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Good morning,

For many living in rural communities across Canada, it has long been a vital link to the outside world: the Greyhound bus. But for most of Western Canada and northern Ontario, that link is about the vanish.

Greyhound Canada, which has been steadily reducing service on unprofitable routes for years, says it will shut down service in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C. on Oct. 31; the only route left standing will be an American-run service between Vancouver and Seattle. Northwestern Ontario routes will be cancelled, as well.

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Local governments and Indigenous leaders in remote communities are already sounding the alarm, saying some residents will be left without any way to travel, including for medical appointments. The Alberta and B.C. governments say they were given almost no notice about the cancellations, and that they will be talking to various levels of government to come up with a way to fill the gap.

The mayor of Swift Current, Sask., Mayor Denis Perrault said it’s going to be a big problem: “I’m not sure what other avenues they’re going to have in order to meet their travel needs.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa and James Keller in Vancouver. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Latvia today, says Canada will extend its part in the NATO military mission there by four years and will add nearly a hundred soldiers to its complement of 455.

Toronto’s chief medical officer is calling for the decriminalization and possibly legalization of not just marijuana but all drugs for personal use. Dr. Eileen de Villa is calling on the federal government to expand harm-reduction programs to curb the opioid crisis , including the removal of legal penalties for small amounts of drugs. She also wants the government to look at the possibility of regulating all drugs.

A federal court judge has sided with Ottawa in its bid to protect the western chorus frog from a building development in Quebec. The ruling bolsters the federal government’s authority on protecting endangered species.

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province will likely end up owning a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline. The federal government is buying the entire project with the intention of finding new buyers to take it over.

Business groups are pressuring the government to respond to the U.S. corporate tax cuts sooner rather than later. But the Liberals have “boxed themselves in,” former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge says, by leaving themselves little political room to make any changes.

The federal government spent $30,000 in consulting the public and decided to change the name of a new agency to the Future Skills Centre, from its original name, the Future Skills Lab.

Two MPs say they are hanging up their hats and won’t run in next year’s election: Quebec New Democrat Helene Laverdiere, who twice defeated Gilles Duceppe, and Ontario Conservative Bev Shipley.

A former candidate for the federal Green Party is on trial in Germany for publishing videos denying the Holocaust. Monika Schaefer run under the Green banner in an Alberta riding in three federal elections until the party rejected her candidacy in 2015.

As Vancouver prepares for a municipal election that is expected to focus heavily on housing, outgoing Mayor Gregor Robertson has brought in a new policy that could introduce density into areas that have largely been reserved for single-family homes.

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In the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump has revealed his second pick for the Supreme Court: Brett Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old federal judge who worked in the George W. Bush White House and assisted Kenneth Starr in his investigation into then-president Bill Clinton.

And in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May -- who won the leadership of the Conservative Party following the Brexit referendum -- could face a leadership challenge of her own, after three cabinet ministers resigned. However, with Britain leaving the European Union early next year and a firm plan still not in place, it’s not clear any other leadership aspirants would be any more successful in winning over the Conservative caucus or striking a deal on exit terms.

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Doug Ford’s first week: “Dividing a country into ‘the People’ and everyone else is dangerous and unsavoury politics. We are barely a week into the Ford government, and the outlook is bleak.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on Ottawa-Ontario relations: “Brace yourself for a chapter like no other in the epic tale of conflict between Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill. Such battles are as old as Confederation, but this one could be a doozy.”

Lise Ravary (Montreal Gazette) on Trudeau’s groping allegation: “The Trudeau story is dull. No one really knows what he did and until last week, to whom, which makes whatever he says — or not — about it irrelevant.”

Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on gun violence: “Youth mentorship programs and night basketball are definitely good things. But if we want to reduce gun crime, we should target the bad guys, rather than spreading our resources far and wide.”

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André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on mandatory vaccines: “But the majority of parents of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated kids are not dogmatic; they are overwhelmed, usually by monetary and logistical issues. What they need are not financial penalties, but practical help – carrots, not sticks.”

Elinor Sloan (The Globe and Mail) on NATO and defence spending: “ Nonetheless, there are good reasons for Canada to set a path to meeting the 2-per-cent guideline. First, European security and NATO’s continued existence is in Canada’s interest. The strength and longevity of NATO lies in being both a military and a political alliance. The guideline is quintessentially political in nature.”

Andrew Coyne (National Post) on Theresa May and Brexit: “May is likely to survive, but her leadership is undoubtedly weakened, and her negotiating position weaker still. How, asked Corbyn, again with unaccustomed acuity, could May hope to reach agreement with the 27 other EU governments, ‘when she can’t even broker a deal in her own cabinet?’”

Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on Theresa May and Brexit: “By provoking those angry departures, Ms. May appears to have triggered an unavoidable intra-party civil war between the fundamentalists and realists of Brexit – as with the Jacobins and Girondists of the French Revolution or the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks of 1917, theirs is a conflict that can only inflict irreparable damage on its own cause.“

Help The Globe monitor political ads on Facebook: During an election campaign, you can expect to see a lot of political ads. But Facebook ads, unlike traditional media, can be targeted to specific users and only be seen by certain subsets of users, making the ads almost impossible to track. The Globe and Mail wants to report on how these ads are used, but we need to see the same ads Facebook users are seeing. Here is how you can help.

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