National Newswatch

Canadian trade still being hurt by tariffs, despite the USMCA

Oct 22 2018 — — While the successful negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a relief, a large bilateral trade issue remains for Canada and the US. The tariffs placed on Canadian iron, steel and aluminum this year by President Trump for national security reasons will stay in effect even though a free trade agreement has been reached. While […]

Raise the GST as part of pragmatic plan for climate action

Oct 17 2018 — — The rejection of the Trans Mountain pipeline approval by the courts and the angry response by Alberta to withdraw from Canada’s climate plan has set in motion a high-octane drama with no happy ending in sight. Provinces see an opportunity to flex their muscles, engage in a tit-for-tat bargaining game with the federal government – […]

Many discrepancies in plans for toll-free Champlain Bridge

Oct 15 2018 — Percy Downe — During the last federal election, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced that, if elected, he would not proceed with the plan to charge tolls on Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge — a $4.2-billion project, now nearing completion. On May 29, 2018, the Auditor General of Canada reported that the decision to eliminate tolls on the federally owned […]

Welcome movement on progressive trade agenda in USMCA

Oct 12 2018 — Angella MacEwen — The Trudeau government entered NAFTA negotiations last August with an ambitious progressive trade agenda. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland used her testimony to the House of Commons International Trade Committee to explain that this meant strengthening labour and environmental rights, reworking dispute settlement, and adding new chapters on gender and Indigenous rights. A coalition of […]

Rethinking Criminal Justice in Canada

Oct 11 2018 — — Reforming the criminal justice system has been the subject of intense political debate in Canada in the past decade. Competing ideals related to rehabilitation, punishment and fairness have led to markedly different policy approaches and sharp disagree­ments among political parties on the best way forward.

Will provincial hyperpartisanship derail the USMCA?

Oct 11 2018 — Jared Wesley and Conner Peta — Whether out of indifference or relief, most citizens appear to have taken the draft United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in stride. Media outlets and public opinion firms have demonstrated little interest in polling Canadians on the issue. Early criticism, it seems, has been confined to lawyers, lobbyists, political scientists, union leaders and other naysayers concerned with […]

How property and place were key issues in the Stanley trial

Sep 26 2018 — — On an otherwise unremarkable summer afternoon in 2016, five Indigenous youth drove onto a farm in rural Saskatchewan owned by 56-year-old Gerald Stanley, a White farmer. The youth came from the Red Pheasant First Nation. After a day of drinking and swimming in the South Saskatchewan River, the youth sprang a leak in a tire […]

Justin Trudeau’s balancing act on climate change

Sep 25 2018 — Jacques Poitras — I met Jim Lahay during a drive across the prairies in 2016, when I followed the route of the proposed Energy East pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick. Lahay, a retired trucker from London, Ont., was a support driver for a group of cyclists peddling coast to coast in a cancer fundraiser. He had done […]

Legal and systemic issues left unexamined in Stanley trial

Sep 24 2018 — — In many ways, I am inherently made and professionally paid to witness what the Stanley trial verdict in February 2018 revealed about the justice system, criminal trials and the place of Indigenous people and history within them. I am a writer, a lawyer and an instructor. I am also a Métis woman from Saskatchewan. When […]

What governments do in the last year of their mandate

Sep 24 2018 — Rachel Curran — It is true that governments in Canada do not technically have “mandates” to govern, as scholar Philippe Lagassé has pointed out. But for lack of a better term, let me use it to describe the four-year period a majority federal government is given to achieve particular policy objectives and otherwise govern the country before it […]

Eugene Kung

Canada aims for the minimum on Indigenous consultation

Sep 20 2018 — Eugene Kung — The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) decision that quashed the federal approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and tanker project on August 30 was big news across the world, because the project has come to symbolize so many larger issues: from climate change to Indigenous rights and the nature of Canadian federalism.

Build the Indigenous economy to address poverty

Sep 19 2018 — — In its past three budgets, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made important investments to help address the critical needs facing Indigenous communities and families. These investments are laudable and long overdue, and they will go a significant way toward ensuring that Indigenous people have better housing, child and family services, education, health […]

Research shows that MPs who cross the floor lose votes

Sep 19 2018 — — Leona Alleslev, MP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, crossed the floor this week to join the Conservatives from the Liberal party. If she runs for re-election in 2019 under the banner of her new party, history suggests that there is a good chance she will lose her seat, despite the narrow margin between the two parties […]

Cities need modern financial tools to cope with cannabis

Sep 18 2018 — Vicki-May Hamm — Legalizing nonmedical cannabis across Canada — safely and systematically — is a significant challenge for all orders of government. That challenge starts with the local governments on the front lines of the communities where cannabis will be legally produced, sold and consumed. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) serves more than 2,000 local governments representing […]