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Politics Politics Briefing: When online taunts move into the real world

Hello,

What happens on social media doesn’t always stay on social media.

As Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna has been at the centre of one of the most contentious political files in the country. That means she’s actively pushed Liberal policies and pushed back on criticism from opposition parties. She’s also quite active in wading into political fights on Twitter, sometimes weathering intense vitriol from anonymous users.

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But the tone of those debates is taken to a whole other level when it comes in person. And especially when she’s just walking around with her family.

Ms. McKenna said she now has to have security personnel with her on occasion when walking around. She told the Canadian Press that she was recently outside a movie theatre with her kids when a random driver yelled “Climate Barbie” at her and drove away.

“I’m someone who is trying to do my job, live my life and talk and engage with people, and it makes it harder. I’m not going to let this stop me, but I wish it would stop,” Ms. McKenna said.

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

Five leaders’ debates have been scheduled in the run-up to the Oct. 21 election, but so far Justin Trudeau’s Liberal team says he will only attend two, or maybe three. The two that Mr. Trudeau will definitely attend are the official consortium debates on Oct. 7 (English) and Oct. 10 (French). Mr. Trudeau has also signalled he is interested in attending a French-language debate hosted by major Quebec broadcaster TVA on Oct. 2. However, the Liberals are officially taking a pass on a Sept. 12 debate organized by Maclean’s and CityTV and a foreign-policy discussion organized by the Munk Debates for Oct. 1 in Toronto.

In Ontario, the federal Liberal government and the provincial Progressive Conservative government may not agree on a lot, but they say have found common ground on funding a new French-language university. The school would take eight years to build and is planned for Southwestern Ontario.

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A working group of First Nations across the country is currently writing a proposed cannabis policy framework that would govern the rules for licensing, taxing and testing marijuana on reserves.

Campground owners are disappointed they don’t get the small-business tax break.

The latest on Brexit: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to try once again to call an early election, a task made all the more difficult by the number of MPs who have defected or been kicked out of his Conservative caucus. Yet another member of cabinet abandoned Mr. Johnson on the weekend: Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd. “This short-sighted culling of my colleagues has stripped the party of broad-minded and dedicated Conservative MPs. I cannot support this act of political vandalism,” Ms. Rudd wrote in her resignation letter.

The U.S. Air Force is reviewing when its personnel stays at Trump-branded hotels.

And, with the campaign expected to start later this week, we at The Globe have started publishing some explainers of what are expected to be key election issues. Today we have a very in-depth look at what the parties are promising to combat climate change, along with the science of the phenomenon and what experts say are gaps in all the party platforms.

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on Justin Trudeau’s absence from two of five debates: “Agreeing to debate twice in French but only once in English is an odd call. The Liberal team must believe that exposing Mr. Singh to the spotlight in Quebec will further weaken the NDP’s already fading hopes in that province. The risk for the Grits is that Mr. Singh could outperform expectations, pulling a Justin Trudeau on Justin Trudeau.”

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Andrew Coyne (National Post) with a tongue-in-cheek look at the differences between the Liberals and Conservatives: “On the issues, too, voters face a profound, nay, a historic choice. It is a choice between a party that has run deficits for the last four years, and a party that would run deficits for the next five; between a party that negotiated free trade deals with the United States, Europe and Asia, and a party that negotiated free trade deals with Asia, Europe and the United States; between a party that held health-care transfers to the provinces to increase by no more than the rate of growth in GDP, and a party that has increased health-care transfers by no less than the growth in GDP.”

Murray Mandryk (Saskatoon StarPhoenix) on the plight of the NDP: “More so than other parties, the NDP has also needed to rely on the vision and ideals of its youth tempered by the experience of its veterans. Right now, this is a party lacking both, but it may be the petulant absence of the old guard that is the most problematic.”

Barry Campbell (The Globe and Mail) on what Brexit means for parliamentary democracy: “The British Parliament is coming to grips with the challenge of respecting the Brexit vote. The narrow majority who voted to leave Europe should expect no less. The MPs who make up Parliament represent a larger peoplehood and believe that they have broader responsibilities. The crisis in London raises fundamental questions about who rules and in whose interest.”

Elliott Cappell (The Globe and Mail) on climate change and rising sea levels: “Climate change and urbanization have combined forces to cause this effect in cities worldwide. As global temperatures rise, glaciers melt and seas get warmer. Simultaneously, our cities face challenges from erosion, subsidence and permafrost melt. In short, sea levels are rising, and the ground beneath many cities is lowering. Taken together, homes flood, the foundations of buildings and other infrastructure crack and cities become inundated by storms. In some cases, entire neighbourhoods can sink to a point where they are assailed by water.”

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