National Newswatch

‘Put your own health at risk, but my health? No’: MPs, Senators calling on all colleagues to be fully vaxxed for Parliament’s return next month

Oct 15 2021 — Mike Lapointe — With Parliament set to return five weeks from now, some Senators and MPs say all Parliamentarians should be fully vaccinated before returning to in-person sittings in both the House and the Senate, after many months of hybrid sittings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, B.C.) said he believes the one thing […]

Election campaign call ‘critical’ for O’Toole to break through and bridge gap with Liberals following pandemic, say politicos

Jul 21 2021 — Mike Lapointe — With election speculation swirling and party leaders beginning to criss-cross the country, strategists and political observers say that although Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole may not have a lot of time left available to further endear himself to voters, an election call will wake Canadians up from a pandemic political slumber. This could benefit the opposition […]

Black public servants’ class-action suit litigants seeking $100-million mental health fund from feds

Jul 14 2021 — Mike Lapointe — The legal team representing hundreds of current and former Black federal employees now part of a proposed multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit against the federal government has filed a motion in federal court for the government to implement a $100-million mental health fund to address mental injuries and ongoing challenges faced by Black public service workers. The […]

From shutdown to ‘hybrid,’ prorogation, voting app, and the ‘undermining of democracy’: MPs, politicos weigh in on Canada’s ‘pandemic Parliament’

Jul 12 2021 — Mike Lapointe — From the early warnings about what would become the COVID-19 pandemic, to the public health restrictions in March 2020, the WE Charity scandal, hundreds of billions of dollars of approved spending, and most recently, a contempt of Parliament motion, Canada’s historic and unprecedented 43rd “hybrid” Parliament has been unlike any other, says MPs and politicos. […]

‘It’s getting worse, we’re going backwards’: Ontario MPs say constituents confused, frustrated, angry with vaccine supply issues, and partisan ‘finger-pointing’ as COVID cases skyrocket

Apr 19 2021 — Mike Lapointe — Canada’s most populous province is facing an increasingly uphill battle in reining in the pandemic with new cases of COVID-19 hitting all-time highs last week, intensive-care units stretched to capacity, and what a number of Ontario MPs describe as confusion, frustration, and anger with the vaccine rollout among their constituents. Ontario recorded 4,250 new COVID-19 […]

More than 520 plaintiffs now part of Black public servants’ $900-million class-action lawsuit against government, as feds enlist Bay Street law firm

Mar 8 2021 — Mike Lapointe — More than 520 current and former Black federal public servants are now part of a $900-million class-action lawsuit that is alleging decades-long government discrimination, lack of advancement opportunities, and harassment. Three months ago, there were 12 representative plaintiffs. After three months of waiting to hear from Ottawa, the suit’s leading lawyer says the government has […]

MPs, experts reeling following Vance allegations, McDonald’s voluntary departure from top military post

Mar 1 2021 — Mike Lapointe — The probe into the explosive allegations against the country’s former top soldier of an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female subordinate may finally address the sexist culture in Canada’s military, say experts, but some say the culture change won’t happen overnight and one says the rank-and-file of the Canadian Armed Forces “expect to have leaders […]

Conservatives need to chart ‘uniquely Canadian’ vision of party in wake of Capitol Hill riot, say political players

Jan 18 2021 — Mike Lapointe — Multiple Conservatives, including party leader Erin O’Toole, have publicly condemned the violent insurrection that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and left five dead. But Canadian strategists, pollsters, and experts say the party still has work to do to address some of the Trump-style, divisive politics within its ranks and that it has to […]

‘Society is a community, it’s not something you hold at arm’s length’: legal scholar Gregory Tardi on his new book Anatomy of an Election

Jan 4 2021 — Mike Lapointe — Knowledge about elections is an “absolutely fundamental” aspect of citizenship, says Greg Tardi, long-time public servant, legal scholar, and author of the new book, Anatomy of an Election: Canada’s Federal General Election of 2019 Through the Lens of Political Law. “If you’re going to be a member of society, then I think the best way […]

Canada’s Arctic ‘a serious border we must master and manage,’ says leading security expert, as accelerating climate change dramatically alters the North

Dec 31 2020 — Mike Lapointe — As accelerating climate change continues to radically alter this country’s vast, disparately populated, and resource-rich Arctic landscape, Canadians, politicians and policy-makers should no longer view the region as a “distant tundra,” according to security expert Irvin Studin, who argues that Canada should be regarded as a “major Arctic country” with a “serious border that we must […]

Chagger talks diversity, anti-racism strategy rollout, and COVID-19 as turbulent 2020 comes to a close

Dec 28 2020 — Mike Lapointe — First elected in 2015, Canada’s federal Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger has blazed a few trails. She was the first female politician elected in her riding of Waterloo, Ont., the first female government House leader, and is now the first-ever minister for diversity and inclusion and youth who’s in charge of […]

Association of Justice Counsel files grievance against Canadian Human Rights Commission, amid ongoing complaints of racism, discrimination

Dec 22 2020 — Mike Lapointe — The Association of Justice Counsel filed a grievance against the Canadian Human Rights Commission last week on behalf of its Black and racialized members, and, according to a number of sources with information about the commission’s operations, they say there is ongoing systemic discrimination and a disproportionate dismissal of race-based complaints at the commission. The […]

Black civil servants’ $900-million proposed class action lawsuit against feds a ‘logical, natural’ next step, says NDP MP Green

Dec 9 2020 — Mike Lapointe — A proposed class-action lawsuit by 12 former and current Black federal public servants alleging that Black employees have been systematically excluded from advancement and subjected to discrimination within the government for decades is a “logical, natural next step, given that it’s clear that many people feel like their issues haven’t been resolved or dealt with […]

‘He’s an extremely strategic thinker’: new PHAC president steps into key role in midst of pandemic, must prioritize better data collection efforts on vaccine registry, say top experts

Nov 9 2020 — Mike Lapointe — The new head of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Iain Stewart, who stepped into the top post in the middle of the global pandemic six weeks ago, should focus more on improving overall data collection across the country, better coordinate efforts on finding a vaccine for COVID-19 and more effectively consult front-line workers who […]

‘Six systemic crises’ confronting Canada, and politicians, policy-makers, health-care professionals need ‘systems thinking’ to tackle them, says public policy expert

Oct 19 2020 — Mike Lapointe — Politicians, policy-makers, and health-care professionals have been too busy focusing on beating back the pandemic and trying to ensure Canadians are shielded from the worst of the economic fallout while there are six larger, systemic crises that have the potential to dwarf the trauma already experienced in this country if left unchecked, according to Irvin […]