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Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold copies of the 2018 budget in the House foyer, before they enter the House chamber for Mr. Morneau to table the document on Feb. 27. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

Liberals underestimating cost of changes to low-income workers’ tax benefit by $1-billion: PBO

News|By Jolson Lim
A new report from the office of the parliamentary budget officer suggests the federal government is underestimating the cost of proposed changes to its highly touted Working Income Tax Benefit program by more than $1-billion…

Feds lowballing parliamentary budget officer’s salary, say ex-PBO officials

News|By Emily Haws
The government is looking to pay the next parliamentary budget officer way less than it should, which could lead to it picking the wrong person for the job, say a former PBO and his ex-deputy.…

‘My first reaction was, ‘Oh my god, my mom’’: Toronto van attack hits home for local MPs

News|By Jolson Lim
While the Peace Tower flag flies at half-mast in Ottawa, Liberal MP Ali Ehsassi is back in his north Toronto riding of Willowdale to be with his community. He said he never expected a mass casualty…

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MPs defend taking trips paid by lobbyists, foreign governments, but some say the practice needs review

Some Liberal and Conservative MPs say rules that permit lobby groups and foreign governments to pay for MPs' trips abroad warrant review, including regarding limits on the value of free trips and where lobbyists fit…

Senate urged to expand bill to clear more LGBTQ criminal convictions

After getting rushed through the House, advocates are calling for the Senate to pump the brakes on the government’s bill wiping out historical unjust convictions and to broaden the legislation’s scope to add more offences…

Feds ‘not ready’ to roll out cannabis legalization given ‘huge gap’ in police training: critics

Police won’t be ready to properly test Canadians for drug impairment when cannabis is legalized, say critics who point to “terrible” new data showing 665 Canadian police officers as of Feb. 1 are certified to…

‘I think it’s done,’ NDP MP Stewart doubts Trans Mountain pipeline expansion’s viability, but feds say it’s going to happen

News|By Emily Haws
As the federal Liberals face mounting pressure to get the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approved, NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who was arrested for protesting the pipeline in March, says he doubts it will actually…

‘Crystal clear’ feds have jurisdiction on $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline: here’s how they could ‘reinforce’ it

There’s no doubt that the federal government has authority to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline, says a pair of constitutional lawyers, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promised legislation to “reinforce” that right could sweep aside…

Senate seeks intervener status to back House BOIE in ongoing court battle with NDP

The NDP’s court challenge of the House Board of Internal Economy’s 2014 order for NDP MPs to repay almost $4-million in expenses continues, with the Senate now seeking intervener status to support the BOIE’s appeal…

B.C. Liberal MPs tout environmental measures in Trans Mountain talks with constituents, but opposition MPs say Grits to ‘absolutely’ lose support in 2019

British Columbia Liberal MPs say they're touting environmental investments and protections brought in by the Liberal government for the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project with constituents, with some suggesting their voters are split roughly…
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold copies of the 2018 budget in the House foyer, before they enter the House chamber for Mr. Morneau to table the document on Feb. 27. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

Liberals underestimating cost of changes to low-income workers’ tax benefit by $1-billion: PBO

News|By Jolson Lim
A new report from the office of the parliamentary budget officer suggests the federal government is underestimating the cost of proposed changes to its highly touted Working Income Tax Benefit program by more than $1-billion…

With fed-prov tension rising, court deals provinces another high card

Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—The fault lines in Canada’s federal-provincial arrangement never disappear; they just lie dormant from time to time. With the system already under renewed pressure from the Trans Mountain pipeline dispute between Alberta and British Columbia,…

At Grits’ convention, Conservative deputy leader Raitt says Tories targeting seats Liberals won by five per cent or less in 2015

News|By Abbas Rana
HALIFAX—In their bid to form government in 2019, the federal Conservatives are going after ridings the governing Liberals won in close races in the last election, among other targets. [caption id="attachment_141560" align="alignleft" width="300"] Conservative deputy…

What Sen. Harder really wants? A one-party state

Government Senate Leader Peter Harder made some comments regarding the Conservative Senate caucus last week that I would like to address. Sen. Harder blames Conservative Senators for delaying the legislation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s…

Trade tops March lobbying, with Mercosur, NAFTA, CPTPP talks all in play

For the eighth month in a row, trade was the top-lobbied issue in March, a month that included the creation of an investment agency to draw in foreign capital, signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement…

