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Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau heads a meeting of finance ministers in Vancouver, Monday, June, 20, 2016.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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POLITICS BRIEFING

The federal government and eight provinces have agreed (in principle) to expand the Canada Pension Plan. Starting Jan. 1., 2019, a Canadian will receive one-third – up from one-quarter – of their pensionable earnings, and the maximum amount of income that counts under that formula will increase to $82,700 in 2025. CPP premiums will rise to pay for the new benefits, though the federal government says it will "enhance" the Working Income Tax Benefit to offset the increase for low-income workers.

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"Helping Canadians achieve their goal of a safe, secure and dignified retirement is a key part of the government of Canada's plan to help the middle class and those working hard to join it," Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement.

Quebec, which has its own provincial plan, and Manitoba, which elected a new Progressive Conservative government last month, were the two provinces who did not sign on to the deal. Quebec said the deal was "very costly," while Manitoba did not give a reason yet for not signing on.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said the premium increases would put "financial strain" on businesses.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW IN OTTAWA

> After waiting months, the Liberal government is finally starting to fill vacancies on the benches of Canada's courts. The government made diversity an important part of its first wave of judicial appointments.

> The Liberals are also tackling another big review, this time of the environmental rules for approving major energy projects. (for subscribers)

> The House of Commons has mostly shut down for the summer – except for next week's Three Amigos summit – but the committee tasked with reviewing options for electoral reform will meet in Ottawa today. The Liberals have sent caucus chair Francis Scarpaleggia and four rookie MPs, while the Conservatives and NDP have sent veterans, such as Jason Kenney and Nathan Cullen.

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> Conservatives say Liberal MP Bill Blair – a former chief of the Toronto police – was careless to participate in a 2015 fundraiser with someone under police investigation.

> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make his first visit to Ukraine next month.

> Canada should take a more forceful role within NATO, says former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

> Meanwhile, Andrew Scheer – a former Speaker of the House of Commons and potential Conservative leadership contender – says Britain should leave the European Union.

> And thanks to an Access to Information request, the Ottawa Citizen has amusing details about how, when an "Everybody Draw Mohammed" event was planned for Parliament Hill, bureaucrats were more concerned with whether the organizers would use too many chairs than whether the event itself was appropriate. (The event was eventually cancelled.)

BREXIT

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> Polls show that "Leave" has a slight edge over "Remain" in Britain's referendum this week on whether to stay in the European Union. But how much can we trust the polls? Either way, the vote could have a big impact on the markets. (for subscribers)

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

Globe and Mail editorial board: "Once bitten, twice shy. Mr. Dion knows he is in a no-win situation. If he admits to permitting this new sale to Thailand, he will once again be lashed with criticism for allowing Canadian military equipment to be delivered to an oppressive regime – equipment that might be used for "attitude adjustment" purposes, for all we know. Better to say as little as possible, then, and leave Canadians in the dark."

Signa Daum Shanks (Globe and Mail): "Today, think about what makes you a great friend. But today, also think about what boundaries exist around you that just might make the potential of an indigenous friend improbable. Taking those boundaries down might not be easy, but like all important parts of life, it will help you develop a more accurate history and a better eye for modern conditions."

Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail): "The social climate is much tamer in Canada than in the United States or in parts of Europe where parties of the far right flourish. But our society has been hit, too. As Mark Kingwell wrote in The Globe and Mail on Saturday, rationalism is losing ground. Respect for fact, for truth, for evidence is on the wane. They no longer exert their traditional pull. Lose those anchors and what's next?"

Nik Nanos (Globe and Mail): "A look at the polling in the United States suggests these politically turbulent times will lead to a fluctuation in the preferences and views of Americans. But the reality is that the U.S. electoral college should be more of a focus than the surveys which measure the popularity of presidential hopefuls." (for subscribers)

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Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star): "If all goes according to that tentative plan [Stephen] Harper will leave the Hill without having dignified the place with a final farewell. Political friends and foes in the House will not have had an opportunity to mark the occasion of his retirement."

Aaron Wherry (CBC): "The summer of electoral reform might thus be upon us (possibly rivaling 2010's summer of the long-form census for whimsy and spectacle). At the very least, the discussion might now expand beyond the question of whether a referendum is necessary before implementing reform – a question the Conservatives are insistent upon and that will hang over this debate – to get to a debate about the actual merits of various electoral systems."

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