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Politics Briefing: Ottawa to allow MPs to appear virtually for another year – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

MPs will be participating virtually in the business of Parliament for another year under a plan announced Monday by the government House Leader.

Mark Holland said he has told House leaders from the other parties that the government is committed to having questions answered in person, barring serious health issues or the emergence of a new variant.

However, he said there’s a need to be mindful of the ongoing reality of COVID-19, noting that, last week, five MPs, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had COVID-19 so could only participate by hybrid options.

“So this pandemic continues and so does the need to have flexibility,” he said, adding a motion on the issue is to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, rules were enacted allowing MPs the option of virtual participation in the House and voting through an app on their phones.

But John Brassard, the Conservative House leader, rejected Mr. Holland’s proposal.

“When the Liberals talk about a hybrid Parliament, what they are really talking about is setting up a Parliament where they can be less accountable,” he told a news conference.

“Having MPs in this place, debating, standing up and having their vote counted is critical to, not just this institution, but the way our Parliamentary democracy functions.”

Mr. Brassard said the physical absence of ministers allows them to avoid media and opposition questioning, and is also causing stress for interpreters – a situation detailed here.

“There’s no reason the House of Commons can’t return to in-person sitting in the fall,” he said, adding it was “beyond me” why the issue had come up in the last week of Parliament.

He also said he would need to see some science and other evidence to justify the policy.

Still, he said he had spoken to Mr. Holland on Monday morning. “We’re preparing some things we think are going to make the motion better.”

The party House leaders debated plans for the fall Monday as the spring sitting nears its end. The House is scheduled to break on Thursday for the summer, but could rise sooner. House sittings are scheduled to resume on Sept. 19.

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.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO UPGRADE NORAD – The Canadian government will spend $4.9-billion over six years to help upgrade continental defences as part of a modernization of NORAD to deal with the growing threat posed by hypersonic missiles and advanced cruise missile technology developed by Russia and China. Story here.

MPS MAY GET PANIC BUTTONS: MENDICINO – Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says he is looking into giving MPs panic buttons to increase their personal security. Story here.

BOISCLAIR PLEADS GUILTY – Former Parti Québécois leader André Boisclair has pleaded guilty to having sexually assaulted two men in 2014 and 2015. Story here from The Montreal Gazette.

LOBBYING COMMISSIONER PROPOSES CODE OF CONDUCT CHANGES – The federal Commissioner of Lobbying is proposing changes to the industry’s code of conduct, including shortening the “cooling-off” period for lobbyists who have worked on political campaigns. Story here.

SOVEREIGNTY BACK AS A POINT OF DISCUSSION IN QUEBEC – Talk of sovereignty has returned to Quebec politics. The government of Premier François Legault has made a series of gestures that have raised the periodic question of the province’s place within Canada. Story here.

LAWSUIT AGAINST FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CERTIFIED – The Federal Court of Canada has certified a class-action lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of off-reserve Indigenous children who were taken from their families and placed in non-Indigenous care. Story here.

TALIBAN TRACKING WORKERS ON CANADIAN-FUNDED AID PROJECTS – Two hundred Afghans, mostly women who worked on Canadian-funded aid projects in Afghanistan, are being tracked down by the Taliban and are in hiding after the militants obtained their names from a confiscated cellphone. Story here.

LIBERALS NEED TO DEFINE POILIEVIRE NOW: POLITICAL PLAYERS – With the presumed Conservative leadership front-runner Pierre Poilievre widely expected to become party leader on Sept. 10, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals should start to define their future opponent now before he gets a chance to define himself, say top political players. Story here from The Hill Times.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

POILIEVRE PROMISES “FREE SPEECH GUARDIAN” – Pierre Poilievre announced, in a statement, that, if he becomes prime minister, he would tie federal funding for universities through research funding and grants to upholding Section 2 of the charter, which includes freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication and freedom of association. And he would appoint a former judge, known as a Free Speech Guardian, who will report on compliance by universities and will investigate claims of academic censorship.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, June 20, accessible here.