Opposition MPs seek to add teeth to workplace harassment bill

A definition of harassment is among the changes a House committee agreed to Monday as it works its way through amending a government bill aimed at preventing and responding to sexual harassment and workplace violence,…

Liberals pledge 10 times the money to legalize pot as they do tobacco control

With important elections looming both provincially and federally, it is natural that Canada’s health-care system will a big part of electoral discussions. One in six Canadians is a senior, and that number is expected to…

Asad Aryubwal and his family fled Afghanistan three times by the time he was 40, the fourth was because of me

Feature|By Carol Off
By the time Asad was in his 40th year, he had been compelled to leave his country three times. The first was to escape being drafted into the Soviet-led Afghan army. The second was to…

Parliamentary Centre celebrates 50 years with 300-person gala

Feature|By Shruti Shekar
The Parliamentary Centre started out to support the Canadian Parliament. Fifty years later, it's expanded to help 120 legislatures in 45 countries better serve the people they represent. On the evening of April 23, the…

The true grace of Barbara Bush

Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
The word came up again and again last week as the political world marked the loss of former United States first lady Barbara Bush: grace. It wasn’t the surface grace of a sample-size silhouette or…

Seniors’ issues shouldn’t be in ‘silo,’ says health minister facing calls for national strategy

News|By Emily Haws
Advocates and politicians are calling on the Trudeau government to take a leadership role in improving the lives of seniors, saying more program co-ordination is needed for citizens over 65, but Health Minister Ginette Petitpas…

Agriculture minister most lobbied in February as trade, grain shipments topped industry interests

Lobbyists targeted Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay three times as often as his nearest cabinet colleague in February, as industry groups pushed trade interests and raised the alarm about a “crisis” in grain shipments, according to…

Canadian Securities Administrators prepare report on climate disclosure as advocates push for new reporting requirements for businesses

The national body of securities regulators is releasing a much-anticipated report next month on companies disclosing the financial risk they face from climate change, as calls grow from industry and advocates for more fulsome accounting…

Rachel Doran exits PMO for top job with Indigenous Services Minister Philpott

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott has a new chief of staff lined up to run her office, with Rachel Doran coming in from the Prime Minister’s Office on April 16 to begin transitioning into her…

Canadian actress Sandra Oh tells Jimmy Kimmel about the time she met Justin Trudeau

Feature
During a TV appearance on NBC’S Jimmy Kimmel Live, Canadian actress Sandra Oh called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "very down to earth" person. “When you’re preparing to see Justin Trudeau are people swooning in advance?” host…

Ex-Hill staffer and wife to Conservative minister, Donna Richardson Duncan, dies of cancer

Feature|By Shruti Shekar
Former Hill staffer Donna Richardson Duncan died on April 11 after a battle with cancer, at the age of 55. She was married to former Conservative cabinet minister John Duncan. She also used to be…

‘Stan walked in and greeted me warmly, his brown eyes twinkled as he took a seat’

Feature|By Tanya Talaga
Arthur Street runs east to west in a long, straight ribbon through the downtown area of the Fort William region of Thunder Bay. Arthur Street is devoid of charm—it’s a stretch of drive-thru restaurants, gas…

Families Minister Duclos promotes new policy director after Mathieu Laberge departs

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has a new director of policy in his office following the recent departure of Mathieu Laberge from the role. Up until the beginning of this month, Mr.…

Status of Women Minister Monsef promotes Christopher Evelyn to operations director

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef recently promoted her policy and Ontario regional affairs adviser, Christopher Evelyn, to serve as director of operations in her ministerial office. Mr. Evelyn has been working for Ms. Monsef…

Half a cup of peanuts: starvation diet for diabetes offers lessons

Opinion|By Brian Hilberdink
A century ago, a diagnosis of diabetes was a death sentence. The only treatment that was able to somewhat slow the progression of the disease was a starvation diet. Eating no more than 400 calories…

Canadian air travel is booming, but advocates say spending on security and border services still needs to go up

News|By Jolson Lim
A new report by the Canadian Airports Council shows the country’s airports are big engines for economic activity, and prospects are bright as traffic is expected to annually grow by 75 million passengers in the…

Garneau affirms commitment to space industry, defends Bill C-49 as critics say it’s too wide-ranging

News|By Jolson Lim
Aviation may not be the most hot-button topic in federal politics today but it's one that has repercussions for multiple files including public safety, innovation, and the environment. As a recent report by the Canadian…

