National Newswatch

A cultural policy that overlooks multiculturalism

Oct 19 2017 — George Abraham — Three days after the Trudeau government released its cultural policy framework, the political ground shifted beneath our feet. Jagmeet Singh was elected leader of the NDP and became the first person of colour to lead a federal political party in Canada. Over the course of the leadership race, I had grown tired of reading and […]

Are climate reforms in China evidence of global leadership?

Oct 18 2017 — — In the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping famously articulated the “24-character strategy,” in which he suggested that China “keep a low profile” (tao guang yang hui, or 韬光养晦) and “never claim leadership.” This status quo strategy informed China’s foreign policy for decades and became the cornerstone of its political thought throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. […]

Canada’s baffling party system

Oct 17 2017 — — The Canadian party system baffles outsiders and Canadians alike. Outsiders either cherry-pick details to suit a theory or just throw up their hands. Canadians wear the idiosyncrasy as a badge of honour; when looking for explanations they rarely look beyond the case. In The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History (UBC Press), I try to […]

Diversity in the public service’s executive ranks

Oct 16 2017 — Andrew Griffith — Annual employment equity reports for the public service show ongoing progress overall in the representation of women, visible minorities and Indigenous people, but lack detailed data regarding those classified as executives: from EX-1s, who hold the title of director, through EX-5s, who are assistant deputy ministers. Data recently released by the Treasury Board of Canada […]

Families and culture matter to reducing poverty

Oct 13 2017 — Mark Milke — In Hillbilly Elegy, his spectacularly successful book about growing up in a wretchedly dysfunctional and poor community in Ohio with cultural roots in the Appalachian mountains, the Yale-trained lawyer J.D. Vance identifies the reason why he could eventually rise out of poverty — the people closest to him: his mother, his distant father and his […]

Reforming the Indian Act to allow for online voting

Oct 12 2017 — — Today, more than 50 First Nations in Canada have deployed online voting, and many more communities are looking to follow suit. Online voting is seen as a way to promote voter access (particularly among off-reserve members) and to boost turnout, engage youth, enhance self-determination and modernize voting processes. But while online voting is used during […]

TransCanada dodged a bullet by cancelling Energy East

Oct 11 2017 — Mitchell Beer — The basic reality faced by projects like Energy East is that, like it or not, the fossil fuel era is rapidly drawing to a close. TransCanada Corporation dodged a bullet last Thursday with its decision to cancel its controversial and redundant Energy East pipeline — not that the now-jubilant opponents that lined up against the […]

A chance to get affordable housing right

Oct 5 2017 — — The federal government’s anticipated national housing strategy could launch a long-term transformation of Canada’s housing system. Or it could go down as one of the most painfully squandered opportunities in years.

News industry should feel full digital disruption

Oct 5 2017 — Erin Millar and Ian Gill — As news goes, the most noteworthy thing Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said about supporting Canada’s cultural industries last week was that the government has no interest in subsidizing unviable business models for journalism. Bravo. The newspaper industry had asked for support to help “make the transition” to digital. Paul Godfrey, chief executive officer of Postmedia […]

Gender, parenting and politics

Oct 4 2017 — Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner — When Theresa May, Britain’s current prime minister, entered politics, a newspaper reported she might have trouble securing a Conservative nomination because of her parental status: May and her husband did not have any children at the time. Years later, May’s parental status was politicized again, when Andrea Leadsom, a competitor for the Conservative Party leadership, […]

A 19th century Indian Act for 21st century objectives?

Oct 3 2017 — David Newhouse — The Indian Act is a seriously flawed piece of legislation that has persisted for over a century and become institutionalized and entrenched. Both the Indian Act and the Indian Department have evaded every attempt at substantial reform. As such the oppressive, restrictive and discriminatory principles of this 19th century legislation have been carried into the […]

Unfinished business for Canadian journalism

Oct 2 2017 — Edward Greenspon — When it comes to action ensuring the future of serious journalism in Canada, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has a much clearer idea of what she doesn’t want than what she might be willing to accept. The third pillar of Joly’s “Creative Canada” speech last week, which was about strengthening public broadcasting and local news, was […]

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 […]

A bold vision for Status of Women

Sep 27 2017 — Lauren Dobson-Hughes — Fifty years after the establishment of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, which eventually led to the creation of the Office of the Coordinator, Status of Women, it’s time to ask what’s next for the department. Established as a full ministry in 1976, Status of Women (SoW) has undergone revisions and […]