Politics Briefing: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers economic update that warns of a potential recession – The Globe and Mail

Hello,

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a fall economic update Thursday that warns of a potential recession in 2023, presenting two fiscal forecasts based on whether or not that downturn occurs.

The update also announces plans for a new tax on share buybacks and significant incentives for green energy investment aimed at responding to a major package of tax and climate policy reforms approved this year through the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.

The handful of new spending measures announced Thursday include making all Canada student and apprentice loans permanently interest-free, at a cost of $2.7-billion over five years, and $4-billion over six years to automatically issue advance payments of the Canada Workers Benefit to people who had qualified the previous year.

But the overall message that Ms. Freeland sought to deliver is that the federal government is preparing for harder times ahead.

“We are keeping our powder dry,” she said in her speech to the House of Commons.

Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Bill Curry reports here. There’s a highlights package here on the statement.

Check The Globe and Mail for updates on the statement.

Copies of the statement are here and Ms. Freeland’s speech to the House of Commons is here.

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

TALKS BREAK OFF IN ONTARIO EDUCATION DISPUTE – Contract talks between the Ontario government and the union representing 55,000 education support workers have broken off, as MPPs were set to pass a fast-tracked bill that would use the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to pre-empt a legal strike and the union vowed to walk out the next day anyway. Story here.

POLICE PROBE ENTRAPMENT EFFORT TARGETING NENSHI – The Calgary Police Service said Thursday it will investigate an alleged entrapment plot launched against former mayor Naheed Nenshi in 2019. Story here from The Calgary Herald.

CONVOY PROTESTERS RECEIVED INSIDE INFORMATION – Convoy protesters in Ottawa received leaked information from police and had former law-enforcement officers and ex-military personnel co-ordinating logistics, a lawyer representing key protest organizers told the Emergencies Act inquiry. Story here.

OTTAWA ORDERS CHINESE DIVESTMENT IN THREE CANADIAN CRITICAL-MINERALS COMPANIES – Ottawa is ordering Chinese state-owned companies to immediately divest their interests in three Canadian critical minerals companies, after the federal government faced an avalanche of criticism earlier in the year for allowing too much investment from the Asian superpower into the domestic mining sector. Story here.

QUEBEC MEMBERS READY TO SWEAR TO KING – The 11 recently elected members of Quebec solidaire are no longer refusing to swear an oath of office to King Charles III. Story here.

CHINA INVASION OF TAIWAN LOOMS: FORMER JAPANESE COMMANDER – China is likely to invade Taiwan within five years unless Canada and other Western allies band together to send tough economic and military warnings to Beijing, says the former naval commander of Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force. Story here.

LEGAULT SETS IMMIGRATION LIMIT – Quebec Premier François Legault is maintaining that the province cannot accept more than 50,000 immigrants a year despite Ottawa’s plans to significantly raise the country’s immigration levels. Story here.

NO SNAP ELECTION IN MANITOBA: CABINET MINISTER – Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen says the Progressive Conservative government is not planning to call an early election. Story here.

COMMONS APPROVES ARRIVECAN PROBE – The House of Commons has approved a motion calling on Auditor-General Karen Hogan to investigate federal spending on the ArriveCan app. The Bloc Québécois and the NDP voted in favour of the Conservative motion, while Liberal and Green Party MPs voted against. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Nov. 3, accessible here.

DAYS SINCE CONSERVATIVE LEADER PIERRE POILIEVRE TOOK MEDIA QUESTIONS IN OTTAWA: 51

PM TRAVELLING – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be out of Canada between Nov. 12 and 20 attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Eighteenth Summit of La Francophonie in Djerba, Tunisia. Details of the trip are here.

GOVERNOR-GENERAL INVESTS ORDER OF CANADA APPOINTEES – Governor-General Mary Simon is scheduled, on Thursday, to invest 44 appointees into the Order of Canada. Appointments to the honour are made for sustained achievement at three levels: Companion, Officer and Member. Officers and members may be elevated within the Order in recognition of further achievements. Among this round of appointees: Former CTV National News chief anchor and senior editor Lisa LaFlamme. The full list is here.

