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Politics Briefing: Canadian inflation jumped to the highest rate in nearly four decades in June – The Globe and Mail

Hello,

Canadian inflation jumped to the highest rate in nearly four decades in June, although there were tentative signs that consumer price growth is close to topping out.

The consumer price index rose 8.1 per cent in June from a year earlier, up from 7.7 per cent in May, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday. It was the highest inflation rate since January, 1983. Financial analysts were expecting a loftier reading of 8.4 per cent.

The acceleration was mainly because of gasoline, Statscan said. Consumers paid 6.2 per cent more at the pump in June than May, and 55 per cent more on an annual basis. However, crude oil has tumbled in recent weeks, which has started to be reflected in retail pricing.

Economics Reporter Matt Lundy reports here.

There’s a Globe and Mail Explainer here on what 8.1-per-cent inflation means for the cost of living in Canada.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

TICKET SHORTAGES, POOR COMMUNICATIONS THREATEN ACCESS TO POPE’S VISIT – Indigenous groups say they are worried that many residential-school survivors will not be able to attend Pope Francis’s appearances across Canada later this month, owing to ticket shortages and poor communication from the Catholic Church and the federal government. Story here.

PROVINCE CONSIDERS STRONG-MAYOR SYSTEM FOR TORONTO AND OTTAWA – Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomed the prospect of gaining more authority, as the province is considering introducing what is known as a strong-mayor system, while critics warned that the city has recent evidence of the risk of empowering its top politician. Story here

JOURNALISTS THREATENED WITH `POLICE-ASSISTED EVICTION’ FROM PM EVENTS – The Daily Courier newspaper in Kelowna, B.C., is reporting that if journalists shouted questions at the Prime Minister during a visit to the Okanagan city this week, they would face “police-assisted eviction” from premises where Justin Trudeau was making appearances. The Prime Minister was not scheduled to hold a news conference during his visit to the community. Story here from The Daily Courier.

VUONG FINED – A Royal Canadian Navy official imposed a $500 fine on Independent MP and Royal Canadian Navy reserve officer Kevin Vuong Wednesday for failing to inform his commanding officer of a criminal charge against him. Story here from CBC.

CANADA’S TURBINE DECISION COULD UNDERMINE PRESSURE ON RUSSIA: HILLIER – Canada’s decision to import and repair Russian government-owned turbines for up to two years in circumvention of sanctions against Moscow could undermine the West’s resolve to keep pressure on the Kremlin, retired general Rick Hillier says. Story here.

TRUDEAU CRITICIZES HOCKEY CANADA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Hockey Canada in response to a Globe and Mail investigation on Tuesday that revealed the organization uses registration fees to maintain a multimillion-dollar fund to settle alleged sexual-assault claims, without disclosing it to parents or players. Story here. Meanwhile, the federal committee investigating Hockey Canada’s handling of a sexual-assault lawsuit says it will exercise its “extraordinary privilege” to compel witnesses and obtain information, as it seeks a full accounting of what happened after a woman accused eight Canadian Hockey League players of sexually assaulting her in 2018. Story here.

EBY LAUNCHES BID TO SUCCEED HORGAN – British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby has formally entered the BC NDP leadership race, positioning the front-runner to succeed John Horgan as premier. As of Wednesday, he was the only declared candidate in the race, which will be decided in December. Story here. In a 2019 profile here, The Vancouver Sun told the story of the “yoga dad” mellowed by family commitments.

`AGGRESSIVE AND VIOLENT’ POLICE RESPONSE PROMPTS INQUIRY CALL – Williams Lake First Nation and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs are demanding an independent investigation and public inquiry after a 41-year-old First Nations father of four died by suicide during an “aggressive and violent” response by RCMP officers to a distress call. Story here.

DEADLINE DAY FOR UCP LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES – It’s deadline day for those seeking to be the next leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives and most of the contestants have already filed their applications. Story here.

ANOTHER FORMER MP WANTS TO BE SURREY MAYOR – Another former MP has entered the race to be the mayor of Surrey, British Columbia’s second-most-populous city. Former Liberal Gordie Hogg joins former NDP MP Jinny Sims as candidates to be mayor. Meanwhile, current Liberal Sukh Dhaliwal is also running for the job. Incumbent Doug McCallum is seeking another term as mayor. Story here.

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison, in Toronto, participates in a panel at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Roman Baber’s website indicates there are no events scheduled. Jean Charest is in Toronto. Leslyn Lewis is in Kitchener and Toronto. Pierre Poilievre is in Toronto.

