Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 11:13AM EDT
Sometime next month, the federal government is expected to take action on a couple of key matters related to resource development on the West Coast.
It’s anticipated Ottawa will move on a review released late last year by the Tanker Safety Expert Panel concerning Canada’s oil spill preparedness and response regime. That report made 45 recommendations, including changing the liability limits polluters face and introducing measures to help facilitate faster spill response times.More »
Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 6:00AM EDT
In the battle for the votes of the middle class, Stephen Harper has just heard what he wants to hear: Canada’s middle-income earners make more than those in the United States.
The New York Times’s new website, the Upshot, broke the bad news to Americans Tuesday that their middle class is no longer the wealthiest in the world: Canada’s has caught up.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 3:33PM EDT
Canada’s international development minister is defending his government’s record on foreign aid, saying a recent lapse in spending by the Canadian International Development Agency occurred largely because of instability in two of Canada’s priority countries.
Christian Paradis told The Globe and Mail in an interview last week that the agency spent less money than budgeted because of a review looking at how Canada’s aid to Haiti was being spent and the coup d’etat that occurred in Mali. Official government figures show that $290-million in money that had been allocated for foreign aid in the 2012-2013 fiscal year went unspent, leading critics to accuse the Conservative government of attempting to cut foreign aid through the back door.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 11:50AM EDT
A new poll suggests the Conservatives hold a five-point national lead over the Liberals. Is this the first sign of a dramatic change in Canadians’ political mood, or is the poll just an outlier?
The latest survey conducted online by Angus Reid Global, interviewing 1,505 Canadians on April 14 and 15, found the Conservatives to have the support of 34 per cent of likely voters, compared to 29 per cent for the Liberals and 27 per cent for the New Democrats.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 6:00AM EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper blamed the latest delay in approving the Keystone XL pipeline on “politics.” It begs a simple question: why has Mr. Harper failed at the politics?
Securing approval for the pipeline, after all, has been very important to Mr. Harper. His foreign affairs minister, John Baird, called it the government’s number-one foreign-policy priority back in 2011.More »
Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 10:00AM EDT
Plans for studying the Conservative government’s latest omnibus budget bill are up in the air as key decisions were put off due to the death of former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
The House finance committee was scheduled to meet on Thursday, April 10, to decide who they should hear from – and also whether to follow the recent practice of having other committees involved in hearing from witnesses.More »
Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 6:00AM EDT
Andrea Horwath is on a quiet charm offensive with big business, holding closed-door sessions with top players on Bay Street and other corporate leaders in the run-up to a possible spring election.
The Ontario New Democratic Leader has made some unexpected promises at these meetings in a bid to assuage executives’ fears about her left-wing party, The Globe and Mail has learned. She has pledged not to hike corporate taxes back to 14 per cent if elected premier, and has signalled she is willing to do whatever it takes to bring the province’s books back to balance in four years – including cutting government spending and playing tough with public-sector unions.More »
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 3:03PM EDT
The New Brunswick government has ‘won’ its legal battle with the late Dr. Henry Morgentaler.
But it is, at best, a Pyrrhic victory. The cost being paid by the women of the province – and beyond – is painfully high.
That Dr. Morgentaler had to sue the province in the first place – to try and force them to pay for abortions at private clinics, as is the norm in all other jurisdictions – is disgraceful.More »
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 11:32AM EDT
There was what the Senate said, and all that it didn’t.
This week, a Tory-dominated Senate committee that had been “pre-studying” the controversial Fair Elections Act, Bill C-23, recommended nine changes to the House of Commons committee that currently has the bill before it. It’s an exceptionally unusual situation, raising questions of what will happen if the House ignores the suggestions and then sends its final version of the bill to the Senate for approval.More »
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 6:00AM EDT
The Prime Minister can feel relief that his former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, won’t be charged with a crime in the Senate scandal. But he should keep the celebrations to a chastened minimum.
The RCMP has decided to drop its investigation into Mr. Wright, because what he did – writing a $90,000 cheque to secretly cover Senator Mike Duffy’s expenses – isn’t a crime.More »
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 1:36PM EDT
Is Prime Minster Stephen Harper prepared to “pull an Obama” and punt on the Northern Gateway decision in the face of implacable opposition?
