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Stories by Samantha Wright Allen

NAFTA players top Canada’s 40 most-influential foreign-policy minds

Insiders and observers weigh in on who impacts Canada’s decisions on diplomacy, trade, defence, development, and immigration.
Their challenge is to differentiate themselves from the Liberals and say why they’re better, strategists say, to build a 'compelling narrative.'
Despite the government's review, NDP critic Jenny Kwan says ‘those gaps are still very much there.’
Based out of the British High Commission, the new three-person team will work to pursue deeper economic ties out of both the Ottawa and Toronto offices later this month.
The NDP is far behind the Tories and Grits on fundraising, but its new team says they have a plan that will make the party competitive in 2019.
Seven NDP MPs will not be running for re-election, a number that is 'worrisome,' say some strategists, but not a sign people are jumping ship because of leader Jagmeet Singh.
While some groups pull back in summer months, the Mining Association of Canada remained active in July, where industry, trade, and environment were the most-discussed issues.
Conservatives need to be conscious now of what views will help the party win ‘10 or 20 years down the line,’ says one delegate.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer presented said the party was unified in his major keynote ahead of the 2019 election.
The ability to compete in the next election is ‘impaired’ by the Conservative Party clawing back candidates’ tax rebate, which delegates say will ‘really hurt’ smaller, less wealthy ridings.
During the first day of the Conservative policy convention in Halifax, members say the mood is still upbeat and focused on defeating the Liberal government in 2019, despite news of Maxime Bernier's exit.
A mid-August Forum Research poll suggested 44 per cent approved of Canada’s handling of the dispute, while 29 per cent were critical of the approach.
Raoul Delcorde praised trade between Canada and Belgium, with both already benefitting from CETA despite its slow progress through Belgium’s regional parliaments for full ratification.
DND says it will offer a new academic program for the 2019-20 school year and review its cost structure after a 2017 audit found the Royal Military College didn’t produce better officers, despite costing twice as much.
As Pakistani High Commissioner Tariq Azim Khan anticipates his departure from Ottawa, he speaks on his country's recent election, its former prime minister's jailing, and relations with Canada.
It would be 'disastrous' for the NDP leader to lose the Burnaby seat, says ex-NDP national director Karl Bélanger, and with another NDP-held seat up for grabs in Quebec a less sure shot.
The government has until Aug. 15 to decide whether it will appeal a July ruling that says the 10 per cent rule on non-partisan political activities is unconstitutional.
Leadership turnover in the Joint Personnel Support Units is 'normal,' says the government, despite five changes in command in less than two years.
The post-cabinet shuffle weeks are a ‘particularly emotionally exhausting time for staff, both personally and also professionally,’ says former Tory staffer Chris McCluskey.
Of 51 government bills passed to date, 32 don’t have any reference to how individual Senators voted at any stage in the Senate Chamber.
Chief Government Whip Pablo Rodriguez and Deputy Whip Filomena Tassi will stay in those roles for at least the next few weeks as they take on their new roles in cabinet.
The percentage of Senators appointed by Justin Trudeau who vote in line with Government Rep. Peter Harder has dipped to 84.2, but Tories say it’s still high enough to question their independence.
June lobbying stats also showed a dip in activity in the Red Chamber that observers said is likely an anomaly with the Senate more relevant than ever.
Plus, Liberal MP Salma Zahid announced on July 16 she is cancer free and will be returning to the Hill in fall, and a pilot program this year will help link scientists with politicians.
Nunavut artist Bart Hanna was selected to create a sculpture for Centre Block and Anna Desmarais joins iPolitics to cover immigration, Indigenous Affairs, the environment, and foreign affairs.
They say the Lobbying Act must change so that the onus to report isn’t only on the lobbyist, but also the government, to improve accountability.
Fearing more Canadian tariffs against other countries, some steel users are hiring lobbyists for the first time.
Several agencies say they are hiring more analysts and adopting innovative approaches to address the long delays, and the complaints that come with them.
Critics say Canada’s 2017 military export report highlights an ongoing loophole that leaves an estimated half of total exports—those headed to the U.S.—not tracked or controlled.
In the age of echo chambers and media fragmentation, strategists discuss how the new campaign playbook needs to adapt to reach voters.
For some, their involvement represents a public about-face to their stance on the drug while holding office.
‘The challenge is for people to actually act like grown-ups, work behind the scenes,’ says former Conservative House leader Jay Hill.

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