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Two employees in the federal Auditor-General’s office have been fired for failing to disclose they had contracts with the federal government. A third case is under investigation.

The cases related to the two fired employees have been referred to law enforcement, said Natasha Leduc, a spokesperson for the office. Ms. Leduc said in an e-mail that none of the employees involved were auditors.

The office said it became aware of one case after being informed by Public Services and Procurement Canada that it was reviewing a contractor’s security status and had asked whether the person was still employed with the Auditor-General’s office.

Full story by deputy Ottawa bureau chief Bill Curry.

In Alberta, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it’s clear the procurement and contract processes within the public service fall short of expectations.

“This is an unacceptable situation and there need to be changes on this. Government needs to make sure that everyone from the political level to the public-service level are responsible, transparent stewards of the public money,” Trudeau told a news conference in Calgary.

Also in Alberta

The Prime Minister also met Wednesday with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, whom Trudeau has been at odds with over climate change and trans children policies.

However, Trudeau described a productive discussion.

“I was pleased to talk with Premier Smith. We highlighted some of the challenges that we’re working on solving around child care, for example, where the billions of dollars in investments the federal government is making is starting to make a real difference in people’s lives,” he said.

Smith, at her own news conference, said she had a “constructive meeting” with Trudeau, but added there are several issues in which there is some distance between the two sides, such as the impact of federal carbon pricing and its cascading effects on inflation affordability.

The Alberta Premier is urging Trudeau to heed the growing calls from premiers to dump the planned hike to the consumer carbon charge on April 1.

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Canada aids Palestinian sex-crime victims, angering Israeli envoy: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly pledged $1-million for women from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip whom her office described as “survivors of sexual violence, no matter the circumstance.”

Foreign-interference inquiry to grant opposition parties power to cross-examine witnesses: Inquiry head Justice Marie-Josée Hogue opened the doors to cross-examination after months of criticism, particularly from the Conservative Party, which was denied full party standing at the inquiry despite being a target of meddling by China. Senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase and Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife report.

Quebec budget $11-billion in deficit: Finance Minister Eric Girard is committing to a balanced budget by the 2029-30 fiscal year – two years later than originally forecast – but he won’t release a specific timeline for achieving that until next year.

Politicians want more competition in Canada but supply management still a ‘sacred cow’: When it comes to the supply management system for egg, poultry and dairy products – the mechanism that sets prices for producers – all of Canada’s federal parties seem to see eye-to-eye.


”The prime minister’s job doesn’t just happen in Ottawa. Indeed, it shouldn’t just happen in Ottawa.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, explaining his visit to Calgary today.

“There’s a lot of candidates in the NDP leadership race, and I’ll do what I have always done with leftist politicians: I will debate them on policy and on our record, and trust that Albertans will decide which party better reflects their values and their priorities.” – Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, responding to former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who has entered the race to lead the provincial NDP, declaring Smith’s government is immoral and dangerous.

“How could I ever forget to introduce the premier of the province, Premier Dennis King.” – Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, at an announcement in Charlottetown, after making a statement and leaving the podium without introducing the next speaker: King.


Tories promise voting tide: Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says in a statement today that his caucus will force multiple votes in Parliament next week to head off a hike in federal carbon pricing set for April. 1.

Commons, Senate: The House of Commons is on a break until next Monday. The Senate sits again on March 19.

Deputy Prime Minister’s day: Chrystia Freeland is in Toronto, but had no public events scheduled.

Ministers on the road: National Revenue Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau visited agricultural machinery manufacturer Anderson Group, in Chesterville, northeast of Montreal, to talk about federal support for the business. Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is travelling to the Italian cities of Verona and Trento to meet this week with his G7 counterparts on industry, technology and digital issues. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, in Charlottetown, with Premier Dennis King, announced a joint federal-provincial $47-million program to revitalize the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez and Health Minister Mark Holland, in Montreal, announced $1.7-billion in financial support for 7,700 researchers and research projects all across Canada.


In Calgary, Justin Trudeau met with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, made a dental-care announcement and also met with seniors.


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is in Halifax as part of a national tour, with Jonathan Pedneault, the party’s deputy leader.

No schedules released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.


Globe reporter and feature writer Shannon Proudfoot is on our podcast today to explain how some small towns are dealing with the opioid crisis despite having far fewer resources. The Decibel is here.


Online Harms Bill: Fewer than half of Canadians believe the federal government’s plan to regulate social media sites will make platforms safer, a new survey suggests.


Pornography, Parliament and parents

“It’s hard to quibble with the goal behind Bill S-210: keeping pornography, often violent and misogynistic, out of the sight of minors. But good intentions alone don’t make for good laws.” – The Globe and Mail Editorial Board

Jagmeet Singh takes pharmacare win and does a pratfall

“In his moment of purported triumph, Jagmeet Singh managed to bungle things. The NDP Leader was celebrating the deal with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to launch a mini-pharmacare program that would cover birth control and diabetes medication. Good news for the NDP, you would think, in that they had pressed one of their social-policy priorities on to the Liberals.” – Campbell Clark

House motion on Israel-Hamas war adds to Canada’s divided views

“On Monday, the House of Commons will vote on an NDP motion to recognize the state of Palestine and to prohibit the sale of arms to Israel. The motion is unlikely to pass. But it speaks to how views on Israel and the Palestinians have hardened in this country since the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7.” – John Ibbitson

Quebecor CEO Péladeau can never find a replacement for Brian Mulroney

“Despite holding more prestigious directorships on the boards of international firms, Mr. Mulroney never shirked his duties as Quebecor chairman. Despite having undergone treatment for prostate cancer only weeks earlier, he chaired the company’s 2023 annual meeting with the same skill and authority as he always had. Mr. Mulroney’s death leaves a gaping hole on Quebecor’s board that will be impossible to fill.” – Konrad Yakabuski

A federal budget two weeks after fiscal year begins – what’s the excuse?

“It should be clear: Timely budgets with their tax and expenditure plans are good. Late budgets are not. This institutionalization of tardiness is hard to understand. Everybody affected by the annual federal budget – households, businesses, provinces and territories, government departments – should know the effects of the federal budget on their finances before the fiscal year begins so they can plan accordingly.” – Don Drummond and William Robson.

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