National Newswatch

How to grow an accessible, high quality, equitable child care system

Jul 21 2021 — Martha Friendly and Lynell Anderson — The April 2021 federal budget was momentous for Canadian child care, committing significant federal dollars to building a national system of accessible, affordable, high quality, inclusive child care for all. Among its policy elements was a recognition that meeting this long-term goal will require “working with provinces and territories to support primarily not-for-profit sector child […]

What are Budget Consultations Good for, Anyway?

Jun 19 2021 — — This past April, the Liberal government announced the first federal budget since 2019. In hopes of a strong pandemic recovery, the budget promises massive policy measures. With transformative spending and net debt now reaching an unbelievable $1 trillion, it’s shocking what little say we actually have in the budget process. In fact, when it comes […]

What is a provincial constitution and how do we amend it?

May 28 2021 — Erin Crandall — What is a provincial constitution and how do we amend it? The question seems deceptively simple, but like so many things in Canadian politics, it’s a complicated issue that we’ve done a good job of ignoring. Last week, our ability to kick the constitutional can down the road came to an end. With Quebec’s tabling […]

The twists of campaigning in a Newfoundland and Labrador election hit by pandemic chaos

May 26 2021 — Sarah Stoodley — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how elections in Canada can be run, requiring candidates to campaign differently. Provincial elections in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in fall 2020 were executed relatively smoothly. But in early 2021, it was a completely different situation in Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial election was impacted by a sudden […]

Moving long-term care from a vicious to a virtuous cycle

May 24 2021 — Various — Policy-making occurs where opposing ideas, differing values about who should do what, and debate about power dynamics over who should benefit and under what conditions flourish. Some policy issues are more easily resolved and receive broad consensus, if not total agreement. They operate in a virtuous cycle. In contrast, some policy areas never get to […]

Aligning sovereign debt with climate action is a post-COVID way forward

May 18 2021 — — 2030 is being dubbed the new 2050. Countries and companies are not only pledging net zero climate targets by mid-century, but are also promising deep carbon-emission reductions in this decade. The Paris climate agreement is based on action by developed and developing countries alike. Yet the economic emergency facing a growing number of developing countries […]

Lessons learned from global financial crisis are a model for post-pandemic reforms

May 17 2021 — David Longworth and Frank Milne — Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that public health authorities and governments in Canada were not well-prepared. The lack of preparation included dealing with the spread of the disease itself and broader health issues. But it also encompassed government policy issues related to providing income and loan supports, as well as implementing various […]

What Canada needs to consider in its plan for vaccination certificates

May 7 2021 — Françoise Baylisand and Natalie Kofler — In late April, European Union member states agreed on the technical specifications for their proposed Digital Green Certificate. This certificate, often colloquially described as a vaccine passport, aims to restore free and safe movement within the European Union. Within days of this news, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen suggested in […]

Four lessons from Quebec’s early child care model

May 4 2021 — Sophie Mathieu — What do Pauline Marois and Chrystia Freeland have in common? Though separated by an almost 25-year interval, Quebec’s former education minister (who became premier in 2012) and Canada’s current finance minister and Deputy Prime Minister both managed to convince their respective political parties that low-cost child care was relevant and important.

Why COVID-19 is an inequality virus

Apr 30 2021 — Zara Liaqat — A report on household economics, issued by Statistics Canada in March, presented a snapshot of key indicators about how the financial well-being of Canadians evolved during the pandemic. Driven by record increases in government support measures, the lowest-income households saw a rise in income of almost 37 per cent over the first three quarters of […]

How to fix the patchwork system of paid sick leave in Canada

Apr 23 2021 — Paisley Sim — Across the country, renewed provincial restrictions have been enacted with the goal of containing a seemingly out-of-control, variant-fueled third COVID-19 wave. But public health officials, labour advocates and the public alike are asking why provincially legislated employer-paid sick leave is not on the table. Fifty-eight per cent of workers report having no employer-paid sick leave […]