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Opinion

Ottawa’s legal costs: from bad secrets to better government

By Sean Bruyea      

Proactive disclosure of legal costs does not cost anything to implement and is an easy first step towards fulfilling repeated government promises of openness and transparency.

The Liberals revealed in a Jan. 27 answer to an Order Paper question that it cost $1.4-million for the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Sean Bruyea writes that this type of spending should be proactively disclosed. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—During the last week in January, Parliament worked a little better for Canadians, uncovering what Ottawa has been increasingly hiding. I am talking about the ritual of responses to Members’ written questions known as Questions on the Order Paper. Some questions were answered with a brief sentence, others with boxes of documents.

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‘I don’t celebrate Black History Month, I celebrate Black history 12 months of the year’: Sen. Bernard on her fight for equality

News|By David Lochead
After sitting as a Senator for more than three years, Wanda Thomas Bernard says she is more determined than ever to continue fighting for causes like social justice, diversity, and inclusion.

Advocate calling for a simplified suicide hotline number gets ally in Sen. Batters

News|By Beatrice Paez
'Silence is never the right response when suicide is the subject,' says Kathleen Finlay. 'It’s too important an issue for our political leaders to stay silent on.'

Collaborate and listen: Bloc Québécois hopes to leverage minority Parliament dynamics to make mark

‘Now that it’s a minority government, they have to listen to everybody,’ says Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin, his party’s justice critic.

Tory leadership candidates champion CANZUK pact, but trade experts question idea’s merit

News|By Neil Moss
Canada already has a free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

‘Data, privacy, trade’: ministers tasked with AI file contending with fast, fundamental changes

News|By Mike Lapointe
But public servants say the social impact on workers is not being properly taken into account as the use of artificial intelligence in government advances.

AFN national chief Bellegarde calls on ‘all parties’ to find peaceful resolution to rail blockades

News
'Removing the blockades doesn’t mean you surrender anything,' says Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon.

‘No question’ feds have duty to start talks, says AFN’s Bellegarde, after days-long demonstrations in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

News|By Palak Mangat
One Mohawk scholar who experienced the 1990 Oka Crisis firsthand says Ottawa's offer to meet with protesters shows 'they’ve lost control of the situation, to a certain extent.'

Trade Committee Conservatives push for six additional House committees to study new NAFTA implementation bill

News|By Neil Moss
Committees would have to submit amendments for Bill C-4 to the House Committee on International Trade by April 2.

Senior Conservatives seething over Conservative Fund’s refusal to share Scheer’s $700,000 over-budget expense details with national council

News|By Abbas Rana
'If you're a donor, why would you want to give money if you can't get straight answers on what the hell's going on?’ says veteran Conservative political insider Tim Powers.
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