Roundup: Propaganda and democratic interference

During a media availability yesterday, Justin Trudeau mentioned the Russian embassy’s propaganda efforts in linking Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather to Nazi publications in World War II as a reason for expelling diplomats that he accused of interfering in Canadian democracy. Almost immediately, we got some of the more obtuse pundits in our commentariat fretting about why we didn’t expel those diplomats at the time that happened, and why the government couldn’t just say that last week when they were asked how those Russians had interfered. And to clarify, Trudeau cited that as an example, which is very much interfering with our democratic processes. And as for why they didn’t expel them earlier, I direct you once again to Stephanie Carvin’s Open Canada piece about the expulsions, and why we allow intelligence officers to stay when we know that they’re engaging in espionage activities. Seriously – go read it.

And funnily enough, Carvin had pointed to that attempted Russian propagandizing days earlier when responding to Susan Delacourt’s column that wondered why we weren’t taking the allegations of Russian interference with more alarm that we have been. As Carvin points out – it’s not just cyber that we have to worry about, and if MPs were actually doing their jobs, they would be far more focused on this issue rather than re-litigating the Atwal Affair™ again and again to score cheap points.

Good reads:

  • Justin Trudeau met with the Secretary-General of NATO yesterday, who is pleased by our commitment to increase defence spending.
  • Trudeau heads to Western Canada to begin a tour focused on the economy and the environment. Next week he heads to Peru, Paris and London.
  • Trudeau also said he thinks it’s time to have a conversation about paying for sperm and egg donors, and for surrogates.
  • Chrystia Freeland is off to Washington to advance NAFTA talks. Freeland said yesterday that world trade is facing its biggest threats since WWII.
  • Catherine McKenna hints that if provinces want to rebel against carbon taxes, the federal backstop can be returned to individuals instead of provincial governments.
  • After a year-and-a-half leaving the post vacant, it looks like the government has tapped Saskatchewan’s chief electoral officer to take over the federal post.
  • Here’s a look at why the government is so skittish when it talks about their negotiations to lease icebreakers from Davie Shipyard.
  • Three Conservative senators went to Washington to talk about Canada’s impending marijuana legalization.
  • Veteran Liberal MP Wayne Easter says that international travel helps broaden MPs’ perspectives, so long as they don’t simply side with those paying for junkets.
  • NDP MPs are quietly complaining of poor caucus management by Jagmeet Singh. Gosh, who would have guessed? If only someone had written about this sooner.
  • Here’s the tale of shady nomination antics that Patrick Brown and a convicted fraudster were engaged in.
  • Terry Glavin hopes that Canada listens and follows Bob Rae’s recommendations around the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • Andrew Coyne makes the case to hike carbon taxes and lower income taxes instead.

Odds and ends:

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