National Newswatch

GM and Canada’s transition to a zero-emissions fleet

Dec 3 2018 — Ryan Katz-Rosene — The recent closure of the GM Oshawa plant has both nothing and everything to do with climate change. Nothing, in the sense that any claim that GM was motivated by altruistic desires to curtail emissions by focusing on electric vehicles is largely hogwash: The plant closure was fundamentally a financial decision made by a mega-corporation […]

Look to existing models to prepare workers for the future

Nov 28 2018 — — Headlines about the changing nature of work, automation, and the threat of worker displacement have become hackneyed, and the underlying challenges they point to risk being buried in hype. But, as demonstrated by General Motors Canada’s announcement earlier this week, these challenges are impacting people now. GM Canada revealed it will be shutting down its […]

What does Ottawa’s journalism plan mean for news innovation?

Nov 23 2018 — Erin Millar — The details remain murky, but the measures could accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and diverse media sector – depending on who benefits. The federal government’s $595-million package to help news media, announced in the 2018 fall economic update, is a real opportunity that could catalyze growth and long-term sustainability for the industry.

Justice bill must be amended to protect sex assault victims

Nov 23 2018 — — A bill studied and amended by the Senate and now back before the House of Commons would make significant changes to the law of sexual assault in the Criminal Code. But Bill C-51 contains one clause that has alarmed feminists, legal scholars and front-line anti-violence advocates across the country. It states that women cannot consent […]

Hospital stats show birth tourism rising in major cities

Nov 22 2018 — Andrew Griffith — An analysis of hospital financial data shows that birth tourism is rising, and not just in BC. The impact cannot be passed off as insignificant. Could a single hospital in Richmond, BC, be the only one in the country experiencing a boom in birth tourism? This was the question many people had earlier this year, […]

Canadian public’s opinion of US at unprecedented low

Nov 21 2018 — Michael Adams — It’s rare for pollsters to be able to use the word “unprecedented” to describe survey results unless they’re releasing their first poll – or giving in to the temptation to use hyperbole to get attention. But a recent Environics Institute survey has indeed revealed some unprecedented results. We’ve been fielding our Focus Canada tracking survey […]

Senate oversight committee ensures high level of accountability

Nov 20 2018 — David Wells — Canadians deserve every assurance that taxpayer money is being spent in a responsible and transparent way. That is why, in 2017, the Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration’s (CIBA) Estimates Subcommittee (which I chaired at the time) crafted recommendations to create an audit and oversight committee.

Canada should look to Belarus for strategic partnership

Nov 19 2018 — — The recent renegotiation of NAFTA has highlighted Canada’s overwhelming dependence on trade with the United States. US President Donald Trump’s comfort with imposing tariffs on its northern neighbour raises questions about access to the American market over the long term. Laudably, in the wake of the new USMCA deal, the Trudeau government has strengthened its […]

Ensuring technological growth works for all

Nov 19 2018 — — As the digital revolution continues to transform our world, we are more interconnected, have greater access to information and work, and are constantly surrounded by new innovations and tools. The pace of this change is astounding: it took over 45 years for electricity to be used by 25 percent of the US population, but only […]

Fake news is as old as Confederation

Nov 16 2018 — Robert Lewis — During the promotional tour this fall for my book on the history of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, Power, Prime Ministers and the Press: The Battle for Truth on Parliament Hill (Dundurn), I have often been asked about the news media today. The questions range from concerned inquiries about the parlous state of the industry to […]

A cautionary tale from Australia’s parliament buildings

Nov 15 2018 — John Parkinson — Some years ago, I wrote a book about the physical, spatial needs of democracy, comparing parliamentary and city layouts in 11 cities around the world. I praised the Canadian parliament on a number of grounds, primarily because of its openness: protests are allowed on the lawn, members regularly meet constituents inside the buildings, and Canada […]

Why the Senate needs external oversight over expenses

Nov 14 2018 — Peter Harder — Few Canadians with an interest in the recent evolution of the Senate could credibly deny that the upper chamber is becoming a better place. Thanks to a new arm’s-length and independent appointment process, the Senate is slowly rebuilding its reputation. But it’s also true that the upper chamber continues to have a credibility deficit with […]

What can Canada’s former political leaders teach us?

Nov 8 2018 — Joe Clark — Politicians are best known for the things we did – or didn’t do – in office, but we have after-lives too which, among other advantages, allow the opportunity to recall, and sometimes reflect upon, things we saw and heard and felt during and after our privileged days in public office. By definition, such observations are […]

How to build on the Senate’s renewal process

Nov 6 2018 — Leslie Seidle — In less than three years, the Senate of Canada has been significantly renewed — largely as a result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to fill vacancies with candidates proposed by an independent advisory board. Although those chosen for the first seven such appointments in March 2016 were selected by the advisory board, candidates since […]

The value of “free agents” inside the public service

Nov 5 2018 — — In today’s world, Canada’s federal public service is asked to solve increasingly complex and rapidly evolving challenges. To respond effectively, Canadians need an agile and flexible workforce. However, our public service continues to rely heavily on a workforce model built for a different era. With an emphasis on a largely permanent workforce, the public service […]