FREELAND HOSTS YELLEN – In Toronto, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, also the Finance Minister, is meeting throughout the day with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The day includes a working lunch, an armchair discussion at the Rotman School of Management, a tour of Evoco, a Canadian biotechnology company, a joint press conference and a working dinner.

GUILBEAULT AND DUCLOS ANNOUNCE PLASTIC POLICY – Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, and Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos held a hybrid news conference in Quebec City to announce a new policy on how companies manage plastic bags. Details here.

O’TOOLE REFLECTS – Former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, in an interview on CBC Radio’s The House, talks about the convoy, China and the caucus revolt that ended his leadership. Check here.

FORD ANNOUNCING CABINET FRIDAY – Ontario Premier Doug Ford will unveil his new post-election cabinet on Friday as he and that cabinet are sworn in in Toronto.

THE DECIBEL

On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Bill Curry, the Globe’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief, explains the limits to the levers the governing Liberals can pull on for the economic quandary of dealing with skyrocketing prices and correcting prices in grocery stores and at the pump. Last week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the Liberals’ plan to tackle inflation, which was 6.8 per cent in April. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Private meetings

LEADERS

No schedules released for party leaders.

OPINION

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on whether the Liberal Party can replace Justin Trudeau:Any other party, with any other leader, would already have plans, or plots, to replace him. Yet for the Liberal Party of Canada, the big challenge would be finding a replacement leader who isn’t seen as a pale imitation – a Trudeau Liberal who isn’t Justin Trudeau. By profile, the obvious contender is Chrystia Freeland, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, who now delivers budgets, handles major policy files, steps in for the Prime Minister on key occasions, and often stands next to him for major announcements. But if the problem with Mr. Trudeau seeking re-election in 2025 is that it’s been too much Trudeau, and Canadians are tired of the way he’s done things, it’s hard to imagine Ms. Freeland being seen as the wind of change. And for all the weight Ms. Freeland has in Mr. Trudeau’s government – she led NAFTA talks with Mr. Trump’s administration, helped build political peace with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and is responsible for the pandemic-recovery fiscal plan – she isn’t a political performer like the PM. Few people are.”

Tanya Talaga (The Globe and Mail) on following seven sacred teachings in this graduation season: June is graduation season. It is also National Indigenous History month, four weeks set aside to celebrate and reflect on what it means to be First Nations, Métis or Inuit. It is not lost on me that the quintessential juxtaposition of Canada is experienced this month, in two starkly different realities: a celebration of obtaining a diploma in a country where, for about 100 years, children were forced to attend so-called schools that worked to erase who they were – places that took so much that generations afterward continue to pay the price of what Canada did.”

Charlie Angus (Policy Magazine) on being an MP in the age of conspiracy: Parliament Hill security is advising elected officials to scope out public events before entering, to be briefed in advance on potential threats, and have an escape plan in case things go wrong. The security experts admitted that the toxicity, rage and threats faced by elected officials have become so amped up it’s difficult to come up with workable solutions.”

Steve Paikin (TVO) on the hard questions that Ontario Greens to ask themselves: “Let me state right here that Green-party acolytes aren’t going to like what I’m about to write, because I’m going to put some uncomfortable facts about the Greens on the record. Green candidates have been contesting elections in Ontario since 1985. That’s 11 election campaigns. During those campaigns, 1,290 seats have been up for grabs. The Greens have won one seat, twice — leader Mike Schreiner’s, in Guelph.”

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Are Politics A Problem For The Markets? – Forbes

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As an economist and market analyst, I try to shy away from politics and focus on the facts. Nonetheless, I often receive politically charged questions that are usually some variation of the following: “With X party in office, the country is doomed. How can you say otherwise?” I have heard this in every presidential election from George W. Bush to Joe Biden. But the truth of the matter is this: both the economy and the markets grew during all of those administrations. Of course, each one had its own challenges and problems, but as a country we continued to move forward. Companies found ways to grow and make money. Given this, are politics really a problem for the markets?

