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Opinion

Ottawa, we have a problem: reconciliation requires structural changes on the Hill

By Rose LeMay      

Indigenous inclusion, with enough numbers to be heard, is fundamental to any democratic structure, especially for one that claims to represent Indigenous peoples in Canada. This also applies to the civil service. We cannot say Canada’s political system and civil service are representative until Indigenous voices are heard and respected on every bill and in every debate and at every parliamentary and cabinet committee table. The upcoming generation of Indigenous leaders will not accept anything less; not a watered-down toothless pilot, and not a tearful apology to cover up lack of action. We are part of this country, and it’s time to change structures to respect our voices.

Here are some ideas to fix the problem of lack of Indigenous people in Parliament: we bring in Indigenous candidate proportion requirements; a model of Indigenous representational governance; and an Indigenous Senate, writes Rose LeMay. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released the 94 Calls to Action, a roadmap for Canada to find closure on the era of Indian residential schools and to ensure we don’t repeat history. What has changed since 2015 to ensure we don’t repeat history? Dr. Eva Jewell and Ian Mosby recently wrote in the Yellowhead Institute (https://yellowheadinstitute.org/2019/12/17/calls-to-action-accountability-a-status-update-on-reconciliation/) that nine of the 94 calls to action have been completed.

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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.

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.
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