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Canadian no-ransom policy is a mistake

By Gar Pardy      

Why the government has clung perilously to it when lives are in the balance is a complete mystery.

Robert Hall, left, and John Ridsdel plead with Canadian and Filipino authorities to meet their kidnappers' demands in a video uploaded to YouTube in October 2015. They were killed earlier this year by members of the militant group Abu Sayyaf. Video screenshot courtesy of Site Intelligence Group/YouTube

OTTAWA—A couple of weeks ago, the families of John Ridsdel and Robert Hall spoke publicly of their anguish at the loss of their loved ones. Embedded in their comments was dissatisfaction with the government’s failure of policy and action in seeking to obtain the release of Ridsdel and Hall following their kidnappings in the Philippines in September 2015.

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Feds strike working groups to tackle delayed MMIWG action plan

Groups say they're pleased to see Ottawa picking up the pace, while the Ontario Native Women’s Association says its exclusion 'makes zero sense' and means some women will fall through the cracks in the conversation.

Co-managed approach, self-governing fisheries the answer to long-simmering lobster dispute, says Senator

The Conservative, NDP, and Green Party critics all say the federal government has failed to act to address tensions.

New Senate art display is the first ever to feature Black artists

Manitoba Senator Patricia Bovey is pushing to see more diversity represented in the art hanging throughout the building the Upper Chamber calls home, calling the new display the ‘first iteration’ of those efforts.

Senate committee approves $460,000 budget for 11-member progressive group

The powerful Internal Economy Committee also agreed to move some procurement discussions from behind closed doors in a bid to be more transparent about its contracts.

Feds trumpet uncertain WTO reform to protect Canada from trade whims of superpowers

News|By Neil Moss
The efforts of the Ottawa Group were part of just a select few foreign policy priorities mentioned during the Throne Speech, ahead of a 'disappointing' move by the U.S. to appeal a WTO softwood lumber ruling.

Canada’s pandemic spending ‘barely sustainable,’ says PBO, projecting $328.5-billion deficit

News|By Palak Mangat
New PBO figures do not capture the possibility of any new government programs, and work off the assumption that there will be a 'gradual' relaxing of public health restrictions within the next 12 to 18 months.

‘Words alone will not be enough’: Black caucus, community cautiously optimistic about feds’ Throne Speech pledges

News|By Beatrice Paez
Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard says she had hoped the speech would have made specific references to the development of a Black-Canadian justice strategy.

‘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.

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.
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