Good Wednesday morning, "You need people like me, so you can point your f*@$ing fingers, and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.’" Economists are expecting TIFF MACKLEM to channel his inner TONY MONTANA again today, and announce another hike to the overnight interest rate. There’s a reason Bank of Canada governors aren’t elected, and why they have customarily—until recently, anyway—been insulated from political point-scoring. Being a bad guy is part of the job. The only way to stop inflation, in the short run, is to slow spending. The best way to slow spending is to make it more expensive to borrow money. Bankers and economists interviewed by the Toronto Star’s GHADA ALSHARIF, among others, are predicting yet another rate increase to keep a lid on inflation today. That would be bad news for just about anyone holding debt that’s up for renewal soon, and especially for those with a variable-rate mortgage. The Bank will also be publishing its quarterly report on monetary policy this morning, which will include its projections for economic growth and inflation. We’ll move on now to Environment Minister STEVEN GUILBEAULT. He’s in Brussels, Belgium today in preparation for an international climate summit—technically the “Seventh Ministerial on Climate Action.” Guilbeault is co-hosting the gathering alongside representatives from China and the European Union, starting tomorrow. The topic of the meeting is “international climate finance,” which is fancy phrasing for rich countries sending cash to poorer countries. The thinking goes that richer, more industrialized countries contribute more to climate change, but poorer countries will suffer more because of it if they can’t build up the infrastructure and services needed to counter its effects. Back in 2009, rich countries promised to raise their collective climate payments to $100-billion per year by the year 2020. That didn’t happen, and Canada is one of the countries that has taken a leading role in prodding its peers to dig deeper. Canada currently devotes a little more than $1-billion per year to the cause. Canada has the ninth largest economy in the world, representing roughly two per cent of the global total output, according to the World Bank. Guilbeault is planning to make a “significant announcement regarding climate financing” after he arrives in Brussels, and before the summit starts, at 8:30 a.m. Ottawa time this morning. NATO meetings wrap up Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU and his fellow NATO leaders will complete their summit in Lithuania today. Secretary General JENS STOLTENBERG will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. local time. Yesterday, NATO leaders released a statement in which they pledged to spend “a minimum” of two per cent of their GDP on defence. They also reiterated that Ukraine “will become a member of NATO," and said they were dropping a requirement for Ukraine to submit an “action plan” in advance of gaining membership. Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY tweeted that it was “absurd” that a time frame had not been set for Ukraine to join the security alliance. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress issued a statement of its own, urging “Prime Minister Trudeau and all NATO leaders to state clearly when and how Ukraine will become a NATO member.” PTM spoke to defence analyst DAVID PERRY, who heads the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, to get his take on the summit so far. First, the question of Ukrainian membership. If Ukraine were to join NATO now, Perry noted, it would be entitled to invoke the alliance’s collective defence clause: it certainly qualifies, as a country fending off an invasion. David Perry is the president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Photograph courtesy of the CGAI NATO allies would then have to either honour that clause and go to war with nuclear-armed Russia, or ignore it, and discredit the key organizing principle of their alliance. Second: Can Canada meet the two per cent spending threshold? That depends on how much time the government is given—it won’t happen next year, said Perry. Canada has other spending priorities, but of course, so do other NATO members that have met or are closer to the target, Perry noted. Another question is whether Canada could get the money out the door if it wanted to. NATO members want 20 per cent of military spending to go towards the procurement of new equipment for their members, so the money can’t just go towards salaries or other expenses. Canada struggles to procure military hardware. Canadian governments have long treated the defence procurement process as a means to sustain domestic defence contractors, but Perry pointed to a staff shortage as one of the primary culprits for the sluggish results. He said that the Defence Department is, essentially, short on procurement staff to do the work of buying stuff. Those staff are trying to get more dollars through the system per head than ever before, with the Trudeau and Harper governments signing up for billions in potential new purchases. The need will only grow, as the military will have to equip more troops promised this week for the NATO mission in Latvia, he said. PTM’s people COLIN DEACON has switched teams in the Senate. The Nova Scotia businessman-turned-Senator has served in the Independent Senators Group since not long after his appointment to the Red Chamber in 2018. Yesterday, however, the centre-right Canadian Senators Group announced that Deacon was joining its ranks. https://twitter.com/colindeacon/status/1678801139939016705 Asked to explain the move, Deacon sent a statement to PTM that noted that the Canadian Senators Group is smaller than the ISG—it has fewer than half of the members—and “I expect that I will be able to be more strategic in the way I participate and create impact, both inside and outside of the Senate.” He also wrote that he had deep respect for Canadian Senators Group Leader SCOTT TANNAS, and his “leadership in fostering a deliberative, independent-minded group of Senators who represent a wide breadth of perspectives.” “As the Senate continues to evolve as an institution, I think it will be necessary