Skip to main content

Note to readers: Politics Briefing will pause tomorrow for Canada Day and resume Monday.


Montreal will host NATO’s new climate centre as radical climate change evolves into a serious security risk for the military alliance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday.

Canada will also host the new North American headquarters of NATO’s tech centre but Mr. Trudeau declined, at a news conference in Madrid on Thursday to say why the government has not contributed to the novel €1-billon ($1.35-billion) fund associated with the alliance’s innovation project.

“We continue to be in discussions,” Mr. Trudeau said at the close of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Madrid, referring to the talks to set up the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) in Canada and its investment structure.

He would not say where DIANA would be located. Reports have suggested Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo area, one of Canada’s top research and development centres, could be high on the list.

Mr. Trudeau also said Canada will send more troops to Latvia as part of NATO’s ambitious effort to shore up its vulnerable eastern flank on, or close to, the Russian border. But he did not say how many more Canadian troops would be stationed beyond the nearly 700 already stationed there. “There will be more,” he said.

Canada has pledged to help Latvia raise the size of the NATO forces in that country to brigade level, roughly 3,000 troops, though the troops would come from many alliance member states.

Mr. Trudeau, who was headed back to Ottawa on Thursday after an international trip that has also included stops in Rwanda and Germany, said Canada is in the final stages of talks to supply Ukraine with up to 39 armoured combat support vehicles to help it fight off Russia.

They had been destined for the Canadian Army but will be diverted to Ukraine. He said all the equipment diverted to Ukraine would be replaced “as quickly as possible” so that the Canadian military would not go short.

European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly reports here.

Reporter’s Comment, Mr. Reguly:The leaders of the NATO countries at the alliance’s summit in Madrid sounded like they had all rehearsed their message together about supporting Ukraine so it won’t lose the war. “As long as it takes” or minor variations of that line were repeated endlessly. No one said whether that would be months or years, how this war might end, or whether their voting publics would tolerate a long war that has already helped to raise food and energy costs to crippling levels for the unrich. If the war is still grinding away during the next summit, in 2023, the NATO leaders may need to retool their message. No one but military contractors wants endless wars.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. 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.


RAPE SHIELD LAW CONSTITUTIONAL: SUPREME COURT - The Supreme Court of Canada, in a ruling Thursday, has upheld a federal law that expands the privacy rights of complainants in sexual-assault trials, saying that Parliament was justified in trying to protect their dignity and encourage them to report crime. Story here.

ARSENAULT TO BE IN THE SPOTLIGHT ON CBC’S NATIONAL - CBC News is shaking up the anchor roles at The National as it plans to launch a free 24-hour live streaming channel this fall, with the broadcast to be centred around veteran journalist Adrienne Arsenault, who has shared the anchor role in recent years. Story here.

LEGAL CHALLENGE FILED OVER GOVERNOR-GENERAL’s LACK OF FRENCH - A group of Quebeckers has filed a legal challenge of the appointment of Mary Simon as Governor-General on the grounds that her inability to speak French violates constitutional requirements for official bilingualism. Story here.

AIR CANADA CANCELLING ABOUT 150 FLIGHTS DAILY - Air Canada, citing “unprecedented strains” on the airline industry from resurgent travel, says it is cancelling 154 flights per day in July and August, or 15 per cent of its schedule. Story here.

BLAIR DENIES CONNECTING GUN CONTROL TO N.S. MASS SHOOTING IN TALKS WITH COMMISSIONER - Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says he never linked government gun-control measures to the investigation into the mass killings in Nova Scotia during frequent conversations with RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki. Story here.

LABELLING PROGRAM ANNOUNCED FOR SOME FOODS - Ground meats will not require a warning label under Health Canada’s new nutrition labelling policy, the government announced Thursday. In a press conference, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced that its long-awaited policy – which will require labels on foods that are high in sugar, salt or saturated fat – will come into effect in January, 2026. And following weeks of mounting concerns from the meat industry, Ottawa’s plan announced Thursday marks a reversal on its initial position that would have required such labels on ground meats. Story here.

SNOWBIRDS CANADA DAY FLY-OVER IN OTTAWA CANCELLED - The traditional Canada Day fly-past over Ottawa by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds has been cancelled, following a problem with the aircraft’s emergency ejection parachute that grounded the fleet. Story here from CTV.

ONTARIO NDP INTERIM LEADER PROMISES EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION TO FORD, PCS - The new interim leader of Ontario’s New Democrats said Wednesday that he hopes his political experience and commitment to the party will help them act as an effective Opposition to Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives during the NDP’s hunt for a permanent leader. Story here.


CAMPAIGN TRAIL - There are no events for Thursday listed on Roman Baber’s web site, but he is holding a Canada Day BBQ in North York. Patrick Brown was in Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton. Jean Charest was in Edmonton on Thursday, and then headed back to Quebec. Leslyn Lewis is in her Haldimand-Norfolk riding. Pierre Poilievre is in Ottawa. There’s no word on Scott Aitchison’s campaign whereabouts.

POILIEVRE ON THE MARCH - Pierre Poilievre joined Canadian solider James Topp as he neared the end of a walk across Canada on Thursday, set to end at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa. Mr. Topp, an Alberta resident, has said he is on the march, partly to get all vaccine mandates repealed. Video and story here from CTV.

BROWN PRESSED ON WHICH RACE HE WILL FINISH - A city hall opponent is asking Brampton, Ont., Mayor Patrick Brown to confirm what his rivals for the federal Conservative leadership also want to know: which race will he actually finish? Story here from The National Post.


The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.

