National Newswatch

Handling the public policy hot potatoes

Oct 2 2017 — Rachel Curran — A summer of discontent: how else to describe the turbulent few months in which Omar Khadr’s lawsuit was settled to the tune of $10.5 million; thousands of asylum-seekers streamed across the US-Canada border into Quebec; Canadian support for the alt-right movement reached the public consciousness with The Rebel’s presence at a white nationalist rally in […]

Policy-making and the Conservative Party

May 23 2017 — Rachel Curran — The Conservatives need an external resource that can help them develop policies for the future and go beyond variations on Stephen Harper’s agenda. As we approach the election of a new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada this weekend, this is an opportune moment to examine the health of the policy-making process in the […]

The “Mike Pence rule” and women political staff

Apr 19 2017 — Rachel Curran — Let me start by giving kudos to Mike Pence for honouring his marriage and prioritizing his family. That’s rare enough in political life to be worthy of admiration and particular note. But a recent Washington Post profile of the Vice-President’s wife, Karen, highlighted a less admirable side of his family values: “he never eats alone […]

Parliament returns, policy work ramps up

Sep 19 2016 — Rachel Curran — The Liberal government is about to enter the first full parliamentary year of its mandate, and the policy machinery is already in full motion. Because the House of Commons normally sits for nine months per year – far more often than provincial legislatures – the parliamentary calendar determines the pace and content of the political […]

Why Trudeau needs to embrace expenditure reviews

Jul 4 2016 — Rachel Curran — In March of this year, the new Liberal government released its first budget, forecasting a $30-billion deficit in 2016-17 alone. It remains to be seen whether the Liberal government will be able to reduce or even keep stable the debt-to-GDP ratio over the next four years. What is clear is that even with its commitment […]

Will “deliverology” work for the federal government?

Apr 27 2016 — Rachel Curran — In January, the newly minted government of Justin Trudeau held its first cabinet retreat. Cabinet retreats are usually held twice a year, and they are theoretically designed to allow ministers to engage in a broader discussion of issues and strategy beyond any one particular file. At its inaugural retreat, the cabinet heard from Sir Michael […]