This week’s top political stories are mainly US-focused. Read on for a few quick Canadian headlines, and a recap on the political drama plaguing our neighbours to the south:
1. Defence Minister Harjit Sajan confirms Canada will not send troops to Syria. The government continues to back the training mission supporting Iraqi and Kurdish troops in their fight to recapture the city of Mosul in Iraq from ISIS, despite a looming June 30th expected withdrawal date. (Globe and Mail)
2. With Parliament’s summer break a mere 5 days away, both the House of Commons and The Senate have been busy working on the following legislative initiatives:
- Bill C-6 passed by the Senate: The Bill will repeal elements of the previous Conservative governments’ citizenship rules, including revoking citizenship from convicted terrorists. (CBC)
- Bill C-16 passed by the Senate: The new law will protect transgender rights.
- Bills C-44 (budget implementation), C-22 (national security committee), C-210 (gender neutral anthem) and C-45 (marijuana legalization) still in the works: This CTV article discusses the various open bills and their likelihood to pass prior to the summer break.
3. A Step Towards Universal Daycare in Canada?: The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development unveiled a new framework to subsidize daycare for low-income families, working with the Province of Ontario. Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has promoted this as a step towards affordable childcare for all, despite its limited reach. See this Globe and Mail article for an overview on how this policy is strikingly different from that of the previous federal Liberal government.
4. Jeff Sessions Testimony: The United States Attorney General publicly testified this week to the Senate Intelligence Committee on his recusal from the Russian election interference investigation, stating that he recused himself because of his previous relationship with the Trump campaign. Sessions’ testimony is thought to have raised more questions than it answered due to his refusing to share details on why he was part of the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, and details on conversations he has had with President Trump about the supposed Russian interference. (Washington Post, NPR)
5. US Congressional Baseball Game Shooting: Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise and 4 others were injured when a gunman opened fire on their practice for the annual Congressional Baseball game. The game continued as planned on Thursday night with record crowds. (CNN)
6. US-Cuba Relations: President Trump announced Friday that he would rollback several Obama-initiatives that sought to improve relations with Cuba, including restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and companies doing business there. (CBC)
7. Trump Sued by Maryland and D.C.: The States have brought a lawsuit against the President over his refusal to divest himself from his business interests while President. (Washington Post)
8. Trump Under Investigation: The President confirmed on Twitter that he was being investigated by the FBI (calling it a “witch hunt”), though his lawyer has since stated that he is not under investigation and was responding to a story in The Washington Post. See more on this here (CNN).