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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves Centre Block following a weekend meeting of the national caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves Centre Block following a weekend meeting of the national caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Politics Briefing

Trudeau and cabinet go on budget promotion tour Add to ...


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
is in Winnipeg and Saskatoon today for a post-budget promotion tour. His ministers are also scattered across Canada, from Vancouver to southern Ontario.

On Canada and China: two of Canada’s former spy-agency heads say an extradition treaty would be very difficult to sign, given human-rights concerns with the Chinese government; and the Trudeau government’s approval of a Montreal technology firm to a Chinese company despite national security warnings may embolden Chinese investment, experts say.

About a third of appointments to be made by the federal cabinet remain vacant, according to a CBC count.

The Liberal government may not tackle access-to-information reform before the next election.

And Lynn Beyak’s colleagues in the Senate continue to debate what to make of her comments about residential schools.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has authorized a rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations in an effort to put coal miners back to work. Unsurprisingly, the move calls into question promises that the U.S. has made in the global efforts to combat climate change and puts pressure on Canada’s agenda. Additionally, many argue that Mr. Trump’s order will do little to reverse the economic forces that stymied demand for coal. What’s certain, however, is that Mr. Trump’s plans will increase the heat on Mr. Trudeau’s climate agenda.

Just days after they pulled the American Health Care Act, Republicans announced that they have resumed negotiations to repeal and replace Obamacare. The path forward, however, remains unclear as both moderates and those on the far-right led to the bill’s demise.

Is it @realDonaldTrump or the real Donald Trump? Through machine learning, a new Twitter bot is trying to figure out when Mr. Trump himself is communicating to the world, 140 characters at a time.

And Hillary Clinton is officially “out of the woods,” speaking to thousands at the Professional Women’s Business Conference in San Francisco. Without mentioning Mr.Trump by name, she went after the administration repeatedly on everything from health-care to the shortage of women appointees in top White House positions.


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British Prime Minister Theresa May has formally filed papers to begin the process of getting the United Kingdom out of the European Union. The Guardian looks at the history of the union.


“When trade barriers are falling, when people are coming to our shores and when investment is rising, Canadians prosper. The flip side is that responding to tough economic times by turning inward rarely succeeds. What experience has shown is that the fears of openness are misplaced. Protectionism does not promote growth and its costs are steep.” Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail): “It’s a lesson that growing economic ties with China don’t necessarily make Westerners more comfortable with Beijing’s politics – or any measure that makes them feel like they’re swallowing its ways. Australia had struck a free-trade deal with China, but Australians couldn’t digest a deal with its justice system. Mr. Trudeau should keep that in mind. He has agreed to hold exploratory talks on a Canada-China extradition treaty, but the big deal for his government rests in another set of talks on a free-trade agreement.”

Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail): “Unfortunately, however, Mr. Trudeau does not apply his gifts of outreach to what Ottawa sorely needs – a newfound respect for the democratic process. Instead, with exceptions such as his good work on Senate reform, he has become increasingly caught up in excessive partisanship. Instead of respecting the democratic impulse, he appears bent on trying to manipulate it.”

John Milloy (Policy Options): “So, is this the future: a continuing decline into obscurity for members of Parliament as they focus on staying out of trouble? Parliamentary reform — the push to give backbenchers more significant roles — always seems to be on the horizon, but it is hard to see how strengthening committee chairs is going to radically change the working life of a member in the capital.”

Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail): “[Trump’s] plan to reopen NAFTA isn’t necessarily something to be feared. It could be a rare opportunity for Ottawa to resolve long-standing trade irritants with Washington while securing a better deal for Canadians.” (for subscribers)

Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail): “Waterways and forests poisoned by mining waste cannot be magically restored. Power plants given fresh licence to spew out pollutants and carbon dioxide cannot be scrubbed up quickly or cheaply if the rules are tightened up again. Animals that go extinct if Trump dilutes the Endangered Species Act won’t become unextinct if the act is restored.” (for subscribers)

John Podesta (Washington Post): “Make no mistake, the Trump administration’s rampage against the environment presents an existential threat to the entire planet. But we cannot give up hope that we can still avert the most severe aspects of climate change.”

Written by Chris Hannay and Mayaz Alam.


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