It’s going to be a busy week of Commons committees probing issues from Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault complaints to allegations of political interference by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.
By week’s end, Commissioner Lucki, the president of Hockey Canada and executives from Rogers Communications – in the spotlight over service outages – will have been questioned by MPs.
Parliamentary committees include MPs from varied parties in an examination of issues with, according to the Commons website, a greater depth than is possible in the House of Commons. Committees can also call witnesses, and will be exercising that power to a significant degree this week.
In a Monday appearance before the Public Safety and National Security Committee, Commissioner Lucki talked about what happened in the wake of the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia that left 22 people dead.
The House of Commons Public Safety and National Security Committee was looking into allegations the commissioner put pressure on the Mounties investigating the shooting to help advance Ottawa’s gun-control agenda.
Also Monday, the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology began hearings on service outages at Rogers Communications. Tony Staffieri, the company’s president and chief and executive officer, as well as the company’s new chief technology and information officer were among those scheduled to attend.
The Hockey Canada scandal will be in the spotlight on Tuesday. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is holding a hearing on the organization’s involvement in alleged sexual assaults committed in 2018, with witnesses that include federal Sports Minister Pascal St-Onge.
On Wednesday, Scott Smith, the president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada, is scheduled to appear before the committee.
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PAPAL APOLOGY - Pope Francis formally apologized on Monday for the ways in which members of the Catholic Church participated in a system of cultural destruction and forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples, calling the effects of residential-school policies “catastrophic.” Story here. The text of the apology is here. There’s an Explainer here on the papal visit. Also, European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly was on the Pope’s flight to Canada and writes about the experience here.
HOCKEY CANADA RELEASES PLAN - Hockey Canada has released a plan to combat the “toxic” culture in its sport a day before the start of the second round of parliamentary hearings into the organization’s handling of sexual assault complaints. Story here.
ROGERS IMPROVING CORE INFRASTRUCTURE - Rogers Communications Inc. engineers began the sixth step of a seven-step process to upgrade the core infrastructure that supports the company’s wireless and broadband networks at 2:27 a.m. on July 8. Story here.
FRASER INTERIM LEADER OF ONTARIO LIBERALS - Ontario’s Liberal caucus has selected Ottawa legislator John Fraser as the party’s interim leader. Story here.
LICH SEEKING RELEASE - “Freedom Convoy” organizer Tamara Lich is once again arguing to be released from jail after a justice of the peace denied her bail earlier this month. Story here.
DIAS PANICKED AHEAD OF RETIREMENT - Former Unifor national president Jerry Dias, who was accused by his own organization of improperly accepting $50,000 from a vendor, became increasingly panicked in his final days before retiring, and exerted pressure on a former assistant who had made the initial complaint about the alleged payment. Story here.
WORK TO TRACK CANADIAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT - The Florida man who created a Twitter account that tracks Elon Musk’s jet has teamed up with an Ottawa partner to set up a mechanism that will monitor and publicize the movement of Canadian military aircraft transporting VIPs such as the Prime Minister. Story here.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Scott Aitchison had no public campaign events on Monday. Roman Baber has a meet-and-greet event in Hamilton. Jean Charest is in British Columbia. Leslyn Lewis is in Thunder Bay. No details on the campaign whereabouts of Pierre Poilievre.
THIS AND THAT
The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.
ALGHABRA IN SAINT JOHN - Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, in Saint John, N.B., announces funding under the Oceans Protection Plan.
ANAND IN BRASILIA - Defence Minister Anand is travelling Monday to Brasilia, Brazil to attend the 15th biennial Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas, which brings together defence ministers from 34 members states.
BENNETT IN GUELPH - Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, in Guelph, announces funding to support people there who use substances.
GUIBEAULT IN TERREBONNE - Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Terrebonne, Que., makes an announcement on plastic management.
LEBLANC/PETITPAS TAYLOR IN ST. JOHN’S - Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey hold a press conference, in St. John’s, after a meeting of the Atlantic Growth Strategy Leadership Committee.
QUALTROUGH IN WINNIPEG - Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, in Winnipeg, announces a federal investment in a new local initiative that will provide skills training to workers in Manitoba.
On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, lawyer Bruce McIvor, also a historian and the author of Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It, talks about why he would like to see Pope Francis publicly renounce the Doctrine of Discovery. Mr. McIvor explains what this doctrine is, how it went from a papal edict to a legal principle in Canada and why renouncing it would be a meaningful action for the Pope to take while here. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
In Maskwacîs, Alta., the Prime Minister attended the papal visit in Ermineskin Cree Nation.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended the papal visit to the Former Ermineskin Residential School.
No schedules from other party leaders available.
Former Ottawa Sun columnist Susan Sherring, a noted observer of Ottawa’s municipal political scene, has died. The Ottawa Sun reports here.
NUMBERS ON CHAREST VS. POILIEVRE - New research by the Angus Reid Institute says that with Jean Charest as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, the party would hold a four-point advantage over the Liberal Party in vote intention in vote-rich Ontario. With Pierre Poilievre as leader, the party trails by three points. The research also finds that more than half of Canadians say it is time for a change in government. Details here.
Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how the federal plan for the oil and gas sector might be an overly political, unnecessary relic: “If the Canadian government is looking to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the country, an industry-specific plan capping and cutting emissions from the oil and gas sector is one of the clunkier ways to go about it. It’s likely to start another political battle with Alberta when across-the-board climate policies and carbon pricing already exist. But the discussion document for the industry-specific cap is exactly what was laid out by Ottawa this week, building on a 2021 campaign promise from the federal Liberals. It was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s centrepiece pledge from COP26.”
Candace MacGibbon (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how our allies need more access to Canada’s natural resources: “Russia has weaponized the supply of natural gas. The state-owned energy company Gazprom has ratcheted down export quantities to Europe and said it can’t guarantee future supply, resulting in serious concerns about shortfalls for the approaching winter. Last week, the European Commission joined the G7 in agreeing to ban imports of Russian gold. Is Canada ready should future sanctions ban critical minerals such as copper, nickel, lithium and uranium? Not yet.”
Shachi Kurl (The Ottawa Citizen) on how summer doldrums displace thoughts of COVID-19, Ukraine: “It may seem so, but I’m not wagging a judgmental finger. Believe me, no one could want to retreat to a hammock and a book more than I over the next six weeks. Nor am I trying to be a harbinger of tougher times to come. I don’t have to be. They will come anyway. We’re just – by our own admission – not paying attention. Lack of engagement now will have an impact on how equipped we are to deal with COVID-19 this fall. Geopolitical decisions we take now will have great bearing on how we rely upon our allies – and in turn can be relied upon by them in the months and years to come. As a friend put it to me recently “we’re entitled to our summer.” Perhaps we are. But along with all the other things that are rising in price, it’s an entitlement we may not be able to afford.”