National Newswatch

Understanding Doug Ford’s political durability

May 24 2022 — Mark Winfield and Peter Hillson — As the June 2 Ontario provincial election approaches, political observers are presented with a confusing landscape. With more than two-thirds of Ontario voters indicating a strong or moderate desire for a change in government and widespread dissatisfaction with its management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ford government would seem to be at serious risk of […]

Bill 96: An attack on justice and fundamental rights

May 20 2022 — Robert Leckey — The summer recess and Quebec’s general election are coming up fast and the Legault government is in a hurry to adopt its Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec. This reform, aiming to protect and promote French, has many pieces and it’s plain that public debate has overlooked some […]

The Liberal politicization of charitable status

May 16 2022 — Andreae Sennyah — The prime minister’s latest mandate letter to the minister of finance directed her to bring in “amendments to the Income Tax Act to make anti-abortion organizations that provide dishonest counselling to pregnant women about their rights and options ineligible for charitable status.” The Liberal government’s platform cited crisis pregnancy centres as part of a non-exhaustive […]

Speaking truth to power discouraged in public service

May 11 2022 — Kathryn May — Canada’s public service leaders have a problem telling the truth to their political bosses. A new report, Top of Mind, says they feel ill-equipped to gather evidence for policy advice, especially in a world where facts are distorted and drowned out by disinformation, polarization and hyperpartisan politics. To make matters worse, they appear afraid to […]

How to fix Canada’s broken employment insurance program

May 10 2022 — Various — When the pandemic broke out, causing millions of workers to temporarily lose their jobs, the percentage of unemployed Canadians who were receiving employment insurance was less than 40 per cent — down from more than 80 per cent in the 1990s. In the face of the greatest shock to the Canadian economy in decades, the […]

The economic case against low-wage temporary foreign workers

Apr 27 2022 — — Canada is unique in its broad public support for high immigration levels, and for good reason. A world with fewer migration barriers can boost living standards in all countries by moving workers where they are most productive. But easing employer access to low-wage temporary foreign workers, a key piece of the federal government’s recently announced […]

A racial justice agenda for medicare

Apr 21 2022 — Various — Medicare is often referred to as the highest beacon of Canadian values, a great equalizer among people of all walks of life. While for many this is the story of “Canada the Good,” and a history linked to the narrative of Canada, for others the truth is more complex. This latter perspective can best be […]

The Liberal-NDP pact could have a big impact on the public service

Apr 13 2022 — Kathryn May — The federal budget kicked off a spending review public servants knew was coming. This time, however, the Liberals have a pact with the labour-friendly NDP that could protect the bureaucracy from the job losses of previous reviews. Treasury Board President Mona Fortier will lead a year-long strategic review that’s aimed at saving $6 billion over […]

The trucker protests and the blatant failure of citizenship education

Apr 11 2022 — Michaël A. O’Neill — February 2022 will enter the Canadian history books as the month when the downtowns of Ottawa, several provincial capitals and critical border crossings into the United States were paralyzed by demonstrations. Announced as a movement against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for cross-border haulers, it was soon evident that some of the demonstrators had more on their […]

Some public service executives ‘burned out’ by crisis management

Apr 7 2022 — Kathryn May — An unprecedented number of public service executives are burned out and looking for demotions after working flat-out to manage crisis after crisis since the pandemic hit two years ago, says the association representing them. The Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) has long been working behind the scenes to improve […]

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could trigger catastrophe in Africa

Apr 6 2022 — David McNair — The combined aftershocks of the most dangerous European conflict since 1945, climate change and a global pandemic – now in its third year – could prove catastrophic for the world’s most vulnerable countries. With the global pandemic far from over, failure to increase global vaccination rates and thus protect the entire world from the virus […]

What shoe fits the 2022 budget?

Apr 1 2022 — — It’s the time of year when many politicos, media and the public are anxiously awaiting the tabling of the federal budget. This is always coupled with speculation about how freely funds will flow and to whom. With the pandemic, the recent occupation of Ottawa and other cities and the war in Ukraine, among other things, […]