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Evening Brief: Liberals reject part of Senate amendment to tanker ban bill


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The Lead

The Liberal government has agreed to a review of its proposed tanker ban bill five years after it comes into force, but is refusing part of a Senate amendment that would require regional impact assessments involving Indigenous communities and oil-producing provinces.

In its message to the Senate on Bill C-48, which would ban oil tanker traffic from British Columbia’s northern coast, the House of Commons eliminated parts of an amendment passed by the Senate that would require the federal environment minister to launch regional assessments of the ban within six months of it coming into force.

The Senate voted last week for a series of “compromise” changes to Bill C-48 put forward by Independent Sen. Murray Sinclair before the piece of legislation passed the Upper Chamber at third reading. Jolson Lim reports.

In Canada

The House also Monday voted to send government bills overhauling the Fisheries Act and scrapping Harper-era reforms to a northern regulator to the Senate for final approval.

MPs voted in favour of a message moved by the governing Liberals responding to changes made by the Senate to Bill C-68, which reworks the long-standing Fisheries Act. They also voted to pass Bill C-88 at third reading.

The legislation, introduced in the House last fall, repeals the restructuring of the regional panels of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board introduced by the former Conservative government in 2014 and gives the federal cabinet the power to prohibit certain oil and gas work in Arctic offshore areas if deemed to be in the national interest. Marco Vigliotti reports.

The federal Liberals also successfully moved a motion limiting the time available for debate on the response to Senate amendments to the government’s overhaul of rules for solitary confinement.

The House on Monday voted in favour of a time-allocation motion for a message to the Upper Chamber on changes it made to Bill C-83. Vigliotti also has this story.

The Liberals announced today that their promised home buyer incentive — essentially a type of shared equity mortgage — will launch on Sept. 2, only weeks before the federal election. Here’s our explainer on the incentive from March.

A coalition of oil and gas industry groups, chambers of commerce and manufacturers associations is urging the Senate to reject the amended version of the Liberal government’s environmental assessment overhaul bill.

The Canadian Press is reporting that the Save Canadian Jobs coalition is changing their slogan from “Fix Bill C-69” to “Stop Bill C-69” after the Liberals rejected most of the changes to Bill C-69 made by the Senate. The Upper Chamber must now vote whether to accept the government’s response or insist on its original iteration.

CTV is reporting that political advocacy group Canada Proud is paying people to dress up in banana costumes on Sparks Street to protest Trudeau campaign. It’s part of the group’s #TrudeauIsBananas campaign. A webpage produced by the group tied to the campaign says before the federal election, voters should question if Trudeau’s “ripe for another term.”

Rookie Toronto Liberal MP Geng Tan is not seeking re-election this fall, saying he wants to “spend more time with his family,” reports The Hill Times.

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Trudeau plans to meet with the top-ranking members of the U.S. House and Senate during a trip to Washington this week, two senior Canadian officials and a pair of congressional sources told POLITICO today.

Trudeau will be able to get a read on the likeliness for bringing the new North American trade deal up for a vote in Congress.

Trudeau’s office announced late last week that he would meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday, but the prime minister is also now planning sit-downs later in the day with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Also, Egypt’s former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in 2013, has died after fainting in a courtroom, officials say.

Morsi had collapsed in a cage after speaking at a hearing on charges of espionage, BBC reports.

He was a top figure in the now-banned Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and became president in an election held following massive Arab Spring protests that had ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi had been in custody since being ousted a year into his presidency. The military government then launched a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

For a long time, there have been concerns over the former leader’s prison conditions. Last year, one of his sons told AP news agency that his father was being held under constant solitary confinement and denied treatment for serious health conditions.

Meanwhile, Iran announced today it would soon breach limits on the amount of enriched uranium it can stockpile under the 2015 nuclear accord, the latest sign of contention with the U.S.

According to Reuters, Iran’s atomic energy agency said they would bypass the nuclear agreement’s cap in 10 days. The U.S. called the decision “nuclear blackmail.”

The move comes at a high point in tensions between Tehran and Washington, and days after the U.S. blamed Iran for explosions on two ships in the Gulf of Oman.

It also further undermines the nuclear pact signed by Russia, Britain, Germany, China and the European Union. The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of it last year. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said the collapse of the deal would not be in the interests of the world.

As well, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit North Korea later this week, in his first trip there as president. The meeting will come shortly before Trump and Xi are expected to gather at the G20 summit in Japan.

As the New York Times reports, it will be the first visit by a Chinese president in 14 years. Xi has been one of the most traveled Chinese presidents although he has been reluctant to visit North Korea. Its leader, Kim Jong-un, has visited China four times in the past year.

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The Kicker

Federal party leaders are celebrating the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship today in a massive parade held in the city.

Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended a parade alongside likely more than one million Torontonians in the city’s downtown.

Raptors fever has swept Canada as the team completed a historic run to the top of the basketball world that had culminated in a Finals-clinching Game 6 victory last Thursday.

Trudeau, wearing a purple blazer, was seen shaking hands with fans and personally congratulating Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and centre Marc Gasol. He was also on stage alongside Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who was booed by fans at Toronto’s city hall.

A scary moment happened during the stage ceremony in which one person was reportedly shot towards the back of the crowd, causing a large number of fans to flee in panic.

But superstar Kawhi Leonard later calmed some nerves down, breaking out his iconic laugh.

Until tomorrow.

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