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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.

Parliament is not sitting this week. That opens the way for two national parties to hold conventions, which come in an expected election year – gatherings that follow the recent Conservative policy convention.

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Federal Liberals begin first, opening their virtual convention on Thursday. It runs until Saturday.

Meanwhile, the New Democrats’ convention runs Friday to Sunday.

Speakers at the NDP convention include several party leaders, one of them a premier. British Columbia’s John Horgan will be addressing delegates at the virtual gathering. Others speakers include Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and Kate White, leader of the Yukon New Democrats.

The Liberals have released a list of speakers for their virtual convention. Not surprisingly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland are included.

Speakers from U.S. Democratic circles include Caitlin Mitchell, senior digital adviser for the Biden-Harris 2020 presidential campaign and Muthoni Wambu Kraal, former national political and organizing director for the Democratic National Committee.

Also, speaking is Mark Carney, who has been seen, at the very least, as a Liberal candidate for a seat, and possibly as a successor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Last year, there was confirmation that Mr. Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada (2008 to 2013), and the Governor of the Bank of England from 2013 until last year, had been advising Mr. Trudeau on Canada’s COVID-19 response.

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While talking about his new book, Value(s): Building a Better World for All, Mr. Carney, now a vice-chair of Brookfield Asset Management and Head of ESG and Impact Fund Investing, has been fielding questions on a possible political future. When the issue came up, he told Trevor Cole in Report on Business magazine, “Look, Trevor, you’ll be the first to know. You and everyone else.”

Asked whether Mr. Carney is, at this point, a member of the Liberal party, Braeden Caley, the party’s senior director of communications, said Monday that he could not comment.

“For privacy reasons, as a matter of course, the party does not comment on whether any specific Canadian is registered as a Liberal,” Mr. Caley wrote in an e-mail.

On the issue of how Mr. Carney came to be speaking to the convention - whether he was invited or asked for the opportunity - Mr. Caley wrote that all speakers were invited.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

Canada is being urged to join an informal four-country alliance that is taking on greater significance in the Indo-Pacific amid rising concerns over China’s expanding military and political influence in the region.

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More than two million doses of vaccines are set to arrive in Canada this week as the country scrambles to contain the wildfire spread of more contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus.

The loss of life in the pandemic’s first nine months was more widespread than official numbers indicated, with mortality spiking sharply even in provinces that reported relatively low death tolls from the virus, according to newly available national data.

Ottawa has not yet set a target for diversifying its suppliers, nor decided on how to measure progress, three years after pledging to direct more procurement money to companies owned by Indigenous peoples and women.

Canada’s top military procurement official says there are no plans to change directions on the construction of a fleet of new Navy warships despite a recent warning about escalating costs from Parliament’s budget watchdog.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

“Personal”, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

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LEADERS

No reported events.

OPINION

Edward Alden (The Globe and Mail) on the need to reopen the Canada-U.S. border: “The concerns are both personal – the thousands of people cut off from family and friends – and economic. While trade has continued, many tourist and other service businesses on both sides of the border will not survive another summer shutdown. Isolated communities – such as Washington State’s Point Roberts, which is accessible by land only through Canada – are turning into ghost towns. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t even want to talk about the problem. Looking closely, no doubt, at polls showing a strong majority of Canadians wants the border kept shut, Mr. Trudeau has only said that it will reopen “eventually, not today.”

Patrick Brethour (The Globe and Mail) on a national minimum carbon price that has, so far, been less of a reality and more of an aspiration: “The Supreme Court has affirmed that the federal government has the right to impose a national price floor on carbon, upholding the central pillar of Ottawa’s plan to combat climate change. But the special deals and exemptions that the Liberal government has endorsed over the past three years mean there are gaping holes in that floor, with the incremental carbon charge in most of the Atlantic provinces far below the supposed federal minimum.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on why Canada needs to seriously look at paying off pandemic debt: The ease with which Ottawa has been able to borrow its way through the pandemic has created a false impression that financial markets are not that worried about Canada’s surging public debt levels. The Bank of Canada’s move to purchase almost half of the federal bonds in circulation has effectively made it look all too easy. But the central bank must eventually unwind these purchases and Ottawa must repay its debts. If notoriously fickle financial markets begin to worry that inflation will erode the value of their bonds, all bets are off.”

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Randall Denley (The Ottawa Citizen) on the Ontario government’s “lazy approach” to dealing with the pandemic: “If the problem is as big as [Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province’s science advisory group] says, and he’s not alone in that analysis, then the government’s action is grossly inadequate. [Premier Doug] Ford echoed Brown’s argument that the province is in dire straits, but then did nothing smart or consequential to follow through. What are people supposed to think? Just to top off his performance, Ford said, twice, that Ontario has the tightest restrictions in North America. The comment came on the same day that Quebec closed schools, stores and restaurants in two major regions and made its curfew earlier.”

Sean Speer (The National Post) on what Quebec Premier François Legault’s popularity says about Quebec conservatism : “[Quebec Premier François Legault’s] popularity is part of a broader realignment in Quebec politics from the old separatism versus federalism paradigm to a new, more complicated yet richer political environment that reflects broader cultural, economic and social trends. As an English Canadian, these political developments in Quebec are fascinating but hard to fully understand. Fortunately, a recent essay by my friend and former colleague, Carl Vallée, provides an insider account of Quebec’s evolving political culture.”

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