What to expect from the first Trudeau-Trump meeting
Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, chair of the cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is willing to talk about the differences between his government and President Donald Trump's, but those topics are unlikely to come up during next week's trip to Washington.
"[Monday's meeting] is going to a be a high-level meeting where we talk about the things we share in common. As time goes on we'll get down into more specific areas in the different files that are important to the two countries," he told The House.
"The prime minister has said he will convey our values to the president of the United States and that's fair. And President Trump will do likewise… We will talk about what we have in common, but on occasion we will also make the point that we have a different way of looking at certain things."
During Trudeau's trip to Washington, Garneau said the prime minister will likely talk about the strong bonds between the two countries, emphasizing defence, security, the environment and trade.
When asked if Trudeau would raise the issue of immigration and refugees with the new president — contrasting Trump's insistence on a temporary refugee and travel ban with Canada's approach to immigration — Garneau reiterated that the meeting would focus on the commonalities between the two countries.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains 'definitely' on same page as finance department
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains won't spill what line items are in the upcoming federal budget, but says his department's investment priorities are in line with those of the man holding the government's purse strings.
After eliciting feedback and hosting roundtables across the country, Bains says his department is focusing on three areas.
"We're going to invest in people, we're going to invest in emerging technologies and we're going to help companies scale up," he told The House.
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Bains said he and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the gatekeeper of Canada's money, are "definitely" on the same page.
"There's a great deal of alignment, not only with myself and Mr. Morneau, but this is very consistent with what the prime minister has been saying for many months now," he said in an interview airing Saturday.
This summer the government launched public consultations to ultimately develop an innovation agenda. Bains says they're now moving towards firming up an action plan.
"We're really good at starting up companies, but where we do a poor job is scaling up," he said, referring to companies that require long-term capital funding.
Bains says the "focal point" of the government going forward will be to attract people talent and help Canadians acquire new skills.
"You cannot have good ideas, you can't have innovation, you can't grow companies without people," Bains said.
"What really differentiates Canada is our people and our diversity, and the fact that we actually have this process where we're saying, 'We're open to people. We're open to ideas' sends a very powerful message."
New way forward with Inuit leaders?
Before heading to Washington, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed north for the first time since he was elected.
During a stop in Nunavut on Thursday, Trudeau signed a declaration with Inuit leaders, setting a promised Inuit-to-Crown partnership in motion during his first visit to the territories since his 2015 election victory.
In his opening remarks, Trudeau called the meeting "an important step in the partnership that I know needs to exist between the Crown and the Inuit.
"We have many challenges ahead," he said, "but many opportunities as well."
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed outlines those challenges here:
Fentanyl crisis: Gregor Robertson pleads for additional help
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says he's worried that he hasn't heard about money in the budget to fight the ongoing opioid crisis, which particularly affects his home province.
"I haven't heard a commitment to funding or any next dramatic steps that will turn the tide on this on this horrific epidemic. That's the worry right now. I think we have to keep turning up the temperature on this," he said.
Opioid overdose deaths surged in 2016, with 914 people losing their lives last year in British Columbia, including 142 in December alone.
Robertson, who chairs a task force of a dozen mayors trying to tackle the issue, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "well briefed" on the issue but said cities like his need urgent attention from Ottawa.
"If it was snipers, if it was anthrax if it was any other cause of preventable death, we would see dramatic action to turn the tide. Instead it's going too slow and people are dying every day," he said, adding it's an issue players at all three levels of government need to act on.
The big city mayors' caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities wants to share experiences and best practices in an effort to stem the escalating number of overdose deaths.
The task force will meet with federal Health Minister Jane Philpott and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, though a date has not yet been set.
Courts scramble to meet Supreme Court's new trial timelines
Ditching some mandatory minimum sentences and cutting back on preliminary inquiries are two of the measures under consideration as lawyers, judges, court staff and governments scramble to respond to tight new timelines for criminal trials in Canada.
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Last summer, the Supreme Court stayed drug charges against Barrett Richard Jordan after he waited 49 months for a trial. The blistering 5-4 judgment described a culture of complacency around court delays and set strict limits for criminal trials — 18 months for proceedings at provincial court and up to 30 months for cases at Superior Court.
In the aftermath, legal observers have been left wondering if the ruling was a necessary wake-up call or if it has inadvertently pushed Canada's justice system off a cliff.
The CBC's Alison Crawford explored how the decision is affecting courts across the country. Listen to her documentary below.
In House: Reforming the electoral reform talking points
The Liberal government has repeatedly said they won't be changing the way Canadians vote in 2019, but that doesn't mean the issue of electoral reform is dead.
This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed to Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch to argue that one of the reasons he abandoned his electoral reform promise was to prevent politicians with "fringe" views from gaining the balance of power in Parliament.
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"Do you think that Kellie Leitch should have her own party?" Trudeau told a voter Thursday during his visit to Iqaluit. "Because if you have a party that represents the fringe voices … or the periphery of our perspectives and they hold 10, 15, 20 seats in the House, they end up holding the balance of power."
La Presse reporter Joel-Denis Bellavance said the entire file has been badly managed since the beginning.
"After deciding this was not going to go forward he should have come out and announced it himself and say, 'I apologized. I can't do it," he said. "It may continue to haunt him until the next election."
iPolitics and Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt said not going ahead with electoral reform isn't just a broken promise, it casts doubt on all their consultations.
"They're a consultation mad government. They love consultation but they're not establishing a good track record with what they do with consultations. There were two different sets in this and they didn't listen to either," said iPolitics and Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt.