Roundup: Brown out…again

After all of that drama, Patrick Brown is out of the leadership race…again. But the speculation around it took over the news cycle for the day. Not that there wasn’t some other news on that front – it was confirmed that the province’s integrity commissioner was investigating Brown for allegedly failing to disclose all of his income sources, and further stories came out about his attempts to bigfoot two particular nomination races, at least one of which is currently being investigated by police.

But in the end, Brown did withdraw, penning a four-page letter citing his reasons.

In the aftermath of it all, Jen Gerson examines Brown’s weakness of character and lack of ability to maintain the confidence of his caucus, which doomed him in the end. And along the way, she also came to the conclusion that Andrew Coyne and I are right about the fact that the way we choose our leaders is broken, and it’s time to get back to caucus selection. David Reevely, meanwhile, recaps all of the various revelations about Brown over the past weeks, and notes the things he’s not disputing that are just as alarming as the things he is.

Good reads:

  • It’s Budget Day, so here is a preview of what we can expect both broadly and on individual files, especially on gender and fiscal policy.
  • Ontario’s health minister resigned suddenly yesterday, and the speculation is that he’ll be named to head a federal advisory committee on national pharmacare.
  • The Conservative attempt to call an emergency meeting of the National Security committee over the Atwal incident failed to get enough MPs to sign on.
  • The Star tries to dig into more of Atwal’s background, but there are a lot of contradictions in what he says compared to what others say of him.
  • Donald Trump signed off on a trade report that rebukes his own talking points about how “unfair” trade with Canada is.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff says that even with legal marijuana, most serving members will be restricted from using it. Gosh, you think?
  • The Liberals have no plans to legislate a prohibition on MPs getting into relationships with staffers, citing that there are better tools available.
  • There are concerns that the government isn’t doing enough to alleviate the backlog of grain shipments by rail. The companies say the cold weather has been a factor.
  • Marc Garneau says that a decision on VIA Rail’s proposed $4 billion high-frequency rail line will likely be this year.
  • Here’s an attempt to gauge how much the Trans Mountain pipeline will hurt the Liberals in BC in the 2019 election.
  • Australians are amazed that the Canadian government didn’t learn from their own payroll system fiasco when they went ahead with the Phoenix payroll system.
  • Andrew Scheer now confirms that he’ll declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel if he forms government in 2019.
  • Kady O’Malley’s Process Nerd column explains the budget process.

Odds and ends:

Here’s an English version of Bloc MP Gabriel Ste-Marie resigning as Bloc House Leader after clashing with party leader Martine Ouellet.

In Alberta, a group of former Wildrose members are looking to restart their party as the “Alberta Advantage Party.” Which was inevitable.