Politics Briefing: Sophie Grégoire Trudeau to release two new books


Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has two new books coming out from Canada’s largest publisher.

Penguin Random House Canada announced the projects on Thursday.

Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other is to be published in spring 2024.

The publisher describes it as an inspirational self-discovery and wellness book for adults featuring exclusive interviews with top psychologists, scientists and thought leaders.

“The book explores the importance of acceptance, compassion, empowerment and self-knowledge for better emotional literacy, and for our individual and collective mental health,” said a statement from the publisher.

The book, said the statement, “features deeply personal stories of the author’s own growth and transformation.”

In an Instagram posting on Thursday, Ms. Gregoire Trudeau said she had been writing the book for a year.

“Writing has always been a labour of love for me, and I had the opportunity to collaborate with amazing partners and experts to learn more about my favourite universal topic: why we think, feel and act the way we do as human beings,” Ms. Gregoire-Trudeau wrote.

Penguin Random House Canada also said their Tundra Book Group children’s publishing division will publish a picture book by the author in 2025.

“The book is intended to encourage kids to move, explore and be as connected to the great outdoors as they are to their inner emotional landscape,” said the publisher.

Few other spouses of prime ministers have written books. Ms. Gregoire Trudeau’s mother-in-law, Margaret Trudeau wrote a memoir in 1979, two years after separating from Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Maureen McTeer, the spouse of Joe Clark, wrote three books after Mr. Clark was no longer prime minister.

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G7 SUMMIT – Leaders of the Group of 7 nations, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are arriving in the Japanese city of Hiroshima this week for a two-day summit expected to be dominated by two issues: Russia’s war in Ukraine, and China. Story here.

SMITH CONTRAVENED CONFLICT ACT – As the Alberta election looms on May. 29, the province’s ethics commissioner has found that Premier Danielle Smith contravened the Conflict of Interest Act due to discussions Ms. Smith had with the province’s justice minister related to criminal charges against a Calgary pastor. Story here. Meanwhile, Ms. Smith says a party candidate who compared transgender students in schools to feces in food wouldn’t sit in her caucus if elected. Story here.

POILIEVRE RULES OUT MEETING WITH JOHNSTON – Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he chose not to meet with former governor-general David Johnston, who is investigating allegations of China’s meddling in Canada’s elections and other matters. Story here.

OTTAWA JOINING B.C. CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT – Ottawa is planning to join a B.C. class-action lawsuit that accuses McKinsey & Co. of engaging in reckless marketing campaigns to boost opioid sales, placing the Liberal government at odds with the global consulting company it has relied on for more than $100-million in contract work since 2015. Story here.

FOR THE FIRST TIME, AMAZON REVEALS CANADIAN TAX BILL – Amazon.com Inc. has revealed the total direct taxes the global tech giant incurred in Canada for the first time, saying Thursday that it spent $431-million in payroll and corporate taxes in 2021. Story here.

ONTARIO DISSOLVING PEEL REGION – Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says she’s elated and grateful that Ontario is poised to dissolve the Region of Peel, which includes Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, as she asked for fairness and equity in the process to untangle the municipalities. Story here.

BANK OF CANADA FORECASTS MORTGAGE SPIKE – The Bank of Canada estimates that mortgage borrowers will see a spike of 20 to 40 per cent in their monthly payments when they renew their loans over the next few years. Story here.

QUEBEC MINISTER UNDER FIRE FOR TEACHER COMMENTS – Quebec’s education minister has been criticized for suggesting teachers don’t deserve same pay hike as members of the Quebec legislature, scheduled to receive a 30 per cent pay raise. Story here from CBC.


TODAY IN THE COMMONS – Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, May 18, accessible here.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER’S DAY – Chrystia Freeland, also the Finance Minister, in Brampton, Ont., held private meetings, and a roundtable with local small business owners. Ms. Freeland, joined by International Trade Minister Mary Ng, was scheduled to make an announcement on small-business policy, and take media questions.

MINISTERS ON THE ROAD – Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, in Gatineau, Que., was scheduled to visit a cheese factory and announce an investment under the Supply Management Processing Investment Fund. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in Surrey, B.C., was scheduled to speak at a natural-resource industries forum organized by the Surrey Board of Trade.

