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At his Tuesday press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again defended his decision not to release a budget or economic update as his government spends more than $150-billion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A fiscal update that talks about what our revenues or projected expenditures could be six months from now or a year from now would be incredibly unreliable,” Mr. Trudeau said.

It would be "an exercise in invention and imagination.”

In May, finance department officials told a Senate committee that a fiscal update would be ready within weeks but the government did not commit to releasing it.

The government has released updated totals of how much it is spending to respond to the economic shutdown, but has not shown how the overall spending impacts the country’s bottom line.

Mr. Trudeau was asked if his government would table a fiscal update before Labour Day but did not directly answer the question, instead presenting a rational for not releasing one.

The Prime Minister also said the his government’s planned crackdown on people who wrongly claimed income support during the crisis will not target people who made "honest mistakes” and rather focus on “deliberate fraudsters.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Marieke Walsh. 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.


Police officers must be better trained on de-escalation tactics and screened for racist attitudes, says Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the legacy of residential schools. Speaking to The Globe and Mail’s Kristy Kirkup, Mr. Sinclair said when specific incidents come to light governments and public institutions have learned how to say the right words and appease the public. But then fail to follow through.

Ontario Member of Parliament Marwan Tabbara allegedly spent so much time over three months watching a home in a nearby riding he made the occupant fear for her safety, according to a police document describing the serious criminal charges he is facing, reports The National Post. On Friday Mr. Tabbara “stepped back” from the Liberal caucus. The charges were laid by the Guelph Police Service in April but the force did not publicly report them. Mr. Trudeau told reporters Tuesday he found out about the criminal case on Friday.

Three northern Alberta First Nations are asking to appeal the province’s suspension of environmental monitoring in the oil patch because it “fails to come close” to being a reasonable decision, reports The Canadian Press.

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on the asylum seekers on the front lines of COVID-19: “Despite doing essential work that no one else would and literally putting their lives at risk, juggling multiple part-time gigs for as little as $13 an hour, many of these front-line workers could face deportation. That’s disgraceful, and un-Canadian.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on police use of force against Chief Allan Adam: “If the RCMP wanted to clear the air here, it would release its footage of the arrest of Mr. Adam. If it’s all as defensible as they say, then get it out there. But the force won’t. It won’t because its notion of what’s defensible isn’t the same as ours.”

Andray Domise (Maclean’s) on Canada’s own legacy of racist oppression: “In Canada, other writers, advocates, activists and I, parse what little information we can get—between meagre data collected by our government agencies, and work by non-profit agencies and universities—into a patchwork of evidence that this country has its own legacy of racist oppression. Of broken promises and cyclical violence.”

K.B. Thors (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta bill responding to rail blockades: "Alberta’s legislature has just passed a bill that, if it receives royal assent and becomes law, could effectively make [protests] illegal – a blatant attack on democratic rights that the Alberta Federation of Labour’s executive council has called a “step toward a police state.”

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