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Frans Timmermans, the European Commission executive vice-president in charge of green policy, said politicians haven’t done enough to prepare people for the “tectonic” economic shift ahead, a disruption he compared to the industrial revolution. The EU’s plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 will require massive investments beyond the capacities of the EU’s institutions alone. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: The remarks follow an announcement on Tuesday that the EU will commit a quarter of its budget towards the €1-trillion climate-change strategy in pursuit of becoming the first carbon-neutral continent in the world. Timmermans noted that the transition will be particularly trying for coal-reliant countries like Poland. While some of the funding will go toward reducing emissions in high-carbon industries, a large part of the budget will help deal with the social and economic impacts in those regions that will see the most dramatic transformations.

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Mike McNair, executive director for policy in the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, told staff Thursday morning he’d be leaving at year’s end, according to an email obtained by The Logic. His replacement will reportedly be Marci Surkes, who was in charge of policy announcements for the Liberal Party during the fall election campaign and was formerly chief of staff to defeated cabinet minister Ralph Goodale. (The Logic)

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Talking point: McNair’s email said he had discussed his departure with Trudeau’s chief of staff before the election, in which the Liberals were reduced to minority status. He had been with Trudeau since 2012, and is credited with being one of the architects of the Liberals’ efforts to bolster the middle class, particularly the Canada Child Benefit. He leaves a PMO in the midst of a post-election reset after the spring resignation of principal secretary Gerald Butts and retirement of Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, both of whom departed in the wake of the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

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The European Central Bank (ECB) president plans to use the bank’s upcoming monetary policy review, announced last week, to address climate change issues, according to sources who spoke to the Financial Times. This will be the first time the institution has factored climate change into a comprehensive review. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: The move would challenge the convention that national governments, not central banks, legislate climate change policy. Germany’s central bank president Jens Weidmann, for instance, has said he would be critical of the ECB’s use of monetary policy to tackle climate change. U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell recently told Congress that climate change is the mandate of “elected officials, not us.” And while Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor who’s championed climate change factors in financial decision-making, plans to stress-test banks with “catastrophic” climate scenarios, even he isn’t going as far as as Lagarde might.

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Quebec Premier François Legault said his government is open to changes following criticism from renowned AI researcher Yoshua Bengio, who said they could hamstring Quebec’s booming AI sector. (CBC Radio-Canada)

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Talking point: Last week, Legault’s government restricted access to a program that allows some students and temporary workers to fast-track their applications for a “Quebec Selection Certificate,” a necessary step toward earning permanent resident status in the province. Bengio, founder of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), said the changes would starve the province of AI talent. Legault, who has trumpeted Quebec’s leadership in the sector, then said he was open to reconsidering.

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Innovative Medicines Canada—which represents 41 companies including the Canadian operations of giants like Pfizer, GSK and Merck—has asked a federal court to conduct a judicial review of the measures. The government has ordered the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) to stop comparing Canadian drug prices to the U.S. and Switzerland and start comparing them to Japan and four European countries when setting maximum prices. Ottawa’s changes will cost the industry significantly—the government estimates it will reduce drug expenses by $8.8 billion over 10 years. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The legal case is the second filed by drug companies since the plan was announced in early August; six firms have also challenged it in Quebec’s court system. The companies argue that the government doesn’t have the authority to make the changes to the PMPRB, and that they will limit patients’ access to breakthrough treatments. However, fewer drug launches have not led to worse health outcomes in other countries. New Zealand has some of the lowest drug prices in the world, and was ranked last among 20 OECD countries in access to new medicines by an industry-funded study; the country has among the highest life-expectancy rates for cancer patients of any developed country.

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Chris Froggatt and Kory Teneycke lead firms that have each signed up over two dozen influential clients since the Progressive Conservatives took power in Ontario. Froggart’s firm Loyalist Public Affairs represents Canopy Growth, Sidewalk Labs and Pfizer. Teneycke’s Rubicon Strategy has Loblaw, IBM and the Ontario Medical Association. A spokesperson for Doug Ford said the premier is not aware of any breach of ethics rules by the two men, and would not allow them if he was. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The two men have direct access to the premier, and are trusted with everything from negotiating with MPs concerned with Ford’s actions to dealing with the fallout from issues like cuts to public health spending. Froggatt and Teneycke both say they provide political advice and never discuss client matters. However, their respective companies are taking away clients from other lobbying firms—which can charge monthly retainers of up to $20,000. The relative prominence of the two men has only grown in recent weeks following the departure of Ford’s chief of staff, Dean French. The three men called themselves a “three-legged stool” during the provincial election campaign.

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Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and a number of her Chinese students were removed from the lab on July 5. The facility is equipped to study the most serious types of human and animal diseases, and is the only one in Canada authorized to handle dangerous pathogens, like Ebola. The Public Health Agency of Canada said there was no risk to public safety at this time, calling it an administrative matter. (CBC)

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Talking point: In October 2018, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) warned of Canadian research being of interest to “foreign states,” which could threaten Canada’s national security. And, that same month, CSIS warned Canadian universities to be cautious about its research ties with Huawei. Similar warnings have come from the FBI, as well. They follow U.S. federal charges against Huawei amid concerns about the company’s ties to the Chinese government, and Canada’s arrest and ongoing extradition hearing against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Following the arrest, China arrested two Canadians for allegedly stealing state secrets, sentenced another to death on drug-trafficking charges and blocked imports of several Canadian agricultural products. On Monday, China’s foreign ministry said it had detained another Canadian on drug offences.