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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured Jan. 19, 2021, at a presser in front of his home at the Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Liberals held a virtual election readiness ‘2021 kick-off call’ with caucus, ridings, and campaign managers last week

News|By Abbas Rana
The Jan. 18 online meeting was a regular monthly meeting aimed to update MPs and riding volunteers about 'party’s tools and resources to stay connected with Canadians in virtual ways that respect public health guidelines,' says Braeden Caley, senior director, communication with the Liberal Party

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.

Julie Payette resigns as governor general after investigation into workplace harassment at Rideau Hall, Trudeau says her replacement will be named in ‘due course’

Apologizing for 'tensions' that became public over the last months, Julie Payette said that 'we all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.'

Trudeau dodges questions on culpability for Payette appointment

The prime minister didn’t apologize to workers at Rideau Hall, when asked if he owed staff who struggled under her tenure that acknowledgement, instead pivoting to describe their work over the years as 'exceptional.'

Parties ramping up candidate nominations across Canada as election threat looms

Quebec is expected to once again be a key electoral battleground, spurred on by the Bloc Québécois’ resurgence in 2019, with multiple candidates already nominated in three target ridings.

Correctional Service ‘abdicating’ responsibility in Quebec woman’s murder, say critics of response to internal report

The killing of Marylène Lévesque by a parolee in January 2020 was a ‘catastrophic failure, which is tantamount to a wrongful death,’ says prison watchdog Ivan Zinger.

Payette’s resignation yet another self-inflicted wound for Trudeau Liberals, say former senior Grits

News|By Abbas Rana
Justin Trudeau should take his time and follow a proper screening process in choosing Julie Payette’s successor, says Prof. Donald Savoie.

Sloan’s ouster should have come earlier, say Conservative observers

News|By Palak Mangat
'Since his election, Mr. Sloan has conducted a master class of bigotry and bullying,' says Conservative strategist Geoff Norquay, who served as a top aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Conservative caucus votes to expel Sloan, former contender for party leadership

News|By Beatrice Paez
He faced potential expulsion last year during the leadership race over comments he made that appeared to question whether chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who is of Asian descent, was a pawn of China.

Employment numbers ‘devastating,’ indicate ‘very profound’ economic crisis brewing, says NDP MP Julian

News|By Mike Lapointe
Employment numbers in Canada have dropped for the first time since April 2020, when record government spending began propping up the job market. Observers say they're not surprised by the decrease.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured Jan. 19, 2021, at a presser in front of his home at the Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Liberals held a virtual election readiness ‘2021 kick-off call’ with caucus, ridings, and campaign managers last week

News|By Abbas Rana
The Jan. 18 online meeting was a regular monthly meeting aimed to update MPs and riding volunteers about 'party’s tools and resources to stay connected with Canadians in virtual ways that respect public health guidelines,' says Braeden Caley, senior director, communication with the Liberal Party

Canada should pass an order in council against systemic racism

Opinion|By Rose LeMay
The prime minister and most premiers will not take political risk to protect those who most need it most. Some leaders don’t believe it’s really a problem, some don’t see it as an urgent enough issue.

The two faces of Canada’s approach to climate change increasingly confusing

Opinion|By Susan Riley
If Justin Trudeau was serious about climate, he would stand up to Jason Kenney and the well-financed oil lobby, not to Joe Biden.

Payette resigns after report found toxic work environment at Rideau Hall

Opinion|By Sheila Copps
The Governor General’s appointment, while generally time-limited, is always 'at pleasure,' which means the office-holder can be let go at any time.

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.

Tick tock: Liberals call for swift implementation of new Canada-U.K. trade pact as legislative process remains murky

News|By Neil Moss
There are 13 sitting days left before the House rises on Dec. 11. Liberals say the text of the new Canada-U.K. transitional deal may not be available for another two to four weeks.

Feds make long-overdue start on levelling the playing field on data protection

Opinion|By Les Whittington
A provision allowing organizations to disclose de-identified data to governments for 'socially beneficial' purposes is one of two likely controversial aspects of Bill C-11.

2021 holds promise, despite challenging start

On climate action, our mission in the European Union is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Lenin comes to town, again

Opinion|By Gwynne Dyer
Alexei Navalny is probably not the man who will finally take Vladimir Putin down. What he is doing to great effect is mobilizing the tech-savvy young.

With new Biden administration hamstrung in its approach to Indo-Pacific region, some lessons for Canada

Opinion|By Jeffrey Reeves
It is extremely important that Canada clearly articulate where and how its approach to the region differs from that of the U.S.

It’s time Canada had a national vaccine injury compensation program

If in the process of partaking in a public good one is injured, they should be provided with just compensation.

End of five-year lobby ban comes with confusion for some Harper-era staffers

Recent confusion centred on whether the ban ends five years after the first Trudeau cabinet was sworn in, or five years after former staffers received their last paycheque from the government.

Economic, industry concerns top-lobbied issues amid return to Parliament and second COVID wave

Economic development, industry, health, and the environment were among the top-cited subjects in October’s 2,611 filings in the federal lobbying registry.

Monsef names new policy director, plus staffing changes for Health Minister Hajdu

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Helen Gao has joined the health minister’s office as a policy adviser, and Joanna Lam has been hired as a regional affairs adviser for the West and North.

Sláinte! D’Arcy McGee’s longtime manager Jeff O’Reilly bids adieu to pub after ‘pretty great run’

Feature|By Palak Mangat
Plus, NDP heavyweight Svend Robinson has ruled out running in a federal election if voters are sent to the polls this spring.

O’Toole hires a new regional adviser, writer, and media monitor in OLO

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Emily Gilroy is now manager of special projects and caucus services for the Conservatives, and oversees recent addition Leah Young.

