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Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, pictured Nov. 3, 2020, on the Hill. 'If there’s ever a time where Minister Guilbeault is prepared to communicate with Canadians on an issue that he knows well, this is it,' says Summa Strategies' Elliot Hughes. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Upcoming carbon price increase to ‘pose some of the greatest challenges to the Trudeau government yet,’ argues Angus Reid’s Kurl

Innovative Research Group’s Greg Lyle, meanwhile, sees the annual increases that come with the federal carbon price policy as more of a ‘growing pressure’ for the feds than an ‘immediate crisis.’

NDP caucus retreat brings renewed focus on health care and cost-of-living concerns ahead of House return

NDP MPs say last week's retreat was a chance to speak about issues impacting Canadians the most and to 'amplify' their voices when the House of Commons sits again.

Liberal leadership speculation a distraction, Trudeau should shut it down firmly, say Liberal MPs, political insiders, and pollsters

News|By Abbas Rana
If the Liberal leadership speculation does not stop, Liberals could end up in the same situation as Conservatives are now in, says Darrell Bricker. But Nik Nanos says Trudeau could theoretically win another government.

House sitting ‘make or break’ for O’Toole’s leadership, say Conservatives

News|By Abbas Rana
Conservative caucus members opposed to leader Erin O’Toole have to decide if their political enemy is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or O’Toole, says pollster Nik Nanos.

‘I can feel the level of anxiety in people’s voices’: Zoom fatigue, stressed-out constituents and threats, the lives of parliamentarians through the pandemic

MPs say they've experienced rising threats to their personal safety and increased difficulty connecting with their constituents during the pandemic.

Supply chain crisis and federal budget occupy agriculture sector in busy December

Three of the top six most active advocacy groups in December represented the agricultural sector.

In defiance of O’Toole, Saskatchewan MPs vote to back Batters in regional caucus: source

News|By Abbas Rana
In a regional caucus meeting Thursday evening, Saskatchewan MPs voted overwhelmingly in support of Senator Denise Batters' staying in the Saskatchewan caucus.

National housing strategy investments ‘not enough’ to increase housing supply, says CMHC

Canada’s Superintendent of Financial Institutions Peter Routledge says Canada’s housing sector has systems in place to absorb shocks from rising interest rates.

Alexa McDonough and the cost of blazing trails

Feature|By Chelsea Nash
Alexa McDonough, who died on Jan. 15 at the age of 77, was the second woman to lead the federal NDP from 1995 through 2006; a time, her former colleagues recall, in which women in politics faced much sexism.

Ottawa on the hook for $4-billion tied to abandoned mines’ cleanup in the North

NDP MP Lori Idlout says the Liberals need to hold companies accountable. ‘Our communities can’t continue to be disregarded when the profit is gone and we’re left to clean up the mess.'
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, pictured Nov. 3, 2020, on the Hill. 'If there’s ever a time where Minister Guilbeault is prepared to communicate with Canadians on an issue that he knows well, this is it,' says Summa Strategies' Elliot Hughes. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Upcoming carbon price increase to ‘pose some of the greatest challenges to the Trudeau government yet,’ argues Angus Reid’s Kurl

Innovative Research Group’s Greg Lyle, meanwhile, sees the annual increases that come with the federal carbon price policy as more of a ‘growing pressure’ for the feds than an ‘immediate crisis.’

House return will be a welcome channel changer

Opinion|By Sheila Copps
Time to move on from COVID.

Champagne has to help boost Canada’s capacity for successful innovation

Opinion|By David Crane
Canada needs to do better on innovation, but François-Philippe Champagne must show how a CARPA would make a real difference.

Take a look in the social media mirror before casting the first snowball

Opinion|By Tim Powers
So many of us share so much of our daily stories through social media, excoriating Doug Ford for doing the same seems a little much.

Time to take necessary steps for a more inclusive charitable sector

The Income Tax Act, which was enacted in the 1950s, needs to be amended because it’s a form of systemic racism that limits the participation of BIPOC organizations.

‘Risk aversion’ complicates passage of Senate bill to repurpose frozen assets for victims

News|By Neil Moss
'The objective of many private members' bills, as this one is, is to raise the bar on awareness and persuade the government to do it sooner rather than later,' says Senator Ratna Omidvar.

