Politics Briefing: Canada designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as terrorist group

Hello,

Canada is designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, as a terrorist organization under this country’s Criminal Code, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced today

This will affect the organization’s ability to raise funds or own property in Canada and will also restrict entry into the country by those who have served in the organization.

Thousands of senior Iranian government officials are now banned from entering the country and those already inside Canada may be investigated and removed, LeBlanc told a news conference on Parliament Hill.

Full story here by senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

Federally funded diabetes medications, contraceptives will be available April, 2025: Health Minister Mark Holland’s comments today mark the first time he has set any timeline for the launch of the federal pharmacare program to cover the two categories of drugs.

Bank of Canada considered holding off interest-rate cuts until July, summary says: The central bank’s governing council were persuaded to begin easing monetary policy by a string of encouraging inflation reports and economic signposts suggesting that price pressures will continue easing, according to a summary of the discussions ahead of the rate decision.

NDP MP Jenny Kwan calls on Parliament to identify MPs implicated in foreign interference: The Vancouver East MP raised a question of privilege in the Commons, telling Speaker Greg Fergus that the secret report has left all parliamentarians under a cloud of suspicion and the only way to stop MPs and senators from betraying their country is to disclose their names.

Temporary residents in Canada rise to 2.8 million ahead of government restrictions: Temporary residents – a group that includes international students, people on work permits and asylum claimants – now comprise 6.8 per cent of the total Canadian population, up from 3.5 per cent two years ago, Statistics Canada reported today.

Multiple criminal investigations into federal contracting underway, RCMP reveals: Deputy Commissioner Mark Flynn told the House of Commons public accounts committee the investigations include one that has already been disclosed focusing on ArriveCan, a pandemic-era app for international travelers that cost taxpayers an estimated $59.5-million, and others related to federal government contracting.

New $250-million federal fund to invest in Black, Indigenous and female entrepreneurs: The funds are aimed at addressing a lingering gap in support for entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities who face obstacles because of systemic racism and discrimination, the Business Development Bank of Canada said today.

A national historic site reopens with a new look at John A. Macdonald’s legacy: The National Historic Site was once home to Sir John A. Macdonald, once unabashedly celebrated as Canada’s first prime minister. This May, after a six-year shuttering, Bellevue House reopened with an entirely new take on this Father of Confederation.

Newfoundland Premier says Prime Minister open to carbon tax alternatives: Andrew Furey has told CTV Justin Trudeau has “shown a willingness to alternatives” to the controversial federal carbon pricing system, saying in an interview on CTV News Channel’s Power Play with Vassy Kapelos he’s looking forward to a response from the federal government, as he works to develop an alternative to the carbon tax.

Provincial New Democrats win Winnipeg constituency for first time: Carla Compton won the riding of Tuxedo, previously held by former Progressive Conservative premier Heather Stefanson, in a by-election this week. She edged PC candidate Lawrence Pinsky by 617 votes.

Former N.B. Progressive Conservative MLA to seek Liberal nomination for fall election: A former New Brunswick Progressive Conservative cabinet minister says he is coming out of retirement to run as a Liberal in the upcoming provincial election because he is “disappointed” with Tory Premier Blaine Higgs.

TODAY’S POLITICAL QUOTES

“We’ve been saying for years now, to Canadians, don’t go to Iran. With this decision today, there is a heightened risk of arbitrary detention in Iran so my message is clear. For those who are in Iran right now, it’s time to come back home. And for those who are planning to go to Iran, don’t go.” – Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, during a Parliament Hill news conference, offers a warning to Canadians following the announcement about Canada’s plans to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

“You could be in an airport. You could be anywhere, and suddenly somebody just screams at you. That has never happened to me before. I mean, I’ve been, you know, a member of Parliament for nine years, but it’s really – really only been in the past year– that people just scream. And I call them, you know, drive-by screaming. It’s like, keep walking. But I can throw it off. Fortunately, I’ve, you know, had it pretty good, especially compared to a lot of other of my colleagues.” – Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, ahead of today’s caucus meeting on Parliament Hill, asked about public discontent with federal politicians, talks about how people are occasionally screaming at him.

THIS AND THAT

Today in the Commons: Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, June 19, accessible here.

