Despite the strike by federal government employees, there is no significant backlog in processing passports, says the minister in charge of the file.
Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said Tuesday that only about 20 per cent of the normal amount of passport applications were received during the strike by 120,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
“Particularly this week, Canadians can probably expect longer lineups because of the two weeks of applications that didn’t come in, but we will deal with them on an urgent basis,” Ms. Gould told journalists ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.
The strike ended Monday with a tentative deal that includes a 12.6-per-cent, compounded wage increase over four years, a one-time lump sum of $2,500, and new language surrounding remote working, which the union lauded as a step forward.
“There are, of course, going to be some applications that are out of standard because of the strike, however, we do feel we have the resources to catch up with that relatively quickly,” Ms. Gould said.
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.
TORIES LEAD OTHER PARTIES IN DONATIONS - The Conservative Party of Canada brought in more donations during the first three months of the year than any other federal party. Story here.
TRUDEAU SEEKS PROBE INTO CSIS REPORT CHINA TARGETED MPS - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has asked his officials to investigate a top-secret CSIS report seen by The Globe and Mail that warns the Chinese government has targeted Canadian MPs behind a parliamentary motion declaring Beijing’s oppression of Uyghurs to constitute genocide. Story here.
‘STOP WOKE’ CAMPAIGN FAILS AT ONTARIO LAW SOCIETY - Ontario’s legal profession delivered an overwhelming “no” to U.S.-style culture wars, rejecting the entire slate of 36 lawyer candidates for the Law Society who ran on a campaign slogan of “stop woke.” Story here.
CANADIAN VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS IN UKRAINE KILLED - Two Canadians who volunteered to fight in Ukraine were killed in a Russian artillery strike last week near Bakhmut, a transportation hub in the country’s southeastern Donbas region that has been besieged for more than nine months. Story here.
OTTAWA PROPOSED ASSAULT WEAPON BAN APPLIES ONLY TO NEW FIREARMS - The federal government’s newly proposed ban on assault-style weapons won’t have any impact on guns that are currently legal in Canada, prompting accusations that the Liberals have broken another election promise and betrayed the country’s most prominent gun-control group. Story here.
SENATORS, MPS QUESTION PLEDGING LOYALTY TO MONARCH - As King Charles prepares for his coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, some senators and Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois MPs want to abolish the federal requirement that parliamentarians pledge loyalty to the monarch. Instead, they say, office-holders should have the option of swearing an oath to Canada, or the Canadian people. Story here.
SASKATCHEWAN CONSIDERING BLOCK OF FEDERAL EMISSION POLICY - Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the province is looking into whether it could block an incoming federal emission policy that he believes would make it difficult to keep the lights on. Story here.
CANADIANS ATTEMPT LAND EVACUATIONS OUT OF SUDAN AS MEDIATION CALLS CONTINUE - Canada is encouraging Sudan’s neighbours to help the country find a mediated end to recent violence as it attempts to continue getting Canadians to safety via perilous land evacuations. Story here.
SMITH HEDGES IN PURSUING DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AGAINST CBC - Alberta United Conservative Leader Danielle Smith won’t say if she will follow through on her threat to sue the CBC for defamation over its coverage of her role in prosecuting COVID-19 court cases. Story here.
TEAR DOWN THIS FENCE: NEWFOUNDLAND PREMIER - Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey is asking federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra about removing a controversial fence that has blocked most public access to the St. John’s harbourfront. Story here.
THIS AND THAT
TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, May 02, accessible here.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY - Chrystia Freeland, also Finance Minister, is in Washington on Tuesday co-chairing the first meeting of the joint Canada-U.S. Energy Transformation Task Force, along with Amos Hochstein, the U.S. special presidential coordinator for global infrastructure and energy security. Ms. Freeland will also meet with Lael Brainard, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council.
