A portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in jail, is held by his mother Nataliya Magnitskaya, as she speaks during an interview with the AP in Moscow. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)
When Donald Trump Jr. met a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign last year (more on that below), he says he walked away disappointed because she didn’t have any damaging information about Hillary Clinton — she just wanted to talk about adoptions. But in the context of U.S.-Russia relations, talking about adoptions isn’t just talking about adoptions. Russian President Vladimir Putin banned American adoption of Russian children in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 2012, which specifically targeted the assets of powerful Russian officials allegedly involved in corruption. The Magnitsky law — named after a lawyer allegedly killed by the Russian government for exposing corruption — has been a thorn in the side of Mr. Putin, who has vigorously lobbied against it. Other countries have followed suit, including Canada; a bill enabling similar sanctions is awaiting final approval in the House of Commons this fall.
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The national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls continues to face problems, with one of five commissioners and a leading indigenous women’s group pulling their support for the process. “We no longer have faith that this inquiry will meet its mandate and work responsibly with families and communities,” Dawn Harvard, president of the Ontario Native Women’s Association, said in an open letter.
A tech lobby group that promised access to a Liberal government chief of staff in exchange for a $10,000 fee has changed its membership pitch after a complaint from the government. The group had been promising prospective clients they could meet the environment minister’s chief of staff once a month to talk clean technology.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to the Calgary Stampede after all.
Mr. Trudeau will have to announce a new governor-general in the coming weeks, and some Liberal MPs say it’s time for Canada’s first indigenous commander-in-chief. “It would be a real act of reconciliation with the highest levels,” Liberal MP Dan Vandal told The Hill Times.
Today at 10 a.m. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will announce whether Canada’s central bank has decided to alter its policy rate. All signs are pointing to a rate hike, which would be the first of its kind in nearly seven years. We’ll have you covered on all angles from political to personal at theglobeandmail.com.
The head of Swiss banking giant UBS is lauding Canada’s efforts to create a federal infrastructure bank, saying that parts of the plan could provide a global “blueprint” for financing international projects.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals are putting together the team that will guide the party as it transitions into Opposition next week. Among the party’s new hires is Nick Koolsbergen, a former senior staff member in prime minister Stephen Harper’s government. He will be caucus chief of staff. Mr. Koolsbergen was controversial in Mr. Harper’s office; his name was attached to a 2013 memo to government departments asking staff to identify “enemy” stakeholders, and his presence at Mike Duffy’s trial in 2015 raised questions about why he was seen allegedly speaking to witnesses. Other new hires include Jessica Wolford, deputy chief of staff for the caucus, and Stephen Smart, a former CBC journalist who became the party’s executive director of communications.
The federal government is partnering with the Atlantic provinces to help promote Atlantic Canada as a tourist destination. The program, which Conservatives have criticized as simply a renewal of an existing initiative, aims to entice tourists from the U.S., the U.K., China and Germany.
And with the high prices for food in Canada’s North, many Iqaluit residents find it cheaper to get the necessities through Amazon Prime.
Lori Turnbull (The Globe and Mail) on the MMIW inquiry: “Many people are counting on this inquiry to find truth, to enable an essential dialogue and to facilitate healing and reconciliation. Public hearings are scheduled for September and an interim report is due two months later. Let us hope that the upcoming period of public activity will quell suspicions that the weight of the inquiry’s enormous mandate might be crushing.”
John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on Jagmeet Singh: “Mr. Singh is a candidate who could galvanize new Canadians into supporting the NDP, even as he risks alienating more established constituencies. NDP supporters must decide this fall whether they are willing to take that risk.”
Colby Cosh (National Post) on the Omar Khadr settlement: “Khadr is a gift to professional opinionizers, and all of us, right now, seem equally sure that his compensation will either spell disaster for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal federal government — or that it won’t. You can hardly fail to notice that these guesses are very closely correlated with opinions on the rectitude of the payout to Khadr.”
Tim Harper (Toronto Star) on the missing and murdered indigenous women inquiry: “[The government] can’t let a flawed inquiry play out. It is losing the confidence of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. It can’t be allowed to slide into a ditch.”
“If it’s what you say I love it,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote in an e-mail after being offered information that was billed as damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign from the Russian government in June, 2016. The U.S. President’s eldest son is in the news for a fourth straight day following a series of reports from The New York Times that detail how he was eager to accept information that reportedly came from the Russian government. Yesterday, Mr. Trump Jr. tweeted out his e-mail correspondence with publicist Rob Goldstone, who was acting on behalf of a Russian businessman connected to the Kremlin. The e-mails and the meeting could place him in legal jeopardy, according to some experts, because it is a federal crime to solicit or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with U.S. election campaigns. If you need a guide to the many investigations into Russia’s influence on the U.S. election, The Globe’s Washington correspondent Adrian Morrow has broken it down.
When Mr. Trudeau is in the U.S. this week, he will hold formal bilateral talks with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence. Both men will be in Rhode Island for a meeting of U.S. governors where Mr. Trudeau is set to deliver a speech.
The Speaker of Brazil’s lower house is pushing for a quick vote, as soon as this week in fact, on charges of corruption against President Michel Temer. If Mr. Temer is ousted, Speaker Rodrigo Maia would become the interim president. It’s been less than a year since former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was impeached.
And Saudi Arabia has agreed to an arms deal with Russia, the world’s second largest weapons exporter, worth $3.5-billion (U.S.). The deal, which has yet to be finalized, will be official the next time Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visits Moscow.
Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail) on the EU-Japan trade deal: “The EU-Japan trade deal should be pursued, but not at any cost. It should serve as a model for future trade deals by reinforcing environmental protection among the signatories (in this area, the EU-Japan talks are off to a good start because the deal would incorporate the Paris climate-change commitments). It should recognize that investor-dispute tribunals that override national sovereignty and legal systems in favour of foreign companies is anti-democratic and risks stoking anti-globalization sentiment. The deal should set the highest standards for data and privacy protection standards. It should recognize that free trade is not necessarily fair trade and put in place a strategy for those workers who will lose their jobs as tariff and non-tariff barriers melt away.” (for subscribers)
Erna Paris (The Globe and Mail) on the words we use: “Words are not innocent. We are each responsible for maintaining the civility of public discourse, but people in positions of leadership hold a special trust. They set the rhetorical standard. And they must be held accountable.”
Sarah Kendzior (The Globe and Mail) on Donald and Junior: “In the midst of this morass is Donald Trump Jr. who, unlike his favoured sister Ivanka, has never held a position in the White House, seemingly sidelined in this burgeoning dynastic kleptocracy. After the Times broke the story of Mr. Trump Jr.’s illicit meeting, Mr. Trump Jr. hired a lawyer who specializes in defending Russian hackers, white-collar criminals, and the Mafia. In one case, the lawyer had a client turn on his father to avoid jail. Has Donald Trump Jr. turned, cutting some sort of deal that makes him comfortable posting incriminating information? Or are his tweets yet another example of the Trump family assuming they are above the law?”
Nicholas Kristoff (New York Times) on the emails: “The moment he got this email, Donald Trump Jr. should have called the F.B.I. That’s what the Al Gore campaign did in 2000 when it received a Bush campaign briefing booklet. It’s one thing to do opposition research; everybody does that. It’s another thing to use stolen information secretly provided by a rival nation where journalists and dissidents end up dead.”