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Politics Politics Briefing: Plante defeats Coderre in Montreal upset

Valérie Plante speaks to supporters after being elected mayor of Montreal on municipal election night in Montreal, Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Good morning,

In an upset, Valérie Plante was elected the new mayor of Montreal last night. She defeated incumbent Denis Coderre – who had spent 16 years before that in Ottawa as a Liberal MP – to become the first woman elected as Montreal's top public official. "We have a lot of work ahead in the next four years. But there's nothing I like more than a challenge," she said in her victory speech.

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CANADIAN HEADLINES

Parents of children who have names similar to those on the no-fly list have the support of 176 MPs and are asking the government to fund a passenger-redress system.

Since Jagmeet Singh became NDP leader, Tom Mulcair hasn't spent much time in Ottawa. Instead, the man who led the New Democrats from 2012 to 2017 has been on a series of international delegations – fueling speculation he's on the cusp of retirement from politics.

The federal government is launching consultations on its proposed tax on legalized marijuana.

Residents of four federal ridings will vote in by-elections in December, replacing MPs including former Public Services Minister Judy Foote. The by-elections are set for Dec. 11 for the Newfoundland and Labrador riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity; the B.C. riding of South Surrey-White Rock; Saskatchewan's Battlefords-Lloydminster; and Ontario's Scarborough-Agincourt.

The B.C.  NDP's triumphant weekend convention was overshadowed by the new government's looming decision on the fate of the Site C dam.  Premier John Horgan says technical difficulties related to the slopes around the dam construction site could tip the balance. The decision will be controversial, regardless of the outcome: Supporters of the dam say the province needs the power over the long-term and cancelling it would throw thousands of people out of work. Environmentalists and Indigenous groups say it's not needed and would devastate the area.

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And CBC's The National begins its much-hyped revamp today. The Globe's Simon Houpt went inside Canada's public broadcaster to see how its flagship news program is being rejigged for the modern media environment.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the Liberals and ethics: "For months, they failed to see that small fundraisers in which donors paid $1,500 a head and got Mr. Trudeau to show up in their living room didn't live up to their promise to ensure donations didn't buy special access. The PM spent a couple of days defending the hefty relocation expenses of his two closest aides. Then came Mr. Morneau's fiasco, keeping shares he would normally be forced to divest by socking them into a numbered company. Each time, the government started by insisting the rules were followed, and ended up with a tacit admission that the rules were not good enough. It's like they don't understand they're the government, and they're responsible both for following the rules and for the rules themselves. Canadians instinctively assume that's so. Somehow the Trudeau PMO doesn't."

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on Governor-General Julie Payette: "The Governor-General speaks for everyone – believer and non-believer, people of science and people of faith and people of both. She must represent all, regardless of what she might think of some."

Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on the immigration plan: "Both Mr. Hussen's proposal and the opposition responses are based on the most short-term vision of immigration: filling jobs now and meeting demographic challenges a decade from now. What is missing is the longer view of a larger, more sustainably populated Canada – one that concentrates rather than sprawls, one that uses population growth for ecological efficiency rather than waste."

The Globe and Mail editorial board on the Supreme Court's Indigenous rights decision: "The Charter protects all beliefs, whether widespread or rare, ancient or novel. As the court explains in this case, religious freedom means the government cannot interfere with your religious views or practices. But the court said that doesn't extend to creating a property right or other rights over the land said to be connected to those religious beliefs."

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on pipelines and the West: "The NDP Premier brought in a raft of highly unpopular environmental reforms, including a carbon tax, on the promise it would help the province get its oil to tidewater. She thought she had her project. And now it looks dicier by the day. Mr. Kenney, naturally, has exploited every inch of the political opportunity the situation has presented him. His threat to go to economic war with B.C. if its government is successful in stymieing the project is very real. (He's hinted at trade sanctions of some sort). And people in his province are lapping it up, much to Ms. Notley's chagrin."

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Heather Menzies (The Globe and Mail) on Site C: "Canada has a unique government in British Columbia, with the Greens supporting the NDP. The BCUC's findings give the new government a chance to make history by backing alternatives to Site C coming from the less-populated and less lobby-powerful north, and embracing a vision of development that is ecological, economic and just."

