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Politics Politics Briefing: Trudeau rallies the Liberal troops in Ottawa

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives a standing ovation while addressing Liberal Party candidates in Ottawa.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Good morning,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau strode into the Delta Hotel conference room in downtown Ottawa this morning to thunderous applause.

“The things we’ve done over the past four years have had a measurable impact on all Canadians,” Mr. Trudeau told the crowd.

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Of course, the audience was a friendly one – it was full of his own nominees.

More than 200 Liberal Party candidates – including both incumbents and first-timers – are in Ottawa for a two-day boot camp to get ready for the fall election campaign.

Mr. Trudeau thanked incumbent candidates who travelled back to Ottawa mid-summer to greet the party’s new candidates. He said the government has made progress over the past four years, pointing to the creation of a million jobs, the new USMCA trade deal, and the Canada Child Benefit.

He also went on the attack about the prospect of a Conservative government. Mr. Trudeau said Conservative politicians say they’re “for the people” (a reference to the slogan of Ontario Premier Doug Ford) but reduce services when they get into office.

“You cannot cut your way to prosperity,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Mr. Trudeau told the newest Liberal candidates that the long days and exhaustion of the campaign trail can get to even the most veteran candidates.

He said to focus not just on the vote, but on what the party can do if it stays in power.

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“It’s not just winning an election,” Mr. Trudeau said. “It’s how we move this country forward.”

The election is expected to be called in mid-September, for a vote on Oct. 21, 2019. There are just 83 days remaining.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay with reporting from the Liberal rally by Rachel Emmanuel. 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.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s head of investments has left the Crown corporation after less than a year, as those in the sector raise concerns with the slow pace of projects being announced. The $35-billion organization was set up by the Liberals after the last election, but the Conservatives and NDP are vowing to change or scrap the bank if they are elected. “The issues of actually building infrastructure have gotten worse when we’re tying up this much money in the bank,” Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux said.

Both the Liberal and Conservative parties are claiming record-breaking fundraising hauls.

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The federal government says it may not make a decision about letting Chinese telecom giant Huawei take part in the country’s next-generation 5G mobile network until after the election. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale had told The Globe in April that he expected a cabinet decision before the campaign, but Mr. Goodale told the Canadian Press yesterday that a decision was not likely this summer.

The Liberal majority on the House of Commons foreign-affairs committee has quashed an attempt by opposition parties to officially study the calls made to ex-ambassadors to China by a government bureaucrat, reportedly at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office. David Mulroney, a former ambassador to China, said he was told that the government was concerned that he was telling Canadians it was not safe to travel to China. Not so, the Liberals say. “We don’t have any sense that Canadians going to China would be in any different situation than they have been in previous years,” said Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Affairs minister. Mr. Oliphant characterized the arrests of two Canadians who have been held under harsh conditions two “very targeted abductions.”

Indigenous advocacy groups say that their communities are becoming a more powerful force in Canadian politics, and they want to see parties take put more Indigenous policies in their platforms. “People are not going to sit back idly any more. People want to see change,” Cheryl Casimer, an executive on the First Nations Summit, told The Hill Times.

Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo says he will not run for re-election this fall. Mr. Tootoo was elected as a Liberal in 2015 and served as Mr. Trudeau’s first fisheries minister, but resigned from cabinet and caucus after having a relationship with a staffer.

A candidate for the People’s Party of Canada is under fire for saying the country “could use more hate speech.”

And Ontario Premier Doug Ford is making some changes to his inner circle after the resignation of chief of staff Dean French and other recent departures. Among other additions, Amin Massoudi, a former aide to the late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, will be joining his brother Doug’s team as a principal secretary.

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Amy Knight (The Globe and Mail) on a major protest in Russia: “But the public discontent has deeper roots. As a result of economic sanctions and Russia’s sluggish, oil-dependent economy, the living standards of much of Russia’s population are declining significantly, while the country’s elite enjoys prosperity, largely because of rampant corruption.”

Colin Robertson (The Globe and Mail) on the Liberals’ China policy: “The federal government looks committed to hearing no evil, seeing no evil and doing nothing on the China file, for fear of further upsetting Beijing. That is no policy for Canada.”

Ellen Spannagel (Ottawa Citizen) on the youth vote this fall: “In blaming this older generation, I found myself looking at my own complacency, and the inadvertent negligence of my colleagues and friends. Students. Young professionals. I am asking my own generation to bear more responsibility for what is happening and to understand why it’s important to talk about.”

Kate Robertson (Maclean’s) on regulation in the cannabis sector: “The weed community tends to loathe any kind of criminalization associated with cannabis, but we’ll be watching two things very closely: how authorities deal with legal cannabis market offenders and how they compare to those who make parallel offences in the illicit market; and how an insider trading scandal in the weed industry is dealt with compared to other insider trading scandals in other industries.”

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