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Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should fire his chief of staff because she failed to inform him of allegations against Jonathan Vance, the former chief of defence staff.

On Monday, Mr. O’Toole told a news conference that If Justin Trudeau doesn’t fire Katie Telford, it will be an “admission that he has been lying about his knowledge of the sexual misconduct allegation against General Vance, and that he has been complicit in this cover-up.”

“If [the Prime Minister] was kept in the dark for three years, he should hold his chief of staff accountable for that,” said Mr. O’Toole.

Kristy Kirkup and Janice Dickson report on Monday’s development here.

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.


U/A WORK WITH CHINA - The University of Alberta is carrying out extensive scientific collaboration with China that involves sharing and transferring research in strategically important areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. In some cases, professors and researchers at the university have set up companies in joint ventures with Chinese companies and state institutions to commercialize Canadian-developed technology.

COMMANDER ON LEAVE - A Canadian Special Forces commander has been placed on leave for supporting a soldier convicted of sex assault. Acting chief of the defence staff Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre said in a statement that “it has become increasingly clear to me” that actions by the commander of the Special Forces, Major-General Peter Dawe, four years ago “are causing division and anger within the CAF.”

LEGISLATURE SITTING SUSPENDED - The Alberta government suspends the spring sitting of the legislature amidst soaring case counts in the province. Meanwhile Alberta’s health authority says it is considering its legal options after a rodeo held on the weekend in protest of COVID-19 restrictions drew thousands of people together as the province shattered multiple daily records for new infections.

SOCIAL MEDIA DISPUTE - Controversy over the government’s plans to bring streaming services under the Broadcasting Act spiked last week over an amendment related to Canadians’ social media posts, but NDP and Bloc Québécois MPs are siding with the government over the change.

From CP - Interpreters who have been the French or English voice of politicians and top doctors for the public during the COVID-19 pandemic say a federal department has told them that if they fall ill, they don’t have benefits.

From The Calgary Herald: Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce last Friday, promising a federal Conservative government would partner with the City of Calgary in its efforts to revitalize the city’s struggling downtown core. Kelly Cryderman of The Globe and Mail writes about the revitalization plan here.


Private meetings. Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland participate in a virtual discussion with seniors from Résidence Memphrémagog in Magog, Que., as well as residents from Shannex’s Losier Hall in Miramichi, N.B. The Prime Minister also chairs cabinet meeting.


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a news conference in Ottawa and also deliver remarks at an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce event.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul holds a virtual meeting with members of the Quebec organization Pour un Littoral citoyen to discuss the Laurentia deeep-water, wharf project.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh holds a news conference and attends Question Period.


The Angus Reid Institute on the new Conservative Party carbon-pricing plan: When presented with a synopsis of each carbon pricing plan, 45 per cent of Canadians say they support the CPC carbon pricing plan, while 56 per cent say they support the Liberal current plan. Poll details here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on May being the month when Canada “breaks the back of the pandemic” : “April was a brutal month in Canada’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Not even the Atlantic provinces, which had until then contained the spread of the disease to a remarkable degree, escaped unscathed. In Nova Scotia, for instance, a late-April surge in cases led to the return of bans on travel and indoor dining at restaurants, and the closing of schools and non-essential businesses. But along with that setback, and a rise in cases in the rest of the country that has pushed some provincial health care systems to the brink, there was also an outbreak of positive news in the final days of an unlamented month.The biggest news was about vaccines: They’re here, and they work.”

Rob Carrick (The Globe and Mail) on the housing boom that is ripping apart the financial fabric of Canadian life: “By handing owners these lottery-like gains in equity, the housing market has validated the almost religious belief of Canadians that owning a house is the foundation of financial success. But housing is also ripping the financial fabric of life apart in ways people are only just starting to talk about.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Ottawa’s “squeeze play” to get the provinces into is child-care plan: How can Ottawa make the provinces play along? Mr. Hussen wouldn’t say. But the feds do have a strategy: a squeeze play. It means getting some provinces in quickly, with a promise that their constituents will see a deep cut in child-care fees starting next year. Premiers who don’t sign up will have constituents wondering if they will missed out.

Brad Lavigne (The Globe and Mail) on why the NDP must recommit to Jack Layton’s project: For Jack, the goal was to win. Some scoffed at the time, but he never wavered. And he mobilized the party and its resources around that singular objective.In the 2011 election, campaign staff constantly asked themselves one vital question: “Does what you’re doing directly contribute to winning seats?” If it didn’t, you were advised to stop doing it. Staffers understood that every minute in which they were not working on winning votes, they were losing. It’s time to rally around the same philosophy. The NDP needs to see itself as a contender, not just a bystander – and declare itself as such.”

Don Braid (The Calgary Herald) on the shutdown of the Alberta legislature: There are many things a government with a severe crisis on its hands probably shouldn’t do. Leaving town is one of them.”

Paul Meyer (Policy Options) on Ottawa’s refusal to support a UN nuclear weapons ban treaty: “While most Canadians are aware of the massive destructive power of nuclear weapons, they are rarely asked their opinion about them. Earlier this month, a Nanos poll provided the responses of 1,000 Canadians to a set of nine questions on the theme of nuclear disarmament. The clear preference of 80 per cent of those surveyed was that the world should work to eliminate nuclear weapons.”


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