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President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walk along the Colonnade outside the Oval Office, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) Today’s Morning Brief is brought to you by the Alzheimer Society of Canada . […]
Today’s Morning Brief is brought to you by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Canadians spoke, and the Government of Canada listened. Federal budget 2019 committed $50 million in funding for Canada’s first national dementia strategy. Canada becomes the 32nd country to adopt a National Dementia Strategy. The Alzheimer Society welcomes this investment and looks forward to working with the Government to ensure its successful implementation.
Good morning, readers.
It’s Thursday and the day the House rises for summer and the October federal election.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jetted off to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, where he’ll talk shop with U.S. President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On the agenda when Trudeau sits down Trump is the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which Trump is under the gun to ratify.
Democrats in the U.S. House of representatives, led by Pelosi, are insisting on amendments to the renegotiated North American trade deal, but, according to Laura Dawson from the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, the party has been unclear about what, specifically, needs to change for them to sign off on the deal.
“In some ways Justin Trudeau is coming to Washington to do diplomacy for Donald Trump with Nancy Pelosi,” she told the Toronto Star.
Bill C-100, which would implement CUSMA, continues its journey through the House of Commons today, as MPs consider a motion that the bill be read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on International Trade.
Clearly not facing the same speed bumps as the U.S., Mexico became the first country to ratify the agreement yesterday.
Trudeau will also press Trump for his help in securing the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians who have been detained in China since shortly after the Dec. 1 arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
Tensions with China escalated earlier in the week, as Beijing blocked imports from a third Canadian pork exporter.
For the first time since Canada-China relations began to deteriorate, a pair of Canadian naval vessels sailed through the Taiwan Strait this week. China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and demands that permission be sought from Beijing before foreign naval ships navigate the passage. Time will tell if the ships’ path sparks repercussions.
Back to Trump, whose tax cuts were in the spotlight in Ottawa on Thursday. A new report from Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer said that matching Trump’s corporate tax cuts on the full expensing of deductible property would have left the Canadian government with a $36.7 billion revenue hole between now and 2023. Jolson Lim has more on the PBO report.
More from iPolitics
- The Drilldown: Trans Mountain gets federal approval
IN OTHER NEWS
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled his party’s long-awaited climate plan on Wednesday, focusing on targeting large-scale polluters in pursuit of emission reductions, without committing to hitting Canada’s Paris Agreement targets.
A centrepiece of the climate plan, Charlie Pinkerton reports, would compel emitters that produce more than 40 kilotonnes of carbon emissions to invest in green technology. Current laws require businesses emitting more than 50 kilotonnes per year to invest in green tech.
The federal Liberals see Scheer’s climate plan and counters with their own pledge to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The government’s representative in the Senate, Sen. Peter Harder, told the Upper Chamber Thursday that if re-elected, Prime Minister Trudeau would implement the UN declaration affirming Indigenous rights that would require the harmonization of laws with the text of the instrument.
“On behalf of the government and prime minister, I’ve been authorized to formally announce in this chamber that in the forthcoming election, the Liberal Party of Canada will campaign on a promise to implement as government legislation the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” he said. Jolson Lim reports.
Before the Tories and Grits start printing posters highlighting their various pledges to hang at polling stations across the country, Elections Canada is inviting political parties to weigh in on its interpretation of the law banning partisan propaganda.
“As currently drafted, it is unclear where the prohibition applies,” the agency notes — specifically, whether it applies to “the entire building in which voting takes place or to a specific room or area within it,” and if that includes “the walls and doors outside the polling place or to a certain periphery around it.”
A growing list of government bills are soon to become laws. Here’s iPolitics’ latest:
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will shuffle his cabinet at 10:30 a.m. today, as his government looks to reset following a steady slide in public opinion polls.
The government has struggled to counter the negative narrative advanced by critics of funding cuts and changes that have affected everything from school boards to municipalities to health agencies and autism services, Marieke Walsh reports.
Ford says he’s not sure why the families of autistic children are protesting his government, as parents say confusion reigns over the new system brought in by his government and more than 100 staff were laid off at a treatment centre.
“What boggles my mind: we’re pouring, pouring money into autism, and focused on it, listening to the experts, not the bunch of politicians, but listening to the experts. We’re helping them and they’re protesting? I don’t know. I question that,” Ford said.
More people are likely to feel let down by Ford and co. after it was reported Wednesday the Progressive Conservative government is laying off 416 people in the Ontario public service as it overhauls the province’s health care administration, while signalling more cuts are on the horizon. The move contradicts a key 2018 election campaign pledge from Premier Ford.
Other Canadian Headlines
- Conservatives rally around Cooper over ‘goat herder’ controversy, as Trudeau attacks (CBC)
- Toronto MP defends Ottawa’s housing strategy as ‘progressive and aggressive’ (Toronto Star)
- Ontario considers raising driver, vehicle fees months after freezing them (Canadian Press)
CARTOON OF THE DAY
AROUND THE WORLD
- Iran Says It Shot Down U.S. Drone as Regional Tensions Soar (Bloomberg)
- Hong Kong ignores protest deadline to scrap extradition bill, sets stage for further protests (Reuters)
- President Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia, spokeswoman says (Reuters)
- With Maduro entrenched in Venezuela, Trump loses patience and interest in issue, officials say (Washington Post)
- At Historic Hearing, House Panel Makes History by Exploring Reparations (New York Times)
It’s a cat! It’s a fox! It’s a cat-fox! A species that was long thought to be a myth has been identified on the French island of Corsica. The animal, which is longer than a domestic cat, with a ringed tail and pronounced canine teeth, is pretty cute, too.
It turns out our near constant use of smartphones isn’t just changing how we interact with the world around us, it’s also altering out skeletons. Researchers in Australia are studying the increased prevalence of young people growing horns. Yikes!
Have a great day!