A Limited Effect

No matter which side, the administration actually has a very limited effect on the national economy and on the financial markets. In fact, if you look at a chart of the economy or of the markets, and cover up the dates, you really can’t pick out when your party was in charge. Similarly, when you look at economic and market performance under various permutations of which party is in charge, there are differences, but they are not consistent over time. For all of the headlines and the fearmongering, politics and governance don’t make a significant difference.

Who’s In Control?

How can that be? Simple. Every president and Congress would like to have control—but they don’t. States push back. The Supreme Court pushes back. Municipalities push back. It is rare that something significant actually gets through. And even when it does? The genius of the American system is that companies then set their collective minds on how to avoid it, if they don’t like it, and/or how to make money off it. For example, look at literally any tax bill ever passed.

Fundamentally, that is the strength of the American system. When you say that Washington will derail the economy or the markets, you are saying that it really controls all of the shoppers and the companies, which simply isn’t true. It is certainly in the interest of politicians to exaggerate their power (to motivate their supporters) and to exaggerate their opponents’ powers (again, to motivate their supporters). But the fact of the matter is that the U.S. economy is driven by millions of profit-motivated companies that will find ways to work around or profit from pretty much anything the politicians can do. Thank goodness for that.

Which doesn’t answer those who maintain that this time is different. That somehow today’s problems are worse than they have ever been before. There is always a constituency for panic. But if you really believe that, if you really believe that Washington—of one party or the other—can derail the country, then what you are saying is that Washington already has full control. That is not what I see when I look around.

This Too Will Pass

What I see is the same vivid debate on policy we have always had and the same back-and-forth that ultimately results in a reasonable solution. Perhaps it is louder now, but it is still the same process.

One of my favorite quotes, from Winston Churchill, notes that you can always count on Americans to do the right thing once they have tried all the alternatives. I would argue that is what is happening now and that despite the short-term damage, which can be real, ultimately we will move ahead again.

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'We need a fresh approach': Harvey wants to do politics differently if she heads NDP – News Talk 980 CJME

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Sitting on the patio of a Regina coffee shop, Kaitlyn Harvey was animated and passionate, talking about what she feels are the problems in Saskatchewan politics and how they should be fixed.

Harvey answered questions in a wide-ranging way, cramming in a TedTalk’s worth of information in a way that only people excited by their topic do.

When asked what she was reading or watching these days, Harvey didn’t name a book but instead began talking about research and reports she has been going through both as part of her political aspirations and her day job as a lawyer.

“I’ve got a lot of research that I’m doing, so I don’t really read a whole lot of fiction. Lots of non-fiction, lots of news but then also looking at reports — that’s what I read for fun,” she said, then started laughing. “I’m a bit of a nerd.”

Getting down to the brass tacks of her run to lead the Saskatchewan NDP, Harvey got more serious.

“What I’m offering is a different approach than what the NDP has offered in the past,” she said. “It still recognizes those values of community, those values of taking care of our most vulnerable … and so that’s why I am running for the NDP because of those values. But the way that I am proposing to do politics is different.”

Harvey said the old approach of politics as performance, of talking but not getting anything done, isn’t working.

“When I say we need to do things different, I mean we need to do things differently,” said Harvey.

Right now, Harvey believes that when young people watch the proceedings in the legislature — if they do — all they’re seeing is people shouting.

“(It’s) a bunch of people just standing there, yelling back and forth at each other and spitting things and not actually addressing these very real issues. And then people wonder why our youth don’t go out and vote,” said Harvey.

Harvey believes people are sick of the status quo and that things will look a lot different in the legislature come the next election in 2024.

“I don’t know what it’ll look like but I’m pretty confident that if I’m successful in this NDP race, there’ll be a lot more NDP seats,” said Harvey.

Harvey doesn’t like the idea of left or right in politics. What she wants is for people to come together to seriously tackle the issues.

The biggest issue for Harvey is climate change; it’s what spurred her into politics in the first place.

The reality hit home for Harvey 10 years ago when she was in a co-op program at Environment Canada and was working on a mapping project with climate data.

“The numbers that I was seeing (and) that I was coming across … (it) was just terrifying to see what our future is going to look like, and the range of possibilities ranging from scary to catastrophic,” said Harvey.

