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Politics This Morning: Trudeau to offer apology to former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools

By Marco Vigliotti      
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured here next to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, is visiting Happy Valley-Goose Bay today to offer a formal apology to former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools.
The Hill Times file photo

Good Friday morning,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting Newfoundland and Labrador today to offer a former apology on behalf of the federal government to former students of residential schools in the province.

Mr. Trudeau begins his day at 9:15 a.m. (Atlantic time) by attending a breakfast with former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the largest settlement in Labrador, the vast, largely remote mainland segment of the province.

He will then offer the public apology at 10:30 a.m. during an appearance at the community’s Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre. A media availability will follow at 1 p.m. and then at 1:30 p.m., Mr. Trudeau will attend a community feast with former students and their families and counsel, elders, health supports, and other officials.

From there, Mr. Trudeau will participate in a training session with the Junior Canadian Rangers at their local training site at 3 p.m.

The group, part of the Canadian Cadet organization, offers opportunities teenagers living in remote and isolated communities across Canada to participate in an array of developmental activities under supervision of the Canadian Rangers.

Closing out the day, the prime minister will attend a reception with community leaders in the Labrador community at 4:45 p.m.

Back in the nation’s capital, it’s Grey Cup weekend. 

As you surely know, Ottawa is playing host to arguably the quintessential Canadian sporting event on Sunday, yet another national staple held in the capital during the 150th anniversary year of Confederation.

The big game pits the East Division champion Toronto Argonauts against the West Division winner Calgary Stampeders in a clash for football supremacy at TD Place. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Trudeau is expected to attend the game with his family, according to the CBC.

As part of the celebrations, the Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team, known as the SkyHawks, will be jumping out of a Hercules military aircraft to perform aerobatic parachute formations over Lansdowne Park, home of TD Place, during the Grey Cup Festival at 2 p.m. today and 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The festival, which started Tuesday, runs until the big game.

Also this weekend, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is holding a meet and greet, or more correctly a JagMeet & Greet, with the party’s candidate in the upcoming Scarborough-Agincourt byelection, set for Dec. 11.

Mr. Singh and Brian Chang will meet with constituents at the Black Gold Cafe from 6-7 p.m on Saturday.

But moving back to Friday, a couple of cabinet ministers are fanning out across the country to help promote the federal government’s recently launched Smart Cities Challenge, a competition that looks to encourage municipalities to embrace innovative new ideas. 

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Transport Minister Marc Garneau are all visiting the cities they represent in the House today to appear at launch events for the initiative.

Mr. Garneau is attending a 10:15 a.m. event at the Notman House in downtown Montreal, while Ms. McKenna will be at a similar event at Ottawa’s Bayview Yards at 2:15 p.m., alongside Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and City Councillor Mark Taylor.

Finally, Mr. Sajjan is helping to launch the competition during a 3 p.m. (Pacific time) appearance at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability.

Elsewhere, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi is spending the day in Alberta’s capital city, which he represents in the House. Mr. Sohi is appearing at the Boyle Street Plaza gym in central Edmonton at 1 p.m. (Mountain time) to talk up the Liberal government’s recently unveiled National Housing Strategy.

Moving east, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay is announcing federal initiatives for the agriculture and agri-food sector under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask. The weeklong event is the largest livestock show in Canada.

Mr. MacAulay will make the announcement at 12:30 p.m. (local time) at the International Business Centre at Evraz Place.

Out in Thunder Bay, Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu is making a funding announcement at 12:30 p.m. on supporting applied research in Northwestern Ontario. It will take place at Lakehead University.

Meanwhile, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen is announcing funding for a clean technology investment at 1 p.m. at a solar power manufacturer in Toronto’s Stockyards District.

Moving to Montreal, International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne is making an 11:30 a.m. speech to the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal at the Hôtel Bonaventure.

And finally, Science Minister Kirsty Duncan is appearing at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto at 9:30 a.m. to promote efforts by the federal government to help post-secondary students score student work placements in their field of study.

Have a great weekend!

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