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Politics Briefing: Quebeckers head to the polls – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Quebeckers are voting on Monday in a provincial election where polls have the Coalition Avenir Québec out front, raising questions about who will come second.

CAQ Leader François Legault and his party have, over the five-week campaign, been fending off challenges from a crowded field of rivals, namely the Quebec Liberal Party, Québéc Solidaire, the Parti Québécois and the Conservative Party of Quebec .

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As parties hit the campaign trail, Mr. Legault’s party had 76 seats in the National Assembly. The Quebec Liberals had 27 and Québéc Solidaire had 10. There were seven Parti Quebecois members, one member of the Conservative Party of Quebec and four Independents. There’s an overview here of what the parties were promising voters.

When the CAQ won the 2018 election, it was a break in a political dynamic spanning five decades that had seen federalists and separatists governing the province.

There’s a story here on the final day of campaigning, as party leaders made a final appeal to voters. And Globe and Mail Montreal Reporter Eric Andrew-Gee explores here how Mr. Legault found the sweet spot of Quebec politics, taking years to get his brand of paternal populism just right.

Polls close at 8 p.m. ET. Watch The Globe and Mail for election updates this evening.

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

CANADA ANNOUNCES NEW IRANIAN SANCTIONS – Canada is sanctioning 25 senior Iranian officials and nine government entities following a violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Iran. Story here.

NEW DETAILS ON HOCKEY CANADA FINANCIAL RESERVES – Several years after Hockey Canada began using player registration fees to build a large financial reserve known as the National Equity Fund to cover sexual assault claims and other lawsuits, it channelled a significant portion of that money into a second multimillion-dollar fund for similar purposes. Story here.

GLOBE INVESTIGATION FINDS INEQUITIES IN SALARIES FOR FEMALE ONTARIO DOCTORS – Female doctors in Ontario made less on average than their male counterparts in 35 medical specialties tracked by the Ministry of Health, a Globe and Mail analysis of physician billings has shown. This was true even in specialties such as obstetrics and gynecology, where the majority of practising doctors were women. Story here.

FORMER SENATOR FACES SEXUAL ASSAULT AND CRIMINAL HARASSMENT CHARGES – A former Canadian senator has been charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of criminal harassment in relation to alleged incidents during which he was still a member of Parliament’s upper house. Story here.

RELATIVELY LOW INTEREST IN FEDERAL INDIGENOUS COURSES: CBC – The federal government offers its employees a variety of Indigenous cultural awareness and sensitivity programs through the Canada School of Public Service, but participation in the optional sessions is relatively low. Story here from CBC.

PRIME MINISTER TAKES THE PLUNGE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a plunge this weekend when he went bungee jumping just outside of the Ottawa area over the weekend. Story here from CTV.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Oct. 3, accessible here.

DAYS SINCE CONSERVATIVE LEADER PIERRE POILIEVRE TOOK MEDIA QUESTIONS IN OTTAWA: 20

SOLOMON EXIT – Evan Solomon is leaving his role as host of CTV’s Power Play and Question Period shows to become the new Publisher of GZERO Media and member of the Eurasia Group Management Committee – details here. However, he will continue his professional connection with CTV, working as a special correspondent focused on Canadian politics and global affairs. Mr. Solomon explains here.

FREELAND AT FINANCE COMMITTEE – Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was scheduled to appear Monday at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to discuss Bill C-30, the Cost of Living Relief Act, No.1 (Targeted Tax Relief). Details here. The appearance was being screened here.

THE DECIBEL

On Monday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, infectious disease specialist, Dr. Lisa Barrett answers COVID-19 questions, such as: When you get sick, is there any way to tell if it’s COVID-19 or the flu or a cold? How long should you isolate if you have COVID-19? What’s the right time frame to get a bivalent vaccine – and what does bivalent mean? The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the Ottawa region, was scheduled to present the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence.

LEADERS

No schedules provided for party leaders.

TRIBUTE

The flag on the Peace Tower flew at half mast Sunday as funeral services were held for Bill Blaikie, who represented Winnipeg for the NDP in the House of Commons for three decades. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended the service in Winnipeg. Mr. Blaikie died on Sept. 24, aged 71. There’s an obituary here by Ottawa reporter Shannon Proudfoot.

