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Hello,

Days after the Liberal government gave its economic vision for the days ahead, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has mapped out his party’s own plan, with a special focus on income inequality.

“Middle-class Canada has been betrayed by elites on every level: political elites, financial elites, cultural elites,” Mr. O’Toole said in a speech to the Canadian Club Toronto today.

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“These elites have one set of values centred on political correctness and unchecked globalization, while middle-class Canadians have another set rooted in family, home and nation.”

Mr. O’Toole bemoaned declining rates of unionization in the private sector – which, he acknowledged, was not necessarily a common concern expressed by a Conservative leader.

“It used to be that a job was the gateway into the middle class," he said. “Increasingly, especially for younger people, a job is a dead-end...an endless cycle of contract work with no benefits, no security, no obligations on the part of employers.”

Mr. O’Toole said he did not disagree with the need for large government spending during the pandemic, but said he disagreed with the Liberals prioritizing a “green agenda” over job creation. (The Liberals, of course, say that it is possible to pursue environmental policies and increase employment at the same time.)

Mr. O’Toole laid a lot of blame on China and Canadian “elites” who, he said, allowed manufacturing jobs and intellectual property to move east.

“GDP growth alone is not the be-all and end-all of politics,” he said. “The goal of economic policy is more than just wealth creation.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. 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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TODAY’S HEADLINES

The federal government announced today it is greatly increasing its targets for immigration in the next three years to make up for shortfalls caused by the pandemic. As well, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said the government will be creating clearer pathways to citizenship for temporary foreign workers, international students and asylum seekers, with more details to follow.

The Canadian economy continued a slow recovery through August, according to Statistics Canada’s monthly estimates, though many low-income Canadians remain out of work. The Finance department’s monthly fiscal monitor, also out today, showed that the deficit for August had shrunk a bit from previous months, though the total deficit from April to August stood at $170.5-billion.

The Globe and Mail has uncovered new evidence that Canadian-made military technology that was approved for export to Turkey has been diverted to Azerbaijan for use in drone attacks against Armenian forces.

The Liberals' assisted-dying bill, necessitated by a Quebec court ruling last year, has passed its second-reading vote.

Economists are questioning Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s assertion that growth rates will remain higher than interest rates, which is important to Ottawa’s bottom line.

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Ehren Cory, the former head of Infrastructure Ontario, is the new CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The bank confirmed to The Globe that his performance bonuses of up to $1.65-million a year are lower than that of his predecessor, who left earlier this year.

Former long-time Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner has been appointed Canada’s consul-general in Boston.

The Canada Revenue Agency is alleging in court documents that former Conservative MP Rob Anders failed to report more than $750,000 in income over five years. Mr. Anders is facing five charges of tax evasion.

And the Ontario NDP is raising questions about the governing Progressive Conservatives' plan to grant university status to a religious college run by Charles McVety, a prominent social-conservative ally of Premier Doug Ford. New documents show the college has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to Mr. McVety and his son.

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s economic vision: “Only then would the government ‘resume the long-standing, time-tested Canadian approach, with fiscal guardrails and fiscal anchors,’ though what these would be we can as yet only guess at. Still, the overall message was clear: deficits in bad times, but also in good times. Spend while the ‘wolf is at the door’ or the ‘rain is falling’ or ‘we have been swept up in a tempest and forced to sail in uncharted waters’ – we would appear to be suffering no deficit of metaphors – but also spend when wolf, rain and tempest are but distant memories. Fiscal anchors aweigh!”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s drive to cut healthcare spending: “Already, the province’s unions have warned that the walkouts are just the beginning. They are gearing up for a battle that they say Mr. Kenney started. They have launched a provincewide campaign, urging Albertans to ‘stand up’ to the Premier and his government (even though, of course, not everyone believes the Premier is wrong). Unquestionably, he could have chosen a better time to instigate a showdown with health care workers. But that seems to be a moot point now.”

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Danielle Smith (Calgary Herald) on police reform: “If politicians want to address systemic racism, it doesn’t get solved by just making speeches about white privilege. It gets solved by properly tracking incidents, identifying officers who don’t have the temperament to do the job with grace and restraint, and getting them the hell out of the service.”

Elizabeth Renzetti (The Globe and Mail) on how suburban win will vote in the U.S. election: “Then, at a rally in Michigan, [Donald Trump] pleaded with women to support him because ‘we’re getting your husbands back to work.’ He may have skipped the section of the pandemic briefing book that shows women’s careers were disproportionately harmed by the crisis. Perhaps it was on page two.”

Ron Suskind (New York Times) on what U.S. intelligence officials fear could happen next week: “Disruption would most likely begin on Election Day morning somewhere on the East Coast, where polls open first. Miami and Philadelphia (already convulsed this week after another police shooting), in big swing states, would be likely locations. It could be anything, maybe violent, maybe not, started by anyone, or something planned and executed by any number of organizations, almost all of them on the right fringe, many adoring of Mr. Trump. The options are vast and test the imagination. Activists could stage protests at a few of the more crowded polling places and draw those in long lines into conflict.”

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