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It was an eventful morning in Ottawa Thursday, as police arrested an armed man on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the exclusive property where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor-General Julie Payette live. Officials said Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Payette were not present at the time.

“At approximately 6:40 this morning (1040 GMT), an armed man was able to access the grounds … the Prime Minister and the Governor-General were not present at the moment of the incident,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Twitter.

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“The man was arrested shortly after without any incident. He is currently in custody and is being interviewed.”

The RCMP said criminal charges were pending.

Mr. Trudeau and his family live in a large house on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the residence of Ms. Payette. The Prime Minister and his family also have access to Harrington Lake, a retreat about 35 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, usually written by Chris Hannay. Michelle Carbert is taking over today. The newsletter 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 Supreme Court will not hear a new appeal from British Columbia First Nations over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, effectively ending the years-long legal battle over the project. Canada’s’ top court dismissed the appeal from the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribes and Coldwater Indian Band Thursday. First Nations leaders are expected to respond to the decision later Thursday.

The new North American trade agreement came into force on Wednesday (Canada Day), as President Donald Trump’s administration vowed to ensure that Canada, Mexico and the United States live up to its obligations. In an interview with the Canadian Press, Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. and a central player in the negotiations, said the agreement is designed to ensure more people in all three countries can reap its benefits.

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WE Charity is offering 450 online student-volunteer placements at its own organization as part of a $900-million federal grant program it is managing, raising questions about who decides which organizations will receive taxpayer-funded help this summer. The Canada Student Service Grant program is facing criticism from some in the voluntary sector who say it is blurring the lines between unpaid volunteering and paid work by offering compensation equivalent to $10 an hour, which is below the minimum wage in all provinces. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said WE will not receive a profit and that the charity was recommended by the public service as the only organization that could administer the program.

Brian Mulroney is calling for “an immediate and urgent rethink” of Canada-China relations and is praising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for rejecting domestic demands to free senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in exchange for the release of two imprisoned Canadians. The former Progressive Conservative prime minister also told The Globe and Mail that Canada should bar Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.‘s gear from this country’s next-generation 5G mobile networks if it would jeopardize intelligence sharing with Canada’s Five Eyes alliance.

Mr. Trudeau has named business owner and philanthropist Salma Lakhani as Alberta’s new Lieutenant-Governor, making her Canada’s first Muslim in the role. She replaces Lois Mitchell as the Queen’s representative in the province.

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how Conservative Party rule seems impossible right now: “The lacklustre race for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is further evidence of the impossibility of conservatism in our time. A confluence of health, economic and political crises has rendered the right irrelevant. When asked for answers to the challenges we face, conservatism is mute.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how governments are losing sight of what’s urgent: “Governments are losing track of the mission. There was a sense of mission about lockdowns in March. Mr. Trudeau’s government then made it a mission to pump out temporary financial benefits. But the goal is to bring the economy back. So why the rush to pay student volunteers instead of throwing more at schools and child care? Maybe it’s a nice idea that volunteers get something, but in this event, it’s $10-an-hour, with WE paid for every head it brings in.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how Ontario is repeating the mistakes it made with long-term care on farms: “Ontario is again walking, eyes open, into a disaster among a vulnerable population. Forget the years’ worth of reports: The province should have learned its lesson from long-term care homes just weeks ago.”

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