Harvey went into law to study policy and is now making the push into politics because she doesn’t see the action needed to deal with climate change.

“We are two decades, easily, behind other countries (and) other places in the world in terms of our acceptance of the very real risks to our people (and) to our society from climate change. We aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities that we have to be leaders. We’re wasting opportunities and potential,” said Harvey.

Harvey said climate change is a fact and shouldn’t be politicized, but it is in Saskatchewan and it’s tearing apart the province.

“When they tell us that we have no choice, that we have to settle for this conflict, that we are divided, that we are an oil and gas-only type of place, like, are you kidding me?” said Harvey.

However, Harvey said she’s not anti-oil and she’s not looking to kill industry and put people out on the street.

“When people use the term ‘just transition,’ that actually means something. It means that the people who are going to be asked to transition to local renewable, sustainable, good-paying jobs are given the supports that they need to make that transition,” said Harvey.

“It’s not a negative attack on anybody’s personal identity or I’m trying to blame them for climate change or something like that. It’s nothing personal, it’s just a fact that we need to start doing things differently.”

Harvey said there are a lot of other ways Saskatchewan could bring in money and other industries to expand into that won’t contribute to climate change, and she knows that’s something youth of this province want.

“We need a fresh approach and I think that will resonate with people and get more people to come out and support the party when they see that we’ve actually got some really good ideas and they’re backed up by science. They’re backed up with the numbers,” said Harvey.

Unlike her competitor, Carla Beck, Harvey hasn’t held provincial office before — she ran as an NDP candidate in the 2020 election but lost. However, she doesn’t see that as a problem.

Harvey points to her work as a lawyer, putting herself through law school as a single mother and the volunteer and community work she’s done, saying she’s good at handling a lot of things and learns quickly.

“When I see what our politicians are doing I think, ‘Oh boy, I could do that.’ It’s not that hard, it’s not rocket science … it’ll be new but I’m a pretty quick study,” said Harvey.

Harvey said she does have respect for everyone in the NDP caucus and the work they’re doing.

A win for Harvey in the leadership race would be historic on two fronts: She would be the first woman elected to the NDP leadership in Saskatchewan and the first Metis leader of a major party in the province.

“It would be just the greatest opportunity of my life to be able to serve and provide my skills, my energy, my experience, to the people of Saskatchewan,” said Harvey.

If she doesn’t win, the province won’t have heard the last of Harvey. She has announced her intention to seek the NDP nomination to run in the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection which will be held at some point soon.

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Politics Briefing: U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade a 'devastating setback,' Trudeau says – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion is a “devastating setback” for those who have fought for reproductive rights.

The U.S. court, in a 6-3 ruling, has overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalized it nationwide.

“Today, I think of those generations of women around the world and specifically in the United States who fought so hard to gain rights and continue to fight today to get more and more rights,” Mr. Trudeau said in Kigali, Rwanda, where he is attending a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government.

The Prime Minister said Canada will always defend women’s rights to choose and continue to work to expand access to a full range of reproductive health services.

Last month, Mr. Trudeau vowed to protect abortion rights in Canada, although the Liberals hadn’t acted on several commitments made in last year’s election, such as new rules on access to service or provided a timeline for their implementation. Story here.

Conservative Leader Candice Bergen said in a statement that access to abortion was not restricted under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the Conservative Party will not introduce legislation or reopen the abortion debate. “Canadians deserve better than the Liberals importing issues from the U.S. in an attempt to wedge and divide Canadians,” she said.

In a statement, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that, with its ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has “walked back women’s rights by making abortion effectively illegal in half the country.”

He added, “These dangerous policies that threaten women’s health and women’s lives must not be allowed to take root in Canada. There is so much more the government can do to ensure better access to health care services for women living in rural and remote communities.”

Candidates vying to lead the federal Conservative Party also reacted to the ruling.

Asked about the development, a spokesperson for the Pierre Poilievre campaign replied with the statement, “A Poilievre government will not introduce or pass any laws restricting abortion.”