BABER PLATFORM – Roman Baber has released a policy platform called Commitment to Canada, available here, that includes proposals to ban all vaccine passports and mandates, repealing the carbon tax, and a judicial inquiry into the handling of the pandemic. In a tweet here, he makes the pitch for being marked first on ballots.

JEAN AND MICHELE CHAREST TAKE THE QUIZ – Mr. Charest and his spouse, Michèle, take a quiz on camera about how well they know each other in a campaign video posted here. First question: Who is your favourite kid?

LEWIS ON THE NOTION OF DELIVERING THE ETHNIC VOTE – In a statement on her campaign website available here, Ms. Lewis takes issue with the notion of disqualified leadership candidate Patrick Brown having the ability to deliver the ethnic vote to the Conservative Party.

THIS AND THAT

The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.

ALGHABRA IN PRINCE GEORGE – Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, in Prince George, B.C., announces federal funding in support of airport recovery at the city airport.

BENNETT IN VANCOUVER – Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, in Vancouver, announces funding to support people who use substances in Canada.

BIBEAU IN SASKATOON – Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, in Saskatoon, attends the annual conference of federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers until Friday. She also attends an outdoor farm expo and various industry roundtables.

BLAIR IN KAMLOOPS – Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair holds a media availability after a tour of the Provincial Wildfire Co-ordination Centre and Kamloops Fire Centre.

LAMETTI IN VANCOUVER – Justice Minister David Lametti, with Vancouver-Centre MP Hedy Fry, makes a funding announcement in Vancouver.

POLITICAL PODCAST WATCH – Senator Pamela Wallin has posted a new edition of her No Nonsense With Pamela Wallin podcast, available here. It’s entitled: The Impact of Twitter with Dr. Brian McQuinn. Dr. McQuinn is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of Regina, and the co director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Conflict and Data.

THE DECIBEL

On Wednesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Colleen Flood – the director of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa – talks about the implications of the B.C. Court of Appeal upholding a lower-court’s decision that access to medical care should be based on need and not the ability to pay. The Decibel is here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Private meetings in Halifax. The Prime Minister is also scheduled to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet continued a summer tour of Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Yellowknife, met with Northwest Territories Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek, and was scheduled to attend the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Annual General Assembly.

No schedules released for other party leaders.

OPINION

Cathal Kelly (The Globe and Mail) on how mass resignations can’t be far off after the latest Hockey Canada revelations: The Hockey Canada mess has passed the point of good excuses, or even bad excuses for good reasons. At a certain point, people stop caring why you did something. They just want you to put your hand up, admit you were to blame and go away. Let others sort out what went wrong and why and how it should be fixed. You had many chances. You blew them. Accept it. Recent history suggests Hockey Canada can’t do that. It is too far into weeds it itself planted. It has become so tangled that it can no longer see the only way out – clean, ruthless cuts.”

David Matas and Maria Reisdorf (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, in just a few steps, Canada could prosecute Russian President Vladimir Putin for the crime of aggression: “The Canadian relaxation of sanctions to allow for the return of gas turbines to Russia requires a commensurate measure to emphasize Canada’s opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One such measure could and should be changing Canadian law to allow for the prosecution of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is responsible for the Russian military and its actions.”

John Zada and John Bell (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, to end polarization, Canadian political parties need to rediscover the art of co-operation: Although it is the ideologically inflamed who set the polarizing agenda, reasonable Canadians can help slow this trend by first and foremost telling their representatives, and their governments, that they do not favour the polarization of politics. Current and future party members should not only do the same, but also try and widen the spectrum of ideas that circulate from within. That includes pushing for more flexibly minded leadership candidates. The public can also help by not voting for polarizing ideologues, and by casting ballots instead for independent candidates, who may be more measured in their views.”

Tom Mulcair (The Montreal Gazette) on how François Legault’s success in the Quebec election this fall may not be a given: The opposition parties may be atomized but elections often come down to seeing who has ideas that are closest to yours, with a chance of winning. From the start, over 60 per cent of Quebecers have indicated they want an option other than the CAQ. Can one party become their champion? Everyday issues, from the state of our provincial roads, to health care, to our dilapidated schools, to gun violence, are now making the front pages regularly. This is refreshing political scrutiny. Add in real inflation for the first time in a generation (and an Nth wave of the pandemic) and maybe you’ve got more uncertainty than ever about the romp to victory predicted for Legault. This election could well turn out to be more of a horse race than anyone expected.”

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