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Canada needs ‘to have a little less overheated rhetoric about the state of our democracy or the state of the law and more precision and focus about what specifically needs to be changed,’ says Michael Wernick, the former clerk of the Privy Council, who gave his thoughts on reforming the access-to-information system during a Sept. 14 debate. The Hill Times file photo

Legislative change needed on access to information, but ‘overheated rhetoric’ doesn’t help, says Wernick

Canada has a ‘blackout bureaucracy,’ says journalism professor Sean Holman, who debated the former Privy Council clerk this week on the role of access to information in Canada’s democracy.

AFN’s call for Indigenous voters to be election ‘kingmakers’ challenged by lack of voter enthusiasm, say chiefs and politicos

News|By Matt Horwood
First Nations electors have the political power to flip several ridings, but turnout among Indigenous voters is traditionally much lower than it is for the average population.

Rising support for far-right People’s Party unlikely to trouble Tories, say strategists and experts, as O’Toole makes a pitch for the centre

News|By Neil Moss
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has tried to recruit support from the centre, but it may have left the party vulnerable to a challenge on its right flank.

Green Party targets Prince Edward Island seats in rare campaign trip by leader Annamie Paul

News|By Matt Horwood
The provincial Greens' rise to become the official opposition in 2019 signals that P.E.I. voters are tired of 'politics as usual,' says one prof, which could translate into increased support for the Greens at the federal

Youth turnout may be stronger than expected this year and the NDP are reaching them the best: politicos

News|By Alice Chen
The Liberals have a conflicting track record, the Conservatives are sticking mostly to their older base, and the Greens are failing to capitalize on their opportunities, say experts and candidates.

Northern races heat up as candidates vie to succeed Qaqqaq, Bagnell

News|By Alice Chen
Experts say that left-leaning parties seem to have a foothold in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, but Yukon could be anyone’s game.

International students struggle to come to Canada amid COVID-19 variant concerns, says Universities Canada president

The number of international students may rise this year compared to 2020, but travel restrictions related to COVID-19 variants may be a roadblock, according to Paul Davidson, the president of Universities Canada.

Trades worker shortage getting worse as politicians promise more construction

More than 700,000 skilled tradespeople will retire by 2028, and Canada's efforts to replace them are falling short, warns a new report from the Royal Bank of Canada.

Cabinet record could help or hinder at-risk ministers in Quebec, Ontario

News|By Neil Moss
Former NDP staffer Cameron Holmstrom says some ministers have found themselves in unexpected re-election fights.

The race for Parliament Hill: Liberals, NDP jockey to fill void left in Ottawa Centre

The 40-year tug of war for this uniquely politically engaged riding had a flame lit under it following the withdrawal of incumbent minister Catherine McKenna from political life.
Canada needs ‘to have a little less overheated rhetoric about the state of our democracy or the state of the law and more precision and focus about what specifically needs to be changed,’ says Michael Wernick, the former clerk of the Privy Council, who gave his thoughts on reforming the access-to-information system during a Sept. 14 debate. The Hill Times file photo

Legislative change needed on access to information, but ‘overheated rhetoric’ doesn’t help, says Wernick

Canada has a ‘blackout bureaucracy,’ says journalism professor Sean Holman, who debated the former Privy Council clerk this week on the role of access to information in Canada’s democracy.

Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan

Opinion|By Sheila Copps
All signs are pointing to a Liberal government, with the only question being whether it will be minority or majority.

Erin O’Toole, the Man of Rubber

Opinion|By Andrew Caddell
If O’Toole does win on Sept. 20, he will wake up with a mounting pile of IOUs to people like François Legault, who will be telling him to ‘pay up.’

Canada isn’t ready for what comes next

Opinion|By Erica Ifill
The anxiety of the pandemic, increased time spent online, and a former American president that platformed hate are all ingredients to a cauldron of white supremacy that’s about to boil over.

Four years on, past critics are silent on whether fears around transgender human rights bill were founded

News|By Alice Chen
Then, furor erupted around the bill, with media attention centring on University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson’s concerns of free speech and being compelled to employ certain words and gender-neutral terms.

Senator’s ‘good faith’ journalism royalties bill flawed, say media watchdogs

News|By Alice Chen
MPs, Senators say they support Sen. Claude Carignan’s effort to have web giants pay for posting news through copyright laws, noting more needs to be done to support the journalism industry.

MPs, advocates call for funding, education, action to crush ‘shadow pandemic’ of domestic violence

News|By Alice Chen
The approach taken needs to get to the “root causes of violence … and provide support for survivors under a cohesive framework,” Paulette Senior, CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation said.

This abominable scam of a climate election

Opinion|By Bill Henderson
Concern is skin deep: all the parties' climate platform policies are grossly insufficient, the climate villains are still in firm control, and any informed outsider would see a nation in deep climate denial.

Auto-eugenics in America

Opinion|By Gwynne Dyer
A significant proportion of Republican voters are striving to remove themselves from the gene pool by refusing to be vaccinated, and they can’t vote Republican if they are dead.

It didn’t change the world forever

Opinion|By Gwynne Dyer
Did the world change forever? No, it barely budged. 9/11 was a deliberate provocation and the United States fell for it hook, line and sinker, but it still didn’t produce any of the changes the perpetrators wanted.

Record-breaking lobbying in June as election buzz, end of sitting drive activity

Lobbyists filed 2,398 communication reports in the federal registry last month, pushing activity up nine per cent compared to June 2020.

OCL staff eye summer reprieve, as lobbying activity continues to reach new heights

Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger says it will be interesting to see if the lobbying activity this coming summer will be comparable to that of last year, which set new records in an already bumper year.

Vaping group tops April outreach in record-breaking month for lobbying

Lobbyists filed 2,706 communications last month, pushing activity up 12 per cent compared to April 2020 and making it the busiest April on record.

Liberals and Conservatives trade barbs in series of attack ads

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus, the Progressive Senate Group and the Canadian Senators Group both recently added a new member to their fold.

Bernier calls for a ‘revolution’ in ‘tyranny’ video

Plus, Althia Raj joins the Toronto Star's Hill bureau; Kent Hehr, former Liberal MP and cabinet minister, enters race to be Calgary mayor with 27 other candidates.

A matter of debates: candidates face off as campaign hits final weeks

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus, Jagmeet Singh's poutine truck breaks down and Governor General Mary May Simon loops in full name to honour her roots.

Native Women’s Association of Canada slams feds after non-Indigenous man appointed to lead MMIWG Secretariat

Plus, Green Leader Annamie Paul accidentally endorsed the Liberals, and special debates have been set for issues facing people living with disabilities, and the Black community.

Angry crowds result in cancelled, disrupted Trudeau campaign events

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus, a contentious GTA riding is one of the featured B'nai Brith virtual debates the same day the federal leaders are set to clash publicly for the first time.

Life in the City of Dirty Water: memoir takes readers into the life of Clayton Thomas-Müller, environmental activist

Feature|By Zainab Al-Mehdar
Plus, Minister Monsef was criticized for referring to the Taliban as 'our brothers,' and a former federal minister entered a two-woman race for Manitoba's PC leadership.

Fixing post-secondary education key to fixing social inequities

A commitment to affordable, high quality, accessible, and inclusive post-secondary education for all demands strong federal leadership to close the gap on Indigenous education and better serve minority language students.

No ‘silver bullet’ to address biotech talent shortage, says BIOTECanada president

Canada's biotech sector is facing a shortage of labour, with industry stakeholders looking to changes in policies related to immigration and taxes as possible solutions to attract more talent.

Canada’s life sciences sector: its time has come 

Opinion|By Alan Bernstein
Canada is simply too small a country to divide our efforts and resources. Perhaps one of the key benefits of a successful national life sciences strategy will be to secure that alignment of purpose across governments.

Building Canada’s vaccine manufacturing infrastructure, more than just walls

Opinion|By Trina Racine
While having a strategy to address all aspects of vaccine manufacturing infrastructure is a positive, the key to success will be ensuring the strategy is followed and constantly refined.

