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Politics Briefing: Ottawa addressing inflation challenge on several fronts, including through fiscal restraint, Freeland says – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined Ottawa’s plan for dealing with inflation Thursday, pledging to focus on fiscal restraint, boosting productivity and delivering on recently promised programs that will help Canadians afford higher prices.

The package of measures add up to $8.9-billion, she said, but all of that spending was previously announced and accounted for in previous budgets.

Those measures include a range of enhanced benefits to individuals through programs such as the Canada Workers Benefit, a 10-per-cent increase to Old Age Security for seniors over 75, and increased funding for child care and rent support. The minister also noted that many federal income support programs such as the Canada Child Benefit, the goods and services tax credit, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors are designed to automatically increase in line with inflation.

Deputy Ottawa Bureau chief Bill Curry and economics reporter Mark Rendell report here.

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 sign-up page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

SUPREME COURT SECURITY NEEDS TO BE TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY: CHIEF JUSTICE – Canada’s chief justice says the safety of the Supreme Court of Canada building needs to be taken more seriously following this winter’s convoy protest in downtown Ottawa. Story here from CBC.

RECORD COMPLAINTS ON HANDLING OF ACCESS REQUESTS – The federal information watchdog fielded a record number of complaints last year about the way government bodies handled requests for documents despite years of promises from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reform the system. Story here.

NO COMPENSATION FOR CIVIL SERVANTS ON UNPAID LEAVE – Civil servants who were placed on unpaid leave for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be compensated for eight months of lost pay now that the vaccine mandates are being suspended, the federal government said in the face of union demands. Story here.

ONLINE STREAMING BILL MUST MOVE QUICKLY: RODRIGUEZ – Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says it is “important” that the Liberal government’s online-streaming bill moves through Parliament quickly, shrugging off the Conservatives’ accusations that the legislation is being rushed through committee in an “undemocratic” way. Story here.

JEAN RUNNING FOR UCP LEADERSHIP; NOTLEY ACKNOWLEDGES VOLUNTEER ISSUES – Brian Jean, the co-founder of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party, has officially launched his campaign to become the next leader, saying it’s imperative the party get back on track by listening to people and fighting for a better deal in Confederation. Story here. Meanwhile, Alberta Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley, a week after acknowledging her party is investigating allegations of mistreatment of volunteers, said Wednesday there are problems. Story here.

RCMP UPDATING CORE VALUES – The RCMP is updating its statement of “core values” for the first time in a quarter century by adding references to “reconciliation,” “diversity,” “honour” and “empathy.” Story here from CBC.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in Ontario. Patrick Brown in Hamilton and London, Ont., where, according to a tweet, he spoke to the city’s Macdonald-Cartier Club. Jean Charest is in Montreal. Leslyn Lewis is in her Haldimand-Norfolk riding. Pierre Poilievre is in Ottawa. There is no word on Roman Baber’s campaign whereabouts.

BROWN CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR DEPARTS POST – Patrick Brown’s campaign to lead the Conservatives will survive the departure of his campaign co-chair, a campaign spokesperson says.

Alberta MP Michelle Rempel Garner is leaving the Brown campaign to focus on the possibility of seeking the leadership of the governing United Conservative Party in Alberta.

But Chisholm Pothier, the communications director for the Brown campaign, says nothing has changed “organizationally” with Ms. Rempel Garner’s exit. “We have an organization of over 1000 individuals across the country, in every province and territory and most ridings in this country. We have an senior campaign team with a huge amount of experience,” Mr. Pothier said in a statement.

In a Wednesday night tweet, Ms. Rempel Garner said she is giving a leadership bid “serious consideration” after being encouraged to seek the job, which is being vacated by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney after he won 51.4 per cent support in a recent membership confidence vote. She said she will decide based on further conversations about the possibility. “As such, I will no longer be participating in the federal Conservative leadership race so that I can focus on how to best serve my province.”

Meanwhile, the federal Conservative Party is investigating allegations that Patrick Brown’s leadership campaign has been reimbursing the membership fees paid by individuals who agreed to join the party. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, June. 16, accessible here.

