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The Bank of Canada sees some rougher waters ahead.

“Ongoing trade conflicts and uncertainty are restraining business investment, trade, and global growth,” the Bank noted in its release this morning. The Bank, which had kept quiet during the election, says the outlook has darkened since July, though the Bank is keeping its key interest rate steady at 1.75 per cent. The Bank cut its estimate of growth of the Canadian economy and said the second half of this year will see growth slow below its potential.

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The Bank said its governing council will be watching the behaviour of consumers and lawmakers as it thinks about where to take the rate next. “In considering the appropriate path for monetary policy, the Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the global slowdown spreads beyond manufacturing and investment," the Bank release said. "In this context, it will pay close attention to the sources of resilience in the Canadian economy – notably consumer spending and housing activity – as well as to fiscal policy developments.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Former Liberal deputy prime minister Anne McLellan of Edmonton – who has been tapped by Justin Trudeau’s government for advice on legalizing cannabis and the role of the attorney-general – is now being asked to be an ear for Mr. Trudeau in the West.

Senior Conservative MP Mark Strahl says his party is doing a thorough review of why it lost the election, and is prepared to make big personnel changes if required.

Alberta’s $30-a-tonne carbon tax on large industrial emitters could stave off federal intervention, though the United Conservative Party government says it will continue to challenge in court the federal tax on consumers.

The Business Council of Canada, which represents 158 CEOs and business leaders, says the federal Liberal government must begin a long-overdue review of the tax code as soon as it can. The ask one of six in a report released today, after the election.

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An “urgent” review ordered by Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough during the election has found that the chair of a Crown corporation is not in a conflict of interest, despite working for a company that is able to bid on the Crown corp’s contracts.

A Taiwanese delegation met with officials in Ottawa this week to warn of the dangers of Chinese interference.

Saudi Arabia is $3.4-billion behind on its payments for the Canadian-made armoured vehicles.

First Nations leaders say talk of separation by Alberta and Saskatchewan ignores the treaty obligations of those provinces and Canada.

A new scientific paper says 150 million people around the world could lose their homes because of climate-change-caused rises in the sea level by 2050.

And British voters will indeed head to the polls on Dec. 12, with Brexit still not really resolved.

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Globe and Mail editorial board on whither the Conservative Party: “The Conservative Party has a demographic problem, and it has to think hard about how to address it. It cannot hope to win government solely by motivating a rural and Western base, and then counting on vote-splitting among Liberals, New Democrats and Greens. Nor can Conservatives hope to form government without capturing a big chunk of the vote in the fast-growing parts of urban and suburban Canada, particularly in Ontario.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Trudeau and the premiers: “Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has talked about learning from Quebec’s example in dealing with the federal government. Quebec Premier François Legault responded to the regional divisions underlined by the results of the Oct. 21 election by arguing that provinces want more autonomy. Will they develop a province-power agenda?”

Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on why Alberta should privatize ATB Financial: “Alberta’s deficit is roughly $8.7-billion and its debt is almost $72-billion. Privatization may not make for easy politics, especially in rural parts of Alberta where folks still look askance at Toronto-based banks that turned their backs on the West during the Great Depression. But it’s the right choice for Albertans in an era when smartphones are rapidly replacing bricks-and-mortar branches and when banking is increasingly a game of scale.”

Blake Shaffer (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta’s carbon tax: “So the UCP’s policy is not perfect. Critics will rightly note that it does not put Canada on the path to meeting its Paris commitments. But then again, the Alberta NDP’s policy didn’t either, and nor does the federal Liberals’. Overall, it’s a reasonable plan in many respects, far exceeding the low expectations set by Mr. Kenney’s previous rhetoric. It signals that the government has come to terms with the inevitable demise of coal power and won’t get in the way of market-based renewables and clean power in Alberta – even if the elephant in the room of expanding oil-sands emissions remains.”

Lise Ravary (Montreal Gazette) on Quebec’s place in the federation: “In this age of polarization, I’m not sure we could once more debate the existence of Quebec as distinct society, never mind a nation, with more serenity. Which is strange, since Canadians view with pride their openness to diversity, a defining component of their country’s character. I wonder if tolerance of difference stops at the Quebec border.”

Melanee Thomas (Policy Options) on the gender balance in the House of Commons: “At this point, instead of asking why women should be more included in politics, we should ask why men merit being so overrepresented. After all, in stable democracies that increase women’s presence in politics through a gender quota, such as Sweden, highly qualified women displace mediocre men. While I do not think that elected representatives need to have elite qualifications to be good representatives, I also don’t think that men merit being overrepresented just by virtue of their gender.”

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