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Politics Briefing: Threat to Canadian electric vehicle industry dissipates with U.S. Senate deal – The Globe and Mail




A deal struck among Democrats in the U.S. Senate appears to have eliminated a threat hanging over the nascent electric vehicle manufacturing industry in Canada.

An agreement announced late Wednesday between Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia gives the Democrats the votes they need to pass a key plank of U.S. President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

The deal would amend Mr. Biden’s climate and health bill and change the terms of tax credits for electric vehicles that, as previously written, would have only applied to autos assembled in the United States.

The amended language does away with the made-in-America criteria and instead says the tax credit would apply to electric vehicles assembled “within North America,” which means not only the United States but Canada and Mexico.

Canada’s auto industry and the Canadian government are celebrating the development. International Trade Minister Mary Ng had previously warned that a Buy-America-style tax credit would do “serious and irreparable harm” to the Canadian automotive sector.

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


PAPAL VISIT CONTINUES – Pope Francis is hosting a reconciliation-themed mass in Quebec before a congregation made up largely of residential school survivors and other Indigenous people, a day after expressing shame and sorrow for the role played by Catholic institutions in the schools. Story here. Meanwhile, the Vatican is not planning to conduct a formal investigation into the abuses at Catholic-run residential schools that operated across Canada for a century, but will examine any new evidence that emerges. Story here.

NO PLANS TO RESIGN: HOCKEY CANADA CEO – Hockey Canada’s CEO said he has no plans to resign amid controversy over the organization’s handling of sexual-assault allegations, despite growing calls for a leadership overhaul to address the troubling culture in the country’s national winter sport. Story here.

PROVINCES WANT MORE IMMIGRATION CONTROL – Citing a nationwide labour shortage, several provincial immigration ministers say they want more control over the immigration process, and have sent a letter to their federal counterpart calling for change. Provincial and territorial ministers involved with immigration were Wednesday meeting with federal minister, Sean Fraser. Story here from CBC.

DETAILS ON AR-15 COMPENSATION RELEASED – The federal government is proposing $1,337 in compensation for turning in an AR-15 rifle under a mandatory buyback program. Story here.

QUEBEC CONSERVATIVE PARTY GAINING TRACTION – When Éric Duhaime took over as leader of the Quebec Conservatives last year, the party – which is unaffiliated with the federal Conservatives – had never held a seat in the legislature, never been invited to a major debate and never raised more than $60,000 in donations in any given year. Now, however, the party has wrangled a seat in the legislature and started polling near 20 per cent. Story here from CBC.

SMITH FACES CRITICISM AT UCP DEBATE – Danielle Smith, considered one of the front-runners in the United Conservative Party leadership race, faced sharp criticism Wednesday from debate rivals over her Alberta sovereignty plan and controversial comments on cancer. Story here.

NEW POSTMEDIA CHAIRMAN NAMED – Jamie Irving, a scion of the wealthy New Brunswick family, will take over as executive chairman of Postmedia Network Canada Corp. at the end of this year, as board chair Paul Godfrey prepares to step down after a dozen years in the newspaper publisher’s top ranks. Story here.


CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in Newfoundland. Roman Baber is in Ontario, with stops in Chatham and Windsor. Jean Charest is in B.C. Leslyn Lewis is in Saskatchewan, with stops in Regina and Saskatoon. Pierre Poilievre is in Ottawa.

HARPER DIDN’T ADDRESS `BATTY’ POILIEVRE IDEAS: FORMER CABINET MINISTERS – Two Stephen Harper-era cabinet ministers say his endorsement of Pierre Poilievre for the leadership of the Conservative party failed to address the candidate’s “batty” economic policies. Story here.


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

TIMETABLE FOR ONTARIO LEGISLATURE RETURN – Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed Thursday that the legislature will convene Aug. 8, with a speaker elected that day. Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell will deliver a throne speech on Aug. 9. It’s the first sitting of the legislature since the Ontario election held on June. 2 in which Mr. Ford led the Progressive Conservatives to a second, consecutive majority government.

FRASER IN N.B. – Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in Saint John, N.B., joins a media availability held by other provincial and territorial ministers responsible for immigration, at the end of the joint meeting of the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration.

KHERA IN P.E.I.- Seniors Minister Kamal Khera, in Prince Edward Island, announced a $73,486 investment to fund five community-based projects to support seniors in the Rural Municipality of Miltonvale Park, Prince Edward Island.

