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Morneau latest Trudeau minister to land in Washington Add to ...

CANADIAN NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Finance Minister Bill Morneau
is in Washington today, continuing a tour of the United States. Yesterday in New York, Mr. Morneau said the federal government is continuing to carefully watch the hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

Veterans are still not being served well by the government, says Canada’s ombudsman Guy Parent, who has been on the job for seven years.

Opposition critics say Kevin O’Leary’s use of a private jet while campaigning for the Conservative leadership may run afoul of Elections Canada rules.

Maxime Bernier has made serious inroads in the Greater Toronto Area’s Tamil and Sikh communities during his campaign, the Hill Times reports.

While Conservative Party members pick a new national leader, those in the Senate have to make a choice of their own. Quebec Senator Claude Carignan says he will step down as leader of his party in the Red Chamber, a post he was appointed to by Stephen Harper in 2013.

With an election a year away that is looking grim for the Ontario Liberals, Premier Kathleen Wynne is set to slash electricity rates by 25 per cent, sources tell the Toronto Star.

And a few bats drove 160 federal employees out of their government offices and into another building in Gatineau, CTV reports. Of course, a bat was spotted in the new building, too.

U.S. NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW

In his first address to both houses of Congress, U.S. President Donald Trump talked about Canada. He called for sweeping immigration reform, but gave little in the way of specifics, while citing Canada’s points-based system as a model for America to emulate. Elsewhere in the speech, details were light but the policy agenda tended to stick with the Republican status quo.

While one of the most memorable moments of his speech was a tribute to the widow of a Navy SEAL killed in a counter-terrorism raid in Yemen, earlier on Tuesday he blamed the operation, and the SEAL’s death, on his generals.

Meanwhile, Democrats chose former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to give the party’s response, in which he touched on Mr. Trump’s corrosive effect on American democracy and his actions dismantling financial regulations.

Mr. Trump could be ready to sign a new immigration order within days, and has reportedly dropped Iraq as one of the targeted countries.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to retaliate against a reporter who wrote about leaks in Mr. Spicer’s office by trying to plant a false story about him in a rival publication.

And Barack Obama is (almost) back. Politico is reporting that the former president is close to making a return to public life. Mr. Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama also reached an agreement with Penguin Random House for a dual book deal said to be valued in the tens of millions of dollars.

LUNCHTIME LONG READ

Oxford University’s PPE degree -- philosophy, politics and economics -- is ubiquitous among Britain’s politicians, media and experts. The Guardian looks at how the degree has helped entrench the country’s ruling class.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail): “[The Liberals are] planning to deliver a careful budget that doesn’t include big new spending that would have a major impact on the bottom line – leaving room, if necessary, to respond to U.S. changes in next year’s budget, in 2018.”

Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail): “[Automation technologies] are what Joe Populist cares about. More than any trade agreements, they are the job killers. But strangely the torrid pace of automation is hardly even being debated in Parliament or elsewhere. There’s a collective throwing up of the hands. Nothing can be done. Technological determinism is here to stay, earthlings. Deal with it.”

Bob Cox (The Globe and Mail): “Perhaps, because they pay so little tax in Canada themselves, the Google and Facebook representatives are unaware of all the ‘punitive’ taxes paid by traditional news media, rooted in this country, employing thousands of people and generating news and information that is vital to the communities they serve.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail): “[Conservative] Party members must choose between [Kevin] O’Leary’s pizzazz and the Dull-But-Worthy alternatives. Dull-But-Worthy is better than it sounds. Canadians could turn to Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, Ontario MP Erin O’Toole or Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer — the most likely alternatives to Mr. O’Leary — if they tire of Justin Trudeau’s deficit-fueled charm and go looking for a managerial alternative.”

David Shribman (The Globe and Mail): “Washington operates in two separate dimensions, talk (which is plentiful and easy) and action (which is rare in an era of political polarization and difficult in the best of times). As the applause faded after the President’s debut address to a joint session of Congress, the problem of enacting the Trump blueprint for a ‘new chapter of American greatness’ met the sober actualities of Washington politics.”

Jeet Heer (The New Republic): “It’s understandable why people want to believe that the Trump of ‘American carnage’ has pivoted into a more inspirational president. But any attention to his words makes clear that an extremely disturbing, distorted vision of America still defines this presidency.”

Josh Barro (Business Insider): “During the campaign, best-behavior Trump was typically only able to stick around for a couple of weeks at most. That clock has started again today.”

This is the daily Globe Politics newsletter. Sign up to get it by e-mail each morning and let us know what you think.

Written by Chris Hannay and Mayaz Alam.

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