Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
Remaining Mandate Letters Released
Premier Smith released the last tranche of mandate letters last week, outlining her expectations for ministers, including in key portfolios such as Treasury Board and Finance, Health, Skilled Trades and Professions, Jobs, Economy, and Northern Development, and Advanced Education.
The top priorities for Smith’s cabinet are addressing inflation, the affordability crisis, job creation, healthcare, and facing the federal government with a united front.
Ahead of the 14th Annual Halifax International Security Forum, which was held over the weekend, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced a proposal to establish a NATO innovation hub in the city to promote cooperation between NATO’s military members and the technology sector, including tech startups and academic researchers.
The hub would focus on emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, big-data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, biotechnology and novel materials. If NATO accepts the proposal, Halifax would be one of nine regional hubs known as the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).
David Eby Sworn-In as British Columbia’s 37th Premier
On November 18, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, David Eby was sworn in as the 37th Premier of British Columbia. Eby was honoured in a blanket ceremony by Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow and introduced by Premier John Horgan and former NDP leader Joy McPhail, who worked closely with Eby on transforming ICBC and bringing in no-fault public auto insurance. During Eby’s speech, he promised partnership and collaboration with First Nations, offered praise to outgoing Premier John Horgan, spoke about the values of fairness and justice instilled in him from his family, and outlined his priorities as Premier: housing affordability, health care, addressing climate change, public safety and tackling the challenges of the Downtown Eastside. Eby also spoke about the importance of working together, building trust with the public as a government, and working hard every day to deliver on commitments for British Columbians. Eby’s new Cabinet will be announced on December 7.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that the government has reached a tentative agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
While the Keeping Students in Class Act was repealed last week to resume negotiations, CUPE had expressed intentions to strike again two days after parties returned to the negotiation table. The agreement is yet to be finalized. A vote is expected to begin Thursday and will be concluded by the end of the weekend.
Canada implements further bans and sanctions on Iran
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations. This includes heads of state, members of the Cabinet, ambassadors, senior diplomats, members of the judiciary, senior military and intelligence officials and senior public servants are included in the list.
Ontario’s strong mayor bill was introduced last Wednesday, allowing Toronto and Ottawa mayors to push through priority items with one-third of council support as long as these items are deemed of ‘provincial interest.’ Critics from opposition parties and local councillors have criticized the new legislation, calling it ‘an assault on democracy.’ Progressive Toronto Councillors like Josh Matlow and Gord Perks have publicly shared their concerns, particularly accusing Mayor Tory of betrayal for proactively asking the province for additional powers before the October 24 municipal elections.