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The Ottawa thoroughfare named for Canada’s first prime minister is set to get a new Indigenous name later this year under a plan announced Thursday by the National Capital Commission.

In 2012, the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper renamed the Ottawa River Parkway the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. But three Ottawa city councilors wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2021 urging the federal government to facilitate an Indigenous-led consultation process to rename the four-lane parkway along the Ottawa River.

Now the capital commission, a federal Crown corporation responsible for development, urban planning and conservation in the capital region, has set a renaming process amid a national reassessment of Macdonald’s record, particularly on Indigenous issues.

“This renaming approach will be anchored in the perspective of honouring the profound significance of the river, shoreline and landscape to Indigenous peoples – specifically the Algonquin Nation – who had formally requested the NCC consider renaming the Parkway,” said a capital commission statement available here.

“Other considerations include the existence of many other place names of Canada’s first Prime Minister in the National Capital Region, as well as the fact that the original name of the Parkway referred to its physical relationship with the river.”

The commission said Thursday it will engage with Indigenous communities and the public to discuss a new name and to encourage storytelling and sharing with the community.

A new Indigenous name is to be selected this spring, and is to go to the capital commission board in June. New signage along the parkway is to be unveiled in the fall, according to the capital commission statement.

There’s a story here on Thursday’s development.

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TODAY'S HEADLINES

OUTSIDE CONSULTANT ACTING AS NATIONAL GALLERY HR DIRECTOR, COO - The manager who handled high-profile layoffs at the National Gallery of Canada is an outside consultant juggling two leadership roles for annual fees potentially worth more than the salary of the institution’s top executive. Story here.

LITTLE SUSTAINABLE IMPACT LIKELY FROM MILITARY INTERVENTION IN HAITI: RAE - Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, says a foreign military intervention in Haiti would have little sustainable impact, and that discussions continue on what assistance Ottawa and allies could offer to deliver long-term stability to a country in crisis. Story here.

MPs APPROVE HEARINGS INTO MCKINSEY CONTRACTS - A House of Commons committee will launch an in-depth investigation of the more than $100-million in federal contracts with global consulting firm McKinsey & Company after Liberal MPs supported an opposition motion to hold hearings and demand documents. Story here.

QUESTIONS RAISED OVER HUSSEN BID FOR PR HELP - Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen used $93,050 in constituency funds for public relations help from a foodie communications firm with a connection to a former senior staffer, public records show. Story here from Global News.

COMPLICATED GRIEF: IMPACTS OF DEATH BY MAID - When Canadians receive MAID, families and caregivers are often with them, providing comfort along the way. But the situation becomes much more fraught, ethically and emotionally, when patients don’t want relatives and friends involved. Story here.

FEDERAL BUDGET SHOULD BOOST ENERGY TRANSITION, SHOW FISCAL PRUDENCE: BUSINESS COUNCIL CEO - Canada can compete with the United States’s extensive new green incentives without major new spending if it acts quickly, according to the Business Council of Canada. Story here.

HEALTH CARE CHALLENGES ACROSS CANADA - The Nova Scotia government has announced a series of changes to its emergency care strategy , including how ERs are staffed, after mounting calls from patients and health care workers to rescue a system in crisis. Story here. Meanwhile, Premier François Legault says he knows the situation in Quebec’s emergency wards is difficult, but he is not ready to go down the path of fully privatizing some health services as is happening in Ontario. Story here from The Montreal Gazette. And health care workers from across Canada could soon start practicing in Ontario more quickly under legislation the provincial government plans to introduce next month. Story here. Also, one of the provinces inspiring Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to expand the use of private clinics to tackle surgical backlogs is bolstering its public health care system at the expense of private operators accused of underusing operating rooms. Story here.

ONTARIO GREENBELT PLAN UNDER INVESTIGATION - Both Ontario’s Auditor-General and its Integrity Commissioner are launching investigations into the government’s decision to allow developers to build housing on parts of the province’s protected Greenbelt. Story here.

CANADIAN TYCOON ACTED AS GUARANTOR FOR JOHNSON - A Canadian multimillionaire who founded a chain of Ontario private schools acted as a guarantor for a credit facility for former British prime minister Boris Johnson, to help fund his lifestyle while he was in Downing Street. Story here.

