Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, opening a new parliamentary session on Tuesday, vowed to help British Columbia rebuild after the devastating floods last week, and said it was time to ramp up the fight against climate change.
Trudeau was re-elected on Sept. 20 for a third time, albeit with a second minority government that will need opposition support to pass legislation.
Work in the House of Commons, suspended since August, kicked off with a speech that Canada’s governor general Mary May Simon, who represents its head of state, Queen Elizabeth, delivered on the prime minister’s behalf.
“British Columbians are facing immeasurable challenges as their homes, their communities, and their well-being are impacted by terrible flooding,” Trudeau wrote in the speech, saying the government will continue to support them.
He added that action to fight climate change “must go further, faster.”
Last week’s floods forced the closure of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and cut two critical east-west rail lines. The flooding underscored the vulnerability of Canada’s supply chains to climate change, and looked set to be the costliest natural disaster to hit Canada.
The speech touched on many of the main themes of the election campaign, with Trudeau saying controlling COVID-19 remains his top priority. Canada rolled out the recently approved COVID-19 vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds this week.
“The best thing we can do for the economy remains ending the pandemic for good,” Trudeau wrote.
The government spent tens of billions of dollars to help individuals and businesses during the pandemic, but is winding down that support except for COVID-19 hotspots. Going forward, Trudeau wrote industries that still needed help would receive it.
The Liberal government will tackle the high cost of living by following through on a plan for more affordable housing and by ensuring families across the country have access to C$10-a-day childcare, the prime minister said.
“The government should stop pouring inflationary gasoline on the fire,” opposition Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, said before the speech, calling for less spending. Inflation was at an 18-year high of 4.7% in October.
Trudeau also said he would continue increasing immigration levels, a driver of economic growth in recent years.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Cooney and Aurora Ellis)
Canada’s ambassador to China to leave post after helping free detainees
Canada‘s ambassador to China said on Monday he would soon leave his post after a two-year assignment where he helped secure the freedom of two Canadian detainees despite icy relations between Beijing and Ottawa.
Dominic Barton’s departure, which will take effect on Dec 31, leaves a crucial diplomatic post open at a time when the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is rethinking its policy towards a more assertive China.
Barton said in a statement that working to free the two men had been “the honor of a lifetime”.
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor spent almost three years in detention before being freed in September. The two were jailed shortly after Canadian police picked up a top Huawei Technologies Co Inc executive on a U.S. warrant.
Trudeau, under pressure from the official opposition Conservatives to take a tougher line with China over human rights, said Canada was “better positioned to manage this important relationship and achieve our diplomatic objectives”.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said Trudeau had mishandled the relationship with China, which he said was currently a disaster. Canada should consider a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics, he told reporters, a step U.S. President Joe Biden is set to announce this week.
Despite the release of the two men, bilateral relations remain chilly. A Chinese ban on imports of canola from two major companies imposed in 2019 remains in place and Canada is yet to decide whether to bar Huawei equipment from 5G telecommunications networks.
Two senior diplomatic sources said Canada was putting together a new strategy for the Indo-Pacific region, in part to deal with China. Canadian officials say Ottawa, which has limited diplomatic influence, must work with others.
In February, Canada launched a 58-nation initiative to stop countries from detaining foreign citizens for diplomatic leverage, a practice that Ottawa says China is using.
Charles Burton, a China expert and senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute think tank, said one replacement for Barton could be long-time diplomat Julia Bentley, who served in China from 2011-2014 and recently ended an assignment as head of mission in Malaysia.
Another possibility is Sarah Taylor, a fluent Mandarin speaker, who is ambassador to Thailand.
The office of Foreign Minister Melanie Joly did not immediately respond to questions about when a replacement might be named or whether Canada might consider a diplomatic boycott.
(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
Politics Podcast: Most Americans Don’t Blame God For All The Bad Stuff That Keeps Happening – FiveThirtyEight
On today’s Politics Podcast, the crew gets into God, COVID-19, and the midterms. So, the usual. They discuss a new poll about whom Americans blame for misfortune — is it a higher power, or the unending, uncontrollable, unyielding chaos of the universe? Then they pivot to what causes so much of our misfortune these days: COVID-19. Namely, the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, how concerned Americans are and should be, and what it might mean for politics in the coming months.
And then finally it’s time for the horse race stuff: Who’s running in 2022, who’s not, and what that tells us about how politicians are sizing up their chances in the midterms and beyond. As part of that discussion, they discuss how running on a lark might be different for women than it is for men, and mention FiveThirtyEight’s “When Women Run” project, which features an interview with Stacey Abrams.
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.
Brazil Politics: Impasse Over Bill That Eases Fiscal Rule – BNN
(Bloomberg) — The lower house and the senate reached an impasse over the so-called precatorio bill, which eases austerity laws and makes room in the budget for President Jair Bolsonaro’s new social program.
The constitutional amendment was approved by both houses of congress in two rounds of voting, and the senate made changes to the text, forcing it to return to the lower house. But senators didn’t receive well a proposal made by house Speaker Arthur Lira, who would like to speed up the process by enacting only the consensual part of proposal — leaving changes to be voted on a separate bill at a later date.
Another idea would be to take the full text of the bill, including changes introduced by the senate, directly to a vote on the floor of the lower house, skipping its committees. The issue will be debated on Monday during a meeting of senate leaders.
The economy ministry cut to 0.4% from from 0.99% of gross domestic product its estimate for next year’s primary budget deficit, considering the approval of the precatorio bill, according to newspapers.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the Brazilian state-owned oil giant, will announce a reduction in the price of fuel in the next few weeks, Poder360 reported, citing an interview with President Jair Bolsonaro.
The report provided no details. The president’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Room for a so-called third-way presidential candidate running as an alternative to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and President Jair Bolsonaro depends on the incumbent losing popularity and not making it to the runoff, Christopher Garman, director of the Eurasia Americas division, said in an interview with Valor Economico.
He forecast that Bolsonaro’s popularity will recover in the coming months with an increase in the minimum wage, cash handouts and an expected deceleration of inflation. Garman doesn’t expect such moves to make Bolsonaro the front-runner ahead of Lula, but sees former judge Sergio Moro coming third in the race. Chances of a runoff between Lula and Bolsonaro is 80% and the leftist leader is more likely to win then, the newspaper quoted Garman as saying.
- Guedes wants Bolsonaro to support the liberal agenda during the 2022 election campaign: Folha de S.Paulo
- Moro says he believes in the leadership of his electoral project and puts the polarization Lula-Bolsonaro in check : Estado
- Moro met wit Rio Grande do Sul Governor Eduardo Leite
Brazil reported 4,844 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to data published by the Ministry of Health. The death toll reached 615,636, with 66 in the past 24 hours.
Newspapers’ Top Stories
- O Estado de S. Paulo
- Mayors fail to use 15 billion reais ($2.6 billion) of the budget for education
- Folha de S.Paulo
- GSI allows mining in preserved areas of the Amazon
- O Globo
- Use of revolving credit card lines hits record
- Valor Economico
- Even with weak GDP, BC is likely to maintain a high interest rate policy
Promulgação da PEC gera embate no Congresso: Radar Político
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