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Opinion

New class of non-partisans threatens to improve Senate’s reputation 

By Susan Riley       

In the end, Senators almost always bow to the wishes of the government because they know they haven’t got the legitimacy of an elected body. But these days, the interventions seem less predictable and the arguments—although still ignored by the wider world—more interesting. Sometimes even sobering.

Senators Bernadette Clement, Paula Simons, and Mary Jane McCallum. As Justin Trudeau ticks off items on his to-do list in the weeks leading to the election, there is one accomplishment that may have escaped most voters’ notice. Indirectly—if not inadvertently—he has improved the quality of Canada’s Senate. Photographs courtesy of Facebook, Senate, and The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

CHELSEA, QUE.—As Justin Trudeau ticks off items on his to-do list in the weeks leading to the election, there is one accomplishment that may have escaped most voters’ notice. Indirectly—if not inadvertently—he has improved the quality of Canada’s Senate.

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In defiance of O’Toole, Saskatchewan MPs vote to back Batters in regional caucus: source

News|By Abbas Rana
In a regional caucus meeting Thursday evening, Saskatchewan MPs voted overwhelmingly in support of Senator Denise Batters' staying in the Saskatchewan caucus.

Alexa McDonough and the cost of blazing trails

Feature|By Chelsea Nash
Alexa McDonough, who died on Jan. 15 at the age of 77, was the second woman to lead the federal NDP from 1995 through 2006; a time, her former colleagues recall, in which women in politics faced much sexism.

Ottawa on the hook for $4-billion tied to abandoned mines’ cleanup in the North

NDP MP Lori Idlout says the Liberals need to hold companies accountable. ‘Our communities can’t continue to be disregarded when the profit is gone and we’re left to clean up the mess.'

Agriculture Minister Bibeau has a new acting chief of staff, Jérémy Gauthier

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Other changes to the minister’s staff lineup this Parliament include Emerson Vandenberg’s promotion to policy director, and Allison St-Jean’s hiring as communications director.

‘Against the flow’: critics question move by Canada’s Pension Plan Investment fund to keep supporting big polluters

But the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board remains wary of any attempts to write climate concerns into its mandate.

‘In a perfect storm right now’: labour supply, record immigration complicate daunting housing supply problem, say experts

News|By Mike Lapointe
Canada welcomed more than 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 341,000 permanent residents in 2019, and was able to admit more than 184,500 over the course of 2020 despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘We should respect each other’: South Africa says notification not given before travel ban imposed

News|By Neil Moss
A Global Affairs spokesperson says the South African High Commission was notified on the same day that the travel ban was announced, which the mission disputes.

Three years on, Canada delays naming an ambassador to the Holy See

News|By Neil Moss
Not having an ambassador to the Holy See sends a symbolic message, say former Canadian diplomats, but it may not make a practical difference compared to having the post represented by a chargé d'affaires.

Lobbyists concerned potential rule changes could hinder volunteer opportunities in campaigns

Proposed changes to the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct include a mandatory one-year cooling-off period for lobbyists following political activities such as door-to-door canvassing during an election campaign.
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