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Finance Minister Bill Morneau's advisory group will offer him recommendations on ways to boost the economy on Oct. 19, 2016. (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Finance Minister Bill Morneau's advisory group will offer him recommendations on ways to boost the economy on Oct. 19, 2016. (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics briefing

Morneau's advisory group outlines plan to boost economy 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.


> A group of external economic advisers led by Dominic Barton is delivering its recommendations to Finance Minister Bill Morneau this week, and there are some big ones – including an increase in annual immigration levels to 450,000 people a year, up from about 300,000. The Globe has more, for subscribers.

> Speaking of Mr. Morneau, sources say he was at a fundraiser last week that appears to violate the Prime Minister’s rules. The event was a $1,500-a-person private party at a developer’s home in Halifax.

> The Liberals are set to announce plans to eventually require all homes to be energy self-sufficient. (for subscribers)

> Federal and provincial health ministers couldn’t come to a deal this week, so it’ll be up to Justin Trudeau and the premiers to work something out.

> Conservative MPs are warning Liberal electoral reform will “rig” the 2019 election.

> And Campbell Clark, The Globe’s chief political writer, takes a deep look at the Prime Minister’s first year. “There’s an inside joke in Justin Trudeau’s government: ‘This is going to be the first real test.’ It’s a wink at the oft-written warning that Mr. Trudeau’s popular government is finally facing the challenge that will pop the bubble. It was such fun that PMO staffers had interns count up more than 80 ‘first real tests.’”


> Utah – conscience of the Republican Party: As the two main presidential candidates prepare for tonight’s final debate, The Globe and Mail’s Joanna Slater goes to Utah, where “a large chunk of voters ... are sending a different message: neither of the above.” Slater writes that large chunks of the state’s normally Republican voters are repulsed by the campaign being run by Donald Trump. Local candidate Evan McMullin has a chance on Nov. 8 to be the first independent in 48 years to win an electoral college vote.

> Trump and the Canadian anti-Semite: John Ibbitson in The Globe and Mail looks at the parallels between Donald Trump and Father Coughlin (“Canada’s unhappiest export to the United States”), who was one of the first demagogues to grasp the power of the new medium of radio in the years before the Second World War. “At a dangerous hour, Charles Coughlin inspired many and terrified many more. And the Republican candidate for president increasingly echoes him.”

> Losing means you’re in the game: Also in today’s Globe, Mark Kingwell says Donald Trump’s inability to concede defeat “mocks the idea of human endeavour. … This isn’t a mere psychological quirk, it is a fundamental ethical defect that sets a bad example for children and idiots everywhere. Mr. Trump arouses appalled fascination because he is the pure creepy-clown avatar, the ultimate example of world-swallowing competitive attitude.”

> Policy ... remember that?: Economic vision has not exactly been at the top of the headlines during this election campaign. But Greg Ip of The Wall Street Journal has soldiered on, and offers a deep look at a Trump plan buttressed by massive tax cuts. Ip says “it rests on aggressive, tenuous or flawed assumption.”

> Does advertising matter?: At The Upshot, Lynn Vavreck says this election has given political junkies and researchers a rare opportunity to measure electoral success against the amount of advertising undertaken by each campaign. Donald Trump has largely forgone the tradition of large ad buys during a campaign, focusing instead on free coverage from rallies and social media. “All this suggests that Mr. Trump’s strategy, while efficient in terms of costs, may not be effective in terms of persuasion.”

> Thank you, WikiLeaks: In The New York Times, Thomas Friedman said the WikiLeak dump of Democratic Party e-mails has him “more convinced than ever she can be the president America needs today. … When I read WikiHillary, I hear a smart, pragmatic, center-left politician who will be inclined to work with both the business community and Republicans.”


Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail): “Having prime ministers who are an uncomfortable fit for the people is a problem that has long plagued Tory leaders; their personas came to grate on the public. Most left office unliked, unwanted. Consider the vainglorious Arthur Meighen, or R.B. Bennett, who was derided, sometimes not unfairly, as a pompous ass. John Diefenbaker began on a high note but came to be viewed as a messianic blowhard bordering on the unhinged. Young Joe Clark was green and gawky, Brian Mulroney too slick by half, Stephen Harper needlessly malevolent. Liberal PMs, an exception being the lugubrious but successful William Lyon Mackenzie King, had personal styles that worked better. Think of Wilfrid Laurier, or Louis St. Laurent (who went by Uncle Louis) or Lester Pearson, Jean Chrétien and the Trudeaus.”

Michael Byers (Globe and Mail): “Talking Russia back from the brink will not be easy. Negotiations between the United States and Russia have broken off. Earlier this month, Russia was backed into a corner by a strongly worded draft UN Security Council resolution to end the bombing of Aleppo, and used its council veto to get out. Enter Mr. Dion who, because of Canada’s size and geographic position, can engage Russia directly on Arctic issues. Just as importantly, the Arctic is a topic on which Russia is willing to be engaged.”

Chris Hannay (Globe and Mail): “After spending the last hour being the ones to tell Chanie Wenjack’s story, the Downies finally turned the microphone over to one of the Wenjack family to speak. Without a band backing her up, Pearl, Chanie’s older sister, sang a haunting Anishinaabemowin prayer that seemed to fill the room.”

Globe and Mail editorial board: “There is no question that corrections systems are complex. But the issue of solitary confinement is not. It is abusive, and it harms inmates suffering from mental illness, making it harder for them to rejoin society when their sentences are complete. [Ontario Corrections Minister David] Orazietti can request all the studies he wants, but it won’t hide the fact that Ontario’s perpetual inaction on solitary confinement is failing not only inmates but also the broader public.”

Lorrie Goldstein (Sun): “Now, by imposing a national carbon price on Canadians in the absence of the U.S. doing the same, Trudeau is damaging our economy and risking the jobs of Canadian workers, who are already facing higher taxes and higher prices for consumer goods because of carbon pricing.”

Chris Varcoe (Calgary Herald): “Debate has turned in recent months to whether Canada has missed the boat for LNG development, dithering while other countries passed us by. As the [B.C.] government has learned, large-scale energy developments are incredibly complex, affected by volatile commodity prices, evolving government regulations, increasing environmental oversight, concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and intense competition for capital.”

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