PUBLIC OPINION

British Columbia Premier John Horgan is dodging the scandal and unpopularity that dogged his predecessors upon their political exits, with data from the Angus Reid Institute suggesting those surveyed in the province will remember him as an outstanding or above-average premier. However, the path ahead is more complicated for his presumed successor David Eby. Details here.

READER OPINION

Reader Lois Avison writes on the Sept. 29 Politics Briefing newsletter, available here, which dealt, in part, with the fate of an NDP bill to lower the voting age to 16.

How well I remember the days when I was 16, and thought I had the world by the tail. I thought I knew everything that I needed to know at that time. And yes, I probably did know a lot, but about what? 75 years later it is easy to see that I didn’t know or hadn’t had the time to internalize what I did know about the ways of the world. We learn so much from what went before us. Those who don’t pay attention to history and learn from decisions made, all in good faith, by decision makers of earlier days, will never understand all the information and intelligence that needs to be taken into consideration for decisions of today. Oh to be so young again and think I knew so much. Now I know how little I understood of world politics, and am happy I was not allowed to vote during those hay days of youth.

Lois Avison, White Rock, B.C.

OPINION

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how there can be no end to the war in Ukraine that leaves Russian President Vladimir Putin in power: This is not the old Soviet Union, menacing but methodical. This is a personal dictatorship, as unrestrained by the institutions of lawful government as by concern for human life or even prudent assessment of risk: Hitler with nukes. So long as Mr. Putin is in power the world is not safe. Therefore, he must be removed from power. It cannot end otherwise.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how Albertans could some day miss Jason Kenney, even if his current approval numbers spell a different story: It’s the strange moment where Mr. Kenney is leaving but is not yet gone. Even with his time as Premier ending, Mr. Kenney continues to work. Surely it’s about establishing a legacy beyond a bungled pandemic response in the summer of 2021. But he also seems to be in a mad rush to get loose ends tied up, keep election campaign promises and make announcements that are difficult for future premiers to unwind. Mr. Kenney could jam in more activities in the days ahead, just before a new premier is sworn in, an event that could come just after the Thanksgiving long weekend.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on Conservatives deciding to compete in the victimhood Olympics:The Conservatives are supposed to be a party of sobriety, one that understands the difference between a genuine incitement to violence and a figure of speech – not one that melts into a puddle when they hear the latter. So what if a Liberal MP might interpret the same tweet as a bona fide threat on his life and lap up support and sympathy from colleagues and the public? Let him. The Conservatives are, by their own telling, better than that: focusing on real issues like the cost of living and the fact that some people still can’t get passports. Instead, they’ve spent the last week-and-a-half painting exaggerated frowns on their faces and lumbering around like sad clowns.”

Mark Carney (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on the U.K. tax cuts and how, with one foot on the brakes, it’s foolish to stomp on the gas: With trade agreements with the U.S., Mexico, the EU and much of Asia, we are well positioned to bring global production and high-paying jobs to Canada. We can build sustainable solutions to global energy security. And with the right support, Canadian workers can seize the benefits of the digital and sustainable revolutions. But to get there, we need a transformation of economic policy. That includes urgent federal-provincial collaboration to build a clean electricity grid by 2035. It means comprehensive tax reform to favour skills development and business investment. It requires bold new approaches so our colleges, institutes and universities provide mid-career training for every Canadian who wants it. It demands a financial system that supports an energy transition that seizes our full potential as an energy superpower.”

Shachi Kurl (The Ottawa Citizen) on how Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre face a similar challenge in attracting voters: What remains the same, for now anyway, is the inability of Poilievre and his rival, Justin Trudeau, to overcome an unlikability factor outside their own support bases that leaves both incapable of impressing a broader segment of the population. Without change, the result will most certainly be continued frustration for the actors involved. Those bearing witness to an increasingly polarized political climate aren’t likely to fare much better if they are looking for leadership that unites rather than divides.”

