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Politics Briefing: Trudeau heading to Cambodia for the first stop in a series of overseas


Hello,

As MPs return to work on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will literally be on the other side of the world attending a series of four summits that will end up taking him from Cambodia to Tunisia over the week.

On Friday, Mr. Trudeau was en route to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations he will be attending through to Sunday. The group of 10 nations are involved in talks on a trade agreement with Canada.

Following that gathering, Mr. Trudeau will be attending the G20 summit Nov. 15-16 in Bali, Indonesia, then comes the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Economic Leaders’ meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on Nov. 18. Finally, there’s the Sommet de la Francophonie in Djerba, Tunisia.

Meanwhile, Parliament sits again on Monday, following a week-long break.

Before departing Canada, Mr. Trudeau framed the first leg of his trip in terms of economic issues, saying, in a tweet, that he was going to Cambodia to meet with other leaders “to create good jobs and economic growth, strengthen partnerships, and promote regional stability.”

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office released earlier this month detailed how the summits are an opportunity for Canada to weigh in on such issues as economic growth, energy insecurity, climate change, human rights and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pollster Nik Nanos said foreign policy is always a top priority for a prime minister.

“However, in this current environment where Canadians are worried about a recession and paying the bills it will be critical to connect Trudeau’s summit work with the economy, jobs and the rising cost of living,” Mr. Nanos, the chief data scientist at Nanos Research, and the official pollster for The Globe and Mail and CTV News, said in a statement.

“Canadians want to see a Prime Minister focused on their well-being and working to help Canada navigate in a time of economic uncertainty. Not focusing on the economy may leave the Prime Minister vulnerable to attack from opposition parties who may try to portray him as engaging in unnecessary foreign trips at taxpayers expense without a material benefit to the Canadian economy.”

In a statement on Friday, Conservative MPs Blake Richards and Pierre Paul-Hus said Mr. Trudeau had skipped Remembrance Day ceremonies to attend “a conference prioritizing photo opportunities with foreign dignitaries over paying his respects to our Veterans and our fallen,” they said in a statement. “His absence is a blatant insult to Veterans and their families and every serving member in uniform.”

David Akin, the chief political correspondent for Global News, here compared the whereabouts of Stephen Harper, as prime minister, to Mr. Trudeau’s whereabouts on the day during his time as prime minister.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that one of his priorities, if he were prime minister, would have been to use the ASEAN Summit and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting to strengthen relationships with countries in the region and ultimately diversify our trade.

“On its own, Canada will not be able to counterbalance China, that’s why we will need stronger partnerships with other countries and a bigger trade diversification,” Mr. Singh said in a statement.

The NDP leader said the G20 Summit will be a good occasion for Canada to “stay strong” on its stand on the invasion of the Ukraine and discuss how the G20 can increase its effort to fight the climate crisis. Meanwhile, he said, at the Francophonie summit, Canada needs to be more active in protecting and promoting the French language – here at home and around the world.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

REMEMBRANCE DAY CEREMONIES HELD ACROSS CANADA – Canadians were, Friday, paying respects to the country’s war dead at sombre Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country. Story here.

MPS ENDORSE PARLIAMENTARY TUNNELS – MPs have endorsed a plan to spend more than $250-million on new tunnels linking parliamentary buildings, citing security concerns and logistics and Ottawa’s cold winters. Story here.

PM RULED OUT TALKS ON GOVERNMENT POLICY DURING PROTEST – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shot down the idea of negotiating changes to government policy and referred to an “armed insurrection” during discussions about convoy protests, according to notes tabled with the Emergencies Act inquiry on Thursday. Story here.

FORMER JUSTICE TO MEDIATE CUBA ISSUES – Former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell will mediate claims against the federal government from nine family members of Canadian diplomats who suffered unexplained ailments in Cuba. Story here.

CANADA NEEDS EARLY 2023 BUDGET: BUSINESS LEADERS – Canada’s business leaders are urging Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to table an early budget in 2023 to provide clarity on promised tax measures aimed at promoting growth that were highlighted in this month’s fall economic update. Story here.

A ’SHOCK’ TO BE APPOINTED SENATOR: GREENWOOD -Margo Greenwood said she was “in shock” after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced she will become the newest member of the Senate. Story here from CBC.

MOE AND WILKINSON TALK COLLABORATION ON ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson are calling for collaboration and conversation as the two levels of government move forward on environmental and energy policies. Story here from CBC.

DAUGHTER OF MISSING ACTIVIST SEEKS PM’S HELP – The daughter of a Chinese human-rights activist accepted as a refugee by Canada is appealing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help free him after Dong Guangping went missing in Vietnam recently. Story here.

$774-MILLIOM SURPLUS IN N.B.- New Brunswick’s budget surplus continues to swell and is now projected at $774.4-million for the 2022-23 fiscal year, an increase of $739.2 million over the figure forecast in the province’s March budget. Story here.

BEAVERTAIL POSTSCRIPT TO MAYORAL COMPETITION – After a fight for the mayor’s job in Ottawa come Beavertails. Story here from CTV.

