Morning Brief: High-stakes day for WE

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Good morning.

It’s Kielbrother day at committee. Pollsters say the stakes are high for the charity and its reputation over the high-profile appearances lined up today as the public watches how the political drama unfolds.

Question are still swirling (some are even openly proposing questions to MPs ahead of time), and today’s testimony comes on the heels of yet another flood of new stories and revelations about the controversial student grant program.

Kady O’Malley has your daily political forecast at iPolitics AM, including the lineup for today’s WE telenovela.

Also don’t forget to set your political calendars for Thursday afternoon, when the PM followed by his chief of staff appear at committee. O’Malley also has this piece on what to look out for — procedure-wise — when they do appear.

From one big tent to another: Rideau Hall, in the midst of its own scandal, hired a new chief of staff: Brigitte Carbonneau, a former manager at Cirque du Soleil, as CBC reports.

A new Maru/Blue poll suggests that Peter MacKay is favoured by a majority of Canadians and likely Conservative voters, suggesting he’s still the favourite in the race — seemingly thanks to his name recognition.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s Cessna travel costs reportedly rang up to $73,000 during the pandemic.

Bill C-20, which extends Ottawa’s emergency wage subsidy, made it through the Senate Monday.

Speaking of wages, the Ottawa Citizen reports that after just four years of being a seemingly never ending, jaw-dropping train wreck, the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system is finally working properly, “Believe it or not.”

On-air harassment: Anti-maskers clung on to TVA reporter (article in French) against her will while she was live on air. It comes after a somewhat similar incident in Quebec on Saturday, when protesters hurled insults and a beer can at another on-air journalist.

On the climate and energy fronts, Shawn McCarthy lays out for us what a Joe Biden win in November would mean for Canada: an opportunity and a challenge to Canada’s growing clean tech sector.

“Biden’s climate plan is more ambitious than anything the Liberal government has articulated to date. While it lacks a national carbon price, it would rely on regulations and subsidies to achieve the same ends. Politically, it would challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step up the government’s climate-change agenda with direct spending, subsidies and regulations.”

And a Canadian company is taking on Elon Musk‘s social media challenge/offer. Musk had said his company Tesla “will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way.” The Toronto-based Canada Nickel Co. says it’s looking into setting up shop in Northern Ontario to process zero-carbon nickel.


Have a news tip? Let us know: [email protected]



An ‘assault’ on government: Attorney General William Barr plans to tell lawmakers that’s what Portland’s protests and violence amount to after being hijacked by “anarchists,” when he testifies at the House’s judiciary committee later today. Protesters, including some from the Wall of Moms group, are suing the administration for sending federal law enforcement in to “intimidate and silence protesters.” It’s one of a number of legal challenges over Trump’s so-called law-and-order push.

Facebook boycotters have been lobbying Congress on antitrust ahead of today’s hearings, calling on lawmakers to press Mark Zuckerberg on regulating hate speech. He appears Wednesday along with CEOs for Apple, Google and Amazon for hearings looking into anti-competitive behavior in tech. Meanwhile the FCC is now reviewing Trump’s call for the regulator to takes up oversight of internet platforms.

Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for coronavirus, making him the highest ranking in the administration to get the virus. Political staff in France are scrambling now because O’Brien, who took a mask-less Euro-trip, met with Emmanuel Macron’s top foreign policy adviser two weeks ago. The virus has also been spreading around Capitol Hill.

The first U.S. presidential debate has moved, now set to take place in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29. It was changed from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana due to coronavirus concerns. Biden has a 9.3-point lead in RCP’s averaging, while some individual polls suggest it could be higher. Washington Post/ABC (paywall) put him at a 15-point lead. With just over three months left until E-Day, we’re reminded that polls can, of course, swing hard.

Australian police arrested six Black Lives Matter protesters including the organizer over breaching public health orders brought about over the coronavirus. Protesters had vowed to carry on their rally despite the restrictions to demand justice for an Indigenous man who died in police custody in 2015.

New travel restrictions are being levied in Asia as countries confront the prospect of being hit by second waves of the coronavirus. The UK imposed quarantine measures on travelers coming there from Spain, which the Spanish PM called an “error.” The WHO says travel restrictions are not a long term answer to the pandemic, and is also now warning that COVID-19’s spread is accelerating. Hong Kong tightened its coronavirus restrictions for its third time, clamping down on dining at restaurants and public gatherings of more than two people not related.

That whole thing with Trump saying he would throw the opening pitch at a Yankees game, then backtracking? You guessed it: they never invited him. The New York Times reports the whole thing came about because the president was jealous, “annoyed by Dr. Fauci’s turn in the limelight.”

“Mr. Trump had not actually been invited on that day by the Yankees, according to one person with knowledge of Mr. Trump’s schedule. His announcement surprised both Yankees officials and the White House staff.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has tried to publicly sow distrust in Fauci, mocked Fauci’s ceremonial starting pitch. Meanwhile, two MLB games are being postponed over the virus, and some NFL players are opting out of the season.






The Windsor Hum is finally gone. Notoriously annoying and once something of a mystery, CP reports that once a U.S. Steel building on Zug Island shut down, the hum hummed its last hum.

And that’s it! Have a great rest of your day.

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