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Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says that, in his experience, the pre-budget consultation process done by the House Finance Committee is underused by Finance Canada and the finance minister. The Hill Times file photograph

Finance bureaucrats, House committee need to stop working in silos on budget planning, says ex-PBO Page

News|By Emily Haws
Liberal House Finance Committee chair Wayne Easter says he thinks the finance minister, his staff and bureaucrats have been listening.

It’s ‘vital’ feds name Conservatives to security committee soon, or it’ll ‘become problematic’: critics, experts

The Conservative Party said it’s offered two names—one several months ago—to fill its spots on the National Security and Intelligence Committee, but hasn’t heard back from the government.

Amid holiday festivities, Liberal leadership warns MPs, Hill staffers about ‘zero tolerance’ for harassment, confidential memo shows

News|By Abbas Rana
'Jokes in bad taste, comments about a colleague’s physical appearance, sustained looks, etc. can constitute harassment,’ reads the memo sent out Liberal MPs and staffers.

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RCMP forensic lab ‘drowning in work’ as it misses all response targets, internal figures show

Lawyer Rick Woodburn says prosecutors have to wait too long for samples from the lab, leading to worrying court delays and cases being thrown out.

Booting of NATO group chair prompts new rules for association oversight

The Joint Interparliamentary Council approved a new process to step in when parliamentary associations lose confidence in their leaders.

As tax season nears, feds freeze Phoenix system changes to help issue proper income slips

News|By Emily Haws
Meanwhile, some MPs say they're still frustrated by the lack of constituency office support on Phoenix cases, and efforts continue to reduce the pay-problem case backlog, which on Nov. 28 was 289,000 open files.

Nothing in migration compact tells Canada to ‘open borders,’ says UN refugee agency rep

Also, Kazakhstan celebrates its 27th anniversary of independence and deepening relations with Canada after the historic visit of a Canadian Governor General.

End of an era: reporters say goodbye to the Hot Room as Centre Block closes for the next decade

Feature|By Emily Haws
The Hot Room, located at 350-N, gives regional correspondents and freelancers colleagues to bounce ideas off of and grow, says Winnipeg Free Press reporter Dylan Robertson.

‘Alberta is angry,’ says political strategist who predicts big trouble there for Trudeau’s Liberals in 2019

News|By Abbas Rana
The federal government needs to put in place a plan to help out Albertans in the fossil fuel industry to retrain themselves to find jobs in the green energy sector, says NDP MP Linda Duncan.

Feds’ justice reforms, poverty-reduction bill priorities for House in coming months: Chagger

News|By Beatrice Paez
House Leader Bardish Chagger said the government is hoping to see progress on Bill C-87, which seeks to halve poverty by 2030, and Bill C-75, a package of reforms to the justice system, in the coming months.
Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says that, in his experience, the pre-budget consultation process done by the House Finance Committee is underused by Finance Canada and the finance minister. The Hill Times file photograph

Finance bureaucrats, House committee need to stop working in silos on budget planning, says ex-PBO Page

News|By Emily Haws
Liberal House Finance Committee chair Wayne Easter says he thinks the finance minister, his staff and bureaucrats have been listening.

PCs’ vague climate plan might just be ‘for the people’

Opinion|By Thomas Walkom
Don’t be too hard on Doug Ford. His climate change plan is largely empty. But in real terms no one else is doing much either. Maybe that’s what people want.

Climate fears are real so the filthy oilsands must close

Opinion|By Thomas Walkom
Climate change is not another blip in federal-provincial relations that can be resolved by changing the equalization formula. If the scientific consensus is correct, it is a crisis on par with worldwide nuclear war.

Pipeline politics will keep Ottawa, Alberta divided

Opinion|By Chantal HÉbert
Any government—Liberal or Conservative—looking to meet the court requirements rather than to challenge them would have to avoid shortcuts liable to bring about a new round of litigation.

The Liberals are choosing to make Canada not work

When resource industries are attacked, the result is less money for every province, and for the vital public services Canadians depend on.

Natural Resources Canada has evolved into the Department of Oil and Gas

The question that looms larger all the time is how the hell did the fossil fuel lobby take over our government?

Building blocks: Why Canada should be the world leader in wood construction

Small policy changes, like using more wood in new construction projects, can make a big impact.

Canadian uranium under U.S. tariff threat as national security investigation continues

News
A 1989 investigation found there was no national security threat from uranium imports, but experts agree times have changed under President Trump.

Afghanistan a failed war, 17 years after declaring victory

Opinion|By Scott Taylor
The battle to save Afghanistan has yet to be fought and the Taliban remain a very clear and present danger.

Macron’s moment of crisis

Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
As the world’s democratic and non-democratic tectonic plates continue to grind, the perpetual content feed is the new battlefield.

Deliberation: can we fix government decision-making?

Opinion|By Don Lenihan
We believe that using deliberation to support big projects, say, in infrastructure or procurement, would give citizens a more meaningful role in planning and build legitimacy and resilience around the decisions.

Sky’s the limit for small business exporters

Opinion|By Jacquie LaRocque
Ottawa needs to ensure that officials are committed to understanding the unique challenges faced by smaller companies when it comes to accessing and successfully using federal assistance measures.

Fourth year of governing more crucial than first three combined, says Dalton McGuinty, tougher as partisanship spikes

Panellists at the Pearson Centre’s Year 4 conference say campaigns kick into high gear, and the ex-premier says governing is like a ‘political straitjacket.’

New policy director for Employment Minister Hajdu

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hana Kokanovic has left Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos’ office to become a policy adviser to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

Liberal MPs celebrate the holiday season in song

Feature|By Neil Moss
Plus, cross-party support for Magnitsky sanctions against Iranian human rights abusers, and NDP MP Fin Donnelly will not seek re-election.