Automatic pardon bill hailed by experts as ‘most significant’ justice reform in a long time

News|By Alice Chen
But experts also note the proposed legislation doesn’t solve broader societal problems with marginalization and inequity for individuals post-incarceration.

Work across the aisle to advance gender equality in the Arctic

Opinion|By Hlynur Gudjonsson
A prosperous Arctic is a strong Arctic, but the future prosperity of our nations will not be achieved without inclusion.

Canada, the monarchy, and the cost of conceding the Crown

Opinion|By Arash Toupchinejad
A November 2021 survey suggests that 52 per cent of Canadians believe the country should not remain a constitutional monarchy indefinitely, while a quarter of respondents say it should. Support for the monarchy has decli

Ottawa correctly staking a moral claim for the integrity of Ukraine

Ukraine’s key shortcoming is its desperately weak air defenses and air force, which Canada is in no position to alleviate without a collective NATO deployment.

Strengthening Canada’s lobbying regime

Opinion|By Nancy Belanger
Significant improvements can be made in the areas of transparency, fairness, clarity, and efficiency—values that are essential to an effective administration of the federal lobbying regime.

Charging into 2022 on the COVID carousel

Opinion|By Jason Kerr, Alex Greco
The pandemic has exposed how industry and government, working together and listening to each others’ interests, can effectively work together to create the right support solutions for all Canadians.

Lobbying needs transparency in the face of foreign threats and disinformation

Foreign influencers and the challenges posed by disinformation must be high on the agenda as we update our regulatory systems.

McKenna gets a new gig, joins Columbia’s Center on Global Energy

Plus, Scotty Greenwood, Art Milnes, and Scott Reid edit a book; Tim Powers will run for a cancer research in the Boston Marathon; and Chelsea Nash returns to The Hill Times.

Rural Economic Development Minister Hutchings’ firms up 13-member team

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Jeremy Bellefeuille is director of communications to the new minister, while Luka Vujic has been hired as press secretary.

Agriculture Minister Bibeau has a new acting chief of staff, Jérémy Gauthier

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Other changes to the minister’s staff lineup this Parliament include Emerson Vandenberg’s promotion to policy director, and Allison St-Jean’s hiring as communications director.

Politicos pay tribute to Alexa McDonough

Plus, the new U.S. ambassador enters a bagel imbroglio, and the Korean Cultural Centre has a new online exhibition on a tradition of sharing.

Bilateral spats need to be addressed, but outgoing South African envoy says Canadian ties still ‘strong’

Feature|By Neil Moss
South African High Commissioner Sibongiseni Dlamini-Mntambo says the pandemic curbed some of the work she was undertaking.

Paul Martin to talk about global turmoil; Marc Roy has a new gig; Indiescreens announced; and Philipupillai joins HT’s newsroom

Feature|By Alice Chen
Former prime minister Paul Martin, who led the country from 2003-2006, will join a conversation with former New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant to talk about 'Navigating a Difficult World.'

Spend time on ethics prep to save time handling pitfalls

Opinion|By Mario Dion
For 2022, my attention remains focused on educating to prevent conflicts of interest, especially in light of recent ethical issues that have impacted public confidence.

Lost in the haze: has the need for ethics law reform been overshadowed by Trump and COVID?

Opinion|By Ian Stedman
Our laws tell the world something about who we are as a nation and who we believe we can be. If we want to remain a global leader, then our laws must be modernized.

Time for true climate leadership at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Opinion|By John Bennett
Why is the Canada Pension Plan, with more than $540-billion in assets, not leading the world in investing in solutions for recovery and resilience and instead shoring up long-standing polluters?

Expect continuity in Canada’s foreign policy and national security corridors after DM shuffle: analysts

News|By Neil Moss
Trade consultant Eric Miller says David Morrison will bring a new approach as deputy minister of international trade.

It’s time for a serious rethink on Canada’s border strategy

A new strategic vision for the border must be part of a broader policy discussion around an updated, modernized national security plan and it must not be monopolized by the experience of COVID-19.
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.

