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The Finance Department’s most senior public servant told the Emergencies Act inquiry on Thursday that he and others were engaged in a race against time to find ways of preventing the escalating economic damage created by the February border blockades.

While estimates of the impact of the blockades were circulating in the media and within government, Michael Sabia said projections of daily economic damage underestimated the fact that the scale of harm would increase significantly the longer the blockades continued.

With U.S. lawmakers weighing Buy America provisions that could have cut Canada out of future electric vehicle manufacturing, Mr. Sabia said Canada’s reputation as a reliable trading partner was at risk and the concern had risen to the level of discussions between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“These were very meaningful issues that arose in the Canada-U.S. relationship,” he said. Had the border disruptions continued, he said the government was concerned that it would cause “very severe long-term consequences” for not only the Canadian auto sector but also for a whole range of industries that export goods to the U.S.

Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Bill Curry and Reporter Marsha McLeod report here.

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TODAY'S HEADLINES

PM IN THAILAND - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived, on Thursday, in Thailand for meetings aimed at expanding Canada’s trade with the Indo-Pacific region. He is attending the leaders meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Story here.

LUCKI SAYS SHE WANTS TO REMAIN RCMP COMMISSIONER - Embattled RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says she wants to remain at the helm of the federal police force even as she faces growing dissatisfaction at the highest levels of the government over her leadership. Story here.

TRUDEAU TO ATTEND SUMMIT IN MONTREAL - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend next month’s UN biodiversity summit in Montreal, the country’s Environment minister said on Thursday – despite the event’s official host China plan to send no invitations to world leaders. Story here.

CHINA’S PRESIDENT WASN’T CRITICIZING TRUDEAU: FOREIGN MINISTRY - China’s foreign ministry on Thursday said Chinese President Xi Jinping was not criticizing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a day after Xi was seen confronting him at the G20 summit over alleged leaks from a meeting they held. Story here.

WEAR MASKS ON PLANES AND TRAINS, BUT NO MANDATE: TRANSPORT MINISTER - Canada’s Minister of Transport says after a briefing with the country’s top doctor, the government still strongly encourages people to wear masks on planes and trains – but stopped short of making it a requirement. Story here.

CHINA CRITICIZED BY STUDENTS - A growing number of mostly Chinese students in B.C., Ontario and other parts of Canada are using creative and often covert ways to express their increasing dissatisfaction toward China’s unrelenting zero-COVID-19 policy and the Communist Party’s rule under its paramount leader Xi Jinping. Story here.

QUEBEC MAN CHARGED IN HAITI OVERTHROW PLAN - The RCMP say a 51-year-old Quebec man has been charged with planning a terrorist act to overthrow the Haitian government of Jovenel Moise. Story here.

OTTAW REJECTS NUNAVUT MINING BID - Ottawa has turned down Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s application to increase its iron ore output in Nunavut, citing environmental concerns, putting an end to a multiyear conflict that sparked a national debate about responsible resource development in Canada. Story here.

KEY PLATFORMS TO HAVE FLEXIBILITY OVER PROMOTING CANADIAN CONTENT: CRTC CHAIR - Platforms such as Netflix and YouTube will have flexibility over how to promote Canadian films, TV shows and songs after the online streaming bill becomes law, broadcasting regulator Ian Scott says. Story here.

MAYOR CRITICIZED FOR BRINGING NEEDY TO SHELTERS - Less than a month after he was elected, the new mayor of Kamloops has raised the ire of shelter operators upset about him suddenly showing up with someone needing a bed, sometimes in the middle of the night. Story here from CBC.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Nov. 17, accessible here.

DAYS SINCE CONSERVATIVE LEADER PIERRE POILIEVRE TOOK MEDIA QUESTIONS IN OTTAWA: 65

WITNESSES, THURSDAY, AT PUBLIC ORDER EMERGENCY COMMISSION IN OTTAWA:

-Michael Sabia, Deputy Minister of Finance; Rhys Mendes, assistant deputy minister, economic policy, federal finance department and Isabelle Jacques, assistant deputy minister, financial sector policy branch at the federal finance department.

-Jody Thomas, national security and intelligence adviser to the Prime Minister,

GLOBE PUBLISHER/CEO AMONG ORDER OF CANADA RECIPIENTS - Globe and Mail publisher and CEO Phillip Crawley is among 49 people being invested into the Order of Canada on Thursday. Others being honoured at the ceremony at Rideau Hall include actor Tom Jackson, journalist Hanna Gartner and author Yann Martel. The full list of appointees is here. Due to illness, Governor-General Mary Simon was unavailable to preside over the event. Story here. Former governor-general Michaelle Jean agreed to lead the event instead.

