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House committee report a good first step to improving help for Canadians in trouble overseas

By Gar Pardy      

The report on consular services for Canadians overseas will only have meaning if reflected in appropriate action by the government.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, pictured at the National Press Theatre in November, has said paying ransom for kidnapping victims would ‘endanger the lives of every single one of the millions of Canadians around globe.’ The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

On Nov. 21, a House committee released a wide-ranging report on the services the government provides Canadians when they are in difficulty in other countries. The report by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development assessed existing policy and provided Canadians and Parliament with 15 recommendations on how these services should be improved.

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Federal lobbyists registry sees crop of new COVID-19 filings, as groups grapple with pandemic

At least 35 organizations are either lobbying federal officials about their needs or looking to assist the government in its response to the escalating coronavirus crisis.

‘More of a social work role’: MPs on balancing constituency work with emotions of electorate during COVID-19

'The level of correspondence has been hard to describe,' says rookie Green MP Jenica Atwin. 'People are really worried. They're really stressed out.'

Canada’s chief public health officers take centre stage amid COVID-19 crisis

News|By Tessie Sanci
Federal officers such as Dr. Theresa Tam and Dr. Howard Njoo, and provincial chief doctors, are involved in daily live press conferences to update Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa should trigger Emergencies Act amid COVID-19 crisis, says retired general and former Liberal Andrew Leslie

The Emergencies Act was carefully crafted and revised in the 1980s so that governments wouldn't have to 'reinvent the wheel' when crisis struck, said the former Liberal whip and army commander.

Trump administration’s proposal to deploy troops to border could damage bilateral relationship, says Freeland

News|By Palak Mangat
'We do not think it would be appropriate, given the very cordial relationship that our two countries have, and the military alliance that exists between our two countries,' says Deputy Prime Minister Freeland.

Unhappy with some of committee’s decisions, Conservative Party’s powerful national council could take over leadership process, say senior Conservative sources

News|By Abbas Rana
A senior spokesman for the Conservative Party flatly denied that the national council has any plans to disband the committee and take over the leadership election process.

Auditor general says ‘too early’ to tell if request for audit on COVID-19 special warrants demands funding boost

News|By Beatrice Paez
'Given the scope and scale of this crisis, it’s incumbent on the government to provide them with supplementary budgeting to adequately provide the support they’re looking for,' says NDP MP Matthew Green.

Start date for new North American trade pact could be pushed back amid coronavirus pandemic, says NAFTA Council member

News|By Neil Moss
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress on March 17 that the new NAFTA will go into effect on June 1.

COVID-19 bailout bill passes after late-night negotiations on new government powers

What was supposed to be a quick, co-operative sitting of the House turned into a negotiating stalemate for hours on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.
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