It’s budget day in Ottawa, with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland set to table the spending plan at 4 p.m. ET.
Details of the budget will be released in a lockup underway through the day, and this newsletter is being written ahead of the beginning of that lockup.
Ms. Freeland’s budget will promise $10-billion to make housing more affordable for Canadians, provide $8-billion in new defence spending, and aim to spur economic growth through green initiatives and a small-business tax cut.
You can read their story here.
And senior writer Grant Robertson reports here that Ottawa is setting aside $16-million in the budget to fund the newly formed Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, which has been created to confront serious complaints of abuse and maltreatment in sport.
Please check The Globe and Mail later today for news and commentary on the budget.
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. 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.
`LOW LIKELIHOOD OF SUCCESS’ PROMPTED FEDERAL COURT MOVE - The federal government abandoned its 2015 appeal of a court ruling that released the Catholic Church from its financial obligations to residential school survivors because it believed there was a “low likelihood of success,” according to records obtained by The Globe and Mail. Story here.
100 MILLION PEOPLE TO BE DISPLACED: UN REFUGEE CHIEF - The United Nations refugee chief says the world is headed toward an unprecedented displacement of 100 million people as Russia’s war in Ukraine forces refugees to flee at an overwhelming pace. Filippo Grandi issued the warning during a press conference on Parliament Hill on Wednesday. Story here.
FEDS APPROVE NEWFOUNDLAND OIL DEVELOPMENT - Ottawa has approved a new oil development off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, just one week after the federal government said the oil and gas sector needs to cut its emissions nearly in half by the end of the decade. Story here.
BURNOUT AN ISSUE AMONG PUBLIC SERVICE EXECUTIVES: ASSOCIATION - An unprecedented number of public service executives are burned out and looking for demotions after working flat-out to manage crisis after crisis since the pandemic hit two years ago, says the association representing them. Story here from Policy Options.
NEW WILSON-RAYBOULD BOOK COMING - Former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is set to publish a book that’s being billed as a guide to reconciliation. McClelland & Stewart says True Reconciliation: How to Be a Force for Change is slated to hit shelves on Nov. 8. Story here from CTV.
SUPPORT FOR EMBATTLED ALBERTA PREMIER - As United Conservative Party members prepare to cast ballots on the fate of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, 19 former conservative legislature members say they support him. Story here.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
ALLESLEV IN - Former Conservative deputy leader Leona Alleslev has officially entered the party’s leadership race. Story here.
POILIEVRE IN B.C. - Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre begins a B.C. tour on Thursday, with an evening stop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
THIS AND THAT
TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, April 7, accessible here.
OVERSIGHT GROUP FOR LIBERAL-NDP DEAL - NDP spokesperson Mélanie Richer has told The Globe and Mail this week that the party has named three MPs to an oversight group for the deal between the Liberals and the NDP. They are Laurel Collins, Blake Desjarlais and Daniel Blaikie. The NDP did not have information on the names of any staff who may be included. Liberal MPs Pablo Rodriguez, Dominic LeBlanc and Ruby Sahota will represent the government in the group, says the Prime Minister’s Office. The parliamentary cooperation agreement announced last month involves the 25 NDP MPs agreeing to keep the minority government in power until June, 2025, in exchange for action on various NDP policy priorities.
WANTED: NEW PARLIAMENTARY POET LAUREATE - The Parliament of Canada is accepting nominations for its tenth Parliamentary poet laureate, the Library of Parliament announced earlier this week. First created in 2001, the position mainly involves writing poetry for use in Parliament or other special occasions, said Meredith Savka, program authority of the poet laureate program.
Poet laureates ultimately determine the activities they take part in, she said, which can include sponsoring poetry readings, advising the Parliamentary library on collections and acquisitions to help enrich cultural material, and performing other duties at the request of Parliament speakers.
“Based on what other poets have told me, I’d say that this is a great opportunity for a poet to help raise the profile of poetry within Canada,” Ms. Savka added.
