National Newswatch

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 […]

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 […]

Canadian student performance does not reflect increases in spending

Feb 2 2019 — Angela MacLeod — Parents across the country are concerned about the state of K-12 education in Canada. Results from standardized exams administered by several provinces and international tests such as the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) are alarming, particularly in math. There’s a pervasive myth that large cuts to education spending are responsible for the decline […]

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 […]

The tide of global freedom is receding—but there’s hope

Jan 26 2019 — Fred McMahon — Is the world losing its taste for freedom as we move further into 2019? Two recent reports confirm the perception that freedom is under attack globally. The Human Freedom Index, a joint project of Canada’s Fraser Institute, U.S.-based Cato Institute and Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, measures freedom on a 0 – 10 scale […]

Who are Canada’s Tech Workers?

Jan 23 2019 — — This report closely examines tech workers across Canada and seeks to shed light on Canada’s tech occupations and the diversity and equity within them. Adding almost 200,000 new jobs since 2016, Canada’s highly-skilled tech workers are becoming a major component of Canada’s workforce. Using brand new methodologies and powerful data visualizations, Who are Canada’s Tech […]

Protecting Canada in the Face of Russian Disinformation

Jan 21 2019 — — In recent years, the Russian government has made no mystery of the fact that it is engaged in disinformation campaigns throughout the world. During the 2013-2014 Euromaidan uprisings in Ukraine, Russia had secretly used actors to falsely allege that so-called Ukrainian “fascists” had committed atrocities. Kremlin agents had also manufactured evidence to help cover up […]

Meng Wanzhou and the Future of Canada-China Relations

Jan 21 2019 — — The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the Vancouver Airport on December 1 has been followed by a series of mutual recriminations between Canada and China. This has led to a shift in the Canadian public opinion from general skepticism about the intentions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) regime to overwhelming hostility […]

Dave Lovekin and Dylan Heerema

Diesel, renewables, and the future of Canada’s remote communities

Jan 16 2019 — Dave Lovekin and Dylan Heerema — The 250 or so remote communities scattered across the country are collectively home to about 185,000 people. They are mostly located in B.C., northern Ontario, northern Quebec (Nunavik), northern Labrador (Nunatsiavut), Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Remote, in this case, refers to the fact they are not connected to North America’s integrated electricity grid […]