NG IN HALIFAX – International Trade Minister Mary Ng, in Halifax, makes an announcement about the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund.


Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features Senior Writer Grant Robertson whose investigation into the National Equity Fund exposed it publicly. Hockey Canada told federal hearings Wednesday that it has paid $8.9-million since 1989 to settle 21 cases of alleged sexual assault, with the bulk of that money, $7.6-million, coming from a special fund built through registration fees that wasn’t disclosed to parents and players. Mr. Robertson explains how the equity fund functions and how it allowed Hockey Canada to keep quiet allegations of a group sexual assault for years. The Decibel is here.


The Prime Minister, in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Quebec, attends a Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.


No schedules released for party leaders.


John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how Pierre Poilievre will need more than promises of freedom: Stephen Harper’s public endorsement of Pierre Poilievre as the next leader of the Conservative Party means very little, but also a lot. Very little, because Mr. Poilievre probably had the leadership sewn up even without the former prime minister’s imprimatur. A lot, because Mr. Harper is clearly hoping to preserve party unity and win over uncommitted voters in support of a candidate he believes has a clear shot at becoming prime minister.”

Cathal Kelly (The Globe and Mail) on how defining Hockey Canada’s problem in plain English continues to be a problem: Pull back from the talking points and the gotcha questions. What message are the people who run hockey in Canada trying to send? It’s twofold – hockey does not have a systematic problem (ergo, we are not the problem); the players must be Clockwork Orange’d until they are functioning citizens again. It’s the players who’ve lost their way. Hockey Canada is the good guy. It’s trying to help the victims and make them sign NDAs, but only if they want to. Underneath the bureaucratese, you can faintly hear the real explanation: ‘We tried, but what are you going to do with these brutes? Every once in a while, they’re going to get loose, and then it’s our job to get them back in a box before they panic the locals.’ If you didn’t believe hockey had a culture problem before Wednesday, you should now.”

Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on why Americans are more gullible than Canadians when it comes to falsehoods: “But in recent times it’s become clear that we’ve missed a critically important distinction between the two countries, one which helps explain why American democracy threatens to go off the rails while the Canadian system, warts and all, remains relatively stable. The difference is in the level of gullibility of the respective populations. Americans have become remarkably vulnerable and prone to myths, conspiracy theories, alternative facts and the charlatans who peddle them. They’ve been imbibing snake oil by the barrel. To the point where, as Kurt Andersen puts it in his book Fantasyland, “The irrational has become respectable and often unstoppable.” To the point where “the reality-based community,” to use a term attributed to an official working with Karl Rove, is imperilled. While Canada is by no means free of the problem, there is no comparison in terms of degree.”

Winnie Byanyima (Contributed to the Globe and Mail) on how the global AIDS response is faltering, putting millions of lives in danger: The 24th International AIDS Conference, taking place this week in Montreal and bringing together thousands of activists, scientists and policy-makers, could not have come at a more vital time. For over two decades, this conference has been a moment to celebrate life-saving advances against the AIDS pandemic. This year, however, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is releasing new data that will sound an alarm: we are not on track to end AIDS, and millions of lives are at risk. We can turn this around, but in this particular emergency, the only safe response is to be bold.”

Andrew MacDougall (The Ottawa Citizen) on the way to stop Pierre Poilievre: As surprises go, Harper’s support for Poilievre shouldn’t register on the Richter scale. After all, he made Poilievre his parliamentary secretary after the 2008 election and made him a minister in 2013. The news would have been if he hadn’t endorsed his boy Skippy. Most Conservatives I know took it in stride. And then there’s Jean Charest. Despite Harper’s reference to a “strong field” in his endorsement of Poilievre, there is no way the “strong” in that field had anything to do with the former Quebec premier. If Charest ever ran to be dog catcher in Rivière-au-Tonnerre, Harper would drive all the way there in the dead of a pandemic winter – on a skidoo, if he had to – to poleaxe his chances.”

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Politics Briefing: Trudeau announces diplomat Jennifer May will be ambassador to China – The Globe and Mail




Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that diplomat Jennifer May will take over as ambassador to China with a mandate to speak out on human rights abuses while pursuing trade with the world’s second-biggest economy.

