National Newswatch

Russia does not have a grand strategy

Mar 15 2022 — Julian Spencer-Churchill — Editor’s note: This article was co-written by a Russian author whose name has been withheld for security concerns. South Korea has exceptionally managed to breach the vaunted middle income trap, and has just exceeded Russia in nominal gross domestic product (GDP). Brazil is immediately behind and is expected to surpass Russia within 24 months. Russia […]

Re-imagining Canadian defence and security

Mar 10 2022 — Brett Boudreau — Nations have a variety of instruments to exert national power and influence, often summarized as DIME – diplomatic, information, military and economic. Rarely have all four been in such active and vivid display in Canada and throughout the world in such short order and with such dramatic effect as the first quarter of 2022. This […]

Budgeting for net-zero emissions in inflationary times

Mar 9 2022 — — The federal government has two major, opposing policy options to deal with today’s macroeconomic debates over inflation and Ottawa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One would threaten momentum toward the critical net-zero emission transition, while the other would bolster it. The threat is that the federal government will start to use “cupboards are bare” rhetoric […]

Ottawa and unions agree to simplify pay rules for public servants

Mar 8 2022 — Kathryn May — For the first time, the federal government and its 17 public service unions have agreed to discuss simplifying the thousands of pay rules and processes that derailed the troubled Phoenix pay system from the start. This simplifying, which could take years to unfold, is a key piece of the government’s pilot project to build a […]

Clashing visions of competition policy in the digital era

Mar 2 2022 — Jennifer Quaid — Canada must develop a clear and coherent plan for how to respond to the profound changes occurring in what is referred to variously as “the “digital age,” “the digital economy,” “digital markets” or just “digitization.” This is the key takeaway from an intensifying debate that is expected to be debated in the House this session […]

Federal civil service resumes return to office

Mar 1 2022 — Kathryn May — Federal government departments are restarting plans to bring thousands of public servants back to the office as provinces lift pandemic restrictions that forced them to work from home. Treasury Board recently issued new guidance outlining the terms for departments and agencies to resume the plans that were abruptly halted when the Omicron variant took hold […]

COVID-19 measures, convoys and contestation

Feb 25 2022 — Spencer McKay — As the Omicron wave shows signs of subsiding, public discussions about lifting COVID-19 measures have taken centre stage. In part, this is due to the vehement opposition of a small minority of citizens, such as those who have opposed vaccine mandates and who joined the convoy movement that occupied Ottawa and blockaded border crossings in […]

Federal paymasters struggle to rise from Phoenix

Feb 23 2022 — Kathryn May — The pay system has improved six years after a disastrous start, but problems remain and a backlog of fixes remain to be completed. Thousands of workers are still owed money when they leave or retire from Canada’s public service, and some are still waiting years to get paid. Thousands more move to jobs in other […]

Competition policy in Canada is guided by narrow interests

Feb 22 2022 — Robin Shaban — Compared with Canada’s, the U.S. policy ecosystem has a far better track record when it comes to fostering diverse views on antitrust law. From corporate-funded think tanks like the Connected Commerce Council to grass-roots organizations like the Institute for Local Self Reliance, there is a diverse network of political interests represented in America’s competition policy […]

We need to talk about Canada’s painful lack of competition

Feb 21 2022 — Vasiliki Bednar — I wish I could speak to “competition policy” without using those two words. They mean very little to the average Canadian. Yet Canada’s toothless Competition Act facilitates your pricey cell phone bill, excessive banking fees, growing grocery budget, and is even increasing the cost of buying a home. Competition policy is an esoteric policy file […]

Whose Parliament Hill is it anyway?

Feb 18 2022 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Watching the images from the truck-clogged, diesel-fogged, anarchic streets of downtown Ottawa, it’s easy to forget what looms in the background. The Parliament Buildings, the seat of the federal government and where the prime minister spends a great deal of his time, are what lured the so-called “Freedom Convoy.” Never mind that Centre Block is […]

Provincial paths diverge on vaccine mandates and passports

Feb 16 2022 — — Since the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Canada in December 2020, vaccines have become one of the best tools available to combat the deadly pandemic. All Canadian provinces and territories now have ample access to vaccines, but each jurisdiction has chosen varying approaches to vaccination status. Provinces and territories have had […]

Singles in deep poverty neglected by pandemic supports

Feb 14 2022 — — In 2020, the federal government spent over $160 billion on COVID-19 pandemic response measures. These expenses were critical in supporting recently unemployed workers and affected businesses in a time of uncertainty. However, supports through programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) were not extended to those who had […]