SCHEER IN MANITOBA – Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer was scheduled to hold a press conference in Winnipeg in support of Branden Leslie, the Conservative candidate in the Portage-Lisgar byelection.

ALBERTA LEADERS DEBATE – There’s a televised leaders debate scheduled for this evening, 6-7 p.m. local time, in the Alberta provincial election. The co-hosts are Scott Roberts of Global and Erin Isfeld of CTV. There’s a story here setting the stage for the debate.


Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features photojournalist Amber Bracken who has visited a greenhouse above the Arctic Circle that provides fresh local produce to its community. Naurvik is located in the Inuit hamlet of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. It is becoming a new source of food for a region of Canada that suffers chronic food insecurity given how remote it is. The Decibel is here.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Seoul, South Korea, held private meeting, participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Canadian Korean War Memorial Garden, and visited the Kapyong Battle Commemorative Trail. Mr. Trudeau was then scheduled to depart from Seoul, for Hiroshima, Japan where he is to attend the G7 summit.


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, in Ottawa, held a news conference on Parliament Hill then was scheduled to deliver remarks at another news conference on a bill to strengthen the rights of crime victims. He also attended Question Period. In the evening, Mr. Poilievre was scheduled, in Toronto, to participate in a Conservative Party fundraiser on Bay Street.

Green Party Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault was scheduled to launch his campaign in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount byelection, with Leader Elizabeth May present.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, spoke with Northwest Territories Education Minister Rocky Simpson and Kandis Jameson, the Mayor of the Northwest Territories town of Hay River.

No schedules released for other party leaders.


CHARLES PASCAL – Public education expert Charles Pascal, a renowned global expert on public education, who helped usher in Ontario’s full-day kindergarten program, has died. There’s an obituary here on the member of the Order of Canada.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the Trudeau government’s industrial strategy: The thing about paying a ransom is, once word gets around, you end up with another ransom note in hand before too long. The federal and Ontario governments are learning that painful, yet predictable, lesson, now that Stellantis and LG Energy Solution seemed to have noticed that competitor Volkswagen extracted far better terms for its state-subsidized electric-vehicle battery factory than they were able to secure for their state-subsidized facility a year ago.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on whether the federal or Ontario governments even know how much Stellantis is really worth: The math justifying the massive sums that governments are paying for electric-vehicle battery plants is already so vague as to be imaginary. And now Mr. Ford is applying an imaginary constitutional principle to assert that fighting gargantuan subsidy wars is federal jurisdiction. Who knew? The feds have retorted that Ontario should be paying its “fair share,” which makes one wonder if someone in a corner of the Finance Department is working up a fairness formula using the imaginary numbers of the economic benefits to come. No one could argue with such a formula. Neither government can put a figure on an appropriate amount of subsidy because neither has ever really tried to put a value on the alleged benefits.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on François Legault’s anti-immigration crusade is coming back to bite him: “François Legault won near-unanimous approval from the party faithful at Coalition Avenir Québec’s weekend convention on Sunday. Fully 98.6 per cent of the nearly 1,000 CAQ members who attended the event reaffirmed their confidence in the CAQ co-founder, who clinched a decisive second mandate as Quebec Premier in a general election just seven months ago. Even so, the Soviet-style endorsement by CAQ members was a hollow victory for Mr. Legault. It demonstrated the utter lack of intellectual depth or curiosity within the 12-year-old party that once aimed to reform Quebec.”

Tina J. Park (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Seoul visit marks a growing coziness between Canadian and South Korea: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official visit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul this week signals a new turning point in the Canadian-Korean relationship, as the two nations vowed to work closely together on trade, energy and regional security issues. Under the slogan “Stronger Together,” the two leaders reviewed the significant progress achieved in implementing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and agreed to work closely together on economic security and freedom and democracy. The two governments also signed a memorandum of understanding on critical minerals, the clean energy transition and energy security. Such intense attention by political leaders and ministers from both sides is truly unprecedented. Yet, much work lies ahead in terms of implementing these visions and aspirations, and navigating through various levels of legal and cultural nuances.”

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