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BREAKING: The federal government is expected to announce this afternoon it has earmarked $40-billion in its fall economic statement for Indigenous child welfare compensation and long-term reform, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Three sources have confirmed to The Globe that Ottawa intends to make its plans known this afternoon, with two saying the amount in the economic statement will be around $40-billion. The sources are not being identified as they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The fall economic statement will be released on Tuesday afternoon.

Parliamentary reporter Kristy Kirkup reports that since November, confidential talks have been taking place regarding Indigenous children who were unnecessarily taken into the child welfare system.

The goal of the talks was to reach an out-of-court settlement worth billions before the end of the year. The discussions have been facilitated by former Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair Murray Sinclair, who left the Senate last January.

More here on this developing story.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

MILITARY APOLOGY - Defence Minister Anita Anand delivered an apology to survivors of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces on Monday and said countless lives have been harmed because of inaction and systemic failure.

She also said that for far too long, the government failed to dedicate enough time, money, personnel and effort to deal with sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation in the military and the department.

Misconduct and abuse of power led to a crisis of broken trust in the defence team, she added.

“I apologize on behalf of the government of Canada, and on behalf of those elected officials who, throughout the history of the Canadian Armed Forces, had the responsibility to protect you and who failed to do so,” she said.

Gen. Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, and deputy defence minister Jody Thomas were also to apologize, with the general speaking for the military and Ms. Thomas speaking for the Defence department itself.

Ahead of the apology, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there will always be additional work to do on the issue, and changing the culture in the military.

“This apology is an important part of recognizing their experiences, of seeing them and telling them we will be there for them going forward, but also that we recognize the mistakes of the past that weren’t worthy of the women and men who chose to serve their country and their armed forces,” Mr. Trudeau told a news conference on Monday morning. “It’s clear this is something we profoundly regret.”

SABIA SIDELINED - Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife and senior parliamentary reporter Steve Chase report on Michael Sabia, who spent decades helming major Canadian companies before the Liberal government recruited him to be deputy minister of the federal Department of Finance in late 2020. Though he said at the time that he accepted the job in order to drive an economic-growth agenda in Ottawa, many with direct knowledge of the department’s inner workings say he has not been able to deliver that agenda, nor has he made headway on reining in public spending. Story here.

FREELAND DIRECTIVE TO BANK OF CANADA - Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has told the Bank of Canada to continue targeting low and stable inflation, while also directing it to put considerable emphasis on achieving maximum employment when making monetary policy decisions. Story here.

N.B. SIGNS CHILDCARE DEAL - New Brunswick has signed a deal with Ottawa that will eventually reduce childcare costs to $10 per day. With New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories now on board, that leaves Ontario the only province that hasn’t yet committed to the program. Story here, from CBC.

CPC COUNCIL REJECTS PETITION - The governing body of the Conservative Party of Canada has officially ruled that a controversial petition pushing for an early vote on Erin O’Toole’s leadership is invalid. Story here.

ALBERTA ELECTION LAW PASSED - What is Bill 81, Alberta’s newly passed election law, all about? Calgary reporter Carrie Tait explains here.

FORD PITCHES ONTARIO AS ELECTRIC-VEHICLE MAKER - Doug Ford is pitching Ontario as the next electric-vehicle manufacturing powerhouse – seemingly a far cry from the Premier who three years ago cancelled incentives for people to buy them. Story here.

LIBERAL MP REJECTS CERB ALLEGATION - A Liberal MP from Alberta is denying an allegation that he offered a member of his community advice on how to cheat the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Story here.

FAREWELL TO MEL LASTMAN - Family and friends gathered Monday to say goodbye to former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman, who died on Saturday. Story here. Meanwhile, columnist and feature writer Elizabeth Renzetti looks back on Mr. Lastman’s life, including the birth of a new Toronto. Obituary here.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS - Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Dec. 13, accessible here.

TRUDEAU ON BILL 21 - At a news conference Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has always said he is against Quebec’s Bill 21, which has been in the spotlight in recent days since a teacher in Chelsea, Que., was removed from her Grade 3 classroom because the hijab she wears contravened the bill. “I don’t find that in a free and open society someone should lose their job because of their religion,” Mr. Trudeau said. “This is no longer a theoretical issue.” He said many Quebecers are concerned about someone losing their job due to their religion. “As I have said very often, we have not done away with the possibility of intervening as the federal government at some point in time.”

CRA OK - The Canada Revenue Agency said Monday that there is currently no indication that CRA systems have been compromised, or that there has been unauthorized access to taxpayer information because of this vulnerability. The agency took its online services offline over the weekend after learning of a possible security threat. In a statement, the agency said most digital services had been restored by Monday. More details here on the challenges the agency and other Canadian organizations have been facing.

HORGAN IN CANCER TREATMENT - British Columbia NDP Premier John Horgan was unable to attend the first provincial NDP convention since the 2020 B.C. election because he is currently undergoing cancer treatment, so instead offered remarks by video. Mr. Horgan, who is being treated for throat cancer, said his prognosis continues to be good. “I’m very optimistic for the future,” he said. His remarks are available here.

WATSON ISOLATING - Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told Global News he is in self-isolation after a staffer in his office tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. “I don’t have any symptoms. I feel great. Just out of an abundance of caution, I got tested and we should get results later today,” Mr. Watson said Monday during a year-end interview over Zoom. Mr. Watson announced last week that he will not seek re-election next fall. Story here.

MACKLEM SPEECH - Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, will be speaking Wednesday before the Empire Club of Canada by videoconference. The topic is the bank’s renewed monetary framework.