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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Trump's slow 2024 start worries allies – CNN

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CNN
 — 

Back in 2015, Donald Trump’s first campaign rally in Iowa as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination came just 10 hours after he declared his candidacy in New York. The following day, he was across the country in New Hampshire, with plans to visit South Carolina before the end of his first week.

But seven years later – and nearly three weeks into his 2024 presidential campaign – Trump has yet to leave his home state or hold a public campaign event in an early voting state.

Trump’s disengaged posture has baffled former and current allies, many of whom experienced firsthand the frenetic pace of his two previous White House bids, and who now say he’s missed the window to make a splash with his 2024 rollout. The uninspiring launch of his supposed political comeback comes as his campaign appears to be operating on auto pilot, with few signs of momentum or enthusiastic support from donors or party heavyweights.

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“I don’t know why he rushed this. It doesn’t make sense,” one Trump adviser said of his lackluster announcement speech last month, which came one week after Republicans delivered an underwhelming performance in the midterm elections and as the rest of the party turned its attention to the Senate runoff contest in Georgia.

Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution is a fantasy, but it’s still dangerous

Trump’s announcement was roundly panned for lacking zest, so much so that some audience members attempted an early exit, and his recent hosting of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and embattled rapper Kanye “Ye” West at Mar-a-Lago only further galvanized GOP opposition against him. A person familiar with the matter said Trump spent the Sunday after Thanksgiving asking people around him if they thought the backlash to his private dinner with Ye and Fuentes was truly damaging.

“So far, he has gone down from his bedroom, made an announcement, gone back up to his bedroom and hasn’t been seen since except to have dinner with a White supremacist,” said a 2020 Trump campaign adviser.

“It’s 1000% a ho-hum campaign,” the adviser added.

The only other notable event to occur since Trump announced he was running again was both unintended and dreaded for weeks by the former president’s attorneys. Just three days after Trump launched his campaign, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations into the 45th president and his associates.

While some Republicans long speculated that Trump entered the presidential race early to inoculate himself from further legal peril, his candidate status instead appeared to serve as the catalyst for Garland’s announcement.

A Trump campaign spokesman said the former president has held “multiple events since he announced,” noting his remote appearance at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition summit last month, video remarks to a conference for conservative activists in Mexico, a Patriots Freedom Fund event, his remarks at two separate political events held at Mar-a-Lago, and a tele-rally Monday night for Georgia Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker. None of these events were billed as campaign events.

Trump’s current campaign trajectory has left both allies and Republican opponents wondering if he will flip a switch in 2023 or fail to adapt to a different political environment. Even as the GOP’s undisputed 2024 frontrunner, some of his closest allies say he simply cannot afford to take his position for granted at a moment when influential Republicans appear exceedingly interested in dislodging him from his influential perch.

“If Trump was working in a lush jungle environment in 2016, he is in a desert today,” said a Republican close to the former president. “The political landscape has totally changed. He was irresistible because no one understood him but now everybody knows how to deal with him, so the question is, can he recalibrate?”

Some sources said Trump’s first-out-of-the-gate strategy, which was said to be partly aimed at clearing the GOP primary field, already looks poised to fail.

“You know what it’s done to dissuade people from getting in? Nothing. He hasn’t hired anyone. He hasn’t been to the early states,” said the 2020 campaign adviser.

Trump’s lack of impact was on display a week after his announcement, as other 2024 Republican hopefuls took the stage in Las Vegas for the annual RJC summit. Some attacked the former President, while others, once allies of Trump, indicated they were ready to take him on in 2024.

Just days before the event, Trump’s team announced plans for him to address the group remotely. Two people familiar with the matter said his virtual address was organized by aides at the last minute after he grew agitated upon realizing the event was a cattle call for Republican presidential prospects and he was not on its original list of speakers. The Trump campaign spokesman disputed this account, saying Trump’s remote remarks were planned “many weeks prior to the event.”

