National Newswatch

Unanimous consent motion can restore committees in one swoop, but Trudeau Liberals could ‘monkey wrench’ effort, says NDP

Sep 7 2020 — Beatrice Paez — The Liberals may not have the numbers in a minority Parliament to overwhelm the opposition’s push to revive stalled committee probes in the WE controversy and other matters, but parliamentary experts say there are a few ways they can “monkey wrench” the effort. With Parliament prorogued until Sept. 23, most committees are unable to meet. […]

O’Toole’s pitch for inclusiveness a salve after losing election dogged by divisive internal issues, say strategists, MPs

Aug 26 2020 — Beatrice Paez — Conservative MP Erin O’Toole’s victory speech delivered a “forward-looking” vision for the party, say political strategists and MPs, that offers a preview of how he will seek to straddle the disparate factions within its blue tent. The MP for Durham, Ont., clinched a thumping victory over former Harper cabinet minister Peter MacKay early Monday morning. […]

Party conventions, venue for preaching to ‘the converted,’ could be in for revamp as parties plan for coronavirus contingencies

May 21 2020 — Beatrice Paez — The barnstorming of far-flung ridings, posing for grip-and-grin photo-ops, and holding glitzy fundraisers have all been abandoned in the face of the coronavirus. Large-scale party conventions could be next, as some parties are either working to prepare for scaled-back, virtual events, or choosing to delay their initial plans.

‘Canada’s forgotten public health emergency’: opioid crisis rages amid the pandemic, says former Harper aide

Apr 15 2020 — Beatrice Paez — With public health officials largely preoccupied with beating back the spread of the stealthy coronavirus, Benjamin Perrin, a former senior aide to then-prime minister Stephen Harper, says the collision of the pandemic with the opioid crisis has the makings of a “perfect storm.” Given that a potential vaccine for COVID-19 is still likely many months, […]

Challenges to virtual sittings not insurmountable, say MPs, experts, but reforms should reflect House’s diversity

Apr 9 2020 — Beatrice Paez — In the absence of daily televised parliamentary sittings, many MPs have been consigned to the sidelines of the pandemic, operating largely behind the scenes as they tend to constituency issues and keep tabs on the federal government’s evolving and unprecedented response to the coronavirus. But the looming prospect of convening the House virtually holds the […]

Advocate calling for a simplified suicide hotline number gets ally in Sen. Batters

Feb 19 2020 — Beatrice Paez — A mental health advocate is appealing to MPs and Senators to rally behind an effort to shorten the 11-digit national suicide hotline to three digits. Kathleen Finlay, the founder of Zer0Now Campaign, a sexual trauma and mental health advocacy group, said simplifying the hotline to an “easy-to-remember” number—988—would be a life-saving measure when “seconds count.”

‘Only a Conservative government can keep this country united,’ Scheer says amid internal party divisions

Nov 29 2019 — Beatrice Paez — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he will continue to make the case for leading the party into the next election, despite unrelenting calls for his resignation. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Scheer announced that Leona Alleslev, an ex-Liberal who crossed the floor last year, will be stepping into the role of deputy leader. Mr. […]

Trudeau says climate change a unifying priority in divided Parliament

Oct 23 2019 — Beatrice Paez — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians expect their next Parliament to develop strong climate measures and to address pervasive concerns about the cost of living. In his first press conference since winning a minority government on Oct. 21, Mr. Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) told reporters gathered at the National Press Theatre on Oct. 23 he intends […]

‘My ancestors did not survive 300 years of slavery to feel like I had an overseer’: systemic change needed at Equal Voice after three racialized women fired, say women’s rights advocates

Aug 5 2019 — Beatrice Paez — Some women’s rights advocates are casting doubt on whether Equal Voice, a multi-partisan organization that seeks to increase gender diversity in politics, can effectively represent racialized women in the wake of its recent decision to fire three young women of colour who say they were brought in to address institutional blindspots. The non-profit group founded […]

Pollsters split on poll aggregators’ use of data, but do caution ‘buyer beware’ for the public

Jul 29 2019 — Beatrice Paez — Several Canadian pollsters are divided on whether poll aggregators can repurpose their data without consent, though some are concerned with how all the numbers get packaged for public consumption. The work of poll aggregators has come under renewed scrutiny after veteran pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research recently got into a Twitter scrap with CBC’s […]