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Hello,

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting later today on whether to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, for his role in inciting a mob to violently storm the Capitol buildings.

The result of the vote is almost assured, as Democrats, who hold the majority of seats, are voting yes. Some Republicans will join them, too, including third-ranking House Republican Liz Cheney.

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The question is what will happen when those articles of impeachment are sent to the Senate. Recent reporting in The New York Times and CNN suggests that Republicans’ leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is open to supporting a conviction of Mr. Trump in an attempt to rid his party of the one-term President once and for all.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. 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.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

Ontario health officials are very concerned about a British variant of the novel coronavirus that is more transmissible and which has already been found in the province. Officials’ modelling suggests that if the new variant gains a serious foothold in Ontario, the rate of new cases could double every 10 days – a big increase from the current doubling rate of 45 days. It’s one of the reasons the provincial government issued a new stay-at-home order yesterday.

A government review of its own aid spending in Afghanistan found a mixed bag of results: while progress was made in some programs, the study suggests the focus on gender equality was not handled in a way that got enough local buy-in to make sure the progress is lasting.

The hard-hit airline industry is cautiously welcoming new Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, but companies aren’t sure what to expect as this is his first cabinet posting.

The Hill Times profiles Liberal MP Marci Ien, who took her seat in the fall after years as a broadcaster.

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And Chrystia Freeland is Maclean’s Parliamentarian of the Year, as voted by members of Parliament.

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on Donald Trump being banned from social media: “Is Mr. Trump merely a controversial speaker? Of course not. First, he is the President: a hundred cameras stand ready at all times to broadcast his every word around the world. The notion that his speech is in any meaningful way restricted because he is not also on Twitter is absurd. Second, the speech in question is not merely controversial: It is demonstrably harmful.”

Dan Rees (The Globe and Mail) on what immigration means for Canada’s economy: “Make no mistake: Population is a fundamental building block for an economy. The more educated and productive people we attract, the more our quality of life improves and we can maintain the things that make Canada strong. Immigration is a form of economic stimulus. At a time when governments are doing their utmost to support the economy, we should use every engine of growth we can to carry us through the pandemic.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the small cabinet shuffle: “[New innovation minister] Champagne is a live wire, full of energy and enthusiasm, who wants profile – and, not so secretly, to one day be Mr. Trudeau’s successor. And the business community, which for the most part feels the Liberal government is out of touch, likes Mr. Champagne. There’s some hope that he’ll make a lot of things better.”

Paul Wells (Maclean’s) on Champagne’s department: “There would be much for François-Philippe Champagne to reform at Industry or Innovation or whatever they want to call it, if he wanted to, if he were granted any leeway. That department is an elephant’s graveyard of earlier governments’ half-baked subsidy programs.”

Allison Hanes (Montreal Gazette) on the death of a Quebec emergency-room doctor: “For she is not alone in buckling under the extraordinary pressure placed on healthcare workers during this emergency. Her suicide is a wake-up call about the outsize toll the pandemic is taking on the mental health and well-being of the medical community.”

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Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

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