Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a small shuffle to his cabinet this morning after one of his ministers told him they don’t plan to run for re-election in a campaign that could come this year.
Navdeep Bains is leaving cabinet because, he says, he wants to spend more time with his family in Mississauga after 17 years in federal politics.
He will be replaced as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry by François-Philippe Champagne, who will be replaced as Foreign Affairs Minister by Marc Garneau.
Mississauga will still have a voice at the cabinet table, though, with the addition of Mississauga Centre MP Omar Alghabra, who becomes the new Transport Minister.
Finally, Winnipeg MP Jim Carr, who served as natural resources minister and trade minister in the last Parliament, is back in cabinet after being treated for cancer last year. He doesn’t have a ministerial portfolio, but remains the Prime Minister’s special representative for the Prairies.
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Mr. Trudeau also announced this morning that the federal government had bought another 20 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. He did not say when those extra doses would arrive in Canada, but reiterated his pledge that any Canadian who wants to be vaccinated will be “by September.” And he said Canada will have enough supply to vaccine 20 million people by June – though whether the logistics can be worked out in time remains to be seen.
Canada is also not saying when it will honour a promise to help low-income countries acquire their own vaccine doses.
Ontario modelling shows the pandemic growing much worse in the province over the next couple of months. Premier Doug Ford is set to impose new restrictions later today.
The Canadian government is also working with Britain to try to dissuade companies from relying on forced labour in China’s Xinjiang region, though the British penalties on companies are stronger than the Canadian ones. Separately, Britain’s governing Conservatives also called for more international co-operation to address human-rights abuses in China.
The government is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from thousands of inmates over alleged systemic bias in risk assessments used in the corrections system.
The federal Information Commissioner says the governing Liberals should finally follow through on a promise from the 2015 election campaign to bring ministers’ offices under access-to-information law.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s office said it will return to an earlier policy of not engaging with Rebel News, after receiving criticism for doing an e-mail interview with the website recently.
And while the U.S. House of Representatives moves to impeach Donald Trump a second time, the President and his allies are hit with even more repercussions for their incitement of violence last week. Deutsche Bank, which holds loans to the Trump Organization, says it will no longer do business with Mr. Trump or his companies. And his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, could be expelled from the New York State Bar Association.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole answering questions from The Rebel: “But it just reopens a can of worms that keeps the Conservatives squirming time and again because they are so slow to draw bright lines between their base and unacceptable extremes. And it comes at a time when we’ve just had an object lesson from Donald Trump about how dangerous that can be.”
Jessica Davis (The Globe and Mail) on what would happen if Proud Boys was designated a terrorist group: “The group’s assets would be seized and/or forfeited. While the group and its various chapters are unlikely to have much in the way of assets, there would be follow-on effects for publicly identified members of the group, of which there are many. These individuals would find it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a bank account, conduct financial transactions (including purchasing a house), both in Canada and abroad. They would also find it difficult to cross international borders.”
Yasir Naqvi (The Globe and Mail) on the violence in Washington and what it says about democracy: “Canadians are often smug when it comes to American politics. We like to believe that we are more progressive than our southern neighbours, that we could never elect our own Trump, that we are somehow better, less corrupt, nicer. That thinking is more than ignorant; it’s dangerous.”
Diane Francis (Financial Post) on the attack’s international repercussions: “Worldwide, the influence of American domestic terrorism is being spread digitally, infecting young, isolated males. For instance, this year a former Canadian Forces reservist was charged in the U.S. for being part of a neo-Nazi conspiracy to open fire at a gun rally. He allegedly recruited members in Winnipeg and had been active for some time.”
Amin Kamaleddin (Montreal Gazette) on the one-year anniversary of the Iranian plane crash: “It’s been a year since I’ve seen my friends. So many teachers have not seen their students, so many parents have not seen their children, and so many siblings have not seen each other. But we still do not know who to blame for such a tragedy. We should do better to help the families of PS752 victims through the hardship of seeking justice.”