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Politics Today: ‘Get tough’ over helicopter replacement, report argues

Defence Minister Peter MacKay inspects a new Canadian military Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter at 12 Wing Shearwater in Halifax on Thursday May 26, 2011.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Politics Today is your daily guide to some of the stories we're watching in Ottawa and across Canada, by The Globe and Mail's team of political reporters.

The endless servitude of the Sea Kings

The long, long quest to replace Canada's Sea Kings, surely past their best-before, could come to an end sooner if Ottawa was tough in negotiations with the American manufacturer, a new report argues this morning. As the report's authors argue in a Globe piece, delays in getting the aircraft have also given the military a chance to upgrade their requirements, which in turn may delay building more.

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Wynne builds a new cabinet

Ontario premier-designate Kathleen Wynne unveils her new cabinet this afternoon, with Charles Sousa getting the nod for finance minister, sources say. Her other leadership rivals (at least, those who are sitting MPPs) will get posts. Two other changes worth noting on very troubled files: former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiaraelli is said to be taking the energy portfolio, which will mean clashes with the opposition parties over the closed gas plants, and backbencher Liz Sandals will take on education, an attempt to turn the page on troubled negotiations with teachers.

Climate change is the Keystone

The Harper government have two tasks in convincing the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline: They are just as serious as President Barack Obama in addressing climate change and that Keystone will be a security and economic benefit.Mr. Obama's mentions of climate change in his second inaugural address make observers suspicious, and we'll see what he has to say in tomorrow night's State of the Union address.

A new push for Quebec sovereignty

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois told the Parti Québécois faithful over the weekend that the federal government's social and economic policies are too much for the province to remain in the confederation. What's unclear is how this will be done, with the party carrying debt, support for sovereignty at 37 per cent in the polls and only a minority government.

Today Quebec's labour minister meets with the federal human-resources minister to press for changes to employment insurance and later this month the province holds a summit on universities – sure to be a hot topic after last year's student protests.

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'We have a revenue problem'

Alberta may not be able to survive without new revenue much longer, and the likely candidate is a sales tax. Alberta is the only province without a sales tax, which is as high as 10 per cent in Nova Scotia and PEI. The Globe's Dawn Walton speaks to a true-blue Tory who makes the (small-c) conservative case for a consumption tax, as oil royalty revenue drops.

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More


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