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Politics Politics Briefing: Trudeau off to B.C. in midst of pipeline debate

Good morning,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is off to B.C. today, where he is meeting the mayor of Kamloops and two Indigenous chiefs. The province has had no shortage of heated public debates about pipelines in recent years – whose land the projects are running through, and what it means for the people and ecology living there – and this week another has flared up. In Vancouver yesterday, hundreds marched through the city’s downtown core, and in Ottawa, protesters stormed the site of an event Mr. Trudeau was at, because of arrests made at a protest in northern B.C. At issue is a 670-km line carrying natural gas to Kitimat, but which runs through land on which the Wet’suwet’en Nation lives. While elected band councils have supported the project, many hereditary leaders have not. Mr. Trudeau ends his day today with a public town hall, in which he will no doubt face plenty of questions about the pipeline.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa. 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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TODAY’S HEADLINES

The Conservative Party says the Prime Minister should directly call China’s leadership to plead for the release of two Canadians – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – who have been detained in the country for weeks. Those arrests were made in an apparent retaliation for Canada arresting Chinese businesswoman Meng Wanzhou, on the request of U.S. authorities.

A Canadian woman was blocked from seeing her father – a political activist who has been imprisoned in China for years – even though she was granted a visa to enter the country last year following a decade-long battle with the Chinese government.

The Canadian government is releasing new guidelines for drones today, saying operators must be at least 14 years old and must register their devices with Transport Canada.

The B.C. government says they need more funding from Ottawa to properly crack down on money-laundering in the province.

On TV last night, U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned further for Congress to fund the building of a US$5.7-billion wall on the U.S.-Mexico border,

The Australia Prime Minister is attracting some unwanted attention to his right shoe because of a Photoshop gone wrong.

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A singer on an Afghan TV show looks remarkably like the Canadian Prime Minister.

And Canada’s Food Guide is changing, and it appears it will be de-emphasizing milk and dairy in favour of plant-based proteins.

Sarah Kendzior (The Globe and Mail) on the U.S. President’s push for a border wall with Mexico: “In reshaping discourse, Mr. Trump proved his power. Americans discussed ‘birtherism’ and ‘the wall’ not because they were actual emergencies, but because the public was ceaselessly goaded by both Mr. Trump and American media to inhabit this noxious fantasy world. Whether or not we were repulsed by his words – and many of us were – he still dominated by defining the terms of the debate.”

China’s ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye, in The Hill Times, on the arrests of two Canadians in China: “I have recently heard a word repeatedly pronounced by some Canadians: bullying. They said that by arresting two Canadian citizens as retaliation for Canada’s detention of Meng, China was bullying Canada. To those people, China’s self-defence is an offence to Canada. If someone slaps you on your left cheek, give him your right cheek, they told us. But I have never seen them doing as they said.”

Phil Calvert (The Globe and Mail) on suggestions that Canada should not have arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou: “Canada’s legal obligation, upon receiving the request of the United States, was therefore to detain Ms. Meng. If Canadian officials had not lived up to this request – if they had deliberately missed her at the Vancouver airport, or had warned her ahead of time – they would have been in violation of this agreement. And if the United States became aware that Ms. Meng had been warned, as would likely have been the case, Washington would have been justifiably apoplectic.”

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