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politics briefing newsletter


Andrew Scheer has stepped down as Conservative Leader.

Mr. Scheer made the announcement in the House of Commons this morning. It follows weeks of criticism within the party about his performance as leader during an election campaign that Conservatives thought they could win.

Mr. Scheer said he has asked the Conservatives’ governing council to immediately begin a new leadership race. He has offered to stay on as leader until a permanent replacement is named.

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The House of Commons passed a unanimous motion last night calling on the government to do more to help Indigenous children in foster care. The federal government is currently fighting a human rights tribunal order about compensating Indigenous children who were unnecessarily taken into care.

The federal government has approved New Brunswick’s carbon pricing regime, which will go into effect next year. Like PEI, New Brunswick is cutting its gasoline levy at the same time so that drivers don’t pay more at the pumps.

Ontario is asking for more control over immigration to the province.

Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar says the government is looking at working with the Netherlands to support a lawsuit accusing Myanmar’s government of genocide for its treatment of the minority Rohingya people.

A public servant who worked on the government’s anti-racism initiatives says she was punished by her bosses for being critical of Mr. Trudeau wearing blackface.

And Liberal MP Sean Fraser, who was re-elected in Central Nova in October, says he is stepping aside from his duties temporarily as he and his wife mourn the death of their newborn daughter. “Though her life was short, every moment was filled with love,” he wrote in a note for constituents.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the Liberal caucus rejecting the Reform Act: “Can the party leader unilaterally expel an MP from caucus? Can MPs remove the party leader? Can they choose an interim leader? Do MPs have the right to elect their own caucus chair? On each, Liberal MPs voted against giving themselves more authority. We now know that most Liberal MPs just don’t believe they should be entrusted with real authority. They would rather have a leader such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, or his staff, tell them what is allowed.”

Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail) on Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the UN climate summit in Madrid: “In short, Mr. Wilkinson is insisting Canada must meet or exceed its 2030 target, which would take emissions to 30 per cent less than they were in 2005, and get to net zero by 2050. The latter is a formidable goal, all the more so since Canada has blown every reduction target it has ever set by a fat margin.”

Brianna Sharpe (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta’s classrooms and the oil sands: “Alberta’s resource industry is an issue with multiple perspectives. Indigenous land rights and climate impacts, for instance, should be considered alongside economic growth and employment statistics. To imply that the curriculum is ‘anti-oil-and-gas’ and ‘anti-Albertan’ risks removing critical thought itself from our classrooms – and from our citizens.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on what the new NAFTA means for Donald Trump: “While Mr. Trump’s job approval rating has been grim from inauguration day till today, Republican presidential candidates almost never win the popular vote. (Since 1988, they have only done it once, in 2004.) But if Mr. Trump can repeat his 2016 feat of winning over suburban voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, he could prevail yet again in the electoral college.”

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