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Canada is donating another 200 armoured vehicles to Ukraine as Kyiv pleads with allies for more gear to help turn the course of the war against Russia.

Defence Minister Anita Anand announced Wednesday during a visit to Kyiv that Ottawa will send 200 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to Ukraine.

They are Senator APCs made by Mississauga-based Roshel, which can carry eight passengers as well as the driver and a front-seat passenger. There is also room for a gunner. Weapons can be mounted on top.

The vehicle donation will cost more than $90-million and comes from an additional $500-million in military aid announced by Canada last November.

Senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase reports here.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Interior Minister and a child were among at least 14 people killed on Wednesday when a helicopter crashed into a nursery and set it ablaze in a suburb of the capital Kyiv. Story here.

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.

TODAY'S HEADLINES

171 `PLAUSIBLE BURIALS’ AT FORMER RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL - Searches for unmarked graves at the site of a former Northern Ontario residential school have uncovered 171 “plausible burials,” the Wauzhushk Onigum Nation said Tuesday, with other sites still to be investigated. Story here. Meanwhile, the fight is not over to find records that could answer “hard questions” about unmarked graves at Canada’s residential schools, says the woman appointed to work with Indigenous communities in searches under way across the country. Story here.

OTTAWA URGED TO CONSIDER MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR HOUSING BENEFIT - A national organization committed to ending homelessness is proposing Ottawa introduces a multibillion-dollar housing benefit to bring people out of homelessness and prevent more from becoming unhoused. Story here.

NDP LEADER TARGETS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT IN CAUCUS RETREAT SPEECH - NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in a speech to his caucus delivered at their retreat on Wednesday, says it feels like Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is waging war against workers. Story here from CTV.

B.C. SITE CENTRAL TO BATTLE OVER PLANNED LNG EXPORTS - An industrial site in British Columbia has emerged as a battleground over whether governments that have pledged to fight climate change should approve new projects to export liquefied natural gas. Story here.

SUSPENDED THUNDER BAY POLICE CHIEF QUITS - The Thunder Bay Police Services Board has accepted the resignation of suspended police chief Sylvie Hauth, just weeks before she was to face a hearing on charges of discreditable conduct and deceit. Story here.

POILIEVRE TOURS QUEBEC, SEEKING SUPPORT - Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is touring Quebec as he tries to assemble a coalition of voters ahead of the next election campaign. Story here from CBC.

LEGAULT MEETS WITH QUEBEC CONSERVATIVE LEADER - Quebec Premier François Legault gave legitimacy to the Conservative Party of Quebec by accepting to meet it for more than an hour, says provincial Conservative leader Éric Duhaime . Mr. Legault is holding a series of meetings this week with opposition leaders. He made sure to include Mr. Duhaime, who does not have access to the National Assembly. Story here from The Montreal Gazette.

ONTARIO CONSIDERED LIFTING BAN ON PAYING BLOOD DONORS - Ontario last fall considered whether lifting a ban on paying blood donors could create new business opportunities in the province, according to documents obtained under access-to-information law, though the government now says it is not contemplating any changes to plasma collection. Story here.

UBC OFFICIALS REGRET HANDLING OF TURPEL-LAFOND CASE - The University of British Columbia’s president and provost said they regret that a statement responding to questions about a former professor’s claim to Indigenous identity was interpreted as a sign of support and pledged to assess the university’s approach to Indigenous citizenship in hiring. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

HOUSE ON A BREAK – The House of Commons is on a break until Jan. 30.

CABINET RETREAT IN HAMILTON - The Prime Minister’s Office has officially announced there will a cabinet retreat in Hamilton from Jan. 23 to 25.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY - Chrystia Freeland, in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, held private meetings, participated in a panel discussion entitled “Restoring Security and Peace.”

MINISTERS ON THE ROAD - Families Minister Karina Gould, in Ajax, Ont., announced funding for projects on social inclusion and well-being of vulnerable children and youth. Government House Leader Mark Holland, the MP for Ajax, was also scheduled to attend. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, in Toronto, held talks with visiting James Cleverly, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs. Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, on the Musqueam Indian Reserve No. 2 in British Columbia, was scheduled to make an infrastructure announcement with Wayne Sparrow, Chief of Musqueam Indian Band. Seniors Minister Kamal Khera, in Aurora, Ont., participates in an unveiling event with Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, also the minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, in Fredericton, N.B., announced support for the University of New Brunswick’s Spatial Computing, Education, Training & Research Laboratory. Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, in Calgary, announced federal support for technology businesses.

