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The RCMP conducted a search warrant on the Ottawa-area home of one of the central figures in the ArriveCan scandal Tuesday, one day before he was to appear before the House of Commons today for a rare admonishment from the Speaker.

The home in Woodlawn, Ont., belongs to Kristian Firth, managing partner of two-person IT staffing company GCStrategies.

The company received more funding than any other contractor to work on ArriveCan, the mobile app for cross-border travellers that the government launched early in the pandemic. The app ballooned in price and ultimately cost taxpayers $59.5-million, according to an investigation by the Auditor-General.

In a statement, the RCMP said they conducted a search of the residence on Tuesday, but police say the search is not related to their continuing ArriveCan investigation. The RCMP did not elaborate about what it sought from the home. The police declined to provide the name or the business subject of the search, and said no charges have been laid.

Full story here by Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Bill Curry and Tom Cardoso.

Please watch The Globe and Mail for updates on Firth’s appearance at the House of Commons.

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.


Federal budget hikes capital-gains tax on companies and wealthy individuals: The change comes into effect on June 25. Lawyers and accountants are expecting a flurry of activity in the coming months, as affected individuals and businesses try to sell assets and realize their capital gains before the new higher inclusion rate takes effect. Meanwhile, there are full highlights of the 2024 budget here.

Poloz will lead push to boost domestic investment by Canadian pension funds: Stephen Poloz, the former Bank of Canada governor, has been appointed by the federal government to lead a new federal working group to look at ways of encouraging Canadian pension funds to invest more in the country, especially in areas such as digital infrastructure and airports.

CAQ whip resigns from caucus to run for Conservatives in next federal election: Eric Lefebvre, the Coalition Avenir Québec government whip, is leaving the province’s ruling party and will sit as an Independent ahead of the next federal election.

Conservatives accuse minister of ‘politicizing’ Governor-General’s office over online harms: A spokeswoman for Mary Simon says she will continue to advocate for “digital respect,” despite suggestions that it’s inappropriate for her to wade in when a government bill addressing the issue is being hotly debated.

Trudeau trying to ‘bait me,’ Newfoundland and Labrador Premier says: Andrew Furey, reacting to his party losing a byelection, says the Prime Minister has been directing ad hominem comments and name-calling at him over carbon pricing, saying they are at odds over the issue, CBC reports. Liberal MP Ken McDonald has offered his support to Furey.

Scott Moe cautions Saskatchewan Party members over texts to legislature Speaker: The Saskatchewan Premier says he told members that messages to Speaker Randy Weekes can have consequences and instructed them to govern their actions accordingly. There’s video here, from CBC, of some of the recent turmoil in the Saskatchewan legislature.

Former Liberal MP goes Rogue: Lenore Zann has returned to acting roots, voicing the cartoon iteration of the X-Men character, Rogue, in a new update of a series she previously worked on. Nova Scotia Buzz reports.

Feds reducing office space ‘opens the door’ to downtown Ottawa NHL arena, mayor says: Mark Sutcliffe hopes the federal move to reduce its real estate portfolio leads to a conversation about other opportunities in the downtown core, including a new arena in the downtown instead of LeBreton Flats, the area now being considered. CTV reports.


“It’s bonkers”- Employment Minister and Alberta MP Randy Boissonnault, ahead of today’s Liberal caucus meeting, on plans by the government of Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to stop municipalities from bypassing the province in pursuit of Ottawa funding.

“We believe that we can get the support necessary to adopt the budget. But you’re absolutely right. We’re going to need the collaboration of other political parties - Housing Minister Sean Fraser, arriving for today’s Liberal caucus meeting, on the government’s challenge finding support from other parties for the federal budget.


New Canadian ambassador to Hungary: François Lafrenière, Canada’s former ambassador to Mali. replaces Caroline Charette, according to an announcement by Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.

Today in the Commons: Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, April. 17, accessible here.

Deputy Prime Minister’s Day: Private meetings in Ottawa and Chrystia Freeland attended the Liberal caucus meeting and later attended Question Period.

Ministers on the Road: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly is on the Italian island of Capri for the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting. International Trade Minister Mary Ng held a news conference at Toronto’s St-Lawrence Market with visiting Franck Riester, France’s minister delegate for foreign trade, economic attractiveness, Francophonie and French nationals abroad.

Senate Committee Highlights: Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux was scheduled to appear before the banking committee on matters related to banking and commerce and also the national finance committee on government spending.


In Ottawa, Justin Trudeau attended the Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill, and delivered opening remarks that the media was allowed to cover. Later, Trudeau attended Question Period.


Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet held a scrum on Parliament Hill ahead of Question Period.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May participated in the House of Commons sitting, attended an event commemorating Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention month and was also scheduled, in the Commons, to question ArriveCan contractor Kristian Firth..

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended his party’s caucus meeting, and participated in Question Period.

No schedule released for Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre.


Today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features a team of Globe journalists commenting on the 2024 Canadian federal budget. The episode features senior political reporter Marieke Walsh, real estate reporter Rachelle Younglai, Report on Business reporter Mark Rendell and personal finance expert Rob Carrick. The Decibel is here.


Doug French: The father of Kristen French, who was killed by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, has died, aged 92, Newstalk 610 CKTB reports.


The Liberals move from borrow and spend, to tax and spend

“For nearly a decade, the Liberals have been a borrow-and-spend government, going so far as to preach the absolute virtue of debt financing. But the party of borrow and spend is no more, with the government venturing in the 2024 budget that “it would be irresponsible and unfair to pass on more debt to the next generations.” Unfortunately for Canadians, the upshot of that thought is not a move to restrain federal spending in order to limit the rise in debt.” - The Globe and Mail Editorial Board.

Higher taxes sold as fairness for a government that sees no other way

“They’re doing it for you, millennials. And you, Gen Zers. The Liberal government is raising capital gains taxes for you. In the logic of this year’s budget, there was simply no other way. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2024 budget, grandly titled “Fairness for Every Generation,” is driven by the notion Canadians under 40 have a raw deal, and the only way to solve it is to tax the rich to pay for more spending.” - Campbell Clark.

Budget 2024 lacks defence spending needed to meet NATO commitments

“Budget 2024 reveals that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is serious about increasing spending on defence. This is good news. The bad news is that almost all of our allies are spending more. Up until Tuesday’s budget, Liberal promises on defence spending contained a large dose of speculation. Last week’s defence policy review, for example, projected spending over 20 years, which is largely meaningless. Future governments will decide how much they want to spend on defence 10 or 20 years from now. What matters is the here-and-now.” - John Ibbitson.

Justin Trudeau’s close friend Dominic LeBlanc wants his job

“Behind the scenes, the plot thickens in regards to the future leadership of the Liberal Party. We need only to consider what Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, a very close friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is up to. A former Liberal cabinet minister met with Mr. LeBlanc recently and they discussed plans, I’m told, for Mr. LeBlanc to run to succeed Mr. Trudeau as party leader and become prime minister, should he step down. Mr. LeBlanc was eager. Over whisky and cigars – the New Brunswicker has always enjoyed a good stogie – the former minister agreed to be part of a ginger group to lay the groundwork for a campaign.” - Lawrence Martin.

At 40 years old, it’s time for the Canada Health Act to have a makeover

“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Canada Health Act (CHA), it’s important to acknowledge its pivotal role in shaping Canada’s health care landscape. Enacted in 1984, the CHA stands as a testament to our commitment to a system where necessary care is available on the basis of need and not the ability to pay. However, as we commemorate this milestone, it’s equally important to recognize the yawning gaps that persist in achieving the act’s promise of “reasonable access” to health care for all.” -Colleen M. Flood

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