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Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser with Health Canada, pictured in December 2020, cautions against placing too much emphasis on the efficacy rate of the AstraZeneca vaccine. She says a key metric of a vaccine's benefits is whether it reduces or eliminates the likelihood of hospitalization and death due to the virus. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

AstraZeneca vaccine approval to give Canada ‘greater flexibility’ in distributing doses widely, says health official

News|By Beatrice Paez 5:30 PM ET
Procurement Minister Anita Anand suggests the latest approval marks a vindication of the 'diversification' strategy the government settled on as it moved to negotiate deals with seven 'leading' vaccine manufacturers.

Military response to sexual misconduct ‘uncoordinated and ineffectual,’ say experts 

News|By Samantha Wright Allen 5:56 PM ET
Former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne has agreed to a summons from the House Defence Committee to appear next week to address a 2018 complaint his office received.

Top Conservatives Byrne, Patterson, Dodds, Gerstein, Lecce, Mulroney lose delegate election races for party policy convention

News|By Abbas Rana
Campaign Life Coalition claims that its endorsed candidates’ performance played a key role in the defeat of the four prominent Conservatives in the delegate elections.

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Long-term fixes for safe drinking water in some First Nations could be out of reach for ‘several years,’ says AG

News|By Beatrice Paez
A small proportion (15 per cent) of the 100 advisories lifted since the Trudeau Liberals took office ended as result of 'interim measures,' according to the report.

Ottawa making ‘good progress’ modernizing procurement, but auditor finds more training needed

Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan looked into how departments are better planning procurements for complex IT solutions, including lessons learned from the problem-plagued Phoenix payroll system.

Liberal delay in moving on Bill C-19 ‘puzzling’ given election posturing, says NDP’s Blaikie

After being ‘in a hurry’ to table the bill in December amid strong public polling, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu says she thinks the delay now is a reflection of a dip in Liberal fortunes.

New committee a forum to look deeper into ever-important Canada-U.S. economic relationship, but will partisan squabbles dominate?

News|By Neil Moss
The special committee was created through a Conservative motion that was backed by the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP. Nearly half of the members of the committee are members of the International Trade Committee.

Torture ‘by another name’: Canada still keeps some prisoners in solitary confinement, ‘disturbing’ new data shows

Federal prison authorities say the Liberal law requires the agency to give prisoner’s the ‘opportunity’ for time out of cell, and often prisoners refuse.

MPs, advocates urge more government action to combat ‘pandemic of anti-Asian racism’

News|By Alice Chen
Most MPs and advocates who spoke to The Hill Times connected this resurgence in hate to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Liberal MP Han Dong noting that communities have come together in response.

Statistics Canada ‘almost ready’ to launch consultations on effort to collect race-based data on crime

News|By Palak Mangat
It will ultimately be up to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and other policing partners to get buy-in from their colleagues to implement the initiative on the ground.
Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser with Health Canada, pictured in December 2020, cautions against placing too much emphasis on the efficacy rate of the AstraZeneca vaccine. She says a key metric of a vaccine's benefits is whether it reduces or eliminates the likelihood of hospitalization and death due to the virus. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

AstraZeneca vaccine approval to give Canada ‘greater flexibility’ in distributing doses widely, says health official

News|By Beatrice Paez 5:30 PM ET
Procurement Minister Anita Anand suggests the latest approval marks a vindication of the 'diversification' strategy the government settled on as it moved to negotiate deals with seven 'leading' vaccine manufacturers.

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Canada’s economic recovery is green

ECO Canada

Unofficial NDP political groups call to be seated at the table with the party

News|By Alice Chen
'We have the resolutions, we have people who are willing to do the job, so let us be partners in building a socialist movement in this country,' says NDP Socialist Caucus chairperson Barry Weisleder.

Arbitrary detention declaration is a ‘good start,’ but questions loom about impact

News|By Neil Moss
Former Canadian ambassador Ferry de Kerckhove says the declaration is a recouping of the 'past glory' of Canada's multilateral work on the international stage.

