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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saluted Alexey Navalny for his activism and said that the Russian opposition leader was well aware of the risks that he could die as a result of that work. Trudeau added that Navalny’s fate should be an inspiration to others.

“He knew that this was always going to be a possibility,” Trudeau told a fireside chat with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce today, amid reaction from Western leaders to reports of Navalny’s death.

Trudeau called Navalny “an extraordinary fighter for human rights, for democracy, and someone who was standing up for the Russian people, standing up with extraordinary courage for a better future for Russia and for Russians.

“We know how much that scares and continues to scare Vladimir Putin.”

Other Canadian political leaders were also reacting today to Navalny’s death.

In a posting on X, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre wrote that Putin imprisoned Navalny for the act of opposing the regime, and that “Conservatives condemn Putin for his death.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, during a news conference in Coquitlam, B.C., said the death of Navalny is a reminder of who Putin is.

“The fact that Navalny, a prodemocracy advocate, an opposition leader, was poisoned and then imprisoned and now is dead reminds us of how important it is to stand with the people of Ukraine, to support Ukraine against the illegal invasion and war brought on by Putin,” he said.

“It reminds us that all politicians should stand united in this fight.”

Newsletter Day Off: The Politics Briefing Newsletter will be taking a Monday break because of Family Day. See you next Tuesday.

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.


Ottawa weighs changes to draft Clean Electricity Regulations after provincial backlash: The possible changes, laid out in a discussion paper released by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault today, would be a softening of Ottawa’s plan to phase out gas-fired power plants that lack carbon-capture technology starting in 2035.

Some asylum seekers from Mexico are backed by organized crime, Trudeau says: The Prime Minister, who made his remarks during a visit to Winnipeg today, also said Canada is in talks with Mexico to stem the flood of asylum seekers.

Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton wanted to move to Canada and become Canadian: The chief executive of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society said Shackleton, who was born in Ireland but moved to England as a boy, was very taken with Canada, conducted speaking tours here and planned an expedition in the Arctic. “He was planning to move to Canada, he wanted to be Canadian,” John Geiger said.

Wab Kinew asserts Manitoba landfill search will begin in 2024: The Manitoba Premier says he is confident a search for the remains of First Nations women at a landfill north of Winnipeg will begin by the end of this year while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will be a partner in this work. Story here.

Privacy Commissioner raises concerns over RCMP’s use of private tech to surveil web: In a report to Parliament, Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne questioned whether the force is relying on vendors whose services could circumvent privacy laws limiting law-enforcement searches. Story here.

Head of N.B. elections gives inside look at agency during political drama of 2023: Kim Poffenroth told the legislature’s standing committee that as Premier Blaine Higgs publicly threatened for months to call an early vote to quell a caucus rebellion, her office spent millions of dollars preparing – and getting little guidance from the Progressive Conservative government.

NDP optimistic pharmacare deal with Liberals can be reached by deadline: B.C. MP and health critic Don Davies showed the first signs of hope from the NDP that an agreement was possible after more than a week of public warnings to the contrary from senior New Democrats.

Pointe-Claire mayor responds to Poilievre’s housing accusations: Tim Thomas, mayor of the Montreal-area community, had a scathing response for Pierre Poilievre after the Conservative Leader said he would penalize cities that fail to build enough housing, CTV reports.


“It is easier to access capital if you are an older white man. It is harder if you’re not” - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at a fireside chat with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, on policies to bolster entrepreneurship in Canada and challenges around access to capital.

“Madam Speaker, the Environment Minister has left the highway of common sense and taken the off ramp to Fantasy Island.” - Conservative MP Jamie Schmale in today’s Question Period, referring to comments by federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, now retracted, about pulling federal support for road construction.


Today in the Commons: Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Feb. 16, accessible here. The Commons and the Senate will be on a break next week, returning on Feb. 26.

Deputy Prime Minister’s Day: Private meetings in Ottawa.

Ministers on the Road: Defence Minister Bill Blair and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly are in Germany for the Munich Security Conference. Families Minister Jenna Sudds, in Halifax, joined Nova Scotia Education Minister Becky Druhan, to announce an early learning and child-care action plan.

Commons and Senate Committees: None scheduled.


Justin Trudeau, in Winnipeg, participated in a fireside chat held the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, and also did a walking tour of the Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg’s largest winter festival.


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Guelph, launches the Ontario leg of a national tour, with Jonathan Pedneault, the party’s deputy leader.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Coquitlam, B.C., held a news conference on pharmacare, later held a roundtable with media from Vancouver’s Chinese community and attended the Unifor Lunar New Year Celebration.

No schedule released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet or Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.


On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Calgary reporter Carrie Tait discusses the Bow Valley Credit Union. The organization is leaning hard into anti-government, anti-regulation rhetoric, using their distrust of authority as a selling point, and recently sponsored Tucker Carlson’s interview with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. The Decibel is here.


Vacant courts are a verdict of failure for the federal government

“Judicial vacancies on Canada’s top courts have plagued the justice system long before this week’s Federal Court ruling to reduce the number of unfilled jobs. It was a recurring problem for Stephen Harper. In 2007, there were more than 40 jobs waiting to be filled. It sparked a flurry of critical commentary. This space was succinct: “A government that cannot manage to hire judges is not doing its job.” It is as true today as it was then.” - The Globe and Mail Editorial Board.

Guilbeault’s right: The feds should get out of the road-building business

“The nerve of that Liberal Environment Minister, proposing that we dig up all the roads in the country! Imagine thinking we could just do without roads! Doesn’t he know what a big country this is? Doesn’t he know that people need roads to drive their cars on? How out of touch can these enviro-fanatics get? That will give you the flavour of the reaction to Steven Guilbeault’s musings in an address to a Montreal conference earlier in the week..” - Andrew Coyne.

Justin Trudeau has the power to fix one of his biggest political problems. Joe Biden isn’t so lucky

“Canada and the United States are both led by governments of the centre-left. Both are facing elections in the not-too-distant future. Both are in big trouble in the polls. And both have a major problem on immigration. You can learn a lot about our country by looking at the one next door. So let’s do some comparing and contrasting.” - Tony Keller.

As Israel moves into Rafah, Trudeau faces a moral dilemma on UNRWA funding

“The readout of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting this week with Jordan’s King Abdullah II covered most of the bases you would expect to be covered in such a communiqué, all of it couched in earnest diplomatic language, with the obligatory nod to “the importance of renewing efforts toward a two-state solution to secure lasting peace” in the Middle East. There was one glaring omission, however.” - Konrad Yakabuski.

With the warming of the Rideau Canal, we are at risk of losing another cherished winter tradition

“Global warming is unsentimental. It poses a cruel threat to the rituals of our national life. Hiking on the (shrinking) Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. Salmon fishing in the (warming) Fraser River. Visiting (melting) Bonhomme’s Ice Palace in Quebec City. Ice fishing on the (thinning) Saguenay Fjord. Skiing on (snowless) Grouse Mountain and Mount Washington in British Columbia. And now, skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, the largest natural skating rink in the world..” - Andrew Cohen.

Trudeau and Poilievre are both flailing on foreign policy

“The lesson: leadership is hard, especially when party leaders fear they do not have enough political capital to spend by making policy decisions that may alienate key supporters. By choosing politics over principles, neither leader has the moral high ground on foreign policy. If Trudeau’s Israel-Gaza stance is phoney, Poilievre’s Ukraine excuses are baloney. We can do without the hypocrisy.” - Shachi Kurl

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