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Politics Politics Briefing: Trudeau says pipeline will be built over B.C.’s wishes

Good morning,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be built — over the objections of B.C.

A weekend meeting between Mr. Trudeau, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan had a predictable result: Ms. Notley continues to insist the pipeline must be built, while Mr. Horgan maintains that it must not. After the meeting, both sides remain as entrenched as ever. Mr. Trudeau says the pipeline is strategically important to the country, and the Liberal government will do what it can — through financial support and legislation — to assert its authority to push the pipeline through. But he’s not saying what exactly those measures might look like, other than to say Ottawa and Alberta are negotiating with Kinder Morgan. Mr. Horgan says his government will continue to use every tool at its disposal to block the project, though he acknowledged that he will stand down if the province loses in court.

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Meanwhile, protesters who’ve been arrested at Kinder Morgan’s facility in Burnaby, B.C. — including federal Green Leader Elizabeth May — will find out today whether they’ll face criminal charges for contempt of court.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa, Mayaz Alam in Toronto and James Keller in Vancouver. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know

CANADIAN HEADLINES

Mr. Trudeau is in France today, where he is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. Over the next two days he also meets with Michaëlle Jean, now the secretary-general of La Francophonie, other prominent French politicians and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The Prime Minister’s national security adviser, Daniel Jean, will appear before a parliamentary committee today to talk about the government’s relations with India.

A watchdog report says Export Development Canada does not have sufficient anti-corruption screening for the billions of dollars of business it conducts around the world.

None of the bidders for a $60-billion shipbuilding contract met all of the government’s requirements, the National Post reports.

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Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford's campaign team is stacked with many experienced operatives, including veterans of the federal Conservative government.

AggregateIQ, a Canadian political consultancy, worked on campaigns as big as Brexit and as small as a Newfoundland mayoral race.

And today is the first day on the job for new RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki. The Globe’s Daniel Leblanc takes a look at her career so far, from dodging artillery in Yugoslavia to running the Mounties’ training centre, to becoming the police force’s first female permanent leader.

Mary Janigan (The Globe and Mail) on a history lesson for politicians in B.C.: “If British Columbia politicians knew their history, perhaps they would not be so cavalier about thwarting their neighbour’s economic prospects with rash regulatory roadblocks. From the early decades of the 20th century, the province was always one of the main spoilers in the Prairie provinces’ quest to gain control over their resources. British Columbia always insisted that its concerns had to come first.”

Jeffrey D. Sachs (The Globe and Mail) on Trans Mountain: “Whether Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain expansion through British Columbia is built, or the company steps away from the project, remains uncertain. Either way, the truth is that Alberta oil sands have absolutely no place in a climate-safe world. Investing in them is almost surely to be investing in a future bankruptcy.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on public ownership: “The governments would probably not actually buy the company − instead they would probably do some kind of risk-sharing transaction involving less money. But Alberta and Ottawa would still be buying a risk. If Mr. Trudeau can’t arm-twist Mr. Horgan, he’ll have to take that risk. There’s no magical solution, but he can escape his pipeline conundrum − by buying in.”

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Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on Ontario’s NDP: “The upside of Ms. Horwath being marginalized in those previous campaigns, perhaps, is that few Ontarians formed strong impressions of her. She can be reintroduced, which the NDP will attempt through advertising it insists will be better-funded than in previous campaigns.”

Andrew Willis (The Globe and Mail) on Doug Ford vs. big business: “Mr. Ford has no ties to Bay Street. He seems proud of that fact. There’s a long list of Conservative supporters in Toronto financial and legal circles, a potential kitchen cabinet to help him on economic policy. None of these donors and advisors have Mr. Ford’s ear.” (for subscribers)

Alison Motluk (The Globe and Mail) on assisted reproduction laws: “The Prime Minister says the government will listen to all sides. I hope it does. Many surrogates, for instance, are currently bound by strict confidentiality clauses and would probably welcome the opportunity to tell their stories with the benefit of parliamentary privilege.”

Adrienne Tanner (The Globe and Mail) on money laundering in B.C.: “If – and it’s still a big if – money laundering played a pivotal role in pushing Vancouver property prices into the stratosphere, a public inquiry should be called. It’s Vancouver’s most pressing social problem, and citizens deserve to know how it happened.”

Denny Morrison (The Globe and Mail) on Calgary’s Olympic bid: “Our city should be given the opportunity to decide our future together. It if includes an Olympics, I believe we will be an incredible host. If Calgarians decide not to move forward with a bid, that’s okay, too. The most important thing is that Calgarians should decide, through a plebiscite, what’s next in regard to exploring a bid for 2026.”

Help The Globe monitor political ads on Facebook: During an election campaign, you can expect to see a lot of political ads. But Facebook ads, unlike traditional media, can be targeted to specific users and only be seen by certain subsets of users, making the ads almost impossible to track. The Globe and Mail wants to report on how these ads are used, but we need to see the same ads Facebook users are seeing. Here is how you can help.

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INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

The United States is planning to institute sanctions on companies connected to Syria's chemical-weapons program and push for an investigation by the United Nations. The moves come after Friday night’s surprise military strike on Syria by the U.S., Britain and France. Mr. Trudeau says Canada was notified about the attack before it happened and was not asked to take part, though he said his government supports the strike.

Former FBI director James Comey says Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. “I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president,” he said, comparing Mr. Trump to a mob boss. Mr. Comey, who was fired by the president last year, has a book coming out this week called A Higher Loyalty.

And former NASA scientist James Hansen says it’s only becoming more urgent for the world to move to low-carbon energy sources. “ We have to put a price on carbon in a simple way and if we did that it would give an honest chance to all the carbon-free alternatives,” he said.

Sarah Kendzior (The Globe and Mail) on Trump’s calculus: “Suffice it to say, none of these actions have anything to do with aiding Syrians or stopping Assad. They are about Mr. Trump’s own deadly calculus – self-destruction as he faces legal jeopardy, or world destruction as an attempt at distraction, with Bolton and possibly Putin as his enablers. The most we can hope for is that something, somehow, will accidentally go right.”

Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on déjà vu: “The only lasting way to deal with the triple threat of Syria’s chemical-attack horrors, its deep ties to Iran and its role as a Russian outpost in the Middle East would be to do what no U.S. president has dared contemplate: Help the Syrian people reach a victory in their civil war.”

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Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Emmanuel Macron: “Eleven months into his presidency, Mr. Macron is proving that he is nothing if not a reformer. After having tackled France’s rigid labour code and overhauled its tax system, he’s now taken up electoral reform and promised to slash the number of seats in the National Assembly by 30 per cent. Indeed, there is no sacred cow Mr. Macron seems unwilling to question – up to and including the official separation of church and state entrenched in French law since 1905.” (for subscribers)

Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Facebook: “The current scandal notwithstanding, we have known for a very long time about Facebook’s troubling practices around data security and user privacy.”

Shimrit Meir (The Globe and Mail) on Gaza: “For decades, we were told that the precondition for normal relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours was a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. The past few years have proven it wrong. The mutual perception of Iran as the biggest threat to the region has brought the sides together. Israel’s relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have never been better. The new Saudi Crown Prince talks openly about Israel’s right to exist. The economic opportunities are enormous. The Palestinians could have been the main benefactor of these developments. They, or rather their leadership, chose again to say no and to continue marching to the unknown.”

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