The federal cabinet will discuss this week whether new federal measures are needed to help Canadians with the cost of living, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said after the Bank of Canada announced a 0.75-per-cent rate hike aimed at dampening inflation.
The Finance Minister, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, made the comment to reporters Wednesday on her way into a cabinet meeting in Vancouver, where ministers are holding a closed-door retreat that wraps up on Thursday.
Some provinces, including Saskatchewan and Quebec, have issued direct payments to individuals as an inflation-relief policy, while other provinces, including Ontario and Alberta, approved temporary cuts to the provincial gas tax.
Elsewhere on the cabinet retreat front, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says here that his government will focus on the economy when Parliament resumes later this month. Also, the Public Safety Minister said here that the Parole Board of Canada’s decision-making process will be reviewed after it found that Myles Sanderson would “not present an undue risk” to the public seven months before he became a suspect in Saskatchewan’s mass stabbing rampage. There’s a list of cabinet members here.
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RCMP TACTICS IN PROBE OF PROTESTERS – The RCMP used undercover operatives and emergency wiretaps to collect information on protesters who blocked a border crossing in southern Alberta for weeks this past winter as part of a protest against COVID-19 public health measures, according to court documents. Story here.
KENNEY VS. SMITH – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says if Danielle Smith wins the race to replace him as head of the United Conservative Party next month, he would vote against her proposed sovereignty act – the cornerstone of her leadership campaign. Story here.
QUEBEC ELECTION – In Quebec, the passage of Bill 96, which restricts the use of English in the delivery of public services, the courts and medium-sized businesses, has galvanized the anglophone community and left parts of it looking for a new champion during the continuing provincial election campaign. Story here.
MPPS LIMIT FOOD SPENDING IN SOCIAL-ASSISTANCE PROTEST – Five Official Opposition politicians in Ontario will be limiting how much they spend on food for two weeks as part of their call to the provincial government to double social assistance rates. Story here.
`RACISM AND HATE’ CONDEMNED BY PEI PREMIER – The premier of Prince Edward Island is condemning what he says were acts of “racism and hate” over the weekend at an Acadian festival west of the city of Summerside. Story here.
U.K. PM WENT TO SCHOOL IN B.C. – It took a while for the name Liz Truss to ring a bell for Brenda Montagano. Ms. Montagano and Ms. Truss knew each other for just one year while they were in the same Grade 7 class in Burnaby, B.C., in the late 1980s. Ms. Montagano grew up to be a teacher at the same school, while Ms. Truss is now Britain’s new Prime Minister. Story here from CBC.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is campaigning virtually. Jean Charest is in Montreal. Leslyn Lewis is in her Haldimand-Norfolk riding. Pierre Poilievre is in Toronto. There’s no word on the campaign whereabouts of Roman Baber.
THIS AND THAT
COMMONS NOT SITTING – The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.
CHAMPAGNE IN VANCOUVER – Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, in Vancouver, made an announcement on improving the reliability of telecommunications networks across Canada, and took media questions.
GAZPROM HEARING – In Ottawa, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development is holding a hearing on the export of the Russian Gazprom Turbines. Witnesses include the executive director and chief executive officer of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Details here.
ISLAMOPHOBIA HEARNG The Senate standing committee on human rights is holding hearings on Islamophobia in Canada, with proceedings in Vancouver on Wednesday and Edmonton on Thursday. The hearings, which began in mid-June, are looking at sources of Islamophobia, its effect on individuals, and incidents of discrimination, physical violence and online hate against Muslims. Details here.
CONSEQUENTIAL B.C. BYELECTIONS – Mike McDonald, the chief of staff to former B.C. premier Christy Clark, recounts the consequential by-elections of the past 50 years in British Columbia here, covering a healthy slice of modern B.C. political history in the process.
SUPREME COURT VISIT TO QUEBEC CITT – Members of the Supreme Court of Canada have announced they will visit Quebec City from Sept. 12-16, with court members hearing two cases in the city, meeting with local students, hosting a free public event, and engaging with the local legal community.
Wednesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features the Globe’s Alanna Smith, who is covering the stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan that left 10 people dead and 18 injured. Ms. Smith visits the affected communities and talks about the attacks, the possible motive behind them and how the community is responding to the tragedy. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Vancouver, attends the cabinet retreat.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh opened the NDP caucus retreat in Halifax, attended the retreat and attended an NDP community leaders reception.
No schedules released for other leaders.
HEALTH-CARE CONCERNS – Over the last six months, two in five Canadians or 41 per cent – say they either had a difficult time accessing or were totally unable to access one of five key health services: non-emergency care, emergency care, surgery, diagnostic testing, and specialist appointments, according to research by the Angus Reid Institute. Details here.
Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how the risk of political violence in Canada has never been higher: “Some time in the not too distant future, when the first Canadian politician has been assassinated since Pierre Laporte, we will all look back and wonder what we could have done to prevent it. The probable answer is: Not much, in the sense of that particular attack. It is always easy to discover, after the fact, warning signs that were missed, gaps in security that should have been plugged. It is a much harder thing to identify these in advance.”
Daniel Béland (Canadian Politics and Public Policy) on the Quebec election and the province’s changing political landscape: “Considering these trends, Legault will likely keep his job after Oct. 3, but the results will also be revelatory about the recomposition of party politics in La Belle Province. This recomposition concerns the left-right cleavage as well as the debate over the management of diversity, in which the CAQ and the PQ have much in common in their embrace of ethnic nationalism, while the LPQ and QS each adopt a pluralist position that stresses the importance of minority rights and freedoms. This is why the CAQ and the PQ voted in favour of Bill 21 on secularism, and the LPQ and QS voted against it.”
Tom Mulcair (CTV) on why the Quebec election is worth watching: “I understand the sentiment: issues of Quebec politics have so dominated the national discourse over the past 50 years – from the October crisis, to the election of the separatist Parti Québécois, through two referendums … that a certain fatigue has set in and “take a hike” (and earthier equivalents) are a not uncommon reaction. Despite that, it is really important for those who do care about the future of this incredible country of ours to pay some attention to Francois Legault as he romps to a second consecutive majority. He has a sympathetic mien and an Everyman way of talking that is transparent, yet calculating all at once.”