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Liberals exploring creation of independent commission for leaders’ debates, but not all convinced of need

By Laura Ryckewaert      

‘You never know from one election to the other what you’re going to get,’ says former NDP national director Karl Bélanger of the current system for leaders’ debates.

Former Conservative Party national campaign manager Jenni Byrne, left, says she's against the idea of the government creating a body to regulate federal leaders' debates, while former Liberal adviser Peter Donolo and former NDP national director Karl Bélanger say they're open to the idea. The Hill Times file photographs and courtesy of Facebook

The Liberal government is eyeing the creation of an independent body to run televised federal leaders’ debates during elections, and while some former campaign organizers say they are open to the idea, others say the large number of debates in 2015 demonstrate the ad hoc system works the way it is.

Dole out funding for COVID-19 ads soon, say experts, as ethnic media outlets face cash crunch

News|By Palak Mangat

Ottawa should declare northern flights essential as ‘decimated’ service puts Inuit at risk of losing ‘only link’ to key services, says ITK

The government said it is committed to ‘maintaining a focused, safe and reliable air transport network for these communities.’

Wage subsidies ‘critical,’ a ‘lifeline’ for businesses to survive pandemic, says Chamber of Commerce president

News|By Mike Lapointe
'This subsidy will make a real difference in your lives and help everyone affected bridge to better times,' said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, March 27.

Mental health a ‘missing piece’ in feds’ COVID-19 response, say critics, advocates

NDP MP Don Davies says the situation calls for an ‘extraordinary response’ and supports for mental health, which one advocate says should come ‘imminently.’

Food supply, emergency vehicle repair: keeping Canada-U.S. trade open key to fight against COVID-19, say stakeholders

The 'biggest point of concern right now' is 'making sure that we keep those shipments of fresh vegetables and other commodities rolling in by truck across the border, truck or train,' says John Manley.

Refusing to commit to firm timeline, Trudeau says it’s ‘realistic’ measures will last until July

The government is working to recall Parliament to consider passing what the prime minister has cast as the 'biggest economic measures' in Canada’s history.

Introduction of electronic, remote voting not called for yet, but should be re-examined by House committee, say some MPs

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie says she doesn’t think such a reconsideration is warranted yet, but could be if COVID-19 keeps Parliament away into the fall.

Lobbyists clamour to get voices heard on COVID-19

The number of lobbying files connected to COVID-19 has exploded in the last week, with 90 registrations for 55 organizations outlining plans to push federal officials on issues ranging from policy to funding.

Feds to spend $2-billion to scale up production of medical supplies, equipment, as it braces for anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases

'We need a sustainable and stable supply of these products, and that means making them at home, and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks,' says Prime Minister Trudeau.
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