The FBI has confirmed an explosion of a vehicle at the Canada-U.S. Rainbow Bridge border crossing near Niagara Falls, N.Y., a situation that has put the governments of Canada and the United States on alert. Two people were confirmed dead in the vehicle.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament that a vehicle had blown up on the Rainbow Bridge crossing and that additional measures are being considered for border crossings across Canada.
“It’s a very serious situation, but we will remain engaged for the entire day,” Mr. Trudeau said during Question Period. “There are a lot questions, and we are following up to try and get as many answers as rapidly possible.
He said four border crossings are now closed: the Rainbow Bridge, the Whirlpool Bridge, the Queenston Bridge and the Peace Bridge.
“We are taking this extraordinarily seriously,” he said.
The Prime Minister then excused himself from Question Period to go for further briefings on the matter.
Please watch for live Globe and Mail updates on this situation here.
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Bank of Canada’s Macklem says interest rates may be high enough to tame inflation - During a Wednesday speech, Tiff Mr. Macklem said tight monetary policy is working and “excess demand” in the economy, which helped fuel inflation, has been absorbed. Story here.
U.S. reportedly thwarts plot to kill Sikh separatist, issues warning to India - The Financial Times identified Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as the target of the foiled plot. Story here.
Canadians detained by China in 2014 after meeting with Global Affairs unit named in Michael Spavor lawsuit - The arrest and interrogation of Michael Spavor in 2018 was the second time a Canadian was jailed by Beijing after talking to a diplomat with the Global Security Reporting Program, a specialized intelligence-collecting unit within the Department of Global Affairs whose methods are now raising concern about the dangers its representatives have created for others in a hostile environment like China. Story here.
Conservatives vote against upgraded Canada-Ukraine free trade deal, citing concerns over what they allege is ‘carbon tax’ in it - The text of the new trade deal in fact does not commit either Canada or Ukraine to a carbon tax, also known as a levy on fossil fuels. Story here.
Israel-Hamas hostage deal offers hope for longer-term peace in Gaza, Trudeau says - The Prime Minister isn’t using the word ceasefire, but he says Canada is hoping that the deal for a four-day pause in hostilities will help eventually bring about a complete end to the fighting. Story here.
Freeland’s economic update pledges to cap future deficits at 1 per cent of GDP - The target implies maximum annual deficits of around $32-billion when the rule takes effect in the 2026-27 fiscal year. Meanwhile, there are six highlights here from the fall economic statement.
Manitoba promises more health-care workers, fuel tax suspension in Throne Speech - Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew says he intends to keep his election promises, but some discretionary spending will be looked at and some capital projects may have to be pushed back.
THIS AND THAT
Today in the Commons – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Nov. 22, accessible here.
Deputy Prime Minister’s Day - Private meetings in Ottawa, and Chrystia Freeland attended the Liberal caucus meeting.
Ministers on the Road - In Longueuil, Que., Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, also minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, announced Jenni Gibbons will serve as the backup astronaut for the Artemis II mission to the moon, while Joshua Kutryk has been assigned to a six-month mission on the International Space Station.
Commons Committee Highlights - David Vigneault, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was scheduled to appear before the science and research committee on the use of federal government research funding by Canadian universities and research institutions in partnerships with entities connected to China. Jeff Wilkins, national president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, appears before the public safety and national security committee on the rights of victims of crime, reclassification and transfer of federal offenders.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, participated in the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, attended the weekly caucus meeting and attended Question Period.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet attended Question Period.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre held a news conference before the weekly Conservative caucus meeting, attended Question Period and was scheduled to attend an evening fundraising reception in Brampton, Ont.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Ottawa attended the sitting of the Commons, was scheduled to meet with representatives of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and Quebec Student Union and participate in a sitting of the committee on transport, infrastructure and communities.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended his party caucus meeting, and later attended Question Period.
Wednesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features the Globe’s health columnist André Picard on proposed changes to Alberta’s health care system – including dismantling the health authority, and putting more decision-making and responsibility into the hands of government. The Decibel is here.
Clyde Rose - The publisher left his imprint on every aspect of Newfoundland’s post-1960s cultural renaissance, teaching, organizing, acting, singing, ensuring the province’s school curriculum included homegrown authors and co-founding Breakwater Books, which has published 1,000 titles over the past 50 years. Obituary here.
Karl Tremblay - The singer with Les Cowboys Fringants, who died earlier this month, was the voice of a band but also, more importantly, of a whole people, singing for a quarter century about the struggles of working-class Quebeckers. Obituary here.
PQ ahead of the CAQ in voter support - The sovereigntist Parti Québécois, under the leadership of Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, is now a top choice among voters in Quebec, according to a new poll. Details here.
Federal government services - Seven-in-ten respondents to research by the Angus Reid Institute say they were happy with their interactions with federal government departments, matching satisfaction levels seen for municipal and provincial services. Details here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how the Liberals’ fiscal framework could easily derail: “But there’s a different, more worrying metric: debt costs are eating up a larger share of federal revenue, rising from 7.7 per cent in fiscal 2023 to 10.4 per cent in fiscal 2025. Even those worrying trends are contingent on economic growth (barely) outpacing interest rates. It would not take much, a relatively mild recession, to tip the balance the other way and for the cost of the national debt to start rising relative to GDP. If that were to happen, would the Liberals stick with their newly honed fiscal commitments and pare back spending in a downturn? To ask the question is to answer it.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how the Liberals finally feel `the squeeze,’ and set a new tone for spending: “You had to admire the sharp turn of Chrystia Freeland’s segue. “Our economic plan is working,” the Finance Minister said in her speech to the Commons on the Liberal government’s fall economic update. Then with barely a beat, she said she can’t deny the “difficult reality” many Canadians are facing. “Canadians are worn out, frustrated and feeling the squeeze.” It was a remarkably short rhetorical distance to travel from the plan-is-working to things-are-looking-ugly. But segues were the theme of the day.”
Marsha Lederman (The Globe and Mail) on how the fall economic statement from her own family’s household ain’t pretty: “Pursuant to the standing order of bills delivered monthly to this House, I have the honour to table, in one official language, this fall economic statement for my own family’s household. This Canadian household’s fiscal update reflects the affordability crisis that the individuals who make up this great nation are facing. We are worn out, frustrated and feeling the squeeze. We are in very real pain. The debt-to-products-this-household-can-afford ratio is gross.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Montreal’s once-envied Métro is a now a symbol of the crisis in public transit: “When Montreal’s Métro opened in 1966, just in time for Expo ‘67, the city’s subway system was the envy of North America. Built for $213-million and running on rubber tires, instead of squeaky steel wheels, it was a technological marvel. Its art-filled stations drew new patrons to public transit and, for a time, even made taking the subway chic. These days, taking the Métro is not any fun at all. The network’s oldest stations are run down and poorly maintained. Several have become unofficial shelters for homeless people. Random acts of violence are increasingly common. As are service interruptions. The deterioration of Montreal’s Métro system is illustrative of the crisis in public transit occurring across Canada.”