Pierre Poilievre says it’s way too early for him to provide details on how a Conservative government would go about balancing the federal budget.
As MPs returned to the House of Commons today after a week-long break, Poilievre chastised a journalist who asked, during a news conference, at what point a prospective Conservative government would present a balanced budget.
“I find it very funny when the media asks us how much time would it take to clean up the mess the Liberals created,” Poilievre said.
“We will read all the numbers, the real numbers, before the elections and will present a plan to Canadians to balance the budget, and reduce inflation and interest rates. Obviously, it’s absolutely impossible to say which deficit there will be.”
By that, Poilievre said, given the election is two years away, it could have substantially increased by then, meaning any plan announced now would be off target with that future figure.
“I will look at all the numbers and make promises that I will be able to hold.”
But Poilievre said he will have an opportunity to deliver on those promises, noting the next election will be held on carbon pricing policy.
“There will be an election on the carbon tax. It will be a great referendum, a huge referendum. That will be the next election. I will win and I will eliminate the carbon tax.”
The Conservatives have been running far ahead of the governing Liberals in public-opinion polls, raising questions about the policies they would pursue if they come to power in the next election, now scheduled for 2025.
The federal Liberal government will be detailing their own view of the country’s finances on Tuesday as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presents an economic statement - the first update of federal finances since the March federal budget.
As deputy Ottawa editor Bill Curry reports here, the federal government, since the budget, has reached new labour agreements with public sector unions, announced billions in industrial subsidies related to the electric vehicle sector and expanded federal housing programs.
BREAKING - The fate of Cameron Ortis, ex-RCMP intelligence director who allegedly shared secrets with targets of international criminal probes, in hands of jurors. Story here.
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China decries Canada’s ‘hypocrisy’ after Spavor blames Kovrig for their detention - In a statement Sunday, China’s embassy in Ottawa said the two Canadians were “suspected of committing crimes endangering China’s national security” and their case was handled by the Chinese judicial system “in accordance with the law.” Also, From the archives: What we know about Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig’s time in China. Story here.
MPs, unions raise alarm over Windsor EV battery plant’s plan to bring in foreign workers - Opposition MPs suspect that large numbers of foreign workers will be brought in to construct and staff the plant, a joint venture between global auto giant Stellantis and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution.
Quebec to appoint conciliator as labour unions prepare for major strikes this week - The province says the conciliator will be asked to help bridge the gap in stalled contract negotiations with public sector unions ahead of major strikes this week. However, the conciliator’s recommendations won’t be binding.
CRA claws back $458-million in pandemic-era wage subsidies after partial audit - The agency is releasing a report Monday that offers detailed findings of its audits of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program. The bulk of the findings cover the period ending March 31, but the report also offers more up-to-date figures as of Sept. 29. Story here.
The making of Premier Wab Kinew - Manitoba’s new leader shares the story of his upbringing in Winnipeg, how he turned around a life of addiction and crime and the greatest gift he got from his father. Story here.
Quebec Premier François Legault defends decision to subsidize NHL preseason games - Quebec plans to spend between $5-million and $7-million to bring the Los Angeles Kings to Quebec City for two preseason hockey matches against the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers next year. The outcry over the move intensified when the Montreal Canadiens confirmed they would have been willing to play those same games for free.
B.C. Premier Eby tells NDP convention he’s ‘nowhere near satisfied,’ says much more to be done on housing and climate - Eby told delegates over the weekend he will leave no stone unturned on the housing front, while recent experiences with wildfires, floods and landslides mean the fight against climate change must continue. Story here. Also, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, attending the convention, criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. Story here.
Despite exit a former member of the Quebec legislature is still making waves - Catherine Dorion, a former member of the National Assembly remembered for wearing a bright red hoodie to Question Period instead of more formal attire, has rocked the Québec solidaire party with a memoir of her one term in politics. Details here.
Former Israel prime minister Ehud Barak speaks on Gaza war: ‘We have to finish it’ - Barack, speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum, said his country cannot relent in the Gaza war until it has wiped out Hamas’ military capacity, and civilian deaths are inevitable in this process. Story here.
THIS AND THAT
In Ottawa - Defence Minister Bill Blair was scheduled to hold a news conference on a report from the monitor appointed last year to track progress on culture change in the defence department and Canadian Armed Forces. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Gatineau, Que., was scheduled to announce stricter measures to regulate the trade of certain wildlife items in Canada.
