National Newswatch

Emissions will rise under Conservative climate plan

Aug 21 2019 — Mark Jaccard — A leading climate expert’s modelling of the Conservative climate plan shows emissions will rise, as the proposed tools are not proven to work. For over two decades I have evaluated promises by Canadian politicians to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My work would be straightforward if a politician committed to a rising carbon price or to […]

Accountability reforms needed in wake of SNC-Lavalin affair

Aug 20 2019 — Aaron Wudrick — The pundits will be chattering about the political impact of federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s bombshell report into the SNC-Lavalin affair until election day. But this is also an opportunity to strengthen government accountability to prevent a repeat of the circumstances that gave rise to the scandal. Dion concluded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke conflict-of-interest […]

Parliamentary renovations need real public engagement

Aug 13 2019 — — The UK’s Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, are in dire need of refurbishment. The palace is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its infrastructure, updated through the decades, has been falling apart since the building was reconstructed in the 19th century. Earlier this year, the House of Commons […]

Protecting public health should drive climate policy

Aug 12 2019 — — Every day there are thousands of Canadians who are suffering as a direct result of wildfires, flooding or other climate-related illnesses. They are reclaiming their basements from mould, because of flooding. Or they are weighing the pros and cons of uprooting their entire lives and leaving their family homes. Coping with extreme events like spring […]

When will Parliament finally protect historic sites in law?

Aug 6 2019 — Christina Cameron — In his recent Policy Options piece about the contentious addition to Ottawa’s iconic Château Laurier, Peter Coffman eloquently describes the vulnerability of national historic sites, which he notes are subject to “a tangle of procedural loopholes” and toothless policies. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has responded to the controversy by saying “we need to look at” […]

Château Laurier debacle exposes flaws in heritage regulations

Jul 25 2019 — Peter Coffman — When the first design for a proposed addition to Ottawa’s iconic Château Laurier hotel was unveiled in the fall of 2016, the public outcry was immediate. Four versions and nearly three years later, both the design and the response to it remain essentially unchanged. A massive wave of public opinion and a broad consensus of […]

Political incivility is a losing strategy

Jul 24 2019 — Jeremy Frimer — With a federal election approaching, Canadians seeking elected office might be wondering about messaging strategies and whether the rules of engagement have changed. After all, Donald Trump, who has insulted 598 people, places and things on Twitter alone (as of May 24), is president of the United States. Crowds at his political rallies go wild […]

Canada’s energy data problem

Jul 23 2019 — — In Canada, decision-making on energy policy, energy regulation and individual projects has become increasingly challenging and subject to a highly polarized public debate. This state of affairs limits our collective ability to have an open and honest dialogue about Canada’s energy system as well as our ability to transition, in a climate-relevant timeframe, to a […]

Redefining Canada’s foreign policies

Jul 22 2019 — Jennifer Levin Bonder — In May 1968, Pierre Trudeau announced his decision to conduct a thorough review of Canada’s foreign and defence policies. It would take 25 months to complete and would absorb the attention of senior officials in nearly every government department and of citizens, academics and nongovernmental organizations alike. The ultimate result was published on June 25, […]

The fleeting Canadian harmony on carbon pricing

Jul 8 2019 — Kathryn Harrison — Canadian federal and provincial governments are deeply divided over carbon pricing. The current state of affairs is a far cry from that in 2016, when the prime minister and the premiers of 11 of 13 provinces and territories unveiled the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change, in which the parties committed to […]

For more mothers to run, the political workplace has to evolve

Jul 4 2019 — — “You’ll miss birthdays, you’ll miss anniversaries and graduations,” Jason Kenney warned his team when he addressed the United Conservative Party caucus after their election win in Alberta. Outgoing NDP Speaker Bob Wanner added hockey games to that list during an orientation for new MLAs before going on to inform the group they would have “an […]

Trudeau’s paradoxical definition of Indigenous consent

Jun 27 2019 — Eugene Kung — The latest cabinet approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline came less than a day after the federal government declared a climate emergency. While the irony was a dream for satirists, it wasn’t the biggest contradiction of the day. Instead, it was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bizarre definition of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) with […]

Big hurdles remain in pharmacare implementation plan

Jun 18 2019 — Colin Busby — The national pharmacare advisory council’s ambitious report presents a staged, eight-year plan to reduce drug costs and make public drug coverage universal with the participation of the provinces. But there are major stumbling blocks ahead. The report is silent on how the initiative would be paid for; it proposes a convoluted and unequal federal funding […]

Where’s the plan for Canadian ISIS members in custody overseas?

Jun 17 2019 — — In the spring of 2018, Rukmini Callimachi, a national security reporter with The New York Times, published a podcast series titled “Caliphate. ” Canadian listeners were shocked to hear the voice of a young man named Abu Huzaifa (his nom de guerre) admit to Callimachi that he had carried out executions as a member of […]

Proposed pharmacare plan is a different beast from medicare

Jun 14 2019 — Colleen M. Flood — The Committee for the Implementation of National Pharmacare, chaired by former Ontario health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, has released its final report. The Hoskins report unequivocally calls for inclusion of universal, single-payer pharmacare into medicare, our public health-care system. But there are important factors that render the proposed pharmacare framework a different beast from medicare, […]