Skip to main content

The former president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, Pascale Fournier, told MPs Friday she believes the non-profit organization’s earlier leadership misled the country by characterizing a donation from wealthy Chinese benefactors as a Canadian donation.

Ms. Fournier, who resigned her post in March, testified before the Commons ethics committee Friday on the crisis at the publicly financed foundation that arose after The Globe and Mail reported that the Chinese government had orchestrated $1-million in donations to the foundation and the University of Montreal law school in hopes of influencing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The foundation publicly identified Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin and fellow Chinese businessman Niu Gensheng as the donors. They were also credited in the organization’s annual report for their pledge of $200,000 – of which $140,000 was eventually donated.

Senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase and Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife report here.

On another note Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in New York City, was skeptical about a debate now on whether Canada should maintain its ties to the monarchy.

“There are a number of people who feel that a different system would serve us better. Those people can make those arguments, but what those people can’t do is agree on what alternative would be better,” Mr. Trudeau said.

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.


CANADIAN ECONOMY COOLS - The Canadian economy is losing momentum this spring as it contends with higher interest rates, a shift from robust growth to start the year. Story here.

SUPREME COURT GRANTS HEARING TO KILLER IN SURREY SIX CASE - The Supreme Court of Canada has granted a mass killer a hearing that could result in him walking free – even though he committed six murders. Story here.

CRITICS SKEPTICAL ABOUT SAJJAN E-MAIL CLAIM - Critics voiced skepticism after this week’s testimony from former defence minister Harjit Sajjan, in which he said he wasn’t checking his e-mails during the fall of Afghanistan in 2021, and may have missed an alert that a Canadian senator’s office was sending fake travel documents to Afghans fleeing the Taliban. Story here.

SURREY SHOULD PROCEED WITH EFFORT TO REPLACE RCMP: B.C. GOVERNMENT - The British Columbia government is recommending the City of Surrey continue its transition to the Surrey Police Service, despite the wishes of the new council to revert to the RCMP. Story here.

STRIKE BY PUBLIC SERVANTS A BOON FOR OTTAWA BUSINESSES - As public servants continue their second week of striking, many Ottawa businesses near picket lines have been flooded with restaurant patrons, coffee drinkers and some just wanting to sit down and take a break. Story here.

ONLINE STREAMING BILL HAS BECOME LAW - The government’s online streaming bill became law Thursday after almost 18 months of heated parliamentary debate, requiring platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video and Disney Plus to do more to promote Canadian film and television. Story here.

CBC PRESIDENT REQUESTED MEETING WITH POILIEVRE - CBC’s president requested a meeting with Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre “to discuss the implications” of his promise to defund the broadcaster, a letter reveals. Story here from The National Post.

CANADA FACES BRAIN DRAIN OVER FUNDING - As funding for graduate students, post-docs and research-granting councils stagnates, Canada could lose a generation of talent, scientists warn. And the risk is that such a brain drain wouldn’t just be the result of students leaving the country – but scientific research altogether. Story here.

QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT SMITH PHOTOS - United Conservative Party leader Danielle Smith posed for photos with campaign supporters Wednesday night, including three people who were either fined or charged for their role in the so-called Freedom Convoy to Ottawa. Story here from Global News.

ONTARIO PLACE TALKS INCLUDE EX-NIGHTCLUB OPERATOR WITH ROB FORD TIES - The Ontario government is in talks to lease a prime spot in its Ontario Place redevelopment to a group that includes a former nightclub operator with ties to Premier Doug Ford’s late brother Rob, as well as a labour union that has long supported the Premier. Story here.

BLACK’S CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP RESTORED - Conrad Black says his Canadian citizenship has been restored more than 20 years after he renounced it. Story here.

OTTAWA POSTS BUDGETARY SURPLUS - The federal government posted a budgetary surplus of $3.1-billion between April, 2022, and February, 2023. Story here.


TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, April 28, accessible here.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY - Chrystia Freeland, also the Finance Minister, is in Stockholm for a meeting of European Union economy and finance ministers and central bank governors, chaired by Sweden’s Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson. She was scheduled to participate in a photo with finance ministers and central bank governors and meet with international partners throughout the day.

U.S. HOMELAND SECRETARY AND ATTORNEY-GENERAL IN OTTAWA - Alejandro Mayorkas, the U.S. Homeland Secretary, and Merrick Garland, the U.S. Attorney-General, are in Ottawa for a Canada-United States Cross-Border Crime Forum. With Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Justice Minister David Lametti, they will make an announcement and take media questions at 3:30 p.m. ET. Please watch The Globe and Mail for updates.

PREMIERS TO PRIME MINISTER - Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, the chair of the Council of the Federation, representing premiers and territorial leaders, has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging further action “without delay” on protecting Canadians from crimes committed by repeat offenders. The letter is here.

JIM CARR’S SON NOMINATED - Ben Carr, the son of the late federal cabinet minister Jim Carr, has been nominated to run as a Liberal in his father’s seat. Mr. Carr said here that he will be the party’s candidate in Winnipeg South Centre. Jim Carr, formerly natural resources minister in the Trudeau government, died in December, aged 71.

MINISTERS ON THE ROAD - National Defence Minister Anita Anand, in Dartmouth, N.S., provided a brief update on Canada’s efforts to evacuate citizens and affected persons from Sudan, and took media questions. Mental Health Minister Carolyn Bennett, in Halifax, with provincial Addictions and Mental Health Minister Brian Comer, announced initial government action on the mental-health recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission. (Story here.) Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne at Concordia University in Montreal, announced the recipients of the 2022 Canada First Research Excellence Fund.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in New York City, held private meetings, delivered a keynote address at the Council of Foreign Relations, and participated in a question-and-answer session, and held a media availability. Mr. Trudeau then departed for Ottawa and arrived in mid afternoon. The Prime Minister was scheduled to do an interview on Bloomberg TV.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Toronto, commemorated the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed and provided remarks at a local ceremony.

