What we’re watching: Retiring Trudeau and O’Toole teams

With just a week to go before he and his top team face political criticism again in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking part in a ‘virtual cabinet retreat’ on Monday and Tuesday to prepare.

The meeting “will focus on (the government’s) efforts to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and work towards a strong recovery that benefits all Canadians”, including by “creating jobs, investing in a green economy and supporting Canadians”. businesses as we ride through the Omicron wave,” the notice read.

They will also talk about “providing $10-a-day child care, doing the job of rolling out the vaccine, tackling the climate crisis, and creating affordable housing.”

Russia’s military buildup along its border with Ukraine is not specifically mentioned in the advisory, but will likely be discussed. As The Canadian Press reported on Friday, the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa is “now calling on the Trudeau government to provide weapons to (its) military, impose new sanctions on Russia, and extend and expand the Canadian military training mission of its forces. ”

Over the weekend, the former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko seemed to be saying the same thing, telling CBC News that “Canada should expedite any plans to send military aid to its country,” while “expressing hope for a peaceful solution, even if Russian troops remain massed. at the border”.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador Oleg Stepanov told CTV News that Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly “has an ‘open invitation’ to travel to Moscow to meet with Russian officials.” He also described Canada as “a really important and vocal player right now,” both within NATO and “in the situation (in) Ukraine.”

Once the meeting is over, it is reasonable to assume that a full contingent of ministers will take questions from reporters – without necessarily providing answers – about the meeting.

The Tories will also plot this week

After celebrating its 49th lap of the sun this weekend, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole will face his caucus in what Global News reports could be a “crucial test” of his leadership before next week’s return to regular parliamentary programming.

It is the first time Tory MPs have met en masse since mid-December, when, as Althia Raj of the Star revealed, “tensions that have been simmering for the past three months since the Tories’ disappointing election defeat, came to a head last Wednesday in what one MP described as a “bloodbath.”

Although the party has yet to announce the details – or the very existence – of the meeting, Stephanie Levitz of the Star reports that it will be Thursday and is expected to include a closed-door autopsy prepared by former MP James Cummings after which even O’Toole acknowledged it was a disappointing election result.

Needless to say, the party has no intention of making the report public. He “will only keep it for internal eyes, (meaning) those of senior executives, as well as his caucus and national council,” Levitz notes.

However, given the tensions within the caucus, it is possible that some details will be leaked.

The meeting also comes just days after Conservative MPs in Saskatchewan “rejected a bid to kick Senator Denise Batters out of their regional caucus,” Levitz reported over the weekend.

“O’Toole kicked Batters out of the party’s national caucus last fall, after accusing him of betraying conservative principles and having no hope of winning an election. Batters also started a petition calling for a review of O’Toole’s leadership to be brought forward to next year.

Even so, “Batters had remained a member of the Conservative Senate caucus, which voted against his expulsion, and the party’s regional caucus in Saskatchewan,” which rejected another attempt last week to expel him from its ranks.

For his part, Batters told The Canadian Press last week that the campaign review, now complete, “needs to accurately reflect all of the major issues that were raised in meetings with participants.” It should also “focus on operational and process issues, rather than what many participants see as the most important issues of the leader, the platform and the many flip-flops that occurred during the election. “, she said.

Bank of Canada unveils overnight rate

the Bank of CanadaThe long-awaited announcement of its key overnight rate portends an “aggressive round of monetary tightening…to control inflation” with a “25 basis point hike”, according to Scotiabank, as the Bloomberg News reported last week. (Wednesday morning)

According to the official notice, the decision will be revealed in writing and, instead of a closed session or a pre-release briefing, it will be followed by a teleconference with Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem and Senior Deputy Governor Caroline Rogers.

Finance Committee continues study of impact of inflation on housing and cost of living

Before the central bank rate is revealed, the Chamber FINANCE The committee is about to resume its study initiated by the opposition on the effect of rising inflation on the Canadian economy.

The list of witnesses for the three-hour meeting includes representatives of the Popular action front in urban redevelopment and the National Housing Rights Network, as good as Murtaza Haider and Stephane Moranis, co-authors of the Haider-Moranis Bulletin, a weekly newsletter that provides analysis and commentary on the Canadian real estate market. MEPs will also hear Macdonald-Laurier Institute Senior Fellow Philip Cross and Jean-François Perrault, Chief Economist of Scotiabank.

Elsewhere on the pre-session committee circuit are in camera planning of sessions GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, NATURAL RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD, STATUS OF WOMEN, INDUSTRY, PUBLIC SECURITY, and CANADIAN HERITAGE, and meetings of each subcommittee’s agenda and procedure.

Also on and around the Hill this week:

the Parliamentary Budget Office publishes an “independent estimate of the cost of cleaning up Canada’s orphan oil and gas wells”. (Tuesday morning)

the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman is hosting a two-day “virtual summit” on “federal supply chain diversification.” Former Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion Hadiya Roderique are booked as keynote speakers. (Wednesday and Thursday)

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