Canada’s current poet laureate, Louise Bernice Halfe, also known by her Cree name Sky Dancer, is the first to hail from an Indigenous community. Some of her work as a laureate has seen her performing poetry readings and writing poetry at the request of parliamentarians, including a poem for Governor-General Mary Simon’s installation ceremony.
Appointed for a two-year term, poet laureates are usually located and work out of their home province. They receive an annual $20,000 stipend and a budget for travelling and other programming or administrative expenses.
The role alternates between Canada’s official languages every term, with the upcoming candidate expected to work predominantly in French. The deadline for nominations is July 10, with a decision expected to be made later this year or in early 2023. (Safiyah Marhnouj)
On Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast: The Globe’s U.S. correspondent, Nathan VanderKlippe, is getting the full picture from the ground in Bucha and Chernihiv. He tells us what it’s like in these two cities where the Russian army has destroyed buildings and killed civilians during the invasion of Ukraine. Plus, we hear from a police officer in Chernihiv, Oksana Ohnenko, on her efforts to help the people of her city and her perspective on what it’s been like living through this war. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
The Prime Minister attended private meetings, spoke with Argentinian President Alberto Fernández, and was scheduled to chair the cabinet meeting. The Prime Minister was also expected to participate in a budget photo opportunity with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and attend the budget speech delivered by Ms. Freeland in the House of Commons
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet holds a media availability on Thursday on the federal government’s approval of the Bay du Nord project.
Conservative Party interim Leader Candice Bergen held a media availability to discuss the federal budget.
Green Party interim Leader Amita Kuttner reacts, on Parliament Hill, to federal budget.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is scheduled to attend the tabling of the budget in the House of Commons and then respond to the budget.
KILGOUR DIES - David Kilgour, a former cabinet minister known in Ottawa for his fierce independent streak and dedication to human rights causes, has died at 81. Story here from CBC.
David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on how the dose of discipline is the unsexy necessity of the Liberal budget: “Bringing Ottawa’s deficit back down to size might not carry the same heroic cachet as rapidly expanding it to stare down a pandemic. But the task might be nearly as important for the country’s long-term economic health – and more urgent than some policy makers would like to think. The federal government goes into Thursday’s budget coming off a year in which it planned for a deficit of $145-billion (based on its mid-December update). While that is less than half the size of the previous year’s deficit, it’s many multiples larger than the $20-billion or so that this same government targeted in the years prior to the pandemic.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on what federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault isn’t saying about Ottawa’s plan to slash oil sector emissions: “The United Nations Secretary-General did not beat around the bushes in identifying the villains that are holding up efforts to cut greenhouse gases after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report identifying pathways to decarbonation. “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals, but the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels,” Antonio Guterres said on Monday, as the IPCC warned overall carbon emissions would need to peak by 2025 and fall by 43 per cent by 2030 to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 C. “Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.” For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former climate activist turned Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, the IPCC report complicates the balancing act of meeting Canada’s own climate targets while still allowing oil and gas production to increase.”
Christine Smith-Martin and Marilyn Slett (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how rebuilding fisheries and wild fish stocks for coastal First Nations would be reconciliation in action: “Canada’s federal government talks a big game when it comes to reconciliation – always with a capital “R” for emphasis and importance. But when it comes to moving from words to action, that big game often slows to a snail’s pace. For First Nations in the North Pacific Coast, one historical challenge has been the decline of fisheries that we rely on – owing to Canada’s unsustainable management practices.”
Mark Zelmer and Jeremy Kronick (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on whether cryptocurrency can protect you from inflation: “Canadians will be disappointed, however, if they think that holding and transacting in crypto assets will save them from inflation. Assets such as bitcoin and ethereum have no intrinsic value. Their prices, or exchange rates if you like, are extremely volatile from day to day and week to week, with daily price swings of up to 30 per cent not uncommon. That would make it very difficult for any business to price its goods and services or for Canadians to have confidence in the value of their savings.”