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Politics Politics Briefing: Calgary Olympic bid not dead yet

Good morning,

So the Calgary Olympic bid might be back on after all. Three levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – came to a deal late last night about how to fund Calgary’s proposed bid to host the 2026 Winter Games. The deal would see Ottawa stick to its guns about funding just half of the public money needed for the project, but the overall bill for taxpayers would apparently decline to $2.875-billion from $3-billion. Now it’s up to the people of Calgary to decide whether or not they still want to go ahead with the bid. City council will vote today and, if that goes ahead, the voters of Calgary will have their say in a plebiscite on Nov. 13.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa. It is exclusively available only to our digital subscribers. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to apologize next week for a historical injustice to Jewish people. In 1939, the Canadian government (led by Prime Minister Mackenzie King) rejected the asylum claim of the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 900 German Jewish refugees trying to escape the Nazi regime. In the end the ship had to return to Europe, where more than 250 of its passengers were killed for who they were. Current Jewish community leaders tell The Canadian Press they hope Mr. Trudeau will address the anti-Semitism that is still around today, including the horrific attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend.

Canada’s spy agency says it routinely warns universities of risks, such as the possibility of other countries exploiting their research in ways that threaten “Canada’s national interests.” A recent Globe investigation found evidence of Chinese military scientists working throughout Canada’s academic sector. Separately, a new report raises questions about how China monitors internet traffic in Canada and the United States.

Statistics Canada may already have some of your most sensitive financial information, after ordering a credit bureau to hand over 15 years worth of data on Canadians' social insurance numbers, debts owed and more.

The families of Canadians trapped in Syria – including at least 10 children held in the country – are urging the federal government to help return them to Canada, but the minister in charge says it’s their fault for going to Syria in the first place.

The federal Liberals say climate change is a national problem and they are well within their rights to impose a national carbon price regime, according to new court filings.

The government is also making it easier for European manufacturers to bid on a major contract for fighter jets.

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In a rare show of agreement between the Conservatives, the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc Quebecois, the parties are calling on Mr. Trudeau to just call the remaining by-elections already. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is waiting to run in a federal by-election in Burnaby, B.C.

Former governor-general David Johnston has been named Canada’s first commissioner of leaders' debates in the next election.

And former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson hasn’t been in office in more than a dozen years, but she’s still making ample use of a program to bill Rideau Hall for her office expenses. Ms. Clarkson billed $114,803 in office expenses last year, the National Post reports, for a total of $1.1-million since she left her viceregal position. It’s not clear what the money is being used for.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia: “No government has any business signing secret arms deals – the kind that make it impossible for Canadians to know the details and judge the ethics of such deals. That was true in 2014 – and it is true now. The government should pass legislation to make sure it can’t happen again.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the carbon tax and the next election: “More than two-thirds of us live in suburbs, and 75 per cent of all urban growth in the past decade took place in car-commuting communities. Voters in these places decide elections. That is why, on the issue of carbon taxes, the Conservatives smell blood. But although they are happy to campaign against Liberal carbon taxes, they are less willing to explain how they would bend the curve on emissions.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on the Conservative Party’s criticisms of the media: “Sure, it might work in terms of taking the media down a notch or two in the eyes of the public. By eroding the credibility of the press, politicians help undermine the credibility of stories that are critical of them. By treating the media with contempt, it gives people the right to treat the media with contempt, too.”

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Tim Powers (The Hill Times) on the Conservative Party’s criticisms of the media: “Borrowing a page from Stephen Harper, not so much Trump, Scheer and his team have amped up the familiar Conservative whine: the media are mostly Liberals, they are against us; the commentators, the same; anyone who isn’t one of us is most definitely against us. In the past, this has proven to be fundraising gold for the Tories and further fuel for the base.”

Andray Domise (Maclean’s) on the aftermath of hate-fueled attacks, such as the one at a Pittsburgh synagogue: “It is a comforting, paralyzing lie to believe that we have ever lived in a time when cerebral efforts, or words of sympathy uttered to the Almighty, could be enough for what we face, enough even to dam the flood of racialized violence that has been unleashed in the wake of a white supremacist becoming the most powerful man in the world. And yet, in the wake of this tragedy, we recite platitudes to support that fiction, while doing little more than exposing vulnerable people to more violence, and more hatred.”

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