No schedules released for other party leaders.


On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, senior parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh explains the situation involving Afghans trying to flee the Taliban in 2021, who had been given Canadian travel documents that turned out to not be authentic. A Canadian senator sent approximately 640 of these documents to Afghans, who are now stranded. The Decibel is here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how, this time, Alberta has it right about equalization reform: There goes Alberta, griping about equalization again. But hold that eye-roll. This is not another vaporous tirade about the province being forced to shovel billions of dollars eastward on a never-ending gravy train. To recap: the Alberta government pays nothing into equalization, but the province’s residents pay a lot, in the form of federal taxes. Rather than simply regurgitating shopworn myths, Alberta last week put forward a series of thoughtful proposals on how to modernize the equalization program to cut its costs and, more importantly, boost economic growth.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how a political anti-nuclear ideology distracts from Canada’s climate mission: “The idea that considering using nuclear is a costly distraction from other climate-change progress is wrong. If you have to substantially transform the make-up of the economy, you want a lot of people pursuing different options. Of course, we want to pick the best ones. But that doesn’t mean ruling out technologies that lower emissions. Prof. Jaccard argued for pursuing a mix of methods, including those opposed by some environmentalists, such as carbon capture. Yes, it would be unwise for Ottawa to back nuclear power as the only clean-energy source, but it is not doing that.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how Australia applies to the question of whether a country has ‘no choice’ but to subsidize its auto industry: Like the Canadian auto industry, Australia’s was largely composed of branch plants of international manufacturers, established to jump a tariff wall. Like Canada’s, it had come under increasing pressure from offshore competitors, as tariffs fell and costs rose. And so, like Canada’s, it had sought, and won, billions of dollars in subsidies, backed by threats to depart if governments did not keep the money flowing. Eventually, however, the money ran out. Fed up with paying blackmail, the government of Australia refused to deliver any more. Sure enough, the industry left: the last factory closed its doors in 2017. Australia had had an auto industry since anyone could remember. Now it no longer had an auto industry. And? And life went on. The world did not end, though it had been predicted it would.”

Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail) on how Glencore faces nasty political fight to win Teck as Ottawa signals it wants at least one home-grown metals champion: “Canadian politicians, the background players in Glencore’s battle for Vancouver’s Teck Resources, are suddenly becoming assertive. And they don’t like what they interpret as yet another attempt to gut Corporate Canada. Glencore might win the blessings of Teck shareholders – but winning Ottawa’s blessing is another story, as governments try to protect head offices and keep the critical minerals needed for the energy revolution on home soil.”

Kate Taylor (The Globe and Mail) on how Bill C-11 is a victory for the possible:They say politics is the art of the possible. And so, more than a decade after it became apparent that internet-based streaming would bypass Canadian-content rules, the federal government has finally fought off the skeptics and naysayers to regulate foreign services. The Online Streaming Act, the first update of the Broadcasting Act since 1991, became law Thursday. For those who have followed this file since Netflix first entered the Canadian market in 2010 and rapidly signed up a million subscribers, it is hard to know what’s more amazing: that it took this long or that it even happened at all.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Quebec Premier François Legault’s broken election promise will not soon be forgotten: The significance of the CAQ’s broken promise cannot be understated. During the campaign, Mr. Legault made the Third Link a political hill to die on, touting the CAQ’s vision of the Quebec City region as “a second Quebec metropolis” and chastising Montrealers for “looking down” on their capital-city cousins. Commentators in the Montreal-based media had widely ridiculed the Third Link as an extravagant vote-buying scheme – which is precisely what it was. And it worked like a charm. The CAQ won 16 of 18 ridings in the Quebec City area in the Oct. 3 election, holding back a challenge in the region from Éric Duhaime’s Quebec Conservative Party. In one local riding, the QCP candidate lost by only 220 votes; in another, the margin was 428 votes.”

Lesley Lewis, Nancy Lockhart, Jennifer Martin, and Kevin von Appen (Contrbuted to The Globe and Mail) on how moving the Ontario Science Centre is bad science and bad policy: As former Science Centre leaders and professionals with decades of international experience in the science museum field, we respect evidence and understand it. And we believe the evidence shows the proposal to move the Ontario Science Centre is bad science and bad policy. Here’s why. The government says it will be cheaper to demolish the centre and build a new one rather than fixing what we have. No evidence has been presented that supports this argument. Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure and the cabinet member responsible for the centre’s move, has said she wants to “triple-check” the figures before releasing them. Would this work if the minister were a scientist? If a scientist released conclusions before they were validated, her colleagues would reasonably respond that she had either not done her homework (bad) or was concealing data that undermined her argument (worse).”

David Moscrop (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, to solve Canada’s housing crisis, learn how Singapore nationalized real estate: “Some people may not wish to hear it, but Canada’s housing crisis is not going to improve unless we upend the status quo. Public housing and the partial or complete decommodification of shelter as an asset is a good place to start that work. Housing does not have to be an asset, nor should it. Indeed, it is a fundamental human need and a public good. The case of Singapore – a city-state much denser than Toronto in which 80 per cent of people live in public housing – is illustrative of what might be done in Canada if we summon up our courage, get the policy design right and fully commit to fixing the housing crisis with the power of the state. There are many reasons we ought to.”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

Check Following for new articles