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Politics Briefing: Pope Francis reaffirms commitment to visit Canada this month – The Globe and Mail




Pope Francis is still coming to visit Canada this month.

The Pope restated his commitment to be in Canada from July 24-30 during an exclusive interview with Reuters in his Vatican residence.

Doctors had previously said the Pope might have to miss his trip to Canada unless he agreed to undergo 20 more days of physical therapy and rest for pain in his right knee.

The 85-year-old Pope has previously apologized for abuses perpetrated against the children in Canada’s residential schools, and there have been hopes his pending visit with stops in Quebec City, Edmonton and Iqaluit will include a stronger apology and further action from the Catholic Church on the issue.

As he talked to Reuters about hoped-for trips ahead, he mentioned Canada.

“I would like to go (to Ukraine), and I wanted to go to Moscow first. We exchanged messages about this because I thought that if the Russian president gave me a small window to serve the cause of peace …

“And now it is possible, after I come back from Canada, it is possible that I manage to go to Ukraine,” he said. “The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals.”

The Reuters report is here.

European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly and Reporter Tavia Grant reported here on the announcement of the Pope’s visit.

And feature writer Jana G. Pruden reported here on how the Pope’s impending visit to a former residential school in Maskwacis, Alberta had sparked mixed emotions.

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.


NO FEDERAL FINANCING FOR LNG PROPOSALS: WILKINSON – Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says two private-sector proposals to export liquefied natural gas from Canada’s East Coast to European countries struggling to reduce their reliance on Russian fuel will need to move forward without federal financing. Story here.

AIR CANADA INCOMPETENT: NB MINISTER – New Brunswick’s education minister is lashing out at Air Canada, saying the airline is incompetent because it decided on the weekend to cancel a Monday flight that would have taken him and four officials to a meeting in Regina. Story here. There’s a Globe and Mail Explainer here on Air Canada’s flight cancellations, and a story here on weekend developments. On Twitter today, federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra wrote here that airport delays continue to be an issue at Canada’s major airports, and he had met Monday morning with the CEO of Air Canada.

TRANSPARENCY NEEDED AMIDST TUBERCULOSIS OUTBREAK: INUIT ORGANIZATION LEADER – The president of a major Inuit organization has reiterated her call for transparency after The Globe and Mail published an investigation of a major tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung, a hamlet of about 1,500 people on Baffin Island. Story here.

WANTED: FEDERAL OMBUDSMAN FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME – The federal government has now left a key victim-rights watchdog role vacant for more than nine months. Story here.

ONTARIO CONVENIENCE STORES PRESS FORD FOR BEER SALES – Convenience stores are calling for Ontario Premier Doug Ford to fulfill his shelved promise to allow them to sell beer, a pledge derailed three years ago after failed talks with the multinational brewing companies behind the province’s Beer Store chain. Story here.

SERVICE DELIVERY THE ACHILLES HEEL OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: HEINTZMAN – Delivering services to Canadians has been an Achilles heel of the federal government for 30 years because of political disinterest and a senior management of “travelling salesmen,” who hop from job to job and barely know the business of the departments they lead, says the former senior bureaucrat who proposed the creation of Service Canada. Story here from Policy Options.

PARLIAMENT HILL OVERHAUL MAY BE SIDE EFFECT OF PROTESTS – The convoy protests that occupied downtown Ottawa last winter may inadvertently have pushed forward a plan to convert Parliament Hill into Parliament Square. Story here.

CANADIANS EXPECT RISING INFLATION: BANK OF CANADA REPORTS – A pair of new reports from the Bank of Canada point to rising inflation expectations by Canadian businesses and consumers. Story here.


CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in Ontario. Patrick Brown is campaigning in Charlottetown, PEI and then going to Saint John, NB. Jean Charest is campaigning virtually. Leslyn Lewis is in Iqaluit. Pierre Poilievre is in Ottawa. No details available on campaign whereabouts of Roman Baber.


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

CHAMPAGNE IN JAPAN – Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne is visiting Japan from Monday to Saturday, July 9, meeting with stakeholders and business leaders in the automotive, manufacturing and technology sectors.

OLIPHANT IN SWITZERLAND AND LONDON – Robert Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is travelling to Lugano, Switzerland and London, United Kingdom, from Monday to Wednesday, July 6, 2022. In Lugano, Mr. Oliphant is participating in the Ukraine Recovery Conference. In London, he is representing Canada at the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief.


