National Newswatch

Responsibility for Kashechewan’s crises lies with Crown

Apr 24 2019 — Pamela Palmater — Bureaucrats, ministers of Indian affairs and even premiers and prime ministers have promised year after year to address the multiple, overlapping crises in the Cree Nation of Kashechewan, crises that are firmly rooted in past government decisions. But once again the people of Kashechewan find themselves in danger. They are being evacuated and split up […]

An Africentric principle could right some wrongs

Apr 23 2019 — — There is a conventional notion that justice should be blind. But Canada’s Constitution says the opposite: it should not be blind, and it should not be colour blind. Canadians are exceptionally proud of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; it is considered a national symbol. But too few of us realize that section 27 […]

Government should have explained DPAs to the public

Apr 16 2019 — Peter Donolo — After more than two months — and a remarkable tally of political casualties — the SNC-Lavalin affair at last appears to be entering its final stages. Aside from its immediate impact on the reputation and electoral fortunes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government, the controversy is certain to be examined for years to […]

What have we learned from Google’s political ad pullout?

Apr 10 2019 — — What happens when government tries to govern big tech? For Canada, the answer is that big tech packs up and leaves. Google recently announced it was going to ban political ads ahead of the next federal election because it could not comply with new legislation designed to bring greater scrutiny to online advertising by creating […]

What does the SNC-Lavalin affair tell us about diversity?

Apr 9 2019 — Sharanjeet Parmar — In a Commons speech last week to Daughters of the Vote, an event to promote women in politics, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that trust among members of his government is an overarching imperative. The speech came just a day after former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott had been ejected from the Liberal […]

Shouldn’t we want MPs who don’t conform?

Apr 5 2019 — Jennifer Ditchburn — With the expulsion of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus, I began to think back on the other so-called “maverick” MPs I’ve come across over the past two decades. Who were the folks who dared to challenge the party line, or speak out of turn, or were just a little oddball? The […]

Canadians confident we can resolve regional differences

Apr 3 2019 — — The political differences across the country – on issues ranging from energy and the environment to immigration and the best way to create jobs – sometimes leave the impression that the country is hopelessly fractured. Yet the findings of our recent 2019 Confederation of Tomorrow survey (one of the largest studies ever conducted of what […]

Assessment of projects would improve under Bill C-69

Apr 1 2019 — — Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time has been called the world’s least read, most celebrated book. In a more humble category, Bill C-69 could be Canada’s least read, most criticized legislative proposal. C-69’s most contentious parts would replace Harper-era legislation governing assessments of major projects, including those of the oil and pipeline sectors. A […]

Andrew Scheer’s climate opportunity

Apr 1 2019 — David McLaughlin — If the Conservatives want to win the next election, they will need to sway more voters. Presenting a smart climate policy could be the key to victory. The Chinese written character for “crisis” perfectly frames the art of politics. It consists of two characters: danger and opportunity. In politics, danger to your opponent is opportunity […]

Taking stock of Ottawa’s diversity promises

Mar 25 2019 — Andrew Griffith — Each of the mandate letters given to cabinet ministers by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the past three years has included the following commitment: “You are expected to do your part to fulfill our government’s commitment to transparent, merit-based appointments, to help ensure gender parity and that Indigenous Canadians and minority groups are better reflected […]

Canada’s new training credit comes with caveats

Mar 21 2019 — Jennifer Robson — This week’s federal budget proposed the creation of a new benefit for working-age adults to encourage us all to keep learning and reskilling. Here’s how the budget says this will work: Starting in 2020, the Canada Training Credit will be a kind of virtual individual learning account for all workers (aged 25 to 64 years […]

The stifling conformity of party discipline

Mar 21 2019 — Alex Marland — A burning question for observers of the SNC-Lavalin affair is whether former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, who publicly opposed actions of their government, will be cut loose from the Liberal caucus. While some, including former deputy prime minister Sheila Copps, urge retribution, others in the party admire these MPs and want them […]

Criminal records have become a lifelong stigma

Mar 19 2019 — Kim Pate — An estimated one in seven Canadians has a criminal record, and while the government’s new bill to expedite suspensions of criminal records for simple cannabis possession convictions is definitely a step in the right direction, it’s far from a full response. Bill C-93, the only gesture the government has made to reform a broken criminal […]

Senate can repair and rescue Bill C-69

Mar 18 2019 — — A well-meaning but bungled proposal to overhaul how Canada approves major projects and assesses their impact is now in the hands of the Senate, making it the country’s best chance to rescue Bill C-69 and produce a better Bill that will help – not hurt – competitiveness in Canada and achieve our broader societal goals.