Justice Marie-Josée Hogue says a federal inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian democracy is now under way.
Justice Hogue says she is promising to make as much information as possible available to the public so they can understand the scope and seriousness of the problem.
She released a statement today saying she has been busy hiring staff and setting up her office since the government announced on Sept. 18 that she would head the inquiry into foreign interference.
The bilingual judge from the Court of Appeal of Quebec will examine the role that China, Russia and other hostile states played in trying to influence the outcome of the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.
She will also look at the flow of foreign-interference assessments to senior government decision makers, including elected officials, during the election periods. It is expected that these hearings will take place in early 2024 and in the fall of 2024. The inquiry’s first report is due by Feb. 29, 2024.
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CBC president makes case against defunding – Defunding the CBC, proposed by federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, would be devastating to its ability to fulfil its mandate to serve rural Canadians in particular, the president of CBC and Radio-Canada told a House of Commons committee today. Story here.
Ontario proposes $3-billion infrastructure bank – The Ontario government says it intends to launch a provincial infrastructure bank with $3-billion in initial funding, one of few new initiatives outlined in a fall economic statement that warns of a worsening provincial deficit.
PBO pegs lifetime cost of Canada’s new F-35 fighter jets at $73.9-billion over 45 years – The Parliamentary Budget Officer says his analysis shows the costs are broadly in line with gov–ernment estimates, but he also warns that a one-year delay in the program would cost about $400-million. Story here.
Ottawa should reject RBC’s deal to buy HSBC Canada, finance committee says – The Commons committee says Royal Bank of Canada’s proposed takeover of HSBC Bank Canada would hurt competition in the financial services industry. Story here.
Mark Carney says he hasn’t ruled out Liberal leadership run – But the former Bank of Canada governor says, “It’s not a decision that I need to take now.”
Ortis ‘no enemy of Canada,’ defence lawyer tells jury – Cameron Ortis, a former high-ranking RCMP civilian who faces allegations of leaking classified information to the targets of criminal investigations, is expected to testify before a jury today that he was acting on secret information from a “foreign agency.”
Federal government freezes immigration targets, plans for 500,000 permanent residents in 2026 – Ottawa is keeping the number static at 500,000 in the face of shrinking public support for immigration.
Court hearing for pair accused in harassment of Newfoundland Premier stalled by lawyer’s suspension – Dana Metcalfe and Shane Sweeney, charged over a “surprise convoy” protest outside the home of Andrew Furey, were in court today on charges linked to the incident, but Metcalfe’s lawyer has been suspended by the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Story here.
B.C. rejects coroner panel’s call to expand access to safer-supply program – The B.C. government has rejected the recommendation to allow community-based agencies to provide access to regulated opioids and stimulants without prescriptions in efforts to combat drug deaths from the toxic illicit supply.
THIS AND THAT
Jean Chrétien in China – The former prime minister has been in Beijing, where he met with Chinese Vice-President Han Zheng, according to the Chinese embassy in Canada, posting on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
PM in Washington tomorrow –Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed he will be in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to attend the inaugural Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Leaders’ Summit, hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden.
Next step for Canada’s new ambassador to Germany – Former B.C. premier John Horgan, named Canada’s new ambassador to Germany this week, will present his diplomatic credentials “in due course,” said Pierre Cuguen, a Global Affairs spokesperson. Although former federal Liberal leader Stéphane Dion was the ambassador in Germany until 2022, the job has lately been filled by the mission’s chargé d’affaires Isabelle Poupart. Evelyne Coulombe took over this role in October and will remain in this position until Horgan is in place, said Cuguen.
Deputy Prime Minister’s day – Private meetings in Toronto, then Chrystia Freeland was scheduled to host a roundtable discussion with climate and environment experts.
Today in the Commons – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, accessible here.
Ministers on the road – Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault, in Edmonton, delivered remarks at the 2023 REenvision Housing Symposium after a meeting of the Forum of Labour Market. Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in Britain for the AI Safety Summit, which is focused on the risks posed by advances in artificial intelligence. Immigration Minister Marc Miller, in Toronto, took media questions after a keynote address at the C.D. Howe Institute on the 2023 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration Levels.
In Ottawa – Small Business Minister Rechie Valdez delivered remarks on support for the small-business sector at the Sustainable Finance Forum, then took media questions.
Commons committee highlights – Mary T. Moreau, selected by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fill an opening for a Supreme Court of Canada justice, was scheduled today to participate in a question-and-answer session with members of the justice and human rights committee. CBC president Catherine Tait appeared before the Canadian heritage committee. The government operations and estimates committee continues its hearing on the ArriveCan Application.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, held private meetings, and delivered remarks at the Sustainable Finance Forum. Trudeau was then scheduled to participate virtually in the Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit leaders’ discussion convened by Britain. And then he was scheduled to meet with Switzerland President Alain Berset. Later, Trudeau was scheduled to attend Question Period.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May participated virtually in Parliament from her Saanich-Gulf Islands riding including a question-and-answer session with Mary Moreau, selected by the Prime Minister to fill an opening for a Supreme Court of Canada justice.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, gave a Remembrance Day statement in Parliament, then met with the leadership of the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves François Blanchet, in Ottawa, held a news conference ahead of Question Period.
No schedule provided for Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre.
Senior Globe and Mail political reporter Marieke Walsh is on today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast to talk about why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would announce an exemption for the carbon price on home-heating oils, softening his signature climate policy, and what political machinations are at play behind the scenes. The Decibel is here.
Canadians exasperated with Parliament performances – “Posturing,” “useless” and “dishonest” are among the terms Canadians use to describe the exchange of ideas among MPs in the House of Commons, according to new research by the Angus-Reid Institute.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how a carbon tax isn’t the only way to combat climate change: “The Liberals’ carbon tax retreat last week was not some savvy pivot to flexible regulations. But the sudden shift does highlight there are other roads to reduced emissions.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how it’s time to look beyond the target of 500,000 new immigrants a year: “The figure that matters more is the 2.2 million in temporary residents who are in Canada. That number has surged for reasons that have nothing to do with immigration planning. And the Liberal government should be screwing up their courage to do something about that, right away.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on why Justin Trudeau doesn’t understand that Canadians want change: “Most think the lust for yet more power won’t let Mr. Trudeau see the realities as they should be seen, and that he’ll foolishly try and defy the sensible 10-year timeline. At his and his party’s peril.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how, on foreign policy, former prime minister Stephen Harper and current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are both at the back of the class: “One shunned the international limelight; the other craves it. Their stylistic differences cannot, however, obscure the reality that neither gets high marks for his foreign policy.”
Rachel Doran and Trevor Melanson (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the Liberals had a good story to tell, but the carbon price carve-out ruined it: “The story in the news was that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had cracked on carbon pricing when they unveiled a three-year carbon-pricing hiatus for home-heating oil last week, and long-time critics of the policy were quick to grab their favourite pickaxes.”
Jenny Simmons (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Quebec’s bad law to make brand names be in French will have bad consequences: “A brand name also has value, often attached to its reputation, its capacity to attract customers or clients, and how recognizable it is in the marketplace and distinguished from other brand names. And the recognition and reputation of a brand name is usually built up over considerable time and at great expense. Now the Government of Quebec is in the process of drafting regulations under their new language law, Bill 96. Among other changes, some of which have faced fierce opposition, Bill 96 is requiring companies to translate their brand names into French.”