On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Jana G. Pruden, a feature writer for The Globe and Mail, discusses the damage that wild boars can do. With their populations growing and sightings – even around big metropolitan areas – increasing, governments are rushing to find ways to contain them before they wreak ecological and agricultural damage. Ms. Pruden also talks about why letting hunters loose on the boars is not the answer. The Decibel is here.


In the Ottawa region, the Prime Minister speaks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.


No schedules released for party leaders.


Broadcaster Patrick Watson, host of the milestone CBC series “This Hour has 7 Days” and a former chair of the CBC has died, aged 92, according to a tweet from Steve Paikin of TVO.


Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how Alberta’s economic turnaround leads to calls to spend, as UCP leadership race pauses big decisions: As Alberta’s Finance Minister released data on the province’s trove of surplus dollars this week, Jason Nixon said the Premier’s departure and the corresponding United Conservative Party leadership race isn’t affecting government operations. As much as the UCP will insist this in the months ahead, it’s not true. No one knows who will win the leadership contest, become premier and shape the UCP government this October. The policy gulf between candidates Leela Aheer and Danielle Smith is vast. Government actions into the fall are limited by that uncertainty.”

Marcus Gee (The Globe and Mail) on not shrugging over Doug Ford’s decision to put his nephew in Ontario’s cabinet: Premiers should not play favourites. Handing out plums to family and friends makes it look as if the game is fixed. It coarsens politics and erodes faith in government. If anyone should know that, it’s this Premier. He and his brother, Rob, made “stop the gravy train” their slogan at city hall. Their whole brand was clean, lean government, freed from the clammy grip of self-serving insiders. Now he acts as if appointing his own nephew to head a ministry in the government he leads is perfectly natural and inoffensive. It’s not. Quite the opposite. If he can’t see that, he has lost track of what the Fords claimed was their main reason for getting into politics in the first place.”

David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on how Quebec’s Bill 96 will widen a problematic skills gap unless the province invests in closing it: A significant portion of Quebec’s labour force suffers from what amounts to a skills gap. The skill in question is French language proficiency. And Bill 96 threatens to widen that gap, without a serious educational investment on the part of the province to address it. Bill 96 is Quebec’s new language law – amending and updating the old Bill 101 that has defined the use of French (and English) in commerce, public services and education since the 1970s. The new bill includes stricter rules governing the hiring of non-French speakers, and the use of English in the workplace.”

Erica Ifill (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the problems with the federal data-privacy bill with disproportionately hurt marginalized Canadians: Tech is not neutral – it’s Minority Report. Yet the Liberals’ new legislation, Bill C-27, which ostensibly deals with data privacy, contains a regulatory regime that threatens to allow the systemic discrimination of Black, Indigenous, people of colour, non-binary and transgender people in Canada – the people who are typically at the front of the line for discrimination. While AI could bring us closer to solving some of the world’s most intractable problems, from ending hunger to improving health care, it could also cause severe damage on a mass scale to vulnerable communities.”

Andrew Perez (TVO) on three things the Ontario Liberals must do to rebuild: The final ingredient necessary for a re-energized and more relevant party: a relatable leader who does not hail from the GTA and can represent Liberals at Queen’s Park. Not since the Peterson and Lyn McLeod eras of the 1980s and early ‘90s have Liberals had a leader that did not come from one of Ontario’s two largest city-regions. When choosing its next leader, the party should strive to find an individual with strong roots in a region not associated with the Wynne and McGuinty governments. This leader could bring new perspectives — ones more likely to resonate with former Liberal voters outside the 905 who have gravitated to the NDP and PCs in recent elections.”

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Former B.C. solicitor-general Rich Coleman is returning to politics – Terrace Standard



Two years after he retired, former B.C. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman is returning to politics, this time at the municipal level, with the “Elevate Langley Voters Association” civic party in the Township of Langley, according to an Elections B.C. register of elector organizations.

The register lists former Langley East MLA Coleman as the “authorized principal official” for the party.

While he has registered a civic party, whether Coleman will be running in the Oct. 15 election himself remains to be seen.

In a response to a Langley Advance Times query on Saturday, Aug. 6, Coleman confirmed he has been approached about running for mayor, but hasn’t decided yet.

“A lot of people have been on me to run for mayor,” Coleman told the Langley Advance Times.

“I’m seriously considering it.”

Coleman said he registered the Elevate Langley party when he did, because the Election B.C. deadline to register elector organizations for the pending municipal elections was Aug. 2, and he wanted to provide a vehicle for some potential Township candidates he has been mentoring.