UNIVERSITIES REVIEWING TURPEL-LAFOND HONORARY DEGREES - Six out of 10 universities confirm they’re reviewing honorary degrees given to retired judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, after being asked by a group of Indigenous women to revoke them following a CBC investigation into her claims of Indigenous heritage. Story here. Meanwhile, retired senator Lillian Dyck says she was “stunned” to hear questions about the Indigenous heritage of Ms. Turpel-Lafond, whose career she had recognized as barrier-breaking. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

HOUSE ON A BREAK – The House of Commons is on a break until Jan. 30.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY - Chrystia Freeland, in Davos, Switzerland, attends the World Economic Forum.

MINISTERS ON THE ROAD - Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is in the United Kingdom on a visit that includes meeting with that country’s minister of state at the department for environment, food and rural affairs before going to attend the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference. Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, also minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., announced funding to support area innovation, tourism and agri-food projects. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, in Whitehorse, announced up to $929,500 in funding to prevent crime. Seniors Minister Kamal Khera, in Peterborough, Ont., announced measures to help seniors. Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, also minister for the Prairies Economic Development Canada, announced a new PrairiesCan service location in Lethbridge. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in Toyko, concluded a trade mission to Japan.

MPs IN KENYA - A delegation of MPs are nearing the end of a visit to Kenya organized by Results Canada, a non-profit organization formed to advocate for actions to deal with extreme poverty, to check out Canadian-supported development efforts. The MPs are Conservatives Scott Aitchison and Eric Melillo and Liberals Valerie Bradford and Iqwinder Gaheer. Details here. Their trip runs from Jan. 16 to Jan. 21. Results Canada will be covering the majority of the costs for the delegation, which is the only one they have planned for 2023, a spokesperson said.

THE DECIBEL

On Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Globe and Mail international affairs columnist Doug Saunders talks about the exodus of more than seven million Venezuelans since 2017, when Nicholas Maduro seized power and the state started to collapse. Specifically, Mr. Saunders details the story of Kerli Vasquez and her family, who have spent years trying to re-establish themselves in multiple different countries, and are now enroute to try to reach the U.S. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER'S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the National Capital Region, held private meetings.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, attended the NDP caucus retreat and holds a news conference.

No schedules released for other party leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

The federal Conservatives have gained a seven-point lead over the Liberals in the latest weekly ballot tracking by Nanos Research. Story here from CTV.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how competence should be the business of government in Canada:One of the great shop-soiled political bromides of our time is that taxpayers would be better off if governments operated more like businesses. It’s a lazy cliché that derives its thin air of gravitas from the fact that businesses exist to turn a profit and therefore can’t operate on endless budget deficits, as is the fashion in government, and that the profit motive makes businesses enviably lean and efficient in ways bureaucracies almost never are. It’s bunk.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how the dispute over Ottawa’s Just Transition to become the top issue in the coming Alberta election: “The federal Liberals’ Just Transition strategy is turning into the 2023 dispute that won’t quit. Both women who would be Alberta premier are saying they will fight the plan. And even with mistruths being thrown around regarding a federal briefing note on the matter, the early-this-year timeline for legislation and poor communication on the idea risks turning ‘standing up to Ottawa’ into the No. 1 campaign issue for Alberta’s coming provincial election.”

Michael Byers (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada’s unused Leopard 2 tanks could make a difference in Ukraine: While Canada will send 200 more armoured personnel carriers, we should go further and offer some of our Leopard 2 tanks. Unlike Poland and Finland, which border Russia, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever need the tanks again – the tanks were built for a purpose, and that purpose is now in Ukraine. On Monday, Mr. Trudeau was asked about this issue. ‘We will look at all the requests from Ukraine but we’re not there yet for the Leopard 2 tanks,’ he said. ‘We’re here to provide Ukraine what it needs so they can beat Russia.’ Ukrainian soldiers need Leopard 2 tanks, right now, to fight in actual battles. Yet here in Canada, we’re still acting like spectators along for a thrilling but safe ride.”

Chris Selley (The National Post) on federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre hinting that he won’t be pandering to Quebec: Pierre Poilievre embarked this week on a treasure hunt that proved mostly futile for his two predecessors, and not much more rewarding for Stephen Harper. Poilievre has been introducing himself to Quebecers, in hopes of winning their votes, and the path is uphill. As of Tuesday, 338Canada’s popular vote projection pegged the Conservatives at 35 per cent nationwide, four points ahead of the Liberals. Those numbers could produce a narrow Conservative minority if an election were held tomorrow, but likely not with any significant help from Quebec.”

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