PRIME MINISTER'S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Shawinigan, Que., held private meetings, toured an electric vehicle charger production facility and met with workers, accompanied by Shawinigan Mayor Michel Angers. The Prime Minister then held a media scrum. With Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Mr. Trudeau also visited a seniors’ residence. Later, in Trois-Rivières, Que., Mr. Trudeau, accompanied by Mr. Champagne, met with university students and professors at the Hydrogen Research Institute.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, attended the first day of a three-day NDP caucus retreat, and delivered a keynote address to caucus.

No schedules released for other party leaders.

THE DECIBEL

On Wednesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, sociologist Dr. Catherine Paradis - the interim associate director of research at the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction - addresses some questions listeners had after hearing her back in September, and outlines why she thinks labelling alcohol will help Canadians make more informed choices when drinking. Her appearance comes after Canada’s new guidelines for drinking and health were released from the substance abuse centre on Tuesday. The Decibel is here.

READER OPINION

I wouldn’t give the provinces one thin dime until they agree to accountability. They, the provinces, conveniently forget the feds gave them control over certain things that were federal rights. So, they want more money to fatten their coffers so the feds can raise my taxes ... I don’t bloody think so!!!!

David B. Caryll, Toronto.

PUBLIC OPINION

Abacus Data says that if an election were held today, 35 per cent would vote for the Conservative Party, 31 per cent for the Liberal Party, 18 per cent for the NDP, and 7 per cent for the BQ. There have been little change since the end of November. Details here.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Ontario Premier Doug Ford prescribing a needed dose of private health care in Ontario: “Universal health insurance and equal access to care, funded by taxes paid to governments, is the definition of medicare. It is also fundamental to Canadians’ gauzy self-image. That image is in part defined by what medicare is not: for-profit health care in the United States. And that’s why whenever the word “private” floats into the perennial debate about how to improve widespread underperformance in medicare, there’s a recoil. Ontario Premier Doug Ford encountered that knee-jerk reaction this week as he announced relatively modest reforms that would give private surgical clinics a modestly larger role in the province’s health care system. For some, the use of the word “private” anywhere near the phrase “health care” implies the start of a descent into an American mess.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how 2023 is the year for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to decide whether or not to run again: A few months ago, Justin Trudeau’s surrogates started to spread the word he will run again in the next election. But there is still time for that to change. About a year, in practice. This year, 2023, is when Mr. Trudeau will really have to decide. And maybe it will be decided for him. Certainly, if his recent dip in the polls gets deeper, Liberals will get pretty nervous. It is the Prime Minister’s eighth year in office, and there aren’t many long-serving incumbents in recent history who won at that late stage.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on the case for high-priced outside consultants: I like to think I am as mulishly resentful of overpriced management consultants as the next wage slave. Who do they think they are with their high-flown jargon and their fancy flow charts and did I mention how outrageous their fees are? But before we all march off to the Langevin Block over the latest report of the federal government’s skyrocketing use of outside consultants, it is perhaps worth pausing to ask a few questions.”

Robert Bell (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on why Ontario does not need more for-profit surgery: The Ontario government’s decision this week to move more surgeries out of hospitals in order to address the province’s huge surgical backlog is the right thing to do. However, Premier Doug Ford’s government is making a big mistake in moving these surgeries to for-profit providers instead of creating community surgery centres overseen by public administrators.”

Guy Felicella and S. Monty Ghosh (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how incentivizing treatment for addiction could be more effective than mandating:Forced and involuntary treatment puts into question personal autonomy and health liberty. While this is warranted in extreme cases, what if we as a society chose a different path? Instead of forcing treatment, what if we incentivized it? Offering a basic stipend to those who enter treatment for their substance addictions can be persuasive. It could be similar to income assistance of $20 a day. Incentives would be focused on people who do not have the means to afford treatment. It allows us to use the narrative of the carrot instead of the stick – maintaining personal choice and autonomy, while encouraging personal accountability. This concept isn’t far-fetched. As a society we already provide income assistance for various reasons.”

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