PM TRAVELS – Between June. 23 and June 30, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau, Germany, and the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain. He will also participate in an official bilateral visit hosted by Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Spain. The commonwealth meeting runs from June 23 to the 25th. The G7 Summit runs from the 26th to the 28th. The NATO summit runs from the 28th to the 30th. After the NATO summit, the Prime Minister will participate in the official visit hosted by Prime Minister Sanchez on June 30.

JACZEK ON BLUESFEST – Helena Jaczek, minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario, announced Thursday over $10-million to support Ottawa Bluesfest − a 10-day, multi-staged music festival that is one of the city’s top attractions – and three Ottawa-based tourism operators.

CHANGE OF ARMY COMMAND – In Ottawa, there’s a change-of-command ceremony for the Canadian Army as Lieutenant-General Jocelyn (Joe) Paul assumes command of the Canadian Army from Major-General Michel-Henri St-Louis, in a ceremony presided over by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre.

THE DECIBEL

On Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, columnist Tim Kiladze talks about declines in cryptocurrencies and why, even with a sector that has constant ups and downs, this crash matters and what retail investors with money caught up in crypto should do. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

The Prime Minister holds private meetings and speaks with Rwanda president, Paul Kagame, and the commissioner of official languages, Raymond Théberge.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has meetings in the riding of Laurentides-LaBelle

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, accompanied by NDP MP Lori Idlout (Nunavut), was scheduled to meet with staff and elders from Nunavut at the Larga Baffin facility in Ottawa, and to speak about the need for long-term care services in Nunavut. The NDP leader was also scheduled to participate in Question Period.

No other party leader schedules released.

PUBLIC OPINION

A study on public perception of the news industry found that more people are avoiding the news and that Canada is among the countries with higher levels of trust in media. Story here.

OPINION

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how it’s not just Marco Mendocino playing bob and weave with the Emergencies Act: “If you’re a cabinet minister, you get used to playing the partisan game of bob and weave at parliamentary committees. Maybe Liberal ministers are having a hard time understanding that the committee reviewing the use of the Emergencies Act isn’t the same thing. So somebody – specifically somebody named Justin Trudeau – should be telling them in loud clear terms: This is different.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Ottawa’s oil and gas emissions targets hinging on hopes and miracles: “When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault released Ottawa’s targets for greenhouse-gas emissions for the oil and gas sector in March, they insisted there would not need to be a trade-off between “clean air and good jobs, a healthy environment and a strong economy.” They called their blueprint “an ambitious and achievable sector-by-sector approach” for reducing Canada’s overall emissions to 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Despite the upbeat presentation, not many observers bought the government’s line that Canada’s oilpatch could cut its emissions by 81 megatonnes, or 42 per cent, within eight years – at least not without slashing production and incurring all the negative consequences that would entail for the Canadian economy.”

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how it’s not enough for Toronto police to release data on racism. They have to act on it: “It is time for the Toronto Police Service to stop apologizing about racist policing and start doing something meaningful to address it. The force’s current approaches are clearly not cutting it. Data released Wednesday paint a damning picture of the nature of race and policing in the city, showing that Black people are overrepresented in both use-of-force incidents and strip searches. As the force itself acknowledges, these differences cannot be explained away by the behaviour of the individuals involved, which means responsibility lies with the police. Chief James Ramer points to systemic racism. I’d suggest systemic racism and years of inaction – itself a reflection of systemic racism.”

Hugh Segal (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on the absolute rejection of sedition should be a non-negotiable part of democratic politics: “Whatever the future policy priorities of the federal Conservative party, the core Canadian constitutional values of “peace, order and good government” are non-negotiable parts of our constitutional framework. That framework has no tolerance for the seditious and illegal overthrow of duly elected governments, nor for any candidate who signals so much as an ambivalence toward that threat to our democratic system. Canadian voters should not have any time for any politician who will not denounce sedition and those who proposed it.”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

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It's all about the stats: What politics and baseball have in common – CBC.ca

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In his final column as host of The House, Chris Hall talks with three political strategists to examine the intersection between two of his favourite subjects: politics and baseball.

There’s a saying that life imitates art. But for my money, there’s another comparison that’s equally true. Politics imitates baseball.

Here’s the pitch.

Politics and baseball are filled with tradition. There are a lot of rules; some are written, and some really just time-honoured traditions. 