MPs in Israel - A bipartisan delegation of MPs is in Israel as the country fights a war against Hamas after the organization launched a surprise attack against Israel last month. MPs on the trip are Liberals Marco Mendicino - the former public safety minister - and Anthony Housefather as well as Conservatives Melissa Lantsman, Michelle Rempel, Garner and Marty Moranz. Mendicino said, in an e-mail, that the delegation met with the survivors and families of victims from the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. “Their telling of what happened that day is harrowing and heartbreaking,” he wrote. “There will be more briefings tomorrow about the situation on the ground. As I said in [a posting on X], I hope we can learn more about to stop antisemitism, which is the root evil that sparked Hamas’ attack, and eventually restore the path to peace.”
Today in the Commons – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Nov. 20, accessible here.
Deputy Prime Minister’s Day - Private meetings in Ottawa.
Ministers on the Road - Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, in Trois-Rivières, Que., joined GROUPÉ Mauricie Rive-Sud and business leaders from the region to discuss the economic growth of industries, the energy transition and the emergence of clean technologies. Tourism Minister Soraya Ferrada, in Vancouver and accompanied by Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan, announced new federal support for the tourism industry. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly welcomed Battsetseg Batmunkh, foreign affairs minister for Mongolia, for a visit to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Mongolia. Mental Health Minister Ya’ara Saks, in Richmond, B.C., made an announcement on support for mental health and suicide prevention support.
Commons Committee Highlights - Peter Madou, the director general of Intelligence Assessments of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was scheduled to appear before the access to information, privacy and ethics committee on the use of social media platforms for data harvesting and unethical or illicit sharing of personal information with foreign entities.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Private meetings in Ottawa and a meeting with the mayors of Saskatoon (Charlie Clark) Edmonton (Amarjeet Sohi), Regina (Sandra Masters) and Winnipeg (Scott Gillingham) on urban housing.
Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre held a news conference on Parliament Hill.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Ottawa for House of Commons proceedings, was scheduled to attend a hearing of the Commons committee on transport, infrastructure and communities, and later attend a ceremony marking the long service of her chief of staff and the party’s legislative co-ordinator.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is travelling back to Ottawa from Victoria, where he attended the B.C. NDP convention over the past weekend.
No schedule released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet.
On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, health reporter Carly Weeks explains the details around the regulation of Zonnic, a nicotine pouch that you pop into your mouth. Even though its maker – Imperial Tobacco Canada – says it’s meant to help people quit smoking, anti-smoking advocates are worried that it will actually get young people addicted to nicotine. The Decibel is here.
Last bastion of Liberal support - The Angus Reid Institute has released new polling today that finds that two in five would-be voters say the carbon tax will be a major factor for them in deciding which party to support in the next federal election. Details here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how we need to listen as Donald Trump tells the world who he is: “You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump: He isn’t hiding from the world how he intends to govern if he is elected U.S. president in a year from now. While the truth-averse former president made it clear from the moment he ran for office in 2015 that he has no use for the rules and conventions of a constitutional democracy, his rhetoric has inched ever further into authoritarian territory since his 2020 election defeat. On Nov. 11, that devolution crystalized when he gave a rambling two-hour speech that, in the moments when it stuck to script, mimicked the harangues of at least one well-known totalitarian monster.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how Chrystia Freeland needs to offer fast-acting relief in her affordability mini-budget: “Politicians don’t usually need to be told to focus on the short term, but Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is facing a public demand for urgency. She has said the mini-budget she will present Tuesday will focus on housing and affordability. But the question many will be asking is when – when will the government’s affordability measures make a difference?”
Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how the Manning report is part and parcel of Danielle Smith’s promised reckoning: “Last week, former Reform Party leader Preston Manning delivered what Danielle Smith wanted. The Alberta Premier has long spoken for the people who opted not to immunize themselves against COVID-19 and couldn’t work, travel or see loved ones during the pandemic. And at the heart of Mr. Manning’s sprawling report on governance lessons from the public health emergency is her years-long pushback against the mainstream media, cancel culture and traditional Canadian deference to authority.”
David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on how Canadians need the government to restrain itself in this week’s mini-budget: “In preparing for Tuesday’s midyear mini-budget, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is surely feeling a strong desire – as it usually does – to pull some fiscal levers in order to do, well, more. More to avert a recession. More to address the housing crisis. More to awaken slumbering productivity. More to help with the rising cost of living. But right now, maybe the best thing this government could do is less. What Canadians need from the Fall Economic Statement (as it’s formally called), more than any other economic priority, is for the government to get its foot off the inflation accelerator.”