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Hill Life & People

Yep, everything still revolves around the prime minister and the PMO

By Alex Marland      

Let’s cut to the chase: Patrice Dutil's book Prime Ministerial Power in Canada: Its Origins under Macdonald, Laurier, and Borden is for people who are fascinated with historical minutiae about Canadian political and government executives from years ago. If you like reading biographies of Canadian prime ministers, or enjoy finding nuggets such as how the Treasury Board was created, you will like Prime Ministerial Power in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured Sunday, June 25, 2017, at the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto. Ministers and Liberal MPs are so connected to the Trudeau brand that they have limited flexibility to develop their own public personas. I would go so far as to suggest that Pierre Trudeau’s quip that MPs are 'nobodies' once they leave Parliament Hill is increasingly applicable to ministers, too. Both are unfair comments and yet reflect the inescapable reality that everything revolves around the prime minister and the PMO. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD.—Quick: does the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have too much power? How you answer might have a lot to do with your impressions of him and the Liberal government’s policies. It is a question with no definitive answer. The media and critics aren’t complaining nearly the way that they did with Stephen Harper. As a result, perhaps people are giving less thought to how the PMO operates.

Feds’ priciest COVID-19 spending measures could cost more than $851-million, says budget watchdog

News|By Palak Mangat 4:27 PM ET
In accounting for the spending drives in response to COVID-19 rolled out so far, the PBO projects Canada’s deficit could soar to $184.2-billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

‘Critical situation’ in prisons as health-care workers threaten to walk over lack of protective equipment

News|By Mike Lapointe
'The Correctional Service of Canada continues to take a number of preventative measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in federal institutions,' according to the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

MPs join fight to stamp out COVID-19 disinformation that’s ‘spreading faster than the virus’

NDP MP Charlie Angus and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith have joined one such effort, Infotagion, an international initiative launched by U.K. MP Damian Collins.

‘We’re all under the gun’: MPs work 24-7 in the midst of a pandemic

MPs say COVID-19 case work is consuming their days, and they're turning to ‘imaginative’ ways of reaching out to make sure constituents' needs are met and their voices heard.

AFN National Chief Bellegarde calls on feds to ‘immediately’ release 10 per cent of COVID-19 funding to communities

News|By Palak Mangat
A portion of the $1-billion fund announced by the feds to scale up public health services will be directed to First Nations communities, in addition to other funding.

‘The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal’: Trump’s threats undermine Canada-U.S. relationship, says former envoy

News|By Neil Moss
'We are dealing with an administration that is both very unpredictable, very much America first, [and] not long-term thinking in terms of its relationship with its allies,' says former diplomat Michael Kergin.

Patients in psychiatric care at great risk to COVID-19 outbreak, warns Sen. Kutcher

‘We are very worried,’ echoes one psychiatrist whose association is preparing a ‘call to action’ to governments.

Feds order 30,000 ‘made-in-Canada’ ventilators

News|By Palak Mangat
'We were able to achieve a win-win outcome, that will be the argument we continue to make and advance in our relationship with the U.S.,' says Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Feds partly responsible for treatment of asylum seekers turned back at Canadian-U.S. border, say refugee advocates

News|By Neil Moss
'We should be weary of using a crisis like this to turn our back on our human rights obligations,' says University of Ottawa law professor Jamie Chai Yun Liew.
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