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Good evening, readers.
Canada’s defence minister says work to create a new federal defence procurement agency to improve the country’s slow-moving system for buying military equipment is underway, but a precise timeline is not yet ready.
“A lot of work has already started … and the goal of this is to make sure that we get the procurement projects done as quickly as possible to make sure the Canadian Armed Forces has what they need,” Harjit Sajjan told iPolitics last month, a day before his mandate letter was released.
In the mandate letter, he was told that part of his job will be to “bring forward analyses and options for the creation of Defence Procurement Canada,” which the Liberals promised to advance toward in this Parliament during the fall election.
Sajjan said the federal defence, innovation and public services and procurement departments still need to do “more work” before a timeline for the creation of the new procurement agency would be set.
Meanwhile, the country’s assisted dying law will have to change in 2020 after part of the original 2016 law was struck down in the Quebec Superior Court.
But four years ago, the current Justice Minister David Lametti had voted against it. In a recent interview with iPolitics, Lametti said “at the time, I felt that the end-of-life regime was too narrow.”
By too narrow, he meant the law’s insistence that anyone seeking medically assisted death must meet a legal requirement that their natural death be reasonably foreseeable.
But Lametti said the law was always meant to be a continuum, not an endpoint.
“We always saw it as a process. In 2015 we were in a certain place as a society. We’re in a different place now and we think this is something we can address now,” he said. Leslie MacKinnon talks to Lametti ahead of the revised law.
Faced with the first minority government in eight years, Canada’s most active lobbying groups say they’ll be changing tactics to target a broader range of elected officials and bureaucrats as they look to generate wide support for their initiatives.
“A minority Parliament really brings with it fresh opportunities and I think what we’re seeing unfold right now is that Canadians want to see their various parties and governments work to deliver competent results,” said Carole Saab, executive director of policy and public affairs with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Lobbyists are stressing the importance of building consensus and staking out common ground to advance their policy goals. Marco Vigliotti reports.
As well, Jolson Lim has a round up of tax changes taking effect in 2020.
Some changes, such as decreasing employment insurance premiums, will be felt on Canadians’ first paycheques this year. Others, such as the new tax credit for digital news subscriptions costs, won’t be received by some taxpayers until next year.
The measures touch on everything from personal income tax to cracking down on income shifting by multinational companies.
Michael Coteau is betting on coalitions.
He credits them with securing his provincial seat in the 2018 election — a race he clinched over Toronto deputy mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong by 1,028 votes. There were other elections before that, but Coteau was one of just seven Liberals to hold a seat in 2018; the party has since whittled down to five. “I’ve won six elections in a row. And I’m not saying that to sound like, ‘I win elections.’ It’s more to me about building a coalition,” Coteau said in a recent interview with iPolitics, examining his bid to become leader of the currently-miniature Ontario Liberal Party.
“We’re not going to win this next election, as Liberals, by just betting on Doug Ford failing,” Coteau said. “Make no mistake. There are a lot of people who do agree with what Doug Ford is doing… there are a lot of people who are loyal to him and his party. I think we need to build a coalition in this province that exceeds that kind of support.”
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In Other Headlines
U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan agreed on the need to de-escalate tensions in Idlib, Syria, the White House said on Thursday, a day after eight people were killed in a Syrian missile strike in the province. Erdogan also says up to 250,000 people were fleeing toward Turkey from the Idlib region after weeks of renewed bombing by Russian and Syrian government forces. (Reuters)
As well, Turkey’s parliament has authorized the deployment of troops to Libya to support the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli that is battling forces loyal to a rival government seeking to capture the capital. (Associated Press)
Meanwhile, Algeria has appointed a new government as the country faces its biggest political crisis in decades and a raft of economic problems caused by falling energy revenues. (Reuters)
In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison cut short a visit to a New South Wales town ravaged by fire after angry locals heckled him over the government’s response. Since September, bushfires have killed 18 people in the country. (BBC News)
Also, Lebanon received an Interpol arrest warrant on Thursday for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, while Turkey launched an investigation into his daring escape from Japan via Istanbul. (Reuters)
Lastly, Taiwan’s top military official was among eight people killed in an air force helicopter crash in mountainous terrain outside Taipei on Thursday, the defense ministry said. (AP)
A vegan is bringing a landmark legal case to a British court, hoping to get veganism to be considered a protected “philosophical belief.”
According to CNN, Jordi Casamitjana, an “ethical vegan,” is hoping to force a change to Britain’s Equality Act that would see veganism included as a philosophical belief protected from discrimination similar to religion.
A two-day case began in Norwich, England on Thursday.
Have a good night!