National Newswatch
Jul 6 2020 —

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking a pass on a meeting this week with U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Trudeau’s office says he wishes the two countries and their leaders well but Trudeau will remain in Ottawa for a cabinet retreat and a scheduled sitting of Parliament. Lopez Obrador […]

Jul 6 2020 — Abbas Rana

The next leader of the federal Conservatives will have to take immediate steps to stop sniping between rival camps within the party, before it draws public attention away from the COVID-19 pandemic and becomes a “cancer” for the party, warn political insiders. “Right now, it’s inside baseball,” said pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research, in […]

Jul 6 2020 —

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is naming Bob Rae as Canada’s new ambassador to the United Nations. He announced the appointment this morning. It’s the latest appointment for the former Ontario premier under Trudeau, after having been Canada’s special envoy for humanitarian and immigration issues and, before that, special envoy to Myanmar. The 71-year-old was interim […]

Stalled Liberal agenda awaits fall return of Parliament

Jul 6 2020 — Peter Mazereeuw

The Liberal government has plenty of work left to do as MPs begin their summer recess, with a stalled legislative agenda and high-profile promises awaiting Parliament’s return this fall. It’s not yet clear what the return of Parliament will look like. The House of Commons has adjourned until Sept. 21. By default, that would mean […]

Jul 6 2020 —

A racist poster featuring the N-word that appeared in an office at the Department of National Defence has now become the focus of an investigation ordered by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The case relates to a 2016 incident in which a supervisor at DND in Ottawa put up a flyer in a kitchenette showing a […]

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Jul 5 2020 — Amanda Connolly

The massive federal deficit created by the unprecedented coronavirus emergency response could take more than 10 years to get under control, one economist suggests. In an interview with The West Block guest host Robin Gill, the B.C. Business Council’s chief economist, Ken Peacock, speculated that while some economic activity might normalize more quickly, the $260-billion […]

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Featured Ink

Why the disconnect between knowledge and policy action in long-term care?

Jul 6 2020 — Leonora (Nora) C Angeles

The concentration of COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities across Canada, responsible for an estimated 82 percent of total deaths, has exposed and magnified lingering, systemic issues in senior care. But why doesn’t knowledge translate into action, and what can we do about the knowledge-action gap? There is no shortage of academic research and public […]

Canada resets its China policy in reaction to Hong Kong moves

Jul 4 2020 — Daphne Bramham

For decades, Canada’s political, academic and corporate elites have been heavily invested in the belief that with engagement China could be coaxed into something resembling a rights-based, citizen-focused country. Close ties have been established between universities here and there. Judges, lawyers, artists, journalists along with politicians from every level including school boards, have been part […]

In Canada, it matters who has jurisdiction and who does not

Jul 6 2020 — John Milloy

As Canada emerges from COVID-19, our public policy to-do list is very long: long-term care; precarious workers; systemic racism in policing and other institutions; jobs; and poverty — to name just a few. Justin Trudeau better step up — right? Get with the program, people. Canada is a federation in which responsibilities are divided between […]

Have the lessons of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic train disaster been learned?

Jul 6 2020 —

July 6, 2020, is the seventh anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster, which killed 47 people and orphaned 26 children, spilled an unprecedented six million litres of explosive Bakken shale oil, and incinerated the centre of this Québec town. It was the worst rail accident since Confederation. The people of Lac-Mégantic were victims of […]

How the COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate job transformation

Jul 5 2020 — Linda Nazareth

Is job transformation the same thing as job loss? One hopes not, or many Canadian workers may find themselves looking for work sooner rather than later. Right now, we are dealing with job loss caused by an unprecedented need to shut down the economy to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Beyond the pandemic, however, the bigger […]

Walking the ‘gig economy’ tightrope

Jul 5 2020 — Sunira Chaudhri

The gig economy as we know it is reinventing itself. The June 26, 2020 decision released by the Supreme Court of Canada allows Uber drivers the right to start a $400 million dollar class action lawsuit against Uber, claiming they should be given the same rights as employees. While the win is limited to Uber […]

How anti-Black racism on Canadian university campuses robs us all

Jul 4 2020 —

I attended Western University in the early 2000s with a cohort of first-generation Black Canadian friends from my high school in Ajax, Ont. At Western, we became active in the Black Student Association (BSA). The BSA pushed the department of English to offer a course on African American literature. They were reportedly told by the […]

Jul 4 2020 — David Olive

We are at least a year away from getting vaccines that protect us from COVID-19. While not a blessing, we will need that time to plan history’s biggest mass inoculation. There will be no “silver bullet” vaccine. Instead, it is expected that several viable vaccines will emerge from laboratories worldwide, but each with limited, specific […]

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Jul 3 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald

Brian Mulroney was sitting out the pandemic lockdown with his wife Mila at their winter home in Palm Beach a few weeks ago, when he began receiving notes from Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of the Globe and Mail. Crawley explained that the paper was launching a series of opinion pieces called the Zero Canada Project […]

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Jul 2 2020 — Paul Wells

There is a notion, apparently widespread, in the political alumni club that on some key issues we don’t actually have a prime minister. Here’s an odd thing about this interview Brian Mulroney gave the Globe the other day about Canada and China. As interventions from foreign-policy heavyweights of a certain age go, this one was […]

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Jul 3 2020 — Lorrie Goldstein

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t had any problem using the vast resources of the federal government to hand out almost $169 billion to Canadians in COVID-19 relief. Given that, it’s hard to understand why his government was incapable of administering, on its own, a $912-million grant to post-secondary students to do volunteer work. And it’s […]

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Jul 3 2020 —

The prime minister is right that we should not capitulate to China and free Meng Wanzhou, CFO of telecom giant Huawei, held on extradition charges in her Vancouver mansion, in exchange for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, brutally imprisoned in China on bogus charges of espionage. Although the Michaels and their families are suffering terribly, […]

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Jul 2 2020 — Andrew Coyne

Oh, by the way, Hong Kong just disappeared. You may have been distracted by other things, what with Canada Day celebrations and baseball’s pending return and all. Certainly you would not have been disturbed by anything your government did or said about it. But it is true: What once was the world’s freest city, a […]

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Jul 3 2020 — Carlo Handy Charles and Veronica Øverlid

The federal government has rolled out a $9-billion aid package for Canadian students affected by the pandemic. But not only have many international students been left out of the program because of its eligibility criteria; some are being asked to pay even higher tuition fees. Several Canadian universities are hiking tuition fees for international students […]

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Jul 2 2020 —

Brian Mulroney is having a moment, and it’s not a senior moment. He is stirring things up and speaking out on the most important public policy challenges facing our country. It is time to reflect upon his domestic and foreign policy achievements as prime minister and, more importantly, to listen to what this wise elder […]

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