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Opinion

Erin O’Toole has fumbled the push for Canada’s 988 suicide hotline

By Kathleen Finlay      

The 988 campaign was always intended, at least by me, to be a victim-led, and victim-centred initiative, but the new Conservative Party leader turned it into a political football.

Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole is pictured arriving for a caucus meeting in Ottawa on Nov. 18. Kathleen Finlay writes that her involvement with 988 would be hard to miss, but she’s never heard from O’Toole, or anyone in his office. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Suicide is serious. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, which has been a source of unprecedented emotional stress, 11 Canadians died by suicide, and dozens more attempted to end their lives, every day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth; in some Indigenous communities it has reached epidemic levels. Since the upheavals produced by COVID-19 began, calls to Canada’s current national 11-digit hotline and frequently hard-to-find local crisis lines have skyrocketed.

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‘I’m surprised that they haven’t cut him loose’: political pressure mounts on Sajjan as military controversies pile up

Ex-military members and opinion columnists have called for the defence minister to resign numerous times over the past three months. 

Feds risk falling behind on science investment, say policy experts, Naylor, as U.S., U.K., Germany forging ahead

News|By Mike Lapointe
With government expenditures approaching a half trillion dollars over the course of the pandemic, spending allocated to forward-looking research and innovation is comparatively small, with a number of science and policy experts saying Canada needs to ramp up to keep up with some of our international allies.

Liberals’ ‘quick fix’ to elections law in budget bill ‘unfortunate,’ but not worth going to polls over, says NDP MP Blaikie

News|By Palak Mangat
Some MPs and experts are crying foul over changes to the Canada Elections Act in the ‘omnibus’ Bill C-30, which Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer says should not be used to bring in ‘fundamental’ changes to the law.

House Finance Committee dives into offshore tax havens again ‘to get answers for Canadians,’ says NDP MP Julian

News|By Mike Lapointe
The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that tax avoidance was costing Canada up to $25-billion per year back in 2019.

A tale of two Canadas: Atlantic premiers popular, Ford and Kenney in big trouble

Recent polling shows Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney receiving failing grades from voters on their pandemic management.

Oversight board for Facebook decisions a ‘good thing,’ say MPs after body upholds Trump ban

News|By Palak Mangat
While ‘well-intentioned,’ members of Facebook’s appeal board ultimately serve ‘at the pleasure’ of the tech giant, says one expert.

Liberals push for Bloc MP Lemire to appear before BOIE to answer for naked Amos photo leak

The BOIE is set to return to the Liberal call to invite Bloc MP Sébastien Lemire to appear in camera at its next meeting.

‘Do the right thing’: prison segregation oversight ‘inadequate’ report finds as author, watchdog call for new law

CSC says the external reviewers act as a ‘key safeguard’ to the new ‘structured intervention unit' approach, but the researchers say it's precisely that ‘legitimacy’ the oversight lends that makes its failure a problem.

Budget investments not enough to replace need for new round of COVID student benefits, says Green leader Paul

News|By Alice Chen
Liberal MP Julie Dzerowicz says the market has recovered enough to replace the benefit with actual employment, but students advocates say the jobs aren't there yet.
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