PM CHAT WITH THE KING - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he spoke Tuesday with King Charles. “Obviously things will be very busy on, on Saturday for the coronation,” Mr. Trudeau told journalists on Parliament Hill ahead of Question Period. The Prime Minister is travelling to London for the event. “We talked about Indigenous reconciliation, which is a priority of his,” Mr. Trudeau said of the call, adding the King will be meeting Wednesday with Governor-General Mary Simon in London. “We also talked about the environment, the economy, all, a range of things.”
- Defence Minister Anita Anand appears at a meeting of the Standing Committee on National Defence.
- International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan appears before a meeting of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
- Veteran federal Conservative Jenni Byrne, who has been a senior advisor to current Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre, is appearing before a 6:30 p.m. ET meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which is looking into foreign-election interference.
PROUDFOOT MAGAZINE AWARD NOMINATION - Globe and Mail Ottawa Reporter Shannon Proudfoot has been nominated for a pair of profiles she wrote as a reporter for Maclean’s. The Ringleader, on federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, and The Fixer, on Defence Minister Anita Anand, are both finalists in the Profiles category. Details here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, chaired the weekly cabinet meeting, attended Question Period and met with Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok. Mr. Trudeau also spoke with King Charles.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet held a media scrum on Parliament Hill and attended Question Period.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, on Parliament Hill, holds a media scrum on being the first elected Green and electoral reform.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, attended Question Period and was scheduled to meet with Unifor Marine Workers Local 1 and virtually attend the NDP nomination meeting in Thunder Bay-Rainy River .
No schedules provided for other party leaders.
On Tuesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, arts critic Kate Taylor talks about the new Online Streaming Act, which will require online streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify to promote and invest in Canadian content. Ms. Taylor talks about how the legislation might change the landscape of content made in Canada and what you’ll end up watching on your streaming platforms in the future. The Decibel is here.
More than any other singer-songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot personified Canada. His robust songs about winter nights, morning rain, being bound for Alberta and sailing on Ontario’s Georgian Bay came closest to expressing for many Canadians the essence of life in the Great White North. Historical epics stood alongside romantic ballads. Mr. Lightfoot died on Monday. Obituary here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how the alarm on China’s interference is ringing louder: “It has become more critical than ever that Canadians learn through a full-fledged public inquiry what the Trudeau government knew about Chinese attempts to interfere in our democracy, when it knew it, and what it did about it. The only thing known at this point is what the government didn’t do. It didn’t warn an MP when his family was under threat, it didn’t expel a diplomat identified as a plotter against that MP, it hasn’t created a foreign agents registry, and it hasn’t called an inquiry into foreign interference. All of which underscores the biggest question of all: Why?”
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on who owns Teck - its shareholders, or the government: “It’s unclear what the next step in the Glencore-Teck takeover saga will be. Teck’s shareholders having lately rejected the company’s plan to split itself in two – a plan designed to stave off the Swiss-based Glencore’s advances – Glencore has vowed to come back with another offer, even richer than the US$23-billion bid the board has twice rejected. Only this time it says it will take its pitch directly to the shareholders. That’s nice. Only the company appears to be under the mistaken impression that Teck’s shareholders are in fact the company’s owners. Whatever it may say on their share certificates, they are not. The government of Canada is.”
André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on how palliative care is still woefully lacking in Canada: “Almost three in every five Canadians are now getting palliative care at the end of their lives – roughly 200,000 people annually. A growing number of them are receiving this vital care at home. That’s the good news that can be garnered from new data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The bad news is we don’t really know what “palliative care” consists of. There are no real standards. In some cases, it may be little more than a checkbox exercise, using a standardized list to determine if a patient qualifies for this care. (And, of course, in other cases, it may be wonderfully expansive.)”
Mike Moffatt and Ken Boessenkool (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada can create more rental housing: “We would like to offer what we think would be an essential component of a solution to build more affordable purpose-built rentals, with an approach that borrows from the Liberals’ private-sector incentives around clean technology. We hope both political sides take us up on it – and who knows, Jagmeet Singh might also find a version he likes.”