CBC

John McCallum continues to haunt the Liberals, Conservatives ask CSIS to investigate his comments

Speaking to reporters at an event across the pond in London on Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tried to distance herself from the controversial comments made by fired Canadian ambassador to China, John McCallum. “Let me be extremely clear that Mr. McCallum does not speak in the name of the government of Canada,” she said.

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The Liberal government wishes they could put a gag order on John McCallum after he has plagued them for the last several months. The ex-ambassador, much to the frustration of his former colleagues, continues to speak about the Canada-China matter involving Canadian detainess Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

Minister Freeland tried distancing herself and the government from McCallum's comments but there was little she could do about the fastball right over the middle of the plate left for Andrew Scheer. The Conservative leader rightly called out the remarks and suggested the fired ambassador was inviting foreign interference. Now the Conservatives have asked CSIS to investigate McCallum's 'disturbing' comments to see whether they pose a threat to the upcoming fall election.

The Chinese are sitting back, monitoring this entire political show while they continue to ban Canadian meat and canola imports and are well aware of the leverage they hold.

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Ottawa Citizen

Lt. Gen. Paul Wynnyk, second in command of Canadian Forces resigns citing Mark Norman plan to replace him

The decision to leave the Canadian Forces represents the latest episode of turmoil in the military who have been in a state of disarray since Vice-Admiral's suspension in January 2017. A letter obtained by Global News written by Wynnyk and sent to Gen. Jon Vance cites the various decison reversals, to offer and rescind the post of vice chief of the defence staff as a reason for the resignation.

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The Canadian Armed Forces have been rocked by scandal since January 2017 when Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was suspended. Expect parties to hit the Liberals hard on this file for how they've handled the whole saga.

CBC

Foreign hostile actors are positioning themselves to interfere in the federal election

Canadian security officials, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity on Tuesday, provided an update on how they'll alert the public of any serious attempts to interfere with the October election.

Earlier this year the federal government unveiled a series of new measures aimed at further shoring up Canada's electoral system from foreign interference and created a panel known as the "Critical Election Incident Public Protocol" who will be responsible for informing "Canadians about concerning online behaviour or content that comes to their attention".

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When Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale announced this initiative in January, it remained unclear how the taskforce would perform its mandate. Today's reports clear things up.

While many consider the Russian state as the bad actor trying to undermine democracies around the world, it would be naive not to consider China in the same breadth. Interference in our election, whether that be by blackmailing candidates, hacking a party database or spreading misinformation through manipulated videos (sometimes known as 'deep fakes') is a major threat to the democratic fabric of our society.

CBC

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien hospitalized in Hong Kong due to kidney stone

Mr. Chretien was in Hong Kong where he was scheduled to speak at a conference hosted by the China United States Exchange Foundation and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. He arrived Monday night and felt unwell. A spokesperson for Chretien tells Hannah Thibedeau of the CBC he is dealing with a kidney stone and will return to Canada following treatment to remove it in Hong Kong.

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The former head of the Liberal Party has been in the news lately, seemingly at odds with current Prime Minister Trudeau's handling of the Meng Wanzhou case. According to the Globe and Mail, Chretien has suggested that Canada cancel proceedings to extradite Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the U.S. in order to improve relations with China and potentially win the release of two Canadians seized by China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Chretien is a symbol of the Liberal old guard, beloved by supporters across the aisle. However, the public dispute he is having with the government adds fuel to the notion of a fractured Liberal party. The former Prime Minister's willingness to comment on current affairs signals a) how important the Canadian-China relationship is and b) the staunch belief in international diplomacy and its ability to achieve important goals.

Often times when an aging former head of state is ill, the party rallies together. We shall see what statement Trudeau makes in light of this news.

National Post

PEI and Quebec join Saskatchewan's legal challenge of the Liberal carbon tax

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King was in Ottawa Monday where he announced his government would intervene in the legal battle waging across the country over the Trudeau government's carbon tax. King however noted this decision did not neccesarily mean PEI was opposed to the Liberal measure, simply that this was an opportunity for the island province's voice to be heard given they are experiencing the effects of climate change every day. Meanwhile, Quebec Justice Minister Sonia LeBel said in a statement Monday her province is also intervening in the Saskatchewan case, to ensure Quebec retains its jurisdictional autonomy over its cap-and-trade system.

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Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and now: PEI and Quebec. Those are the seven provinces that have now intervened in Saskatchewan's court battle with Ottawa over the Liberal carbon tax.

What does this mean exactly? Well, first and foremost, both Saskatchewan and Ontario's Court of Appeals ruled this year the Liberal carbon tax was constitutional and within federal jurisdiction. This certainly bolstered Trudeau's team who are now riding this legal wave of momentum.

Secondly, there is a Supreme Court hearing tentatively set for Dec. 5, however, given it is after the election, it could certainly complicate matters. The provinces will continue their legal battle, though it will be tough. The other option? Win. Scheer has promised his government would completely scrap the carbon tax as well as the clean fuel standard. If Canadians agree, then they will have to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

Globe and Mail

Andrew Scheer is the Stampede's star

The Conservative leader made his way to the 107th Calgary Stampede this weekend, alongside Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. He talked policy, took shots at Trudeau, and flipped some pancakes.

Elizabeth May was the only other federal party leader who made an appearance on the first weekend saying, "I think that for any federal party leader if you don't recognize that Calgary Stampede is a must do stop on your summer schedule you're just not paying attention," said May.

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It's no surprise Andrew Scheer was out bright and early, making the almost mandatory political stop on the Canadian summer circuit. Calgary, the energy capital of Canada, saw the Conservatives lose just two ridings in 2015 and so Scheer is right to be picking up major points in this Tory hotbed.

While the Liberals are set to continue unveiling a fleury of funding announcements, the Conservatives need to continue to make their case to Canadians why they are best suited to govern past the Fall. Beefing up their support in Calgary is a great way to increase momentum.

Airdate:

U.S. billionaires killing Canadian jobs, Kenney says

Airdate: Jul 05, 2019

Airdate:

Climate change poses risk to buildings, coastlines and northern communities: report

Airdate: Jul 04, 2019

Airdate:

China warns Canada not to be naive in thinking allies can fix dispute | Power & Politics

Airdate: Jul 03, 2019

Friday, July 12th

0 Days Until Election Day

Facebook is declining to comment on whether the impersonators of at least three federal cabinet ministers and several other MP's Messenger accounts were domestic or foreign actors. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Edmonton with Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi to visit the Trans Mountain terminal, while Labour Minister Patty Hajdu is slated to make an announcement in support of jobs for youth in Thunder Bay.

Canadian premiers wrapped up the Council of the Federation on Thursday, where Jason Kenney told his equals that national unity is under threat.

The Grits hold a lead over 'Fortress Toronto', Bernie Sanders is coming to Canada, and much more as we take you into the weekend for your one stop shop with everything #elxn43 related.

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