The Canadian government has expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei for interfering in Canadian politics.
As The Globe and Mail first reported last week, Mr. Zhao was part of efforts by the Chinese government to target Conservative MP Michael Chong and his family after he spearheaded a parliamentary motion that declared Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghurs to constitute genocide.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, who announced the rare measure Monday, said the decision was made after “careful consideration of all factors at play.”
“I have been clear: We will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs,” she said in a statement.
“Diplomats in Canada have been warned that if they engage in this type of behaviour, they will be sent home.”
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PM PROMISES HELP TO DEAL WITH ALBERTA WILDFIRES - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised help Monday for Alberta’s fight against wildfires as thousands of people remained out of their homes. Story here. Meanwhile Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is facing questions after a leaked video depicts her informing United Conservative Party supporters before the public that her government was declaring a state of emergency because of wildfires. Story here.
CANADA SEEKS TO JOIN PART OF AUKUS SECURITY PACT - The Canadian government is seeking to join the non-nuclear component of AUKUS, a security pact among Australia, Britain and the United States that was struck to counter China’s rising military might in the Indo-Pacific region, according to two government sources. Story here.
HOUSE ARREST FOR MAN WHO THREW GRAVEL AT TRUDEAU - An Ontario man who threw gravel at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during an election campaign rally was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest on Monday, with a judge denouncing the 2021 assault as an “expression of mob mentality.” Story here.
JULIE PAYETTE’S NAME BEING REMOVED FROM OTTAWA SCHOOL - Ottawa’s école élémentaire publique Julie-Payette will be known as école élémentaire publique Grande-Ourse starting next school year, the board announced Monday. Story here from CBC.
BANK OF CANADA CHECKING PUBLIC INTEREST IN DIGITAL DOLLAR - The Bank of Canada is looking to gauge public interest in a possible digital dollar, while maintaining that an electronic version of the currency is not yet necessary. Story here.
STORIES OF THE BOOKS VYING FOR THE SHAUGHNESSY COHEN POLITICAL WRITING PRIZE - Since publishing their books, the five nominated writers in contention for the annual Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing have undoubtedly received a flurry of feedback. Friends and colleagues text congratulations, critics write opinions, people at bookstore signings offer pens and smiles, and literary agents ask, “What’s next? Story here.
NINE NNAS FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL - The Globe and Mail has received nine National Newspaper Awards honouring work including an investigation into a tuberculosis outbreak in Nunavut, a data dive into the federal government’s outsourcing and a personal piece about ending a pregnancy. Story here.
LIGHTFOOT FUNERAL HELD MONDAY - Close friends and family of Gordon Lightfoot came together for a small, private funeral on Monday held at the Orillia, Ont., church where he was once a choir boy. Story here.
THIS AND THAT
TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, May 8, accessible here.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY - Chrystia Freeland, also Finance Minister, held private meetings, attended Question Period and met with Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s deputy prime minister and national defence minister.
Defence Minister Anita Anand was scheduled to meet with Mr. Błaszczak during his visit to Canada, holding a joint news conference and participating in a wreath-laying ceremony in commemoration of victory in Europe.
Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen, Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller made an announcement, in Ottawa, on new Indigenous shelters and transitional housing.
International Trade Minister Mary Ng, in Ottawa, played host to Piyush Goyal, India’s commerce minister, at the beginning of a four-day visit to Canada.
MINISTERS ON THE ROAD - Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, in L’Orignal, Ont., made an announcement on the agrifood sector’s labour market needs. (Story here.) Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, in Mississauga, announced $390-million in government funding over the next five years to fight gang violence and gun crime. (Story here.) Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, in Gatineau, spoke to the annual conference of Canada’s Building Trades Unions.
Nate Erskine-Smith has made it official: The Liberal MP for the Toronto riding of Beaches-York is running for leader of the Ontario Liberals. The Liberals are choosing a new leader on Dec. 2. Story here.
