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‘The instinct is to throw yourself at it with everything you’ve got’: Hill journos, bureau chiefs weigh in on covering COVID-19 pandemic

By Mike Lapointe and Tessie Sanci      

‘You need to look at what the facts are in front of you and make decisions quickly,’ says PPG president Jordan Press. ‘Nothing like I’ve ever seen,’ says CBC reporter David Cochrane.

Parliament Hill media, pictured on March 17, 2020, outside Rideau Cottage where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been holding his daily press briefings since he's been in self-isolation since March 12. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As the fallout from the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to derail business plans, investment portfolios and family planning across the country, Parliamentary Press Gallery reporters and Ottawa bureau chiefs are grappling with the challenge—and obligation—of keeping Canadians informed of lighting-speed developments, while at the same time ensuring they and those around them remain safe and healthy.

Mike Lapointe

Mike Lapointe joined the The Hill Times in June 2019 and covers the federal public service, deputy ministers, the Privy Council Office, public service unions, the Phoenix pay system, the machinery of government, and the Parliament Hill media.
- mlapointe@hilltimes.com


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Conservative race still too close to call, say MPs, strategists, but Lewis’ breakout role one to watch

Though many acknowledge Leslyn Lewis has demonstrated her political chops, her candidacy is still seen as a long shot in a race that some say will be driven by electability in the next general election.

Tech sector eyes procurement as way to stimulate business

Documents released to the House Government Operations Committee give a glimpse into how lucrative the federal technology procurement space is.

Fundraising amid pandemic ‘incredibly difficult’ for Green leadership hopefuls as Paul takes clear lead

The second- and third-place fundraisers are hitting the road, holding socially distanced campaign events across the country as they try to close the gap with leader Annamie Paul.

Easing of restrictions to non-U.S. travellers into Canada unlikely to be met with Trump backlash, could pave way for reopening of 49th parallel, say experts

News|By Neil Moss
'The core operating ideal within ... Ottawa is evidence-based policymaking and there are clearly other jurisdictions out there besides the U.S. that have done a better job in containing [the virus],' says Eric Miller.

WE Charity highlights loopholes for ‘celebrity’ and secret lobbying, warn observers who call for long overdue review

'I’m of the opinion that organizations understand the rules so well that we have seen that they will make sure they don't have to report if they don't want to,' says ethics scholar Ian Stedman.

Public services too ‘stretched’ to deliver student-grant program, says employment minister

Small Business Minister Mary Ng says the extent of her interactions with the organization was limited to that initial pitch, and did not extend to the since-cancelled contract for the student-grant program.

‘Weak’ trade growth in 2019 caused by ‘trade policy uncertainty’ and ‘mixed economic signals’, Global Affairs report suggests

News|By Neil Moss
Canada's export growth with China declined by 16 per cent in 2019 and growth in exports to the United States slowed to 2.5 per cent.

Venezuela winter elections will be fraudulent, warns envoy, calling for continued support

Last November, Canada officially recognized Orlando Viera-Blanco, a representative of interim president Juan Guaidó, as the country’s ambassador.

Official Languages Committee to probe WE Charity deal

News|By Palak Mangat
Liberal MP Sherry Sherry Romanado, who voted along party lines to oppose the motion, says the probe falls outside the scope of the committee's mandate.
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