Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, says he hopes Canada and India “as two of our closest friends and partners” can resolve their differences over allegations by Canada that India was involved in the death of a B.C. man.
“We think it’s very important that India work with Canada on its investigation, and that they find a way to resolve this difference in a cooperative way,” Blinken told a news conference in New Delhi today after talks with senior Indian officials.
”But that really does go with Canada moving its investigation forward and India working with Canada on it. And that’s something that I’ve discussed with our Indian counterparts, including today.”
Of the two countries, Blinken said: “These are two of our closest friends and partners, and of course we want to see them resolving any differences or disputes that they have as a friend of both.”
At issue are assertions by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in September, that “credible allegations” linked the killing of 45-year-old Hardeep Singh Nijjar of British Columbia to agents of the Indian government.
The Sikh separatist leader was shot dead in June, 2023 on the grounds of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Surrey, near Vancouver, in what police described as a targeted shooting.
During a visit to the Ontario city of Sault Ste. Marie today, Trudeau told journalists that Canada has reached out to India about co-operating in the process of “getting to the bottom of this matter.”
Trudeau noted that Canada has also reached out to allies including the United States and others to work on the file.
“This is something that we are taking very, very seriously. We will continue to work with all partners as law-enforcement and investigative agencies continue to do their work.”
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. 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.
Prime Minister says he’s not quitting - In a walk-in-the-snow interview with Quebec broadcaster Noovo, Justin Trudeau says he still plans to lead the Liberals into the next election. “Yes. Absolutely,” said Trudeau. “Because there is so much work still to do. And the choice Canadians will face in the next election, it’s an almost existential choice.” Asked how he is doing after the end of his marriage, Trudeau said it has been challenging and that when he talks to his kids, “We are living real moments.”
Brian Mulroney condemns rise of attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions - Speaking to the World Jewish Congress in New York, Mr. Mulroney said people should be able to criticize Israel strongly and defend the right of Palestinians to a viable homeland without being called antisemitic. Story here. Meanwhile, Jewish communities in Canada have been shaken by a spike in hate incidents since the onset of Israel-Hamas war. Story here.
Procurement department launches review of IT firms accused of contracting misconduct - Public Services and Procurement Canada says it is taking a closer look at GCStrategies, Coradix and Dalian and will take “appropriate actions” once the review is complete.
Canada’s access-to-information system is more a hurdle than a help to historians - They are denied decades-old files because there’s no process for declassifying them and poor records of what’s available. At the root of the rot is the fact that Canada, unlike so many other democracies, has no system in place to open government records after a set period of time.
National Defence receives largest cut in first wave of federal spending review - Spending documents tabled in Parliament show that of a $500-million reduction this fiscal year from previous spending plans, the defence department is responsible for $211.1-million, or 42 per cent of that amount. Story here.
B.C. deputy Green leader removed over social media ‘like’ blames inadvertent boosting of offensive post - Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi, who has also resigned as a candidate in next year’s provincial election, said in an interview that he had intended to “like” the original post – from a user he follows – and not the offending repost, in which he had been tagged by a person he does not follow.
Housing crisis reshapes historic Remembrance Day ceremony in Halifax - The Royal Canadian Legion is relocating its official Remembrance Day ceremony in Halifax to prevent disrupting the growing encampment of unhoused people living in tents in the city’s historic military parade square. Story here.
Pablo Rodriguez faces questions about whether he misled Commons committee on Laith Marouf - Mr. Rodriguez – who was heritage minister at the time – testified before the Commons heritage committee in October last year that he was not informed of Mr. Marouf’s tweets until after Aug. 22, saying he first learned about them from news reports. Story here.
Ottawa MP Mona Fortier denies rumours of imminent resignation, replacement by Mark Carney - The Liberal MP was categoric: “I still confirm I’m going to be running in the next election. All my papers have been signed and filed. I am an official candidate. I was confirmed in January.” Story here.
THIS AND THAT
Commons and Senate on a break – The House of Commons is on a break until Nov. 20. The Senate sits again on Nov. 21.
Deputy Prime Minister’s Day - In Toronto, Chrystia Freeland participated in the University of Toronto Service of Remembrance and later attended private meetings in Ottawa.
