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The federal Liberals are facing a challenge given a surge in fundraising for the rival federal Conservatives, a cabinet minister said today.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Health Minister Mark Holland said when asked about the Conservatives more than doubling Liberal fundraising in 2023.

Holland was pressed on the issue during a news conference on dental care at the House of Commons, and largely criticized the approach of the Conservatives without offering a specific path ahead for the Liberals, who were elected to power in 2015.

“The only thing we have heard from the Conservatives is anger, division, amplification of people’s fears. I don’t think that’s what people want to hear.”

He said he hoped Canadians would eventually take a second look at the political solutions that Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is proposing to deal with Canada’s challenges.

As senior political reporter Marieke Walsh reports, the Conservatives raised nearly $35.3-million in 2023, according to reports filed with Elections Canada. The Liberals placed a distant second, bringing in $15.6-million.


Immigration Minister Marc Miller has just announced the federal government will provide $362.4-million to help provinces and municipalities deal with asylum seekers. “We need to continue providing support at a level that reflects the ongoing impacts of asylum claims across the country,” Miller said in Ottawa.

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Former Bank of Canada deputy governor expects first interest rate cut in July: Paul Beaudry, deputy governor from 2019 until 2023, said he expects the central bank to start cutting interest rates in July, later than markets are predicting, as inflationary pressures remain stubborn.

Final report into case of former veteran who killed himself and his family released: The inquiry into the 2017 triple-murder suicide of Lionel Desmond, an Afghan war veteran, found a lack of information sharing between military and health care professionals who interacted with Desmond in the days leading up to him fatally shooting his wife, daughter and mother.

Internal Hockey Canada report under spotlight in Ottawa after players charged with sexual assault: The parliamentary committee probing Hockey Canada’s handling of an alleged sexual assault involving members of the 2018 national junior team must now decide whether to force the organization to hand over its internal report on the incident.

CBC boss Catherine Tait declines to rule out executive bonuses, despite job cuts: In testimony before the heritage committee, Tait also indicated she hoped the CBC-Radio-Canada board would recommend she get performance-based pay.

Ottawa withholding housing funds from Windsor, Ont., over zoning laws: The decision was made official today, a bit more than a week after Windsor City Council voted to restrict four-unit residences to specific parts of the municipality.

Doug Ford says he does not want to raise postsecondary tuition in Ontario: Ford’s government cut tuition by 10 per cent in 2019 for Canadian students and froze it, but a government-commissioned “blue-ribbon panel” says the province should unfreeze tuition, raise student aid and increase operating grants to the schools.

Faced with low-wage jobs and high living costs, some international students see Canada’s visa cap as welcome relief: But some also wonder why the government didn’t act sooner, and worry the new rules may signal a shift in Canada’s previously welcoming attitude toward international students.

Former journalist wins seat in Newfoundland and Labrador by-election: Fred Hutton, a familiar face to TV viewers in the province for his 23 years with NTV News, has won a by-election and will be the new Liberal member of the legislature for Conception Bay East-Bell Island. In recent years, Hutton has been a senior adviser to Premier Andrew Furey.


“No one has a handcuff on anyone.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford, on a news conference question about members of his Progressive Conservative caucus running for the federal Conservatives. Parm Gill announced his exit last week.

“It would be an honour to be part of a Team Poilievre or a Team Ford. Timing and circumstances dictate otherwise.” – Former federal cabinet minister Lisa Raitt, writing on social media platform X, on speculation she is going to run for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

“We’re taking this one very seriously.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on efforts to find Mansour Shouman, a Palestinian-Canadian reported missing in the Gaza Strip.

“My hope is that Netanyahu will be gone sooner rather than later, because I think that’s in the best interests of everybody in the region, and I think that’s in the best interests of everybody around the world.” Winnipeg South Centre MP Ben Carr, headed into today’s Liberal caucus meeting, on politics in the Middle East.


Today in the Commons : Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, accessible here. The Senate sits again on Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister’s day: Chrystia Freeland attended the Liberal caucus meeting and, later, as part of prebudget consultations, met with the Assembly of First Nations.