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest wrote in a tweet that he is “disturbed” by Roe v. Wade being overturned. “While I recognize there are strongly held beliefs on this issue, reproductive rights in Canada are non-negotiable. I will remain focused on issues that unite Canadians, not divide us.”

Scott Aitchison wrote, “I will always defend a woman’s right to choose.”

Leslyn Lewis wrote on Twitter that “Canada is not the U.S. We can have adult conversations. I think coercive abortions and preferring baby boys over girls via sex selection are wrong, and that we can do better for expecting moms at home and abroad. That’s my platform. Let’s have the conversation.”

Patrick Brown said, in a tweet, that he was “disappointed” that Roe v. Wade was being overturned. “Canadians have strongly held beliefs on this issue, but reproductive rights in Canada will not be revisited by any government that I lead. I support a woman’s right to choose.”

The Globe and Mail podcast, The Decibel, recently looked into how getting an abortion in Canada differs from the United States, with registered nurse Martha Paynter speaking to the subject. That episode is 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

NEW ONTARIO CABINET – Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced a new cabinet that largely resembles his term going into the June 2 election, but names Sylvia Jones as his new Minister of Health and Deputy Premier. Mr. Ford has also appointed his nephew Michael Ford, a former Toronto city councillor, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. Story here. Toronto Life interviewed the younger Mr. Ford in 2015 here. Lisa MacLeod, who was left out of cabinet after previously serving as Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, announced Friday that she is taking some time off to “address and improve” her health. Story here from Global News.

HEARING NEXT MONTH ON ALLEGATIONS AGAINST RCMP COMMISSIONER – MPs will hold a hearing next month into allegations RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, at the request of the Liberal government, tried to put pressure on Mounties investigating the Nova Scotia mass shooting to help advance Ottawa’s gun-control agenda. Story here. Also, the inquiry investigating the Nova Scotia mass shooting wants to know why the federal Justice Department withheld notes written by a senior Mountie for several months – and if there are more revelations to come. Story here.

MILLIONS OF HOMES NEEDED TO CUT HOME COSTS: REPORT – Canada needs an additional 5.8 million homes by the end of the decade to help lower average home costs and ensure households are not spending more than 40 per cent of their disposable income on shelter, according to a new government report. Story here.

THOSE WHO AREN’T VACCINATED MUST ACCEPT CONSEQUENCES: PM – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in an interview with CBC Radio’s The House airing Saturday, says people who chose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 must accept the consequences of those decisions. Story here from CBC.

HILLIER LAMETS WANING INTEREST IN UKRAINE WAR – Retired general Rick Hillier is lamenting what he sees as waning Canadian interest in the war in Ukraine as public and political attention turns increasingly toward the rising rate of inflation and other issues closer to home. Story here.

LEGAULT OPPOSES MULTICULTURALISM – Ahead of celebrations of Fête Nationale, Premier François Legault said he’s against the idea of multiculturalism, saying it threatens the French language and Quebec culture. Story here from the Montreal Gazette.

NATIONAL RECONCILIATION COUNCIL IN THE WORKS – Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller has tabled a bill that would create a national council for reconciliation – a recommendation the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made in 2015 and the Liberal government included in the 2019 budget. Story here.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in Toronto. Patrick Brown is in Quebec City for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. Jean Charest is in Quebec. Leslyn Lewis is in her Ontario riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. Pierre Poilievre is in the Quebec City of Trois-Rivières. There is no word on the whereabouts of Roman Baber.

BROWN ON MP MEETING – Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown is expressing concern that Tory MPs met this week with a Canadian soldier facing military charges for speaking out against COVID-19 vaccine mandates while in uniform as well as a spokesman for the convoy that blockaded Ottawa in the winter. Story here.

CHAREST Q&A – Jean Charest talks the Emergencies Act, updating the Official Languages Act, Western populism and other issues in a wide-ranging interview with Policy Magazine available here.

WHO’S SUPPORTING WHO – The Hill Times has put together a helpful list of which MPs, former MPs, Senators and former Senators are, as of June. 22, supporting which candidate in the race to lead the Conservative Party. The list is here.

