We have a date: the House of Commons will reconvene on Dec. 5, 46 days after the election. (For those keeping score at home, the House also came back 46 days after the 2015 election.)
The first order of business for MPs will be to elect a Speaker, followed by a Throne Speech delivered by Governor-General Julie Payette. That speech will lay out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s legislative agenda for the new session of Parliament.
How long Mr. Trudeau’s new mandate lasts will depend in large part on how well he works with the opposition parties. The Liberals have only a minority of seats in the House, and so will require the co-operation of any one of the Conservative, Bloc Québécois or New Democratic parties to pass bills and survive confidence votes.
Mr. Trudeau met with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer this morning. Mr. Scheer said he had a list of seven measures he wanted to see Mr. Trudeau deliver, including a national energy corridor and a single tax return in Quebec.
Mr. Trudeau meets with Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet on Wednesday and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Thursday.
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Today in regional disparities: Economist Trevor Tombe points out that, in terms of gross domestic product per person, the oil-producing provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador lead the pack in economic output. An Environics Institute survey showed major differences between what residents of different provinces say motivated them in the election: Albertans say economic concerns were most important to them, while Quebeckers stressed the environment.
Today in looming threats: A new report suggests Canada is one of the worst G20 countries when it comes to hitting its goals to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change. And another report, commissioned by the federal government, warns that the rising risk of antibiotic-resistant infections could take a heavy toll on Canada in the years to come.
And today in building bridges: A group of Canadian business leaders say it’s time for Ottawa and Beijing to move past a year of tense relations and get trade going again. Canada-China relations soured nearly a year ago when Canadian authorities arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on the request of U.S. authorities. China then locked up two Canadians in apparent retaliation, as well as disrupting business relations with measures such as a temporary ban on importing Canadian meat. “Businesses in both countries want their national governments to work their way past this current situation, and as quickly as possible,” Olivier Desmarais, chair of the Canada China Business Council, said.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Justin Trudeau and his minority government: “This minority PM faces boiling anger in one part of the country (Alberta and Saskatchewan) and a popular autonomist government in another (Quebec). As Laval University political science professor Éric Montigny noted, there is a rare common front of autonomist provinces facing an interventionist, minority federal government.”
Hugh Segal (The Globe and Mail) on what role the Senate will play with a minority in the House: “On the cautionary side (and unlike in a majority-government context), no legislation in this Parliament can reach the Senate for consideration unless it has the approval of at least two parties in the House of Commons. This means that negotiations with respect to amendments proposed by the Senate and sent back to the House are no longer just between the Senate and the government."
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on Andrew Scheer and his views on social issues: “Or perhaps the Conservative leader does not personally support same-sex marriage, which his voting record, past member statements and persistent refusal to elaborate on his views would suggest. But nevertheless, he seemingly believes that keeping his remarks vague, thus allowing Canadians to simply assume he is a bigot, is somehow preferable to releasing a genuine, reflective statement about how he reconciles his personal faith with his leadership commitments.”
Jen Gerson (Maclean’s) on why Albertans don’t see much empathy from other Canadians: “It doesn’t seem to be enough to perceive Albertans as wrong, or mired in a declining oil-and-gas industry that produces significant greenhouse gas emissions—they must also be bad people. And what consideration is owed to a pack of hard-luck deplorables?”
Cathal Kelly (The Globe and Mail) on Don Cherry and his firing from Hockey Night in Canada: “In the end, what Mr. Cherry really hated – and he hated an awful lot of things – was change. He wanted hockey and Canada to remain just as they had been when he first got to know them. A man’s game played by woodsy John Wayne types who could knock your teeth out on the rink and then help you raise a barn on the weekend. His vision of masculinity suited this country for a time, when it felt itself weak. But now that Canada seemed to be getting the better of the 21st century, there was no need for Mr. Cherry’s bantam rooster routine. It became provincial and gauche.”