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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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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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Would-be Conservative leaders wooing Quebec dairy farmers, but organizers say they won’t decide the race this time

With Maxime Bernier out of the party, dairy farmers don’t have a supply-management bogeyman to unite against this time.

‘Prudent, gradual, and phased-in’: public servant return-to-worksite plan slowly unfolding seven weeks in, but ‘no single date’ yet pinned down

News|By Mike Lapointe
Federal departments and agencies are taking numerous precautions and adapting worksites to meet physical distancing requirements, according to the Treasury Board.

‘When you have the will, there is a way’: Canadian-Lebanese Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury’s rise to federal political power

News|By Mike Lapointe
The Liberal MP was first elected in the 2015 federal election, taking just over 25,800 votes and 47 per cent of the tally in the Quebec riding of Laval-Les Îles.

Job losses in July highest among racialized communities, StatsCan data shows

News|By Palak Mangat
'I think the issue with racialized people not returning to work is more about whether or not they’re going to be hired,' says Arjumand Siddiqi, who holds the Canada Research chair in population health equity.

‘The vast majority of the TFWs would rather come here and get their PR’: some MPs signal support for extending permanent residency to Canada’s migrant farm labourers

News

‘Beirut is bleeding’: Lebanese-Canadian MPs express horror, disbelief in wake of massive explosion

News|By Mike Lapointe
'I’m sure with the will of the Lebanese and their friends from all over the world, Beirut will shine again,' says Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury.

‘I await your response’: inside N.S. Liberal MPs’ push for a public inquiry

News|By Neil Moss
'If the 10 MPs are articulating the position for Nova Scotia, I would like to think the government would consider that as a strong indicator of what's happening on the ground,' says Liberal MP Darrell Samson says.

Introduction of remote voting in the House could come without unanimous support

House leaders continue to hold talks over the summer, but whether an agreement can be struck to get Conservatives on side with a recent call to allow remote voting in ‘exceptional circumstances’ remains to be seen.

‘No gotcha moments’: Trudeau’s gambit reflects lessons learned from past ethical entanglements

News|By Beatrice Paez
Though late and largely unconvincing, the PM's testimony helps ensure the government’s points, rather than mere speculation, are litigated in the public square instead, says Garry Keller of StrategyCorp.
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