National Newswatch

Pulling levers to mitigate health costs of cannabis

Aug 20 2018 — — Legalization of cannabis in Canada has potential benefits — lower criminal justice costs, new government and private revenue sources — but we must also recognize the public health costs of cannabis use. It’s vital to ensure that governments at all levels use the available policy levers to reduce these costs.

The ramp off Canada’s road to trade hell

Aug 20 2018 — Carlo Dade — There is one, and only one, viable option for getting out of our ever-worsening trade row with the United States and it lies with a more activist Congress. But the conundrum is that this option, which has grown more urgent with President Donald Trump’s recent move to bring about tariffs on autos, will take time, […]

An “Atlantic Community” to bolster the West

Aug 15 2018 — John Milloy — Is the West falling apart? Although news of the West’s demise may be premature, the increasingly erratic policies of US President Donald Trump are placing enormous pressure on the military and nonmilitary ties that bind us. And it’s not just the United States. Britain’s exit from the European Union, no matter how amicable the eventual […]

Polling and the 2017 Calgary mayoral election

Aug 8 2018 — — As the recent Ontario election exemplified, election polls are usually quite accurate and provide voters with a window onto the intentions of their fellow citizens. This accuracy creates a feedback loop that may be helpful in that most democratic of acts: voting. Polls draw voters’ attention to particular candidates and issues and allow them to […]

Central Americans need more than Canadian handwringing

Aug 7 2018 — Ryan Hicks — The migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border is thousands of kilometres from Canada, but Ottawa could do more than just watch with concern. Vilma Evelia Lajuj Valey comes from a village nestled in the lush, green mountains of Guatemala’s Baja Verapaz department. Where she is from, the roads are made of dirt and houses out […]

Why cities should abandon the “100 percent renewable” target

Aug 3 2018 — — Can we power our buildings, vehicles and industry entirely on renewable resources like the sun, wind and water? Should we? Hundreds of communities across the globe and five municipalities in Canada say yes and have established a formal target through their local governments to leave fossil fuels and nuclear generation behind in favour of a […]

Canadians’ confidence in national institutions steady

Aug 2 2018 — Keith Neuman — It seems that in just a few short years the world has become much less certain and stable. In particular, we have seen the destabilization of democratic institutions and political norms. So-called populism and other forms of antigovernment sentiment are emerging in countries that have long been known for stability, including the United States, the […]

It is time to end solitary confinement

Jul 25 2018 — — It is widely agreed that Canada’s use of solitary confinement is excessive, in both federal (inmates with sentences of two years or more) and provincial prisons (under two years). I choose to use the term “solitary confinement,” although prison authorities prefer the more innocuous “administrative segregation.” Solitary confinement entails lack of meaningful human contact and […]

Technology could enhance our democratic institutions

Jul 24 2018 — — Canada has enjoyed relative stability in its recent elections. But our stability and insulation from technological change cannot be relied upon to continue. Indeed, that one electoral exercise after another has been subject to controversy in peer countries is less a sign of Canada’s prescience in preparing for the digital age and more a matter […]

The challenge for Canada’s equalization program

Jul 18 2018 — — Canada, like most federal countries, needs equalization to ease the consequences of regional inequalities, namely the uneven quality of public services across provinces and significant population retention problems. They stem largely from the uneven strength of regional economies and population centres and the uneven territorial distribution of wealth, including natural resources. The federal equalization program […]

Robert Asselin and Sean Speer

Fiscal policy must be sustainable over the long term

Jul 16 2018 — Robert Asselin and Sean Speer — Next year’s federal budget may be months away, but preparations have already begun in earnest. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s call for prebudget submissions was launched in June and closes in early August. There will be hundreds of recommendations from various organizations for the committee and the Finance Minister to consider between […]

“March Madness” does exist!

Jul 13 2018 — Daniel Dickin — March Madness keeps much of Ottawa up at night. No, not the sports tournament! I’m talking about the spending binge that happens every March as federal government departments urgently try to get money out the door before the start of the new fiscal year on April 1.

Canada could be a leader in international anti-money-laundering efforts

Jul 11 2018 — — The stability and efficiency of the international financial system are important concerns of the international community. Money laundering is a key transnational challenge facing international financial institutions and individual states, with illicit funds regularly entering and exiting financial markets. Money laundering also plays an integral role in terrorist financing and organized crime. While the Financial […]