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Poison pills and protectionism: negotiators still face long list of issues in next NAFTA round

By Samantha Wright Allen      

As negotiators head to Montreal next week for the sixth round of negotiations, here's an overview of the issues in play.

Canada's chief NAFTA negotiator Steve Verheul, pictured with Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary on Canada-U.S. relations to the minister of foreign affairs, will meet with his counterparts in Montreal next week, from Jan. 23 to 28, for the sixth round in negotiations—one that observers say will be a 'make-or-break' session. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Last week, trade observers could be forgiven for feeling whiplash after reports swung from Canadian advisers expecting an imminent United States withdrawal from NAFTA to U.S. President Donald Trump musing negotiations could continue past Mexico’s July presidential election.

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Singh’s strong campaign an internal win, whatever the outcome, New Democrats say

Jagmeet Singh’s impressive campaign has ‘rescued’ and ‘refocused’ the NDP after the failed 2015 effort, Ed Broadbent says.

The astrophysicist whose polling aggregator is projecting the election

News|By Neil Moss
The mastermind behind 338Canada, poll aggregator Philippe Fournier, is aiming to correctly call 90 per cent of the seats in the Oct. 21 race.

Transition teams must be prepared for ‘unpredictable outcomes’ in minority situation, say former senior bureaucrats

News|By Mike Lapointe
The 'essence of clerkness' is continuity of government, says former PCO clerk Mel Cappe, who says he's 'strongly advised' current PCO clerk Ian Shugart to reach out to Andrew Scheer's team.

Preliminary data shows nearly 3 million tuned in to French debate, more than double 2015’s ratings

The viewership for the Leaders' Debates Commission's French debate was more than double the viewership for the TVA debate, preliminary data shows, and higher than the 2015 French consortium event.

‘It’s definitely in the top quadrant’: election campaign one of dirtiest in recent history, say political insiders

News|By Abbas Rana
This campaign is not defined by any overarching issue, and has become ‘personal’ and ‘ugly’ between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, says pollster and Ipsos president Darrell Bricker.

‘They’re really riled up here’: Conservatives circling Goodale’s lone Liberal seat in Saskatchewan

‘The numbers are holding very closely to what they were last time. It all depends on turnout,’ says the 31-year MP Ralph Goodale. 

Candidates scramble to outperform their competitors in the critical ground game ahead of next week’s election

News|By Abbas Rana
Liberal MP Ken Hardie says his team has set up get-out-the-vote ground operations in the riding to get all his supporters to the polling booths on election day.

Debt, deficit ‘not ballot booth issues’ for most Canadians: pollsters

Unlike in the last election, none of the major party leaders has promised to try and balance the budget within a four year mandate during this campaign.

If it’s a minority government, Liberals can stay in power even if Conservatives win more seats on Oct. 21, but could prompt public backlash

'Does that create a legitimacy question, for Trudeau to combine with Singh, or not? There’s no legal impediment to it,' says former CBC Parliament Hill bureau chief Elly Alboim.
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