National Newswatch

Party leaders putting party staffers in dicey position by taking wrong-smelling wage subsidy

May 27 2020 — Tim Powers — On the surface, it is symbolically stupid for Canadian political parties—including the federal Liberals, Conservatives, and New Democrats—to be claiming the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). While they are eligible to receive this support because they are classified as not-for-profit organizations and therefore able to get assistance, it just smells wrong. Why? While this likely […]

MacKay leadership camp touts strength in numbers

May 27 2020 — Laura Ryckewaert — Former Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay is fighting to lead the party he once helped found, and his team, led by former MP Alex Nuttall, is touting strength in numbers, claiming a lead in membership sales to go with a lead in notable endorsements and funds raised to date.

Health agency reveals race-based data guideline as calls grow for nation-wide collection

May 27 2020 — Samantha Wright Allen — In response to calls for better demographic data to understand health inequities and COVID-19, this week the Canadian Institute for Health Information is releasing an interim race data standard that public health agencies can use. Many advocates, though, are pushing for more than advice, saying the federal government has a leadership role to play to […]

‘Doing democracy by Zoom just not the same as being there in the House’: rookie MPs missing out on parliamentary experience

May 25 2020 — Abbas Rana — Some of the 98 rookie MPs elected in the last election say they’re missing out on the cut-and-thrust of Ottawa’s parliamentary experience as Canada’s federal lawmakers, and a Conservative MP says if there’s an early election this could become “the forgotten Parliament,” the one during the global pandemic. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the […]

Revival of Upper Chamber’s Progressive Group will ‘weaken’ Senate leaders, says Sen. Pierre Dalphond

May 25 2020 — Peter Mazereeuw — The Progressive Senate Group’s reclamation of official status last week will give more freedom to Senators unhappy with their affiliation, and weaken the leadership teams in the Red Chamber, says Sen. Pierre Dalphond, who left the Independent Senators Group that dominates the Senate last week to join the PSG. Sen. Dalphond (De Lorimier, Que.) was […]

As feds move from crisis management to transition, Parliament will require a ‘different manner’ and an ‘adaptive response,’ say experts

May 25 2020 — — As the federal government prepares to transition to a new normal in the fight against COVID-19, experts say the priorities the Liberals spotlighted in the last election will change, that the government could outline its new approach in a Throne Speech in the fall, and that the next phase of transition will require a “different […]

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.

O’Toole campaign attacks MacKay in new online ads

May 21 2020 — Peter Mazereeuw — Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party leadership campaign released two digital ads attacking rival Peter MacKay this week, proclaiming that he can’t beat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a federal election. “He just can’t handle the pressure,” quips a male voiceover in one of the ads, which features clips of Mr. MacKay reacting to questions from CBC […]

It’s time for a Conservative eye exam because the Tories can’t read the room

May 20 2020 — Erica Ifill — Congratulations Conservatives, you played yourselves. On May 12, Ekos Research released its latest polling results that captured political support amid the coronavirus pandemic. And boy, were they revealing. The landscape has changed dramatically over the last few months since the federal election in October, when the Liberals were handed a minority in Parliament. Now they’re […]

Big ideas needed in CPC’s snoozefest of a leadership race

May 20 2020 — Tim Powers — A key date has been passed in the Conservative Party’s leadership race. Friday, May 15 was the last day for people to join the party to vote in the contest. Peter MacKay’s team claims to have out-done his competitors in signing people up. While it is hard to verify the accuracy of the campaign’s assertion, […]

Senate playing catch-up on Centre Block renovation plans, but Red Chamber’s footprint to remain untouched

May 20 2020 — Laura Ryckewaert — After a slow start to the year, Senators are playing catch-up on proposed plans for the Centre Block building’s renovation and construction of the final Visitors’ Welcome Centre, with the Upper Chamber’s oversight subcommittee still being formed, but Alberta Senator Scott Tannas says he thinks so long as it gets underway soon, Senators will still […]

Oil demand drop, renewable energy resiliency prompts calls for federal clean energy investment in economic recovery

May 20 2020 — Mike Lapointe — Following recent evidence showing that renewable energy hasn’t shared the same fate as oil and gas, which have seen recent and dramatic drops in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Green Party MP Elizabeth May is calling on the federal government to support the renewable sector over the beleaguered oil sands, with a number of environmental […]