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As Canada’s largest province today faces the prospect of a vast stay-at-home order, the country’s first ministers will be talking about the pandemic that has forced the measures.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be on the phone with the leaders today in the latest in a series of summits.
Mr. Trudeau has said he will be talking about how his government can keep helping the provinces on various pandemic-related issues, including the distribution of vaccines.
Ahead of today’s meeting, Mr. Trudeau spoke Tuesday with Ontario Premier Doug Ford about the pandemic and other issues.
A readout issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said, among other issues, the pair talked about additional public-health measures announced by the province, efforts to stop the spread of variants and the rising COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
Those rising cases have prompted today’s measures in Ontario.
Vaccine doses: Just two-thirds of available vaccine doses in Canada have been administered as provincial and territorial governments struggle to shift their COVID-19 vaccination programs into faster gear after months of sluggish federal supply. Most of the doses the provinces have not yet administered have only been delivered since Saturday. But even before those shipments were added to the supply in local cold storage, vaccination campaigns faced challenges, including thousands of unfilled appointments, low vaccination rates among groups at the highest risk of COVID-19, and lack of certainty in deliveries.
Nenshi ending run as mayor: High-profile Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who had a profile far beyond his city, has ruled out seeking another term , ending a run that began with his election in 2010. He told Kelly Cryderman he has no new job lined up, and no immediate plans to enter provincial or federal politics. “Never say never. I do have a political bug. But certainly not in the short term.”
PM on tax reform: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s open to talks on global tax reform after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called this week for a global minimum corporate tax rate. Ms. Yellen said she is urging her Group of 20 nation colleagues to support the move as a way of ending a “race to the bottom” on corporate taxes as countries around the world steadily lowered rates over the past few decades in the hunt for a competitive edge. See the Opinion section of this newsletter for Andrew Coyne’s take on this subject.
Clerk on Vance case: Former privy council clerk Michael Wernick, testifying before the House of Commons national-defence committee on Tuesday, said he regrets that no further action was taken regarding an allegation of sexual misconduct against former chief of the defence staff Jonathan Vance, saying the entire system is to blame for what happened.
Liberal convention: The federal Liberals are poised to debate a wide range of policy ideas, including proposals for universal basic income and national standards for long-term care, at a convention this week that will lay out direction for the party ahead of a possible federal election.
O’Toole pledges COVID-19 inquiry: Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says a Conservative government would call a public inquiry into all aspects of the Liberal government’s response to the pandemic.
From the CBC - Veteran Whitehorse Star editor on a pandemic-era territorial election “in Zoom-land” that has “lacked pizzazz.”
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
The Prime Minister will host a call with provincial and territorial premiers.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole speaks virtually to the Nanaimo, B.C. Chamber of Commerce.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh holds a virtual news conference on COVID-19 policy.
A new Angus Reid Institute study finds 40 per cent of Canadians hopeful housing prices continue to escalate, while 39 per cent are expecting a fall. Twenty-two per cent would like to see the average home price drop by 30 per cent or more. At least 52 per cent of residents in every province say their provincial governments are doing a poor job on housing affordability.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the need, amidst the pandemic, for emergency paid sick leave: “What’s being forgotten is that we are in an emergency. Essential workplaces are the source of COVID-19 outbreaks that are spreading to families and communities, and until immunization is much more extensive, the only way to stop that is to pay infected people to stay home. But so far, no government has been willing to pick up the tab, leaving some of Canada’s most precariously employed workers to choose between sacrificing their income for everyone else’s well-being, or going to work when they are mildly sick but highly infectious.”
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s call for a global corporate minimum tax: “What she is proposing, in sum, is a global tax cartel. Rather than compete with each other to attract private capital, governments would collude with each other to extort it. There are all sorts of practical problems with this proposal, but let’s first examine why it’s such an awful idea in principle.”
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on the dominant emotion around third-wave lockdowns: “Hysterics aside, it is understandable why a preacher – or restaurant owner, or soccer coach, or camping enthusiast, or outdoor fitness trainer – would be fed up with lockdowns that target their individual businesses or activities, while hundreds of workers are still being infected at Amazon facilities across Ontario, and when one major Alberta energy company has been identified as the source of a dangerous P.1 outbreak across the province.”
Tom Mulcair (The Montreal Gazette) on Quebec Premier François Legault and the guys: “Many women who were part of the wave of support that gave Legault a majority government three years ago are starting to wonder if they weren’t hoodwinked when it comes to equality between men and women in Legault’s Quebec. Legault’s record of forgiving incompetence or ethical lapses in his male cabinet ministers, while lowering the boom on women even for the slightest perceived shortcoming, is becoming a defining element of his administration.”
Paul Wells (Maclean’s) on whether the federal Liberal tent is big enough for Mark Carney: “Does he want a political career? I believe he’s tempted. There’s scuttlebutt, which he could shut down with three words. There are purple-tinted passages in his book, which make no sense in a central banker’s memoir, but which would not be out of place in, say, the book Denis Coderre released days before admitting he’s running again to be mayor of Montreal.”
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