OLIPHANT HEADED FOR MIDDLE EAST -Robert Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the foreign affairs minister, is visiting the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Lebanon from Thursday to Nov. 11. Details here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, attended private meetings, chaired a cabinet meeting and participated in a photo opportunity with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland around the 2022 Fall Economic Statement. Mr. Trudeau was also scheduled to attend the statement speech, delivered by Ms. Freeland in the House of Commons.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and finance critic Gabriel Ste-Marie are scheduled to hold a media scrum at the House of Commons reacting to the economic statement. The BQ leader will also attend Question Period.

Interim Green Party of Canada Leader Amita Kuttner was scheduled, in the House of Commons, to respond to the economic statement along with Deputy Leader Luc Joli-Coeur as well as caucus members Elizabeth May and Mike Morrice.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, was scheduled to hold a media availability, and, on Thursday evening, travel to Berlin, with NDP MPs Charlie Angus and Heather McPherson as well as NDP national director Anne McGrath for a week to participate in meetings and events with the NDP’s sister party, the governing Social Democratic Party of Germany.

No schedule released for Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre.

THE DECIBEL

On Thursday’s edition of the Globe and Mail podcast, parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh talks about convoy leaders who have testified this week at the Emergencies Act inquiry. On Wednesday, a lawyer who represented key convoy organizers during the protests told the inquiry that organizers received leaked information from police. The Decibel is here.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how the revenue windfall Ottawa and the provinces are enjoying is almost over: Before the pandemic, the annual release of Ottawa’s public accounts was a humdrum affair. Each fall, the federal government closes its books on the previous fiscal year, which ends in March. The public accounts land in three volumes, at more than 1,200 pages. Its rear-view mirror perspective, at a time when everyone is looking ahead, usually meant the tomes attracted little attention. The pandemic’s fiscal upheaval changed all that.”

Rob Carrick (The Globe and Mail) on why, for the sake of their financial future, young people should leave Toronto and Vancouver: Two of our biggest cities are an affordability trap for young adults. Without six-figure incomes or well-off parents, anyone in their 20s and 30s has to question whether they have a future in Vancouver and Toronto that includes home ownership. You can put yourself on a path toward financial success in life with your choice of postsecondary education, your career decisions, and your spending, saving and investing habits. It’s time to add your choice of city to the mix. Vancouver is geographically awesome and chill, while Toronto is a vibrant, diverse economic powerhouse. If you can afford them, they’re great places to live. If not, living in these two cities in your career-building years could slowly degrade your financial health.”

Tanya Talaga (The Globe and Mail) on how many reports will we ignore before we do the work that reconciliation requires?: “On Nov. 1, Ivan Zinger, Canada’s correctional investigator, reported that this country’s justice system continues to incarcerate Indigenous women at alarming rates – with no indication that this will change. Last year, he found that 32 per cent of all people in custody are First Nations, Métis or Inuit, setting a new historic high; as of May, a staggering half of all female inmates were Indigenous women. This is a human-rights embarrassment. This horrific report is another pathetic reminder of Canadian governments’ continued failure to follow through on detailed reports and recommendations – from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, to the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Quebec Liberals have bigger problems than their leader: “After its worst result ever in last month’s provincial election, the Quebec Liberal Party is not only not thriving, but it has descended into the kind of petty warfare that it once considered below its higher calling as the province’s main champion of the federalist cause. Current and former caucus members have stooped to airing their party’s dirty laundry in public, in what one ex-Liberal member of the National Assembly forlornly likened to an episode of Occupation Double, a Quebec reality show in which participants engage in hook-ups and back-stabbing in plain view.”

Lawrence Martin (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on the frightful trajectory of the conservative political brand: While conservative parties in Britain, Canada and the U.S. have been plagued in recent years by internal strife, there has been no such division in the Trudeau Liberals. In comparison with the long-running destructive infighting that took place among leaders John Turner, Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, and the dissension under Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, party unity today is impressive. So far, Mr. Poilievre has been effective in bringing together his party. He would do well to learn from what has happened in other jurisdictions, and make clear that there is no place for zealots in his Conservative formation.”

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