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Hockey Canada has used its National Equity Fund to pay out $7.6-million worth of settlements involving allegations of sexual assaults since 1989, an official told hearings in Ottawa Wednesday.

The figures are the first public disclosure by Hockey Canada into how much of the special reserve fund it has used to settle lawsuits, including allegations of sexual assault, without making a claim on its insurance policies.

A Globe investigation last week found Hockey Canada operated a financial reserve known as the National Equity Fund, which was fed by registration fees, including money collected for insurance premiums, but how that money was being used was not disclosed to parents and players.

Senior Writer Grant Robertson reports here.

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.

TODAY'S HEADLINES

CHARGES IN MALIK SHOOTING – Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted in 2005 for the bombings of two Air India jets. Story here.

PAPAL VISIT – The chief commissioner of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has issued a blistering critique of Pope Francis’s apology to Indigenous people, saying “it left a deep hole in the acknowledgment of the full role of the church in the residential school system, by placing blame on individual members of the church.” Story here. Meanwhile, the Pope arrived in Quebec City to begin the next leg of what he has described as his “penitential” journey in Canada. Story here.

Also: There was a purpose to placing a headdress commonly known as a war bonnet atop Pope Francis after he apologized on Monday for decades of abuses at Catholic-run residential schools. Reporters Joy SpearChief-Morris and Willow Fiddler explain here.

UCP DEBATE TODAY – The seven candidates vying to become the next United Conservative Party leader and Alberta premier are to tackle health, the economy and other key issues in their first debate tonight. Story here.

LAYTON LEAVING – Toronto City Councilor Mike Layton, the son of former federal NDP Leader Jack Layton, won’t seek re-election in October’s municipal election. Story here from CBC.

STAY OF CHARGES AGAINST FORMER B.C. CABINET MINISTER – The B.C. Prosecution Service says a stay of proceedings has been directed in the sex-assault trial of former provincial cabinet minister and Indigenous leader Edward John. Story here.

LICH RELEASED – “Freedom Convoy” organizer Tamara Lich has once again been released from jail after a Ontario Superior Court judge found errors in the decision to revoke her bail two weeks ago. Story here.

CONSULTATIONS ON HIV NONDISCLOSURE PLANNED: LAMETTI – The Liberal government plans to launch consultations this October on the criminal justice system’s response to HIV nondisclosure. Story here.

HILL TRANSLATORS CONCERNED ABOUT OFF-SITE, UNACCREDITED INTERPETERS – Parliament Hill translators are crying foul over a House of Commons move to stave off “massive” worker shortages by hiring unaccredited, off-site interpreters. Story here.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is campaigning virtually today. Roman Baber is in the southwestern Ontario cities of Woodstock and London. Jean Charest is in British Columbia. Leslyn Lewis is in the Manitoba communities of Winkler and Brandon. Pierre Poilievre is in Ottawa.

HARPER ENDORSEMENT HELPS POILIEVRE: PLETT – Stephen Harper’s endorsement of Pierre Poilievre for the Conservative Party leadership is a boost for the Ottawa MP that will particularly sway party members who have been on the fence about supporting him, the Conservative Senate leader says. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.

SERAPIO TO CPAC – CBC News Network Anchor Michael Serapio is the new English anchor for the Cable Public Affairs Channel, better known as CPAC. Mr. Serapio will also anchor CPAC’s nightly show, PrimeTime Politics. He joins CPAC on Aug. 22 and will be seen on air beginning in September.

MacAULAY IN PEI – Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay, in St. Peters Bay, Prince Edward Island, made an announcement in support of the tourism industry in Prince Edward Island.

QUALTROUGH IN EDMONTON – Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, in Edmonton, announced investments to help Canadians prepare for careers in the skilled trades.

THE DECIBEL

On Wednesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, the Globe’s senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase explains the controversy over Canada granting a Montreal company an exemption from Russian sanctions. The company fixes turbines used in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which supplies natural gas from Russia to Germany. Ukraine is not happy with Canada, saying that granting this exemption sets a “dangerous precedent” that will only “strengthen Moscow’s sense of impunity.” Mr. Chase also talks about why Canada sided with Germany and what that means for the war in Ukraine. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

In Quebec City, the Prime Minister was scheduled to join Gov.-General Mary Simon to welcome Pope Francis to the Citadelle of Quebec and deliver remarks. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to have audiences with the Pope and Secretary of State of the Holy See Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

LEADERS

No schedule released for party leaders.

OPINION

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on the winner of one majority in five tries saying Pierre Poilievre has what it takes: So Stephen Harper thinks Pierre Poilievre is the best choice to lead the federal Conservatives, on the grounds that he is the candidate most likely to win the next election. This is big news. After all, who knows more about winning elections than Stephen Harper: the leader who took a certain Conservative victory in 2004 – the year of the sponsorship scandal – and turned it into a Liberal minority; who in 2006 turned a certain Conservative majority into a Conservative minority; who eked out another minority in 2008 against the historically inept Stéphane Dion; and who, after finally winning a potentially realigning majority in 2011 threw it away over the next four years.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how looking to the past could help fix health care’s future: “Pandemic aside, there is a simple reason for the stressed state of health care: an unwillingness on all sides to make hard decisions. Doctors resist giving up their practices and becoming part of a team at a clinic. Professional organizations resist allowing paramedics, nurse practitioners and others to provide more services. Doctors and nurses who were educated overseas have difficulty earning accreditation to practise in Canada. Politicians would rather cut ribbons on new long-term care institutions than increase funding for home care, because that funding gets less attention. Privacy watchdogs resist the digitization of patient records. In the end, it’s easier simply to shovel more money into the system, or for one level of government to blame another level for that system’s failures.”

Balkan Devlen and Yevgeniya Gaber (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on why it’s not time to pop the champagne over the Ukraine grain deal just yet: The viability and durability of this deal are uncertain. Russia has a track record of violating previous agreements, from the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 to the Istanbul talks in March earlier this year. It already violated this deal even before the ink dried. It’s not clear what concrete mechanisms protect Ukrainian seaports. There is no mention of Russia’s shelling of Ukrainian fields, destroying grain storages, and stealing and smuggling of Ukrainian grain. In short, there is every reason to be skeptical and very little reason to be optimistic about Russia keeping its promises. What is to be done then to avert the looming food crisis? There are two lasting solutions.”

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