Other sources who for months harbored concerns that Trump wasn’t as enthusiastic about running as he was letting on in public appearances now say his inactivity has increased their worry. Apart from a planned fundraising appearance for a classical education group in Naples last weekend, the former president has yet to announce any events before the end of the year. A person familiar with the matter said Trump’s team is toying with a pre-Christmas event of some kind, though his campaign has not yet finalized any travel. In a statement last week panning a move by Democratic officials to put South Carolina first on the party’s primary calendar, Trump appeared to tease a visit to Iowa, currently the first state to cast votes in both parties’ presidential nominating contests, “in the very near future.”

“I can’t wait to be back in Iowa,” he said.

Campaign is ‘taking a breather’

Inside Trump’s campaign, sources said his current approach is entirely intentional, dismissing concerns that he has forfeited the spotlight at a critical time but acknowledging that Trump is currently working with a bare-bones staff.

The campaign “is doing exactly what everyone always accuses [them] of not doing – taking a breather, planning and forming a strategy for the next two years,” said one source familiar with Trump’s operation said.

Senior staff are holed up working on a plan,” this person added, noting that Trump’s campaign travel is expected to begin early in the new year, right as possible rivals who have taken the holidays to mull their own political futures may start launching their own campaigns or exploratory committees.

And while some Trump allies have been surprised by his lack of a hiring spree right out of the gate, his campaign has been content to maintain a lean operation while he’s the only candidate in the field. The former president is not expected to tap a formal campaign manager, instead elevating three trusted advisers – Susie Wiles, Brian Jack and Chris LaCivita – to senior roles, but allies said he will likely need to build out his on-the-ground staff in early voting states in the months to come, as well as a robust communications operation if he finds himself in a competitive primary.

While those hires don’t need to happen immediately, people close to Trump said his early entry into the 2024 race does raise questions about how he will sustain campaign-related costs over a longer period than other candidates who declare later, including chief potential rival Ron DeSantis. CNN has previously reported that the Florida governor, should he decide to take on Trump, would announce next May or June, after the conclusion of his state’s legislative session and just months before the Republican party could host its first primary debate, according to a party official involved in debate planning.

“The question a lot of us have is can Trump sustain a campaign for two years. That’s the real difficulty here. The pacing we’re seeing right now is designed to do that,” said a person close to Trump.

In addition to planning rallies and events and building momentum around the former President, the campaign staff is also looking at how to best insulate Trump after many were caught off guard learning of Trump’s dinner with Fuentes and West. The event, and the days of fallout and negative coverage, has expedited some of the campaign’s long-term plans, including ensuring a senior campaign staffer is always with the former president, a source familiar with the campaign said.

Trump’s White House staff worked with resort staff during his presidency in a similar fashion to protect Trump from potentially “unsavory” guests of members, the source said. Those close to Trump blamed “low level staffers” for allowing Fuentes to slip into the resort without any flags being raised.

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Macron shows his politics on Russia are bush league

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What’s wrong with French President Emmanuel Macron? First, he needlessly tells Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that there are two conditions under which France might cease supplying weapons to Ukraine: “We will never compromise the ability of our army to defend our own territory and our citizens. We will also never supply such weapons that would make us a party to the conflict as a result of their use for attacks on Russian territory.”

One doesn’t have to be a Metternich to appreciate that it’s unwise to tell your enemies what you will or will not do before you enter into negotiations with them. The smart thing is to keep the adversary in the dark, guessing about your intentions. What Macron did was simply bush league, evidence of either arrogance or ignorance or both. Then, a little later, he outdid himself when he proclaimed: “We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table. … One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.”

This statement is inane. For starters, let’s remind the French president that, with Finland’s admission into NATO, the alliance has come right up to Russia’s door and that the strategic nuclear weapons that could threaten Putin’s realm are primarily based, and will continue to be based, in the United States, the United Kingdom and — oh, yes — France. Deploying nukes on the Finnish border may send a signal of NATO’s toughness, but it effectively does nothing to enhance Russia’s insecurity or the West’s security. And everybody knew, and knows, that the West would have to be completely daft to base nuclear weapons in, of all places, Ukraine, which isn’t a NATO member.

