. ...  The astute Ms. Clinton knows the way the political wind is blowing.”

> The world exhales, for now: In the Washington Post, David Ignatius from Buenos Aires writes: “Watching Monday night’s presidential debate from a country that has been bankrupted by populist economic ideas was instructive: Argentina’s experience shows that good countries can make very bad political decisions that have lasting costs.”


Nader Hashemi (Globe and Mail): “The timing of [Homa Hoodfar’s] release, however, is surprising. Based on similar cases, Iran has always demanded a quid pro quo before releasing dual citizens. Earlier this year, in a controversial deal, the United States and Iran swapped prisoners and money in exchange for the release of the Washington Post correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and three other Iranian-Americans. Immediately after Prof. Hoodfar’s arrest in June, Iran’s justice minister suggested that Tehran was willing to bargain over Prof. Hoodfar if Ottawa extradited an Iranian-Canadian banker who fled to Toronto in 2011 amid a corruption scandal. Was a secret deal negotiated between Ottawa and Tehran? Time will tell.”

Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail): “It’s difficult to recall another time when all three conservative parties in England, Canada and the United States have congregated so far from the political centre. It’s like imagining the centre-left in all three countries marching to the drums of British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn.”

Tim Powers (Hill Times): “Despite aides looking to pay back some moving money and the contrition of the cabinet ministers, the Liberals have a problem of “pathology.” New people, key changes and even different styles still haven’t killed off the latent perception that the Liberals are unable to control themselves when they get hold of the levers of power. If anything, they have given life to the thing they most wanted to stay dead and buried.”

Paul Wells (Toronto Star): “Twitter is not worth much if it folds like a cheap suit when one of the most thin-skinned autocrats on Earth says ‘boo.’ Until Twitter makes it clear that it has the back of [Turkish journalist Mahir] Zeynalov and other public truth-tellers, it cannot credibly protest that its users have to put up with brigades of anonymous liars. And while it sorts out its assorted positions on free speech, Twitter can get along without me.”

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