FREELAND IN NEWMARKET - Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland visited Exco Engineering, a Canadian automotive parts manufacturer on Thursday, met with workers and held a news conference.

FREELAND ON SECURITY DETAILS - “I’m the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Canada. I almost never have any security. When [U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen] was here, she’s the U.S. secretary of the treasury, she needs to be taken care of, she travels in a convoy. And I rode my bike to the [Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto] to meet that convoy and then they asked me to join the convoy for ease of the day. The Secretary said to me, `You rode your bike here, I hear. How does your security detail feel about riding bikes to be with you?’ And I said, `They don’t because I don’t have a security detail. I just rode here by myself and locked up my bike and rode into the ROM. I think that is a great thing about our country.” - Chrystia Freeland at Thursday news conference in Newmarket, Ont.

DOUBLE DOSE OF DUCLOS - In Ottawa, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and officials provided an update on COVID-19. The health minister also made a nutrition-related announcement.

VANDAL IN CALGARY - Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, also responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced federal support in Calgary for events and tourism experiences.

GOULD IN BURLINGTON - Families Minister Karina Gould, acting on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in Burlington, Ont., announced support for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Ontario.


On Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, The Globe’s education reporter Caroline Alphonso and Decibel producer Sherrill Sutherland talk about Westview Centennial Secondary School in the northwest of Toronto after spending a day there to find out how students they feel about graduating. On Thursday, about 180 students are crossing the stage to get their diplomas. While this is a common rite of passage for teens across the country, these students had anything but a normal high school experience. The pandemic meant online learning, no sports, taking care of younger siblings and little in-person interaction with friends. Westview is also located in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood – one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. The Decibel is here.


In Madrid for the NATO summit, the Prime Minister held a breakfast meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, then met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. The Prime Minister then participated in the North Atlantic Council Plenary Session, followed by a media availability. The Prime Minister was then scheduled to meet with Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, participate in a working luncheon hosted by Mr. Sánchez, and deliver a joint statement with Mr. Sánchez, and then depart for Ottawa.


Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet visited the Quebec riding of Rimouski¬–Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques, accompanied by MP Maxime Blanchette-Joncas.

No schedules provided for other party leaders.


ONTARIANS SKEPTICAL ABOUT THEIR GOVERNMENT - Ontarians have re-elected a Progressive Conservative government led by Doug Ford , but are skeptical about the government’s ability to deal with the issues, such as inflation and health care, of importance to them, according to new research by the Angus Reid Institute. Details here.

CANADIANS DIVIDED ON CANADA DAY - Nearly half of respondents in a poll by Counsel Public Affairs say the nation should spend Canada Day both celebrating and reflecting while 41 per cent say the holiday is a day for celebrating with reflections on shortcomings left for another day. Details here.


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how it is time for RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to tell the whole story:There’s something crucial missing: an explanation from RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki. It can’t wait much longer. The allegation that the Liberal government pressured the RCMP to release information about the investigation into the Nova Scotia shootings of April 18 to 19, 2020, in order to advance their gun-control agenda is now boiling down to two increasingly irreconcilable versions of events – with Commissioner Lucki in between. We need the commissioner to come forward, quickly.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on the Prime Minister credibly accused of interfering in a criminal matter for political purposes? : “And while nothing in either Supt. Campbell or Ms. Scanlan’s record gives us reason to doubt their version of events, everything in this Prime Minister’s does. To take only the most obvious example – obvious, because the accusation of political interference in a criminal matter is so lethally apt – the Prime Minister flatly denied that he had pressured the former attorney-general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to interfere in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin (“the allegations in The Globe story are false”). Only later, after it became impossible to deny, did he retreat into those strenuous Clintonian attempts to parse how much pressure was too much pressure: as if there really was any ambiguity to the impressive all-government effort to bend Ms. Wilson-Raybould into compliance, or as if the standard we should expect of a prime minister is that he should tiptoe up to the line of interfering in a criminal prosecution, as long as he can plausibly claim he didn’t cross it.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how the institution of police survives if police aren’t seen to put civilian lives before their own: “Policing as an institution functions off of a certain pact with the public. Officers are expected to take risks we wouldn’t ask of the average civilian and, in exchange, they are afforded extraordinary powers (in Canada, to carry handguns for example), protections (against assault as specifically outlined in the Criminal Code) and honour and esteem. In emergency situations, police are expected to run toward the danger while the rest of us run away, which is why the profession is generally held in high regard. But if police are seen running away with the crowd too many times – or hesitating outside a classroom where kids are being slaughtered, or withholding information to protect police during a killer’s rampage – how does law enforcement’s pact with the public survive?”

Peter Misek (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Ottawa must act fast to avoid another economic catastrophe: “It will take leadership and another act of heroism for Canada’s politicians to be honest with citizens about the facts. Governments cannot continue to fight past pandemic-induced battles while ignoring the economic future. Taxing the rich, as the Trudeau government has pledged to do, is a Faustian bargain because at a 53-per-cent top marginal rate, Canada is already uncompetitive and could face capital and talent flight. The best chance for avoiding economic catastrophe requires swift action in three ways.”

John Michael McGrath (TVO) on how this fall’s municipal elections in Ontario will get interesting everywhere but in one notable city: The biggest exception to the general level of interesting races can be found in the biggest Ontario city of all: in Toronto, Mayor John Tory as yet faces no prominent challenger for a third term. If we’re going to see any compelling contests for Toronto city hall in October, they’ll like involve council seats where progressive stalwarts have either already left or announced they won’t run again; people like Kristyn Wong-Tam and Joe Cressy have moved elsewhere, and North York councillor John Filion has announced he won’t run again.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.