Ministers Bennett, Joly make director-level staff changes

Plus, Alexandra Bernier is no longer an advance in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office.

Ninety years of Canada-France diplomatic relations celebrated with wine, oysters, and French desserts

Feature|By Emily Haws
The night also celebrated the reopening of the French embassy's Salon de Bouleaux, which had undergone renovations in September.

James Travers foreign correspondent fellowship to be revealed this week

Feature|By Neil Moss
Plus, politicos and diplomats recently united to mark World AIDS day, and outsiders' row in the House of Commons keeps on growing.

Centre Block will be transformed into a modern, functional space to serve Canadians for generations to come

The Centre Block is our town hall, our office, our home away from home, a place of reflection and reverence, and it is my duty to safeguard this space for my colleagues and for all Canadians, today and in the future.

Feds must better support forestry research collaboration, industry and experts say

News|By Jolson Lim
The Canadian Forest Service is mandated to focus on forest science research, but critics say it needs to be a better team player.

Renewed mineral exploration tax credit will maintain Canada’s tax advantage: Minister Sohi

News|By Jolson Lim
Scheduled to expire in March 2019, the tax credit’s extension to 2024 will help junior companies raise capital, says the natural resources minister.

Feds need to move on ridding Canadian lumber of U.S. tariffs, helping forest industry

Every year seems to be a forest fire catastrophe in Canada now, and the losses to the industry and rural communities are incalculable.

Time to unclog the pipes

Opinion|By Grant Bishop
Canada can't risk further delays in boosting pipeline export capacity.

Canadians continue to face barriers to access and care

Opinion|By Alison Dantas
In the upcoming federal budget, the government has the ability to make an overdue change that would make a meaningful difference for Canadians in need.

Politics This Morning: Freeland, Sajjan head to D.C.

Plus, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland flies to Washington, D.C., with National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan for a bilateral meeting with their counterparts, U.S. Secretary of Statement Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Opinion
Macdonald-Laurier Institute's report card finds the government scoring eight 'completes,' 11 at the 'ongoing' stage, and seven with the status 'incomplete and prognosis poor.'
Opinion
Meanwhile, EU member countries acted quickly to approve regulations, ending all outdoor uses of these neonics by the end of this year.
The Investing in Canada Plan is a significant infrastructure-spending plan, and the Canadian government must ensure funding is delivered in a timely manner so these important projects can take root.
For a political nerd like me, the impending decade-long closure of Centre Block brings back a lot of memories.
The GOP has become more committed to power than the notion of the peaceful transfer of it.
Opinion|Sheila Copps
By pushing a favourite off playlists, those who deem the lyrics improper are applying their own narrow, sexist lens, the same lens that used to characterize society’s negative view of sexually active unmarried women.
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Ministers Sohi, Duncan, Ng nab new talent from Liberal research bureau

There’s been a string of recent staffing changes in the Liberal caucus’ research bureau, including five new hires.

PMO hires new special assistant for Canada-U.S. relations team

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould has bid farewell to her press secretary, Nicky Cayer.
Feature|Neil Moss

Bains issues notice of libel to the National Post over report of alleged involvement in Brampton real estate deal

Plus, Parliamentarians honour George H.W. Bush, and reservations for February tours of West Block and new Senate Building now available.
Feature|Neil Moss

Poutine and Tim’s: a new book looks at Canada’s motifs

Plus, Ian Waddell's memoir hits shelves, urging for increased bipartisanship in politics, and politicos mark the passing of Harry Leslie Smith.
Feature|Emily Haws

Chicken Farmers party with Olympians, while MacAulay celebrates 30 years, and Newfoundland Shed shindig draws hundreds

Now-retired Rio Olympic swimmers Brittany McLean and Hillary Caldwell were at the Chicken Farmers' event, promoting a partnership between the Chicken Farmers and Swimming Canada.
Feature|Emily Haws

Nathan Cullen wins Maclean’s Parliamentarian of the Year, NDP caucus cheers loudly; Dewar tells parties to ‘put our swords down’

Meanwhile, 47 college students showed off their applied research projects at the annual Colleges and Institutes Canada's annual student showcase.

Launch of campaign against gender-based violence comes ahead of ‘landmark’ year, says UN official

‘There are particular moments that come in our lives that give us the opportunity to be the best part of ourselves—and such a moment will soon be upon us,' says Lopa Banerjee.

Canada’s expertise, funding could help Lesotho’s reforms as it seeks renewed ties, says new envoy

Lesotho's new high commissioner says Canadian know-how on democratic institutions and small business skills are of use to Lesotho, which faces widespread unemployment.

Parliament to rise for winter break this week, return to new digs

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018
House Speaker Geoff Regan and his fellow MPs will be leaving the hallowed halls of Centre Block to go to a temporary House chamber in the West Block (and Senators to the Upper Chamber in the Government Conference Centre) during a decade of renovations to Parliament's iconic main building starting in January. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
The House is scheduled to rise Dec. 14, though MPs may end up starting their winter break earlier.

The interim Red Chamber, which was previously the Government Conference Centre, is where Senators will move into when the Senate resumes sitting next year.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
Felix Holtmann, pictured in his Hill office in April 1990, became a household name when he added fuel to the national firestorm after the National Gallery of Canada announced it had bought a $1.8-million abstract painting, Voice of Fire, by American painter Barnett Newman, as the country was slipping into a recession. Mr. Holtmann, a Progressive Conservative MP at the time, told one interviewer that the painting ‘looks like two cans of paint and two rollers and about 10 minutes would do the trick.’
The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy
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