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Stories by Samantha Wright Allen

Federal lobbyists registry sees crop of new COVID-19 filings, as groups grapple with pandemic

At least 35 organizations are either lobbying federal officials about their needs or looking to assist the government in its response to the escalating coronavirus crisis.
It’s not a matter of ‘if, but when' COVID-19 will reach Canada's prisons, says Sen. Kim Pate, who, like NDP MP Jack Harris, sees it as a matter of ‘life and death,’ and is demanding ‘immediate’ action.
Envoys comment on the ‘uncharted territory’ brought forward by the ‘dreadful ordeal’ COVID-19 brings, and urge co-operation in the global response.
The most important thing is that people understand ‘they are the solution,’ and the only way to stop the spread is to keep separate from a virus that ‘walks with our legs,’ Claudio Taffuri says.
They were recognized for their work promoting public diplomacy and helping ‘bring the world to Canada,’ as the dean of the diplomatic corps put it.
‘We go day by day, hour by hour, maybe minute by minute and see how things are and what the health experts are advising,’ says Liberal MP Salma Zahid.
China is still unable to understand that Canada's legal process is separate from its governmental process, says former diplomat Charles Burton.
The ‘traditional playbooks of smaller government, lower taxes, tough on crime,’ wont work to widen the blue tent, says one candidate. ‘We need to break the ceiling and win the support of more Canadians.’
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In 2018-19, federal departments and agencies missed 509 performance targets out of the 2,011 targets tracked with a deadline of March 2019.
After a two-year pilot that brought the budget first, this year’s main estimates won’t include billions in budget spending.
The Correctional Service of Canada says culture change ‘can take time,’ but in the wake of two damning reports, it’s ‘absolutely committed’ to that goal.
The uncertainty of the minority Parliament and the slow start-up naming ministers and their mandates and staff all helped make January an especially busy month, say lobbyists.
MPs are right to question the ‘trend’ towards central votes that give government’s flexibility on spending, says PBO.
Canada should 'take on more of a leadership role' and scale up its support to help resolve the crisis in Venezuela, says Rema Jamous Imseis.
The current budget system is an ‘embarrassment’ still in need of a revamp, say critics who hope a minority Parliament will give opportunities for opposition feedback and a better system.
An independent investigation is necessary to avoid the risk of a ‘self-serving’ report from CSC and the Parole Board, says Ivan Zinger.
Canada and Japan ‘need each other very much,’ says Yasuhisa Kawamura.
‘Negotiations should take as long as they need to,’ says Ellen Gabriel, a former Mohawk spokesperson during the Oka Crisis.
Davud Hanci was sentenced to 15 years years in a Turkish prison for his alleged involvement in the 2016 coup. Now back in Canada, he’s speaking about the ‘madness’ of his arrest and nearly three years in jail.
Senate Conservative leader Don Plett says the changes are ‘ridiculous,’ but ISG Senators Murray Sinclair and Pierre Dalphond say there needs to be a path to a vote on bills after 15 died in the last Parliament.
‘Parliament is interfering too much with what judges do, and I don't think it’s a good trend,’ says Independent Senator Mobina Jaffer.
A China expert says he’s concerned Taiwan's January election could prompt a shift in approach from China, with some pointing to tensions in Hong Kong as an example.
The government says each status application could take between six months and two years, which advocates call an 'appalling' delay to deal with state-sponsored discrimination. 
Green Party MP Paul Manly says tensions in Wet'suwet'en territory reveal ‘political failure’ on the part of the federal government.
From heating pea soup by candlelight to snowboards on the streets, Parliamentarians reflect on ‘random acts of kindness’ and community that came with the massive clean-up effort.
Canada is the first head of mission posting for new Afghanistan Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Soroosh Yousufzai, whose predecessor left amidst controversy.
In an election year, lobbying activity dropped by 30 per cent compared to 2018, but some staffers kept busy.
An advocate for women, Reem Al Khaled says she’s always wanted to be ‘one of the voices’ pushing to get women involved.
From a boyhood dream of holding the country’s top political office to almost 20 years in the Red Chamber, retiring Sen. Joseph Day reflects on his parliamentary career.
In an election year, lobbying activity dropped by 30 per cent compared to 2018.
High Commissioner Prosper Higiro speaks of his—at times risky—path to politics and how far the country has come 25 years after the genocide.
After a decade in the upper Chamber, Senator Nicole Eaton says she’s a political junkie and retirement won’t keep her out of the mix.

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