“I’ve got some young folks who want to run,” Coleman said.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: B.C. Liberal MLA Rich Coleman announced retirement after six terms

In the Elections B.C. register entry, Elevate Langley listed a contact phone number that turned out to be the office number for current Langley East MLA Megan Dykeman, who said she has no involvement with the party, calling it “absolutely an error.”

Coleman said he would check into it.

In 2018, Coleman was considering a run for Surrey mayor, but decided against it.

Coleman spent 24 years in provincial politics before he retired in 2020, including four years as provincial Solicitor-General.

Langley Township councillors Eric Woodward and Blair Whitmarsh have also announced mayoralty bids. So has former councillor Michelle Sparrow.

Elections B.C.’s register of civic parties listed Woodward as the principal official for the “Contract with Langley Association” party, which, the filing indicates, will be fielding candidates for council and school board.

READ ALSO: Woodward announces run for mayor of Langley Township

READ ALSO: Whitmarsh announces run for Langley Township mayor’s seat

READ ALSO: Sparrow joins race for Langley Township mayor’s seat

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Opinion | The New Politics of Abortion – The New York Times



Some liberals seemed genuinely surprised by the results of the Kansas referendum on abortion. A reliably Republican state, a sweeping pro-choice victory. Who could have foreseen it?

Others suggested that only the pro-life side should be shocked. “The anti-abortion movement has long claimed that voters would reward Republicans for overturning Roe,” wrote Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. “They are now discovering how delusional that conviction has always been.”

It’s true that activists often tend toward unrealistic optimism. But nobody who favored overturning Roe ought to be particularly surprised by the Kansas result. By the margin, maybe — but a Republican state voting to preserve a right to abortion emphasizes what’s always been apparent: With the end of Roe, the pro-life movement now has to adapt to the democratic contest that it sought.

Right now, majorities of Americans favor abortion restrictions that were ruled out under Roe, but only slightly over a third of the country takes the position that abortion should be largely illegal, a number that shrinks if you remove various exceptions.

That means that millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump favor a right to a first-trimester abortion — some of them old-fashioned country-club Republicans, others secular working-class voters or anti-woke “Barstool conservatives” who dislike elite progressivism but find religious conservatism alienating as well.

In many red as well as purple states, those constituencies hold the balance of power. Even with exceptions, a state probably needs to be either very Republican or very religious for a first-trimester abortion ban to be popular, which basically means the Deep South and Mountain (and especially Mormon) West. That was clear before Roe fell — that outright bans would be the exceptions, and the contest in many states would be over how far restrictions can go.

The Kansas result confirms that assumption. The state already has a late-term ban, and the prolix ballot measure didn’t specify an alternative, it just promised the legislature a general power to write new abortion laws. Would the result have been different if the referendum had proposed restrictions around 12 weeks? I suspect so. Can the pro-life movement settle for that kind of goal? Well, that’s the question, with different states supplying different answers.

In purple-ish Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law in 2019, which is now taking effect, banning abortion after around six weeks with various exceptions; he looks like he’s on his way to re-election. In reddish Florida, the popular governor, Ron DeSantis, is making his stand for now on a ban after 15 weeks.

On the other hand, Republican gubernatorial nominees in Pennsylvania and Michigan have a record of taking few-exceptions stances that seem ill-suited to their states.

I suspect that liberals are deceiving themselves if they imagine abortion becoming a dominant issue in an environment as economically and geopolitically fraught as this one. But at the margins there are clear opportunities: If Republicans run on no-exceptions platforms in moderately conservative states or back first-trimester bans in swing states, they will lose some winnable elections.

But again, serious pro-lifers have always known that if you bring abortion back to the democratic process, you have to deal with public opinion as it actually exists. And the way you change opinion is by proving the incremental version of your ideas workable, so that voters trust you more and more.

That requires addressing immediate anxieties head-on. It is not enough, for instance, for abortion opponents to react to stories about delayed care for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies in pro-life states by pointing out that the laws are being misinterpreted. All officialdom in those states should be mobilized to make hospitals fear malpractice suits more than hypothetical pro-life prosecution.

And it requires longer-term creativity, so that every new protection for the unborn is combined with reassurances that mothers and children alike will be better supported than they are today.

When I make the latter point I get a reliable liberal retort, to the effect that Republicans could have done more for families already, and didn’t, so why would that ever change?

But this is the point of bringing democratic pressure to bear. Religious conservatives have pushed Republicans away from libertarian economics in the past — “compassionate conservatism” emerged from evangelicals and Catholics — but so long as abortion was essentially a judicial battle, the link to family policy was indirect.

