Netizen 24 CAN: Politics Briefing: NAFTA on Trudeau's mind in Peru

Posted by On 1:33 AM

Politics Briefing: NAFTA on Trudeau's mind in Peru

Good morning,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Peru today and tomorrow for the Summit of the Americas. His schedule is packed with meeting world leaders from the region, including Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

No doubt the North American free-trade agreement will be a topic of conversation with Mr. Pena Nieto. Last week, optimism was the prevailing feeling surrounding NAFTA talks. This week, the negotiating countries are saying that they are far from reaching a full deal. There had been hopes that Mr. Trudeau, U.S. President Donald Trump and Mr. Pena Nieto would be able to sign some sort of agreement in principle while in Peru. The U.S. has backed down from another one of its key auto proposals, saying it no longer wants vehicles to have 85 per cent North American content in order to apply for duty-free status. Industry estimates peg that currently cars made in the NAFTA zone hav e between 70 to 75 per cent of their composition from North America. The U.S. is proposing 75 per cent, which would still be an increase from the 62.5 per cent required currently under NAFTA legislation.

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Mr. Trudeau returns to Ottawa on Sunday, where he will meet with the Alberta and B.C. premiers in an attempt to broker peace between British Columbia and Alberta over the Trans Mountain pipeline. But it’s not clear what progress is even possible, as B.C. insists there must be no pipeline and Alberta argues the project must go ahead.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa, Mayaz Alam i n Toronto and James Keller in Vancouver. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

CANADIAN HEADLINES

The House of Commons and Senate are poised to jointly call for the Pope to apologize for the Catholic church’s role in residential schools. The NDP and Liberal government are behind a motion that will be introduced in the chambers next week, and they hope to be joined by the other parties in Parliament.

The federal government will be investigating complaints by Tim Hortons franchisees against parent company Restaurant Brands International. The probe is in response to allegations made by franchisees that RBI hasn’t honoured the commitments it made to gain federal approval when it acquired the iconic Canadian chain in 2014.

A senior Liberal aide has been hired away from the government by Google.

The National Gallery of Canada's pursuit of a Jacques-Louis David painting owned by a Quebec Church (for which the Gallery may be selling a Marc Chagall work) is rankling museums in Montreal and Quebec, who say the piece belongs in their province. “ It’s so, so difficul t to acquire great paintings,” said Nathalie Bondil, director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “That is why we wanted to work together, and not compete against each other. We could even have a three-way ownership. Why not? That would be an interesting approach.”

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British Columbia plans to ask the courts whether the province can limit oil shipments by rail, as the government attempts to block not just the Trans Mountain pipeline by any expansion of crude shipments through B.C.

An NDP MP from B.C. wants a criminal investigation into the role opioid manufacturers have played in Canada’s overdose crisis.

Public servants in one office building are being asked to participate in an active-shooter drill next week.

Canadians don’t want police officers looking like hipsters.

And the Canadian consulate in Seattle says going to baseball games is a great way to network with their American counterparts.

Arlen Dumas (The Globe and Mail) on the MMIW inquiry: “First Nations and Canadians cannot wait another two years. The most reasonable response now to the commissioners’ extension request is to simply have them complete their existing mandate in a manner that continues to hear truths from families and survivors. As with any inquiry report, the real commitment and action is based in the political will of the receiving governments of the report. Accordingly, instead of spending more time and money on the inquiry process, Canada should immediately invest at least $50-million to address the underlying issues that lead to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”

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Stewart Phillip and Serge Simon (The Globe and Mail) on Trans Mountain: “The real constitutional crisis will occur if Mr. Trudeau chooses to ignore our constitutionally protected Aboriginal Ti tle and Rights and Treaty Rights, and tries to ram through the pipeline â€" putting a lie to all his promises of reconciliation and setting Canada up for another catastrophic crisis on the same level as Oka.”

Janis Sarra (The Globe and Mail) on securities regulators and climate change: “Canadian governments could adopt legislation similar to that enacted in France to require corporations, financial institutions and institutional investors, including mutual funds and pension funds, to disclose annually the financial risks related to the effects of climate change and the company’s measures to reduce them, including how they are implementing a low-carbon strategy in every component of their activities and how their corporate and investment decision-making is contributing to the energy and ecological transition to limit global warming. It is time to align the public rhetoric with meaningful action.”

Christine Van Geyn (The Globe and Mail) on Doug Ford’s electio n platform: “It is important that Mr. Ford provide an overview of his spending commitments and give specifics of where money can be saved so that voters can hold him to account on those promises. Gimmicks and broken promises of previous governments’ aside, voters are entitled to this information so they can make an informed choice. It is also important that the government provide financial statements that the public can trust, but Mr. Ford is trying to prove to the public that he is the better option. He should act like it.”

Alexander Herman (The Globe and Mail) on the Marc Chagall painting: “The National Gallery of Canada’s plan to sell an oil painting by Marc Chagall from its collection, revealed last week, has been met with significant circumspection and disgruntlement. How is it that a public institution â€" indeed our national art gallery â€" can sell a work with relative ease, and seemingly little transparency?”

Murray Teitel (Canadian Jewish News) on the meaning of his paintings: “ Look at Over Vitebsk , with the Jewish beggar plodding his mendicant way through the sky above the frozen city, or Le Violiniste , which depicts a Jew playing the violin, dominating the town from a rooftop. In these paintings Chagall is saying that these Jews may have been poverty stricken, persecuted, never knowing when the next pogrom would start, oppressed and living in dirt â€" but because they used their minds and their imaginations they rose above their miserable physical circumstances.”

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NTERNATI ONAL HEADLINES

Syria and the Middle East have been left waiting for potential military action from the United States â€" and watching President Donald Trump’s Twitter account for any sign of what that might look like. Some sort of military strike appeared imminent following a tweet by Mr. Trump that warned Syria and Russia to “get ready” but the situation now appears less clear. Whatever that eventual response looks like, it will be a delicate balance: U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis must design a military response significant enough to deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons again, but while also avoiding drawing a response from Russian.

Syrian forces have taken the town of Douma, the last rebel bastion of the Eastern Ghouta region. Rebel forces had been under heavy bombardment by the Syrian government and Russia and Douma was attacked by what is believed to be chemical weapons.

Export Development Canada, Canada’s export agency, has so f ar been unable to recover a $52-million Bombardier jet despite a court order. The plane is in the possession of South Africa’s Gupta brothers, who have ties to former South African president Jacob Zuma and his family. The Guptas have allegedly switched off the tracking device on the plane to hide it and are subbject to warrants on charges of corruption.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a United Nations watchdog, is backing the U.K.’s findings that Russia is responsible for the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter. Yulia Skripal was released from the hospital and has since declined any assistance from Russian diplomats. Sergei Skripal, her father, is still in serious condition. Detective Sergeant Nicholas Bailey was also exposed to the nerve agent known as Novichok and has also been released.

Mr. Trump says that meetings are being set up with North Korean President Kim Jong-un.” I think it will be terrific,” h e said. “I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens.”

According to a new survey, 31 per cent of Americans believe that two million or fewer Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust and 41 per cent cannot say what Auschwitz was. Around six million Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust.

And details surrounding former FBI director James Comey’s forthcoming book have begun to leak out. In it, Mr. Comey blasts Mr. Trump and likens him to a mob boss that is “untethered to truth.” The book, A Higher Loyalty, will be released next week.

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Source: Google News

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