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Opinion

The right stuff: former top PMO staffers talk about Canada’s prime ministers

By Arthur Milnes      

Every leader and prime minister brings with him or her to high office aspects of inspiration, determination, hard work, and personal style. Each is unique in the particular mix and tone of what is brought and portrayed.

Canada Always: The Defining Speeches of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, edited by Arthur Milnes and to be published next month by McClelland & Stewart.

KINGSTON, ONT.—In anticipation of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s 175th birthday in November Hill Times contributor Arthur Milnes has collected the seventh prime minister’s most important addresses in a new book Canada Always: The Defining Speeches of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. He also invited distinguished Canadians to provide commentary essays about Sir Wilfrid for the volume. Below are excerpts from the essays by five past chiefs-of-staff or principal secretaries to prime ministers from both parties that have formed governments in recent years.

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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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