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Some Senators play community fixers with country in lockdown

By Peter Mazereeuw      

Several Senators with a background in politics told The Hill Times that they have been doing the sort of constituency work most often taken on by MPs. 'Because I was a former MPP, a lot of people in and around the area know that they can call for help on stuff,' says Frances Lankin.

Conservative Senator Elizabeth Marshall, non-affiliated Senator Jane Cordy, and Canadian Senators Group Senator Larry Campbell. Senators say their work doesn't end when the Senate adjourns, and the COVID-19 crisis has kept them glued to their phones and keyboards. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade

Stuck in their homes like most of us, some of Canada’s Senators are using their time away from Ottawa amid the COVID-19 global pandemic to form virtual policy “working groups,” help researchers collect data on the crisis, or go to bat for businesses and non-profits in danger of slipping through cracks of the government’s response.

Peter Mazereeuw

Peter Mazereeuw is a deputy editor for The Hill Times covering politics, legislation, and the Senate.
- peter@hilltimes.com


‘It’s much lonelier’: MPs talk about doing politics in the age of the pandemic

News|By Abbas Rana
MPs from all parties are also watching the provincial election in British Columbia carefully to learn how to run a campaign in the midst of a pandemic.

Lapse in early pandemic warning system ‘a colossal failure,’ says former federal Liberal health minister Dosanjh

News|By Mike Lapointe
'We would have been far better prepared, we would have had far more robust tools at our disposal, had we not put GPHIN to sleep,' said former federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

Committee should study proposed changes to election rules to prepare for future vote, say MPs

News|By Palak Mangat
'What better time to innovate your election system than during a pandemic? Because you're going to have to start thinking outside of the regular way,' says Stéphanie Plante, who has worked with Elections Canada.

Liberal fall agenda takes shape: what’s new, and what has to go through the House

The Throne Speech included a long list of promises. Most were old, some were new. At least 20 will likely require the approval of the opposition-majority House of Commons.

‘We have to put the safety of Canadians first,’ says NDP MP Jenny Kwan, as Parliamentarians return to work in person and virtually

News|By Mike Lapointe
Some Parliamentarians returned to the House on Sept. 23 for its first sitting following the prorogation of Parliament on Aug. 18.

Conservative riding presidents, 2019 candidates want O’Toole to deliver on promise to return election rebates

News|By Abbas Rana
Erin O’Toole told riding association presidents last week that the party will return election rebates to them. Some of the presidents want to know when the money will arrive.

Conservative Party finalize nomination rules for its 217 unheld ridings

Conservative Party members will be able to vote on the phone, online, mail-in ballots, or by drive-through, in ridings where in-person voting is not possible because of the pandemic, say Conservative sources.

Trudeau says some promises ‘clearly’ touch provincial jurisdiction after premiers slam Throne Speech, but calls for unified approach

News|By Palak Mangat
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the Liberals' Throne Speech committed to 'more policies that would invade provincial jurisdiction than I could count.'

Throne Speech’s climate promises draws mixed reviews, with NDP saying it’s a rehash of old pledges

The Throne Speech promised action on climate change like the country has never seen before, but some experts and politicians are skeptical the Liberal government can deliver.
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