National Newswatch

Unconscious bias training for Senators, staff coming to the Upper Chamber

Feb 17 2021 — Laura Ryckewaert — With heightened attention in the Red Chamber on the issue of systemic racism, the Senate plans to introduce voluntary, online unconscious bias training for Senators, their staff, and the Senate administration this spring, with other efforts to address diversity and inclusion in the works. The Senate Internal Economy, Budgets, and Administration Committee, known as CIBA, […]

A seat at the table: inside efforts to boost diversity, Black representation in federal candidate nominations

Feb 10 2021 — Laura Ryckewaert — Achieving a representative House of Commons requires diversity among the candidates nominated for election, and since 2019, new efforts are being made both within political parties and beyond to increase diversity, including Black representation, in federal politics. But new rules only go as far as a party has the will to take them, and Samara […]

Trans Mountain work stoppage continues, as CPC’s McLean says project ‘even more important’ post-U.S. axing of Keystone XL

Jan 27 2021 — Laura Ryckewaert — Weeks after work was set to resume, construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion remains halted, though the company hasn’t amended its December 2022 estimated readiness, and after U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to axe the Keystone XL pipeline, Conservative MP Greg McLean says the project is “even more important” for Canada. Construction on the […]

Renovating Centre Block: inside the plans, possibilities, and priorities of the building’s overhaul

Dec 23 2020 — Laura Ryckewaert — It’s been two years since MPs, Senators, and staff cleared out of Centre Block to allow for the building’s renovation. Now, interior demolition work is close to halfway complete, with exterior masonry restoration to begin in the new year, starting on the building’s north façade. “The history of Canada really resounds within this building, so […]

New research highlights anxiety, stress on MP, Senate staff during COVID-19

Dec 16 2020 — Laura Ryckewaert — Work as a political staffer is never easy, and recent research by Carleton University professor Paul Wilson exploring the experience of staff during COVID-19 found that, despite much parliamentary work slowing down, the pandemic exacerbated the usual stresses, with a majority of staff working longer hours, fielding increased calls and requests from constituents, all while […]

Next CPC leader likely to be announced in virtual event, bringing challenges and potential benefits, say strategists

Jul 29 2020 — Laura Ryckewaert — Plans are still being finalized, but thanks to COVID-19, the next leader of the federal Conservative Party will likely be announced in a virtual event, a forced reality strategists say creates the risk of a “lost opportunity” for the party and more impetus for the race winner to hit the ground running. “The concern is […]

Disaggregated data key to ensuring representative workplaces, say experts, as PMO skirts Black staff statistic

Jul 8 2020 — Laura Ryckewaert — A recent Hill Times survey seeking to understand the demographics of staff on Parliament Hill found that, among a small pool of respondent MP offices, 42 per cent of staff identified as a visible minority, while 5.3 per cent identified as Black, but a comparison to cabinet offices, including the Prime Minister’s Office, isn’t possible […]