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Polls show tight race between Grits and Tories in Ontario to start 2019, with 905 set for another election showdown

By Jolson Lim      

With the federal Liberals doing well in Toronto and the Conservatives successful in rural Ontario, ridings in Toronto's suburbs are set to be the key Ontario battleground this year.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, pictured on Oct. 21, 2018, at an Ottawa rally, may find his message around affordability resonates in the Toronto suburbs. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The Liberals and Conservatives start 2019 in a “horse race” in Ontario, pollsters say, as some end-of-2018 polling showed the Tories slightly ahead of the Grits and possibly headed towards an electoral showdown in key suburban ridings outside of Toronto come October.

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Trudeau Liberals’ final budget features measures for skills training, rural broadband, border security

News
Whereas last year’s budget was largely pitched at women, this year, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s final budget is focused on skills training to help older workers and youth adapt to a rapidly changing workforce.

Feds pledge more than $4-billion in pre-election budget for Indigenous file

News|By Emily Haws 8:57 PM ET
Advancing reconciliation was a key theme of the budget, which included money to forgive loans on comprehensive claim negotiations, to implement Jordan's Principle, and revitalize Indigenous languages.

PM Trudeau needs to ‘reset the tone,’ hire a PMO caucus liaison, and be more accessible to his Grit MPs, say Liberals

News|By Abbas Rana
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will informally consult MPs, former parliamentarians, and experts from a wide range of backgrounds on his caucus and cabinet management style, says a PMO official.

Chagger warns of more time allocation, but Conservatives say House cooperation conditional on Liberal ‘transparency’ over SNC-Lavalin

The government has 10 sitting weeks left to pass legislation to bolster its resume for voters before the next election, and 21 government bills still progressing through the House and Senate.

Observers eager to see bills on Indigenous languages, child services passed, but legislative time-crunch a cause for concern

Changes to address Indigenous language loss and child welfare are seen as ‘high priority,’ but with calls for broad amendments, the short timeframe left to pass bills C-91 and C-92 is a source of frustration for some.

Wilson-Raybould says SNC-Lavalin scandal a ‘wake-up call’ and May says two former cabinet ministers to change ‘old boys club’ from the inside 

News|By Abbas Rana
Meanwhile, former Liberal MP Mary Clancy says the SNC-Lavalin controversy is a ‘bump in the road’ and said Liberal MPs have full confidence in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership.

Amid SNC-Lavalin lobbying, legalizing deferred prosecution agreements in budget bill raises questions about ‘timing’ and ‘undue influence,’ says ethics lawyer

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s explanation for the move—helping the economy—puts him in a direct contradiction with his own law, says ex-Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver.

Time to debate separating top civil servant’s roles, says leading expert Savoie

News|By Emily Haws
Amid allegations of partisanship against Michael Wernick, Prof. Donald Savoie says he could stay as DM to the PM and secretary to cabinet, but another bureaucrat may be better suited as the public service head.

How Robert ‘Fife the knife’ broke the SNC-Lavalin story and 40 years of other scoops

News|By Emily Haws
The Globe and Mail bureau chief's vast source list and eye for detail has helped him expose numerous government scandals, including the SNC-Lavalin affair, which he broke with Steven Chase and Sean Fine.
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