Skip to main content

Good morning,

What could be better on a hot summer day than a riverboat cruise? Perhaps a riverboat cruise with one of Canada's federal party leaders? Later this month Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will be hosting a $275-a-head riverboat-cruise fundraiser in Saskatoon, according to a local riding association website. As much as the Conservatives have hammered the Liberals on their "cash for access" fundraising (an issue The Globe received a National Newspaper Award this year for exposing), the party has been relatively opaque about its own leader's fundraising activities. The Liberals, meanwhile, have begun listing all fundraisers with the prime minister or cabinet ministers on the party website -- including details of who attended. The Liberals have challenged other parties to do the same.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa, with James Keller in Vancouver. 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.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
is in Hamburg, Germany, today, where he will speak at a music festival that also features performances from Coldplay and Shakira.

Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the Canadian government will avoid Australia's mistakes in seeking private investment in public infrastructure. That country served as a model for Ottawa when it set up the Canada Infrastructure Bank, but now Australia has begun pulling back on its plans.

Canada has committed nearly $100-million for aid projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the first major spending lines under the government's new feminist foreign policy.

The military says it has made major strides over the past year in getting retired soldiers their pension cheques. A former lieutenant has proposed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of servicepeople who waited months or years for their first pension payments.

Omar Khadr's payment and settlement with the Canadian government could hit a snag with a legal battle launched by the widow of the sergeant that Mr. Khadr is alleged to have killed as a child soldier.

Ontario, the country's most populous province, is having trouble getting enough physicians willing to participate in medically assisted deaths.

The transfer of power in B.C. following last week's confidence vote is spilling into local politics in Vancouver. Geoff Meggs, a city councillor with the ruling Vision Vancouver party, has been hired as NDP premier-designate John Horgan's chief of staff. That means a byelection will be held to replace him in October, which will give all of the city's parties a dress rehearsal for next year's municipal elections. It could also provide a chance to elect a new school board, after the Liberal government fired Vancouver's board en masse last year. The NDP promised during the spring election campaign to hold a new school board election.

And while Mr. Trudeau met with the Queen yesterday, he gave her a Canadian flag that flew atop the Peace Tower on Canada Day. Any Canadian resident, in fact, can request such a flag from the federal government. But for those of us non-royals, the waitlist is currently 73 years long.

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the politics of the Omar Khadr payment: "The Liberal government's decision to offer Omar Khadr $10.5-million and an apology is a political albatross that Andrew Scheer will hang around Justin Trudeau's neck all the way to the next election."

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on the Conservative attacks on Khadr: "If the panicky aftermath of 9/11 helps explain the context for the trampling of Mr. Khadr's rights, there is no explanation for the Harper government's relentless exploitation of the Khadr case for political gain."

Audrey Macklin (The Globe and Mail) on the reasons for the payment: "The government of Canada is wise to apologize and compensate him because its actions and omissions were morally wrong and reprehensible. Instead of protecting a citizen and a minor, they exploited the opportunity to interrogate him, indifferent to his abject pleas for help. Instead of seeking his repatriation – as every other government of every other Western country successfully did for their nationals – the government obstructed his return, long after the U.S. signalled its willingness to act."

Kevin Page and Sahir Khan, formerly of the Parliamentary Budget Office, write in The Globe and Mail on the office's new responsibility to cost election promises: "The new approach would help level the campaign playing field between incumbent governments and their opposition counterparts, as the incumbent would no longer have a monopoly on the resources for developing their platforms. With a more thorough costing of election promises, the governing party could move forward in a more strategic fashion to implement their agenda. Parliament would have already seen costing analysis of proposed initiatives, so their pencils would be sharp when the time came to scrutinize the budget bill. The public service would have worked with the PBO to ensure adequate information was provided for the platform costing, so their transition preparations would be further ahead."

Mark Milke and Andrew Pickford (The Globe and Mail) on the B.C. Green Party's approach to resources: "Mr. Weaver's academic, imaginary construct – "unicorns" – best describe his own claims about natural gas and the LNG sector. He is a prisoner of his anti-natural-gas ideology concocted while in his ivory tower."

Terry Glavin (National Post) on Canada-China relations: "Whatever rich fantasy life Ambassador Lu might want us to inhabit, to say there is some super-influential anti-China faction within Canada's news media is to tell a preposterous lie. If anything, the main tendency in the Canadian news media has been to serve as an active accomplice in the normalization of business-class intimacies between Canada's corporate deal-hustlers and the gangster princelings whose boots tread heavier on the necks of the Chinese people as the days pass."

Rick Bell (Calgary Sun) on the prime minister and Alberta: "For those who feel Alberta is always the unappreciated and oft-despised outsider, the golden goose of Confederation treated like the black sheep, the province others despise while gladly pocketing the cash coming their way, the PM's omission can confirm their storyline. They believe Trudeau left out a mention of Alberta [on Canada Day] on purpose."

Tim Powers (Hill Times) on politicians' summer priorities: "A government at its midway mark can drift if it overestimates its appeal, underestimates its opponents, and has a tin ear to the street. Losing steps on the affordability conversation is not something the Liberals want to do. So the PM will need to show some steak with all that sizzle."


Before world leaders gather at the G20 Summit tomorrow in Germany, U.S. President Donald Trump will give a speech in Poland today about how the future of Western civilization is threatened by "terrorism and extremism."

During the G20, Mr. Trump will have his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Putin, a former KGB operative, will use the in-person meeting as a chance to forge a personal relationship with Mr. Trump, Russia analysts say. The New York Times reports that White House aides are privately worried about what will happen between the two men.

Mr. Trump warned North Korea yesterday that he's considering "some pretty severe things" in response to the country's latest missile test.

In Venezuela, supporters of the president stormed the opposition-controlled legislature and severely beat opposition lawmakers who are trying to counter the president's bid to rewrite the constitution.

And U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are expected to retake the city of Mosul this week from Islamic State fighters, in what may be another indication that IS is nearing its end. What comes next, however, is still an important concern. The cost of rebuilding the region could be upwards of $100-billion, not to mention the staggering loss of life and displaced people who have moved to other countries.

Philip Bump (Washington Post) on Trump's handling of North Korea: "China can fix this and needs to. Maybe China can fix this. If China doesn't fix this, we will. China isn't fixing this, but can. The reason for this back-and-forth is obvious: Trump promised that he could put pressure on the Chinese to cut off North Korea, forcing that nation to end its nuclear ambitions. But once Trump took office, that policy proved to be much harder than he'd presented. So, lacking an obvious solution (since none exists), he continues to try to blame China's policy while explaining why the Chinese haven't been moved to action."

Yanis Varoufakis (New York Times) on a new New Deal: "The answer lies in ditching both globalism and isolationism in favor of an authentic internationalism. It lies neither in more deregulation nor in greater Keynesian stimulus, but in finding ways to put to useful purpose the global glut of savings. This would amount to an International New Deal, borrowing from Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan the basic idea of mobilizing idle private money for public purposes."

Interact with The Globe