The Prime Minister and his Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations are welcoming news that Pope Francis will visit Canada in July in a cross-country tour to address the Catholic Church’s harmful legacy of running the majority of the country’s residential schools.
The visit will take place from July 24 to July 30, but the Vatican press office gave no other details of his trip, saying that information on the full program “will be published in the coming weeks.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that the Pope’s upcoming visit is very good news.
“It will be extremely important that he deliver the apology from the Catholic church to residential school survivors and their families. It’s going to be an important time on the path of reconciliation,” Mr. Trudeau told journalists present for the beginning of a meeting Yukon Premier Sandy Silver
Marc Miller, federal Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, told journalists the visit will present an opportunity for survivors to have a “direct connection” to the Pope, hear his words and consider whether that offers a measure of closure “which is what a number of survivors are asking for.”
He was commenting ahead of Friday’s Question Period.
Asked whether there were conversations with the Vatican for a meeting between the Pope and Prime Minister, Mr. Miller said he can’t share information on that at this time.
“But clearly we are in a very delicate position insofar as Canada has a role to play in welcoming a head of state, but also we don’t want to be in the way between the survivors and the Pope, who really have to have that time and spend that time and be offered the opportunity to speak to someone who doesn’t get to be on Canadian soil all that much, someone of very advanced age.”
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.
SUPREME COURT RULES ON EXTREME INTOXICATION - Extreme intoxication resembling a state of automatism can be used as a defence for violent crime, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in three cases involving the use of drugs that led to stabbings, beatings and, in one case, a death. Story here.
PM DENOUNCES TORTURE OF AFGHANS SEEKING ACCESS TO CANADA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is “heartbreaking and horrific” to hear of Afghans being tortured by the Talban as they wait for resettlement to Canada, and repeated the government’s promise to bring them to safety. Story here.
PUSHBACK AT LIBERAL EFFORTS TO GET BUDGET BILL THROUGH COMMITTEE HEARINGS - The federal government’s latest large budget bill would apply Canada’s Criminal Code to the surface of the moon, an example Conservative MPs cited this week in their effort to resist a Liberal timeline to get the legislation through committee hearings. Story here.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SEEKS DISMISSAL OF CLASS-ACTION FACIAL-RECOGNITION LAWSUIT - The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss a Quebec photographer’s bid for certification of a class-action lawsuit, possibly involving millions of people, over the RCMP’s use of a controversial facial-recognition tool. Story here.
MAJOR ANTI-ABORTION RALLY ON PARLIAMENT HILL - Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators descended on Parliament Hill Thursday, as a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft decision brings renewed attention to the issue on both sides of the border. Story here.
DUTCH PRINCESS VISITS OTTAWA - Princess Margriet of the Netherlands is visiting Ottawa, the city where she was born during the Second World War. Story here.
POLICE INVESTIGATE HARASSEMENT OF SINGH -Police in Peterborough, Ont., say they are actively investigating after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh received a barrage of insults and harassment as he made his exit from a provincial election rally. Story here from CTV.
LEGAULT RULES OUT ENGLISH-LANGUAGE DEBATE - Quebec Premier François Legault has declined an invitation by a consortium of media to participate in an election debate in English during the fall campaign. Story here from the Montreal Gazette.
ONTARIO ELECTION ON FRIDAY - The NDP is set to unveil plan aimed at seniors; Liberals to make announcement on cost of living. Check here.
Meanwhile, on the Ontario Election: Readers have told us which issues they care about most when it comes to their vote: health care, climate policy, housing and the economy. Every Tuesday and Friday from May 17 until election day, Globe journalists will break down everything you need to know about these key issues ahead of June 2 in a newsletter called Vote of Confidence. You will also learn how fellow Ontarians are feeling about the topics, and find out what’s happening on the campaign trails.
For a chance to be featured in Vote of Confidence and to help shape our election campaign coverage, share your thoughts by filling out this survey. Subscribe to Vote of Confidence here to have all the information you need to make your choice on June 2, delivered right to your inbox.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
TRUDEAU RESPONDS TO POILIEVRE PLAN TO FIRE BANK GOVERNOR - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre either misunderstood or doesn’t care about the Bank of Canada’s independence, after the Ontario MP said that if he forms government, he would fire Governor Tiff Macklem. Story here.
CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Thursday’s newsletter had Pierre Poilievre attending a meet and greet with supporters in Cape Breton. That event is actually on Friday evening. Meanwhile, Scott Aitchison is in Calgary on Friday. Roman Baber was in Alberta, and planning to return to Toronto on Saturday. Patrick Brown was in Edmonton. Jean Charest was in Montreal on calls and Zooms with party members. Leslyn Lewis was attending events in her Haldimand-Norfolk constituency.
