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This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. Menaka Raman-Wilms is filling in today. 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.

The Canadian border could open to fully vaccinated Americans for non-essential travel in mid-August, according to a readout from the Prime Minister’s Office.

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The information was released following a meeting between the Prime Minister and the premiers late Thursday. The readout also said that if Canada’s vaccination rate continued to increase, the country may be able to open borders to fully vaccinated travellers from all countries by early September.

The Prime Minister has promised an announcement on the issue in the next week or so, as current border restrictions with the U.S. are set to expire on July 21. There is no indication yet if travellers will have to show proof of vaccination.

Meanwhile within Canada, vaccination rates continue to increase. As of Thursday, more than 69 per cent of Canadians had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 47 per cent were fully vaccinated.

As things reopen, provinces have started looking at the possibility of vaccine passports.

Quebec announced it will be using vaccine passports in September, and that people will need proof of their shots to enter places like bars and gyms in high-risk parts of the province. Manitoba has been issuing proof of immunization cards. However, both Alberta and Saskatchewan nixed the idea.

Ontario won’t be implementing vaccine passports either, and Premier Doug Ford said this week that the province won’t make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for any industry. This comes as Ontario enters Step 3 of its reopening plan on Friday, which will allow indoor dining, gyms and cinemas to reopen.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

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SENATOR JUDITH KEATING HAS DIED - The New Brunswick Senator was 58 when she passed away. She was appointed to the Senate in January, 2020, and was a member of the Independent Senators Group.

BIDEN WARNS OF GROWING RISK IN HONG KONG - American businesses operating in Hong Kong are facing new threats, President Biden warned Friday. This comes as tensions between the United States and China continue to rise.

FORMER CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF FACES CRIMINAL CHARGE - Jonathan Vance, who is under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct, has been charged with obstruction of justice.

WEALTH TAX COULD GENERATE $60-BILLION - A one-time wealth tax on Canadians with more than $10-million in net worth would create about $60-billion in new revenue, according to a report by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

CANADIAN LOBBYIST FOR MYANMAR JUNTA PAUSING WORK - Israeli-Canadian lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe, who was hired to “explain” why the military carried out a coup against Myanmar’s government, has ceased work because sanctions are preventing him from getting paid.

MANITOBA’S NEW INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS MINISTER FACING CRITICISM - Alan Lagimodiere, who is Métis, defended Canada’s residential-school system minutes after he was sworn into cabinet. New Democratic Party Leader Wab Kinew interrupted Mr. Lagimodiere’s statements and condemned the remarks.

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PRIME MINISTER'S DAY

The Prime Minister attended two private meetings on Friday morning. He began by participating in the Informal Leaders’ Retreat on COVID-19 held by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and then met with the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet continues his summer tour and will be in Drummondville, Que., on Saturday, accompanied by local BQ MP Martin Champoux. He will visit a community market in the morning, and a microbrewery in the afternoon.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole - No schedule provided by Mr. O’Toole’s office.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul - No schedule provided by the Green Party.

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is making stops across the country this summer, and is spending the day in Hamilton, Ont. He began by discussing the party’s jobs plan, and then met with members of steelworkers union USW Local 1005. On Friday afternoon he’s scheduled to visit the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.

OPINION

Tanya Talaga (The Globe and Mail) on how the Kamloops residential school site is a crime scene and Canada should take responsibility for bringing about justice: “Throw open the doors. Create and unleash the investigative powers of a commissioner who can turn over any stone they damn well please and compel evidence to be disclosed. Do not put a price tag on the truth of this country.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on why the federal Liberals bank on urban votes with affordable child-care program: “There are potentially enormous financial benefits for parents with children in cities with high child-care costs – cities that just happen to contain swing ridings with an election imminent. Politically, it’s genius.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on why the NDP could be positioned to get some wealth-tax revenge on Justin Trudeau: Wealth taxes are hugely popular. An Abacus data poll last November found 79 per cent of Canadians are in favour. They are popular with supporters of every political party, and most popular with Liberals.”

Colin Busby and Stéphanie Lluis (contributors to the Ottawa Citizen) on why the federal government should adjust EI to help jobless Canadians get back on their feet: “The pandemic has caused massive work disruptions and layoffs. Although employment has rebounded somewhat, the number of people who had been unemployed for more than six months stood at 478,000 in May, a near-record high.”

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