“A dedicated public servant, Ms. May’s many years of diverse experience on international missions, and her deep understanding of Asia, will serve to manage this important bilateral relationship and advance Canada’s interest in China,” Mr. Trudeau said Friday.

While the last two ambassadors – former cabinet minister John McCallum and business executive Dominic Barton – soft-pedalled China’s human rights abuses, the Prime Minister’s Office said Mr. Trudeau expects Ms. May to use her envoy posting to highlight the importance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife 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.


POILIEVRE VS. TRUDEAU – In his first opportunity to question Justin Trudeau since winning the Conservative Party leadership, Pierre Poilievre this week repeated his calls for a federal payroll tax freeze and chided the Prime Minister for choosing international travel over House of Commons attendance. Story here.

BRIAN MULRONEY’S DINNER WITH PIERRE POILIEVRE – Pierre Poilievre must make an appeal to Canada’s political centre if he wants to win government, former prime minister Brian Mulroney says he told the new Conservative Leader this week over dinner. Story here.

OILS SANDS COMPANIES FALL SHORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION: ANALYSIS – Canadian oil sands companies have done little to follow through on their public pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, despite raking in historic profits in 2022, a new analysis shows. Story here.

QUEBEC ELECTION – Quebec’s four opposition party leaders attacked Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault on the environment, the cost of living and his management of the economy in the last debate of the election campaign Thursday, leaving Mr. Legault on the defensive. Story here. The debate, with English translation, is here on CPAC. Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade posted a tweet on her preparation for the proceedings here. Meanwhile, on Friday, Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said he is pausing his campaign after developing flu-like symptoms. Story here.

ONTARIO REPORTS SURPLUS – Ontario says it took in 20 per cent more revenue than anticipated last year, wiping out what it had predicted would be a $13.5-billion deficit and replacing it with a “temporary” surplus of $2.1-billion. Story here.

JURISDICTIONAL HURDLES COMPLICATE FEDERAL GUN ACTION – Federal agencies are trying to boost efforts to trace the origins of guns used in crimes, but it appears jurisdictional hurdles could prevent the measures from going as far as some would like. Story here.

LAST COUNCIL MEETING FOR WINNIPEG MAYOR – Brian Bowman bid an emotional farewell to his council colleagues on Thursday, during his last meeting as Winnipeg’s mayor. Story here from CBC.


TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Sept. 23, accessible here.

JOLY TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA – As South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-Yeol visited Ottawa on Friday, a senior official revealed Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly will visit Seoul next month. The disclosure, according to a Canadian Press pool report, came as the president met with Governor-General Mary Simon at Rideau Hall.

SEAL SUMMIT SET FOR NOVEMBER – Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray has announced a Seal Summit for Nov. 8 and 9 in St. John’s that will involve parties such as the Indigenous community, commercial fishing industry and provincial and territorial representatives to talk about issues including fisheries science and management, and developing new products and diversifying markets for seal and seal products.


On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon discusses what is happening in Russia where President Vladimir Putin called up 300,000 reservists in a partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine. That sparked protests in several cities in Russia, and a flood of people trying to leave the country. Mr. MacKinnon talks about what the repercussions of Putin’s escalation might be, and what it means for the broader conflict. The Decibel is here.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, visited a local school to mark Rosh Hashanah with students, and then, with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosted a luncheon for visiting South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, and Mrs. Kim Keon-hee. The Prime Minister then held a meeting with the South Korean President. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne participated. Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Yoon were then scheduled to hold a joint media availability.


