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Hill Life & People

‘In my experience, few things are less predictable in a minority Parliament than what might trigger an elxn’: election speculation revved up after Blanchet delivers ultimatum, Liberals approach one-year mark

By Palak Mangat      

Plus, rookie NDP MP Matthew Green and rookie Grit MP Patricia Lattanzio lean into their city councillor chops during a brief showdown at a House Official Languages Committee meeting, and diplomatic shifts continue over in the Big Apple.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, pictured on Feb. 19, 2020, is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his chief of staff, and his finance minister to resign amid Ottawa's ongoing WE Charity controversy. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Politicos starting jacking up election speculation last week, less than six weeks shy of hitting the one-year mark since the Liberals were reduced to a minority government in last October’s fall election. A lot has changed since then: a global pandemic has gripped the country, the Liberals are still dealing with the WE Charity controversy, and the Bloc Québécois has regained party status. Perhaps tapping into that new-found leverage, Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet renewed his calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his top aide Katie Telford, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, to resign, or risk facing an election. On paper, Mr. Blanchet doesn’t have the other political parties’ support to force an election, but Liberal insider Scott Reid, who has advised the likes of former prime minister Paul Martin, cautioned from immediately declaring Mr. Blanchet’s remarks are empty threats. “In my experience, few things are less predictable in a minority Parliament than what might trigger” an election, tweeted Mr. Reid, also a regular on the popular podcast The Herle Burly, in an Aug. 12 thread.

Palak Mangat

Palak Mangat is an online reporter with The Hill Times.
- pmangat@hilltimes.com

Feds strike working groups to tackle delayed MMIWG action plan

Groups say they're pleased to see Ottawa picking up the pace, while the Ontario Native Women’s Association says its exclusion 'makes zero sense' and means some women will fall through the cracks in the conversation.

Diplomats raised concern for safety of Canadian-supported female White Helmet members days before daring 2018 rescue, emails show

News|By Neil Moss
'I feel it is worth noting that Canada pushed for [White Helmets] to include women and funded their efforts to recruit and train women. Now those women are in even more danger,' a GAC official wrote.

Half-hour ‘House parties’ on Zoom: MPs adjust to the transition to electronic voting

'There’s a lot of talent; it’s not just political rhetoric. We do have our moments. At the end of the day, we’re just people,' says NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen of the range of musical talent among MPs.

Co-managed approach, self-governing fisheries the answer to long-simmering lobster dispute, says Senator

The Conservative, NDP, and Green Party critics all say the federal government has failed to act to address tensions.

‘Do better, America’: Hillites, politicos, and journos weigh in on first U.S. presidential debate

News|By Palak Mangat
'All Joe [Biden] had to do last night was show up,' says former prime minister Brian Mulroney. 'He showed up, and he did better than that, he performed quite well. Not in a superior fashion, but quite well.'

New Senate art display is the first ever to feature Black artists

Manitoba Senator Patricia Bovey is pushing to see more diversity represented in the art hanging throughout the building the Upper Chamber calls home, calling the new display the ‘first iteration’ of those efforts.

Senate committee approves $460,000 budget for 11-member progressive group

The powerful Internal Economy Committee also agreed to move some procurement discussions from behind closed doors in a bid to be more transparent about its contracts.

Feds trumpet uncertain WTO reform to protect Canada from trade whims of superpowers

News|By Neil Moss
The efforts of the Ottawa Group were part of just a select few foreign policy priorities mentioned during the Throne Speech, ahead of a 'disappointing' move by the U.S. to appeal a WTO softwood lumber ruling.

Canada’s pandemic spending ‘barely sustainable,’ says PBO, projecting $328.5-billion deficit

News|By Palak Mangat
New PBO figures do not capture the possibility of any new government programs, and work off the assumption that there will be a 'gradual' relaxing of public health restrictions within the next 12 to 18 months.
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