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Politics Politics Briefing: Liberal MP says he’ll quit, but now might try to stick around

Good morning. We begin today with an item from Ottawa reporter Daniel Leblanc:

Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio seems to want to come out of retirement, even though he has not exactly retired yet.

In April, the MP for Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel stunned many of his colleagues by announcing that he would be leaving the House of Commons for personal reasons. He even had a farewell speech in the House. He returned to a legal career and took on a position as a partner at Montreal firm BCF Business Law.

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But he never formally resigned his seat.

Now, according to media reports, he might try to do both jobs. Mr. Di Iorio told La Presse he plans to be an MP and a lawyer simultaneously, saying he does not need much sleep to operate effectively.

Still, it’s not clear the Liberals want to keep him in caucus.

“He is stepping back from political life and we have heard nothing else,” said Liberal whip Mark Holland. “We wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

BCF’s chairman of the board, André Morrissette, told The Globe he has asked Mr. Di Iorio to withhold any future statements to the media until the Liberal MP decides what to do with his career.

“It was our understanding that he would be quitting politics,” Mr. Morrissette said in an interview. “We still don’t know what will happen.”

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.

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U.S. President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the current round of North America free-trade agreement talks, though Mr. Trudeau’s office denies such a meeting was ever requested. Mr. Trump continues to say that he thinks Canada has been unfair to the U.S. Canadian officials insist they can’t make a NAFTA deal without winning protections from punitive tariffs.

Mr. Trudeau said Parliament should consider revoking Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary Canadian citizenship.

Canada and five Latin American countries are asking the United Nations' International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela for possible crimes against humanity.

The federal Liberals have ordered Canada’s export credit agency to better consider the human rights implications of its actions.

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The Russian-Canadian member of activist group Pussy Riot who was poisoned said he believes the attack on him was committed by the Vladimir Putin regime.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has ordered a review into why Terri-Lynne McClintic, one of the killers of 8-year-old Tori Stafford, was transferred to a medium-security aboriginal healing lodge.

On an interview with CPAC, Governor-General Julie Payette says she’s sorry if it seems like her review of her office’s activities is taking too long.

Canada’s tax and border agencies say they were overbilled millions of dollars by the government’s IT department, which won’t pay them back.

How Veteran Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan has been taking on Sean Bruyea, one of his department’s fiercest, independent critics.

News that the federal government is prepared to remove a major barrier for a proposed liquefied natural gas project on B.C.'s northern coast is fuelling excitement in the community of Kitimat, where a work camp is taking shape. The Globe and Mail has learned that Ottawa has told LNG Canada that it agrees the terminal will need to be constructed from imported LNG modules, a position that, if endorsed by federal agencies, would avoid substantial tariffs.

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The CEO of Trans Mountain Corp. says the pipeline expansion could be back on track by next year, with an opening date of 2022, as the project heads into a new set of National Energy Board hearings. The additional hearings are the result of a Federal Court of Appeal decision that found the federal government didn’t adequately consult First Nations or properly consider the potential impact on killer whales.

The New Brunswick Liberals are trying to court the province’s Greens to form a partnership in the new legislature.

The B.C. government says it will review its campaign finance law after this fall’s municipal elections, following outcry over gaps in the rules on third-party advertising and transparency of donations. The promise of a review follows Globe and Mail reports about an $85,000 ad campaign funded by a developer in support of a Vancouver mayoral candidate, as well as a story that revealed how independent candidates can take advantage of the rules to gain a fundraising advantage over traditional parties.

Landlords in B.C. are decrying the provincial government’s decision to cap rental increases, arguing the change will hurt their business and make it more difficult to build new rental units. The province is capping rental increases to the rate of inflation, instead of an earlier limit of two per cent plus inflation, to address a housing crisis in a market where vacancy rates are below zero in some cities.

And a mayoral candidate in Port Moody, B.C., is defending himself after a video surfaced that showed him asking a homeless man to chug a beer in exchange for a sandwich.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Canada’s quest for a United Nations Security Council seat: “If Mr. Trudeau can’t sell Canada as the brighter side of North America to a world dealing with Trump derangement syndrome, then that really will count as a failure.”

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Nathalie Chalifour (The Globe and Mail) on the legal fights over carbon pricing: “In the end, it looks as if Saskatchewan and Ontario’s complaints are not really about the Constitution, but reflect a politically motivated, foot-stomping show of their unwillingness to do their part in the national and global effort to reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions.”

Robyn Urback (CBC) on Terri-Lynne McClintic: “The Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge where McClintic lives has just 30 beds. One of them is occupied by someone who participated in the rape and murder of a child, just about the worst thing — if not the worst thing — a human can do.”

Andrew Coyne (National Post) on the first-past-the-post electoral system: “Minority governments, as we know them, are indeed unstable: the average duration of a minority government at the federal level in Canada is a little more than a year. But we should not mistake this for the very different experience of coalition governments typical of [proportional representation]. It isn’t just that coalition governments actually do tend to have the support of a majority of the legislature. It’s that the incentives built into the two systems are completely different.”

Denise Balkissoon (The Globe and Mail) on Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy: “Her videos show her loudly needling asylum seekers, anti-racism educators and average racialized Torontonians, forcing them to listen to her, speaking over them though she pretends to want conversation, refusing to leave them in peace. Then, when their patience wears thin and they do respond rudely, her smile is triumphant. She has supposedly proven that they are lesser than her because their emotions are human, though their very humanity is what she attempts to deny.”

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