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Opposition MPs on the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations voted Tuesday to delve into the massive security breach at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Liberals MPs on the committee tried to curtail the parliamentary examination, introducing a motion that would not make the investigation a priority and limiting the number of meetings into the matter.

Liberal Yasir Naqvi said he was concerned the inquiry would be all about political posturing rather than getting answers about what happened at Canada’s only Level 4 infectious-disease lab.

“This cannot turn into a political show. This cannot turn into a process where members are trying to just score political points,” he said.

The Conservatives, Bloc Québécois and NDP defeated Mr. Naqvi’s motion and another one that would not have allowed MPs to summon witnesses if they refused to testify. Bloc MP René Villemure reminded the Liberals that it was their government that played political games by denying Parliament access to classified documents on the matter.

Full story by Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife and Senior Parliamentary Reporter Steven Chase.

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.


Bank of Canada warns of low productivity ‘emergency,’ making it harder to control inflation: Senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers, during a speech in Halifax, said Canada is slipping further behind the United States and other peer countries when it comes to economic output per worker.

Nenshi has ‘more than doubled’ Alberta NDP membership: MLA: Rakhi Pancholi, exiting the race to lead the Alberta NDP, said former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi has more than doubled the party’s membership in just a week as he seeks the leadership.

Ontario budget out: The Progressive Conservative government is releasing a budget that Premier Doug Ford has said will be balanced in its approach to key priorities, such as infrastructure and housing. watch The Globe and Mail for updates once details are released at 4 pm ET.

High price tag of equipment driving delays in defence policy update: The federal government’s long-promised defence policy update has been kept under wraps since 2022 because the Trudeau cabinet is struggling with the cost of big-ticket items at the same time the United States is pressing Ottawa to boost military spending, according to a senior official.

Judge pauses MAID death as father, daughter continue court fight: However, Monday’s ruling by Justice Colin Feasby also prevents the daughter from receiving the procedure for at least a month so her family can appeal.

Bloc eyes adding age verification for pornography sites to online harms bill: Rhéal Fortin, the Bloc Québécois’ justice critic, said he was surprised the government did not include age verification in the bill to stop children viewing sexually explicit material online, and that the issue would be “one of my first preoccupations” when Bill C-63 is studied by MPs. Marie Woolf reports.

The bloom has come off the rose for the CAQ – and Legault: Not so long ago, it seemed Quebec Premier François Legault, for the majority of Quebeckers, could do no wrong. But The Gazette in Montreal looks into how things have gone wrong for the governing Coalition Avenir Québec, with polls now suggesting the Parti Québécois is out front in voter support.

Ex-B.C. premier Glen Clark takes reins of Overstory Media Group: The former NDP premier, who joined Jim Pattison Group after he left politics and eventually became chief operating officer, will temporarily take over top duties at Victoria-based media enterprise Overstory Media Group. The Logic reports.


“You know those signs that say, `In an emergency, break the glass’? Well, it’s time to break the glass.” – Carolyn Rogers, the Bank of Canada’s senior deputy governor, raising concerns about Canada’s “poor record on productivity” in a speech to the Halifax Partnership, the city’s public-private economic development organization.


Commons, Senate: The House of Commons is on a break until April 8. The Senate sits again April 9.

Deputy Prime Minister’s day: Chrystia Freeland is in Ottawa, but has no public events scheduled.

Ministers on the road: Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in New York on the second and final day of an official visit as part of what the government describes as a Canadian-U.S. engagement strategy. In a posting on social-media platform X, Champagne said he visited the headquarters of Bloomberg to meet with the media organization’s editorial board. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, in the Prince Edward Island community of Montague, acting on behalf of of Health Minister Mark Holland, announced an agreement to spend more than $29-million over five years to help people age with dignity, closer to home. International Trade Minister Mary Ng, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, is leading a Canadian trade mission that will include stops in Vietnam before it concludes on Friday. Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in North Vancouver, at Seaspan Shipyards, announced that two contracts with a combined value of $490.6-million have been awarded to Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyards to initiate the next stages of procuring six multi-purpose vessels for the coast guard.

Commons committee highlights: The government operations committee hears witnesses from the Canada Border Services Agency on the ArriveCAN application. The Special Committee on Canada-China Relations met this morning to consider a request to hold meetings on matters revealed in Winnipeg Lab documents involving China.


Justin Trudeau is in the Ottawa region, but has no public events scheduled.


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre attended a party fundraising event at a private residence in the Montreal community of Westmount.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May met with constituents in her B.C. riding of Saanich – Gulf Islands.

No schedules released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet or NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.


On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Brenda Bouw, a reporter for Globe Advisor, explains how Canada Pension Plan works and what determines how much you get from the plan. She also speaks to the debate around what’s the right age to claim it. The Decibel is here.


British Columbia’s troubling diversion on opioids

“The NDP needs to embrace oversight of the program – going back to witnessed consumption is an obvious possible solution – and it must plainly lay out the clinical benefits and risks of prescribed pharmaceutical alternatives. Anything short of that threatens the viability of this harm-reduction initiative.” – The Globe and Mail Editorial Board.

The productivity puzzle: How could we be doing so poorly? We did everything right!

“Canada has the most highly educated population in the Group of Seven, with 58 per cent of its adult population, according to the 2021 census, having graduated from some form of postsecondary institution. We spend more than almost any country on higher education, as a percentage of GDP. There are many good reasons to invest in higher education, but if the argument is “it pays off in higher productivity,” that doesn’t seem to be the case. Not as we are currently spending it.” – Andrew Coyne

Women’s rights advocates should stand up for victims on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

“Recognizing the suffering of “the other side” is not a sign of weakness, but rather, a recognition of our shared humanity. We all want human dignity, security and a better future for our children. Let’s work on healing the pain. This will entail difficult conversations that forge a path toward justice for all aggrieved parties.”Sheema Khan

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