Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a busy week ahead.
Today the Prime Minister met with Jesus Seade, Mexico’s undersecretary for North America, to discuss the ratification of the trade deal that replaces NAFTA. That deal is, apparently, very close to coming together after U.S. Democrats pushed for a side deal that would enhance labour provisions. Mr. Seade also met with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and will speak to the media this afternoon at the Mexican embassy.
Before Parliament comes back next week, Mr. Trudeau has a foreign jaunt to make.
Mr. Trudeau will travel to London next week for a meeting of NATO leaders. The military alliance has been under more scrutiny lately, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying leaders have been too focused on U.S. President Donald Trump’s complaints about NATO’s financial obligations and not enough on the serious security issues at stake. Mr. Trudeau will be in London on Dec. 3 and 4, and will travel back to Ottawa just in time for the opening of Parliament on Dec. 5. That opening will feature the Speech from the Throne and the first real look at what the Liberals have in store for their legislative agenda.
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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer got another earful from former candidates and campaign organizers on his postelection listening tour, though participants at last night’s gathering in Ottawa say it wasn’t as bad as the one in Montreal.
As Canada and other countries decide whether to allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei to participate in the crucial next-generation 5G mobile network, there is evidence that Huawei technology is underpinning digital surveillance of persecuted Muslims in China’s western provinces.
Former B.C. MLA Richard Lee says he was improperly detained by Chinese authorities at the Shanghai airport in 2015, and that the federal Liberal government was not, at the time, concerned about the incident.
Atlantic Canadian lobster fishermen say the U.S.-China trade war has been a huge boon to their business.
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister and currently an Independent MP, said the Liberal government should move quickly to resolve its legal case concerning compensation for Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care.
Quebec politicians are not happy with a Manitoba campaign to lure French-speaking public servants who are unhappy with the Quebec religious-symbols ban.
Elections Alberta has reversed course and said it will publish the names of those fined or sanctions for violating elections law.
Federal program spending was up 9 per cent over the first six months of the fiscal year, while revenue was up 4 per cent.
The federal government has spent $2.3-million on upkeep for 24 Sussex while it’s been empty. The building, which is supposed to be the official residence of the prime minister, has sat vacant since Stephen Harper moved out in 2015. The building is in bad need of repairs and the government hasn’t decided what to do about it.
And the Supreme Court has ruled that a Montreal woman should not have been arrested for declining to hold the handrail while going down an escalator. The judges, in a unanimous ruling, ordered the woman should be paid $20,000 for the ordeal.
Margaret McCuaig-Johnston (The Globe and Mail) on Canada-China relations: “The China file is an opportunity for Mr. Champagne to demonstrate his leadership in the Foreign Affairs portfolio – and an opportunity to reset Canada’s relationship with the Middle Kingdom. We know he has valuable experience in business and trade and will understand what is at stake in China for our business community. However, he will need to demonstrate his bona fides in diplomacy.”
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer: “That ambiguity and incoherence has saddled Mr. Scheer with the image of an advocate of nothing – a muddled collection of kind-of conservative ideas, with no real direction or identity and all of the zest and gusto of a plate of boiled celery. And it’s very hard to get excited about, or defend, a plate of boiled celery.”
Tasha Kheiriddin (Global News) on Scheer and religion: “But in a pluralist, increasingly secular country, grounding party platforms in religious beliefs is not a recipe for electoral growth. And when it comes to abortion, they are a non-starter. Even voters who are pro-life for reasons other than faith, or oppose third-trimester or sex-selective abortions, may balk at laws rooted in a politician’s religion.”
John Geddes (Maclean’s) on Scheer’s appeal to history on the fate of losing Conservative leaders: “After Scheer’s hero, John Diefenbaker, was reduced from majority to minority in 1962, and then lost outright in 1963, the Tories were acrimoniously split on his leadership for the next four years. When Joe Clark’s brief run as prime minister ended in 1980, the knives were out and his days were numbered. The old Canadian Alliance splintered following Stockwell Day’s loss in 2000. Those episodes resulted in Robert Stanfield finishing off Dief in a leadership convention, Brian Mulroney succeeding Joe, and Stephen Harper supplanting Stock. Come to think of it, I doubt many Conservatives wish they’d stayed united behind the loser in any of those cases. After all, Mulroney and Harper went on to win big and rule long, while Stanfield went down in party lore as one of those extravagantly beloved might-have-been figures.”
Walter Schroeder and Bob Hallett (The Globe and Mail) on Newfoundland and Labrador’s debt problems: “Newfoundland’s long-term prospects are much less favourable than any other province. Its economy is not strong enough to support this level of debt, and it is already borrowing a billion dollars a year just to pay the interest. Newfoundland is borrowing money to pay the interest on existing loans, which is the financial equivalent of taking out new credit cards to cover the interest on the old ones.”