Ottawa is deploying up to 225 Canadian soldiers to Britain where they will train new recruits that have signed up to defend Ukraine from Russia’s military assault.
Defence Minister Anita Anand announced Thursday that the first contingent of about 90 Canadian soldiers, from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, will head to southeast England next week. There, they will teach frontline combat, including weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft and patrol tactics.
Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada is scheduled to testify on her government’s opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to circumvent sanctions against Russia.
Mr. Trudeau in early July carved out a loophole in sanctions on Moscow to allow the import, repair and export of Russian pipeline turbines.
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. 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.
CROMWELL TO REVIEW HOCKEY CANADA - Former Supreme Court of Canada judge Thomas Cromwell will lead an independent review of Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change in leadership of the governing body for its handling of recent allegations of sexual assault against players. Story here.
TARIFFS TO BE CUT - The U.S. Department of Commerce is lowering tariffs against most Canadian softwood producers by half, but the long-running trade dispute lingers. Story here.
UNAWARE OF INTELLIGENE REPORTS: JOLY - Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says she and her department were unaware of intelligence reports delivered weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in which diplomats in Kyiv were told Ukrainians who worked for the Canadian embassy there were likely on lists of people Moscow intended to detain or kill. Story here.
SCHOLZ URGES RUSSIA TO TAKE TURBINE - German chancellor Olaf Scholz paid a visit to a Russian pipeline turbine released from Canadian export controls, but now stranded in Germany amid a standoff with the Kremlin. He urged Moscow to take back the gear, which it had said was needed to bring shipments of natural gas to Germany back to previous levels. Story here. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada was to make clear her country’s disappointment over Ottawa’s decision to allow the return of equipment to a state-controlled energy giant in Russia despite war-related sanctions. Story here.
NOTLEY BLAMES UCP FOR HEALTH OFFICERS’ BIG SALARY - Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley says the United Conservative Party government, particularly former finance minister Travis Toews, must bear the responsibility and fallout for the record-setting, six-figure bonus payment to the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Story here.
HORGAN QUIPS ABOUT NEWSPAPER APPEAL FOR DOCTOR - British Columbia Premier John Horgan suggested the approach of a Victoria couple who placed a newspaper ad to find a family doctor could be one of his next steps to press the federal government to increase health funding. Story here.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Scott Aitchison is campaigning virtually. Roman Baber is campaigning in Brockville and Kingston. Jean Charest is in Montreal. Leslyn Lewis is in New Brunswick, visiting Moncton and Quispamsis. Pierre Poilievre is in Brandon and Winnipeg.
FINAL OFFICIAL DEBATE - Jean Charest took on absentee candidates in the final Conservative leadership debate, declaring that showing up for such events is a show of respect for the party members who will choose the new leader. Story here.
DEBATE DETAILS - Canadian Press reporter Sarah Ritchie was the pool reporter for the debate, providing details from the debate studio for colleagues in the parliamentary press gallery. Given the size of the studio where the three candidates and moderator were placed, there was only room for one journalist. Among Ms. Ritchie’s observations:
– ”The room is small. In front of the centre table are six DSLR cameras on tripods, with camera operators crouched on stools behind them. They have very little room to move and had to rearrange lighting before the debate began because a candidate knocked over a light trying to get to the table.”
– ”Before things got started, Jean Charest remarked that the setup is “bizarre” and said “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
– ”All three candidates have papers in front of them. Charest is writing himself occasional notes with a black Sharpie.”
– ”Charest and Aitchison chat about learning to speak French during the break. … Aitchison tells Charest, “I’m getting better, like I was almost able to capture some of the things you’re saying” in French.
THIS AND THAT
The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.
NEW DIPLOMATS - Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has announced the appointment of 11 new ambassadors as well as a high commissioner and consul-general. New ambassadors are en route to such counties as a El Salvador, Latvia and Senegal. Details here.
FREELAND IN DARTMOUTH - Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, in Dartmouth, N.S., visited a Canadian freight company, Armour Transportation Systems, met with truck drivers and workers, and held a media availability. She was also scheduled to host a roundtable with energy industry representatives to discuss opportunities in Atlantic Canada to advance energy security.