The fight about academic freedom in Canada is whitewashed

Opinion|By Rose LeMay
François Legault's fight against 'wokeness' and social advocacy isn’t about academic freedom. It’s about a small group of white people refusing to change or hear about any other lived experience.

Legislators who want to make medically assisted dying easier for persons with disabilities don’t know the lived realities of disability

Opinion|By Sarah Jama
It is okay to want to choose death. Autonomy is important. But the fear of disability driving this push for legislated access to death will harm the most marginalized members of the disability community.

Finance, trade, and climate bills should top Liberal priorities as House returns: MPs, stakeholders

The Liberals can start with low-hanging fruit in bills C-14 and C-18.

Senators say assisted dying bill is too important to rush amid tight timeline for Red Chamber

News|By Neil Moss
Progressive Senator Pierre Dalphond says it is 'unrealistic' for the Senate to pass Bill C-7 before the Dec. 18 judicial deadline and is urging the government to ask for an extension.

‘Much water has flown’ since heated row over Trudeau’s farmers’ protest comments, says Indian envoy

Feature|By Neil Moss
Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria says the Feb. 10 call between Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Narendra Modi was 'very positive.'

Leaving Taiwan out of official UN climate conversation hurts everyone

Climate change poses an existential threat which we must resolve to address as an international community. We cannot allow politics to diminish our ability to solve this crisis.

Texas, Rossby waves, and wave-7

Opinion|By Gwynne Dyer
This suggests that the pattern is getting stronger—and the latitudes where the loops are stalling include most of the major ‘breadbasket’ regions of the northern hemisphere. If we’re looking at a future of synchronized crop-killing droughts and heatwaves in those regions, world food production is in big trouble.

New quarantine measures won’t affect hotel industry’s bottom line, but may create more stress, say stakeholders

News|By Alice Chen
'I don’t really see this as a benefit to hotels because of the incredible applications in logistics that would have to occur,' says Conservative transport critic Stephanie Kusie.

Former innovation minister Bains was most-lobbied minister in 2020

Mr. Bains, who was lobbied 214 times in 2020, took the top spot from the 2019 leader, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Finance Committee chair Easter top non-cabinet-MP target for lobbyists in 2020

Non-cabinet MPs were lobbied nearly 10,000 times in 2020.

Leading pollster launches new public opinion, market research podcast

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus, Senator Mike Duffy’s Supreme Court appeal has been dismissed, and Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard recently received an award.

Bossio exits Monsef’s office to ready run for re-election

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Mike Bossio has been nominated to run for the Liberals in his former Ontario riding, which he lost to Conservative-turned-Independent MP Derek Sloan in 2019.

Innovation Minister Champagne firms up his new team

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Brook Simpson has followed the minister to his new portfolio as director of parliamentary affairs, as has François Massicotte, who’s been promoted to director of operations.

New biography of former NDP leader Alexa McDonough, who ‘walked the walk,’ now available

Feature|By Palak Mangat
Plus, three veteran political observers are launching a podcast and a savvy duo is launching their new venture in hopes of helping businesses 'get shit done.'

‘It’s really me. I’m here, and I’m coming to social media’: Mark Carney starts promotional machine

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus, a Hill Times columnist launches an anti-racism and anti-discrimination masterclass and the top federal servant takes time off for cancer treatment.

Communications team shake-up in O’Toole’s OLO

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Justice Minister David Lametti recently bid farewell to his director of operations, and named a new director of parliamentary affairs.

Experts, stakeholders worried about pandemic’s impact on aviation workforce

Canadian commercial airlines made just $1.6-billion in the third quarter of 2020, down nearly 80 per cent from the same time in 2019, according to Statistics Canada's Daily released on Feb. 19.

New transit funding welcome, but experts wary of execution

On Feb. 10, the feds announced nearly $15-billion in new transport funding over the next eight years. The money is to be doled out in two parts: a $5.9-billion dollar fund, starting this year.

