National Newswatch

The silence/shame double bind for women in power

Feb 19 2019 — Linda Trimble — The saga unfolding around former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has been characterized as many things – evidence of the old guard that still pulls the levers in Ottawa, of the over-centralization of power in the PMO, and of hypocrisy in the Liberal government’s promises of reconciliation and feminist government. But it is also fundamentally […]

‘Trust Us’ doesn’t cut it on the SNC-Lavalin affair

Feb 12 2019 — Craig Scott — At the pinnacle of Canada’s justice system is a member of cabinet who plays a dual role, being both the attorney general (AG) and the minister of justice – something we informally call double-hatting. Wearing one hat, the minister of justice has a policy-making, legislative and administrative role that is embedded in parliamentary politics in […]

How a standards council could help curb harmful online content

Feb 11 2019 — — The minister for democratic institutions recently announced coordinated efforts to safeguard elections from online threats. The announcement highlighted concerns that social media platforms could be used to spread disinformation and exploit social tensions, and called for these companies to take “concrete actions to increase transparency, authenticity and integrity of their systems to help safeguard our […]

Insights for Canada’s new digital government minister

Feb 8 2019 — Amanda Clarke and Jonathan Craft — Following Scott Brison’s retirement from federal politics in January, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Jane Philpott to replace him as Canada’s second minister of digital government (in addition to her other day jobs as president of the Treasury Board and member of Parliament). A new appointment offers opportunities to advance fresh priorities and reflect on progress […]

Lessons from Estonia on digital government

Feb 7 2019 — — An emerging model of digital government pioneered by Estonia and India is illustrating how governments can do a better job of delivering services. Both countries have devised ways to make it easy for citizens to do simple things online – register a car or renew a passport, for example. But it’s the scalability and flexibility […]

How is tech lobbying shaping federal policy?

Feb 5 2019 — — Technology and its influence in Canadian life was easily the top story of 2018. The Cambridge Analytica scandal kicked off the year; then issues surfaced about Facebook’s lobbying presence in Ottawa. The year rolled on with greater scrutiny of the role of technology in Canadians’ lives: some cast a critical eye on governance around the […]

Bruce Stanton

The virtues of a parallel chamber

Jan 31 2019 — Bruce Stanton — The UK and Australia parliaments have been using a second, parallel chamber to aid the parliamentary process for more than 20 years. Reviews of the value and purpose of the chambers have been resoundingly positive and have generally assuaged the early skeptics. Parallel chambers are a way to deal more efficiently with backbench business, routine […]

Digital government doesn’t equal democratic government

Jan 30 2019 — Amanda Clarke — In 2006, Time’s person of the year was “You,” published with the explanation “Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.” The cover story reflected a relatively broad societal consensus a decade ago that the Internet and social media were vehicles of unstoppable citizen empowerment. Oh, how quaint this consensus appears today. […]

How will Ottawa build a successful digital government?

Jan 28 2019 — — We are in an age where digital technologies and practices are being adopted at an unprecedented rate. Today, we can purchase almost everything online, we can work from home or from another city, and our data are being analyzed and used to shape services and products. Faced with this pace of change, the government of […]

Canada’s carbon pricing systems already need a redesign

Jan 22 2019 — — Carbon pricing systems, intended to help Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and fund local green projects, have now been established in all provinces and territories across Canada. However, on closer examination, their implementation has highlighted significant shortcomings: a lack of fairness and a lack of consistency.

Enabling digital health care solutions in Canada

Jan 8 2019 — — Compared with other OECD countries that have universal health care systems, Canada ranks among the lowest for health system performance, although it spends more on health care delivery than many OECD countries. One can envision, if it were set up anew today, that a publicly funded Canadian health system would be enabled by human-centred digital […]

This year, resolve to be a more intelligent reader online

Dec 31 2018 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Canada is not immune from the disinformation and misinformation campaigns that seek to polarize the public. Let’s be more careful about what we share. In 2019, an election year federally and in Alberta, what if we could we all resolve to be better consumers of online content? Could we train to become sommeliers of social […]