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Politics Politics Briefing: Kenney to help Scheer woo immigrant voters

Good morning,

Ontarians can expect to see a lot of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney this fall. He’ll be making the rounds ahead of the federal election, shaking hands with new Canadians in an effort to win their votes for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, according to a source close to Mr. Kenney granted anonymity by The Globe and Mail.

As immigration minister in the Harper government from 2008 to 2013, Mr. Kenney was a tireless recruiter of visible-minority voters, earning the nickname “minister for curry in a hurry.” Many immigrant voters are socially and economically conservative, and Mr. Kenney will be focusing his efforts on the 905: the area outside Toronto, named after its area code, whose millions of swing voters often determine the outcome of federal elections.

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In a statement to The Globe on Wednesday, Mr. Kenney said if the Liberals do not reverse their pipeline policies, “I will openly and vocally campaign here in Alberta and wherever I can make a difference across Canada to elect a Conservative government that will stand up for Alberta and for Canada."

In the Alberta Throne Speech delivered by Lieutenant-Governor Lois Mitchell Wednesday, the Kenney government vowed to immediately scrap the federal carbon tax and launch a third constitutional challenge, as his government begins an aggressive legislative session designed to undo many of the policies of Rachel Notley’s NDP government.

Ontario Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford, who also opposes the carbon tax, has indicated he will also be campaigning to unseat the Liberals in this fall’s election.

Premiers have involved themselves in federal elections in the past. Danny Williams, when he was Progressive Conservative premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, campaigned against Stephen Harper’s federal Conservatives during the 2008 election. In the last election, Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario’s premier, worked to make Justin Trudeau prime minister. Mr. Scheer has not yet commented on Mr. Kenney’s offer of support.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

One of the most bruising trade fights to roil North America in decades lasted nearly a year but was resolved with less than a month of negotiations. The behind-the-scenes machinations that culminated in the deal, detailed for The Globe and Mail by two Canadian officials with direct knowledge of the talks, turned on three key factors: the refusal of Mexican and Canadian negotiators to accept quotas; pressure from free-trade-loving congressional Republicans who threatened not to ratify Mr. Trump’s renegotiated North American free-trade agreement while tariffs remained; and the Trump administration’s desire to close one front of its global trade wars while intensifying its fight with China.

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Ottawa will introduce legislation to ratify Canada’s new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico as soon as next week, according to a senior Canadian government official.

U.S. Democratic Senator Mark Warner says Western countries, including Canada, must speak out more forcefully against China’s crackdown on its Muslim Uyghur minority and use of “bone-chilling” surveillance technology. Mr. Warner, vice-chair of the Senate intelligence committee, told The Globe and Mail in an exclusive interview that the mass incarceration of Uyghurs in enormous detention camps in China’s northern province of Xinjiang has received minimal international criticism.

Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais says he plans to ask his colleagues on the Senate National Security and Defence committee if they would consider inviting Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and other witnesses to appear before committee. He said he would also like to hear from Mr. Trudeau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and possibly others.

An Indigenous protester opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion interrupted a speech by Mr. Trudeau at a Liberal fundraiser on Wednesday. Outside the event, a 74-year-old woman was knocked to the ground by a police officer after she allegedly shoved a man at an anti-pipeline protest.

The federal minister in charge of Canada’s fight against money laundering supports British Columbia’s public inquiry into dirty money but says a national examination is not necessary. Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair said the federal government has already started implementing measures to combat illegal money.

Doug Ford’s plan to balance the Ontario government’s books depends on an additional $6-billion in unspecified reductions, the province’s financial watchdog says, while also warning that economic uncertainty could hinder efforts to tackle the deficit.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to a huge election victory on Thursday, on course to increase his majority and give his party the mandate to pursue business-friendly policies that put Hindus first and take a hard line on national security.

U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization on Wednesday lost their bid to block Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp. from providing financial records to Democratic lawmakers investigating Trump’s businesses.

Mr. Trump on Wednesday abruptly cut short a White House meeting with Democratic lawmakers on infrastructure, saying he could not work with them unless they dropped multiple investigations.

The House Intelligence Committee pulled back on Wednesday from threats to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department agreed to turn over materials relating to an investigation into Russian election interference.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected on Friday to announce her departure from office, The Times reported, without citing a source. Ms. May will remain as prime minister while her successor is elected in a two-stage process under which two final candidates face a ballot of 125,000 Conservative Party members, the newspaper said.

As people across Britain head to the polls on Thursday for elections to the European Parliament, there’s growing anger over Brexit and Ms. May’s failure to get the country out of the European Union nearly three years after a majority voted to leave.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies won a majority of the 12 Senate seats at stake in midterm elections, official results showed Wednesday, while the opposition’s shutout heralds a stronger grip on power by a leader accused of massive human rights violations.

Former general Prabowo Subianto, the defeated candidate in Indonesia’s presidential election, is expected to challenge the result in court Thursday as calm returned to the capital following a 24-hour spasm of apparently orchestrated violence.

Blaine Favel (The Globe and Mail) on the exoneration of Chief Poundmaker: “In exonerating our Chief, the Prime Minister and, through him, Canada, move closer to real reconciliation and mutual understanding. The words spoken Thursday will correct a historical untruth. The apology needs to be followed by continued actions by the Canadian government.”

David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on Scheer’s budget plan: “Mr. Scheer himself has argued that if you want your government to control its spending and reduce its deficits, you need the discipline of a firm, ambitious timeline. If his promise is any more than campaign rhetoric, he needs a timetable. He needs a plan.”

Dennis Horak (The Globe and Mail) on U.S.-Iran tensions: “Ultimately, the dream of many U.S. and regional leaders is regime change, and for many U.S. hardliners, that is the real goal behind the current uptick in pressure. It is an illusion. Iran has an established record of remarkable resilience, and Iranians, despite their fractious nature, are a deeply proud people.”

Hugh Segal (The Globe and Mail) on Bill C-48 in the Senate: “Given the general mood of voters these days, I doubt Canadians will be happy with an unelected group of legislators scuttling a bill that was part of the duly elected government’s 2015 election campaign. The possibility that this bill could be voted down has already triggered criticisms of imperious behaviour and lack of accountability.”

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Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star) on Maxime Bernier: “The buzz that attended Maxime Bernier’s stormy departure from Andrew Scheer’s caucus to create a rival conservative party has dissipated. Bernier has so far failed to parlay the significant political capital he had accumulated as a CPC leadership front-runner into a lasting electoral down payment for his People’s Party. If anything, he has depleted that capital.”

Polly Toynbee (The Guardian) on British Conservatives: “In its Brexit delirium, the party will choose Boris Johnson, the sociopathic chameleon who is reported to be claiming the one nation ticket even as he spews out crude, membership-pleasing law-and-order columns in the Telegraph. No gravitas, no dignity – the Conservative party is no longer the British establishment.”

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