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Stephen Harper has some governing advice for Justin Trudeau: don’t do what the opposition wants you to do.

Mr. Harper gave the guidance on how to manage a minority government at a Calgary panel discussion with Jean Chrétien.

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“The wise thing to do is try and do the right thing, make sure the public is on your side, don’t make deals. If the public is on your side and you’re doing the right thing you’ll find somebody amongst the various parties that will support you on almost anything,” Mr. Harper said.

Mr. Harper speaks from experience. He led minority Conservative governments from 2006 to 2011, and passed budgets with, at various times, the help of the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals.

But whether his approach would work for Mr. Trudeau remains to be seen. Mr. Trudeau, who is leading his first minority government, has already said he will try to find support for Liberal legislation on a case-by-case basis. And the Liberals may have more in common ideologically with some of the opposition parties than the Conservatives did.

The NDP, for its part, has already made two demands: drop a court challenge to a tribunal ruling on child welfare and institute a universal pharmacare plan.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. 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.


Premiers are set to talk by conference call today to discuss the next first ministers meeting. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wants the meeting to happen right after a new federal cabinet is announced on Nov. 20, so Western premiers can air their concerns with the Prime Minister. Among other things, Mr. Kenney said he is concerned about the equalization formula and whether the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion really will be built. B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is of a different political stripe from his fellow westerners, said he hopes everyone can collaborate. “The notion that the West is being shut out, I disagree with that," Mr. Horgan told reporters. "That does not diminish the sense of frustration and alienation in Alberta particularly, and also recently in Saskatchewan, but people make their choices when they vote and I hope that we, the further we get away from Election Day, the further away we will be from the partisan hectoring that comes with this notion of being alienated.”

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The Keystone pipeline operated by TC Energy – formerly TransCanada – sprung a leak, spilling more than 9,000 barrels of crude in North Dakota.

Conservative sources tell The Globe that MPs who are unhappy with the party’s result in the election are zeroing in on which personnel they’d like to see leave leader Andrew Scheer’s office – and chief of staff Marc-André Leclerc is at the top of the list.

Ontario opposition parties are urging the Progressive Conservative government to release the details of all its contracts with Warren Kinsella’s Daisy Group.

And Donald Trump is officially the fourth U.S. president in history to face impeachment proceedings, following Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clinton were acquitted by the Senate, while Mr. Nixon quit before the process could really get going. Mr. Trump is gearing up for a re-election campaign next year.

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on what Encana’s move to the U.S. means for politicians: “The Liberals will need to clarify whether the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion – which, yes, I know the government bought and are pledging to build – will be the last heavy-oil pipeline project in Canada, ever. They need to say whether they would consider any changes, perhaps through regulations (as per Senator Doug Black’s suggestion) to laws passed earlier this year that the industry says is choking off investment and will prevent major projects from being built, including pipelines.”

Jeffrey Jones (The Globe and Mail) on what happened at Encana: “For Encana, there has been a clear direction since Texan and former BP executive Doug Suttles became chief executive officer in mid-2013. Almost all of his major decisions have made the company more American; unfortunately for investors, none have made them wealthier.”

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Murray Mandryk (Saskatoon StarPhoenix) on Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his angry backbenchers: “From the beginning, Moe has always been one of the boys, which is fine … except when it starts to become evident that you’ve been hanging out with the boys too much. This may be the biggest problem for the Sask. Party government — one that is the antithesis of being held captive by intellectuals and urban bureaucrats, but which may be no less problematic in the long run.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the future of the Conservative Party: “The Conservative coalition must be blue: grounded in small government, low taxes and individual freedom. But unless it tells a better story on the issues that matter to voters today – especially on the environment, on immigration and on the rights of women and sexual minorities – then it won’t matter who leads the party. It will lose and it will deserve to lose.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Peter MacKay and the future of Scheer’s leadership: “Someone should have told Mr. MacKay that shadowy campaigns to oust a party leader are supposed to be run from, well, the shadows. Suddenly, he is having to deny that he is organizing for a potential leadership bid, all while looking very much like he’s been caught holding a dagger.”

Chris Selley (National Post) on why Scheer should stay on as leader: “What’s on Scheer, in addition to the dreary campaign platform, is his bizarre inability to describe the evolution of his thoughts on abortion and same-sex marriage in a way that could plausibly stop the questions from being asked; and making things up about his opponents’ intentions — taxing home sales, raising the GST, etc. — at the same time he was accusing them of doing just the same to him. With no one particularly compelling waiting in the wings, those seem much more like ‘live and learn’ offences than firing ones.”

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