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Stories by Charelle Evelyn

Riding to watch: Liberals, NDP face off on affordable housing battlefield in wavering Parkdale-High Park

Incumbent Liberal MP Arif Virani and NDP opponent Paul Taylor are both selling their housing platforms in Parkdale–High Park, Ont., where homelessness is a growing issue.
103 out of the 105 sitting Senators completed the mandatory anti-harassment training in the Red Chamber, along with 96 per cent of staffers.
Senators have proposed dozens of changes to the Liberals' impact assessment and gun bills, have concerns about its solitary confinement legislation, and recommended its tanker-ban bill not proceed.
Senators rejected staff-suggested changes to the rules governing how they spend money from their office budgets, in favour of examining the rules and coming up with their own changes.
As the PM continues his sojourn in Paris to fight online hate, opposition MPs at home are manoeuvring to have an investigation into how his government handled the Mark Norman case.
‘All the rooms that aren’t heritage won’t necessarily be there,’ says Sen. Scott Tannas, as plans to cut 2,500 square metres coalesce.
Bill C-97 puts into law the Liberals’ 2018 promise to public servants to allow them to repay only the net of Phoenix-caused excess salary in a different tax year.
The Senate’s Conservative whip says his party isn’t interested in obstructing Bill C-59 as it moves through the Red Chamber.
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Only one government employee has had their security clearance revoked, despite thousands of instances of improperly secured protected and classified documents in the last three years.
‘We are committed to making legislative changes’ to continue with Senate modernization, says the office of Government House Leader Bardish Chagger.
After studying barriers facing women in politics, the Status of Women Committee also suggests calling for a crackdown on gender-based heckling.
‘Imagine losing your job, getting fired, but you’re fired by basically your entire riding and your whole life has been serving these people, and there’s just a lot wrapped up in it:’ Tory House leader Candice Bergen.
The Trudeau cabinet could make the decision ‘on any given Tuesday’ to make the necessary changes, says Sharon McIvor, who brought the most recent complaint to a UN human rights body.
The National Security and Defence Committee stripped away key elements of Bill C-71, which sponsor Sen. André Pratte says he hopes will be restored before the Chamber’s final vote.
There was ‘quite a backlash’ over the original plan to only go to B.C. for the oil tanker ban study, says Transport Committee chair Sen. David Tkachuk.
Feature|By Charelle Evelyn
One-year contracts for Senators’ employees contribute to the high-pressure environment where harassment can occur, the Human Resources Subcommittee heard.
‘All we need is just one incident and we’re going to be back trying to defend our expenses again,' Sen. Elizabeth Marshall says. Progress is stalled on creating a committee meant to oversee Senators' spending.
This month, the Energy and Transport committees will hit the road to study bills C-48 and C-69, with a combined budget of $628,732.
The Upper Chamber will switch over to a new payroll system provided by ADP Canada in the new year, after months of testing.
Changes the Senate Legal Affairs Committee is proposing to Bill C-58 include a 30-day limit to extensions beyond the initial 30-day window government departments have to respond to requests.
The Board of Internal Economy approved $2.49-million in new human resources funding to help MPs better respond to what HR chief Pierre Parent calls ‘evolving social expectations.’
As the last minister for status of women and the first for women and gender equality, Maryam Monsef says she’s cementing a path forged by her predecessors, but critics say the new mandate could 'dilute' the mission.
‘If it is slanderous or defamatory, then we will be held accountable for that, and we will be held accountable by our electorate, in whether they vote for us again,’ says Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen.
One of the lessons learned from the West Block reno was that MPs weren’t consulted enough, says House deputy clerk Michel Patrice.
‘I think we have lots of time,’ says Conservative Sen. Michael MacDonald in response to charges of delay from Independent Senators.
It will ‘inevitably take some time to settle into a new building with advanced technology and security features,’ says the office of Senate Speaker George Furey.
The Human Resources Subcommittee recommends completely redoing the Chamber’s policy, last updated in 2009, with greater focus on independent oversight.
In an apology offered in the Chamber on Feb. 19, House Speaker Geoff Regan said, ‘All who come here must know unequivocally that they will be welcomed with equality, dignity and respect.’
Results from the 2018 Public Service Employee Survey also indicate harassment stats in the public service are relatively flat despite a PCO push for change.
Sen. Stephen Greene is a Conservative member, Sen. Diane Griffin is a member of both the Tories and Greens, while Sen. Marty Klyne disclosed he’s a Liberal donor.
‘There’s no consideration for the experience of Black folks, generally speaking, in those political spaces, and I think that was very apparent,’ says witness Kate Macdonald.
‘I don’t believe that I would be given a position that I don’t have any authority to move things on,’ says Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan.

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