No schedules released for party leaders.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how the best way to help Canada’s overwhelmed health care system is to get your COVID-19 booster shot: ”Canada needs to rediscover the drive that made its earlier vaccine campaigns so successful, especially among the most vulnerable – namely, older Canadians. British Columbia took a stab at it when it announced it intends to deliver 280,000 booster shots per week this fall. Every other province needs to be at least as ambitious. There are enough boosters to go around. Ottawa said Moderna is shipping 10.5 million doses of its bivalent vaccine to Canada just this month, and Moderna and Pfizer are close to submitting even newer formulations for approval from Health Canada. Canada also has plenty of first-generation shots for the nearly one in 10 adults who never got the original two-shot series. Let’s get back to the time when Canada led the world. Every Canadian who gets vaccinated or boosted this fall reduces the number of people likely to end up in our crowded hospitals. It’s not complicated.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how giving MPs more meaningful work might lead to more civility in Parliament: “I can think of a hundred things wrong with Parliament, and heckling wouldn’t even make the list. Nor, for that matter, would incivility, at least between MPs. We pay politicians for much the same reason we pay wrestlers, to act out a relatively harmless pantomime of combat for the rest of us. Parliament exists as a forum, with all of its quaint rules and customs, not to deny social conflict but to contain and channel it, to express our antagonisms in stylized form.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how the first salvo between Pierre Poilievre, Justin Trudeau proves pair will be formidable opponents in Parliament: “In June, 2014, Ray Novak, Mr. Harper’s chief of staff, confronted the Conservative prime minister with a choice: either declare now that he was staying to fight a fourth election, or step aside for someone else. Mr. Harper, who could not abide the thought of another Trudeau leading the country, decided to stay and fight. He shouldn’t have. Mr. Trudeau must know the odds are against him. Yet he must also believe that Mr. Poilievre is a threat to the country. He may have convinced himself that he and no one else can stop the new Conservative Leader from becoming prime minister. He may be right. And if he’s wrong, he won’t be the first politician to make that mistake.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on why Pierre Poilievre doesn’t seem to care about climate change: “It’s easy to tell people what they want to hear on the campaign trail – to tell Albertans that you will boost oil production, even if it damns the climate. But Mr. Poilievre needs to be aware that a majority of Canadians will never support such an irresponsible position when the fate of the world is at stake. The Conservatives need to get serious about climate change, or accept losing elections as a general rule.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on why the federal Liberals should be worried if Justin Trudeau stays: “For the first time as Prime Minister, Mr. Trudeau faces a Leader of the Official Opposition who possesses communication skills that rival his own. Mr. Trudeau benefited from comparisons with previous Conservative Party leaders Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole, neither of whom could hold an audience. In Mr. Poilievre, he faces an opponent who can draw a crowd. That has to be a major cause for concern in Liberal ranks. Mr. Trudeau won three consecutive federal elections against Tory leaders who were relatively weak or, in the case of former prime minister Stephen Harper, irretrievably weakened. After seven years in power, and a series of scandals on par with those of Mr. Harper’s government, Mr. Trudeau’s own popularity has plummeted.”

Tara McGuire (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the drug overdose crisis is everyone’s problem: “In the years since Holden died, I have been extremely fortunate to receive an education. I read widely about the opioid crisis and absorbed as much as I could about how to become a writer. During that time, I wrote a book that I very much did not want to write. I considered trashing it many times, which would have been so much easier. But if I bailed, if I didn’t open up about Holden’s struggle and what his death has taught me, then I’d be just another person not talking about it. I’d be another person quietly perpetuating the stigma and shame that come along with substance use and misuse and their often-tragic ramifications.”

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Pandemic protesters try making leap to politics in Manitoba's civic, school board races –



Fierce opposition to COVID-19 measures is reverberating through Manitoba’s upcoming municipal and school board elections. 

It’s believed at least a dozen people on ballots in October are vocal critics of pandemic-era restrictions, some of whom gained widespread notoriety for their dissent.

Dick Eastland said running for a school board seat wasn’t something he seriously considered before the pandemic. He said discussions with others who rallied against the restrictions and vaccine mandates changed his mind.

“We have been talking about this a lot privately from person-to-person and trying to inspire each other, to show some strength,” he said.

“For a lot of people, they’re getting completely out of their comfort zone.”

Dick Eastland said too many school trustees hold the same views and he’s running for office to present a common-sense perspective. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

This includes Eastland, whose own kids are out of school.

“There’s no reason for me to do this, except that I strongly believe that a lot of people felt helpless when it came to masking their children or vaccinating them.”

Eastland, who is looking to represent Ward 1 in the Pembina Trails School Division in Winnipeg, argues the current trustees are too willing to go along with the crowd rather than thinking for themselves. He wouldn’t be afraid to chart his own path, he said.

“My reputation isn’t at stake here,” Eastland said. “Me battling for families that are maybe getting run over by the machine, so to speak, that’s who I’m here for.”

Karl Krebs, who failed to turn Winkler, Man., into a sanctuary city immune from pandemic restrictions, actively encouraged like-minded people to run for office.

