There are two very different meetings going on in Ottawa today.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Governor-General Julie Payette this morning at Rideau Hall to discuss the results of the election and the next steps forward. The private chat was part of the usual postelection procedure, in which the winner of the election talks to the G-G about forming a government in the next session of Parliament. (The conversation could have been more awkward, but Mr. Trudeau is both the incumbent and the leader of the party with the most seats in the House.)
The Prime Minister’s Office declined to say what exactly was discussed during the tête-à-tête.
Meanwhile, in downtown Ottawa, Andrew Scheer is meeting with other senior Conservatives to try to figure out what went wrong for them last week.
Conservative sources, whose identity The Globe is not revealing because they weren’t permitted to discuss the meeting, said Mr. Scheer will meet with his senior house leadership team from the last Parliament this afternoon. People in attendance will include outgoing deputy leader Lisa Raitt, house leader Candice Bergen, deputy house leader Chris Warkentin, and Quebec lieutenant Alain Rayes.
Mr. Scheer’s office also declined to comment directly on the meeting but noted he has been “speaking to and meeting with caucus members and candidates from across the country” since the election defeat.
Spokesperson Simon Jefferies said Mr. Scheer will continue these meetings to figure out the “best path forward” to holding the Liberal government to account and how to win the next election.
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay, with additional reporting by Marieke Walsh. 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.
Economists and businesses will be watching tomorrow’s Bank of Canada announcement closely. The Bank is not expected to cut its key interest rate, but it will be issuing a new economic outlook.
Lobbyists in the energy sector say that they will be reaching out to federal opposition parties, including the NDP and Bloc Québécois, more often than they usually do because of the Liberals’ minority standing in the House.
In Ontario, a retweet by Premier Doug Ford of an anti-Scheer message was accidental, his staff says.
Also in Ontario, e-mails show that Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner helped organize a banquet for the man who would, weeks later, try to get him hired as the top cop in the province.
The Ontario government has also agreed to cover $100,000-a-year eye drops for a rare disease, a story that underscores how some medical companies can cause the cost of a prescription drug to skyrocket.
The Alberta government is set to release the details today of its carbon tax on large greenhouse-gas emitters. United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney is expected to hold the rate at $30 a tonne, the same as it was under the previous NDP government. The provincial government tabled legislation yesterday to control costs in health care by, among other things, changing how much doctors are paid and where they work.
Another day, another chapter in the Brexit saga: the House of Commons’ chief opposition party, Labour, say they are now open to an election in December after Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson reluctantly agreed to an extension on exiting the European Union. If the election does go ahead, it will be the third general election for the U.K. since 2015 (plus the Brexit referendum itself in 2016).
China’s Communist Party has released a new guide to being a model citizen that elevates the stature of President Xi Jinping over Mao Zedong. In a separate missive, China’s embassy in Ottawa pointed to a Canadian delegation taking part in a sporting competition in China as evidence that the country still has plenty of international “friends.”
Eric Melillo, the 21-year-old Conservative who won a tight three-way race in northern Ontario’s Kenora riding, says he will work with his NDP rival – Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle – to hold the Liberal government accountable for its promise to build a medical facility for the Grassy Narrows First Nation.
And in a Thunder Bay classroom, students are ditching some of the traditional English canon like Hamlet in favour of works by Indigenous authors that might hit a little closer to home. ““It’s not about educating just Indigenous students. It’s about educating all students around Indigenous issues and about the history from an Indigenous lens, so that we can make sure that communities can start to address the systemic issues that still exist,” said Tesa Fiddler, who works for the local Catholic school board.
Lawrence Herman (The Globe and Mail) on trade and the new cabinet: “When Mr. Trudeau’s new cabinet is appointed on Nov. 20, two key questions will be answered. The first is who will be the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Trade. The second is whether the Foreign Affairs Minister will continue to handle Canada-U.S. trade, a portfolio that, while still burdensome, is somewhat less onerous now that the NAFTA renegotiations are over – although approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by U.S. Congress is far from assured.”
Geoffrey Turner (The Globe and Mail) on the need for tax reform: “Our tax laws generate strong incentives and disincentives that affect the behaviour and productivity of taxpayers, but these incentives have been increasingly disregarded by policy-makers as our tax system has evolved based mostly on short-term political considerations.”
Shachi Kurl (Ottawa Citizen) on whither the Conservatives: “The party has largely painted itself into a corner. To win a majority, it must capture centrist, urban voters whose priorities are significantly at odds with the most fervent caucus members in Alberta and Saskatchewan who represent an increasingly agitated protest movement. Their constituents view their contributions to Confederation as overlooked and undervalued, and they’re in no mood to see the leader drift in a progressive direction.”
Colby Cosh (National Post) on the easy-to-miss personal tax hike in the Alberta budget: “But surely nothing in the budget is as surprising and tragicomic as the choice to de-index tax bracket boundaries, tax credits, and adult welfare payments. This is something that nobody, I think, saw coming — something it would have been positively difficult to imagine the UCP government doing. And it has had the effect of uniting the New Democrats with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in what is surely history’s unlikeliest popular front.”
André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on ethics, health care and an important court ruling: “A history of alcohol use or misuse should not automatically make a patient ineligible for a liver transplant. Nor should we, a priori, refuse lung transplants to smokers. But organs are among the rarest of commodities. We need to ensure they go not only to those in most need, but those who will benefit most. As a health system, we must maximize our return on investment.”