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Politics This Morning: Trudeau meets with Latvian leaders; ministers convene for strategy session in P.E.I.; soldiers depart for annual march in Netherlands

By Beatrice Paez      

Crown-Indigenous Minister Carolyn Bennett will unveil the winners of the Art Integration program, a project to incorporate Inuit art in a daycare facility that has yet to be constructed, during her trip to Iqaluit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau departs for Latvia on Monday, July 9. Mr. Trudeau is scheduled to meet Latvia's president and prime minister, Raimonds Vējonis and Māris Kučinskis, respectively, today. Photograph courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter
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Good Tuesday morning,

Here’s what’s on the go today:

It’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s first full day in Latvia, where reports say he is planning to announce an extension of Canada’s mission there for another few years. Canada was scheduled to pull its troops out by the spring of 2019. This news comes just a couple of days before NATO allies huddle in Brussels. Increasing the length of Canada’s presence could alleviate some of the political pressure on Mr. Trudeau, especially with U.S. allies heading into a tense confrontation with U.S. President Donald Trump over defence spending. Mr. Trump sent letters to several member countries, including Canada, questioning the value of the alliance for the U.S. because and criticizing them for not pulling their weight.

Mr. Trudeau’s agenda for the day starts with a flower-laying ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Freedom Monument, known by locals as “Milda,” which honours soldiers killed during the country’s fight for independence. At 9:25 a.m., he heads into a one-on-one meeting with Māris Kučinskis, the prime minister of Latvia. An hour later, the two leaders will address the media. Mr. Trudeau also has a meeting scheduled with Latvia’s president, Raimonds Vējonis, at the presidential office in Riga Castle at 11:15 a.m. After those meetings, the prime minister heads to the Ādaži Military Base to meet the Canadian soldiers. There are 450 Canadian troops stationed in Latvia.

Back home, at 10 a.m., Crown-Indigenous Minister Carolyn Bennett will unveil the winners of the Art Integration program, a project to incorporate Inuit art in a daycare facility that has yet to be constructed, during her trip to Iqaluit. The daycare centre’s designs take inspiration from Iqaluit’s marine life. The name of the company that will construct a new daycare facility in the city is also expected to be announced at the ground-breaking ceremony.

Winning designs set to be featured in a new daycare facility in Iqaulit. Photograph courtesy of the Crown-Indigenous Relations Department

Over at the Canadian War Museum (1 Vimy Place) in Ottawa, Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre is leading a contingent of troops to take part in the Nijmegen Departure Parade at 11 a.m. Fourteen teams of soldiers are being dispatched to the city of Nijmegen, Netherlands, for the four-day annual march, which draws more than 51,000 military and civilian participations worldwide. According to the Department of National Defence, it’s the world largest walking event. 

Ministers head to the East Coast, and other events

At noon, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has a funding announcement in Dartmouth, N.S., for a provincial project to help “homeowners make energy efficient upgrades.” The money will come from the feds’ $2-billion low-carbon economy fund, according to her office.

Prince Edward Island is playing to host to several ministers today. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan are co-hosting the Atlantic Growth Strategy Leadership Committee meeting. The committee was formed in 2016 with an eye to stimulating economic growth in the region through immigration, infrastructure spending, trade, and other areas. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Veteran Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, and Treasury Board Secretariat Scott Brison are all scheduled to make an appearance. A news conference is slated for 12:30 p.m. at the Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I.

While those ministers strategize, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly will be in Mirabel, Que., for an announcement at 2 p.m. in support of the agriculture industry’s food and feed sector. Ms. Joly will be at the Centre de recherche agroalimentaire de Mirabel, or the Mirabel agri-food research centre, for the event.

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, meanwhile, will be in Quebec City to talk about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. When the Trudeau government took office in 2015, they introduced a new compliance program, under which employers can be randomly audited in an effort to ensure work conditions and pay are as advertised. According to Canadian Lawyer magazine, the new system has created “unintended hassles”  for employers, including making it difficult for companies to raise salaries. Mr. Duclos and Ms. Hajdu will be at Québec International, Place Iberville Deux, at 3 p.m. for the announcement.


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