Ministers on the Road - Housing Minister Sean Fraser, in Halifax, attended a national conference on ending homelessness. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Tourism Minister Soraya Martinez Ferrada announced an investment of up to $8-million to protect green spaces. International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen, in Paris, attended the Paris Peace Forum. Justice Minister Arif Virani, in Geneva, attended the United Nations Universal Periodic Review to talk about Canada’s human-rights records.
Mulroney and Bouchard - Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard recently posted on X a picture of Brian Mulroney and Lucien Bouchard in close proximity at a Laval University event. The picture is remarkable because of the complicated history between them, largely recounted here. The post is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
In Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited a local electricity provider, delivered remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and took media questions. Later, Trudeau toured a housing development project, and visited a local Royal Canadian Legion.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Ottawa, held private meetings.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Edmonton, held a news conference on grocery prices outside a supermarket, visited the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training centre and later met with the Edmonton & District Labour Council.
No schedules released for other party leaders.
On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle, who has been reporting on the country’s struggling access to information system through the Secret Canada project, explains why it’s so difficult to access records that are decades – even centuries – old, and why it’s so important that we can see what happened in the past. The Decibel is here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on B.C. finding the limits of policies to combat opioids overdoses: “British Columbia has long been on the leading edge of fighting the opioid crisis, but a proposal this month for another groundbreaking experiment has revealed the outside edges of the province’s policies. The province’s chief coroner ran into those limits when she delivered a recommendation that aims to save lives from a toxic drug supply. Lisa Lapointe’s panel of experts urged the province to offer at-risk drug users a supply of regulated – and therefore uncontaminated – opioids and stimulants without a prescription. “The most immediate way to meaningfully reduce the risks of significant injury and death is to ensure people who use drugs are not dependent on the unregulated drug supply,” the panel concluded.
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how, if we’re not going to use carbon taxes to reduce our emissions, it may be better to do nothing: “The department’s projection, phony as it is, is also nearly a year old. A lot has happened since then, including the massive wildfires that blanketed much of the country this summer, and last month’s cynical decision to exempt heating oil from the carbon tax, centrepiece of the government’s emissions-reductions strategy. Even if that is not followed by further carve-outs, from a Liberal government that is 15 points behind in the polls and falling, the Conservatives have vowed, should they come to power, to scrap the tax altogether. Just the anticipation of this will cause many businesses and consumers to hold off on making the kind of investments in emissions-reducing technology the tax is supposed to encourage.”
Tony Keller (The Globe and Mail) on whether the finances of Canada or the U.S. are in better shape: “In Canada, by contrast, the latest PBO estimate shows Ottawa running a small primary surplus this year, and larger surpluses in years to come. Barring significant new spending or tax cuts, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio will fall. Such a happy outcome would require a radical and politically impossible change of course in the U.S. But it’s the planned budgetary course in Ottawa. This country has problems. But assuming the federal government can control itself, the current path of debt and deficit do not appear to be among them.”
Marsha Lederman (The Globe and Mail) on why people hate Israel: “I had been asked to answer a question: Why are so many people, chiefly among the younger generations, so anti-Israel? How did this tiny country of less than 10 million people go from darling of the left and beacon of democracy in the Middle East to being so utterly reviled – especially by progressives? For instance, how much do you have to hate a country to actively seek out and tear down posters of its abducted children – often with glee?”
Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on how exposing the owners of shell companies is a start, but Canada must do more to fight financial crime: “Dirty money flows freely in the dark – and the Trudeau government is finally taking the first step to shine more light on this growing problem. Following years of international pressure, Ottawa is on the cusp of creating a corporate registry to unmask the owners of millions of shell companies. Those anonymous corporate entities, which can be used to access the banking system, are routinely exploited by criminals to launder illicit profits. Bill C-42, which recently received royal assent, lays the foundation for a federal corporate database that will be searchable, free to use and accessible to the public.”
Lloyd Axworthy and Allan Rock (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, in the conflict in Gaza, we must think about the children: “The tragic war between Israel and Hamas has exposed deep divisions in Canada and elsewhere. Fingers have been pointed, voices have been raised, provocative accusations have been made, and moral outrage abounds. Amidst the cacophony and the painful images, one can feel helpless. But there is one subject on which broad agreement might build a wider consensus on the path ahead. We speak of the plight of children.”