Roundup: Taking cabinet off the trade file

Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, is taking a lead role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, as opposed to our actual international trade minister. Not unsurprisingly, it’s ruffled a few feathers. While everyone has plenty of praise for the minister, Ed Fast, it does seem that most of the federal cabinet is there purely for symbolic reasons and to reward well-behaved MPs these days. That said, it underlines the importance that this government is placing on trade deals as a large part of their economic agenda.

Harper is currently off at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. John Geddes explains the Euro bailout/IMF issue facing Harper here.

Here’s a look at the declining state of party memberships for the Federal Liberals in Quebec.

The former RCMP spy files on Pearson and Diefenbaker were destroyed back in the late 80s, which is more proof of CSIS’ inability to manage their old files. Meanwhile, Andrew Mitrovica laments the appointment of Chuck Strahl to the head of the Security and Intelligence Review Committee in the wake of the demise of the Office of the Inspector General, as it means there is nobody with a background in security and intelligence keeping an eye on things.

CBSA is going to start wiring airports and border crossings with high definition video cameras and microphones – but they haven’t yet submitted a privacy impact statement for these plans, which you’d think was rather significant, no?

As changes to the kind of health care that refugee claimants are entitled to is being implemented, here’s the story of a refugee to Canada who is now a practicing doctor, and how it was her encounter being given access to those services that helped set her on the path to medicine.

Thanks to Pakistan closing routes, a bunch of our military equipment is stranded in Afghanistan unless we want to pay huge fees.

And Carleton University won’t show the donor agreement for their new Political Management programme, which seems awfully suspicious.