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politics briefing newsletter

Good morning,

The SNC-Lavalin affair will again take centre stage in Ottawa today.

Under pressure from the Opposition to allow former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify, the House ethics committee meets this afternoon. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to waive privilege and allow Ms. Wilson-Raybould to appear before the committee.

“If Justin Trudeau shuts down the ethics committee, we will know that all the comments over the last 48 hours were lies and that they don’t actually want the truth out,” he said.

The Liberals hold a majority on the committee, but opposition MPs are hopeful that Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who has been sympathetic to Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s position, will side with them.

On Monday, a federal official told The Globe that the Prime Minister’s Office was made aware last fall of an internal dispute between director of Public Prosecutions Kathleen Roussel and one of the lower-ranking prosecutors handling the SNC-Lavalin bribery and fraud prosecution.

The information came from someone associated with SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., the official added.

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Schools under a United Conservative government would operate under rules for gay-straight alliances that were developed before the NDP came to power, says UCP Leader Jason Kenney.

Another United Conservative Party candidate who has pulled out of the Alberta election says someone outside the party is threatening to release her past social media comments about Muslim refugees and transgender washrooms in schools.

Don Braid (Calgary Herald) on the NDP and UCP childcare plans: “Two strong contenders have never offered more radically different and irreconcilable visions of how to build this province.”


Canada has granted asylum to two of the people who housed whistleblower and U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden in Hong Kong.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench says his name is being improperly used to serve someone’s “agenda” in the dispute between former justice minister and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould and the Liberal government.

Senior federal officials sought to warn Canada’s export agency that it had suffered “significant” risk to its reputation because of its US$41-million loan to the controversial Gupta brothers.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier says it’s party policy not to comment on tragic events in other countries in the wake of criticism over his response to the deadly massacre at two mosques in New Zealand.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government remains committed to putting the Trans Mountain pipeline and its proposed expansion back in private hands as he unveiled four principles for including Indigenous groups in those discussions.

Chile’s state miner Codelco has cancelled a major contract with SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., another potential blow for the Canadian engineering firm as it battles to move past legal issues tied to corruption allegations.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei would not heed a direct order to use equipment it manufactures for espionage in foreign countries, even if the demand came from the General Secretary of the Communist Party, a top Huawei executive said.

Britain’s Parliament is set to vote on a series of Brexit options on Wednesday, throwing a wrench into Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy and opening the door to the possibility that the country won’t leave the European Union at all.

The main result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference was unequivocal: U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with Moscow’s plan to help him win. Nearly everything beyond that remains up in the air.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the SNC-Lavalin affair: “There must be a plan. You would think that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his PMO and the Liberal Party of Canada have a strategy to put the SNC-Lavalin affair behind them. But it must be a very, very subtle plan that in its middle stages just looks like Liberals twisting themselves into pretzels.”

Andrew Coyne (National Post) on Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott: “Somehow the issue has become, not the Prime Minister’s obstructionist tactics, but their own alleged failure to find a way around his obstructions.”

Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail) on Brexit: “Brexit has done the EU a big favour by killing off the prospect of copy-cat departures. What it has not done is kill off Euroskepticism. ”

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the Mueller investigation: “In the run-up to the 2020 election, the case against President Donald Trump appears to have been removed from the court of law and returned to the highest court in the land: the court of public opinion.”

Michelle Goldberg (The New York Times) on the Mueller investigation: “Until the Mueller report is publicly released, however, it’s impossible to tell how much of Trump’s victory is substantive and how much is spin”

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