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Opinion

Muddling through a minority Parliament: a view from government and opposition benches

By Bruce Carson      

Trust, vigilance, respect, hard work, compromise, and the ability of MPs to work together are the key elements required for muddling through a minority Parliament. Life is going to be very different on Parliament Hill in 2020.

On major confidence matters, such as approval of the budget, outreach to opposition parties should occur at a very early stage. In this Parliament, that task could be given to Associate Minister of Finance Mona Fortier, pictured. If budget promises are made to opposition parties, they must be fulfilled, writes Bruce Carson. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—Whether a government is a strong minority—as now—or a weak one—as in 2006 under Stephen Harper—the challenges and opportunities are pretty much the same, perhaps just not to the same degree.

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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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Inside Ottawa Directory – 2019 Edition
The handy reference guide includes: riding profiles, MPs by province, MP contact details, both Hill and constituency and more.

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Spinning History: A Witness to Harper’s Canada and 21st Century choices
An unvarnished look at the Harper years and what lies ahead for Canadians

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Former PM Turner was a ‘living legend,’ ‘a great defender of Parliament,’ say politicos

News|By Palak Mangat
While the conditions for Liberal longevity might not have been ripe, Liberal strategist Charles Bird says late former prime minister John Turner came to the leadership when 'he was already something of a living legend.'

Foreign policy focus in new session should be on China, U.S., and human rights, say Parliamentarians

News|By Neil Moss
'The No. 1 [foreign policy] priority is our relationship with the United States,' says Independent Senator Peter Boehm as the U.S. presidential election quickly approaches.

Political parties reach last-minute deal to temporarily change House rules for hybrid Commons, electronic voting

The rule changes includes a sunset clause, with the terms expiring Dec. 11.

‘Whatever it takes’: Trudeau says austerity not an option in the face of staggering job losses, health crisis 

News|By Beatrice Paez
The speech did not promise a full-fledged budget, but said an update to the feds’ COVID-19 Economic Response plan would be coming this fall.

‘I wrote this memoir from the heart’: former Supreme Court chief justice wins Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for memoir, Truth Be Told, a ‘unique and tantalizing glimpse’ into top court  

News|By Palak Mangat
'Writing this book has brought me close to Canadians and the wonder of our national diversity. This prize is the icing on the amazing cake that has been my life': former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin.

Presidential election could change course on unilateral tariff use, but Canada-U.S. trade tensions will remain: experts

News|By Neil Moss
If Joe Biden wins the U.S. presidency, he will be constrained in the use of unilateral tariffs, say experts, while Donald Trump's re-election may leave Canada once again targeted by national security tariffs.

COVID-19 containment, economic recovery expected to drive fall lobbying

Lobbyists will also be keeping an eye on progress on the government's backlog of big-ticket legislation and regulatory reforms this session.

Parties close to agreement on voting plan, Parliament return, but committees prove sticking point, says Bloc MP

The Standing Orders have to be amended to allow MPs to vote remotely, and according to Bloc deputy House leader Christine Normandin, there’s agreement among parties for those changes to be made temporary.

They’re back: 25 Members of Parliament to watch this session

Feature
With talk of a possible snap election, a continuing pandemic, and a minority Parliament to boot, the second session of the 43rd Parliament should be an interesting one.
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