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politics briefing newsletter

Good morning,

Here’s a question you might not have thought to ask the last time you were strolling around a art gallery: Where did that painting come from?

If you were in a public institution, like the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, there’s a good chance the answer to that question is: It was donated.

Most public galleries and museums in Canada have small or non-existent budgets to buy work. What they do have in many cases, though, is the power to issue a tax receipt. Philanthropists give art from their collections to the gallery and, in exchange, they might get a tax credit back for the full value of the painting that they gave away.

But galleries are becoming worried that a new limit on the tax receipt might put this decades-old practice into jeopardy. Subscribers can read more about what that new limit is – and what it means for our public art collections.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa and James Keller in Vancouver. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


Emergency officials in British Columbia are hoping for rain – the only thing they say can ease a wildfire season that has touched nearly every region in the crisis. The provincial government declared a state of emergency yesterday, as more than 500 wildfires overwhelmed firefighting resources and threatened thousands of homes.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she’s asked a Parks Canada board that oversees historic sites and monuments to figure out how to deal with concerns about statues that depict historical figures, such as John A Macdonald. But she says simply tearing down statues is not the best way to address the darker side of Canadian history. Victoria recently removed a statue of Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, citing his treatment of Indigenous people.

The federal government is starting to phase out the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is attempting to distance himself from MP Maxime Bernier’s public statements about diversity, but he’s stopping short of taking any action. Mr. Scheer has been facing growing pressure to punish Mr. Bernier, for example by removing him from caucus, for saying that too much diversity could hurt the country.

The federal government has begun the long process of getting redress for people who are wrongly caught by Canada’s no-fly system.

The RCMP and the protective service that guards Parliament Hill are in a $1.9-million billing dispute, CBC reports.

Canada’s police chiefs plan to analyze gun violence data as they respond to a rash of deadly incidents across the country that have prompted calls for tougher controls for firearms. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says it’s looking for evidence-based solutions, though president Adam Palmer, chief of the Vancouver Police, says current gun control rules are “actually very good."

And developers in B.C.'s Okanagan region say a provincial tax designed to target real estate speculation is hurting their business, particularly when it comes to vacation home owners from Alberta. A tax introduced earlier this year targets homes in several regions that are owned by people living outside B.C. who let their properties sit empty.

Amira Elghawaby (The Globe and Mail) on Canada-China relations: “It’s impossible to say whether Canada would have had an impact on the Chinese government had it been more vocal in condemning Mr. Celil’s treatment. Yet his case provides a clear warning to governments that put trade considerations above fundamental human rights.”

Travis Lupick (The Globe and Mail) on supervised injection sites: “Many drug users simply will not visit a facility that forces people to listen to judgmental lectures on abstinence and hands out pamphlets for treatment centres that most cannot afford. Instead, many will return to the alleys, where they will inject drugs that possibly contain the dangerous synthetic-opioid fentanyl, and where they will have no nurse watching them should they suffer an overdose. Some of them will die.”

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on police body cameras: “With the right standards in place, body cameras can bolster the administration of justice — as we may see in the aftermath of Fredericton’s tragedy. But this form of surveillance itself requires a watchful eye.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Omarosa Manigault Newman: “Our first reflex is to turn away from this tawdry spectacle, lest it trigger uncontrollable retching. But this is the White House, after all, the most important centre of decision-making on the planet.”

Adam Kassam (The Globe and Mail) on DNA and privacy: “Recent data scandals involving companies such as Facebook serve to highlight the perils of privacy breaches if health-care data is either hacked or sold without permission to third parties.”

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on a statutory holiday for reconciliation: "Realistically, Canadians do not always treat ‘stats’ as occasions for sombre historical reflection. Do we really want to mark the tragedy of residential schools by sending people scrambling to cottages for a long weekend? "

Help The Globe monitor political ads on Facebook: During an election campaign, you can expect to see a lot of political ads. But Facebook ads, unlike traditional media, can be targeted to specific users and only be seen by certain subsets of users, making the ads almost impossible to track. The Globe and Mail wants to report on how these ads are used, but we need to see the same ads Facebook users are seeing. Here is how you can help.

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