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Ontario is now the last Canadian province or territory without a childcare deal with the federal government.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok announced an agreement to support an average of $10-a-day licensed childcare in the territory by March, 2024.

That leaves Canada’s most populous province as the only province or territory without a deal.

Asked about the issue, Mr. Trudeau said his government has been ready to reach a deal with Ontario for many, many months, and he is optimistic about sealing such an agreement.

“We very much hope the Ontario government decides that it is in both their interests and mostly the interests of Ontarian families to move forward in slashing childcare prices, childcare costs immediately.”

He said the federal government is ready to send $10-billion to Ontario for early learning and childcare. That funding, and funding announced Monday for Nunavut, is part of the Liberal government’s promise to spend $30-billion over five years to realize a national child-care program and cut fees to $10 a day over five years.

Ivana Yelich, executive media relations director for the Ontario Premier’s office, said on Monday that the provincial government is working on the file.

“Our officials are meeting with their federal counterparts today and throughout the week. We are continuing to make progress on achieving a fair and sustainable deal for Ontarians,” she said in a statement issued following the Nunavut announcement.

Earlier this month, the office of Ontario Education Minister Steven Lecce said, in a statement, that the province is at the table with Ottawa making the case for a “fair deal” that “will ensure Ontario parents actually get 10-dollar-a-day child care.”

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 sign-up page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY HIT BY CYBERATTACK - Canada’s foreign affairs ministry is still recovering from a computer network disruption that has spanned several days and one security expert says the working assumption is this was a cyberattack. Story here.

GOOGLE EXECUTIVE URGES CAUTION - A senior Google executive is urging Canadian lawmakers not to go too far as they prepare to debate a wave of government bills aimed at imposing new rules on web giants. Story here.

RETIRED JUDGE TO REVIEW MADU CONDUCT - A retired judge from Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench is to determine whether suspended justice minister Kaycee Madu interfered with the administration of justice. Story here.

FORTIN OPTS FOR TRIAL BY JUDGE ONLY - The senior military officer once tasked with overseeing Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive is opting to have his sexual assault case tried by a Quebec judge without a jury present.

AFGHANS HEADING FOR NEW LIFE IN SASKATCHEWAN - In a hostel in Islamabad, more than 150 Afghans are waiting for Canadian visas so they can join members of their community who are settling into their new lives in Saskatoon. Many in the hostel, including young women, had to leave their families behind. Story here.

MOSCOW INVITE FOR JOLY - Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has an “open invitation” to visit Moscow to meet with Russian officials, an offer first extended in December, says Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov. Story here from CTV.

BC MINISTER TALKS ASSAULT EXPERIENCE - B.C.’s Forestry Minister says she is still recovering from a concussion and broken nose after she was knocked to the ground outside the legislature last month. Story here from the Victoria Times Colonist.

SASKATCHEWAN TORIES ENDORSE BATTERS - Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan have decided to confirm Senator Denise Batters as a member of their provincial regional caucus, slightly more than two months after Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole kicked the senator out of the national caucus for publicly challenging his leadership. Story here.


The House of Commons has adjourned until Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. ET.

CHAIN OF SUCCESSION - Clearly Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland would be in charge were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unable to fulfill his duties, but a Order-in-Council - a formal cabinet recommendation - document from earlier this month lists the chain of succession beyond Ms. Freeland. The document, which is here, also lists the backups for various members of cabinet. In a statement, Pierre-Alain Bujold, a spokesperson for the Privy Council Office, said it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to determine the order of ministers in the Acting Ministers Minute. “The order is not linked to the portfolio ministers occupy.” An official in the Prime Minister’s office said the ranking, beyond Ms. Freeland, is based on the length of time ministers have been in cabinet for the current or past governments.

THE DECIBEL - On Monday’s edition of The Decibel, Michael Birenbaum Quintero , an ethnomusicologist and associate professor at Boston University talks about the popular We Don’t Talk About Bruno Disney song , which is a viral sensation and unexpected hit from the 2021 film, Encanto. Mr. Quintero explores its musical influences along with the movie’s wider representation of Colombian and Latin American music and culture. The Decibel is here.


Private meetings. The Prime Minister made an early learning and child care announcement virtually with Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, Also, the Prime Minister attended a virtual cabinet retreat.


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole made an announcement on the cost of living crisis in Canada.

No schedules released for other party leaders.


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the lack of regrets and consequences inside parties for dishonesty: “Perhaps politicians won’t stop doing this until their own supporters, their own partisans, call them to account. So let’s call on partisans to do us all a public service: Spend less effort on pointing out the dishonesty in the other party, and more on calling it out on your own side. Help our political leaders do what they seem incapable of doing: feel shame for dishonesty. This may be a pipe dream, given that politics is a rough business and it’s human nature to see more fault in an opponent than in your own team. But a little of this kind of thing could go a long way. You don’t have to look any further than the Jan. 6, 2021, occupation of the United States Capitol by supporters of former U.S. president Donald Trump to see what happens when partisans won’t object to their own side’s lies. Dishonesty is not a new thing in politics, but there seems to be less fear that getting caught peddling falsehood is shameful. All’s fair in war. No regrets.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on security becoming a genuine concern as political incivility hits home: It doesn’t feel clever now for protesters to show up at a politician’s house. It feels dangerous. The people who are now appearing outside politicians’ homes are using threatening props, and talking up discredited COVID-19 conspiracy theories as they rally against vaccine mandates and health restrictions. And now the protests aren’t limited to the highest-profile federal or provincial politicians with dedicated security details.”

Peter MacKay, Allan Rock, Ed Broadbent, Ratna Omidvar and Rachel Pulfer (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada must not let the plight of Afghans stuck in purgatory fall off our agenda:Action is desperately needed. That means setting up a cabinet committee that is mandated, empowered and resourced to act on the Afghanistan file, paired with a task force of officials across departments. That means a clearly communicated timeframe, with commitment from the government to hit and report on milestones of progress. That means political direction on how the remaining refugee spaces are to be allocated.”

Steve Paikin (TVO) on remembering Lincoln Alexander on the 100th anniversary of his birth: “America has Martin Luther King Jr., but Canada has Lincoln Alexander. They were both Black men who cared a great deal about civil rights, equality, and discrimination, but they had very different ways to realize their visions. Coincidentally, each has been given a day on the calendar to remember them by, in the same week. Americans observed Martin Luther King Day this past Monday. Canadians, since 2015, have had January 21 on our calendar to remember the man everyone knew simply as “Linc.” Alexander made a name for himself in politics under highly unusual conditions. In 1968, when much of Canada was caught up in the love affair that was Trudeaumania (leading to a majority government for the current Prime Minister’s father), Linc managed to get himself elected as a Progressive Conservative in one of the country’s staunchest labour cities — by just 342 votes. It was the first of five consecutive victories for Linc in Hamilton West.”

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