By Chris Hannay (@channay)
It's been more than a hundred years since a prime minister has died in office, and while no one expects anything to happen to the very fit Justin Trudeau, his office is required to make one "in an abundance of caution" change for the Privy Council every time the cabinet is shuffled: updating the prime ministerial line of succession.
Yes, just in case the worst were to happen, the last thing you want in a crisis is to wonder who's in charge.
Past prime ministers have opted to order the list based on preference, but Mr. Trudeau has gone for something simpler: seniority. The first two people on the list are the same as before: Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who has served in Parliament off-and-on since 1974, and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, who's been an MP since 1988.
With the departure of veteran ministers Stephane Dion and John McCallum, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Treasury Board President Scott Brison are the new three and four.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS MORNING
> As Britain prepares to begin the process of leaving the European Union, Canada's High Commissioner to the U.K. says the two countries have begun talking about what their relationship will be post-Brexit. Needless to say, signing a new free-trade deal would not be easy: The Canada-EU deal took a decade to negotiate.
> As income inequality continues to grow, a new Oxfam report says the world's eight richest men have about the same wealth as half the global population.
> Canada's former spy chief Richard Fadden says other countries probably tried to influence the 2015 election, just as Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential race.
> Subscribers' long read for lunchtime: How Donald Trump rocked Mr. Trudeau's approach to international relations.
> How Andrew Scheer, the Conservative leadership candidate with the most caucus support, is quietly building up his campaign.
> Meanwhile, Kevin O'Leary says senators should have to pay for sitting in the Senate. "Instead of it being a cost centre to Canada, why can't it be a profit centre?" he said, referring to one of Canada's two federal legislative chambers.
> And it's not just the Parliament buildings that are falling apart: The home of the Supreme Court is in need of repair, which means the justices will soon find a temporary home.
WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT
Globe editorial board: "The PM, who is well paid for his work, and has many of his personal needs picked up by the taxpayer, does have to limit his travel options to those affordable by him. The same goes for all public officials. It's about preventing our legislators from being bought, or looking as if they are for sale. And even if they aren't influenced, they have to avoid giving the appearance of a conflict of interest – and that includes not accepting otherwise unaffordable accommodations on a private island, with transportation thrown in, to boot."
Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail): "As [B.C.] Finance Minister Mike de Jong puts the final strokes on the pre-election budget he will deliver in February, he has surplus cash to spread around. But his government is already committed to boosting spending on affordable housing, education and health care. There may not be much room left to assist those communities that have been left behind."
John Ibbitson (Globe and Mail): "To varying degrees, several candidates for the Conservative leadership seek to unravel the conservative coalition forged by Stephen Harper, hoping to replace it with a populist, nativist movement similar to the one that elected Donald Trump. Either they will fail and a Harper Conservative will win the leadership, or one will succeed, condemning the Conservative Party to many years in the wilderness. Because the Trump coalition simply doesn't exist in this country."
Stephen Maher (iPolitics): "Angryphones often complain that maintaining a [bilingual] language requirement in political leadership prevents us from getting the best-qualified candidates. But politics is more like sales than a job-application process. If I come to your door to try to sell you something, I am not going to get very far if you can't understand what I'm saying."
David Akin (National Post): "Liberals believe that Canadians will be more impressed by the way Trudeau handles interlocutors like Zack [at public town halls] than they will be convinced by the substance of any criticism."
Thomas Walkom (Toronto Star): "Give Donald Trump credit for this. The U.S. president-elect might not be everybody's favourite person. But he is showing that governments can successfully challenge the logic of globalization."
Erna Paris (Globe and Mail): "The postwar liberal order was a rational global response to the events of the early 20th century. And if we assumed the 70-year status quo would endure, it is because we collectively forgot that irrationality is a core human attribute. In addition, few among us were trained to recognize warning signs."