THIS AND THAT
TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, May13, accessible here.
GG IN TORONTO - Governor-General Mary Simon and her husband, Whit Fraser, are visiting Toronto on Saturday, with stops that include presenting the new guidon or pennant to the Queen’s York Rangers, and honouring Inuit singer and humanitarian Susan Aglukark at the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ 2022 Juno Opening Night Awards.
THREE FEDERAL MINISTERS IN VANCOUVER - Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, and Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu are in Vancouver on Friday to provide an update on federal support measures for this year’s wildfire season.
On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Senator Yvonne Boyer, who is Métis and was formerly a nurse and a lawyer, discusses how her background inspired her to devote her life to ending forced sterilization procedures, how it’s part of the systemic racism Indigenous women face in Canada’s health care system and why addressing it is an important part of Canada’s reconciliation efforts. Ms. Boyer wants Canadians to know that Indigenous women are still being forcibly sterilized in Canada. She has been fighting to raise awareness of this issue. She is also a part of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, which is currently examining the issue. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
In Ottawa, the Prime Minister held private meetings, met at his office with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, and was scheduled to participate in a plaque unveiling ceremony with Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.
Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen is in Washington for meetings, including with Kirsten Hillman, the Canadian ambassador to the United States, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, as well as a number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ms. Bergen returns to Canada on Monday.
No schedules provided for other leaders.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how, for Pierre Poilievre, undermining the Bank of Canada brings an easy political reward: “Pierre Poilievre was obviously surprised that it was so easy to beat up on the Bank of Canada. Now, every time he takes it up a notch, it sparks a reaction from experts and leading economic figures. And that’s what Mr. Poilievre wants. His latest step, promising during Wednesday night’s Conservative leadership debate to fire the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem, isn’t going to do anything to bring down inflation. But that’s not the point. The goal is to attack the experts, the “elites,” the “gatekeepers” – to channel the anger that many in the country feel, and the frustration propelling Mr. Poilievre’s candidacy. Inflation is a powerful political issue, but it’s a lot more useful to Mr. Poilievre when it is a cudgel wielded against culprits painted as one big ivory-tower elite.”
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how more election debates might improve them: “The public appears to want more debates, according to the Commission’s polling data. So why are we stuck with only two? The Commission is sympathetic to the idea of more debates, but says it “heard concern that this would require the agreement of the political parties and television networks. Invited leaders may not be willing or available, and networks may not commit to broadcasting multiple debates.” Here’s a thought: Why should it be up to the networks? Why should they get to decide whether to broadcast the debates? Why shouldn’t it be required of them, as a condition of licence?”
Erika Barootes (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on lessons for Alberta’s political leaders from the Stanley Cup playoffs: “Your first line can’t play the entire game. Focusing on building up bench strength can keep legs fresh longer, and nurturing a depth of talent will benefit the team during the four-year season. That also means that from captain to fourth-liners, a team is a team. Everyone needs to show up to practice and look out for one another. And although rookies need to earn their spot, they shouldn’t feel irrelevant. It comes down to focusing on the team goal over individual stats. This is easier said than done. For this type of culture to be authentic, it should be regularly addressed and communicated from leadership.”
Kelly McParland (National Post) on how Pierre Poilievre is too big a risk to lead the Conservatives: “Pierre Poilievre’s performance in the first two Conservative leadership debates is a strong argument against his suitability for the job of prime minister. Whether Conservatives nonetheless decide to put him in charge of the party will say a lot about their credibility as a potential alternative to the Liberal government. Poilievre falls short on several fronts, both personal and policy-wise. There is an imperiousness and inflexibility in his performances that bodes poorly for someone who would need to bring a divided party together, and then do the same for a divided country. He has a caustic approach that would all but certainly alienate a significant segment of the voting population, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of anger, evinced by his regular, eviscerating assaults on an array of targets ranging from political opponents to fellow Conservatives standing a few feet away on a podium.”
Don Braid (Calgary Herald) on how the UCP has earned the public mistrust of the leadership vote: “On Thursday, the UCP’s livestream of ballot “verification” — the checking of voter names against a party list — drew thousands of viewers. It’s a weirdly hypnotic scene of volunteers, party officials and scrutineers as they open envelopes, scan documents, then toss documents into green bins for “approved” and red ones for “escalated.” The UCP is trying to allay suspicion by putting up this livestream. Even Kenney’s opponents who are participating in the verification — including Vitor Marciano, aide to MLA Brian Jean — say this part of the complex process is basically straight-up. But the horse named Mistrust left the barn weeks ago. Many people have believed the fix was in ever since the voting procedure was changed from in-person to mailed ballots.”