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White House gives first hint of what it wants from NAFTA talks

A driver leans out the cabin window while waiting in a queue for border customs control to cross into U.S. at the World Trade Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on Nov. 2, 2016.

© Daniel Becerril / Reuters/REUTERS


The White House is circulating a draft letter that indicates what it's hoping to get out of a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Measures include the ability to slap tariffs on products from Canada or Mexico that compete too vigorously in the U.S. market and rewriting rules of origin guidelines.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, cabinet ministers and senior executives are set to announce a major investment at a Ford plant in Windsor, Ont., this morning.

Quebec wants a massive new light-rail project in Montreal to get up to speed quickly, and it's asking the federal government to pony up funding even before the Canada Infrastructure Bank is set up. The project, which has funding from the province's pension fund, is seen as a first major test of the federal government's drive for more private investment in infrastructure.

China's state-sponsored hacking of the National Research Council cost the Canadian government hundreds of millions of dollars, documents obtained by The Globe show.

It's a small world: a data analytics company owned by a good friend of Mr. Trudeau is benefiting from a major contract with the Liberal Party of Canada, CTV reports. The company, Data Sciences Inc., is owned by Tom Pitfield, who also chairs Canada 2020, a think tank that hosts events that often feature cabinet ministers. Mr. Pitfield's wife, Anna Gainey, is the president of the Liberal Party, and two of Data Sciences' employees sit on the party's board of directors. Mr. Pitfield and Ms. Gainey joined the Trudeaus during their recent holiday in the Bahamas with the Aga Khan.

As the Conservative leadership race enters its final phase, internal campaign polls show a close race between reality-show star Kevin O'Leary and Quebec MP Maxime Bernier. The fight is now on for third place, and whether there is a consensus candidate among the party's moderate wing. Peter MacKay, former leader of the Progressive Conservatives, is declining to endorse anyone but is hosting events and speaking highly of Erin O'Toole, Lisa Raitt and Andrew Scheer. Kellie Leitch, meanwhile, is getting heat for meeting with an anti-Muslim group.

And former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is back in the news: The university he leads in Budapest is battling with the Hungarian government, and Mr. Ignatieff is asking for international assistance.

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"People tend to forget that there have always been those who are deniers of history and they deny history for their own reasons. They deny, perhaps, because they're slow-minded and dim-witted, but more importantly it's because I think they believe in a certain delusion about our history that they are unwilling to give up." Senator Murray Sinclair.


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Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail): "Since [Kevin O'Leary's] January launch, the word from all leadership camps has been that – because of perceived winnability against Justin Trudeau, or admiration of his perceived business success, or even appeal to old Progressive Conservatives who see him as less aligned with Reform Party principles than most of his rivals – he has gotten surprising traction with pre-existing members."

Scott Gilmore (Maclean's): "Maybe it's time the rest of us conservatives acknowledged the merger worked in the short term, but eventually it exposed irreconcilable bedrock differences. And 'uniting the right' is worth nothing if you must abandon your ideological values in the process."

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail): "Lobbyists, interest groups and members of his own party have quickly learned where to turn if they want to get through to the new President. When they're not appearing as talking heads, they're running ads on cable news in the Washington market aimed at an audience of one."

Lauren Dobson-Hughes (OpenCanada): "It is a fundamental problem to disconnect aid from Canada's foreign policy, from our shared responsibility for global development, and from our moral obligation to the world. Aid is — or should be — a key component of Canada's feminist government, and a primary tool for lifting up women and girls."

Dale Smith (Policy Options): "From my perspective, Trudeau was wise to smother the [electoral reform] Rosemary's Baby in the cradle when he did. After all, our system isn't actually broken, so why cast about for a solution when the problem is largely imaginary?"

Written by Chris Hannay.

Opinion: Saunders: GOP failure in Congress is derailing of Trump train (The Globe and Mail)
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