to have multiple strong independent groups that continue to push for modernization of the institution, especially as we face the prospect of a new government,” wrote Deacon. What’s the cabinet up to? Tourism Minister RANDY BOISSONNAULT is in Whistler, B.C. today to take part in a town hall meeting hosted by the ski town’s tourism organization, and its chamber of commerce. Boissonnault will hold a presser after the meeting with local Liberal MP PATRICK WEILER. PASCALE ST-ONGE, the minister responsible for the economic subsidy agency for Quebec, will take a tour—with media in tow—of the Liberty Spring factory in Montmagny, Que. today, then hold a presser to highlight government funding for the manufacturer. Public Safety Minister MARCO MENDICINO will announce something to “prevent gun crime and gang violence” at a stop in Calgary, Alta. FILOMENA TASSI, the minister responsible for the federal subsidy agency for Southern Ontario, will make two stops in London, Ont. today. She’ll hold public events to announce cash for a local pharmaceutical company, and another related to electric vehicle manufacturing. Finally, Public Services and Procurement Minister HELENA JACZEK will step in for Rural Development Minister GUDIE HUTCHINGS today, and announce cash for high-speed internet in Whitchurch-Stouffvile, Ont. What else is happening today? The Council of the Federation will wrap up its summer meetings in Winnipeg. The premiers will hold their closing news conference at 2:30 p.m. Ottawa time. Conservative Leader PIERRE POILIEVRE is out west. He’ll hold a press conference in Penticton, B.C. this morning, then meet with local supporters in the evening. In the news The federal government conducted a review of Turkish security concerns in Canada following a 2020 security breach at the Turkish embassy in Ottawa. NEIL MOSS has the details. Moss also checked in on the fight for accountability following Iran’s destruction of commercial airline flight PS752, also in 2020, which killed 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents. STUART BENSON quizzed pollsters on the meaning of the Liberal Party of Canada’s anemic fundraising numbers. Read it here. In case you missed it You may have heard that B.C. Premier DAVID EBY is unusually tall, at six-foot-seven. But did you know he has procured a mechanically-adjustable lectern for some of his cabinet’s press conferences? The Canadian Press’ DIRK MEISSNER reported on the move back in May. Eby pointed to the fact that one of his cabinet colleagues, SELINA ROBINSON, stands less than five feet tall, and the adjustable podium can “accommodate everybody’s ability to speak.” No word on how much it cost to purchase and lug around the “Explodium”, as it has apparently been nicknamed. Still, one’s mind wanders to whether the federal cabinet could benefit from playing copycat. Immigration Minister SEAN FRASER towers over most of his cabinet colleagues. PTM can think of a few of his fellow ministers who, on the other hand, could be described as vertically challenged. A stool will do in a pinch. But the B.C. government has a high-tech solution for cabinet ministers who don't fit a standard-sized lectern. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade Fraser’s office confirmed that thus far, they hadn’t made use of any mechanical lecterns during Fraser’s many public appearances. Perhaps it’s time that the government sprung for one? Nike Canada under investigation for forced labour It’s been a long time since 1996. That’s when Nike first drew international attention for its reliance on contractors that used slave labour—child slaves, in particular—to make its products, thanks to the work of the late journalist SYDNEY SCHANBERG, who documented the slavery in a story in Life Magazine. Schanberg made his name covering genocide in South Asia, the Vietnam war, and the Khmer Rouge’s massacres in Cambodia. Then, in 1996, he travelled to Pakistan and India and toured the facilities—sometimes posing as a businessman—where malnourished children made, among other things, “white balls with the distinctive Nike swoosh." Yesterday, Canada’s Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, SHERI MEYERHOFFER, announced that she was starting a formal investigation into whether Nike Canada and another Canadian firm, Dynasty Gold, had relied on the labour of ethnic Uyghurs enslaved in China to produce their goods. The Globe and Mail spoke to Meyerhoffer, who said her decision to launch the investigation came after her office conducted an initial assessment of complaints made against the companies by a collection of human rights organizations. The Globe reported that Nike Canada had told Meyerhoffer’s office that it doesn’t source products from the area of China in question, Xinjiang. It also reported that Nike Canada had not responded to a request for comment yesterday. Ron Colucci wins beautiful book give-away: Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trickster Avid reader RON COLUCCI is this week’s winner of our Beautiful Book Give-Away, and will take home Son of a Trickster, by EDEN ROBINSON, published by Vintage Canada in 2017. Colucci wins the book for being the first to correctly respond that Robinson’s first book to win the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and to be selected as a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, was Monkey Beach. This is Colucci’s third win, so we reached out to him. He said he likes the stimulation and the challenge of the weekly contest, and does a similar contest with the Economist magazine each week. A professional accountant based in Mississauga, Ont., Colucci is also the official agent for his Conservative EDA, and a beekeeper. He’s active in politics and reads Politics This Morning to keep on top of the day’s activities, and The Hill Times for more in-depth commentary, and for our foreign policy and military coverage. So thank you, Ron. Shout-outs to all the others who took part: NORMAN WAISEMAN, BRIANNA SPICER, and NIRANJALLI VARMA. Send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org The Hill Times Editor's note: Politics This Morning has been updated to clarify that the ministerial meeting on climate action will begin tomorrow.