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Good morning. We start with a report from The Globe’s Washington correspondent, Adrian Morrow:

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland hosted U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at her Toronto home for a family dinner Tuesday evening, in their first face-to-face meeting since concluding trade negotiations last week.

The agenda for the discussion wasn’t entirely clear: The two countries are still locked in a trade war, after U.S. President Donald Trump hit Canada with steel and aluminium tariffs in June and Ottawa responded with levies on $16.6-billion of American goods.

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And some details of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – as NAFTA was renamed – still have to be finalized, such as the formal signing ceremony at the end of November.

“Minister Freeland was pleased to welcome Ambassador Lighthizer to Toronto this evening for a short working dinner. The Minister and Ambassador used this opportunity to take stock of the next steps on the USMCA,” Ms. Freeland’s spokesman, Adam Austen, wrote in an e-mail late Tuesday.

That Mr. Lighthizer would trek to Toronto is in itself a significant gesture. For the last six months, he eschewed rotating rounds of trade talks between the three countries and instead had Ms. Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo meet him at his offices in Washington.

Discussions frequently became acrimonious. In June, Ms. Freeland delivered a speech at a Foreign Policy magazine dinner in Washington that linked Mr. Trump's tariffs to the rise of autocratic governments challenging western democracy. She handed Mr. Lighthizer a copy of the speech the following day.

While the White House disliked Ms. Freeland, she and Mr. Lighthizer seemed to get along fine on a personal level.

Ms. Freeland went out of her way to praise him as a trustworthy and reliable negotiating partner during a press conference the day after the deal. Referring to him as “Bob,” she said she had become friends with him over the course of the gruelling 14-month talks.

The final negotiations between Canada and the U.S., two weekends ago, happened long distance, with Canadian officials hunkered down in the office of Katie Telford, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, conducting conference calls and exchanging e-mails with Mr. Lighthizer and his posse, who were gathered in Washington.

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The Tuesday repast would not be the first time Ms. Freeland’s home life has intersected with her duties: Last year, she told The Globe that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called her at home so frequently, he had struck up a rapport with one of her aunts who often answered the phone.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa and James Keller in Vancouver. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and incoming Quebec premier François Legault touch down in Armenia tonight for the summit of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. But Mr. Trudeau already made an important decision about the organization before he had even left Canada: he would abandon Michaëlle Jean’s bid for re-election at the helm of the group. Liberal officials say Canada did not want to alienate their African allies by continuing to support Ms. Jean, who had lost popularity among the continent’s leaders.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien is on a book tour, and he is being pretty vocal about what he thinks about politics south of the border. “I had to deal with the Americans all my life. They win all the time. Like a baby, they win all the time. They won in Vietnam,” Mr. Chrétien told The Globe. “[Mr. Trump] will win. It’s the best deal. It’s no more NAFTA. It’s USMCA.”

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is accusing Opposition Leader Jason Kenney of “dog-whistle” politics after United Conservative Party candidates posed for photos with the far-right anti-immigration group Soldiers of Odin. Ms. Notley says Mr. Kenney’s dog-whistle politics prompted the Soldiers of Odin to respond to the whistle. But Mr. Kenney is denouncing the group’s views and says his party’s candidates didn’t know who they were posing with.

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U.S.-based environmentalists are accusing the British Columbia government of putting its oceans and its sensitive marine life at risk by approving logging in a sensitive watershed.

As the Vancouver election approaches, the city’s major centre-right party is boasting a significant fundraising edge as local political parties navigate recent reforms to campaign finance laws. The Non-Partisan Association, which hasn’t held the mayor’s seat for a decade, says it has collected almost $840,000 in donations, which is higher than every candidate and party on the left.

Quebec’s newly elected Coalition Avenier Québec government says it may walk back part of its controversial proposal to limit what religious symbols a public servant can wear. But the CAQ says it has no intention of removing the crucifix that hangs in the National Assembly.

And a Calgary MP’s office has retracted a newsletter it sent to local homes because of a historical error, after mistakenly saying that Hitler was defeated at the end of the First World War.

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the new wave of conservative premiers: “A coalition of premiers campaigning to axe that [carbon] tax would be a powerful asset for the Conservative Leader. It could help make him prime minister.”

Mark Cameron and David McLaughlin (The Globe and Mail) on carbon pricing: “The growing opposition in provinces toward carbon pricing cannot be ignored by Ottawa. Instead of trying to patch up a patchwork system, it should see this as a new opportunity and assert itself in the national interest.”

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David Reevely (Ottawa Citizen) on Ontario’s climate-change policies: “The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published yet another of its grab-us-by-the-lapels-and-scream reports, and an economist won a Nobel for a lifetime of work on climate-change policy. By its actions, the Progressive Conservative government [in Ontario] asserts that they’re ninnies.”

Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on Trump-Trudeau relations: “As a recognition of the close friendship between our countries, other presidents have made Canada their first foreign stop. Mr. Trump has made high-profile visits to Mexico, France, Britain and elsewhere. He has yet to visit Canada except for a multilateral Group of Seven economic summit. Which he torpedoed.”

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

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