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Opinion

Monarch butterflies: symbol or symptom?

By Jeremy Kerr      

Environmental threats transcend borders and the prime minister is signalling that responses should too. The U.S. committed to building a milkweed corridor for monarchs along interstate highways. Joined up thinking on issues like this is needed.

Biodiversity is a necessity, not a luxury. Monarch butterflies are among 300 Canadian butterfly species, 800 bee species, and a host of moths, flies, and birds that help pollinate crops and flowering plants. Different organisms, less obviously beautiful, contribute to other indispensable ecosystem services. Monarch butterflies have evolved into a symbol of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and their populations have plummeted, writes Jeremy Kerr. Photograph courtesy of Jacopo Werther

OTTAWA—It’s a strange day in Ottawa when our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Barack Obama, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto chat about butterfly biology and conservation at a press conference. Or perhaps not: monarch butterflies have evolved into a symbol of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and their populations have plummeted.

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Federal lobbyists registry sees crop of new COVID-19 filings, as groups grapple with pandemic

At least 35 organizations are either lobbying federal officials about their needs or looking to assist the government in its response to the escalating coronavirus crisis.

‘More of a social work role’: MPs on balancing constituency work with emotions of electorate during COVID-19

'The level of correspondence has been hard to describe,' says rookie Green MP Jenica Atwin. 'People are really worried. They're really stressed out.'

Canada’s chief public health officers take centre stage amid COVID-19 crisis

News|By Tessie Sanci
Federal officers such as Dr. Theresa Tam and Dr. Howard Njoo, and provincial chief doctors, are involved in daily live press conferences to update Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa should trigger Emergencies Act amid COVID-19 crisis, says retired general and former Liberal Andrew Leslie

The Emergencies Act was carefully crafted and revised in the 1980s so that governments wouldn't have to 'reinvent the wheel' when crisis struck, said the former Liberal whip and army commander.

Trump administration’s proposal to deploy troops to border could damage bilateral relationship, says Freeland

News|By Palak Mangat
'We do not think it would be appropriate, given the very cordial relationship that our two countries have, and the military alliance that exists between our two countries,' says Deputy Prime Minister Freeland.

Unhappy with some of committee’s decisions, Conservative Party’s powerful national council could take over leadership process, say senior Conservative sources

News|By Abbas Rana
A senior spokesman for the Conservative Party flatly denied that the national council has any plans to disband the committee and take over the leadership election process.

Auditor general says ‘too early’ to tell if request for audit on COVID-19 special warrants demands funding boost

News|By Beatrice Paez
'Given the scope and scale of this crisis, it’s incumbent on the government to provide them with supplementary budgeting to adequately provide the support they’re looking for,' says NDP MP Matthew Green.

Start date for new North American trade pact could be pushed back amid coronavirus pandemic, says NAFTA Council member

News|By Neil Moss
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress on March 17 that the new NAFTA will go into effect on June 1.

COVID-19 bailout bill passes after late-night negotiations on new government powers

What was supposed to be a quick, co-operative sitting of the House turned into a negotiating stalemate for hours on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.
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