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Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray poses for a portrait on January 25, 2013 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray poses for a portrait on January 25, 2013 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics Today: Mama said vote you out? Murray uses hip hop to boost Liberal leadership bid Add to ...

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.

Mama said vote you out

Justin Trudeau isn’t the coolest kid in the Liberal race anymore, now that Joyce Murray’s son has released a rap song for her. The video, from “Baba Brinkman” (real name: Dirk Murray Brinkman Jr.), makes much of her main pitch as the electoral co-operation candidate. It also features what looks like Ms. Murray getting down (though the footage is a little dark). Not that the other campaigns have been idle – have you seen Marc Garneau’s meme-attempting tumblr?

Keystone could break relations with U.S.

If President Barack Obama vetoes the Keystone pipeline this spring, Canada-U.S. relations will go into an unprecedented deep freeze, several high-placed sources tell John Ibbitson. If you thought Canada’s refusal to go into Iraq or the softwood lumber dispute was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Speaking of Keystone, Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall will be the latest premier to stump for it when he visits Washington next week.

Where the axe falls

Two big consequences of the main estimates released this week ahead of the budget: Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement are helping balloon the budget at human resources and national defence is taking a huge cut. Which departments are getting slashed and which are flush with cash? Take a deep dive into the numbers with this interactive from Stuart Thompson.

Where’s the beef?

What else is hurting from reduced program funding? Food safety, for one. As Bill Curry reports, a program that provides checks in the food safety process is losing about a third of its funding in the main estimates. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is up a tick, though.

Remembering the Chinese head tax

A shameful period in Canada’s history will not be remembered as fully as promised, with news that 10 per cent of funding to educate Canadians about the Chinese head tax will never be spent. Given the end date on the program, the $500,0000 left will go back into government coffers.

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