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Politics This Morning: trade, innovation ministers take on Ontario

By Kristen Shane      
Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne, left, is set to talk trade deals in Toronto, while Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, right, is scheduled to make a funding announcement in Brantford, Ont. The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
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Good morning,

For those of you trooping in to work this Tuesday after a long weekend in the dead of summer, here’s a bit of fun to get your blood moving (check out the video, just under the main photo). Nothing like a little Party Rock Anthem/Bollywood mash-up in the morning, eh?

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (Vancouver South, B.C.) made a splash at the Vancouver Pride Parade Sunday when, walking with a Liberal contingent on the parade route alongside the float of a local South Asian LGBTQ support group, he started dancing with his red sneakers to their infectious Bollywood beats and then leapt up on their float for a few minutes to do a bit more bopping along with Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre, Alta.), the prime minister’s special adviser for LGBTQ2 issues (the PM himself did not attend, though he was in B.C.).

But not even a cabinet minister could upstage the annual MP diva of the do, Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry, who did not disappoint again this year, upping her costume game with an Amazon warrior princess-themed ensemble, complete with a Madonna-like cone-shaped bra.

Ministers on the move

Today, Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne (Saint Maurice-Champlain, Que.) is scheduled to be in Toronto to begin a two-day visit to the city to talk up the benefits of Canada’s new trade deals with Ukraine and the European Union. The Ukraine deal came into effect Aug. 1, and Mr. Champagne will trumpet it with a speech at the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce. Most of the EU agreement will take effect Sept. 21.

While in Toronto, the minister will also speak to business representatives and “some of Toronto’s diverse communities,” according to his ministry’s press release, on Canada’s ties to India and with Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions.

Also in the city today, local MP and parliamentary secretary for housing and urban affairs Adam Vaughan (Spadina-Fort York, Ont.) is set to make an announcement at a community centre about summer jobs for students.

Staying in southern Ontario, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Malton, Ont.) is expected to make a funding announcement at GreenMantra Technologies in Brantford, Ont. at 10 a.m. along with local Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara (Kitchener South-Hespeler, Ont.). The money coming from Sustainable Development Technology Canada is meant, according to the minister’s department, to “support early-stage innovation in the clean technology sector.”

Moving east, Liberal MP Marc Miller (Ville Marie-Le Sud Ouest-Île des Soeurs, Que.), parliamentary secretary to the infrastructure minister, will be alongside Quebec Minister Responsible for the Laval Region Francine Charbonneau to make an infrastructure announcement at 10 a.m. at the office of the local transit agency, Société de transport de Laval.

Eye on the globe

Keep an eye today on events sure to make news in other parts of the world.

Kenyans go to the polls after a close race between President Uhuru Kenyatta and long-time opposition leader Raila Odinga. Tensions are running high in the east African country after a top election official was killed during the campaign. Violence after an election in 2007 left more than 1,000 people dead in Kenya.

South African President Jacob Zuma’s political future is also at stake today. Battling corruption allegations, which he denies, he faces a no-confidence vote in a secret ballot in parliament.

Meanwhile, Latin American foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Lima, Peru, to discuss the latest in the crisis in Venezuela that has seen a new legislative body begin work after a disputed election, and two opposition leaders hauled off from their homes by security forces in the middle of the night.

The Canadian Council for the Americas is set to hold a teleconference tomorrow on Venezuela from 1 to 2 p.m. featuring Canadian Ambassador to the Organization of American States Jennifer Loten.

Last, but not least

A birthday shout-out to Conservative MP Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, Que.), who turns 53 today, and to Liberal MP Ron McKinnon (Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, B.C.), who turns 66.

Hope you have a good day.

The Hill Times

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