Ministers on the road: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly is on an official trip to Moldova and Poland through to tomorrow. Today, she is in Warsaw. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Justice Minister Arif Virani, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and others announced, in the town of Aurora, a $121-million federal investment to help prevent gun and gang violence in Ontario.

In Ottawa: Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree, with Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron and other federal cabinet ministers and Métis leaders, met to discuss priorities of the Canada Métis-Nation Accord. Health Minister Mark Holland, Public Services Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Citizens’ Services Minister Terry Beech, and Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan announced that more than 400,000 Canadians have been approved for the Canadian Dental Care Plan. Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced additional supports for asylum claimants. Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge announced $100-million in funding for Telefilm Canada over two years. Veterans Affairs Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor responded to the inquiry report into the case of Lionel Desmond.

Commons committee highlights: Alexander Jeglic, Procurement Ombudsman in the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman, appeared before the government operations and estimates committee on the ArriveCAN application.


Justin Trudeau attended the weekly caucus meeting and later attended Question Period.


Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet held a news conference on Parliament Hill, then attended Question Period.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Ottawa, spoke virtually to the Animal Justice Academy, held her weekly Green caucus meeting, and participated, in person, in the House sitting.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, attended the NDP caucus meeting and participated in Question Period.

No schedule provided for Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.


Today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features The Globe’s theatre critic, J. Kelly Nestruck, explaining how a Canadian play called The Runner wound up at the centre of a controversy and was pulled from Victoria’s Belfry Theatre and Vancouver’s PuSh Festival. The Decibel is here.


B.C. NDP, in an election year, are 21 points ahead of nearest rival: The BC NDP, with the support of 46 per cent of decided voters, are running 21 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives, according to a Research Co. poll. BC United – the former BC Liberals who governed the province from 2001 to 2017 – is third with 17 per cent. A B.C. election is expected by October.


Ron Wood: The former press secretary and adviser to Preston Manning, when Manning led the Reform Party, died on Jan. 17 in Calgary. He was 81. Death notice here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how Ottawa should withdraw its MAID law for the mentally ill: “The Liberal government is trying to portray its (second) delay of the expansion of medically assisted death to those suffering solely from mental illness as a mere hiccup, a brief pause that will allow Ottawa to iron out some nagging technical issues.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how the Federal Court’s Emergencies Act ruling isn’t what some Canadians think it is: “When Justice Paul Rouleau found, after months of hearings before the Public Order Emergency Commission, that the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to clear out the militant anti-vaxxers occupying downtown Ottawa was both justified and lawful, the response in certain quarters was muted. Meh. Liberal-appointed commission, Liberal-appointed judge, what would you expect him to say? But let one Federal Court judge reach the opposite conclusion, and you’d think it was the liberation of Paris.”

Marsha Lederman (The Globe and Mail) on how the alleged actions of some UNRWA workers are despicable, but aid must continue to flow to Gaza: “The employees of UNRWA and their actions demand intense scrutiny. When the dust settles and Israel’s offensive in Gaza ends, there will have to be serious discussions about overhauling and possibly replacing UNRWA altogether. But right now, it must be allowed to continue its crucial work. And to do that, it needs money. Do not punish the starving children of Gaza for the appalling actions of these fraudulent aid workers.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on how the slow decline of the news industry is bad news for democracy: “The diminishment of the media world is not news. It’s been happening for decades now. But fresh contractions here and in the U.S. are more than concerning. I say this as someone who, perhaps naively, believes in the vital role that a strong, independent media plays in democracies (and non-democracies) around the globe.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on the need for a CEO who can run Quebec’s health care system like a business: “Under legislation adopted in December, Santé Québec is set to become the province’s largest employer with more than 325,000 employees, and with a mandate to make the $60-billion health care sector more efficient and innovative. The new chief executive officer will be expected to apply private-sector management practices and measurement tools to a sector more accustomed to command economy diktats and constraints.”

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