The Prime Minister has been openly critical – verging on scornful – over U.S. President Barack Obama’s agonizingly slow process for deciding whether to approve TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline which would carry oil sands bitumen to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Mr. Harper famously called approval of the KXL project a “no brainer.”More »
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 11:07AM EDT
The business model is antiquated, the mission is muddying and the burden of paperwork has grown “crippling.” The culture may have grown risk averse and middle managers may be setting the wrong goals. Worse still, the pool of customers is drying up – and some of those who remain give the product failing grades.More »
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 6:00AM EDT
Don’t pack away those tweed jackets just yet, John Baird.
The Conservative government has decided to make economic diplomacy its chief mission in international relations, issuing a Global Markets Action Plan last November that made trade Job One. One official told The Globe and Mail at the time that the message to diplomats was this: “Take off your tweed jacket, buy a business suit and land us a deal.”More »
Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 11:43AM EDT
Justin Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party of Canada one year ago this week. When that happened, his party moved ahead in national voting intentions. He has yet to relinquish that lead.
The latest polls give the Liberals about 36 per cent support and an eight-point advantage over the governing Conservatives. In 48 polls conducted since Mr. Trudeau became Liberal Leader on April 14, 2013, his party has led or has been tied for the lead in all but two of them. The Liberals are up five points on where they stood a year ago, eight points on where they were in the month before naming their new leader, and 14 points compared to the support the Liberals enjoyed in September 2012, just before Mr. Trudeau announced his intentions to run for the leadership.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 6:00AM EDT
Rob Anders once again represents a peculiar conundrum for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
After 17 years as an MP, the controversial Mr. Anders lost his Conservative nomination over the weekend. Already, there’s speculation he’ll try to run again somewhere else, like the neighbouring riding of Calgary Rocky Ridge.More »
Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 11:38AM EDT
Stephen Harper not only lost a friend and a party mentor when Jim Flaherty passed away suddenly last week, he gained another hole in the federal political landscape.
It is a hole that the diminutive former finance minister filled in a very big way – one that presents strategic challenges for Mr. Harper as he tries to create the most advantageous narrative for his party going into the 2015 general election.More »
Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 8:00AM EDT
The first instinct is to consider it a grim prospect best avoided.
Nobody dreams of spending the early weeks of patio season aboard a campaign bus. Nobody relishes the prospect of vicious attack ads every time they turn on their television. And nobody can look at the way Ontario’s politicians have been presenting themselves and each other and seriously believe they’re ready to inspire us.More »
Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 6:00AM EDT
There are no neutrals in Stephen Harper’s Ottawa.
When he sent out a junior minister, Pierre Poilievre, to attack the Chief Electoral Officer last week, it had been a long time coming. Where most Canadians think of Elections Canada as the neutral referee for the country's voting, Mr. Harper and some of the Conservatives around him have decided it is biased against them.More »
Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 9:30AM EDT
KATHRYN BLAZE CARLSON
It was 10:32 p.m. on the eve of a series of Idle No More protests when the updated Canada Border Services Agency briefing was circulated.
Sent to agency management on Jan. 4, 2013, the briefing said major protests were expected the next day, Saturday, in several regions, with the largest slated for the Cornwall crossing in Ontario. Other demonstrations might have a “limited impact” on border crossings elsewhere in Ontario, the Pacific region and the prairies. A CBSA situational report submitted earlier in the day predicted the sun would shine on demonstrators at the Cornwall crossing, but that a windchill of -15 – coupled with requirements around identity documents – might dampen turnout.More »
Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 3:10PM EDT
Before becoming a politician, Yukon’s premier Darrell Pasloski was a pharmacist. John Hamm, premier of Nova Scotia from 1999 to 2006 was a family doctor. Frank Miller, briefly the premier of Ontario in 1985, was a professional engineer.
None of them could be called scientists but all three are examples of provincial first ministers with professional backgrounds that called for a significant amount of science education.More »
Kim Mackrael has been a reporter for The Globe and Mail since 2011. She joined the Ottawa bureau Sept. 2012.
Vancouver-based columnist Gary Mason writes on B.C. affairs and issues affecting Western Canada. Mr. Mason has been a fixture on the West Coast journalism scene for more than two decades and has been the recipient of some of the industry's highest honours, including two National Newspaper Awards and six Jack Webster awards. He has authored six books, including his most recent, the No. 1-bestseller Patriot Hearts, Inside the Games that Changed a Country written with John Furlong.
Follow Gary on Twitter @garymasonglobe
Rhéal Séguin is a journalist and political scientist. Born and educated in southern Ontario, he completed his undergraduate degree in political science at York University and a master's degree in political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal.