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Navdeep Bains, who until Jan. 12 was the Trudeau government's longtime innovation minister, was the most sought after cabinet minister for lobbyists in 2020. Mr. Bains' department was also the top-lobbied government department in 2020. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Former innovation minister Bains was most-lobbied minister in 2020

Mr. Bains, who was lobbied 214 times in 2020, took the top spot from the 2019 leader, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Parties ramping up candidate nominations across Canada as election threat looms

Quebec is expected to once again be a key electoral battleground, spurred on by the Bloc Québécois’ resurgence in 2019, with multiple candidates already nominated in three target ridings.

Conservative caucus votes to expel Sloan, former contender for party leadership

News|By Beatrice Paez
He faced potential expulsion last year during the leadership race over comments he made that appeared to question whether chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who is of Asian descent, was a pawn of China.

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Could Parliament Hill withstand a Capitol Building-style insurrection?

News|By Alice Chen
'I hope that intelligence and security officials in Canada learned after what they saw in the U.S. and can make sure something like that does not happen here,' says Ottawa-turned-Washington correspondent Richard Madan.

‘Democracy has prevailed,’ Biden tells nation as Trump leaves office

News|By Palak Mangat
‘The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism [is one] that we must confront and will defeat,’ said U.S. President Joe Biden in his first address.

Post controversy, Green Party executive director position remains unfilled

News|By Alice Chen
The Green Party's former executive director resigned in October, but a public search for a permanent replacement has yet to begin.

Updated mandate letters allow Grits to showcase pandemic fight without being attacked for abandoning promises, say politicos

News|By Neil Moss
The new mandate letters add new priorities to the instructions given to cabinet ministers in the 2019 mandate letters.

Garneau’s new foreign affairs post centres on his American links and steady hands, say analysts

News|By Neil Moss
With Garneau's appointment as foreign affairs minister, the 'big message' to Biden in Washington is 'we have somebody here who can work with you' and who 'understands you,' says Carleton professor Fen Olser Hampson.

Canadians ‘overrepresented in the alt-right,’ says filmmaker who chronicled movement’s rise

The U.S. insurrection was an ‘inevitable consequence,’ says documentary filmmaker Daniel Lombroso, after years of far-right activity he witnessed first-hand.

Biden’s plan to cancel Keystone XL pipeline could be ‘blessing in disguise’ for Liberals, says former diplomat

News|By Palak Mangat
'Knowing that you won't get too many seats in the West, [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau] can turn around and say, ‘Well, I did everything I could to get the project going forward,' ' says a former diplomat.
Navdeep Bains, who until Jan. 12 was the Trudeau government's longtime innovation minister, was the most sought after cabinet minister for lobbyists in 2020. Mr. Bains' department was also the top-lobbied government department in 2020. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Former innovation minister Bains was most-lobbied minister in 2020

Mr. Bains, who was lobbied 214 times in 2020, took the top spot from the 2019 leader, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Pre-Trump America is no more; Canada will have to rethink its world view

Opinion|By Les Whittington
While Trump’s incitement of the mayhem at the Capitol has hurt his standing with Americans, generally, polls indicate his followers by and large have not been chastened or turned against the outgoing president.

Consequential election on the Rock worth watching

Opinion|By Tim Powers
Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where entrenched special-interest bodies within and outside the electoral system will make it difficult to have the debate and discussion that is really needed.

Could be a spring election

Opinion|By Michael Harris
The rationale for those who believe an election is coming rests largely on an accurate premise: minority governments, like May flies, don’t last long. In fact, minorities usually fall in less than two years.

Tick tock: Liberals call for swift implementation of new Canada-U.K. trade pact as legislative process remains murky

News|By Neil Moss
There are 13 sitting days left before the House rises on Dec. 11. Liberals say the text of the new Canada-U.K. transitional deal may not be available for another two to four weeks.

Equality for persons with disabilities on the line in new assisted dying bill

Opinion|By Catherine Frazee
Some say that the suffering of disabling conditions falls strictly in the domain of medicine. But the agonizing quest of Sean Tagert, who died by MAID last August, teaches us otherwise.

Feds make long-overdue start on levelling the playing field on data protection

Opinion|By Les Whittington
A provision allowing organizations to disclose de-identified data to governments for 'socially beneficial' purposes is one of two likely controversial aspects of Bill C-11.

Pompeo: one landmine a day

Opinion|By Gwynne Dyer
Mike Pompeo is setting slow-burning fires in plain sight, which is why a European foreign minister recently described him as a ‘political pyromaniac’—and this is his ‘scorched-earth’ policy.

In understanding the makings of an extremist, there’s a lot of work ahead

We simply do not know yet what leads people to become terrorists. They can be male or female; religious or secular; highly educated or from poverty-stricken backgrounds.

This is no time for half measures or vague aspirations

Opinion|By David Crane
There’s too much at stake. Failure could mean a poorer country. So this budget really matters.

It’s time Canada had a national vaccine injury compensation program

If in the process of partaking in a public good one is injured, they should be provided with just compensation.

End of five-year lobby ban comes with confusion for some Harper-era staffers

Recent confusion centred on whether the ban ends five years after the first Trudeau cabinet was sworn in, or five years after former staffers received their last paycheque from the government.

Economic, industry concerns top-lobbied issues amid return to Parliament and second COVID wave

Economic development, industry, health, and the environment were among the top-cited subjects in October’s 2,611 filings in the federal lobbying registry.

Baby on board for MP Collins

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus Erin O’Toole discovers the secret of an empty medal box and the Anti-Poverty Caucus pushes for public policy solutions at recent webinar.

New adviser joins Intergovernmental Affairs Minister LeBlanc’s team

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, there are a couple of new special assistants now at work in the Liberal research bureau.

Staff exits for PMO and ministers O’Regan, Wilkinson, and Fortier

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Jocelyn Lubczuk has joined Associate Finance Minister Mona Fortier’s office as director of communications and operations, as Blue Knox moves over to International Trade Minister Mary Ng’s team.

Defenestration talk: Scheer inadvertently helps some politicos learn a new word

Feature|By Palak Mangat
Plus, Canada will soon have its first Inuit-language TV channel service.

MP Don Davies goes live with Facebook baking session of his signature banana bread

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus, the UNHCR has released a refugee cookbook featuring recipes from Canadian political players, and distinguished political science professor Leo Panitch has passed away.

New press secretaries in place for ministers Bennett, Vandal

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Allen Alexandre has exited as director of parliamentary affairs to Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger.

Canada has a renewable energy world leader right in our own backyard

Opinion|By Martin Pochtaruk
Canada is seeking to merge a transition to green power with its COVID-19 economic recovery plan. When it comes to solar power, that will require protection of Canada’s small but mighty solar manufacturing industry.

New small modular reactor action plan a key step for new technology’s growth amid ‘incredible demand,’ says industry group 

The plan didn't have any funding attached to it, but key stakeholders say they'll be watching for it in the 2021 budget.

Focus on keeping industry, not politicians, in Canada

Opinion|By Erin Weir
The start of a new year is a time to act on resolutions. The federal government should implement border carbon adjustments and an improved Fiscal Stabilization Program.

Anti-vaxxers are the biggest threat in fighting COVID-19

Opinion|By Andrew Caddell
While not as radical as the anti-vaxxers, those who are hesitant once presented a danger only to their children; now, in COVID times, they are a threat to all of us.

Feds’ tree-planting program faces hurdles, with many questions left unanswered, say experts

'Just planting the trees isn’t enough, they have to be looked after, particularly in urban situations,' says UBC professor John Innes. 'A lot of the effectiveness of this program will be dependent on the aftercare.'
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on March 16, 2016, announcing Canada's bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the seat had all the hallmarks of a partisan campaign, something that Adam Chapnick says is detrimental to Canada's success on the UNSC. Prime Minister's Office photo courtesy of Adam Scotti

The definitive history of Canada’s role on the United Nations Security Council

The first definitive history of Canada's time on the UN Security Council is a must read for anyone interested in Canadian foreign policy.
Harold Johnson’s book Peace and Good Order is among five shortlisted books for this year's Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
Feature|Beatrice Paez
'I kind of just go ahead and do what I feel I should do, and get myself into situations where I’m thinking, "Oh, everybody here knows more than I do. But anyway, here goes." It served me very well,' says former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin.
Feature|Mike Lapointe
Patterns of interference, intimidation, and harassment of individual Canadians by the Chinese Communist Party ‘demand a response’ from the Canadian government, says veteran journalist Jonathan Manthorpe in his 2019 book.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, pictured Sept. 14, 2020, arriving for last week's cabinet retreat in Ottawa before Parliament resumes on Sept. 23. Economic and fiscal plans must be tied to economic scenarios with unmeasurable probabilities. Finance ministers around the world will be under pressure to change the way they prepare budgets, writes Kevin Page. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

COVID-19: economic impacts and prospects

Opinion|Kevin Page
There are some potential game changers for outcomes—a vaccine; and a resurgence in international leadership and cooperation. Closer to home, we need a Canadian economic recovery plan that will boost confidence in the future with strategic and measured investments in long-term challenges and adjustment support for Canadians and businesses left behind by the coronavirus.
Feature|Beatrice Paez, Neil Moss, Mike Lapointe, Samantha Wright Allen, and Abbas Rana
In what was supposed to be a period in which backbenchers and the opposition could wield more influence over the political debate, power and influence is arguably even more concentrated among a narrow cast of mostly familiar figures.
If we want to really honour Shannen Koostachin and the many children like her—we need to speak up, keep talking until government takes immediate action to end the inequality. If they don’t—vote them out because kids like Shannen are worth the money. The time for patience is over.
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Politics This Morning: Trudeau welcomes Biden presidency, ‘disappointed’ but accepts Keystone XL cancellation

Plus, former Conservative Party leadership contender Derek Sloan has been ousted from the party after a caucus vote.
The government is facing class-action lawsuits and a constitutional challenge based on the conditions thousands of prisoners are being kept in that advocates describe as similar to solitary confinement.
The tragic death by suicide of a frontline physician ought to raise red flags about the mental health pressures of the pandemic. Will it?
Three inmates have died from COVID-19 and of the 1,149 positive cases recorded in Canada’s prisons, 167 remain active in the midst of outbreaks in three federal institutions.
Some experts say it’s an open question whether having political leaders or other high-profile figures get their shots first will actually be effective at shoring up confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
The Hot Room Podcast

It can happen here: White supremacy and neo-fascism in Canada

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If ever there was a time to develop this talent pipeline, it is in the middle of an economy-destroying pandemic. We need to be ready to bounce back strongly when the disease is behind us.
In the past twenty years, consultants have either advised or taken over senior positions in government, with calamitous results.
Inequity can’t be vaccinated away, but targeted solutions can make the difference.
Opinion|Aiman Akmal
The Donald Trump playbook, coated in racism, and the consistent lamenting of 'cancel culture,' was successful for a time. Not anymore.
Opinion|Douglas Roche
The 'democratic deficit' in Canada is shocking. The government is allowing NATO to bamboozle Canadians with its false nuclear deterrence doctrine.
Opinion|Jayson Myers
Meeting the Paris agreement targets and transforming Canada into its best climate self won’t be as simple as regulating, taxing, and funding the development of cleantech. Industry must be a big part of that transition.

Webster’s Newspapering a cracking good read with much to teach

Norman Webster, reporter, editor-in-chief, and word-farmer extraordinaire, sheds light on reporting and more in a riveting collection of columns spanning his decades in 'newspapering.'

New year, new staff roster for International Trade Minister Ng, including Catenaro’s exit

Plus, Digital Government Minister Joyce Murray has officially promoted Erik Nosaluk to the title of press secretary, a role he’s been acting in since last spring.

A look at the team behind Bloc Québécois Leader Blanchet

Led by chief of staff Mathias Boulianne, the Bloc leader’s office and research bureau team together include 25 staffers who help support the party’s 32-member caucus.
Feature|Palak Mangat

Global News’ Akin gets good uptake in probing MPs’ and hopeful politics’ travel plans, CTV News’ McGregor focuses on current 338

Plus, two Conservative MPs and longtime Green MP Elizabeth May will be featured in season four of the TVO series, Political Blind Date, which airs this month.

Senate offers rendition of Christmas poem as Upper Chamber closes for the season

Plus, an Indigenous Services Canada official's attire—a red dress pin—draws a positive review from NDP Manitoba MLA Nahanni Fontaine.

As union members face COVID-19 pandemic ‘head on,’ PSAC calls for feds to return to bargaining table

Treasury Board spokesperson Martin Potvin says the government's goal is to take 'constructive steps to keep meeting and to prepare for negotiations when they resume.'

‘Critical situation’ in prisons as health-care workers threaten to walk over lack of protective equipment

'The Correctional Service of Canada continues to take a number of preventative measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in federal institutions,' according to the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

No more Hill parties, after coronavirus pandemic forces Parliament Hill to shut down

'Politics and the Pen is probably the exact opposite of social distancing. We cram so many people into the ballroom that you can barely keep one to two inches away,' says Jim Armour.  

Sorbara makes ’em howl at the Métropolitain

Pat Sorbara's new book, Let 'em Howl, offers lessons learned over a more than four-decade career in federal and provincial politics as a high-ranking Liberal backroomer.

Dutch envoy sees Canada as ‘fertile ground’ to address climate change 

‘We have to start, we have to stimulate, we have to get our acts together in order to achieve our goals,’ says Goverdina Christina Coppoolse.

New Thai envoy plans hands-on approach to bring better support to citizens, diaspora

Kallayana Vipattipumiprates arrived in Ottawa in February, straight from his previous posting in Iran, but only presented credentials in October.

Green Leader Paul delves into intersection of identity in politics on Jan. 21

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul will deliver remarks in a talk, 'Intersections of Identity in Politics,' part of the 2021 Edgar and Dorothy Davidson Lecture Series, hosted by Carleton University, on Thursday, Jan. 21. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured Jan. 12, 2021, at Rideau Cottage, says he isn't interested in calling an election in the middle of a pandemic. 'Every political party understands that elections can happen. But as I’ve been consistently saying, we don’t want an election. We need to continue to work hard and focus on Canadians,' he told reporters, following a cabinet shuffle that has triggered fresh speculation that a vote could come soon.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
The Hill Times file photograph by Jake Wright
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