Now that Republicans have to legislate on abortion, though, there are incentives to make the link explicit — especially in states where socially conservative Democrats, especially Hispanic voters, might join a pro-life coalition.

That doesn’t mean it will happen, just that the incentives of democratic politics are how it would happen. The end of Roe opens the door wide to a pro-life movement that’s incrementalist and creative; it doesn’t ensure that such a movement will emerge. But the results in Kansas show what will happen if it doesn’t.

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Politics Briefing: Up to 225 Canadian soldiers heading to U.K. to train Ukrainian soldiers – The Globe and Mail




Ottawa is deploying up to 225 Canadian soldiers to Britain where they will train new recruits that have signed up to defend Ukraine from Russia’s military assault.

Defence Minister Anita Anand announced Thursday that the first contingent of about 90 Canadian soldiers, from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, will head to southeast England next week. There, they will teach frontline combat, including weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft and patrol tactics.

Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada is scheduled to testify on her government’s opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to circumvent sanctions against Russia.

Mr. Trudeau in early July carved out a loophole in sanctions on Moscow to allow the import, repair and export of Russian pipeline turbines.

Senior Parliamentary Reporter Steven Chase reports 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 signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


CROMWELL TO REVIEW HOCKEY CANADA – Former Supreme Court of Canada judge Thomas Cromwell will lead an independent review of Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change in leadership of the governing body for its handling of recent allegations of sexual assault against players. Story here.

TARIFFS TO BE CUT – The U.S. Department of Commerce is lowering tariffs against most Canadian softwood producers by half, but the long-running trade dispute lingers. Story here.

UNAWARE OF INTELLIGENE REPORTS: JOLY – Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says she and her department were unaware of intelligence reports delivered weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in which diplomats in Kyiv were told Ukrainians who worked for the Canadian embassy there were likely on lists of people Moscow intended to detain or kill. Story here.

SCHOLZ URGES RUSSIA TO TAKE TURBINE – German chancellor Olaf Scholz paid a visit to a Russian pipeline turbine released from Canadian export controls, but now stranded in Germany amid a standoff with the Kremlin. He urged Moscow to take back the gear, which it had said was needed to bring shipments of natural gas to Germany back to previous levels. Story here. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada was to make clear her country’s disappointment over Ottawa’s decision to allow the return of equipment to a state-controlled energy giant in Russia despite war-related sanctions. Story here.

NOTLEY BLAMES UCP FOR HEALTH OFFICERS’ BIG SALARY – Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley says the United Conservative Party government, particularly former finance minister Travis Toews, must bear the responsibility and fallout for the record-setting, six-figure bonus payment to the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Story here.

HORGAN QUIPS ABOUT NEWSPAPER APPEAL FOR DOCTOR – British Columbia Premier John Horgan suggested the approach of a Victoria couple who placed a newspaper ad to find a family doctor could be one of his next steps to press the federal government to increase health funding. Story here.


CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is campaigning virtually. Roman Baber is campaigning in Brockville and Kingston. Jean Charest is in Montreal. Leslyn Lewis is in New Brunswick, visiting Moncton and Quispamsis. Pierre Poilievre is in Brandon and Winnipeg.

FINAL OFFICIAL DEBATE – Jean Charest took on absentee candidates in the final Conservative leadership debate, declaring that showing up for such events is a show of respect for the party members who will choose the new leader. Story here.

DEBATE DETAILS – Canadian Press reporter Sarah Ritchie was the pool reporter for the debate, providing details from the debate studio for colleagues in the parliamentary press gallery. Given the size of the studio where the three candidates and moderator were placed, there was only room for one journalist. Among Ms. Ritchie’s observations:

– ”The room is small. In front of the centre table are six DSLR cameras on tripods, with camera operators crouched on stools behind them. They have very little room to move and had to rearrange lighting before the debate began because a candidate knocked over a light trying to get to the table.”

– ”Before things got started, Jean Charest remarked that the setup is “bizarre” and said “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

– ”All three candidates have papers in front of them. Charest is writing himself occasional notes with a black Sharpie.”

– ”Charest and Aitchison chat about learning to speak French during the break. … Aitchison tells Charest, “I’m getting better, like I was almost able to capture some of the things you’re saying” in French.


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

NEW DIPLOMATS – Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has announced the appointment of 11 new ambassadors as well as a high commissioner and consul-general. New ambassadors are en route to such counties as a El Salvador, Latvia and Senegal. Details here.

