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politics briefing newsletter

Good morning,

In 2015, just before the federal election got underway, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made 94 recommendations to heal relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Justin Trudeau – then the leader of the third-place Liberal Party – pledged to address all 94 calls to action.

But after winning power, Mr. Trudeau has discovered the promise is a difficult one to keep.

The federal government now says of that of 94 recommendations, 76 fall under their jurisdiction. And of those 76, just three have been accomplished in three years. Another three are getting close, the government says, and there are another 19 that are “fully under way."

Murray Sinclair, the person who headed the commission and who was later appointed to the Senate by Mr. Trudeau, told The Globe he was frustrated by the pace of change. “If we have a population of young Indigenous people who are continually feeling frustrated by society, that does not bode well for Canadian society generally,” he said.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa and Mayaz Alam. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


The statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, was removed from the grounds outside Victoria’s City Hall over the weekend as part of the municipality’s reconciliation process with the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.

Senator Anne Cools – who has, at various times, been a Liberal, a Conservative and an independent – is retiring from the Red Chamber today. Appointed in 1984, she is the longest-serving senator.

A new Nanos poll, conducted for The Globe, suggests Canadians value carbon pricing and a majority are on the side of the federal government in its dispute with some provinces over implementing the plan.

Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade Dominic LeBlanc says the key to solving interprovincial disputes will be to find areas of agreement between opposing sides and to build on that. “The prime minister’s instruction to me was to do so in a collaborative, constructive way. I certainly don’t start with the view that it should be adversarial,” he told the Canadian Press.

The Conservative Party will start “clawing back” money from its riding associations, the Hill Times reports, to make up for what it says was a financial hit caused by the elimination of the voter subsidy when the party was in power.

Canada and Saudi Arabia remain embroiled in a diplomatic spat, but how did it get to this point? Campbell Clark writes that it’s because of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Canadian government denied the visa applications of nine Chinese journalists who were set to come to Canada earlier this summer to cover the G7 leaders' summit.

The Ontario Progressive Conservatives have ordered a freeze on the opening of new overdose-prevention sites amid a review of the facilities, which were authorized by the previous Liberal government. The freeze will apply to temporary harm-reduction sites that have been approved by the province but haven’t been opened yet.

The labour movement in Quebec, where nearly 40 per cent of workers are unionized, is preparing itself for an election battle during a campaign where the two leading parties aren’t considered union-friendly. The governing Quebec Liberals pursued austerity measures early in their mandate, cutting spending in health and education, while the Coalition Avenir Québec, leading in the polls, are a centre-right party that recently held a strident position against organized labour.

The federal government has cancelled its plan to give a clam fishing licence to a company with ties to the Liberal party and several of its sitting MPs.

The Uyghur diaspora in Canada remains haunted by anxiety and guilt as their families remain held in Chinese camps, The Globe’s Nathan VanderKlippe reports. Chinese officials have incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, a largely Muslim minority group, and sent them to what the government describes as political re-education centres.

A B.C. judge has approved the dismantling of a protest camp near the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

And “Unite the Right 2,” the white supremacist rally, drew around 20 demonstrators who were vastly outnumbered by police and counterprotesters a year after a violent protest in Charlottesville.

Globe and Mail Editorial Board on carbon pricing: “Proving that it is possible to build consensus around carbon pricing might be the best chance for Canada to punch above its weight, by helping point the way for politicians elsewhere. But the Liberals should be more worried than they appear about instead providing another example of it being a political loser of a cause.”

Anita Anand (The Globe and Mail) on Hydro One: “Let us not be lured into believing that Hydro One is a public corporation like all others. It is not. Rather, it is a public corporation in which the largest shareholder is acting as a political overlord, not a shareholder seeking to maximize the value of its investment.” (for subscribers)

Germain Belzile (The Globe and Mail) on Canadian competitiveness: “Our prosperity depends, now and in the future, on our ability to attract investors. We need to start by admitting that when it comes to competitiveness, Canada has quite a bit of catching up to do.”

Elizabeth Renzetti (The Globe and Mail) on nuclear war: “We’re cursed – or fortunate – to be living in one of those times, with global attention focused on something both ludicrous and terrifying: two unpredictable world leaders, each in possession of an arsenal of nuclear weapons, who like to play chicken on Twitter. What would happen if their erratic behaviour escalated to the point of no return?” (for subscribers)

Steve Maich (The Globe and Mail) on buck-a-beer: “ Imagine how different the province and the country might be if we elected governments that understood and adhered to true free-market principles. It never hurts to dream. For now, Ontarians will have slightly cheaper booze to help numb our senses while we wait.”

David Shribman (The Globe and Mail) on Canada and the U.S.: “Even today, with difficult relations between the two countries, there remain no misgivings about the message Mackenzie King and Roosevelt shared, for as the Prime Minister said: ‘In politics, as in road making, it is a great thing, Mr. President, to know how to build bridges.’”

Irwin Cotler (The Globe and Mail) on Canada and Saudi Arabia: “Simply put, the tweet by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was neither new nor novel as a statement of principles or policy by the Canadian government, or even the international community.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Quebec: “This Quebec election campaign is unlikely to give the rest of the country heartburn. Canada’s newly zen province seems to have had it with the drama, for now.”

Adrienne Tanner (The Globe and Mail) on Vancouver’s mayoral election: “[Kennedy] Stewart is a smart policy wonk with a colloquial speaking style that will serve him well in debates. He may not be left-wing enough for Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) voters, who are already pointing out he mostly played nice with Derrick Corrigan, Burnaby’s NDP mayor who allowed unfettered gentrification to displace many low-income renters in Mr. Stewart’s riding. But he’s an able politician and my bet is this race is between him and the Non-Partisan Association’s Ken Sim.”

Ian Buruma (The Globe and Mail) on Steve Bannon in Europe: “A true ‘nationalist international’ can emerge only when such contradictions are addressed. But wherever the global right ends up, it is unlikely that Mr. Bannon’s Movement will be the vehicle that gets it there.”

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