National Newswatch

Post controversy, Green Party executive director position remains unfilled

Jan 20 2021 — — Three months after the Green Party’s executive director exited his post amid controversy, the position remains unfilled, and, as speculation of an early election mounts, a party spokesperson says the search for a replacement has yet to begin. Prateek Awasthi started his job as the Green Party’s executive director in May 2020, becoming the first […]

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 […]

NCC proposal for new embassy row could boost diplomatic presence away from the Hill

Jan 13 2021 — — If a new National Capital Commission embassy row proposal receives the City of Ottawa’s approval, it could grow the diplomatic presence further from the hub of the Parliamentary Precinct and the traditional locale of most embassies in Ottawa, which might lead some foreign missions to be skeptical about moving into the proposed new buildings. The […]

Trudeau told Liberals’ national board of directors ‘it looks like’ a spring election, according to a Liberal source, but Grits say it will happen based on important conditions

Jan 11 2021 — Abbas Rana — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose Liberals are enjoying a comfortable lead in public opinion polls, told members of the party’s national board of directors before Christmas that “it looks like” the next election would happen this spring, said one source, but other sources say a spring election will only happen if the vaccine rollout is […]

Trump’s incitement of mob hopefully a wake-up call for senior Republicans, but America’s standing as ‘beacon of democracy’ damaged, say Canadian Parliamentarians

Jan 8 2021 — — Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump’s incitement of hundreds of his supporters to stymie the certification of the electoral results may leave him somewhat diminished, serving as a wake-up call for Republican leadership, say some Parliamentarians, but the violent attack is likely to scar America’s image as a beacon of democracy. For many, the assault on […]

Politicians ‘should have known better’ than to travel, says ‘disappointed’ Trudeau

Jan 6 2021 — Samantha Wright Allen — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chastised politicians—including two in his caucus—who “should have known better” than to travel over the holidays and undermine public health messaging. “As leaders, we’ve been encouraging and exhorting Canadians to continue to do the right thing, so it is unfortunate to see a number of politicians not taking their own advice,” […]

‘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 […]

Future of Canada’s Middle East strategy ‘under consideration’ as it puts leadership of NATO training mission in rearview mirror

Dec 29 2020 — Neil Moss — As Canada looks back on the two years of commanding a NATO capacity-building mission in Iraq, which experts say had success but was overshadowed by monumental events on the ground, it now has to plan its future presence in the region. When the Liberal government came to power in 2015, it initiated a three-year Middle […]

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 […]

New veterans watchdog says she has ‘solid mandate,’ working ‘flat out’ in first weeks on the job

Dec 24 2020 — Samantha Wright Allen — Canada’s new veterans watchdog Nishika Jardine says her office has a “solid” mandate and will not be “hampered in any way” by the reporting structure to a cabinet minister rather than Parliament, as her predecessor has suggested. The former Army officer officially started the five-year appointment on Nov. 23, less than two weeks after 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 […]

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 […]