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The new cabinet features 36 members, including Chrystia Freeland as deputy prime minister and minister for intergovernmental affairs. She also retains responsibility for U.S. relations, having spearheaded USMCA negotiations. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Most powerful ministers kept their jobs. Bill Morneau remains finance minister, Harjit Sajjan defence minister and David Lametti justice minister. There are a few notable exceptions beyond Freeland, with former trade minister François-Philippe Champagne moving to Global Affairs. The portfolios that most directly affect the innovation economy are held by cabinet veterans. In addition to Bains and Morneau, Mélanie Joly becomes minister of economic development, taking over responsibility for the regional economic development agencies that had been part of Bains’s ministry. Joyce Murray remains minister of digital government, making Canada one of the few governments with a cabinet-level role devoted to its own technology.

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Quebec’s public pension fund manager is looking for a new CEO. Sabia announced he will leave the Caisse in February to lead the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. (The Canadian Press)

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Talking point: Appointed in 2009, the Ontario native was at first seen as an odd fit to lead the Caisse, long a bastion of Quebec’s economic nationalism. Yet during his tenure—the longest of any Caisse CEO—Sabia brought relative calm to an institution that had been known for ego clashes and palace intrigue. He oversaw a near-tripling of the Caisse’s assets over 10 years to $326.7 billion, with a return of 9.9 per cent. He also expanded the fund’s investing footprint, with foreign investment increasing from $18 billion to $40 billion over four years.

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The Digital Inclusion Lab, part of Global Affairs Canada, said foreign actors could try to encourage separatism, citing an unsuccessful attempt involving Saudi Arabian social media accounts supportive of the Quebec independence movement. The agency said Canada should watch for activities like the alleged Russian and Venezuelan spreading of disinformation during Catalonia’s referendum on separating from Spain in 2017. The reports also stated that artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to spread “highly personalized propaganda” to citizens. (National Post)

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Talking point: The lab said governments may need to respond to AI-driven political messaging by “reasserting the existence of facts, expertise, and [the] common view of reality upon which democracy rests.” Ottawa has so far focused on educating the public about how disinformation spreads and how to spot it. In January, The Logic reported that the federal government will spend $7 million on awareness campaigns and digital-literacy programs before the scheduled October election. A panel of senior bureaucrats will also inform the public if they decide there’s been a significant attempt at election interference. The government hasn’t set up a system to identify or debunk fake news stories, after internal reports said its intervention could backfire.