Conservatives have a responsibility to participate in National Security, Intelligence Committee

The boycott of the committee is in protest of the government’s decision to keep documents relating to the firing of two government microbiologists at Canada’s high-security laboratory in Winnipeg one year ago classified.
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Politics This Morning: 200,000 Little Orphans

Plus, Black-led non-profits get a helping hand.
Experts say that because of an inability to progress on correctional plans, inmates are being kept for longer than they ought to be, and vulnerable to outbreaks of COVID in the congregate settings.
Opinion|Will Falk
Two deficits in our health-care system became evident when social distancing necessitated virtual care nearly overnight for infection control: information system availability and our backup remote systems robustness.
Opinion|Eva Schacherl
Any strategy based on rich countries’ interests—commercial, medical or scientific—is just another form of the colonialism that has caused so much harm.
Opinion|Sheila Copps
In the end, we each need to do our part to end the pandemic. But we also need embrace life. Life is the whole point of this fight.
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PBO Yves Giroux on debt, stimulus, and the fall update

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Opinion|Chris Aylward
Pay cuts and an austerity agenda would hurt workers at this critical moment—and that’s simply not what a progressive government would do.
For Canada, the key takeaway is that better preparedness today for tomorrow’s risks creates better resilience, which leads to better outcomes.
Climate change, the deeper crisis of our time, requires us all to heed the urgent call to action.
Make no mistake, our governments are choosing oil companies over Indigenous peoples—and that’s not a promising path to reconciliation.
Opinion|Erica Ifill
The reason we’re still in this pandemic is not solely because there are those who don’t want to get the vaccine, but systemic and succeeding government policies that have cumulated in a fragile health-care system.
Some anti-vaxxers complain there has been no logic in the decisions of governments. It is not logic that is in short supply, but knowledge and perspective.
Feature|Alex Marland

Some interesting reads about Canadian politics in 2021

Here’s a sample published by three of Canada’s largest academic publishers: University of British Columbia Press, University of Toronto Press, and McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Michael Wernick on governing, political journalism, and his Machiavellian inspiration

'I was pissed off, and I thought it needed to be called out:' the former top civil servant talks to Peter Mazereeuw about his explosive committee testimony following the Yellow Vest protest on Parliament Hill, and a whole lot more.

Sports Minister St-Onge’s office led by chief of staff Kelly Wilhelm

Gabriel Cyr is director of policy and parliamentary affairs to Minister St-Onge, while Viki Ozell-Landry is director of operations.

PMO policy head Marci Surkes soon to exit, John Brodhead named new director

After 15 years as a staffer on Parliament Hill, Marci Surkes is set to make her exit later this month. John Brodhead will take over as director of policy in the PMO.

Canada’s first Vietnamese-Canadian senator says goodbye to the Red Chamber

Plus, hand-sculpted Trudeau bobbleheads are up for sale, new faces join the National Post, and colleagues remember the late former Liberal cabinet minister Bob Speller.

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

After ‘ups and downs,’ departing Taiwanese diplomat says relationship is on the ascent

Outgoing Taiwanese diplomat Simon Sung praises the work of Parliamentarians in advancing Canada-Taiwan ties.
Feature|Neil Moss

Forthcoming Indo-Pacific strategy will be a ‘great vehicle’ for Canada-South Korea co-operation, says envoy

In a wide-ranging interview, South Korean Ambassador Chang Keung Ryong talks Canada's upcoming Indo-Pacific strategy, his country's bid to accede to the CPTPP, and the recent UN peacekeeping ministerial in Seoul.

Health Minister Duclos to speak at Montreal Council on Foreign Relations event on Tuesday, Jan. 25

Monday, January 24th, 2022
Minster of Health Jean-Yves Duclos, pictured Nov. 16, 2021, arriving for the Liberal cabinet meeting in the West Block. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference in West Block on Jan. 24, 2022. In the press conference, O'Toole didn't answer whether he supported the anti-vaccine-mandate truck convoy that's headed to Ottawa in protest of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for truckers delivering supplies across the Canada-U.S. border.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
Former NDP leader Alexa McDonough, pictured in 2018, died on Jan. 15 in Halifax at the age of 77 after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. McDonough led the federal NDP from 1995 to 2003, and served as an MP for Halifax from 1997 to 2008.

The Hill Times file photograph
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