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Stories by Samantha Wright Allen

Sri Lankan envoy reflects on ‘very challenging’ first year handling ‘sensitive’ files

‘This is what we can’t accept’: A unanimous House motion in June called on the UN to investigate ‘allegations of genocide’ against the country’s minority Tamils, a term the South Asian nation categorically rejects.
‘Parties effectively get to choose the pool of people who will become Members of Parliament,' says Paul Thomas, based on Samara’s recent analysis of 6,600 candidates between 2004 and 2015.
Fostering use of Inuit languages was a key aim in creating Nunavut, but 20 years later, NTI president Aluki Kotierk says there's been a 'failure' when it comes to providing essential services to the public in Inuktut.
The outgoing U.S. ambassador was big on relationships and will be remembered for key Trump ties that proved useful during NAFTA renegotiations, says Liberal MP Wayne Easter.
Canada ‘more or less completely passive’ on China file, according to former Canadian diplomat to Beijing Charles Burton.
The numbers mean the next Parliament could be a turning point for Senate reform, says Sen. Tony Dean, but ‘there’s no scenario where it’s a slam dunk for anybody.’
Plus, Vassy Kapelos ties the knot, both Stockwell Day and Wayne Easter get another award, and Sarah McLachlan is coming to Ottawa!
The Liberals have promised to fully remove sex discrimination from the Indian Act by the election, but advocate Shelagh Day says with no public plan and no official date, 'it’s still only a promise.' 
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Plus, People's Party Leader Maxime Bernier ties the knot in Florida, Graham Fraser and Lisa LaFlamme among Order of Canada honorees, and PROC pushes for parallel proposal.
It’s ‘unacceptable’ Canada has yet to finish a review, eight months in, on weapons permits to Saudi Arabia, say critics of the LAV contract.
Plus, former president George W. Bush's portraits are among the many exhibitions coming to the capital over the next few months.
An original plan for a new structure west of West Block is no longer in the works, says Senator Scott Tannas, as Senators claim space in new Wellington Street development for offices when East Block is refurbished.
‘Harassment is harassment and it must be recognized and we must tackle it,’ says Sen. Tony Dean.
Contractors hired to man Senate of Canada Building doors returned on June 10 after a Senate committee reviewed the sole-source contract signed by senior officials without their knowledge.
Stripping Conservative MP Michael Cooper of his deputy critic role would have sent a stronger message, says Tim Powers.
Canada has been without an ambassador in China for five months, during a time when relations with China have deteriorated. Now there’s reports Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye is set to depart for a new post.
New data suggests the Senate has ‘work to do’ when it comes to hiring people with disabilities, but is on track with other equity groups.
The Conservatives have named 277 candidates, followed by 217 named to the People's Party of Canada, and 197 for the Liberal Party.
The Heads of Mission Spouses Association is planning a June 11 charity event for the Wabano Centre, helping raise funds for school supplies for 50 children.
At 517 lobbying records in the first four months of 2019, the volume of lobbyists targeting the Senate has already surpassed the annual totals common before the Justin Trudeau's government came to power.
Parliamentary secretary Yvonne Jones says the government has brought ‘continuous’ improvements to Nutrition North, mostly in 2018, including making 'significant changes around transparency.'
‘It’s very hard to get angry progressive voters,’ says John Delacourt about why Liberals bring in smaller amounts from people willing to shell out $200 or more.
A bill to modernize the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, first signed in 1997, received royal assent on May 27.
‘This may keep individuals from participating in the political process,' says Ottawa lobbyist Scott Thurlow.
The office’s work has ‘evolved in complexity, litigiousness, and level of scrutiny,’ says Nancy Bélanger.
Plus, Celina Caesar-Chavannes named Viola Desmond Award winner, and Jagmeet Singh takes seat on Iron Throne.
Mario Dion told MPs that he’s ‘confident’ his investigation into the prime minister will be ready in the next few months, though not before the House rises.
The government should reach out to veterans about the military’s policy change and Health Canada warning for mefloquine, which deserves more study, says Tory MP Cathay Wagantall.
Canada and Sweden can ‘push the agenda’ on the world stage in the fight to protect democracy, Sweden's new envoy says.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde pitched four changes to Bill C-92, but called it a clear ‘step forward.’

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