IZRI JOINS GLOBAL NEWS IN OTTAWA - Touria Izri is joining the Global News Ottawa bureau as a national reporter. Announcement here.

CANADA’S UKRAINE AMBASSADOR AT SENATE COMMITTEE - The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade heard from Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza, on the situation in Ukraine. The hearing began at 11:30 a.m. ET. Broadcast details here.

JOHN HORGAN EXIT INTERVIEW - It’s John Horgan’s last full day as Premier of British Columbia after five years in the job. David Eby will be sworn in on Friday. Mr. Horgan’s agenda for the day includes a lunch event held by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce at which he will participate in an interview with broadcaster Simi Sara.

MINISTERS ON THE ROAD - Families Minister Karina Gould, in Igloolik, Nunavut, made a child-care announcement; Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27; Justice Minister David Lametti and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, in Montreal, announced government support for a project from DESTA Black Youth Network; International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan, also Minister for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada , in Prince George, B.C., announced the opening of new offices in Prince George, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, in St. John’s, as well as Premier Andrew Furey and St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen made an infrastructure announcement.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, travelled from Bali, Indonesia to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. Mr. Trudeau was scheduled to meet with Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gala dinner. The menu for the dinner is here.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet held a media scrum in the House of Commons foyer on health transfers, accompanied by caucus Health Critic Luc Thériault. He then attended Question Period.

No schedules released for other party leaders.

THE DECIBEL

On Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Dr. Leighanne Parkes, an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist with the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, answers questions about RSV, influenza and COVID viruses. The Decibel is here.

OPINION

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how the return of Donald Trump, the candidate, weakens the West: One of the great quirks of geopolitical fate in 2022 was that the Russian invasion of Ukraine solidified the Western alliance that Vladimir Putin hates so much. Who better to tear all that apart than a re-elected Donald Trump? Mr. Trump makes a lot of claims about his record, including his assertion in his 2024 election-campaign announcement on Tuesday that he – a man who served four years in the White House – went “decades” without a war. But no one can claim that he was a great builder of alliances. He viewed them as rip-offs, and made friends of the United States feel like they were under assault, rather than on the same team.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how if only the opposition leaders were running the Bank of Canada:As he steers inflation back to Earth – the three-month annualized rate was 4.3 per cent in October, a third of its spring peak – Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem must surely take comfort in the knowledge that, should he need any advice on how to proceed, he need not rely only on the bank’s world-leading roster of economists, but can tap the deep wellspring of expertise on the opposition benches. Just now they are sending somewhat conflicting signals. Where Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre holds the governor to blame for inflation having reached such levels, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is equally concerned that he might do something to reduce it. For where Mr. Poilievre believes current inflation levels are solely and entirely a function of bank policy, Mr. Singh believes it is caused by everything but: corporate greed, profiteering, price-gouging.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how the Polish missile crisis is sharp reminder of threat posed by Russia’s invasion: Tuesday’s brief crisis reminds us that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put all our lives at risk. “We are clearly in the worst crisis since the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said Elliot Tepper, a professor of international relations at Carleton University. But there are two differences: The 1962 confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, lasted days. This crisis has lasted months, with many more months to come.And as Prof. Tepper observed, the Kennedy administration found a way to let Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev retreat while saving face. (The Soviets agreed to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba, as the United States demanded; the Americans in turn removed missiles from Turkey.) But Russian President Vladimir Putin “is far more reckless,” said Prof. Tepper. “We see no off-ramp for him. Either he wins or he loses.”

Tanya Talaga (The Globe and Mail) on how medical advice shouldn’t be different for Indigenous kids: “As Canadians worked with First Nations to fight COVID-19, traditional silos in medicine crumbled; health care professionals from across the province hopped on planes to communities such as Bearskin Lake and Moose Factory, which they may not have otherwise ventured to or even heard about. They had the opportunity to see, firsthand, the inequitable realities of Canada’s “universal” health care system for First Nations peoples. Surely, then, the Canadian public is now more aware of the immense logistical challenges involved in life in remote communities. These are places without so much basic infrastructure, including proper roads or runways, sanitation systems, ambulances, fire trucks, housing or hospitals. And surely, Operation Remote Immunity taught us enduring lessons about how to come together to consider the most vulnerable first, in future crises. Sadly, though, those lessons have apparently vanished – just in time for the latest national health crisis.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how Canadian politicians should have better security, and the public should pay for it: Though politicians in Canada have been sounding the alarm on security threats for years (Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner has been particularly vocal on the matter) and though no party or political leader is immune from harassment or threats (Ms. Rempel says she has received death threats, NDP MP Charlie Angus has been a victim of stalking, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was verbally harassed in the summer in an incident caught on video), the push for better security for public officials – and by extension, the funds that come with it – remains a tough sell.”

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