National Newswatch

We must all create a culture of respect in the Twittersphere

Jun 25 2017 — Tiffany Gooch — We, as a society, have yet to determine exactly what we are looking for from political leaders on Twitter. We want authenticity, decorum and facts. And based on our sharing habits, it is clear that we want to be entertained. We demand rapid response on issues that are important to us. We expect well thought […]

In Quebec, the sovereignty issue is in deep freeze

Jun 24 2017 — Chantal Hébert — There was time not so long ago when the very notion of a federal government funding some June 24th festivities in Quebec would have raised eyebrows on both sides of the federalist-sovereigntist divide. Ottawa has long contributed to the financing of St-Jean-Baptiste celebrations in the rest of Canada, but it had abstained from associating itself […]

A hard NDP shift to the left in the Corbyn, Sanders era

Jun 23 2017 — Tim Harper — One thing for certain, we know they all promise to be bold. “I have put together a bold plan,” says Guy Caron. “I have a bold and unapologetic . . . social democratic vision,” says Jagmeet Singh. Peter Julian is also “bold and unapologetic,” in his social democratic platform. “We must be bold and progressive,” […]

Canadian pot ads? Think beer ads. Then think again

Jun 23 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Beer commercials have taught Canadians how to celebrate their weekends — and occasionally, their national identity. So what are we going to learn from ads for marijuana? Pot will be legal by July 1 next year, but don’t count on an accompanying flurry of patriotic, “Cannabis Day” advertising. Though lots of Canadians may greet this […]

Justin Trudeau’s security bill is a lot like Stephen Harper’s

Jun 23 2017 — — With its new national security legislation, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has pulled off quite a coup. It has kept some of the worst elements of former prime minister Stephen Harper’s widely discredited Bill C-51. But so far, it has managed to do so without creating much political flak. When Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale unveiled […]

Ontario Liberals embed 2019 minimum wage hike in new law

Jun 22 2017 — Robert Benzie — A Progressive Conservative government would be forced to change labour laws in order to derail the $15-a-hour minimum wage increase that takes effect six months after the June 2018 election. In an unusual move, the Liberals have embedded the increase in the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act being studied this summer by an all-party committee. […]

Some parliamentary stars shine as one loses glow

Jun 21 2017 — Chantal Hébert — With the House of Commons adjourning for the summer, time for a look in the rearview mirror at four leading MPs who were on their game over the first half of the parliamentary year … and at one who was off. 1. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale took almost two years to come up with […]

Spy bill allows government security agency to collect ‘publicly available’ info on Canadians

Jun 21 2017 — Alex Boutilier — The Liberals’ new national security legislation would confirm the Communications Security Establishment’s power to collect “publicly available” information about Canadians. New language in Bill C-59 outlines CSE’s ability to obtain and analyze any information already in the public realm, including aggregate information that relates to Canadians. The spy agency is strictly prohibited from targeting Canadians […]

Despite risk of cyber attacks, political parties still handle Canadians’ data with no rules in place

Jun 19 2017 — Alex Boutilier — Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould says it’s not the time to implement basic privacy and security rules for political parties’ collection of Canadians’ personal data, despite warning those parties are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Speaking with the Star on Friday, Gould said she decided on a voluntary approach for parties to meet and discuss vulnerabilities […]

Naomi Klein’s wake-up call in Trumpy times

Jun 19 2017 — Heather Mallick — What is to be done? Naomi Klein must know. She wrote No Logo in 1999 about corporate branding, and now we see a Trump presidency — a brand more than an office — used to make private money out of electoral power. And then she wrote 2007’s The Shock Doctrine about disasters used as shocks […]