Deputy Prime Minister’s Day: In Ottawa, Chrystia Freeland held private meetings, attended the national caucus meeting, and joined a news conference on the end of the session.

Ministers on the road: In Vancouver, Energy Minister Andrew Wilkinson made an announcement on protection for wild Pacific salmon, speaking on behalf of federal Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier.

Commons committee highlights: Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, is among the witnesses appearing at 4:30 p.m. ET before the Indigenous and Northern Affairs committee on Bill C-61. At 5:30 p.m. ET, Treasury Board President Anita Anand appears before the government-operations committee on government spending..

NATO Secretary-General in Ottawa: Jens Stoltenberg, in Ottawa, will be the guest of honor of the NATO Association of Canada, deliver a speech and receive the Louis St. Laurent Award for outstanding service to peace and security. He will also participate in a fireside chat with journalist Lisa Laflamme. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also hosting a dinner for him.

Trudeau and Eby: The Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed Justin Trudeau spoke with British Columbia Premier David Eby on Tuesday, saying, in a statement, that, among other issues, the leaders discussed shared priorities related to transportation, the environment, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. There was no reference to Eby’s concerns about equalization, which have led him to consider joining with Newfoundland and Labrador in a court challenge over federal equalization payments in an effort to get “fair treatment” from Ottawa. The politics newsletter has reached out to the premier’s office for their perspective on the matter.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Justin Trudeau attended the Liberal caucus meeting, Question Period, and was scheduled to host an evening dinner in honor of Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general.

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet held a press conference on the House of Commons session, and attended Question Period.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was scheduled to hold an evening rally in Montreal.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May attended the weekly Green caucus meeting and participated in the House of Commons, with her weekly question during Question Period.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attended the NDP caucus meeting and participated in Question Period.

THE DECIBEL

On today’s edition of the podcast, the Globe’s Report on Business reporter, Joe Castaldo explains what kind of testing goes into new chatbots, AI-powered search engines, and writing assistants as well as how the hype and reality of AI are often at odds and whether we need to reset our expectations of Generative AI. The Decibel is here.

OPINION

Building a postcarbon future

“Carbon dioxide and methane are not visible to the human eye. The greenhouse gases garner attention in the mind’s eye – and some sources attract more interest than others. Emissions in the oil sands were 87 megatonnes in 2022, according to the latest official figures, reported last month. Emissions in passenger transportation, from cars and trucks to planes and trains, were 90 Mt. Each account for about an eighth of Canada’s total emissions.” – The Globe and Mail Editorial Board.

Unnamed traitors in Parliament, but thank goodness everyone’s reputation is intact

“Two weeks in, we must conclude that Operation Save Our Reputations has been a resounding success. No sooner had the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) issued its June 3 report, asserting that a number of unnamed MPs and senators had been acting, in effect, as agents of foreign powers, than the nation’s political leadership swung into action. Their mission: to prevent anything from being done about any of it – or as it was more usually put, to “prevent innocent people from having their reputations unfairly smeared.” – Andrew Coyne

Calgary’s community needs the Stampede. The show must go on

“This summer, the Stampede is again vowing to go on – despite a massive break in Calgary’s main water artery that has led to a shutdown, cutting supplies in half and putting the whole city under voluntary and mandatory water restrictions. The Stampede begins on July 5, but repairs could go on for weeks after that. “Come hell or high water,” was the slogan in 2013. This year, “Come hell or no water” is circulating. This might not be as big a disaster as the 2013 floods were. But this time, it’s hard to be confident there will be no broader stress due to the Stampede, given that city officials have warned the taps could actually run dry. Still, there was really no question the show would go on. There would certainly be a massive economic hit if the Stampede didn’t happen, with at least $300-million in tourist dollars riding on it. The city’s hotels and restaurants all count on being busy at this critical time.” – Kelly Cryderman.

Canada may need to brace for influx of undocumented immigrants if Trump becomes president

“Polls show that Donald Trump has a better-than-ever chance of winning the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 5. This would pose grave challenges for Canada, in areas from trade to defence to immigration. On the immigration front, the best solution might be to thin the border rather than thicken it. Here’s why:” -John Ibbitson.

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