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Politics This Morning: PS Leslie in Peru to talk Venezuelan crisis

By Charelle Evelyn      

Plus, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen continues to talk up newcomer supports in Western Canada.

Foreign affairs parliamentary secretary Andrew Leslie, pictured in the House of Commons foyer in May 2018, is in Lima, Peru, on Friday representing Canada at a meeting about the crisis in Venezuela. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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Good Friday morning,

Even though we just got back, it seems like everyone is already looking forward to the weekend. Things are still pretty slow going, but here’s what’s on the go today:

Liberal MP Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, is in Lima, Peru, today, representing Canada at the ninth Lima Group meeting about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. The Lima Group was established in August 2017 in its namesake city as a way to co-ordinate the response and international pressure on Venezuela’s government to fix the economic disaster that has pushed nearly three million people to flee the country in the face of severe food and medicine shortages and political oppression. Other countries that regularly attend these meetings include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Jamaica, and Guatemala.

Here at home, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen is still front and centre today to kick off the new year, this time in Calgary where he will be talking about the Liberals’ program to support visible-minority newcomer women. Mr. Hussen will make his pitch and speak to the media at the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association at 11 a.m. local time.

On Thursday, many eyes were south of the border as senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi returned as Speaker of the House of Representatives. First elected to Congress in 1987, Ms. Pelosi was elected as the 63rd Speaker, having previously held the position from 2007 to 2011, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to make his first-ever appearance in the White House briefing room where reporters usually hear from his press secretary. There’s no love lost between the president and Ms. Pelosi. She is now second in line behind Vice-President Mike Pence to inherit the Oval Office if Mr. Trump dies, resigns, is kicked out, or otherwise can’t continue as president. She’s said she hasn’t ruled out impeaching Mr. Trump.

What the newsroom’s reading:

  • StatCan warns of impact on release of trade data from U.S. government shutdown With key parts of the U.S. government shut down since Dec. 22, information on Canadian goods crossing the American border might not be forthcoming from the U.S. Census Bureau, says Statistics Canada (via the Canadian Press).
  • Ottawa’s unpublished internal polls on federal carbon tax give edge to Trudeau The Liberals’ carbon tax may not be as unpopular as their opposition is hoping for, according to internal Privy Council Office polling obtained by Global News, which reported that the pollution pricing was only opposed by 29 per cent of the respondents, nationally, with support at 47 per cent (via Global News).
  • Harper’s dissatisfied public servant more myth than reality, new research shows A research article in a recent edition of an academic journal for human resource and public sector executives suggests that based on three years of Public Service Employee Surveys, the ire by federal bureaucrats at former prime minister Stephen Harper in the run-up to the 2015 election was more “political posturing” than actual acrimony (via The Ottawa Citizen).

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