National Newswatch

Legault government public ‘education’ initiative on electoral reform falls well short

Mar 23 2019 — Lydia Miljan — Quebec Justice Minister Sonia LeBel recently announced that the Legault government is moving forward with electoral reform. Yet unlike other provincial governments, rather than proceed with a referendum, the CAQ government will table a bill to move Quebec to a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system before October 1. LeBel claims that the bill “will […]

The devaluing of women foreign policy leaders

Mar 8 2019 — Sylvia Bashevkin — Annual events provide a useful opportunity to question the routines we grow accustomed to throughout the year. My suggestion for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019 is to reconsider a pattern so deeply engrained in our repertoires that we hardly give it much thought. I propose that we abandon the practice of ignoring or demeaning the […]

Vincent Geloso

Government meddling and increased air pollution

Mar 7 2019 — Vincent Geloso — When economists speak about climate change risk, they use a lens of externalities. Simply put, externalities emerge when exchanges between two parties has consequences that spill over onto third parties. These externalities are labelled “negative” when these spillovers hurt third parties. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from economic activity constitute a negative externality, as producers and […]

Racialized and women politicians still get different news treatment

Mar 7 2019 — — In the days after Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from federal cabinet, reports suggested she was difficult, not a team player, and even “mean.” Supporters denounced this framing and pointed to its gendered and racialized undertones, a criticism with which the prime minister eventually agreed. Even so, media coverage came complete with editorial cartoons depicting Wilson-Raybould bound, […]

Why can’t we have parent-friendly Parliaments?

Mar 4 2019 — — Parliament in the United Kingdom has passed legislation allowing MPs caring for new babies to nominate a colleague to vote on their behalf. This “baby leave” law, now in a trial phase, is modernizing the UK Parliament, bringing it closer to norms in ‘regular’ workplaces throughout the country. The changes should be of particular interest […]

Maximilian Kniewasser and Brianne Riehl

How B.C. can power the clean future

Feb 26 2019 — Maximilian Kniewasser and Brianne Riehl — Three months ago, the British Columbia government released CleanBC, a new economic strategy aimed at getting us back on track to achieving our province’s climate targets. The plan’s stated objective is to shift B.C. from an economy powered by oil and gas to one increasingly powered by clean energy. This is an ambitious proposition. Given the […]

A lot is riding on how we manage asylum seekers

Feb 21 2019 — — The next federal election is just eight months away. Immigration, and particularly asylum seekers and irregular border crossers coming from the US, is sure to be a thorny issue for the current federal government. These crossings, following on the heels of large numbers of Syrians seeking asylum in Europe, have stoked fears among many Canadians […]

Public construction contracts should go to most qualified bidder

Feb 19 2019 — Anyone who’s seen the crumbling concrete and rusting rebar on the Gardiner Expressway and had a momentary mental picture of crashing onto Spadina in a ball of flames knows what a small bit of rust and rot can do. Yes, the engineers and officials say it’s OK, and it might be for now. But we […]

Recession would seriously derail federal finances

Feb 15 2019 — Jake Fuss, Milagros Palacios and Jason Clemens — Fiscal prudence—the ability of the government to balance its budget and manage the finances of the country responsibly—is an increasing concern for Canadians. According to a recent Nanos poll, a majority of Canadians now favour balancing the federal budget more than continuing to run deficits to finance spending. Unfortunately the Trudeau government is focused almost […]

Canada needs a robust digital ID system

Feb 13 2019 — The concept of digital government, when we’re already living in a digital society, should be widely welcomed. This is especially true in the area of identification, where establishing who we are and what we’re eligible to do is one of the foundational tasks of government.

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 […]

Dave Lovekin and Dylan Heerema

Canada’s remote communities meet renewable energy solutions

Feb 9 2019 — Dave Lovekin and Dylan Heerema — Challenges and opportunities for hybrid microgrids.   Vast distances separate Canada’s remote communities from their neighbours — and the energy systems many of us take for granted when we flip a switch. Since remote communities are not connected to either natural gas infrastructure or the North American electricity grid, they must produce their own energy […]

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 […]