Transport bill sent back to House with air passenger rights amendments

News|By Emily Haws
As observers anxiously await the passage of Bill C-49, the Senate sent the omnibus piece of legislation back to the House for approval in March, noting the proposed amendments will improve passengers’ rights and increase…

Senators heeded Canadians’ call to fix the government’s transport bill

When the Senate’s transport committee studied Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, stakeholders from across the country appeared before the committee and told us the bill just wasn’t good enough. While the bill touched on…

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Opinion|Jim Creskey
OTTAWA—“So few people want to identify as Christians because the rest of the world thinks we’re nuts," Green Party leader Elizabeth May told an Ottawa panel on faith and politics Tuesday night. Nuts indeed, you…
Opinion|Tim Powers
OTTAWA—In politics, as in sport sometimes, a rally cry based around desperation can be a powerful motivational tool that changes a game or series. Many times we have heard an NHL hockey coach say of…
Opinion|Scott Taylor
OTTAWA—In recent weeks, we have seen two major incidents occur: the March 4 poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and the April 7 attack on the embattled Syrian town…
The call from the Prime Minister’s Office in March 1982 came as things were not going well for the Liberal opposition in Newfoundland and Labrador. Premier Brian Peckford had called a snap “referendum” election for…
Opinion|Sheila Copps
OTTAWA—Politics can be a four-letter word. Last week that word was ugly. Political disputes between Alberta and British Columbia and the opening salvos of the Ontario election left most spectators wondering how low politics could…
Opinion|David Crane
TORONTO—It is the latest wake-up call for Canadians, another effort to shake our complacency about our economic future and the misguided belief that we can count on our natural resources to shield us from the…
The Hill Times in print

Politics This Morning: Prentice plane-crash report due; B.C. to submit pipeline reference case to court

Good Thursday morning, We start in Calgary, where Transportation Safety Board investigators are set to release their long-awaited report on how a Cessna Citation 500 plane crashed near Kelowna, B.C., on Oct. 13, 2016, killing…

Indigenous Services Minister Philpott’s chief of staff poised to depart

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott’s chief of staff, John Brodhead, is set to exit the minister’s team at the end of April. Mr. Brodhead addressed his impending departure in a Facebook post on April 11,…

Perreault promoted to PMO lead speechwriter after Armstrong departs for Morneau’s office

Brittany Perreault has been promoted to be senior manager of speechwriting in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, taking charge of the team previously headed by Jeni Armstrong. Former lead speechwriter Ms. Armstrong left the Prime…

Donner Prize announces finalists for best public policy books

Five finalists have been shortlisted for this year’s 20th anniversary Donner Prize award, which recognizes the best public policy book by a Canadian author. This year’s shortlist was selected from 78 submissions and the winner…

Ambrose’s ex-chief of staff lands new Queen Street job

Garry Keller, the former chief of staff to interim Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose, has taken up a new job as a vice-president at government relations firm StrategyCorp. “Really pleased to be joining the excellent…

Inaugural Women on the Hill shindig draws 500, and MPs from all parties

The inaugural Women on the Hill event, hosted by Earnscliffe Strategy Group's Velma McColl at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building last Monday night, attracted nearly 500 guests who mingled, networked, and celebrated a belated International…

MPs hit the red carpet at Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto

TORONTO—Eight Members of Parliament and ministers donned their best tuxedo or gown on March 11 to walk the red carpet at the Canadian Screen Awards. Toronto-area MPs were out in full force at the star-studded…

New Cuban ambassador helped negotiate U.S.-Cuba détente

Cuba has sent a top diplomat with 25 years of experience in North American relations, and who helped negotiate the 2014 U.S.-Cuba détente, to lead its embassy in Canada, just as a new president is…

Argentine envoy ‘confident’ Canada-Mercosur deal will wrap quickly

The second round of trade negotiations between Canada and Mercosur countries will be held in June in Brazil, says the new Argentine ambassador, adding that despite a few areas of concern, the four-country South American…

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter speaking in Ottawa April 25

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
Plus, MPs, ministers, Senators, and government staff gets to test-drive electric vehicles on the east lawn of Parliament Hill on April 25. And more.
The Canadian flag flies at half-mast on April 24 on Parliament Hill after a driver killed 10 pedestrians in an April 23 rampage in Toronto. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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