Today, both are becoming more reliant on modern-day metrics — data and statistics — to attract new supporters, and to win.

In baseball, those stats help managers decide when to deploy the infield shift, or put an extra person in the outfield to prevent the best hitters from getting on base.

In politics, the numbers tell campaign managers which ridings to visit and which campaign promise to promote. They know how many swing votes are available in each voting district. Parties keep data banks that tell them which address is home to a supporter, and which is home to a voter who might be convinced to join their side.

So it’s not surprising that many politicians and their strategists are also baseball fans. 

The House’s politics (and baseball) panel, left to right: Anne McGrath, national director for the NDP, Jason Lietaer, president of Enterprise Canada and the former Conservative strategist; and Zita Astravas, former Liberal spokesperson and current chief of staff to Bill Blair. (Submitted by Jason Lietaer and Zita Astravas, Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

There is a powerful connection between running the bases and running a campaign, according to Anne McGrath.

“I think that all campaigns are, or strive to be, data-driven now,” said McGrath, the NDP’s national director and a veteran of both federal and provincial campaigns.

“It is the key in politics. You have to find the people who support you and get them out to vote. So you have to know who they are and know where they are and know what they care about.”

McGrath was a die-hard fan of the Montreal Expos. The club moved years ago to Washington and she’s still not over it. But McGrath sees a lesson in the move, about the importance of not just maintaining a fan base, but finding ways to get new ones to the ballpark.

“You do have to know who your base is and you have to expand it. You have to bring more people in. And you have to do it in a way that is attentive to changing demographics and changing ways of communicating with people and getting people interested and involved and motivated,” she explained.

CBC News: The House9:32Take me out to the poll game

In one of his last shows, host Chris Hall combines two of his passions: baseball and politics. He speaks with three fellow baseball diehards who happen to be political insiders: Liberal staffer Zita Astravas, Conservative strategist Jason Lietaer and NDP national director Anne McGrath.

Jason Lietaer grew up reading baseball box scores and waiting impatiently for the weekend newspaper that included the stats for every American League player, including members of the hometown Toronto Blue Jays.

Lietaer, a former Conservative campaign strategist who now runs the government-relations firm Enterprise Canada, is a believer in mining data for insights into a player or into a campaign. But just gathering that data doesn’t guarantee victory in either baseball or politics, he said.

Sometimes the bottom of the ninth happens a month before the game even starts.– Jason Lietaer

The players on the field, or the candidates knocking on doors continue to play a key role in determining whether you win or lose. Plus, it’s important to interpret that data correctly

“And I would say in politics, we’re still sort of struggling with some of that,” Lietaer said. “You know, is there only one or two ways to read the data? How important is digital communication? How important is this piece of information?”

The Toronto Blue Jays Alejandro Kirk hits a single during a game against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto on June 28, 2022. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press)

A key lesson is figuring out what the statistics are telling you before the end of the game or before election night, to better adapt to the changing circumstances and give your team a better chance at victory.

“Sometimes you don’t realize you’re winning or losing an election [until] you’ve already won or lost it,” he said.

“Sometimes the bottom of the ninth happens a month before the game even starts.”

The politics and baseball panel was one of the last interviews Chris Hall did as the host of The House. He retired from CBC in June 2022. CBC Radio created this ‘farewell’ baseball card to mark the occasion. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

Zita Astravas is another political insider who spends a lot of time watching baseball. She’s worked on both federal and Ontario Liberal campaigns and is now chief of staff to Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair.

“I think one of the things that drew me to politics and baseball is statistics, and I think it’s one of the things that you can find common ground in,” she said.

“You do it every day on a political campaign: you look at different ridings and craft who your best candidates are, what your target ridings are, just as you do on different players.”

It’s all about finding a hidden meaning in the numbers, an edge to exploit on the field or in the hustings.

It’s all in the hopes of answering the key question, McGrath says: “Did we hit it out of the park?”

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Politics Report: The People Asked for Time and Now They Get Time Because What They Really Wanted Was Time – Voice of San Diego

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Early Monday, our Lisa Halverstadt learned that the City Council was not going to vote on a proposed settlement over 101 Ash St. after all. Serves us right for expecting a climax in any long-running San Diego political affair. 