Moreover, both Putin and Macron know full well that the armies that come under the NATO umbrella are, with the exception of those of the United States, United Kingdom and Poland, in miserable shape, having been severely neglected since the fall of the Berlin wall. America may pose a threat to Russia, but NATO does not. That Russians insist that it does is either self-serving propaganda meant to justify Putin’s militarism, imperialism and fascism or delusional paranoia rooted in Putin’s worldview that pits Russia against the world. Either way, the West needs to counter collective Russia’s mendacity or fantasies, not with mollycoddling but with straightforward explanations of reality.

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But what really takes the cake in Macron’s statement about security guarantees for Russia is its silence about security guarantees for Ukraine — an issue on which France thus far has been notably silent. Surely, one can’t provide guarantees to a self-styled great power with a huge nuclear arsenal without at the same time providing guarantees to the country that it has invaded and subjected to a genocidal war. Now, Macron has also expressed his unwavering commitment to Ukraine, so it’s highly unlikely that he intends to sell Ukraine down the river while providing guarantees to Russia. No, it’s the incoherence of his thinking that is most striking — and alarming. He’s the president of a powerful and influential country. He should know that guaranteeing Russia’s security is infinitely harder than guaranteeing Ukraine’s, and since Europe isn’t all too keen on the latter, how can he reasonably expect it to be keen on the former?

Besides, just how does one guarantee the security of an imperialistic, warmongering, fascist state ruled by a leader who seems delusional? The comparison with Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia is unavoidable. Imagine Adolf Hitler’s insistence in 1939, just before his attack on Poland, on security guarantees. Or Joseph Stalin’s insistence in 1948, after the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe, of similar guarantees. Just what could such guarantees possibly have entailed? And wouldn’t the priority be to guarantee the security of the countries being threatened?

Hélas, Monsieur le Président needs to go back to his books and do a bit of thinking. Otherwise, he risks becoming risible, hardly the quality that would guarantee his security as president or his ability to deal with the Putin threat.

Alexander J. Motyl is a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires and theory, he is the author of 10 books of nonfiction, as well as “Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires” and “Why Empires Reemerge: Imperial Collapse and Imperial Revival in Comparative Perspective.”

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Eric Melillo MP – Week in National Politics Dec 5 2022

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Kenora MP Eric Melillo

Kenora – Politics – It was great to be back in Red Lake this weekend to walk in the Santa Claus parade, thank you to all the volunteers who helped organize it.  

Canada Summer Jobs Applications Open 

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The Canada Summer Jobs application for employers has opened and will be accepting applications until January 12, 2023.  I encourage all applicable businesses in the region to consider applying.

Bill C-21 Amendment 

This week I attended the Public Safety committee and expressed my opposition to the proposed Liberal amendment to ban many firearms traditionally used for hunting.   

My message to the Liberal and NDP Members of Parliament was clear: taking away firearms from hunters, trappers, and sport shooters in northwestern Ontario will do nothing to make urban cities safer.   

For many in our region, hunting is a way of life, an important tradition, and a way to put food on the table. But the Liberals don’t understand that.  

I have appreciated so many people from our region reaching out to my office, expressing their opposition to this amendment, and sharing the role hunting, trapping, and sport shooting play in their lives.  I’ve been able to share some of your stories, vocal opposition, and concerns with the government. I hope they’ll recognize how out of touch and problematic this proposal is and immediately withdraw it.  

My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to advocate against this amendment.  I encourage those who oppose this amendment to share your opposition with the Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino.  You can email him at: marco.mendicino@parl.gc.ca

National Council for Reconciliation 

For the past few weeks at Indigenous and Northern Affairs committee I’ve been working on Bill C-29, which will create a National Council for Reconciliation.  This Council will hold the government responsible on the path to reconciliation and provide updates on the progress made on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.  

I was pleased to see Bill C-29 passed in the House of Commons and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance reconciliation. 

Working for You

If you’re planning to be in Ottawa and are interested in attending Question Period or taking a tour of Parliament, please let me know, and my office can help reserve Question Period and tour tickets.

As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, please call me at 807-223-2182 (Dryden) or 807-468-2170 (Kenora) or email me at eric.melillo@parl.gc.ca.  

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