The federal government’s 2023 budget will be tabled on March 28, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Friday.

The date means the budget will be released just days after U.S. President Joe Biden visits Ottawa for a two-day meeting March 23 and 24.

A key element of the 2023 federal budget will be new details on Canada’s response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which contains billions in tax breaks and other incentives to encourage emission reduction efforts.

Ms. Freeland, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, has said measures related to reducing emissions and health care will be two areas of focus in the 2023 budget. She has also said that a third element will be the need for fiscal restraint, pointing to concerns about inflation and high interest rates.

Deputy Ottawa bureau Chief Bill Curry reports here. Earlier this week, Mr. Curry reported here on how Ms. Freeland was drafting the 2023 budget with an eye to fiscal restraint.

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HOTEL DISPUTE CENTRAL TO COMPLAINT AGAINST COURT JUSTICE – A complaint about the conduct of Supreme Court Justice Russell Brown, who has been on leave with pay since Feb. 1, relates to an altercation at a hotel in Arizona. Story here.

GOVERNMENT SEEKING PUBLIC INPUT ON FOREIGN-INFLUENCE REGISTRY – Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced Friday the Liberal government wants to hear from Canadians on creating a foreign influence transparency registry to help prevent other countries from meddling in Canada’s affairs. Story here.

FEDERAL WARNING TO PROVINCES ON PRIVATE COMPANY HEALTH CHARGES – The federal government has issued a warning to provinces and territories that it intends to reduce the funding they receive through federal health transfers if they continue to allow private companies to charge patients for medically necessary health services, including virtual care. Story here.

CRIMINAL CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST FORMER LIBERAL MP – The Ontario Superior Court has dropped two criminal charges against former Liberal MP Raj Grewal, after his lawyers requested a directed verdict to acquit the ex-politician of breach of trust. Story here.

OTTAWA TO APPROVE WESTJET SUNWING TAKEOVER – The federal government is set to announce on Friday it has approved WestJet Airlines’ takeover of Sunwing Airlines and a related vacations division, according to two people familiar with the matter. Story here.

MINISTERS MEET ON BAIL – Federal, provincial and territorial justice ministers are meeting in Ottawa on Monday to talk about the state of Canada’s bail system amidst criticism from premiers, federal Conservatives and law enforcement leaders. Story here.

SIMON TALKS ABOUT ONLINE ABUSE – After decades in the public eye, Mary Simon says she is used to constructive criticism, including on her social-media accounts as Canada’s first Indigenous Governor-General. But recently, the comments she’s received on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram evolved from barbs about her role into a torrent of racist and misogynistic abuse. Story here.

TURPEL-LAFOND RESPONDS TO CRITICISM – Former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says she’s satisfied in her “past work, identity and self-worth,” after the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association revoked an award because its board members believed she falsified her claims of Indigenous identity. Story here.

CHAREST CALLS FOR MORE POILIEVRE POLICY SPECIFICS – Pierre Poilievre should be offering Canadians more specifics on how he would deal with policy challenges facing the country, says a key rival from the leadership race Mr. Poilievre won last fall to become federal Conservative Leader. Story here.

$2.8B SETTLEMENT APPROVED – A Federal Court judge has approved a $2.8-billion settlement agreement between the Canadian government and plaintiffs representing 325 First Nations whose members went to residential day schools. Story here.

DETAILS ON BIDEN OTTAWA VISIT – President Joe Biden will address Parliament later this month as part of a two-day visit to Ottawa in which North American defence, support for Ukraine, and the clean-economy transition will be the focus of talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Story here.

CANADIAN ACQUITTED OF CORRUPTING FOREIGN OFFICIAL – A man charged by the RCMP for allegedly bribing a Botswanan official has been acquitted in a case that the Canadian government had recently touted as evidence of its fight against international corruption. Story here.

TORY MP UNDER FIRE FOR COMMENT TO JOLY – Liberal and NDP MPs called out Conservative MP Michael Cooper over what they described as a “shameful” and “completely unacceptable” comment he made to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly during a hearing on foreign interference on Thursday. Story here from CTV.

I’LL REPEAL ONLINE STREAMING BILL: POILIEVRE – Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre pledged Thursday to repeal the online streaming bill if he wins the next federal election, calling it a “censorship” law that will curb freedom of expression on the internet. Story here.

