After a day with the aluminum industry, Justin Trudeau is on to steel. The Prime Minister spends today in Hamilton, Ont., touring steel plants and meeting with industry leaders.
Mr. Trudeau’s mini-tour this week was brought on, of course, by U.S. President Donald Trump, who imposed new tariffs on the two metals last week, citing China’s export of the materials as a national security threat.
Mr. Trump did temporarily exempt Canada from the tariffs, a reprieve that Mr. Trudeau was working hard to win. The Prime Minister called the President yesterday to thank him for the “special consideration” given to Canada. Now the government says it will work on how to prevent China and other countries from dumping their steel here as a way to circumvent the U.S. tariffs.
And in other U.S. news, Rex Tillerson is to be replaced as Secretary of State by CIA director Mike Pompeo.
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Meanwhile, back in Ottawa...the Belgian King and Queen are in town and the country’s delegation, sources tell the Star, are a little miffed that they don’t get to meet with Trudeau. (There was also a little snafu at Rideau Hall, where the royal couple was welcomed with a German flag instead of one from their own country.)
Andrew Scheer, the only federal party leader who owns a gun (or many, he doesn’t say), says firearm owners should have a federal ombudsman to advocate for their rights. He also suggests the RCMP shouldn’t have the power to reclassify guns, a proposal that former top Mountie Bob Paulson says is “nonsense.”
A spending review from the Liberal government has not yet identified any wasteful programs to cut, but has informed areas of new spending.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Ottawa will force a carbon tax on Saskatchewan if the province fails to sign on to a national climate-change plan by the fall.
The Competition Bureau is investigating Postmedia and Torstar for “alleged conspiracy” in how the companies shut down dozens of community newspapers late last year.
The B.C. government is spending $50-million in this year’s budget to preserve Indigenous languages, something First Nations leaders say is desperately needed to save endangered dialects. The issue generated controversy after an Opposition BC Liberal MLA asked why the NDP government was spending money on Indigenous languages instead of policing in First Nations communities.
Immigrant agencies in B.C. have noticed a steep drop off in the number of government-assisted refugees. The Immigrant Services Society of B.C. says 642 government-assisted refugees arrived in the province last year – one-third of the 1,911 who arrived in 2016 and far below the target of 900.
Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has tabled a deficit budget that includes a new carbon tax, which is expected to cost residents about $240 a year.
New Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is hitting the road to get an early start on campaign for the June 7 provincial election.
And Brad Trost says he “screwed up.” The Saskatchewan MP, who finished fourth in last year’s Conservative leadership race and who has been in office since 2004, lost the right to run for his party again in next year’s election. His nomination was successfully won by Corey Tochor, a Saskatchewan MLA.
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on Doug Ford: “Doug Ford will try to assemble a conservative coalition first forged more than 20 years ago by Mike Harris. He will be opposed by the same urban progressive voters who despised Mr. Harris’s Common Sense Revolution. Both sides will fight for the support of the immigrant voters in suburban ridings inside and surrounding Toronto, which is why Mr. Ford’s populism is utterly dissimilar to the populism of Donald Trump.”
Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on Doug Ford: “I think Doug Ford has a pretty good chance of becoming premier. There’s a huge demand for change. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are long past their sell-by date. As likeable as Andrea Horwath is, a lot of people simply can’t bring themselves to vote NDP. Many folks will hold their noses and vote Ford, if only to get rid of the Liberals.”
Martin Patriquin (iPolitics) on Doug Ford: “But Doug Ford—oh man. So perfect a Liberal boogeyman is Doug Ford that he may well have been designed in a lab somewhere in Gatineau.”
Chantal Hébert (Toronto Star) on Doug Ford: “For the Trudeau Liberals, the advent of a Ford government at Queen’s Park would inevitably make the governance of the federation more challenging.”
Kelly McParland (National Post) on Doug Ford: “The PCs have lost four consecutive elections on bad bets. Now they’re wagering that Ontarians despise Wynne as much as Americans disliked Hillary Clinton. They’re putting a privileged white alpha male up against two left-wing women at a time gender is a major issue. He offers much to shoot at for both the ruling Liberals and third-place New Democrats. While Elliott or Mulroney might have lured away votes from disaffected Liberals, Ford focused intently on core Tories, social conservatives and the religious right, whose votes weren’t ever going anywhere else anyway.”
The Globe and Mail editorial board on the electoral system that picked Doug Ford: “No doubt Mr. Ford is happy with the outcome. But the truth is that the one-member, one-vote online voting system for electing party leaders, which is used by Canadian political parties at all levels, is proving to have many drawbacks.”
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