MILLER IN MUSKEG LAKE CREE NATION - Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, in the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, and Kelly Wolfe, chief of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, concluded the 1919 Soldier Settlement Specific Claim.
MENDICINO AND RODRIGUEZ IN MONTREAL - Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, in Montreal, announced $41.8-million to the Quebec government to support gun and gang violence prevention and intervention activities in municipalities and Indigenous communities across the province. Also present: Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who is the Quebec lieutenant for the government.
PETITPAS-TAYLOR IN KENSINGTON - Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, in Kensington, Prince Edward Island, announced support for community organizations.
ST-ONGE IN MISSISSAUGA - Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge, in Mississauga, announced the fourth national-level organization to receive funding from the Community Sport for all Initiative.
VANDAL IN THOMPSON - Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal, also responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, in Thompson, Man., officially unveiled the new PrairiesCan service location in the community and announced $2,350,435 for seven projects in communities across northern Manitoba.
Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcasts features Globe health reporter Wency Leung, answering questions from listeners about monkeypox as cases climb worldwide. Ms. Leung walks listeners through what we know so far – including the severity of the disease, who it’s affecting, and the availability of vaccines today. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
The Prime Minister is on a two-week vacation in Costa Rica.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was scheduled to hold a media availability on fixing Canada’s heath care system, with Ontario Nurses’ Association President, Cathryn Hoy.
No schedules released for other party leaders.
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how the federal Conservative Party is about to become Pierre Poilievre’s personal property: “Pierre Poilievre’s decision to boycott Wednesday night’s leadership debate confirms the schism between his faction of the Conservative Party and the more moderate faction led by former Quebec premier Jean Charest. This could be seen as bad news for the party. Traditionally, the conservative coalition has been strongest when Blue Tories and Red Tories work together. But the years of conservative rift and reunion, of Reformers and Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance and the reunited Conservative Party are ancient history. None of it matters any more. The Conservative Party is about to become the personal property of Pierre Poilievre.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Quebec anglophones, feeling forsaken by the provincial Liberals, weigh their options: “Ms. Anglade is clearly in a pickle. A June Léger Marketing poll had the QLP at 10 per cent support among decided francophone voters, compared with 50 per cent support for the CAQ. Ms. Anglade desperately needs to move the needle before Oct. 3 if the QLP has any hope of preserving any of the ridings with francophone pluralities that it now holds, including her own Montreal seat. Fully 13 of the QLP’s sitting MNAs have opted not to run again, leaving many of those seats up for grabs by other parties. So far, Ms. Anglade has focused on pocketbook issues to woo anglophones and francophones alike. The QLP is promising to cut income taxes for the middle class, eliminate sales taxes on basic food and hygiene necessities and freeze Quebec’s already low electricity rates. In her efforts to rebuild her party in French Quebec, however, Ms. Anglade has left many anglophone voters feeling forsaken.”
Tahara Bhate and Kevin Wasko (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how supporting nurses must be an immediate priority as emergency departments are in crisis: “After 2 1/2 years of hearing that our health system is under threat, both governments and the public have responded with indifference to the current crisis. But our new reality is beyond sobering – for the first time, we are facing the spectre of preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. The same focused crisis response seen early in the pandemic is now needed again. As terrible as that time was, there was a mobilization of system transformation on a scale we could have only imagined: We saw overnight adoption of virtual care, clinicians and nurses working to their fullest possible scope of practice, new types of clinics launched within days and a true, system-wide response to a singular problem. That urgency and unity of purpose is what is needed now, both in terms of funds and the political and administrative will to do things differently.”
Charles Burton (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit has brought the thorny `one China’ debate into sharp focus: “As a sovereign nation, Canada should not be taking direction from China or be intimidated into shunning Taiwan’s democratic regime. Canada must retain its ability to negotiate bilateral trade and other matters of critical geostrategic interest, including global health, airspace, and climate change, with Taiwan directly. We need to have the courage to calmly make this clear to Beijing. But, inexplicably, Canada has had no ambassador to China in place since Dominic Barton decamped from his Beijing post in December, 2021. Our voice in Beijing is now muted. Even more worrying is an ongoing internal debate over whether Canada’s long purported Indo-Pacific policy reset is stagnating.”