SEX TRAFFICKERS USE SHELL COMPANIES TO LAUNDER ILLICIT PROFITS – Sex trafficking is one of the toughest crimes to investigate. But now, new groundbreaking methods are exposing criminal hot spots across Canada long hidden from view. Story here.


TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, March 10, accessible here.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY – Chrystia Freeland, also Finance Minister, held private meetings in Ottawa and was scheduled to meet with Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Anniken Huitfeldt.

MINISTERS ON THE ROAD – Mental Health Minister Carolyn Bennett, in Toronto, announced about $3-million in funding to six organizations in Toronto, for projects to support the mental health of Black individuals and communities. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, in Halifax, was scheduled to hold a news conference with federal, provincial and territorial representatives following a meeting of the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Tadoussac, Que., with Quebec Environment Minister Benoit Charette, made an announcement about the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.

NEW BLOOMBERG OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF – Laura Dhillon Kane is joining Bloomberg News as its new Ottawa bureau chief, ending a nine year-run with The Canadian Press where she was most recently news editor at their Ottawa bureau. Announcement here.

COMMONS BREAK – The House of Commons is taking a break next week, with members returning to work on March. 20. The Senate is off next week.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the Ottawa region, holds private meetings.


Communist Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth Rowley, holds a news conference on Parliament Hill, on economic issues including inflation, interest rates, and corporate profits.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, hosts an economic round table with participants including Scotiabank vice-president Rebekah Young, Unifor economist Kaylie Tiessen, and Stephen Tapp, a chief economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

No schedules available for other party leaders.


On Friday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Kean Birch, director of the Institute for Technoscience and Society at York University, talks about challenges facing Netflix over its crackdown on password sharing in Canada. Mr. Birch has written about how Netflix’s business model was bound to run into problems. The Decibel is here.


LIBERAL-NDP DEAL – Fifty-three per cent of Canadians surveyed want the Liberal-NDP Confidence and Supply Agreement to continue while 47 per cent want it to end, according to a Abacus Data survey available here. The same polls finds the Conservatives with 36 per cent support, 29 per cent support for the Liberals and 18 per cent support for the NDP.

CHINA AND CANADA – Amid questions about China’s government intervening in Canadian elections, 40 per cent of respondents to a new Angus Reid Institute survey say the federal government should approach the regime in Beijing as a threat to its interests while 22 per cent say they should see it as an enemy. Details here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the Liberals being right to seek a balance between the economy and the environment as Alberta battles Ottawa in court: In 2012, Stephen Harper used the federal budget to alter more than five dozen laws with a controversial omnibus bill. Among the many changes was a major scaling back of Ottawa’s environmental oversight. Mr. Harper’s aim was clear: to pave the road to make it easier to approve industrial projects. The prime minister was trying to solve a problem that largely didn’t exist. Regulatory approval of oil sands mines, fossil fuel pipelines and other large projects was standard. Rejections were extremely rare. Yet in Mr. Harper’s effort to aid industry, his watered-down process caused a lot of problems.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on how the Prime Minister could clear up the most important questions about China’s interference in our elections simply by answering them: “The Prime Minister’s silence may also be based on the calculation that, eventually, in the absence of fresh revelations, people will get bored and move on. This is a not entirely unreasonable supposition, in light of Canada’s vastly ineffective institutions of accountability, especially where the actions of a prime minister are involved, in as much as most if not all of them depend upon the Prime Minister’s active co-operation to make any headway at all. Hide, stall, say nothing and before long they run out of oxygen. But it is also helped immeasurably by the endless incuriosity of much of this country’s chattering classes.”

Tony Keller (The Globe and Mail) on how Canada needs a Plan B in case U.S. President Joe Biden doesn’t want to close Roxham Road: The federal government has two possible paths out of the dead end at Roxham Road. The first route goes through Washington, D.C. – and is largely out of Ottawa’s hands. The second goes through Ottawa – and is entirely within Canada’s control. The best option? Pursuing both paths, simultaneously.”

Carolyn Wilkins (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, on important economic metrics, Canada is getting Ds and Fs – but can do better: Open a news site these days and you’ll feel adrift in a sea of worries: cost of living, health care, climate change. Add geopolitical risk to that list and you might not sleep at night. I’m worried, too. What is reassuring, though, is that there’s a growing community of Canadians who are pulling together.”

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