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The federal government will announce today that it is awarding one-third of the first wave of $1.5-billion of contracts for maintenance on the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigates to the Davie shipyard in Quebec. The Davie shipyard will split the maintenance contract equally with two other shipyards – B.C.-based Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and Nova Scotia’s Irving Shipbuilding, each receiving approximately $500-million contracts, reports Daniel Leblanc. Liberal Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will make the announcement in Lévis, Que. this afternoon. It is expected the Minister will also make clear the three yards will continue to share equally in the remaining contracts. In total, Canada’s national shipbuilding strategy is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars over the next few decades, with maintenance contracts expected to cost at least $7-billion.

The move comes mere weeks before an anticipated election call, prompting Liberal opponents to accuse the government of using the announcement to further their political goals. The Davie shipyard is located south of Quebec City in an area hotly contested by Canada’s main federal parties.

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Last November, the Department of Public Services and Procurement announced the three shipyards would work on the frigates, but did not specify how the contracts would be divided. At the same time as Mr. Duclos speaks in Quebec, Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough, who represents a Vancouver-area riding, will make a parallel announcement today in Victoria. The Liberals are planning a similar event for the Irving contract next week in Nova Scotia.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written today by Michael Snider. 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.


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U.S. President Donald Trump continues to face criticism for his social media comments urging four minority congresswomen to “go back” and fix the “crime-infested places from which they came.” Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced Mr. Trump’s statement and said an ethnically diverse population such as Canada’s is a strength and a source of pride. “That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” he said. British Prime Minister Theresa May also criticized Mr. Trump’s statements through a spokesperson as “completely unacceptable.”

Criticism from the President’s own party, though, remained muted. A handful of Republicans chastised Mr. Trump’s tweets, but by and large GOP leaders in the House and Senate used the event to emphasize the political and policy differences with the four Democrates ― Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota ― who espouse progressive ideas that have made some in their own party cautious.

In a Globe and Mail exclusive, South Africa-based foreign correspondent Geoffrey York and Ottawa-based reporter Steven Chase report that the government of Sudan is using armoured vehicles built by a Canadian-owned company. The vehicles have been identified as Cougar armoured vehicles by experts who reviewed photos taken by The Globe in Khartoum. They are manufactured by Streit Group, a company owned by Canadian businessman Guerman Goutorov. Experts say that while the Canadian government has enacted new regulations restricting arms sales and adheres to United Nations sanctions against Sudan, yet it is unclear if those regulations would halt the export of Streit vehicles to Sudan because they were built in a plant located in the United Arab Emirates.

Nathalie Provost, who was shot four times during the 1989 mass shooting at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, has left her position on the federal firearms advisory committee and has accused the federal government of being unwilling to crack down on assault-style rifles. Formerly the vice-chair of the committee, Ms. Provost on Monday sent her letter of resignation to Mr. Trudeau and the cabinet members responsible for firearms issues – Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair.

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The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, countered the perception the United States is not as supportive of the alliance, and argued yesterday that despite Donald Trump’s rhetoric over the United States unfairly footing NATO’s bills, “facts on the ground” in Europe show the U.S. is more committed than ever. Mr. Stoltenberg met with Mr. Trudeau at CFB Petawawa where the issue of burden-sharing was front and centre.

A call on whether to bar the Chinese firm Huawei’s equipment from 5G networks won’t come ahead of the fall vote, The Canadian Press reports. Federal security experts are currently conducting a review of Huawei amid strained relations with Beijing.

The head of Desjardins Group, Guy Cormier, met with a Parliamentary committee on public safety and national security yesterday and said that current ways of preventing data breaches, such as third-party monitoring of transactions, are inadequate. Desjardin suffered a major data breach that affected 2.7 million of its clients. Desjardin said an employee who broke company rules for data protection was behind the breach, which was revealed last month. The company wants the federal government to work with business to develop new and better ways to protect customers’ private personal information.

Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on Mr. Trump’s tweets: “He leaves no doubt as to whom he considers good Americans – and those he thinks the country can do without. It’s as backward a mentality as can be imagined for an America coursing demographically toward having a non-white majority.”

Globe and Mail Editorial on Democrats and Republicans: “There is a war within the Democratic Party, and Mr. Trump is taking sides. Being public enemy No. 1 gives him the power to influence whom the party chooses as it leaders and what policies it embraces and emphasizes.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the Liberals politicizing conversion therapy: “No government has done more to advance and protect the rights of LGBTQ Canadians than the Trudeau government... But Conservative governments do not claw back existing LGBTQ rights or abortion rights, or the rights of racial minorities. Liberal efforts to concoct some mythical Tory hidden agenda represent the party at its worst.”

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Cindy Blackstock (The Globe and Mail) on Ottawa’s neglect of First Nations children: “Though these inequalities have been known to the federal government for at least 112 years, it continues to take small and insufficient steps, dealing with the problem one service at a time instead of co-developing a comprehensive plan with First Nations to address all the inequalities.”

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on Canada’s history with the abortion pill: “If they can’t or won’t provide reasonable access to Mifegymiso, and regulators refuse to step in, then we must allow others to do so – nurse-practitioners, midwives and pharmacists should have the right to prescribe the abortion pill.”

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