National Newswatch

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, […]

Why are the deaths of Indigenous women and girls ungrievable?

Jun 11 2019 — Veldon Coburn — “It is time to call it as it is: Canada’s past and current colonial policies, actions and inactions towards Indigenous Peoples is genocide.” That is the underlying conclusion reached by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as it released its final report on June 3. It is difficult to draw […]

No, Canada cannot get credit for its low-carbon exports

Jun 10 2019 — — The federal government has recently announced that it intends to seek credit toward Canada’s emissions reduction targets for the GHG-reducing effects of Canadian exports. It argues that supplying Canadian clean energy such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) can reduce other countries’ emissions by displacing more emissions-intensive energy sources such as coal. Minister of Natural Resources […]

BC’s role in federal election is a paradox in the making

Jun 10 2019 — Richard Johnston — The province is Ottawa’s closest ally, with a thriving centre-left scene. But a divided opposition could mean victory for Conservatives in BC. In the 2019 federal election, British Columbia could play an unaccustomed role as a beacon of sanity and yet could also witness a disconnect between the campaign and the result. Sanity is not […]

A more inward-looking Ontario emerges under Ford

Jun 7 2019 — Peter Graefe — When General Motors announced the closure of its Oshawa plant in November 2018, newly elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford rejected calls for provincial help to save the jobs with the words “the ship has already left the dock.” For the premier of a one-time manufacturing heartland to make this claim was an indication that Ontario […]

Climate intensity imperils leaders who don’t keep up

Jun 5 2019 — — This is what the age of climate intensity looks like. It’s shifting our conversations. Changing our lives. Taking over our streets. Casting an outsized shadow, for better or worse, on elections around the world. Analysts say it transformed the results of European Parliament elections in late May. And in Canada, it’s coming this fall to […]

As Alberta’s anger deepens, it gets harder to turn off

Jun 5 2019 — Melanee Thomas — Alberta’s politics can be perplexing for Canadians outside the province. It is and isn’t a conservative place. Outside of 2015, voters here have cast ballots overwhelmingly for conservative parties and identify more strongly with them, yet when asked how they think and feel about issues, Albertans are consistently pretty moderate and sometimes pretty left-leaning.

Support for Oil Tanker Moratorium Act has history on its side

Jun 4 2019 — — Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, would protect a remote and unique region in northern British Columbia from the risk of catastrophic spills by prohibiting tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil or certain other types of oil from docking, loading or unloading in Hecate Strait, Queen Charlotte Sound and Dixon Entrance.

Federal-provincial tensions loom over 2019 campaign

Jun 3 2019 — Graham Fox and Daniel Béland — When Prime Minister Stephen Harper sought a second mandate in 2008, he vaunted his government’s record on the five priorities he had campaigned on in the previous election. He was able to declare “mission accomplished” on four of the five priorities, but his government had made substantially less progress on health care wait times. This […]

Why Quebec’s natural gas export project doesn’t make sense

May 29 2019 — — A natural gas liquefaction and transportation infrastructure project may see the light of day in Quebec. The project, which would export natural gas from Western Canada to South America, Europe and Asia, is comprised of two elements. The first, led by Gazoduq, consists of building a gas pipeline from Eastern Ontario to the Saguenay. The […]

Feds using predictive analytics to craft youth policy

May 29 2019 — Kathryn May — The federal government is wading into the area of predictive analytics to try to help build more effective programs and policies before they are approved and funded. The Chicago-based data firm Mission Measurement, home of the Impact Genome Project, has already received $324,000 in federal contracts, and is currently working with federal departments to improve […]

Proposed Bill C-69 amendments undermine science

May 27 2019 — — Earlier this month, the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources passed 187 amendments to Bill C-69, the federal government’s attempt to restore some credibility to, and public trust in, Canada’s environmental assessment regime for major projects following its near-dismantling in 2012. Unfortunately, some of the amendments will undermine the rigour and […]