Trudeau talks Canada-US trade, oceans protection at confab — McKenna, Duncan and Leslie tout NAFTA while touring US — New ‘vision’ for Canada Post
Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough is poised to unveil her government’s “new vision” for Canada Post later this morning — one that, according to the preview provided to the Canadian Press, will not include the immediate full restoration of door-to-door delivery, but will make the current freeze on future conversions permanent while focusing on “accessibility concerns” arising from previous transitions to community mailboxes.
Qualtrough will also outline “changes to the financial rules that drive Canada Post,” according to the CP report, which will “emphasize the need to make a profit and then re-invest the extra money back into the Crown agency to improve services and become self-sustaining over the long run.”
She’ll put forward her proposed action plan during a mid-morning stop at a Mississauga Canada Post sorting centre.
Meanwhile, with his biggest scheduled appearance on the main stage at the World Economic Forum now safely behind him, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to kick off Day Three by touting Canada’s cross-border commerce with the United States at an “economic roundtable” that, doubtless to the disappointment of the Canadian media contingent covering the confab, will take place behind closed doors.
It’s the first of two such sessions on the prime ministerial agenda today, with the second — on “oceans” — set for later this afternoon, with the rest of his day booked off for private chats with various and sundry business and industry power players, including the heads of Ericsson, Salesforce, Royal Dutch Shell and Microsoft, plus a sit-down with Argentinian president Mauricio Macri.
As Team Trudeau celebrates the latest developments on the Trans-Pacific trade front, the NAFTA renegotiation process continues to inch forward in Montreal, where officials are now well into the sixth round of closed-door discussions.
South of the border, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will wrap up a whirlwind three-day NAFTA-boosting tour that took her to Mexico City, Houston and Miami with a media tele-briefing to recap her efforts to promote both the continental trade pact and “continued US-Canada collaboration on environmental protection.”
Science Minister Kirsty Duncan will tout Canada’s push towards a “modernized” NAFTA during a keynote address to the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce in Raleigh, while elsewhere in the Tar Heel State, Freeland’s parliamentary secretary and NAFTA pointman Andrew Leslie will “stress the importance” of the deal “as an engine of growth and prosperity” on both the state and the federal level.
Back in Canada, International Trade Minister Francois-Phillipe Champagne will break away from his in-progress roundtable tour of Southern Ontario to tout the revised Trans-Pacific deal during a media availability in Toronto.
Finally, a day after yet another burst of extreme winter weather forced the New Democrats to call off a planned pre-sitting caucus “strategy session” in Saguenay, Conservative MPs are gathering in Victoria to prep for the now imminent return to regular House business.
According to the party-provided programme, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will officially open the proceedings with an open-to-media speech this morning, after which they’ll retreat behind closed doors to continue the discussion.
ON THE PARLIAMENTARY AGENDA
Both the House of Commons and the Senate have shut down for the winter parliamentary break, and will re-open for business in late January.
Regular committee meetings will resume when the House and Senate reconvene in January.
Committee highlights courtesy of our friends at the Alpheus Group.
Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!
OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT
Fresh off yesterday’s funding reveal in her Moncton-area riding, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is off to St. John’s to sign a new bilateral deal with the province, the details of which she’ll share during a mid-morning appearance alongside Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball at a local seniors long-term care residence before making her way to Memorial University for a “major health research funding” announcement.
Also on the Atlantic circuit: Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay joins his fellow Islander, Wayne Easter, to unveil an “important science investment” that will, as per the advisory, “advance agricultural innovation” across Canada, after which the duo will tour research facilities in Harrington and Charlottetown.
And while it may not be on Treasury Board President Scott Brison’s official itinerary, but he — or, at least, the staff in the Halifax regional ministerial office — can expect an early afternoon visit by a delegation of First Nations leaders and environmental activists hoping to present him with a joint letter protesting the government’s move to “hand offshore regulation to the oil industry,” which they’re hoping he’ll pass on to the prime minister.
Back on the mainland, Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly will “highlight local funding” provided to Montreal-area initiatives under the government’s CanCode program, which, as outlined by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains at an event earlier this week, “unds coding and other digital skills training for Canadian youth to prepare them for the jobs of the future.”
Elsewhere in the province, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau heads to Thetford Mines with a fresh load of “clean tech funding” that will “benefit Canada’s environment and waste management sector while supporting middle-class jobs,” as well as a separate tranche of federal cash to boost projects throughout the region.
In Toronto, former police chief turned Liberal MP Bill Blair, who, as parliamentary secretary to the justice minister, has been serving as point person for the government’s pot legalization plan, meets with officials at the Toronto headquarters of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health to discuss new support for “important research into cannabis use.”
Other ministerial events on today’s agenda: Employment Minister Patty Hajdu hosts a “roundtable discussion” with “local labour partners” at a Windsor-area Unifor branch office; Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale drops by the Regina YMCA to with cash to further the government’s ongoing effort to “support youth and prevent crime”; Sports Minister Kent Hehr touts a new bid to “enhance energy efficiency for Alberta homes” at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary.
South of the border, a delegation of Canadian mayors from across the country will descend on Washington, DC for a two-day workshop on combatting violent extremism.
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