National Newswatch

Johnston reprises role as ‘adult in the room’ as special rapporteur on foreign interference, but a ‘big question mark’ remains on timeline and scope, say observers

Mar 17 2023 — Ian Campbell — At a time of rising tensions on alleged foreign interference in Canada’s federal elections, David Johnston’s selection for the role of special rapporteur shows he has “emerged as the adult in the room” who Canada turns to whenever there is a “political quagmire that needs sorting,” says political scientist Lori Turnbull. “I think he has […]

Premiers ‘feeling the heat’ on health care must show results on ‘vote-determining’ issue, strategists say

Feb 16 2023 — Ian Campbell — The decision by Canada’s premiers to accept the federal offer on health care may buy “a little bit of quietude” for both orders of government, but that doesn’t mean “the political pressure is off yet,” say strategists. “This is not falling out of the news,” said Conservative strategist Tim Powers. “The system is not going […]

Feds ‘walk the tightrope’ with health-care offer, but ‘culture change’ needed to reform system, says health expert

Feb 10 2023 — Ian Campbell — The federal offer to the premiers of $46.2-billion in new health-care funding over 10 years will help to “put out the flames” for a medical system in crisis, but it must be part of a larger solution to achieving meaningful health improvements for Canadians, says UBC health policy professor Paul Kershaw. “Part of the medical […]

No ‘fix for a generation?’ Past health-care deals offer lessons to first ministers preparing to meet on Feb. 7

Feb 5 2023 — Ian Campbell — As the first ministers prepare to gather and hammer out a deal on health care, which federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos hopes will deliver a “transformation” of the ailing system, their negotiations will become part of a long history of inter-jurisdictional wrangling since Ottawa waded into the file shortly after the end of the Second […]

MPs ‘are listening to Kirsty right now,’ says Status of Women committee chair, following ex-minister Duncan’s comments on abuse in sport

Jan 31 2023 — Ian Campbell — Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan’s public call on government to make sports safer has caught the attention of MPs across party lines and “amplified every other athlete’s voice,” says Conservative MP Karen Vecchio. Vecchio (Elgin-Middlesex-London, Ont.), who chairs the Status of Women Committee, told The Hill Times that she is “so proud” of Duncan (Etobicoke North, […]

Central bank’s ‘definitive’ language on pausing future rate hikes an ‘appropriate’ choice, say economists

Jan 27 2023 — Ian Campbell — Many observers were pleased with the Bank of Canada’s “definitive” language that its latest interest rate hike will likely be the last for some time—barring unexpected circumstances—but there was less consensus among economists on how different segments of Canadians will experience the bank’s monetary tightening. “It’s pretty definitive that if things unfold the way they […]

Signs of Ontario inching towards a health-care deal may ‘break the logjam’ so other provinces follow suit, as premiers’ united front shows cracks

Jan 20 2023 — Ian Campbell — Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s recent health-care announcements may “break the logjam” in ongoing tensions between the provinces and federal government on health care, and show Ford’s willingness to “take the punch” when putting forward politically risky ideas, say strategists. “I think that often the federal government, and maybe other premiers, need Doug Ford to take […]

Selecting Commons clerk needs ‘unanimity’ from all parties, say opposition MPs after critics pan past process

Jan 3 2023 — Ian Campbell — Conservative MP Chris Warkentin says hiring the last House clerk was an “unmitigated disaster,” but he believes the government “understands the mistake” and—based on initial conversations with Liberal colleagues about the replacement process—there is “an appetite to not have the same situation happen again.” “I believe that the government understands the mistake that was made […]

As NDP ups pressure on health care, a PM focused on re-election may not want to make supply-and-confidence deal last, says strategist

Dec 23 2022 — Ian Campbell — NDP threats to withdraw from the supply-and-confidence agreement over a mounting health-care crisis may not get the attention of a prime minister who observers say looks increasingly less concerned about making this Parliament last a full term. Former Conservative staffer Yan Plante told The Hill Times the circumstances for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) […]

Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike came with ‘big shift’ in messaging and leaves significant ‘room to manoeuvre,’ say observers

Dec 9 2022 — Ian Campbell — The Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike of 50 basis points was notable not so much for the increase itself, say policy experts, as for hints of the “possibility” the central bank could move in a different direction in the new year. “The most interesting thing was the forward guidance, I believe, has changed,” […]

Feds should view Alberta Sovereignty Act as ‘a warning’ that needs careful ‘wait-and-see’ response, say strategists

Dec 2 2022 — Ian Campbell — Observers say Alberta Premier Danielle Smith would “love nothing more” than for Ottawa to take an aggressive response to her proposed sovereignty act, but instead the federal government should use a “unique Canadian strategy” to shape the narrative: “boring them to death.” Smith unveiled her much-anticipated bill—officially titled the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada […]

Canadian response to U.S. Inflation Reduction Act should seek to boost ‘certainty’ for investors, says advocacy group

Nov 18 2022 — Ian Campbell — The landmark United States Inflation Reduction Act poses economic challenges and opportunities for Canada, say observers, but a chief response to the American law incentivizing industrial decarbonization must be to address the investor “certainty” it creates in contrast to the Canadian regime. Michael Bernstein, executive director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity, said the certainty the […]