Maybe the settlement didn’t have the five votes it needed, maybe some new information materialized, or maybe the mayor’s explanation that they heard the public’s call that it needed more time to process the terms of the agreement was all there was too it. That last explanation would perhaps be the most exciting, since it would mark the first time in city history that a proceduralist consideration wasn’t just poorly disguised cover for some substantive difference of opinion. 

Nonetheless, former Mayor Kevin Faulconer jumped on KUSI Thursday to say he was happy that Mayor Todd Gloria had decided to delay the vote for a month until the public had ample time to fully absorb the particulars of a settlement that would have ended some city lawsuits, continue others, and lead to the acquisition of two massive pieces of downtown real estate for a City Hall redevelopment that hasn’t been planned and won’t be within the next month. The public would also then have enough time to grok the city attorney’s dissenting opinion on the settlement, or both legal and policy reasons. 

“I think you have to make sure that any proposed settlement is going to be a benefit to the city, a benefit to taxpayers and it’s not something that should be rushed,” he said. “I think we’ll hear a lot more about that in the coming months.” 

Clearly, now that we’ve made the difficult, brave decision not to rush the matter, ignoring the screaming hordes from the pro-rush caucus, we don’t need to be in any hurry to articulate whether the deal actually is a benefit to the city and taxpayers or not. The important thing is that now we have time.  

Brief CAP Opposition from the Cap’s Top Champion 

Back in Gloria’s first stint in the mayor’s office – in an interim position that didn’t really exist – Nicole Capretz led the charge within his administration for what became his landmark achievement during that time, even though it wasn’t passed until Faulconer was in office: the city’s Climate Action Plan. 

The city adopted a plan that said it would half its carbon footprint by 2035 by, among other things, transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy and getting half of people who live near transit to bike, walk or take transit to work by that same year. San Diego basked in national praise from the New York Times and elsewhere.  

This week, though, Capretz – who now runs a nonprofit group that pushes San Diego and other cities to do more within their climate plans – came out as an opponent of the updated version of the same Climate Action Plan that Gloria is now trying to pass. Even though the plan is ramping up its goals – the city would now by 2035 reach “net zero,” when the level of its greenhouse emissions are equal to the level absorbed by the environment (or new technology that removes carbon from the atmosphere) – Capretz and her group urged a “no” vote from a Council committee, because the city lacked a timeline and cost estimates for its commitments. They eventually got on board when city staff agreed to provide that by February. 

Still, it was interesting to hear Capretz, maybe the city’s top salesperson for the climate plan, acknowledge that proponents had made mistakes with the first plan by not setting clear cost and time requirements for each of the policies included in it. 

“We did not insist on an implementation plan for the first Climate Action Plan,” she told our MacKenzie Elmer. “We’re not going to make that mistake again.”  

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Murphy's Logic: Politics trumps public interest | CTV News – CTV News Atlantic

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The initial reluctance of governments, federal and provincial, to appoint a public inquiry into the N.S. mass shooting, was difficult to understand. It took the heartfelt pleas of the victims’ families and the fast rising tide of public opinion to make the politicians act.

And now we likely know why they were so reluctant.

Imperfect though it may be, the inquiry eventually appointed has now exposed the obscene political considerations that were already at play in the days that followed the horror of April 2020.

The evidence reveals that political leaders, who should have been overwhelmed only with grief and concern for the trauma and misery wrought by a madman, instead seemed to seize an overwhelming opportunity to advance their own partisan interests in toughening gun control.

There is reason to believe the PM or his people, certainly his Ministers, were attempting to dictate, manipulate or at least influence parts of the RCMP the narrative. That’s unacceptable, a brazen display of politics put ahead of public interest, moreover, it’s heartless.

The Commissioner of the RCMP should not have been making promises to her political masters about the release of information about the sort of weapons used by the shooter but more pointedly, the politicians shouldn’t have been asking for such promises about that or anything else.

The Mass Causality Commission has already exposed many shortcomings on the part of the RCMP.

The force’s politically charged relationship with the government is yet another fault, yet another reason to demand changes in the way the RCMP operates.

The arrogance laid bare by the Trudeau government’s apparent willingness to interfere, to capitalize on the timing of a tragedy for crass political advantage, also suggests it may also be time to change the government.

   

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