THIS AND THAT

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IS NOT SITTING AGAIN UNTIL NOV. 14.

DAYS SINCE CONSERVATIVE LEADER PIERRE POILIEVRE TOOK MEDIA QUESTIONS IN OTTAWA: 59

FREELAND IN TORONTO – Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, in Toronto, was scheduled to participate in the University of Toronto Service of Remembrance.

GREEN PARTY FRENCH-LANGUAGE LEADERSHIP DEBATE – Candidates for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada were scheduled to participate in a virtual French-language debate on Friday, moderated by Anne-Caroline Desplanques, journalist and correspondent on Parliament Hill for the Journal de Montréal. The debate begins at 8 p.m. ET.

ANAND IN TORONTO – Defence Minister Anita Anand was scheduled Friday to open the market at the Toronto Stock Exchange to commemorate Remembrance Day, and honour military Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members. Following the market opening event, Ms. Anand was set to attend the Remembrance Day ceremony at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

THE DECIBEL

On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, climate scientist and tropical storm expert Marjahn Finlayson talks about how climate change is affecting her home, and what responsibility countries like Canada have to help. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was en route Friday to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

LEADERS

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in London, Ontario, attended a Remembrance Day ceremony, and attended a lunch with Veterans at the London Legion Branch 317. He was also scheduled to speak with British Columbia Premier-designate David Eby.

No schedules released for other party leaders.

PUBLIC OPINION

Most Canadians support increasing financial aid to Ukraine, even if that leads to a larger deficit, according to new poll from Nanos Research. Story here from CTV.

OPINION

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how the U.S. midterms offer a stark warning to Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre: If the next election is about the Liberal record and Conservative priorities, the Conservatives should do well, just as the Republicans should have dominated the midterms. But if the Liberals are able to successfully portray the Conservatives as wild-eyed ideologues and conspiracy theorists, watch out. The Liberals always seek to demonize the Conservatives during election campaigns, accusing them of being anti-science, anti-abortion and pro-guns. When confronting Mr. Poilievre in the next election, expect them to double down. If the Grits can make the election about Team Normal versus Team Crazy, voters will choose Team Normal. In his actions and words in the months ahead, Mr. Poilievre really should try to make it harder, not easier, for the Liberals to make that case.”

Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on whether Ottawa will heed the call of Kremlin critic Bill Browder on urging Canada to find and freeze dirty money: Canada stands with Ukraine, but Ottawa’s inability to fight financial crime is enabling Russia’s war machine. That stark assessment comes from Bill Browder, a man who has risked his life to expose how Russian President Vladimir Putin has enriched himself through corruption, money laundering and flagrant violations of human rights. The U.S.-born British citizen, who co-founded hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management, was once Russia’s biggest foreign investor. But these days, he’s considered an enemy of the Russian state.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how, since the start of the pandemic, Canada has not stopped short-changing our children: If there’s one demographic of Canadians whose needs have been consistently overlooked, disregarded, and downplayed for the past several years, it’s children. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids lost virtually all their leisure activities: playgrounds were closed, playdates were cancelled and of course, schools were closed for varying lengths of times, depending on the province. These sacrifices were imposed on them not solely for their sake – we learned relatively early on that most children don’t get severely ill if they contract COVID-19 – but for the sake of more vulnerable adults, and to offer relief to our overburdened hospitals.”

Rory Gilfillan (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Remembrance Day reminds of us of our obligation to do the hard work of democracy: It has been three generations since Canadians, en masse, have been called on to don a uniform, rack the bolt of a rifle, or strap ourselves behind the controls of a Lancaster bomber; to willingly put ourselves into harm’s way. While the Canadian Armed Forces continue to serve as the country’s defence, the vast majority of us who are alive today have never had to send waves of our sons, fathers and brothers to war with the knowledge that they might never return. I imagine the men and women whom we commemorate on Remembrance Day might see our ignorance of war as a victory of sorts.”

Jean Teillet (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how there is nothing innocent about the false presumption of Indigenous identity: There is nothing innocent about falsely assuming Indigenous identity. It’s fraud – intentional deception for personal gain. Lies about the person’s lived experience, their family and where and how they grew up are repeated over decades. Most of the lies play to stereotypical beliefs about Indigenous people. Usually by working for and with Indigenous people, the imposter gains access to opportunities, jobs, money, prestige and power. It’s a deft twist on impersonation. It’s identity theft, it causes harm, there’s a lot of it going on, and it’s a serious problem.”

Don Braid (The Calgary Herald) on Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and the United Conservative Party planning flood of Danielle Dollars to Albertans: Danielle Dollars are well within this Alberta conservative tradition of spilling out cash when there’s a public need that happens to coincide with political need. We have no idea of the total cost to the treasury. Whatever that is, the measures are likely to be very popular. Some traditionalists will gripe. But I have never met anybody who refused Ralph Bucks or the mortgage subsidy. Smith is also making big promises about health care. These will be a lot harder to keep.”

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