Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press


After a week in their ridings, Members of Parliament are back in Ottawa for the final four-week stretch before the summer recess.

It definitely wasn’t a quiet break week.

Former governor-general David Johnston dropped his long-awaited report last week on foreign interference, concluding that there is no need for a public inquiry. The opposition parties strongly disagree, and Monday is their first chance to directly challenge the government for siding with Mr. Johnston’s conclusion.

Watch for the issue to also come up in committee this week. The Procedure and House Affairs committee is holding hearings into reports that Conservative MP Michael Chong was the target of a Chinese intimidation campaign.

Former senior intelligence officials and former Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick are scheduled to appear on Tuesday. Then on Thursday, National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair are on the witness list.

They will likely be asked about one of Mr. Johnston’s major findings, which is that there are major shortfalls in the way intelligence agencies report information to cabinet ministers and their advisors.

Mr. Johnston reported that Canada’s spy agency sent a note to Mr. Blair in 2021, when he was minister of public safety, alerting him of intelligence indicating China intended to target Mr. Chong.

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But Mr. Johnston said neither the minister nor his chief of staff received the note because neither of them had access to the top secret e-mail network on which the message was sent.

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IT’S ELECTION DAY IN ALBERTA - Election day looms in Alberta after a heated contest between the UCP’s Danielle Smith and the NDP’s Rachel Notley where leadership became the dominant issue, rising above policy debates. Globe story here.

CANADA ON TRACK TO HIT 100 MILLION PEOPLE BY 2100 - The chief executive of the Century Initiative says Canada “has reached the point of no return” when it comes to welcoming more immigrants, as its modelling shows Canada is on track to more than double its population to at least 100 million by the turn of the century. Globe story here.

POILIEVRE FOCUSED ON SAFER-SUPPLY PROGRAMS - The Globe’s Ian Bailey and Andrea Woo report here on the politics and the policy behind the safer-supply programs that Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is criticizing.

O’TOOLE TARGETED - Canada’s spy agency has informed former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole that he was targeted by Beijing during his time as party chief and remains a target because of his criticism of the Chinese Communist Party. Globe story here.

SABIA’S ON HIS WAY OUT. WHO WILL REPLACE HIM AS DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE? - Michael Sabia has yet to officially announce his departure to lead Hydro-Québec, but several names are already circulating in the Ottawa rumour mill as to who could fill the important job. Globe story here.

CHINESE ‘POLICE STATION’ RECEIVED FEDERAL FUNDING - The federal government gave nearly $160,000 to a second Quebec group suspected of hosting a Chinese ‘police station’ in Canada, Postmedia reports here.


FREELAND FACES EVENING GRILLING OVER SPENDING - Members of Parliament don’t just review and approve legislation. They are also responsible for signing off on government spending through a process called the estimates. This involves committee hearings, as well as an opportunity for the official opposition to select two ministers for in-depth questioning on the floor of the House of Commons. Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen was first up on May 15. The transcript is here.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has selected Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as the second minister. She will face questions on Monday evening. Mr. Poilievre is likely to start off the questioning, as he did with Mr. Hussen.

On Friday, Ms. Freeland’s department reported that the federal government posted a $44.4-billion deficit in March, the final month of the fiscal year. Finances had been in a small surplus position over the first 11 months of the 2022-23 fiscal year. That leaves the unofficial deficit projection for the year as a whole at $41.3-billion.


The President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, is in Ottawa Monday. He meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the morning and then again in the evening for a dinner with Mr. Trudeau and others.

After dinner, Mr. Trudeau is scheduled to speak at an Asian Heritage Month reception.


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s motion criticizing the federal government’s approach to the opioids crisis is scheduled for a vote Monday afternoon.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday afternoon and will attend the evening dinner with the President of Iceland.


On Monday’s episode of The Globe’s Decibel podcast, Dr. Samira Mubareka, an infectious diseases physician, medical microbiologist and scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute, explains what’s going on with avian flu right now, where it could be headed and what we’re doing to stay ahead of it. Listen here or subscribe for free on your preferred podcasting platform.


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will handle the foreign interference file: - “There’s no inquiry into Chinese foreign interference, so the federal New Democrats have decided to keep walking on a tightrope between criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and supporting his government. So far, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh doesn’t seem to feel like his party is teetering on a high wire. They just don’t know if and when that will change.”

Shannon Proudfoot (The Globe and Mail) on David Johnston and the literal Laurentian elite: “There’s something else in Mr. Johnston’s explanation that might stop you short. It seems to take for granted that ski chalets, friendships with former and future prime ministers – relationships chill enough for “Hey, can I leave my car at your place in Tremblant?” no less – and everything else that goes along with this story are common, unremarkable occurrences for ordinary people. And of course they’re not. I mean, as a manifestation of Laurentian elites, this one is a tad on the nose.”

The Globe and Mail’s editorial board says Canada’s courts are in crisis, and Ottawa isn’t doing enough about it: “Canada’s courts are strained, a problem that stretches back years. People accused of crimes often wait too long for their case to be heard. The pandemic exacerbated the problem but, as the country recovers, the wheels of justice still grind slowly.”

Four Canadian academics writing for The Conversation about their recent report in The Canadian Geographer say Canada’s ambitious immigration plan could benefit smaller communities and local employers if executed well - “Canada’s approach to labour migration sounds good in theory: select the most talented applicants and offer them one-way tickets to a welcoming country with bountiful jobs and endless opportunity. But there’s one problem. Newly arrived immigrants typically struggle to find employment that matches their skills and qualifications. Research shows that many end up working in precarious jobs characterized by low wages, irregular hours and unstable contracts.”