Feds’ failure to support aviation sector will have long-lasting impact

The federal government did not keep its promise to provide sector support for our aviation sector and the result is that we now are in desperate need for a recovery plan.

Can the aviation sector recover without enough employees?

Opinion|By Suzanne Kearns
For a true recovery to happen, Canadian universities must meet the challenges of a dwindling airline workforce head on.

Zero-emission transportation key to a post-COVID recovery

A green recovery offers the chance of a lifetime for the government to lay the foundations for green, safe, and affordable transportation systems and infrastructure
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on March 16, 2016, announcing Canada's bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the seat had all the hallmarks of a partisan campaign, something that Adam Chapnick says is detrimental to Canada's success on the UNSC. Prime Minister's Office photo courtesy of Adam Scotti

The definitive history of Canada’s role on the United Nations Security Council

The first definitive history of Canada's time on the UN Security Council is a must read for anyone interested in Canadian foreign policy.
Harold Johnson’s book Peace and Good Order is among five shortlisted books for this year's Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
Feature|Beatrice Paez
'I kind of just go ahead and do what I feel I should do, and get myself into situations where I’m thinking, "Oh, everybody here knows more than I do. But anyway, here goes." It served me very well,' says former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin.
Feature|Mike Lapointe
Patterns of interference, intimidation, and harassment of individual Canadians by the Chinese Communist Party ‘demand a response’ from the Canadian government, says veteran journalist Jonathan Manthorpe in his 2019 book.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, pictured Sept. 14, 2020, arriving for last week's cabinet retreat in Ottawa before Parliament resumes on Sept. 23. Economic and fiscal plans must be tied to economic scenarios with unmeasurable probabilities. Finance ministers around the world will be under pressure to change the way they prepare budgets, writes Kevin Page. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

COVID-19: economic impacts and prospects

Opinion|Kevin Page
There are some potential game changers for outcomes—a vaccine; and a resurgence in international leadership and cooperation. Closer to home, we need a Canadian economic recovery plan that will boost confidence in the future with strategic and measured investments in long-term challenges and adjustment support for Canadians and businesses left behind by the coronavirus.
Feature|Beatrice Paez, Neil Moss, Mike Lapointe, Samantha Wright Allen, and Abbas Rana
In what was supposed to be a period in which backbenchers and the opposition could wield more influence over the political debate, power and influence is arguably even more concentrated among a narrow cast of mostly familiar figures.
If we want to really honour Shannen Koostachin and the many children like her—we need to speak up, keep talking until government takes immediate action to end the inequality. If they don’t—vote them out because kids like Shannen are worth the money. The time for patience is over.
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Politics This Morning: Quebec court grants feds fourth extension to amend assisted-dying law

Plus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, and Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman are expected to meet virtually with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Canadian researchers say Pfizer vaccine's second dose can be delayed because the first is highly effective, early data that Canadian health officials are looking at.
Opinion|Erica Ifill
It’s obvious our governments don’t know what they’re doing and have constructed a strategy that equals licking their fingers and holding them up to determine which way the political winds are blowing.
With Canada's supply of COVID-19 vaccines dropping below initially expected numbers in the coming weeks, experts argue this period presents an opportunity to ensure the mass-vaccination campaign runs smoothly.
‘They need a plan’: Opposition MPs questioned whether the government’s vaccine rollout is realistic, saying provinces need more details to keep up with the 70 million doses expected by September.
The Top 100 Most Influential 2021

Pandemic edition: Top 100 most influential people to watch in 2021

ANNUAL FEATURE|By Beatrice Paez, Mike Lapointe, Samantha Wright Allen, Laura Ryckewaert, Palak Mangat
The Hot Room Podcast

Will the Liberals' approach to drug decriminalization work?

