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politics briefing newsletter

Good morning,

U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy to Ottawa may not be here much longer. Kelly Craft was nominated by Mr. Trump earlier this year to be his ambassador to the United Nations in New York. Ms. Craft is currently being grilled by senators in Washington for her nomination hearings. Ms. Craft was in Ottawa during a particularly tense time in Canada-U.S. relations because of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement, though senators seem more preoccupied with how often she was physically in Canada.

Who will replace Ms. Craft in Ottawa? A U.S. administration source told The Globe that Mr. Trump wants to nominate Aldona Wos, a retired physician and former U.S. ambassador to Estonia.

Ms. Wos and her husband – like Ms. Craft and her husband – are major donors to the Republican Party. While Ms. Craft was from Kentucky, however, Ms. Wos lives a couple of states over in North Carolina.

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The federal government is beginning the process to loosen the rules on temporary work permits so that migrant workers aren’t held down to a single employer, but instead work within a single sector. The change follows a Globe and Mail investigation that reported how workers could be exploited by unscrupulous businesses, consultants and foreign recruiters.

Top Russian, American and Israeli security advisers are meeting today and tomorrow in Jerusalem to discuss Iranian actions in the Middle East. Given that Russia and Iran have worked on the same side of the conflict in Syria, the U.S. and Israelis may face an uphill climb convincing Russia to turn against its ally.

General Jonathan Vance, Canada’s top soldier, says the military has been feeling the strain of helping fight climate-change-related disasters in Canada, such as forest fires and floods. “You just can’t go out and fight a fire. You need some training to do that,” Mr. Vance said.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party would prioritize spending over balancing the federal budget. “Our principal is going to be this: We’re not going to run deficits to fund tax cuts, we’re going to make sure that Canadians get the services that they need,” Mr. Singh told CTV. The governing Liberals say they are reducing the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio but don’t have a timeline for balancing the budget, while Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives say it would take about five years to get rid of the deficit.

And two years ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that the long-vacant former U.S. embassy building across the street from Parliament Hill would become a museum dedicated to Canada’s Indigenous people. The building still sits vacant, partly because the Algonquin nation, on whose unceded land Parliament rests, wants an equal stake in the project, along with national groups that represent First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.

Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on Trudeau’s balancing of environmental and economic policies: “Mr. Trudeau’s strategy is in keeping with his character. He thinks he can persuade everyone to be his friend. Instead, no one is his friend. The energy industry is convinced he wants to strangle them through delays and over-regulation. The environmentalists think he wants to wreck the planet for his friends in the industry.”

Patrick Luciani (The Globe and Mail) on not supporting a possible government apology to Canadians of Italian descent: “Our generation is not responsible for what our Canadian ancestors did or didn’t do. Judging the past with the eyes of the present will never let us truly understand our history. Asking Canadians today to apologize for the judgments of their grandparents, and yes, we are talking predominately about Anglo-Saxons, is an insult to their children and those immigrants who willingly came to this country for a better life.”

Robyn Urback (CBC) on Ontario’s provincial governments: “The Liberals set the bar of scandal and waste so low that basically all the Progressive Conservatives had to do was show up. Yes, Ontario was and remains deeply in debt, and yes, the only way the Ford government could begin to reverse that is by cutting spending (or raising taxes). But it did so clumsily, in dribs and drabs, after campaigning on a ridiculous and impossible promise that the transition would be painless, and that not a single person would lose their job.”

Anthony Furey (Toronto Sun) on Conservative leadership in Ontario and Ottawa: “For years the conservative movement in Ontario has been eager for a chance to govern the province. The feeder system of ideas from the various conferences, academics, think tanks and advocacy groups presented a slate of policy proposals to reform government in Ontario. Ford is advancing few of these ideas and when it comes to the things he is doing, there is no discernible guiding principles underlying it. A lot of it appears to be random.”

Tabatha Southey (Maclean’s) on Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet shuffle: “Sometimes you just have to pick up all the deck chairs sliding around on the Titanic and throw them overboard. Yes, just throw those chairs right at the iceberg. Make those wooden chairs post selfies of themselves as they go.”

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