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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sharply criticized the Conservative Party’s policy on Ukraine today, suggesting the Official Opposition is siding with a global trend in favour of right-wing populism.

“The real story is the rise of a right wing, American MAGA-influenced thinking that has made Canadian conservatives who used to be among the strongest defenders of Ukraine, I’ll admit it, turn their backs on something Ukraine needs in its hour of need,” Trudeau told a news conference in St. John’s where he was meeting with European Union leaders.

MAGA refers to the “Make America Great Again” slogan of former U.S. president Donald Trump.

Trudeau was responding to a question about the Conservatives voting against a free-trade deal between Canada and the Ukraine, citing concerns that the deal supports carbon pricing which is at odds with their policies.

The Conservative Party voted en masse Tuesday against the enabling legislation for a revised Canada-Ukraine free-trade agreement and Poilievre explained that his MPs could not support a deal that imposes a “carbon tax” on Ukraine.

However, Ukraine’s embassy in Canada says the upgraded free-trade agreement between Ottawa and Kyiv does not contain “taxation instruments” to reduce carbon emissions. Senior Parliamentary reporter Steven Chase reports here on the dispute.

Canada also announced another $60-million contribution of military aid for Ukraine today, including nine million rounds of ammunition and around 11,000 firearms, The Canadian Press reports. That’s part of a $500-million package of aid that was announced during the summer.

Canada has committed more than $2.4-billion in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country began in February 2022.

On another note, Trudeau said this week’s deal in the Israel-Hamas war to temporarily halt hostilities so some hostages can be released is a sign of progress.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. 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.


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Tory Senate Leader Don Plett makes tearful apology for yelling at female senators - Choking back tears, Plett said he “never intended to cause harm or discomfort” when he approached senators Bernadette Clement and Raymonde Saint-Germain and shouted at them on Nov. 9 after moves to adjourn a debate on a bill that the Conservatives supported.

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Victims in Rainbow Bridge border crash identified as New York couple - The Niagara Falls Police Department named the couple as Kurt P. Villani and Monica Villani, both 53, of Grand Island, a leafy Buffalo suburb close to the falls.

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Staff changes in PMO - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting a new communications executive. Max Valiquette will be joining Trudeau’s office in early December as executive director of communications. Valiquette, who has had a 25-year plus career in communications and marketing, is joining the office to oversee the communications, digital, research, and advertising teams. He previously worked on Trudeau’s 2015 election campaign.

Meanwhile, there will be other shifts in the PMO communications team. Vanessa Hage-Moussa, acting communications director since June, becomes the permanent communications director. Ann-Clara Vaillancourt becomes media relations director, and Astrid Krizus is now the deputy communications director as well as climate adviser.

Today in the Commons – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Nov. 24, accessible here.

Deputy Prime Minister’s Day - Private meetings in Ottawa.

Ministers on the Road - In Quebec City, Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, along with Public Services Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, a Quebec MP, announced an agreement to end gender-based violence in Quebec with representatives of the Quebec government. Diversity Minister Kamal Khera, in Brampton, Ont., announced the federal contribution to support housing needs for asylum seekers in the Peel Region.


Justin Trudeau has been in St. John’s for a summit with leaders of the European Union, concluding today. He is playing host to European Union President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. He met with the leaders in the morning. Just before noon, he held a joint media availability with von der Leyen and Michel. Following that event, the leaders visited a local innovation and technology hub.


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Kitchener, Ont., participated virtually in Commons proceedings and later campaigned for Aislinn Clancy, the Green candidate in the Kitchener Centre provincial byelection.

No schedules released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.


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Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how, pressed on Ukraine trade deal, Pierre Poilievre is telling tales: “While Pierre Poilievre claims that the new, updated Canada-Ukraine free-trade agreement would force Ukraine to adopt a carbon tax, there is a pretty good source that says that is not so: Ukraine. For some bizarre reason, Mr. Poilievre – a Conservative leader with a 14-point lead in polls who is heading what is supposed to be a government-in-waiting – insists on using that false claim to justify voting against a trade deal that war-weary Ukraine dearly wants.”

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Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on the Trudeau government meandering on financial crime even as FinTRAC cracks the whip on businesses: “Canada is fighting financial crime in fits and starts. The federal government conveyed this week that money laundering, terrorist financing and evasion of sanctions are ‘real threats’ that harm the ‘integrity of our financial system and have real costs for the Canadian economy.’ That’s why it was disappointing the fall economic statement kicked the can down the road on taking decisive action to solve these pressing problems.”

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