With the First Ministers’ meeting now out of the way, attention is turning to Justin Trudeau’s trip to Washington DC next week, and what will happen there, and naturally, what it all means. At least five ministers will accompany him on the trip – though not necessarily to the state dinner, which is going to apparently be quite the event. Obama is apparently looking to Trudeau to be a partner for green initiatives, and indeed Trudeau will be hosted by an environmental group with a known anti-oilsands agenda (to the protests of Conservative MPs). Trudeau, for his part, is being introduced to the Americans first by appearing on 60 Minutes where he will be seen in a more serious light than his appearance in Vogue, and part of his message is that he wants Americans to be a little more outward looking and pay attention to other countries. Of course, the one topic that must not be spoken of is the presidential nomination process, for which Trudeau cannot (and indeed must not) make any kind of pronouncements on other than that he won’t comment on the internal politics of another country. Not that it won’t stop everyone from asking while he’s down there (because you know they all will, Canadian and American media alike), but he’s savvy enough of a politician not to say anything. Instead it’ll likely be a litany of platitudes about trade, trying to thin the border, and thanks for Canada’s renewed contribution in the conflict with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. And the requisite celebrity questions and requests for selfies, of course.
- Catherine McKenna is still not ruling out imposing a price on carbon if provinces drag their heels.
- A cross-border policing project has been “postponed” because of too many differences in legal systems (and openings for litigation).
- The gong show known as Shared Services Canada messed up again when it comes to contracting to build new data centres on military bases without proper clearances.
- The Lobbying Commissioner is looking into Jean Charest’s attempt to broker meetings on Energy East without registering to lobby.
- The government is giving a six-month grace period for the new electronic travel authorisation documents that visitors to Canada (except for Americans) require.
- Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau’s trial has been postponed until June 2017 because of his suicide attempt.
- Two planned war memorials – one to the Afghanistan mission, another to Victoria Cross recipients – are now in limbo.
- The government is also considering purging the dishonourable discharge records of those who were cashiered out of the Canadian Forces for being gay.
- Kady O’Malley looks at how changes to election financing rules can affect the upcoming Conservative leadership race.
- Jen Gerson writes about the problems in trying to “unite the right” in Alberta.
- Susan Delacourt writes about the declining amount of time that MPs are spending in Ottawa.
Odds and ends:
Here is the tale of how Patty Hajdu learned to overcome her fear of fundraising to run for politics.
Justin Trudeau was honoured by the Tsuu T’ina First Nation with an eagle-feather war bonnet and the name “Gumistiyi,” meaning “The One Who Keeps Trying,” which I’m sure Trudeau would agree goes against Yoda’s teachings.
Thank you Tsuut’ina Nation for honouring me with a bonnet transfer ceremony today. An experience I won't forget. pic.twitter.com/wOykCqtGsi
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 4, 2016