STATUS OF WOMEN MINISTERIAL MEETING - Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the status of women met virtually last Friday for their 39th annual meeting. The meeting was co-chaired by federal minister Marci Ien, and Laura Ross, Saskatchewan’s Minister for the Status of Women. Nova Scotia will host the next meeting in the fall of 2022.

THE DECIBEL - On Monday’s episode of The Globe and Mail podcast, available here, environment reporter Kathryn Blaze Baum explores the nascent world of natural assets, and looks at the complex issues around how values are ascribed to natural landscapes and why some people are worried about the consequences of this shift in thinking.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

The Prime Minister attended private meetings and then announced a childcare agreement with New Brunswick. In Ottawa, he was joined by a group that included Families Minister Karina Gould and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, appearing virtually.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Private meetings. The Deputy Prime Minister participated virtually in a G7 finance ministers’ meeting, and then announced the Bank of Canada’s new mandate during a joint press conference with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh met with members of Unifor and then with representatives from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and the Canadian Nurses Association.

No schedules released for other leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

Philippe J. Fournier of 338Canada reports here on the free-fall of the Quebec Liberals, whom he suggests could lose 14 seats in next year’s provincial election and be driven out of French-speaking Quebec. There are 125 seats in the Quebec National Assembly – the governing Coalition Avenir Québec has 75 as of November, and the Quebec Liberals have 27.

OPINION

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on why the Liberals are unlikely to change course on economic policy: This is a government that always talks about stimulating the economy, including the vulnerable in it, and having people’s backs with public funds – not about cooling off demand, pulling back, or tightening belts. That won’t change dramatically when Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the fall economic statement on Tuesday. The Liberals aren’t planning a sea change in next spring’s budget, either. Many economists argue Ms. Freeland should cut back a chunk of the stimulus package announced in April because of strong job and economic growth and inflation running at the highest rate in years. Don’t expect that.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s focus on plans for a return to better times: NDP Leader Rachel Notley, the former premier, polls significantly higher than the current office-holder. Critics for and against health restrictions have called on the Premier to resign for his government’s pandemic-era decisions. Internal United Conservative Party strife flared up every couple of months this year. Governing party MLAs and members have slammed the Premier’s management style. A leadership review scheduled for April 9 in Red Deer is still a big test for Mr. Kenney. Members will have to show up in person, and pay a fee of $100 or less to attend and vote. So far, internal party opposition has failed to come together in a way that has truly challenged Mr. Kenney – getting through the past month’s UCP annual general meeting with no major flareups is seen as a win for his side. But many party members still believe the leadership question has to be settled well before a 2023 election. And that means Mr. Kenney isn’t out of the woods.”

Donald Savoie (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on Canada’s deepening rural-urban divide and how that hurts all Canadians: Canada is a confederation of divides – a huge geographic mass that has been cut along shifting regional, linguistic and cultural lines over the course of more than 150 years. Elections tend to expose the cracks, as politicians work the wedges to encourage voters into one camp or another. And there’s one pan-Canadian rift that hasn’t received enough attention lately: the rural-urban divide. That divide only hardened in the most recent election. Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole needed to make inroads in urban Canada to win power; the Liberal Party’s Justin Trudeau needed to win more seats in rural Canada to win a majority. Both failed, and in doing so, delivered a very similar-looking Parliament that only reaffirmed the fault line.”

Don Braid (The Calgary Herald) on why Brian Jean’s weekend nomination win may be really bad news for Alberta Premier Jason Kenney: Jean is now the UCP candidate for the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election Premier Jason Kenney must call no later than Feb. 14, for voting in mid-March. If the former federal MP and Wildrose leader wins the seat, he will join the Premier’s UCP caucus as a sworn political enemy just in time for the April 9 leadership review in Red Deer. “I will not be supporting him in the leadership review and will be asking for his resignation as soon as possible,” Jean said in an interview. Kenney could still stop him cold by refusing to sign his papers. But the Premier has already said he would accept the man he defeated for the UCP leadership in 2017. He wouldn’t dare renege on that promise now.”

Max Fawcett (Canada’s National Observer) on how Justin Trudeau can prove he’s a feminist by passing the baton: “For as long as he has been involved in federal politics, Justin Trudeau has made it clear he’s a proud feminist. That stance has informed everything from the gender balance in his cabinet to policies like increasing paid leave for victims of family violence and the landmark new national childcare program. But if he wants to cement his legacy as Canada’s first openly feminist prime minister, he’s going to have to do something much more dramatic: step down. It’s no secret Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is well-positioned to take Trudeau’s job when it comes time for his proverbial walk in the snow. But it’s the timing of that walk that will determine whether he actually positions the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada for success or sets them up for the same kind of failure that Kim Campbell experienced in 1993.”

Murray Mandryk (The Regina Leader Post) on the Saskatchewan Party government stumbling through a very bad fall sitting of the legislature: “To suggest this was the worst fall sitting for a Saskatchewan government is to perhaps lack perspective of how brutal politics can be in this province when politicians gather after the first dusting of snow. For instance, we didn’t have the Opposition leader open up the first Question Period by – appallingly and without proof – accusing cabinet members of having prior knowledge and not alerting police of a cabinet colleague’s plan to kill his wife as we did in 1984 after the first-degree murder conviction of Colin Thatcher. When it comes to what constitutes a bad fall sitting in Saskatchewan politics, the bar is set pretty high. That said, this was a very bad fall sitting that saw the annual budget deficit creep to a historic $2.7-billion at the mid-year report and included accusations the government was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people because of failed public-health policies.”

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