Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is on her way to Washington today to get Canada back at the negotiating table for the North American free-trade agreement. The U.S. and Mexico announced an agreement yesterday, but now they have to once again include the trilateral trade pact’s third country. Justin Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call, though the official readout is a little scant on details: “The Prime Minister had a constructive conversation today with President Trump regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement. The leaders welcomed the progress that has been made in discussions with Mexico and look forward to having their teams engage this week with a view to a successful conclusion of negotiations.”
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More than 1,000 medical graduates from Saudi Arabia will be allowed to stay in Canada to complete their training, though thousands of current students will still be required to leave. The Saudi Ministry of Education has informed 1,053 medical residents and fellows in Canada that they may continue their positions until “an alternative assignment” is arranged. The kingdom had recalled the students as part of a diplomatic dispute with the Canadian government.
Andrew Scheer says a Conservative government would revive the Energy East pipeline, but he didn’t say how, nor did he address the skepticism that Western crude producers would commit to ship enough oil through the line to make it viable.
The federal government has approved the first saliva-based roadside screening test to detect marijuana-impaired drivers. The Draeger DrugTest 5000 will be available to police forces across the country. Impaired driving has been a major concern ahead of legalization this fall, with a recent Statistics Canada survey showing one of seven cannabis users admitted to driving while high.
Calgary is examining potential spots for cannabis consumption in a city where lighting up in public will otherwise be prohibited. The city has adopted a restrictive bylaw that bans public marijuana consumption but also allows for designated sites. Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra put forward four proposed sites in his district on the edge of downtown.
Drink it up: Buck-a-beer is officially in effect in Ontario. However, it’s still not clear how many breweries will actually lower their prices to reflect Doug Ford’s high-profile campaign promise. Mr. Ford is brushing off concerns from craft breweries who say they can’t make quality beer at that price, and he says consumers will love the policy.
New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative leader says he would oppose the federal government’s plan to impose a national carbon tax if elected. Blaine Higgs, currently the Opposition leader, says he would join provincial governments in Ontario and Saskatchewan in challenging Ottawa’s plan in court.
A B.C. business group is launching a legal challenge of new provincial rules for major infrastructure projects that will require all workers to belong to one of 19 unions.
Nearly a year after Julie Payette was sworn in as Governor-General, she has not lived at Rideau Hall – and, it appears, she will not move in any time soon.
And an uncommonly candid biography of Supreme Court Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé reveals the behind-the-scenes details of one of the top court’s important sexual-assault rulings.
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the next election: “As in 1988, the result in 2019 is likely to be emphatic: Carbon taxes will either become entrenched or they will be gone. And also as in 1988, the campaign could be particularly nasty.”
Lloyd Axworthy and Allan Rock (The Globe and Mail) on asylum seekers: “It’s time for Canadians to move past the rhetoric, and return to reality. We can manage the flow of asylum seekers to our door. We need not fear for our future, for our standard of living or for our security because of the relative handful who have appeared.”
Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on Maxime Bernier: “Maybe he believes he can somehow wind up as Conservative leader. Maybe he thinks he can make the Conservatives lose so badly that they’ll renounce Mr. Scheer and invite him back to unify the party he has just tried to destroy. Seems delusional. But so is Mr. Bernier’s own amour-propre.”
Gareth Evans (The Globe and Mail) on Australia’s revolving prime ministers: “If a leader is seen to be losing appeal, either to the broader electorate (or, as happened with Malcolm Turnbull last week, the party’s own base), the absence of any braking mechanism to force reflection means that momentum for change can build and feed on itself with sometimes lunatic rapidity.”
Barrie McKenna (The Globe and Mail) on supply management: “At this point, dairy, chicken and eggs make up a minuscule share of Canada-U.S. trade. But Canada’s supply-management system has emerged as a convenient and frequent target for Mr. Trump – most likely because it is such an anomaly in a mostly open-trade border between the two countries. It is Canada’s Achilles heel on trade, and Mr. Trump knows it.”
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on NAFTA: “But Monday’s development means two things: that the United States and Mexico have shown themselves willing to make concessions on key issues; and that if Ottawa can see its way to joining in that spirit, a deal is possible.”
Lawrence Herman (The Globe and Mail) on NAFTA: “It’s clear by now that Mr. Trump and his team don’t like dealing with Canada.”
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