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If Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wants to become the next prime minister, he needs to build his own strong brand, say pollsters The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

If he wants to win, Scheer needs to build his own brand, separate from Ford’s and Kenney’s, say political analysts

News|By Abbas Rana
The risk for Andrew Scheer is that the Liberals will try to connect Doug Ford to Andrew Scheer and then try to connect that to hidden agenda, that’s not flattering to Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives,’ says Nik Nanos.

Pollsters expect ‘acrimonious, intensely fought’ federal election campaign, high-tech ‘black ops’ from domestic and foreign third parties

News|By Abbas Rana
'It’s game on. Buckle up, it’s going to be an extremely unpredictable election,’ says EKOS Research president Frank Graves.

Environmental Assessment Bill C-69 enters final stretch in Senate; Red Chamber divided on Tanker Ban Bill amendments

The Senate passed four priority government bills back to the House with amendments late last week.

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Rookie GTA Liberal MP Tan quits unexpectedly as Liberal candidate for fall election

News|By Abbas Rana
In his Facebook post, Liberal MP Geng Tan thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife, staff and constituents for their support during his parliamentary career.

Liberals getting ‘homework’ done on new NAFTA before passage in U.S. and Mexico, but NDP say bill being rushed

News|By Neil Moss
The House of Commons International Trade Committee will have a pre-study on June 18 to hear from between 12 and 15 witnesses in preparation for the possibility that the committee will review Bill C-100 in the summer.

Environmentalists brace for resistance from industry over single-use plastics ban

Despite increasing awareness of the threat plastic poses to the environment, Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie, said he expects there will be some resistance from consumers.

Feds pick three vendors to pilot Phoenix replacement projects

Treasury Board President Joyce Murray says it’s ‘too soon to say’ which or how many vendors will be tapped to provide new public servant payment services.

Liberal backers want to implement new NAFTA now, but Conservative supporters want to wait until after looming election, poll suggests

News|By Neil Moss
Forum Research's interactive voice response telephone poll is based on 1,633 randomly selected responses from May 31 to June 2. It has a margin of error of three per cent 19 times out of 20.

Conservatives vulnerable to intolerance attacks, and ‘clumsy’ Cooper episode feeds into perceptions, say strategists, pollster

Stripping Conservative MP Michael Cooper of his deputy critic role would have sent a stronger message, says Tim Powers.

ISG Senators to propose amending Bill C-48 to allow tanker access to Nisga’a Nation: Sen. Paula Simons

The amendments would respect the rights of the coastal First nation and give Alberta hope for exporting heavy oil from the coast, says the Independent Senators from Alberta.
If Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wants to become the next prime minister, he needs to build his own strong brand, say pollsters The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

If he wants to win, Scheer needs to build his own brand, separate from Ford’s and Kenney’s, say political analysts

News|By Abbas Rana
The risk for Andrew Scheer is that the Liberals will try to connect Doug Ford to Andrew Scheer and then try to connect that to hidden agenda, that’s not flattering to Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives,’ says Nik Nanos.

Trudeau’s awkward answer an unforced error

Opinion|By Gerry Nicholls
The Conservatives will likely use any Justin Trudeau gaffe to bolster their argument that Canada needs more competent leadership. So my point is Trudeau’s needs to get better.

Liberals’ cheeky fan dance over F-35 fighter jets getting a little tiresome

Opinion|By Michael Harris
The PM doesn’t need to add a backflip on the F-35 to his dubious record on saying one thing and doing another.

Only in Canada, it’s considered weakness to recruit a former PM to help solve the Huawei problem

Opinion|By Sheila Copps
The best outcome would be to resolve the case, with Meng’s return to China. It would free Liberals to focus on electoral issues, not international irritants. If it takes a former PM to get us there, so be it.

Lobbyists increasingly target Senate as Liberals make final legislative push

At 517 lobbying records in the first four months of 2019, the volume of lobbyists targeting the Senate has already surpassed the annual totals common before the Justin Trudeau's government came to power.