He told a restaurant full of his supporters in August that if enough of their people run, “this will be a memorable moment in the history book of Manitoba,” an online video shows. 

He’s one of two people seeking to become mayor of the Winkler. Krebs will face Henry Siemens, a longtime councillor.

Karl Krebs, organizer of the Things That Matter movement that has fought against pandemic restrictions, is running to be mayor of Winkler. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

In an interview on Friday, Krebs said he hopes his own decision to seek office, and subsequent appeals to others, had the desired effect.

“We’re all in this to bring about change that will bring us back to where we were,” Krebs said. “Nobody is looking for a different community other than the one that we had two years ago, and that’s what’s been affected. We’ve seen the effects of mandates on businesses. We’ve seen the effects of promoting medical choices that people are not comfortable making.”

Krebs said one person he encouraged to run is his “good friend” Don Bouchard, who’s challenging councillor Jim Funk to serve as reeve of the RM of Hanover. 

Bouchard attended rallies with convoy protest supporters where he’s done ministry and performed baptisms.

He said what’s broken in society is this tendency to believe there’s only one opinion, and other perspectives are wrong.

“People are allowed to be angry. They’re allowed to think differently. And if I’m offended, I have the problem.”

‘If I do get elected … things could happen’

Angela Anderson Johnson, who is among nine nominees vying for a single seat in Ward 5 of the Winnipeg School Division board, said she’s been branded online as an opponent of COVID measures and she’s been bombarded with critical comments since her name was listed on the ballot.

She said those remarks have empowered her.

“I can go to all the rallies and listen to them … but it’s not doing anything, right? Nothing’s changing. So I think if I do get elected to be a school trustee, I think things could happen.”

Four people, three men and one woman, stand in front of a large office building with hands holding microphones and cellphones in the foreground.
From left to right, Gerald Bohemier, Todd McDougall, Patrick Allard and Sharon Vickner, along with co-defendant Tobias Tissen, all received fines ranging from more than $14,200 to nearly $35,000 for violating pandemic health restrictions. (CBC)

Todd McDougall is one of the five people convicted this summer for repeatedly violating COVID-19 public health orders.

He’s been part of discussions with friends and other supporters about seeking elected office, he said.

McDougall knows he’s garnered a reputation for his views on COVID-19, but said he doesn’t want voters in Ward 2 of the Pembina Trails School Division to “pigeonhole” him as a one-issue candidate. Three of the four hopefuls in that race will be elected.

He wants discussions with voters to be about “what’s happening in education right now,” McDougall said.

He hopes people afford that same opportunity to all candidates that may be portrayed as having fringe views.

Like him, Patrick Allard, who was also charged in court for flouting pandemic rules, wants more transparency on school board decisions and more opportunities for parents to have their say.

Allard is one of three people vying to become a trustee in Ward 8 in the Winnipeg School Division.

Patrick Allard, an opponent of COVID-19 restrictions who has been fined because he hasn’t adhered to public health orders, encourages people of varying viewpoints to seek public office. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

He’s happily encouraged people to run for office on social media, he said, but denies targeting a certain group of anti-mandate protesters with his messaging. If you’re frustrated with those in public office, you should get involved, he said.

“I was always told when I was young, ‘If you don’t like the laws, run for office and change them.'”

Christopher Adams, an adjunct professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba, said the path from protests to politics is well-travelled, no matter which end of the political spectrum they occupy.

“I think many people [who protested COVID measures] “got a taste of how enjoyable it was to be part of the media spotlight and to be in groups talking about issues of importance to them,” Adams said.

“It’s not surprising that these individuals would come forward and be part of a local campaign,” Adams said.

He added some of these candidates may not seriously think they can win. Meanwhile, those individuals hoping to gain power may have a better shot at school board elections, since they don’t generally garner much attention and any incumbents do not have much name recognition. 

Election day is on Oct. 26.

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Politics Podcast: Is Social Media Turning Us Into Political Extremists? – FiveThirtyEight





What effect is social media having on our politics and society more broadly? According to critics, we’re living through an unregulated era of social media that will one day look as outdated as tobacco did in its pre-regulation era.

In his new book, “The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World” New York Times reporter Max Fisher explores how social media impacts the psychology of its users and changes how people think, behave and communicate.

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke talks to Fisher about his book and why he believes this is leading to social and political crises in the U.S. and around the world.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

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