PODCASTS|By THE HILL TIMES STAFF
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Opinion|Murray Fallis
Bill C-228 offers a rare opportunity for all parties, of all stripes, to support a piece of legislation which can do so much good.
Opinion|Duff Conacher
Fully independent commissions need to be established across Canada to do public, merit-based searches for a short list of qualified candidates, and then a multi-party committee should be required to choose from the list.
Opinion|Jay Thomson
To counter this threat, the bill needs to clearly affirm the CRTC’s power to regulate those domestic giants in the public interest.
Opinion|Scott Taylor
While the recent audit did not evaluate whether or not DND received value for these flights in return for the tax dollars spent, I think it is safe to say in this case the answer is a resounding 'no.'
We know that these viruses are with us forever, that they will continue to mutate, and that we must remain vigilant in our collective efforts to control them.
From lowering barriers to care by advancing e-mental health to addressing suicide prevention or better understanding how cannabis use and mental illness intersect, the MHCC has exciting work ahead.

Webster’s Newspapering a cracking good read with much to teach

Norman Webster, reporter, editor-in-chief, and word-farmer extraordinaire, sheds light on reporting and more in a riveting collection of columns spanning his decades in 'newspapering.'

Seniors Minister Deb Schulte names new operations director, Chike Agbasi

Plus, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand has a couple of new advisers, while Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has promoted a new senior communications aide.

Chiefs on the move: Garneau and Alghabra confirm new office heads

Plus, along with a new acting chief of staff, Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen has a new director of policy and a new press secretary.
Feature|Palak Mangat

‘The scrums in Ottawa won’t be the same without Hélène, a real pro’: Le Devoir alum Hélène Buzzetti plans a pivot to full-time punditry

Plus, Michael Lee-Murphy moves into the editor role at The Wire Report and Erin O'Toole shares an image of a model who says he would not vote for him.
Feature|Alice Chen

Events and activity herald the arrival of Black History Month

Plus, Anja Karadeglija moves from The Wire Report to the National Post and Murray Sinclair returns to Senate, in a reduced capacity.

Federal cybersecurity workers heading for strike votes following bargaining impasse

With the two sides having been at the bargaining table for almost two years following the expiry of the most recent collective agreement, strike votes are scheduled to run from Feb. 11 to 24.

As union members face COVID-19 pandemic ‘head on,’ PSAC calls for feds to return to bargaining table

Treasury Board spokesperson Martin Potvin says the government's goal is to take 'constructive steps to keep meeting and to prepare for negotiations when they resume.'

No more Hill parties, after coronavirus pandemic forces Parliament Hill to shut down

'Politics and the Pen is probably the exact opposite of social distancing. We cram so many people into the ballroom that you can barely keep one to two inches away,' says Jim Armour.  

Sorbara makes ’em howl at the Métropolitain

Pat Sorbara's new book, Let 'em Howl, offers lessons learned over a more than four-decade career in federal and provincial politics as a high-ranking Liberal backroomer.
Feature|Neil Moss

Canada-Philippines ties positive despite past flare-ups, says new Filipino envoy

A political appointee, the Ottawa posting is Rodolfo Robles' first. He was previously selected to be the Philippines' permanent representative to the UN until the appointment stalled.
Feature|Neil Moss

New Haitian envoy pushes for direct aid and investment, away from NGOs

Ambassador Weibert Arthus says working as a diplomat during the pandemic has been 'very difficult' and submitting his letter of credence virtually was 'really, really bizarre.'

Minister McKenna talks Canada’s infrastructure plan to B.C. business audience March 2

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021
Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna, pictured in Ottawa on Oct. 1, 2020, will deliver remarks in an event hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on Tuesday, March 2, at 3 p.m. EST. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured Feb. 16, 2021, makes his way to the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, where he outlined his government's legislative push to tighten gun-control measures. Bill C-21 includes a provision that would give municipalities the ability to issue bylaws restricting the possession of handguns. It also marks a reversal of its previous pledge to make its gun buy-back program compulsory for those who own recently restricted assault-style firearms.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
The Hill Times file photograph by Jake Wright
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