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By Chris Hannay (@channay)
> If you're travelling for the holidays, you have my sympathies: the loonie yesterday hit an 11-year low. (for subscribers)
> Federal and provincial finance ministers hold their annual meeting on Sunday and Monday. Provinces are hoping to not find out how much equalization money they're getting the way they did under the Conservatives: in an envelope handed out over dessert. (for subscribers)
> Speaking of equalization: Ontario could be back as a "have" province, not because it's doing well, but because Alberta is doing poorly.
> Also in Ontario: Two aides to former premier Dalton McGuinty have been charged for deleting e-mails related to the gas plants scandal. One of those aides, Laura Miller, resigned from a senior post with the B.C. Liberals.
> The Liberals don't have a timeline for when they expect to legalize marijuana, or how.
> "The government of Canada is committed to lowering the tax burden on small-business owners," says Small Business Minister Bardish Chagger.
> The Duffy trial ended with much less fanfare than when it started. Closing arguments in the case will be heard in February.
> And CTV's Don Martin makes his predictions for 2016: Tom Mulcair survives a leadership review and the Liberals post an extra-large budget deficit.
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WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT
"The [New Brunswick] Liberals, facing the reality they once denied, are trying to confront fiscal facts. For their efforts – surprise! – they are being condemned by just about every interest group in the province, even before the government announces any decisions. Such is the difficulty of restructuring any budget of a public institution: Nobody wants to take a hit, everyone thinks someone else should suffer and some people do not think there is a problem at all. Or, if they do recognize there is a problem, they think spending more money will somehow eliminate a huge structural deficit."
– Jeffrey Simpson (for subscribers) on New Brunswick's finances.
David Bercuson (Globe and Mail): "Most Canadians no doubt wish the new government well, especially in its most important task: to defend Canada, its people, its interests and its allies. The new government might start by explaining why it's so determined to get Canadian jets out of the region."
Gary Mason (Globe and Mail): "I think most of us believe that, for the most part, the multicultural experiment in Canada has been a success."
Lisa Raitt (National Post): "The Trudeau government has been in office six weeks, and nearly every plank of their fiscal platform has splintered into pieces. The only real surprise is just how quickly it happened."
Jen Gerson (National Post): "For [Justin Trudeau's] own sake, and the sake of the country, he should not only subject any major [electoral] reforms to a referendum, but find a way to enshrine the process to ensure future leaders must do the same, either by precedent, tradition or legislation."
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