Bill C-48: a defining moment for the Senate

To propose additions or corrections to a bill is one thing. To change the policy choice of the government or to try to outsmart it on the ways to achieve a policy is beyond our realm.

MP Hoback ‘disappointed’ in lack of Trudeau-Pelosi contact as USMCA talks get testy south of border

News
But observers of the Ottawa-Washington relationship say it isn't a pressing concern for Mr. Trudeau to speak with the leader of the U.S. House Democrats.

Brexit and drugs

Opinion|By Gwynne Dyer
In the United States being white will usually make the police take a charitable view, but in the United Kingdom the best strategy is to say that you are planning to go into politics.

Climate urgency respects no region

At this crucial moment, when other countries are deciding to step back from their international obligations on climate finance, Canada should step up and reaffirm that backsliding is unacceptable.

The truth about China-U.S. trade consultations

Opinion|By Lu Shaye
Who’s to blame for setbacks in U.S.-China talks? It’s self-evident, writes China's ambassador.

Lobbying czar has ‘concerns’ for her office’s budget, warns court decision could widen workload

The office’s work has ‘evolved in complexity, litigiousness, and level of scrutiny,’ says Nancy Bélanger.

Lobbyists seek clarity after watchdog warns political statements risk contravening code

‘This may keep individuals from participating in the political process,' says Ottawa lobbyist Scott Thurlow.

New agriculture minister Bibeau most lobbied in first month on the job

With only five sitting days, March’s 1,435 reports made for a slow month for lobbying.

Veterans Affairs Minister MacAulay hires Morneau adviser to head up his policy team

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's Question Period director, Bryan Rogers, recently left Ottawa to become an issues manager to new Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Three Globe and Mail Hill reporters to take voluntary buyouts

Feature|By Neil Moss
Plus, a Tory candidate pours water on her head, and the 'free Willy' bill will end whale and dolphin captivity.

Hill media descend on 24 Sussex for annual garden party

Feature|By Mike Lapointe
The Prime Minister opened up his backyard for one last shindig before politicians and journalists gear up for what's going to be a busy summer.

PSPC Minister Qualtrough names new press secretary

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
The public services minister also recently added a new policy adviser and a new special assistant to her office.

Former prime ministers, rivals, come out to celebrate John Turner’s 90th birthday

Feature|By Neil Moss
Plus, a Toronto-area Conservative candidate wants to move election date away from a Jewish holiday, and NDP MP Christine Moore will not run for re-election.

New-parent MPs allowed year-long pass from House duties under long-awaited leave changes

‘This is a really important step for a culture change on Parliament Hill,’ says Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould of the new system for parental leave.

Indigenous Services Minister O’Regan says pace of progress on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples moving in ‘substantive’ way

Feature|By Beatrice Paez
In an interview, Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan discussed the Liberal government’s reconciliation agenda, the TMX pipeline debate, and efforts to increase Indigenous businesses’ share of procurement dollars.

First Nations’ priorities are Canada’s priorities

Opinion|By Perry Bellegarde
The First Nations agenda is about creating stronger, more prosperous First Nations and, thereby, a stronger, more prosperous country.

Federal funding for Métis post-secondary education shuts out Métis settlements, says governing body

News|By Nina Russell
Educational attainment is correlated with higher earnings and employment rates in Indigenous communities, as well as better health, according to studies.

Trudeau government needs to back its words with actions if it truly wants to build relationships with Canada’s Indigenous people

Too often the lack of respectful response to concerns raised by Indigenous communities belies the importance this government says it places on its relationship with us.