Pandemic puts twist on Canada’s oldest legislative program as parliamentary interns adapt to new ways of working

Feature|By Paige Peacock
This year, the 51st cohort joined the parliamentary internship program, a 10-month placement that sees young professionals aide both a government and opposition MP to give a broad view of work on the Hill.

Baby on board for MP Collins

Feature|By Alice Chen
Plus Erin O’Toole discovers the secret of an empty medal box and the Anti-Poverty Caucus pushes for public policy solutions at recent webinar.

New adviser joins Intergovernmental Affairs Minister LeBlanc’s team

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, there are a couple of new special assistants now at work in the Liberal research bureau.

One bad APP-le can spoil the bunch: why accrediting mental health apps should be top of mind

Opinion|By Louise Bradley
What worries me is that not all resources, or apps, are created equally. In fact, as awareness of the importance of looking after our mental wellness grows, the apps associated with claiming to protect it proliferate.

How Erin O’Toole can resolve his climate dilemma

Opinion|By Michael Bernstein
A carbon tax paired with income tax cuts could resolve O’Toole’s dilemma and position the party to compete strongly with the Liberals in the next election, right across Canada.

Canada has a renewable energy world leader right in our own backyard

Opinion|By Martin Pochtaruk
Canada is seeking to merge a transition to green power with its COVID-19 economic recovery plan. When it comes to solar power, that will require protection of Canada’s small but mighty solar manufacturing industry.

New small modular reactor action plan a key step for new technology’s growth amid ‘incredible demand,’ says industry group 

The plan didn't have any funding attached to it, but key stakeholders say they'll be watching for it in the 2021 budget.

Focus on keeping industry, not politicians, in Canada

Opinion|By Erin Weir
The start of a new year is a time to act on resolutions. The federal government should implement border carbon adjustments and an improved Fiscal Stabilization Program.
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: Feds set sights appealing for exemptions to ‘Buy American’ policy

Plus, Parliamentary Protective Service and House admin officials will brief MPs on the 'security risks' on Parliament Hill in a closed-door meeting.
The government is facing class-action lawsuits and a constitutional challenge based on the conditions thousands of prisoners are being kept in that advocates describe as similar to solitary confinement.
The tragic death by suicide of a frontline physician ought to raise red flags about the mental health pressures of the pandemic. Will it?
Three inmates have died from COVID-19 and of the 1,149 positive cases recorded in Canada’s prisons, 167 remain active in the midst of outbreaks in three federal institutions.
Some experts say it’s an open question whether having political leaders or other high-profile figures get their shots first will actually be effective at shoring up confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
Terrific 25 Staffer Survey
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The return of Parliament, with Peter Julian

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Opinion|Ghazy Mujahid
The American people need to realize that it is time for their age-old Constitution to be brought in line with the principles of modern democracy and tailored to meet the needs of the digital and nuclear era.
Opinion|Scott Taylor
The role of commander-in-chief requires the wearing of military uniforms and a familiarity with martial customs would be an enviable asset.
The government has failed to meet expectations on its mandated commitment to ‘re-establish lifelong pensions’ so that a comparable level of financial security is provided to all disabled veterans and their families.
To those who say the uprising in the U.S. could never happen in Canada: on Jan. 5, members of the U.S. Congress said it could never happen in there; on Jan. 6, those same legislators were hiding under their desks.
We can either find ways to divide people and pit people against each other or we can bring people together. In America, it’s the Trump versus the Biden way, and the Biden way just started last week. We need to think hard about how we avoid the Trump way here.

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.'

Staff exits for PMO and ministers O’Regan, Wilkinson, and Fortier

Jocelyn Lubczuk has joined Associate Finance Minister Mona Fortier’s office as director of communications and operations, as Blue Knox moves over to International Trade Minister Mary Ng’s team.

New press secretaries in place for ministers Bennett, Vandal

Plus, Allen Alexandre has exited as director of parliamentary affairs to Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger.
Feature|Palak Mangat

Defenestration talk: Scheer inadvertently helps some politicos learn a new word

Plus, Canada will soon have its first Inuit-language TV channel service.
Feature|Alice Chen

MP Don Davies goes live with Facebook baking session of his signature banana bread

Plus, the UNHCR has released a refugee cookbook featuring recipes from Canadian political players, and distinguished political science professor Leo Panitch has passed away.

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.'

‘Critical situation’ in prisons as health-care workers threaten to walk over lack of protective equipment

'The Correctional Service of Canada continues to take a number of preventative measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in federal institutions,' according to the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

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

New Serbian envoy hopes for ‘more intensive’ political dialogue with Ottawa

A potential Serbian accession to the EU could be attractive to Canada, as the new ambassador says it would be 'very much' interested in accessing the Canada-EU free trade pact.

Dutch envoy sees Canada as ‘fertile ground’ to address climate change 

‘We have to start, we have to stimulate, we have to get our acts together in order to achieve our goals,’ says Goverdina Christina Coppoolse.

UN Ambassador Rae dissects Canada’s place in the world in Jan. 28 Ryerson talk

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021
Ryerson University hosts a conversation with Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae on Thursday, Jan. 28. Toronto Star columnist and Ryerson visiting practitioner Martin Regg Cohn will moderate the discussion, which will explore Middle East peace, human rights abuses, refugee strife, carbon crisis, and the conflict with China. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured Jan. 12, 2021, at Rideau Cottage, says he isn't interested in calling an election in the middle of a pandemic. 'Every political party understands that elections can happen. But as I’ve been consistently saying, we don’t want an election. We need to continue to work hard and focus on Canadians,' he told reporters, following a cabinet shuffle that has triggered fresh speculation that a vote could come soon.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
The Hill Times file photograph by Jake Wright
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