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Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks during question period at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 24, 2016. The federal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax on provinces that don’t do it themselves is expected to mimic the Alberta carbon program, including rebate payments sent directly to low– and middle-income individuals.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Good morning,

The biggest announcement out of Ottawa today is expected to be the Liberals' unveiling of their plan for a national carbon-pricing scheme. The draft will be out around noon (local Ottawa time), with legislation in the fall following plenty of consultation from industry and environmentalists. The Liberal proposal will be the default option across the country when/if it's enacted, with provinces given the option to come up with their own policies if they can prove there would be comparable emissions reduction. Sources tell The Globe to expect a federal plan that is similar to the one created by the Alberta NDP, which has won support from some oil companies.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa. If you're reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Let us know what you think.


The Liberals are pledging their support for a Magnitsky-style bill that targets Russian human rights abusers with sanctions. The legislation is modelled on a law passed in the U.S. in 2012 and named after an anti-Putin campaigner who was murdered in 2009. The Russian Embassy is denouncing the policy as "unfriendly."

Opposition parties are up in arms over the appointment of Madeleine Meilleur as Official Languages Commissioner. The Conservatives and NDP say they weren't consulted for the appointment, which, as an Officer of Parliament, is expected to operate independently of the government. Ms. Meilleur was a long-time Ontario Liberal politician and cabinet minister.

And just when you thought you'd seen the last of Kevin O'Leary: he could play a role in a Maxime-Bernier-led Conservative party, the pair say.

Lesley Bikos (Globe and Mail) on the culture of policing: "While some in the public may see these reports as earth-shattering revelations about the workplace culture of Canadian police forces, their content should not surprise many of the officers who serve. The culture of policing was originally built on white, traditionally masculine, conservative norms, and is based on hyper-masculinity, loyalty and, above all, silence."

Éric Grenier (CBC) on Conservative leadership rules: "The party gives equal weight to each of Canada's 338 ridings regardless of how many members that riding has. Each riding will be worth 100 points, distributed proportionately according to each candidate's share of the vote. This will make members in some parts of the country far more valuable than others."

Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star) on NDP leadership contender Jagmeet Singh's appeal in Quebec: "Based on the niqab episode of the 2015 election, there are those who would readily answer that going into the 2019 campaign in Quebec under a leader whose religious identity is a distinguishing feature could be a recipe for disaster. But that may amount to selling Quebecers short."

B.C. UPDATE by James Keller

As the B.C. Green Party prepares for negotiations with the Liberals and NDP for its support in a possible minority legislature, Leader Andrew Weaver has launched a bitter attack on the Liberal government. Mr. Weaver has gone out of his way since last week's election to say he's open to working with both parties, but yesterday he held a news conference in which he pointed out large gaps with the Liberals, notably on energy projects such as the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and the Site C hydroelectric dam. And he also noted that on those issues, his party has far more in common with the NDP.  Mr. Weaver's negotiating team includes Brian Mulroney's former chief of staff Norman Spector, who just last week said he believed the Greens would end up supporting the NDP.


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The White House is expected to send a letter to Congress today that will kick off the process for North American free-trade negotiations. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is headed to Mexico next week.

The U.S. Justice Department has appointed a special counsel to look into the web of allegations that Russia interfered with last year's election and some of the Donald Trump campaign team could have been complicit. (The New York Times reports that the Trump team knew about Michael Flynn's legal troubles for weeks before he was brought into the White House.) The special counsel is Robert Mueller, a former director of the FBI who served under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The Washington Post explains just what a special counsel can and can't do. Mr. Trump, apparently, took the news calmly.

Impeachment is still unlikely for Mr. Trump, but even some Republicans are starting to imagine a President Mike Pence.

And: "No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly," Mr. Trump told Coast Guard graduates yesterday. There are a few politicians who might disagree.

Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail) on the possible existence of taped conversation with Comey: "It may, in fact, be the only way to prevent the onset of an obstruction of justice investigation against him and the threat of possible impeachment. Of course, Mr. Trump, knowing what is on the tapes, may not want them divulged. And if he fights their release, it's a dead giveaway of his guilt. What a fix to be in."

Ben Shapiro (National Review) on Trump's political strategy: "There is no 8-D underwater quantum chess. There is only Trump. And as the so-called law of the lid states in business, the upper limit of a president's competence can never be superseded by that of his subordinates. And Trump's competence is tied directly to his character defects."

Anthony Furey (Toronto Sun) on Trump's troubles: "The truth is, there is no urgency right now. When you're dealing with, say, a potential government shutdown over a looming spending deal (exactly what happened last month) then sure there's a rush to get all the moving parts to fit together. A touch of mania would be defensible. Not in this case though. This is a slower moving story, with more journalism required and likely committee hearings."

Globe and Mail editorial board on the stakes: "But regardless of the outcomes of any investigations, it's unlikely that they would lead to Mr. Trump's impeachment."

John Moody (Fox News) on whether Trump will serve all four years: "Trump is slowly accomplishing his mission. If he plans to walk away from Washington once he feels he has fulfilled his promise to the American people, he should say so. Both his supporters and his growing list of opponents would probably respect his candor, and might work together to give him what he wants, so he will go away."

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