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Canada has lifted a global travel advisory that asked Canadians to avoid travel for non-essential reasons outside of the country.

The advisory has been in place since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada in March, 2020. The federal government’s website now shows separate advisories for each country, and asks Canadians to be aware of the COVID-19 situation wherever they’re headed.

The website also says that people should be fully vaccinated against the disease at least 14 days before travelling, and that those who are unvaccinated should still avoid all non-essential travel because they’re at higher risk of being infected and spreading the virus.

In a Public Health Agency of Canada update on Friday morning, the country’s Deputy Chief of Public Health Officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, said that though Canada is still in a fourth wave and people have to remain cautious, the situation is better than it has been, and vaccine coverage in the country is high.

“However, we know that the situation is not the same in all parts of the world,” Mr. Njoo said in French. “For those who are going to travel abroad, it’s very important to be aware of what the risks and benefits are.”

As the fourth wave continues to play out differently across the country, Ontario is set to lift more restrictions on Friday afternoon. The province is expected to allow restaurants and gyms to return to full indoor capacity, and the changes could take effect as early as Monday.

Meanwhile, the federal government gave an update this week on the effort to get children in Canada vaccinated. Soon after the Pfizer vaccine gets the green light from Health Canada, the country will have 2.9 million doses for kids, enough to vaccinate all children aged five to 11 with a first dose. The agency is reviewing a submission for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children in that age group, which was officially submitted on Monday.

However, The Globe’s Robyn Urback writes that Canada will face a new frontier of hesitancy when it’s time to vaccinate kids, and that might mean the pandemic is still far from over.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. Today’s newsletter is co-written with Menaka Raman-Wilms. 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.


The Green Party is planning to drop a legal challenge against Leader Annamie Paul, according to two senior party members. The challenge questioned an arbitrator’s decision to halt a move to oust Ms. Paul as leader through a non-confidence vote and membership suspension. Ms. Paul announced last month that she would resign as the head of the party but still remains leader for now.

The final report from Alberta’s inquiry targeting environmental activists doesn’t find any wrongdoing on the part of any individual or organization – nor was commissioner Steve Allan able “to trace with precision” the amount of foreign money flowing into Canada for anti-oil sands or pipelines campaigns, a question he considered outside of the scope of the inquiry.

It’s a red-hot political topic in Alberta, but the Prime Minister – responding to a provincial referendum on the subject – says it’ll take a lot more than a vote in just one province to end equalization in Canada. “To eliminate equalization, which is what’s proposed in Jason Kenney’s referendum, is something that cannot be done by the federal government,” Justin Trudeau says. “It needs to be done by the federal government working with seven provinces or territories representing over 50 per cent of the Canadian population.” Story from CTV.

British Columbia’s Premier is defending a proposed $25 fee for non-personal freedom-of-information requests despite pushback from groups including one trying to access data on COVID-19 exposures at schools.

CABINET SHAKEUP: Prime Minster Justin Trudeau is set to announce his new cabinet on Tuesday, and The Globe’s Campbell Clark has the scoop about who’s likely to get promoted and demoted. It’s a safe bet that Canada will get a new defence minister and a new health minister, he writes, and Mr. Trudeau needs people who can push his third-term priorities quickly: the Liberals have about 18 months of a stable minority government ahead.


Private meetings, according to an advisory from the Prime Minister’s Office.


Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet held a news conference in Ottawa this morning. He spoke about the redistribution of the federal electoral map that will see Quebec lose one seat in the House of Commons.

Other leaders did not provide a public schedule.


John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on why trying to defend the rights of unvaccinated MPs only makes the Conservative Party look stupid: “There may be nothing in politics more stupid than defending the right of an unvaccinated member of Parliament to show up for work in the House of Commons. No political party claiming the right to form government should permit such a thing.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta’s civic elections striking another blow to lazy stereotypes about the province: “When it comes to Alberta, the views held by some of us about the place are literally decades out of date, if they were ever relevant at all. So anyone surprised that Calgary elected Jyoti Gondek, a liberal-minded woman of South Asian heritage as mayor, and that Edmonton chose Amarjeet Sohi, a former federal Liberal cabinet minister – also of South Asian heritage – to lead that city, hasn’t been paying attention.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Stephen Harper’s Saudi odyssey is true to form: “The Future Investment Initiative (FII) was briefly boycotted by Western investors and leaders following the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose death was linked by U.S. intelligence to MBS himself. But that was then. Next week, a who’s who of global finance will flock anew to Riyadh for this “Davos in the Desert,” as the FII confab is known. Mr. Harper wanted the world to know that he will join them.”

Andrew MacDougall (Maclean’s) on why Erin O’Toole doesn’t deserve to lead the country if he can’t get his caucus in the right place on vaccines: We’re now 20-odd months into this pandemic and seven months into the era of mass vaccination, and the Conservatives still won’t say how many of their MPs are vaccinated. Given vaccines are the best way out of our current heavily-prescribed reality, this is akin to admitting you don’t want to drink water after wandering for years in a desert. It’s enough to make the neutral observer wonder if you’re really just messed up in the head.”

Lana Hall (contributor to The Globe and Mail) on how she used to joke that Canada’s sex workers need a union, but no one is laughing now: “Last month, Canada’s oldest sex-worker organization became the first of its kind to unionize under the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Right now, the union only represents the staff members at Maggie’s, many of whom are current sex workers, but it’s still a watershed moment, one I hope will encourage other organizational efforts among sex-work communities across the country.”

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