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Politics Today: What Idle No More can achieve

Idle No More demonstrators block a CN east-west track just west of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

JOHN WOODS/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Politics Today is your daily guide to some of the stories we're watching in Ottawa and across Canada, by The Globe and Mail's team of political reporters.

MP or minister?

If you're a minister, are you always a minister? A letter from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urging the CRTC to grant a licence to a broadcaster in his Whitby-Oshawa riding may have breached cabinet rules, the Canadian Press reports this morning. Mr. Flaherty says he was acting in his capacity as a Member of Parliament, but some critics charge you can't separate the two.

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What Idle No More can achieve

Yesterday's Idle No More day of action was generally peaceful, and now talk turns to what concessions first nations can win.

John Ibbitson looks at what's politically achievable for the movement. Repeal of the budget bills is almost impossible. But there is some other pending legislation, including transparency and safe drinking water, that might have a shot at being changed.

Don't forget to check out some photos of yesterday's day of action.

Welfare, agenda and Wynne

The legislature's not sitting, but it's still a busy day for Ontario political leaders. Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak lays out his plans for welfare reform today, while NDP Leader Andrea Horwath lays out her agenda for the next legislative session at an Economic Club of Canada lunch.

Meanwhile, Liberal leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne, one of the frontrunners, has made the sharpest contrast yet between her and Sandra Pupatello: Ms. Wynne says she's ready to govern, and isn't necessarily raring for another election. Ms. Wynne visits the Globe's editorial board today.

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The final stretch

Daniel Leblanc presents a viewer's guide to the last few months of the federal Liberal leadership race.

Mourning a top civil servant

On Parliament Hill thoughts will turn today to Gordon Robertson, the nation's top public servant from 1963 to 1975. The former clerk of the Privy Council, under prime ministers Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, left a lasting impression on Parliament decades after he left.

"He was a very, very, very important person in Ottawa, very respected, very competent person, who served the country extremely well," former prime minister and Trudeau cabinet minister Jean Chrétien told iPolitics.

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More

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