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Reducing excessive powers of Prime Minister: here’s a way to start

Prime ministers, once safely installed, have most of the powers commoners spent hundreds of years stripping from monarchs. That's got to change.

One of the nation’s largest daily papers, The Toronto Star, ” in a series of articles and columns published between June 20 and 27 argues that Canada’s national government has become a “sham-ocracy.” At the core of the series of problems identified is the excessive concentration of power in the hands of the Prime Minister. “Mostly for convenience, prime ministers since Pierre Trudeau have taken for themselves power that belongs, in the most profound sense, to the people. … As the prolific writer and astute public affairs analyst Donald Savoie observes, prime ministers, once safely installed, have most of the powers commoners spent hundreds of years stripping from monarchs. Surrounded by whispering courtiers and fawning supplicants, they rule beyond Parliament’s reach and oversight. Incrementally, they have turned servant into master and democracy on its head,” (James Travers, Toronto Star, June 27). Remember that power is “best understood in terms of command and control. It is either the capacity to make others do as you wish (the command function) or to reorder the environment around you (the control function),” (Jon Meacham, Newsweek, Jan. 5, 2009). ( Generally, see Stanbury, The Hill Times, May 18, 2009, p.14).

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‘It’s much lonelier’: MPs talk about doing politics in the age of the pandemic

News|By Abbas Rana
MPs from all parties are also watching the provincial election in British Columbia carefully to learn how to run a campaign in the midst of a pandemic.

Lapse in early pandemic warning system ‘a colossal failure,’ says former federal Liberal health minister Dosanjh

News|By Mike Lapointe
'We would have been far better prepared, we would have had far more robust tools at our disposal, had we not put GPHIN to sleep,' said former federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

Committee should study proposed changes to election rules to prepare for future vote, say MPs

News|By Palak Mangat
'What better time to innovate your election system than during a pandemic? Because you're going to have to start thinking outside of the regular way,' says Stéphanie Plante, who has worked with Elections Canada.

Liberal fall agenda takes shape: what’s new, and what has to go through the House

The Throne Speech included a long list of promises. Most were old, some were new. At least 20 will likely require the approval of the opposition-majority House of Commons.

‘We have to put the safety of Canadians first,’ says NDP MP Jenny Kwan, as Parliamentarians return to work in person and virtually

News|By Mike Lapointe
Some Parliamentarians returned to the House on Sept. 23 for its first sitting following the prorogation of Parliament on Aug. 18.

Conservative riding presidents, 2019 candidates want O’Toole to deliver on promise to return election rebates

News|By Abbas Rana
Erin O’Toole told riding association presidents last week that the party will return election rebates to them. Some of the presidents want to know when the money will arrive.

Conservative Party finalize nomination rules for its 217 unheld ridings

Conservative Party members will be able to vote on the phone, online, mail-in ballots, or by drive-through, in ridings where in-person voting is not possible because of the pandemic, say Conservative sources.

Trudeau says some promises ‘clearly’ touch provincial jurisdiction after premiers slam Throne Speech, but calls for unified approach

News|By Palak Mangat
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the Liberals' Throne Speech committed to 'more policies that would invade provincial jurisdiction than I could count.'

Throne Speech’s climate promises draws mixed reviews, with NDP saying it’s a rehash of old pledges

The Throne Speech promised action on climate change like the country has never seen before, but some experts and politicians are skeptical the Liberal government can deliver.
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