Mitigating oil spills with biotechnology

Opinion|By Chunjiang An
The Government of Canada should develop specialized initiatives to provide the support for further research of biotechnology in oil spill response.
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 attacks O’Toole over Alberta’s COVID-19 spike; Tory leader dodges questions on Kenney

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in Windsor, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is in Sherbrooke, Que., and Nova Scotia, and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is in London and St. Catharines.
We need democracy back—stronger, wiser, and more open to new ideas—with all its checks and balances restored.
The reluctance to imbue the federal government with a full leadership role or embrace dynamic national cohesion is part of the reason Canadians have been stuck in COVID hell for 16 months.
Global health gains that took decades to achieve are now under threat. Within the first 25 weeks of the pandemic, COVID-19 had overturned 25 years of progress.
With the U.S. pounding on the doors and some Canadians becoming increasingly impatient, this longstanding national shortcoming has the potential to emerge as much more of a political risk factor.
Terrific 25 Staffer Survey
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All signs point to Canada getting its version of a 21st century populist. The duration of its existence and prominence in Canadian politics is still unknown.
Opinion|Sean Bruyea
Whatever party governs after election day, Canadians will need to be engaged. The best vehicles to involve Canadians on veterans’ issues are to hold either nationwide public hearings or strike a judicial inquiry.
Opinion|Jay Cockburn
An upstart Conservative party leader putting on a friendly, faux-progressive face. He’s looking to take power, a struggling centre-left governing party stares down the barrel of a global crisis.
Canada needs to move quickly to implement proportional EV consumer supports and strategic industrial investments if we are to keep pace with other countries and realize the supply chain and manufacturing opportunities.
If Canada wants to be more than just a back-row supporter of nuclear disarmament it will need to invest some diplomatic energy in this endeavour.
On Sept. 20, one of the two largest Canadian political parties is likely to win the election. Both are supporting new nuclear infrastructure development. The victor will oversee a fund with up to $8-billion.
Feature|Jim Creskey

Keeping the bailiff from repossessing your car: the case for a basic income

In their new book The Case for Basic Income, Jamie Swift and Elaine Power vigorously demonstrate that basic income programs have been tried and measured in several countries. In Canada, they have been tested in Manitoba and Ontario—with clearly positive results.
Feature|Mark Jaccard

Jaccard offers up solid advice on what citizens can do to fight climate change

The following an excerpt from Mark Jaccard's The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress, one of five books nominated for this year’s Donner Prize for the best public policy book of the year.

Anand’s press aide departs, director-level changes for Lametti, Rodriguez

Tania Monaghan is Justice Minister David Lametti’s new director of rights implementation.

New advisers hired for ministers O’Regan, Gould, Sajjan

Plus, Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly has hired Alan Ning to serve as her new director of operations.
Feature|Alice Chen

Paula Simons launches video series celebrating Alberta

Plus, Todd Doherty wins a mental health award and a march in Ottawa is planned in solidarity with the detained Michaels.

Leaders’ debate dates and venue announced 

Plus, Canada appoints new envoys in Hong Kong and South Africa, and Tanya Talaga, an award-winning author and journalist, signs a three-book deal.

Federal cybersecurity workers heading for strike votes following bargaining impasse

With the two sides having been at the bargaining table for almost two years following the expiry of the most recent collective agreement, strike votes are scheduled to run from Feb. 11 to 24.

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.
Feature|Neil Moss

Afghan envoy denounces the Taliban’s ‘brutal campaign of violence and terror’

'Everyday we wake up to many tragic and alarming news coming out of Afghanistan,' says Afghan Ambassador Hassan Soroosh.
Feature|Neil Moss

‘We have to have visits’: New Romanian envoy hopes for renewal of high-level meetings post-pandemic

In a wide-ranging interview, Romanian Ambassador Bogdan Mănoiu spoke about defence and economic co-operation with Canada, as well as the need to renew high-level visits between the two nations.

Campaign ends, Canadians head to the polls on Sept. 20

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
After going toe-to-toe during leaders' debates, Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet, left, Green Leader Annamie Paul, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole will duke it out at the polls on the Sept. 20 election day. Screenshot courtesy of CBC News

On the day after the English-language debates, Sept. 10, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul held a press conference to highlight her party’s platform in Ottawa, joined by local candidates. The Gatineau, Que., debates marked her first campaign appearances outside of Toronto.
The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia
The Hill Times file photograph by Jake Wright
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