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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.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer says it would cost $13.7-billion a year to enact such improvements in long-term care as providing it to all persons who need it.

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The forecast is detailed in a report released Wednesday that was prompted by a query from Paul Manly, the Green MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

The budget officer notes that in 2019-20, Canada’s provincial and territorial governments spent $13.6-billion to provide facilities-based long-term care to about 205,000 seniors.

Meanwhile, about 52,000 people are on a wait list for long-term care, including those in hospitals, says the report.

The $13.7-billion outlined by the officer would consist of an $8.5-billion increase in spending on facilities-based care for seniors, and a $5.2-billion increase in spending on home care, says the report. Overall costs would grow at 4.1 per cent a year due to rising demand and costs.

The forecast comes amidst questions about long-term care raised by the pandemic.

In its review, the PBO was working on terms laid out in Motion 77 by Mr. Manly, which proposes “several financially significant” changes to long-term care for seniors, including providing care to all persons who need it, and requiring an average of four hours of care per resident per day.

The motion also called for increasing average employee pay and benefits for all non-public long-term care providers to match those paid by public sector long-term care providers.

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Mr. Manly says the report is very helpful.

“When you’re asking for government programs, you need to know how much it is going to cost, and where those costs are going to go. I think the report is fairly clear about what the costs are and where that money needs to be spent,” he said in an interview.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

FINAL STAGES OF MENG WANZHOU HEARING - The extradition hearing of Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou begins its final stages Wednesday, with a last-ditch effort by her lawyers to argue that the United States misled Canada and abused this country’s judicial process. Story here.

WEB GIANTS TO PAY FOR NEWS CONTENT? - The federal government says it is looking at ways to make web giants pay for news content, even as Canadian media outlets continue to strike voluntary payment deals with Facebook. Story here.

ETHICS RULING - The federal ethics watchdog has concluded Justin Trudeau was not involved in a decision that saw Liberal MPs using their taxpayer-funded budgets to hire the services of a company run by one of the Prime Minister’s lifelong friends.

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FOURTH WAVE WORRIES MILLER - Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says he is concerned provinces that are lifting COVID-19 restrictions could lead to a Delta-driven fourth wave among Indigenous people. Story here.

SOPHIE GREGOIRE TRUDEAU INVOLVED IN MEGAN INITIATIVE: REPORT - Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of the Prime Minister, is reportedly among 40 women participating in the 40x40 campaign Megan Markle has organized to mentor women “mobilizing back into the workforce.” Story here.

POLITICAL PATHS OF DAVIS & NIXON - Fifty years after they were rivals in the Ontario legislature, former premier Bill Davis and former Ontario Liberal leader Robert Dixon are still around in their 90s. Steve Paikin of TVO reports here.

THE LOOMING ELECTION

LESSONS FOR LPC IN N.S. CAMPAIGN - The election campaign in Nova Scotia may not be getting much attention on the national stage, but the federal Liberals in Ottawa are almost certainly keeping a close watch on the race.

ELECTIONS CANADA READY - Elections Canada says measures will be in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians should an election be forthcoming, but it also sees challenges ahead, including the need to identify voting locations and recruitment of staff. Story here.

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BUT IT MAY TAKE A FEW DAYS TO GET FINAL RESULTS - Canadians may have to wait a few days to find out the final results of a federal election called in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s chief electoral officer warns.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

“Personal” according to the advisory issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet visits the riding of Hochelaga and Louis-Hébert as part of a summer tour.

Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole - No schedule provided by Mr. O’Toole’s office.

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Green Party Leader Annamie Paul - No schedule provided by Ms. Paul’s office.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh - No schedule provided by Mr. Singh’s office.

OPINION

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on the law against snap elections that the governor-gis supposed to enforce: “The Governor-General may generally be bound to act as instructed, but in exceptional circumstances, constitutional scholars agree, she retains the discretion to act independently of the prime minister’s advice. The convention is particularly well-established with regard to requests for dissolution.”

Mohamad Fakih (Contributor to The Globe and Mail) on how Lebanon has unravelled a year after the Beirut port explosion: One year later, I returned to Beirut to check on my parents and on the city where I grew up. What I saw broke my heart. The world’s interest has faded. The challenges on the ground are multiplying. Lebanon is descending toward economic collapse. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Fuel is scarce. The currency has lost most of its value. Common imported goods can no longer be found. With runaway inflation, even staples like bread are becoming too expensive to afford. Tensions are rising as people try to figure out where they will find their next meal.”

Randall Denley (The Ottawa Citizen) on Premier Doug Ford’s intentional low summer profile: “Has anyone seen Doug Ford lately? You know who I mean. Big fellow, used to be in the news all the time talking about COVID-19 horrors. The Ontario Premier is keeping a low profile this summer and it’s a good move. While there is certainly something to be said for Ford’s long run of daily media events during the pandemic, he eventually became greatly over-exposed. There is only so much one can say, and Ford’s daily message that his heart was breaking for those who paid the price for his lockdowns and no one wanted to reopen the province more than he did, became a tiring contrast with reality in the most locked-down jurisdiction in North America.”

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