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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, enters this fall's election campaign with a stronger base of voters than former prime minister Stephen Harper did prior to his loss in 2015, but Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has an advantage with voters struggling to reach their Canadian dream, writes Greg Lyle. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade

Liberals win when they’re compared to alternatives, but lose when their record is in the news

Opinion|By Greg Lyle
The Conservatives have a lead among voters who believe in the Canadian Dream, but are struggling to get a piece of it. The Conservative Party recently released an ad appealing directly to people who feel that way.
Opinion|By Ken Rubin
Parks Canada had put forward a business case to spend more than $1-million to redo and widen the three-kilometre access trail to a private boat tour operator before the public knew some of the redesigned trail features.
Mexico is the first country to ratify CUSMA showing our commitment to continue this successful trading partnership and, especially, we undertake to bolster the bilateral trade between Mexico and Canada.
We must ensure that children and youth have equitable access to safe, effective and affordable prescription medications, just as Canadians of all ages expect to enjoy.
Opinion|By Amy Kishek, Erica Ifill
Without sharp, critical coverage of the leaders and their campaigns—including having real access to them—Canadians don’t have a shot of being properly informed, or being motivated to vote at all.
Opinion|By Greg Lyle
The NDP's decline and the Conservatives' piling up of votes in their strongholds has the Liberal Party in a strong position to protect or even add seats in the election, writes pollster Greg Lyle.
For policy makers, it is essential that interventions that are applied with the goal of suicide prevention be known to do just that—prevent suicide.
Opinion|By Erica Ifill
The implementation of Bill 21 is a lawful attempt to create a permanent minority underclass whose disenfranchisement begins economically, but will continue into the political realm.
Hill Times Columnists

It’s time we all demand that political platforms give attention to these systems in desperate need of change, so that Indigenous peoples need not fear the systems purported to help them. This is a time for allies—non-Indigenous Canadians—to amplify the voices of Indigenous and demand some changes. It won’t be easy.
The Aug. 21 dedication of a Ukrainian monument shouldn’t be given the appearance of official sanction by having Canadian soldiers commemorate those who collaborated with Hitler’s Nazis.
To avoid undue election influence, the RCMP has announced it will not be investigating anything during the writ period. That fact was buried in The Globe story.
A brace of new Green members—along with allies like the NDP’s Svend Robinson in Burnaby North-Seymour, or Montreal Liberal candidate and anti-pipeline activist, Steven Guilbault—could keep a new government’s feet to the fire on what is, arguably, an issue that transcends all others. For everyone else, there’s the Conservatives.
There are unanswered questions about Joshua Boyle and why the horrific ordeal he put his wife and kids through began in the first place.
Opinion|Tim Powers
Becoming Oprah isn't necessary, but Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer needs to be a bit more inclined to open up about his personal thinking on matters beyond taxes and the Liberal government malaise.
One of the bigger questions we should be asking is why did it take a newspaper reporter endangering himself in order to surface the truth about these neo-Nazis?
Beyond the carbon tax, and not counting the obligatory bloviating about the budget deficit, it’s hard to know what, if anything, Scheer envisions for Canadians.
The word ‘conspiracy’ has been so tainted by crackpots, including the one in the Oval Office, it may be due for a semantic reclamation.
Opinion|Phil Gurski
CSIS makes mistakes too, but we all have a stake in its success.
WWII in Europe started long before Sept. 1, 1939, and could have been avoided through more decisive action by the West.
Feature|Alex Marland
The book describes how Jack Layton's team softened the NDP’s hard ideological edges, and imposed order and discipline on the NDP caucus.
Twenty-six years ago, then-Progressive Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell was quoted as saying that elections weren’t the time to talk about serious matters. That sentiment has been proven right.
Hill Times Columnists

Social media has become a key way to connect with voters, with Instagram in particular as the main platform to engage with younger people whose votes may be up for grabs.
Maybe Jonathan Franzen will get over it too, eventually, but at the moment he thinks we’re doomed, and all we can do is little things to slow the apocalypse down a bit, and relish the brief time we have left.
The bottom line is a smart communication strategy goes with the media flow. So if journalists want politics of politics, oblige them.
To win a debate or an election, you must be able to grab the opportunity to achieve victory. The question is: whose political story will be the most opportune?
With the PM showing the substance-averse reflex of a guy who wants to campaign on a shoe shine and a smile, Canadians might be about to see the second peek-a-boo election featuring a Trudeau. Lots of photo ops, few interviews or debates. It worked like a charm back in 1980 for his father. This time around, I wouldn’t bet the farm.
The Liberal and Conservative 2019 campaign slogans are out. There is some underlying mean-spiritedness in both. So let’s parse them a bit.
Opinion|Amy Kishek
Federal and public sector workers need a government that is on their side, and one that will not hesitate to push back against employers who are trying to keep workers rights in the 1800s.
The first rule of campaigning No. 347 should be ‘Never speak publicly about your own electability.’
Politics goes through phases, but when will the willingness of voters to embrace the leadership of would-be autocrats fade as the negative impact becomes undeniable?
Opinion|David Crane
The Canadian government has cut away much of its capability to plan for big, long-term problems, unlike its counterpart in the U.K.
Opinion|Scott Taylor
Forbidding members from displaying symbolic tattoos will prevent future embarrassment for the institution, but it does not remove the criminals or white supremacists from the military.
Opinion|Amy Kishek
The SNC-Lavalin affair is about a political system that is rife for abuse, and those responsible for the recent abuses are seeking re-election on a platform of open and transparent government.
Political scandals can now be charted on a graph from detonation to amplification to stoking to fallout. There was one in 2008 that took a different turn.
Hill Times Columnists

It will be easy, in our election, for parties to compete on who can be toughest on China. But what happens after that?
By personalizing his attacks on Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer has tried to incite the anger that is the lifeblood of populism. It thrives on resentment and a feeling of being betrayed and usurped by elite political leaders, immigrants, cosmopolitans, or others.
As cyberconnection obliterates boundaries, some speculate that truth stranger than fiction will render literature obsolete.
Having a big-name ally in China should open doors for Canada. We can presume Dominic Barton has the intelligence and the wisdom to ensure Canada’s interests are well served.
Ottawa, stop embracing the past. Stop celebrating fluff. Consider the possibilities of 2019 and beyond.
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