THIS AND THAT

The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20

NO MASKS REQUIRED IN COMMONS – As of Friday, there is no need to wear masks in the House of Commons precinct, says Speaker Anthony Rota. In a statement, Mr. Rota said masks will, however, be available for those who want to wear them.

GG VISITS THE YUKON – Governor-General Mary Simon and her husband, Whit Fraser, will make an official visit to the Yukon from June 26 to June 28, with an itinerary that includes meetings with Angélique Bernard, the commissioner of the Yukon, Indigenous leaders from the territory and Premier Sandy Silver.

SNOWBIRDS GROUNDED – According to a statement from the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be unable to fly in planned air shows and flypasts, until the resolution of a technical issue that relates to a device that sets the timing for the deployment of the parachute during the ejection sequence. The issue arose during routine maintenance on the parachutes at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask., on June 19. All aircraft are now being retested and repacked, as necessary, to ensure proper timing is set for their activation in the event of an emergency.

THE DECIBEL

On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Chelle Turingan – co-director of the documentary Small Town Pride – talks about the joys and challenges queer folks face in small Canadian towns and how, despite it all, they manage to organize Pride events. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

In Kigali, Rwanda for a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government, the Prime Minister held private meetings, attended an official welcome by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and participated in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to participate in the official family photo of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and to hold meetings with Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Moussa Faki Mahamat – the chairperson of the African Union Commission – as well as Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to attend Her Majesty the Queen’s Dinner hosted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in Montreal, with MP Alexandre Boulerice celebrating la Fête Nationale at a pair of events.

No schedules available for other party leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

INFLATION POLL – Forty-five per cent of people surveyed in new research by the Angus Reid Institute say they are worse off now than they were at this time last year, the highest level in at least 12 years. Half of Canadians say it’s a challenge to afford their household grocery bill, up seven points since last October. Details here.

OPINION

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on the vacuum at the centre of Canadian politics: an incompetent, unethical government faces an intemperate, unhinged opposition: “At the federal level we would seem to be left with something of a vacuum, with neither main party displaying much interest in governing responsibly. This is sometimes described as “polarization,” as if the problem could be solved by everyone agreeing to meet in the centre. Not so: this country has big, challenging issues confronting it, some of which may require radical changes in policy. Radicalism is not the same as extremism. What’s needed is not centrism, if that is interpreted to mean blindly hugging the middle on every issue. Neither is pragmatism the answer, if that means governing without an ideological compass, but merely blowing this way and that according to the latest poll or interest group lobby. What’s needed – what is sorely lacking – is judgment: political, moral, intellectual. Judgment is the foundation of leadership, and leadership is the only way we’re going to get back to something resembling functional politics.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the Liberals failing to act with urgency before a hot summer of inflation: “You’d think Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would be delighted to escape for summer break from Parliament, where they get pressed on an unusually long list of problems from passport backlogs and airport lines to allegations they asked the RCMP to release details of a mass-murder investigation to advance their gun-control agenda. But although Parliament has adjourned till September, escaping to a quiet summer is a mirage. This will be the summer of inflation. That’s a pot that will keep boiling, as Canadians fill up their tanks to go to the cottage or suffer sticker shock when they buy chicken for the barbecue. And seethe.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on a junior hockey scandal that should sicken us all: “Hockey culture in Canada is poisoned and sick. Despite all the so-called educational programs that the Canadian Hockey League says players take part in, there is little evidence that the warped view of masculinity that is pervasive in far too many junior hockey dressing rooms has changed much over the years. There is little proof that an environment that condones the degradation and exploitation of young women is any better today than it was 40 years ago.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how the Neville-Lake family never got justice: “Marco Muzzo is now responsible for the death of five people, even if the law only recognizes his culpability for four. Edward Lake, whose three children and father-in-law were killed when Mr. Muzzo drunkenly drove his Jeep through a stop sign at a Vaughan, Ont., intersection in 2015, died by suicide this past week. The children’s mother, Jennifer Neville-Lake, posted the news on social media, writing that Mr. Lake ‘has joined our kids so they can play together, forever.’”

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