Michelle Chawla has been named to a five-year term as director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts effective June 26. Ms. Chawla has worked at the council – a Crown corporation and Canada’s public art funder – since 1995 ahead of these new responsibilities.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, held private meetings and spoke with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, and participated in the Intergovernmental Leaders Forum.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Ottawa, was scheduled to speak at the prestigious Bell Lecture at Carleton University.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Montreal, gave a speech to the 2023 Canadian Labour of Congress Convention.
No schedules released for other party leaders.
Amid concerns that economic forecasts are becoming less and less accurate, economist Todd Hirsch talks on Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast about why economic forecasts aren’t working as well as they used to, how “black swan” events are changing things, and what that means for our ability to plan for the future. The Decibel is here.
HORACE KREVER - Horace Krever, a former lawyer, law professor and judge who also led two blockbuster public inquiries, has died, aged 94. Obituary here.
MARC LALONDE - Marc Lalonde, a federal cabinet minister under prime minister Pierre Trudeau, has died at age 93. “I remember him and my father sitting around our dinner table, having long and engaging debates on anything and everything – including our country, its people, and its future,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. “He was a good friend of my father’s, and it was clear he had a lot of respect for Marc. As I grew up and came to know him myself, I did too.” Story here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how Ottawa’s fiscal hangover has kicked in: ”For a while, inflation was a heady stimulant for the federal Liberals, and their spend-and-then-spend-some-more ways. Just before inflation began to accelerate in 2021, the government projected revenues of $2-trillion over five fiscal years, starting in fiscal 2022 and ending in 2026. By this spring’s budget, that five-year tally had soared to $2.3-trillion – a $300-billion upside. Much of that extra revenue resulted from inflationary growth in nominal gross domestic product. Of that, the Liberals spent $220-billion and $80-billion went to reducing deficits over that period. For the most part, the government has chosen to spend, including committing to permanent programs such as the federal dental benefit. That was the fun part, while it lasted.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how, in a cloudy time, the Liberals held a self-esteem seminar: ”The late philosopher Richard Rorty argued that national pride is as necessary to countries as self-esteem is to individuals, and political parties seem to think they need huge dollops of it, too. At any rate, the Liberal Party convention that ended Saturday was one big collective self-esteem seminar. The partisan delegates didn’t just want to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smack down Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre – they craved it. A young Liberal said, straight-faced, that his party was too defensive and didn’t do enough partisan slanging. A veteran said he wanted Mr. Trudeau to look in the camera and call Mr. Poilievre a clown. The Prime Minister came pretty close in his Thursday night speech.”
Shannon Proudfoot (The Globe and Mail) on how the Liberal convention offers a glimpse of how Justin Trudeau’s party sees itself: ”Political party conventions are strange things. They’re meant to whip up enthusiasm among potential volunteers and donors in between elections. So on one level, the intended audience is entirely inside the clubhouse. But snippets of coverage will make their way to the broader public, meaning these events also serve as infomercial for the unconverted or undecided. That means tent revivals like the Liberal Party of Canada convention held in Ottawa this past weekend offer a glimpse of how a political party would present itself to the world – maybe even how it genuinely sees itself – without the unpleasant intrusion of nasty opposition politicians, messy news stories and slavering journalists.”
Kathleen Wynne (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the Ford government should speak up to defend inclusive school cultures: ”The Premier rarely talks about the well-being of students and is equally rarely ever seen in any of the nearly 5,000 publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario. The connection between the academic, emotional and social success of the children in our schools and the strength of Ontario’s economy seems to be lost on this Premier and his government. So, is it any wonder that Minister of Education Stephen Lecce can only equivocate when it comes to the safety of LGBTQ2S+ students?”
Jean-François Lisée (Policy Options) on how to abolish the monarchy in Canada (and say goodbye to King Charles): “The pessimists have long had the upper hand in the ongoing debate over whether to cut the umbilical cord that has linked Canada to the British Royal Family since the birth of this country. The obstacles between the start and end points have seemed too numerous or too insurmountable to even try. Not so. Canadian democracy has all the necessary tools to make this happen in a relatively short time, in an orderly and respectful manner, without risk to the resilience of our institutions. All that is needed is a substantial amount of political will.”