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Opinion

Reforming Canada’s political institutions complicated by distortions, misunderstandings and interrelationships

By Alex Marland      

David Smith is to Canadian legislative studies as Donald Savoie is to the study of Canadian public administration. His latest book, The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150, is worth the read.

Parliamentarians who read this book and grasp its core concepts will be in a better position to make sense of the smoke and mirrors that pervade life on the Hill, writes Alex Marland. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Books about Canadian political life tend to be about whatever is trending. Constitutional schisms and protecting our culture against Americanization used to be topical. So did federalism and Quebec’s place in Canada. Elections always command an excess of attention. So too do the accomplishments and failures of party leaders, particularly prime ministers. Throughout it all, the House of Commons and the Senate cut across all segments of Canadian society, and yet those institutions are rarely given book treatment.

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Inside 2020 Books – Inside Ottawa and Inside Canada
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Guide to Using Social and Digital Tools in Election Campaigns: Digital and Social Tools that Politicos are Using to get Elected, Raise Funds, and Recruit Volunteers
Guide to Using Social and Digital Tools in Election Campaigns

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You Might Be From Canada If…
You Might Be From Canada If . . . is a delightful, illustrated romp through this country as it celebrates its 150th birthday.

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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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