The potential for economic reconciliation through meaningful Indigenous-industry relationships

With its 94 calls to action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report provides a clear and robust framework for improved relations with Indigenous groups.
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Politics This Morning: Trudeau cabinet to decide on TMX pipeline

Plus, the parliamentary budget officer is releasing a report on the feds' program spending on housing affordability.
A strengthened Coast Guard presence, the eventual settling of our UNCLOS claims and recognition of shared sovereignty and Inuit righths in the Arctic will help reinforce a cooperative approach to problem solving.
Since leaving public service in 2015, Stephen Harper’s rigid ideological thinking has become even more entrenched.
Opinion
If it’s a yes after a cabinet meeting on June 18, which is probable, look out for further court challenges and demonstrations, which could get violent. As Canadians, could we have done this process better? I think so.
With the appointment of the first CORE, it is critical to proceed with the mandate originally proposed and implement processes consistent with the vision contained in the April 2019 order-in-council.
Opinion|Ken Rubin
The ministers overseeing the Health, Justice, and Innovation departments must do a better job of living up to the prime minister's promises on transparency.
To constrain the flow of information between the public sector and the private sector and to close the door on that vital exchange will isolate public policy decision-makers and inevitably lead to poorer decisions.
Opinion|Sean Wilson

Is democracy possible?

It’s not easy to feel optimistic about democracy these days. In his important new book, Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up, activist and author Dave Meslin tackles our democratic deficit and proposes meaningful solutions that would encourage more connectivity between citizens and their governments.

Meslin’s first-ever book a condemnation of and prescription for all that ails modern Canadian politics

As in a forest, old trees fall down to make way for the new—and there are ‘a bunch of old dead trees in Ottawa’ right now, says Canadian activist Dave Meslin.

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Conservative Leader Scheer makes changes to his OLO communications team

Former Doug Ford staffers Veronica Green and Simon Jefferies have now officially joined Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s communications team.

Long service awards handed out to 109 MP staffers

The now-annual award was resurrected for the first time last year. Last week’s ceremony honoured 110 staffers who reached service milestones in 2018.
Feature|Neil Moss

Rodger and me: friends and colleagues roast and toast departing Grit MP Rodger Cuzner

Plus, social media is fuming over the latest Chateau Laurier addition plans, and Pierre Poilievre turns 40 and gets thrown out of a plane.

House Speaker Regan hosts kitchen party at Kingsmere Farm

Plus, Liberal MP Rob Oliphant has emergency appendix removal surgery and his caucus colleague Peter Fragiskatos gets hitched.

Public servants, feds inch closer to contracts with tentative agreements before election

The Public Service Alliance of Canada remains at an impasse with the federal government however, with national president Chris Aylward saying they won’t take an ‘inferior’ deal just to get it done before the election.

SAP Canada pitches NextGen plan to standardize human resources processes

When processes are 'standardized, the collective input into a payroll system becomes a lot simpler,' says Robert Conlin, SAP Canada's vice-president of the public sector.

Party on the Hill, one party of the year

The Hill Times' annual Party on the Hill brought politicos together for the last big party before the October election.

Wählen Whalen Weis wins 2019 Labatt Election Brew

The 2019 Labatt Election Brew Off was held at the National Arts Centre in support of Equal Voice. Labatt donated $25,000 to Equal Voice in honour of Liberal MP Nick Whalen's winning Belgian Wit beer.

Diplomatic spouses find community, give back with Wabano fundraiser

The Heads of Mission Spouses Association is planning a June 11 charity event for the Wabano Centre, helping raise funds for school supplies for 50 children.

Israel envoy announces departure, welcomes free trade agreement

A bill to modernize the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, first signed in 1997, received royal assent on May 27.

Prime Minister Trudeau and cabinet expected to decide on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Tuesday

Monday, June 17th, 2019
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on June 10, 2019, on his way into the 90th birthday for former prime minister John Turner, is scheduled to hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in the West Block on Parliament Hill. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president, in Ottawa. Ms. Bachelet is in Ottawa to promote human rights and gender equality. According to the CBC, the UN Human Rights Office has called on the government to open an inquiry into the charge of genocide that the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls levelled when it released its final report.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Comedian Rick Mercer and then-Reform Party MP Deb Grey, pictured in the late 1990s on Parliament Hill doing a shoot for CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which Mr. Mercer hosted at the time. The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
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