National Newswatch

Alberta, Quebec, and the politics of equalization

Oct 13 2021 — Olivier Jacques, Daniel Béland and André Lecours — On Oct. 18, 2021, Alberta is holding two referendums along with municipal and Senate elections. One focuses on the federal equalization program. Albertans will be asked: “Should Section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 – Parliament and the Government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments ­– be removed from the Constitution?” […]

Provinces must play a role in fair taxation

Sep 24 2021 — — All governments in Canada will face challenging fiscal circumstances over the next few years because the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in appropriate but very significant deficits. Governments will need additional revenues to fund a stronger, more inclusive recovery, as well as deal with urgent crises like inequality and climate change. However, recent provincial budgets already […]

Early lessons on electoral participation and modernizing elections after the pandemic

Sep 20 2021 — Ann Dickie and Sanjay Ruparelia — Many democracies have confronted a key challenge since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020: how to balance public safety and electoral participation. However, many of the changes introduced to meet this imperative were already in existence, at least in part, before the pandemic arrived, and their ramifications will extend beyond our current […]

It’s time for a digital democracy detox

Sep 15 2021 — Sabreena Delhon — At its best, social media is a powerful tool to improve our democracy, providing a way to hold politicians to account, share information and express ideas as well as disagreement. For those seeking office, social media has become a vital tool to manage and execute campaigns – a way to connect with constituents, demonstrate authenticity […]

How to alienate female voters, the CPC way

Aug 26 2021 — Max Fawcett — In the annals of annoying portmanteaus, the phrase “she-cession” doesn’t even come close to the top 10. But when it comes to triggering Conservatives, it might be at the top of the list. Witness the overwrought reaction last week to the prime minister’s usage of it from conservative social media users and outlets like the […]

Ensuring Paris isn’t the next Copenhagen, Kyoto, or Rio

Aug 11 2021 — Monica Gattinger — The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscores yet again the urgency to act, noting that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. In Canada, there is far more consensus and support for taking action in business and society than there was even five years ago, and we have a comprehensive plan […]

Redesigning Canada’s social safety net for the post-pandemic economy

Aug 10 2021 — Colin Busby — The economic disruptions of the pandemic showed the shortcomings in Canada’s out-of-date social safety net. Issues like the inability of the Employment Insurance (EI) program to process a large number of claims in a short period of time, self-employed or gig-workers’ lack of EI eligibility and the absence of sufficient job-protected leave, sent federal and […]

How to grow an accessible, high quality, equitable child care system

Jul 21 2021 — Martha Friendly and Lynell Anderson — The April 2021 federal budget was momentous for Canadian child care, committing significant federal dollars to building a national system of accessible, affordable, high quality, inclusive child care for all. Among its policy elements was a recognition that meeting this long-term goal will require “working with provinces and territories to support primarily not-for-profit sector child […]

What are Budget Consultations Good for, Anyway?

Jun 19 2021 — — This past April, the Liberal government announced the first federal budget since 2019. In hopes of a strong pandemic recovery, the budget promises massive policy measures. With transformative spending and net debt now reaching an unbelievable $1 trillion, it’s shocking what little say we actually have in the budget process. In fact, when it comes […]