Finis Dunaway and Norma Kassi (The Globe and Mail) on the Arctic Refuge: "With climate change bearing down on the North, the coastal plain is critical to the future of Arctic ecosystems. Although this debate will be decided by American lawmakers, it is important to remember that they have listened before to Gwich'in representatives, to Canadian political leaders and to North Americans from all walks of life who have insisted that this special place be protected. They need to hear that message again – and soon – before this irreplaceable ecological treasure is auctioned off to serve the needs of short-term fossil-fuel development."

Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on culture in Ottawa: "It can be tempting to seize on any available evidence to suggest the two parties aren't really that different in how they approach governing, after all. For all of Justin Trudeau's 'sunny ways' talk, the Liberals can be as viciously partisan as the Tories. Their promises to run a more open government have been undermined by access to information being as bad or worse than previously. Talking points are still robotically repeated, in Question Period and elsewhere the government faces criticism, by all but the most confident performers. But the Liberals have stuck to their promise to do things differently, in ways that are meaningful – none more so, for better and worse, than their commitment to re-empower ministers."

Tiffany Gooch (Toronto Star) on women in politics: "So, how does one effectively ally in creating safer spaces for women in politics? While considering how you will or have changed, take it a step further — forget the 'bro code' and actively work to call out inappropriate behaviour when you see and hear about it. Support individuals and organizations carrying out the front-line work of supporting survivors or building campaigns. Remove the stories shared publicly by the brave souls who choose to report sexual violence and harassment from your political arsenal. Most importantly: believe survivors."

INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

First came the Panama Papers. Now, the Paradise Papers shed a light on where and how the elite hide their money. One hundred and twenty politicians, 10 tax havens and trillions of dollars in offshore holdings are involved.  Everyone from the Liberals' chief fundraiser and the Queen to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been targeted in the findings. More than 13.4 million documents form the core of the leak that was reported on by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a group that includes 90 media organizations across 67 countries.

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U.S. President Donald Trump is in Asia as part of a five-country tour that will end this weekend at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit in Vietnam, where he might meet Mr. Putin. We broke down where he's going, what he's doing and what you need to know.

Former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont and four of his associates have turned themselves in to Belgian police. All are wanted by Spain's central government because of their push for independence for the region.

And a Welsh cabinet secretary and a Scottish minister have both resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged. The accusations of sexual harassment and assaultment have targeted multiple British politicians, with Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy Damian Green the most recent high-profile name to be thrown into the spotlight.

Rashid Husain Syed (The Globe and Mail) on Saudi Arabia: "Corruption has been rife in Saudi Arabia. Fingers often pointed to senior princes being involved. In the immediate aftermath of Saturday's purge, Saudi officials framed the detentions as part of the new initiative to root out graft in the kingdom. This could be a shrewd move on the part of Prince bin Salman, as the Saudi youth may condone it as a necessary step. But the exercise also appeared to be part of the effort by the young crown prince to eliminate his rivals or critics. With transition looming, and, King Salman reportedly not in good health, Prince bin Salman doesn't have much time at his disposal. This is a 'now or never' scenario. The war is on, and, the reverberations of the 'long knives' may just be starting."

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Catalonia: "Spain's central government should quit while it's ahead. Instead, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy seems bent on making the ousted leaders of Catalonia suffer for their sins in what can only be seen as an act of vengeance. But making martyrs out of your political foes is never smart." (for subscribers)

Gerald Caplan (The Globe and Mail) on Canada's role in Africa: "Let's get this straight. We have a Prime Minister who excited us with his promise that Canada would become a peacekeeping nation once again, but who has evidently abandoned the issue entirely. We have a Minister of Foreign Affairs who is immersed almost exclusively in North American free-trade agreement negotiations to the exclusion, so it seems, of most other foreign issues, while the actual International Trade Minister remains studiously incognito. If there is such a thing as a Canada-Africa file, for example, our government doesn't flaunt it."

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