Even before the federal budget was tabled Tuesday, the political combat over the Liberal government’s spending plan began.
“Unless Justin Trudeau cancels his tax hikes and inflationary deficit spending that have driven up the cost of living to 40-year highs, we will vote against this budget,” Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre told a news conference on Parliament Hill.
The leader of the Official Opposition made his commitment in the morning ahead of the 4 p.m. ET tabling of the budget.
Asked about the prospect of incentives for green infrastructure and green investments in response to the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, Mr. Poilievre said there’s a need to bring down the cost of low and no-carbon energy.
“That starts with getting the government out of the way and off the backs of our workers and industry,” he said, adding that it takes too long to get mines approved and built.
Mr. Poilievre’s media appearance was announced after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a few comments on the budget as he headed into the week’s cabinet meeting.
He said he looked forward to bring down the budget, with measures to address the cost of living and support Canadians who are having a tough time paying bills.
“We’re also delivering on the results on health care as we move forward with the historic deals with the provinces. And finally, we’re going to be focusing on great jobs for the middle class in a growing and green economy,” he said.
Deputy Ottawa bureau chief Bill Curry reports here that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2023 budget will announce plans to save about $7-billion over five years through cuts to federal travel and reduced outsourcing, with a particular focus on using fewer management consultants. Story here.
Also, Mr. Curry, Senior Political Reporter Marieke Walsh, and Mining Reporter Niall McGee report here that the federal budget will announce a clean-tech manufacturing tax credit aimed at encouraging the mining of critical minerals in Canada, a credit that will be worth more than $3-billion over five years.
Please check The Globe and Mail at 4 p.m. ET as details of the budget are released.
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FORD WARNS AGAINST MAYORAL CANDIDATES WHO WANT TO DEFUND POLICE - Ontario Premier Doug Ford says voters in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral by-election should not support anyone who wants to defund the police. Story here.
MPS TO VISIT TAIWAN - A delegation of MPs will visit Taiwan in April to meet with lawmakers on the self-ruled island claimed by China, a gesture of solidarity with a territory under threat from Beijing as Canada itself grapples with foreign interference from the Chinese government. Story here.
NOMINATION TURMOIL LEADS TO EXIT OF CONSERVATIVE EXECUTIVES - Two Conservative executives in a southwestern Ontario riding have resigned after they say local Tories were poorly treated by the party headquarters in a high-profile nomination race where one candidate was endorsed by former and current leaders Andrew Scheer and Pierre Poilievre. Story here.
QUEBEC POLICE OFFICER KILLED - A Quebec provincial police officer has been killed while trying to arrest a man at a home in the province’s Mauricie region Monday night. Story here.
ISRAELI DIPLOMATS RETURN TO WORK - Israeli diplomats in Canada are set to return to work on Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caved to public pressure and announced a delay in his contentious plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary. Story here.
CANADA IN MARKET FOR MILITARY SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT - Canada is looking at buying a fleet of military surveillance aircraft from U.S. aerospace giant Boeing without a competition. Story here.
INFRASTRUCTURE BANK MAKES LOAN FOR QUEBEC BIOREFINERY PROJECT - Canada Infrastructure Bank is lending $277-million to developers of a Quebec biorefinery, which is being built to convert non-recyclable waste and cast-off wood into low-carbon fuels. Story here.
EBY PROPOSES PLAN TO DEAL WITH HOMELESSNESS, POVERTY - British Columbia’s NDP government – whose Premier David Eby has said the province will take over Vancouver’s troubled Downtown Eastside – has come up with a preliminary plan for tackling mounting problems with homelessness, poverty, mental health and addiction. Story here.
THIS AND THAT
TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, March 28, accessible here.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY - Chrystia Freeland, also the Finance Minister, held private meetings, attended the weekly cabinet meeting, and held an embargoed news conference as part of the release of the federal budget. Ms. Freeland joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a budget photo opportunity on Parliament Hill before presenting the budget in the House of Commons.
