The House

Trump name-drops Canada: Sign Ottawa's approach is working?

Canada's Transport Minister, and the chair of the cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations, Marc Garneau is on The House following another visit to Washington. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley tells us what she found out about the new administration's energy plans while in D.C.
Minister of Transport Marc Garneau spent time in Washington this week. He met with his counterpart, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. (Todd Korol/Canadian Press)

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is coming to Ottawa next Friday to meet with several Liberal cabinet ministers.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau, who also chairs the cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations, told CBC Radio's The House that Kelly will make a presentation and field questions.

"I think he wants to come and find out what are the security related issues, domestic, that are important to Canada, and we'll certainly have an opportunity to listen to him," Garneau told host Chris Hall.

Garneau said a number of ministers, including himself, will also have one-on-one talks with the retired general. 

Kelly and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale already talked on the phone earlier this week.

During that conversation, Goodale asked for help dealing with the issue of asylum seekers crossing illegally into Canada, sources told CBC News.

Garneau said he'll raise the issue of cargo pre-clearance with Kelly to help make crossings more efficient at the border.

"So looking at the possibility of pilot projects where products on their way to the other country are pre-cleared away from the border so that when the trucks and the trains get to the border they can pass through even more efficiently," he said.

Garneau also said his U.S. counterpart, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, could be making a trip north at the end of the month. 

Notley pleased with latest Keystone XL signals from the White House

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the United States, met this week in Washington, D.C. (Supplied)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is happy to hear signals from the White House that the Keystone XL pipeline would not have to be made with American steel, despite previous statements to the contrary made by president Donald Trump.

"That's certainly good news for the project," Notley told The House.

"If they (TransCanada Corp.) had to suddenly go back and buy 40 per cent or 30 per cent more, that would change their cost structure," she said.

The Alberta premier was in Washington talking to the U.S. officials this week, speaking extensively against Trump's possible border adjustment tax.

"We've sort of developed a regime that is somewhat North American in its breadth and collectively it creates a competitive advantage," she said.

"When you start putting up barriers in between the two you actually undermine our own competitive advantage internationally...We truly have an integrated supply system and trade system."

Notley said strengthening the Alberta-U.S. relationship remained her most important message. 

"It's just being sure that you're top of mind, because sometimes people can be aware but... then you remind them 'hey you know 49 out of 50 states are actually selling things into the oilsands' and that, you know, we have $30 billion a year of capital investments," she said.

EU Climate head: 'There cannot be a vacuum of leadership in climate change policy' in Trump era

European Union Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete was in Ottawa this week to meet with Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. (Abdeljalil Bounhar/Associated Press)

The European Union's commissioner on climate action and energy is looking to Canada to help play the role of global environmental champion as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration decides whether to bail on the Paris climate change agreement.

"There cannot be a vacuum of leadership in climate change policy because climate change policies need leadership who show the way and who make other people move," said Miguel Arias Cañete, who was in Ottawa this week.

"That is the role of Canada. And the close alliance of Canada and the European Union will be very useful to maintain the spirit of Paris and support the enforcement of the Paris rules in the future. We are going to work together closely."

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to cancel the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement — the 2015 deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions agreed to by nearly 200 countries.

Trump slightly softened that stance in November when he told the New York Times he was keeping an open mind about whether he should pull the U.S. out of the international climate change accord.

The new administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has cast doubt on the link between human activity and global warming.

"It is very clear that under the Obama administration there was a very clear leadership of President Obama, a personal involvement…That spirit of leadership, of involvement, will probably not be the same," Cañete told The House.

O'Toole: 'No deals' with other candidates

Conservative leadership candidate Erin O'Toole speaks during the Conservative leadership debate in Saskatoon, Wednesday, November 9, 2016. (Liam Richards/Canadian Press)

Erin O'Toole doesn't plan to rely on backroom shenanigans to win the Conservative leadership race.

"No deals, I think if I can't get the first ballot I'll happily take the second," the Ontario MP told The House

With 14 candidates still in the running and with a ranked-ballot system where each riding is weighed equally, most observers expect multiple ballots will be required before a new leader is elected at the end of May.

Not only will he avoid secret handshakes with other candidates, but O'Toole also said he won't tell his supporters who should be their second choice.

"I trust our grassroots... I'm not going to have a top down approach to telling our grassroots or my supporters what to do. I think our coalition will be strong enough to win in May and I think people know I'm committed to the team."

In House: The NDP leadership race gets contestants! 

NDP leadership contenders, from left, Peter Julian of B.C., Guy Caron of Quebec and Ontario's Charlie Angus. (Darryl Dyck/Justin Tang/Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The NDP leadership race now includes three candidates, with Charlie Angus and Guy Caron joining Peter Julian this week to compete for the party's top job.

Niki Ashton is also expected to put in a bid in the coming week.

The Huffington Post's Ottawa bureau chief Althia Raj said so far the candidates are on the left side of the party.

"This is a party that maybe Mr. Mulcair would have felt uncomfortable leading," she said, referring to outgoing leader Tom Mulcair.

"Maybe it's a recognition that in the last election they were outmaneuvered on the left and they feel that their supporters bought into a message that Mr. Trudeau has ignored. I'm thinking of the Kinder Morgan pipeline for example, or the electoral reform pledge."

Maclean's Parliament Hill bureau chief John Geddes said the NDP candidates are looking to gain voters' support via anti-Trump rhetoric. He specifically referred to Angus' speech on the day he launched his campaign.

"Charlie Angus directs most of his verbiage not at Justin Trudeau but at Trump and Kevin O'Leary, he says he hasn't come to this point in his political career to let Donald Trump and Kevin O'Leary claim to speak for the working people," Geddes said.

"I think there are a lot of people in the NDP... who are hungry to hear that anti-Trump message come out of Ottawa. Obviously the Prime Minister and his cabinet feel constrained in sending it so that is a niche that NDP candidates can slip into."