FREELAND IN DARTMOUTH – Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, in Dartmouth, N.S., visited a Canadian freight company, Armour Transportation Systems, met with truck drivers and workers, and held a media availability. She was also scheduled to host a roundtable with energy industry representatives to discuss opportunities in Atlantic Canada to advance energy security.

MILLER IN MUSKEG LAKE CREE NATION – Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, in the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, and Kelly Wolfe, chief of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, concluded the 1919 Soldier Settlement Specific Claim.

MENDICINO AND RODRIGUEZ IN MONTREAL – Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, in Montreal, announced $41.8-million to the Quebec government to support gun and gang violence prevention and intervention activities in municipalities and Indigenous communities across the province. Also present: Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who is the Quebec lieutenant for the government.

PETITPAS-TAYLOR IN KENSINGTON – Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, in Kensington, Prince Edward Island, announced support for community organizations.

ST-ONGE IN MISSISSAUGA – Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge, in Mississauga, announced the fourth national-level organization to receive funding from the Community Sport for all Initiative.

VANDAL IN THOMPSON – Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal, also responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, in Thompson, Man., officially unveiled the new PrairiesCan service location in the community and announced $2,350,435 for seven projects in communities across northern Manitoba.


Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcasts features Globe health reporter Wency Leung, answering questions from listeners about monkeypox as cases climb worldwide. Ms. Leung walks listeners through what we know so far – including the severity of the disease, who it’s affecting, and the availability of vaccines today. The Decibel is here.


The Prime Minister is on a two-week vacation in Costa Rica.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was scheduled to hold a media availability on fixing Canada’s heath care system, with Ontario Nurses’ Association President, Cathryn Hoy.

No schedules released for other party leaders.


John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how the federal Conservative Party is about to become Pierre Poilievre’s personal property: Pierre Poilievre’s decision to boycott Wednesday night’s leadership debate confirms the schism between his faction of the Conservative Party and the more moderate faction led by former Quebec premier Jean Charest. This could be seen as bad news for the party. Traditionally, the conservative coalition has been strongest when Blue Tories and Red Tories work together. But the years of conservative rift and reunion, of Reformers and Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance and the reunited Conservative Party are ancient history. None of it matters any more. The Conservative Party is about to become the personal property of Pierre Poilievre.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Quebec anglophones, feeling forsaken by the provincial Liberals, weigh their options: Ms. Anglade is clearly in a pickle. A June Léger Marketing poll had the QLP at 10 per cent support among decided francophone voters, compared with 50 per cent support for the CAQ. Ms. Anglade desperately needs to move the needle before Oct. 3 if the QLP has any hope of preserving any of the ridings with francophone pluralities that it now holds, including her own Montreal seat. Fully 13 of the QLP’s sitting MNAs have opted not to run again, leaving many of those seats up for grabs by other parties. So far, Ms. Anglade has focused on pocketbook issues to woo anglophones and francophones alike. The QLP is promising to cut income taxes for the middle class, eliminate sales taxes on basic food and hygiene necessities and freeze Quebec’s already low electricity rates. In her efforts to rebuild her party in French Quebec, however, Ms. Anglade has left many anglophone voters feeling forsaken.”

Tahara Bhate and Kevin Wasko (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how supporting nurses must be an immediate priority as emergency departments are in crisis: After 2 1/2 years of hearing that our health system is under threat, both governments and the public have responded with indifference to the current crisis. But our new reality is beyond sobering – for the first time, we are facing the spectre of preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. The same focused crisis response seen early in the pandemic is now needed again. As terrible as that time was, there was a mobilization of system transformation on a scale we could have only imagined: We saw overnight adoption of virtual care, clinicians and nurses working to their fullest possible scope of practice, new types of clinics launched within days and a true, system-wide response to a singular problem. That urgency and unity of purpose is what is needed now, both in terms of funds and the political and administrative will to do things differently.”

Charles Burton (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit has brought the thorny `one China’ debate into sharp focus: As a sovereign nation, Canada should not be taking direction from China or be intimidated into shunning Taiwan’s democratic regime. Canada must retain its ability to negotiate bilateral trade and other matters of critical geostrategic interest, including global health, airspace, and climate change, with Taiwan directly. We need to have the courage to calmly make this clear to Beijing. But, inexplicably, Canada has had no ambassador to China in place since Dominic Barton decamped from his Beijing post in December, 2021. Our voice in Beijing is now muted. Even more worrying is an ongoing internal debate over whether Canada’s long purported Indo-Pacific policy reset is stagnating.”

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