NEW DIPLOMATS WELCOMED - Diplomats from six countries have presented their credentials to the Governor-General during a Tuesday ceremony at Rideau Hall. They are from Oman, the Marshall Islands, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico. Details here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, attended private meetings and chaired the weekly cabinet meeting. Later in the afternoon, he was scheduled, with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to participate in a photo opportunity at West Block in Parliament Hill, before attending the budget speech in the House of Commons.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, in Ottawa, scheduled to hold a late-afternoon news conference on the federal budget in the foyer of the House of Commons.
Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre, in Ottawa, held a morning news conference on Parliament Hill ahead of the release of the federal budget and was scheduled to hold a news conference on the budget after it was released.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault, on Parliament Hill, react to the federal budget.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh held private meetings, and was scheduled to speak to the media on Parliament Hill about the federal budget.
On Tuesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, reporter Josh O’Kane discusses concerns around Ticketmaster, which controls a huge proportion of the concert-ticket market. Ticket prices have risen dramatically – with some costing thousands of dollars. Ticketmaster, which controls a huge proportion of the market, has come under fire recently for some of its practices, like dynamic pricing and murky service fees. Mr. O’Kane has covered Ticketmaster for years. The Decibel is here.
POILIEVRE PREFERRED PM - Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is, according to Nanos Research, the preferred choice for Prime Minister at 28.7 per cent of respondents surveyed compared to 25.9 per cent for current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Details here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the dangers for Canada in U.S. President Joe Biden’s new deal: “U.S. President Joe Biden made a telling gaffe during his speech to Parliament last week. It came when he wanted to thank Canada for doing its part to help with the migration crisis in the western hemisphere. “So, today I applaud China for stepping up – or, excuse me, I applaud Canada – you can tell what I’m thinking…,” Mr. Biden said. Paging Dr. Freud. Mr. Biden’s speech contained all the usual talking points about the relationship between his country and this one: the world’s longest undefended border; the $1.3-trillion economic link; the shared belief in freedom and democracy; the United States having a “no more reliable ally, no more steady friend,” even if that “doesn’t mean we never disagree. But in his words, both intended and otherwise, it was apparent that while the President was addressing legislators in Ottawa, his thoughts were on the Communist Party in Beijing, and on the threat posed by China’s economic power.”
Marsha Lederman (The Globe and Mail) on how, as a Jewish Canadian, her relationship with Israel is complicated: “If you are a Jewish Canadian who is concerned about social justice, believes in the State of Israel and understands that its existence before the Second World War could have dramatically changed the history of our people, this is a difficult moment. It’s painful to watch the current government, spurred on by its extremist coalition partners, advance its agenda, which includes harmful policies on the treatment of Palestinians and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alarming judicial overhaul. But it is also an excellent moment to speak up. Something some of us have been wary to do, as the writer Andrew Cohen pointed out recently.”
Lloyd Axworthy and Allan Rock (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on a better fix for Roxham Road: “Ottawa pundits say that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scored a political win by securing President Joe Biden’s agreement to renegotiate the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). Henceforth, it will apply across the entire Canada-U.S. border, and asylum seekers can be turned away at any crossing point. Ottawa has thereby responded adroitly to Quebec Premier François Legault’s complaints about the flow of migrants entering Quebec at the infamous Roxham Road border crossing. But there is something that neither the Prime Minister nor the President mentioned in their announcement: the impact of their decision on the men, women and children fleeing violence and persecution who had hoped to cross the Canadian border after feeling anything but safe in the United States. The vast majority are not in any way a threat to our security.”
John Manley (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada’s empathy for refugees isn’t limitless, so securing our border is key: “Canadians have proven themselves to be open to immigration, demonstrating a willingness to pitch in to assist refugees, be they from African countries, Ukraine, Syria, Vietnam, or any other of the many venues of war, famine and persecution. But Canadian goodwill is not bottomless and could be put at risk if some newcomers are perceived to be queue-jumpers, attempting to gain unfair advantage.”
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