Friday, Mar. 07, 2014 3:17PM EST
It’s the kind of correspondence no self-respecting spymaster or security functionary would want to sign: “Dear Minister: our agents got called out for not telling the truth in court, and an important national-security power is now at risk as a result.”
Yet this is the essence of memos that spy agency director Michel Coulombe and deputy minister Francois Guimont sent last December to Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, after a judge’s ruling ripped into Canada’s two main intelligence agencies.More »
Friday, Mar. 07, 2014 11:12AM EST
No matter how she rolled it out, there were always going to be political undertones to Kathleen Wynne’s push for transparency in Ontario. And how could there not be? After spending a year dealing with the fallout from the gas plant scandal that tarnished the final days of Dalton McGuinty’s government, the Premier’s plan was calculated to show she’s serious about doing things differently.More »
Thursday, Mar. 06, 2014 2:25PM EST
It was a popular proposal last year that got rolled into the government’s sprawling Citizenship Act changes – a passport fast-track for those in the military.
But federal figures show the provision will apply to very few people, and that current rules in some ways block the Conservative proposal.
The notion of a military fast-track to citizenship was first raised in a private member’s bill tabled by Calgary MP Devinder Shory, and later championed by Jason Kenney – then the immigration minister – before the bill died on the order paper last summer. This year, Mr. Kenney’s successor, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, revived the suggestion by rolling it into the new, wide-ranging Bill C-24, which the government says is the most substantial overhaul of citizenship rules in a generation.More »
Thursday, Mar. 06, 2014 10:13AM EST
When Quebeckers head to the ballot boxes on April 7, Pauline Marois is hoping they will give her Parti Québécois minority government a majority mandate. Voters have 33 days to make up their minds. But if an election were held today, Ms. Marois would likely get her wish fulfilled.
The latest vote projection from ThreeHundredEight.com gives the Parti Québécois 38 per cent support in the province, followed by the Liberals under Philippe Couillard at 35 per cent and François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec at 15 per cent. Though the margin between the PQ and the Liberals is narrow, the sovereigntist party is well placed to win a majority government.More »
Thursday, Mar. 06, 2014 6:00AM EST
This is a Quebec election that is turning on the province’s small-c conservatives. The grumpy, middle-aged, middle-income man is the target voter.
In a province that many consider left-leaning, and where Stephen Harper’s federal Conservatives are fourth, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has gained advantage by shifting right.More »
Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2014 5:13PM EST
Buy low. Sell high. The investing principle has come to describe the approach some in the province’s environmental movement are taking to the embattled B.C. NDP as it faces restructuring after being defeated in an election last spring they were expected to win.
In political terms, that means getting into the conversation as the party chooses its next leader in September to make sure the NDP emerges brightly green on the issues. Defeat, goes the thinking, has made the NDP more flexible than the governing B.C. Liberals, who are comfortable with the policies they carried to a fourth straight majority mandate last May.More »
Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2014 2:56PM EST
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has set the world on edge and unleashed a war of words.
There’s none more incendiary than comparing Moscow’s aggression in the Crimea to Adolf Hitler’s 1938 annexation of the Sudetenland in the years leading to the Second World War.
The Canadian government appears to be the first Group of Eight country to publicly make this analogy as pressure builds on the Russian leadership.More »
Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2014 12:52PM EST
Unlike its rivals in Ottawa, the NDP is refusing to take a stand in favour of federalist candidates in the April 7 Quebec election that will determine the fate of the Marois government.
The NDP has a strong following in Quebec’s nationalist electorate, including supporters of sovereigntist parties such as the Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire, and it is refusing to come out in favour of the province’s more right-wing federalist formations.More »
Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2014 10:29AM EST
The federal NDP is positioning itself as a pro-mining party that would revive stalled negotiations on Ontario’s Ring of Fire development while keeping federal regulations “lean.”
Speaking with The Globe and Mail during a global mining conference in Toronto this week, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said his party would seek buy-in from First Nations communities to speed up new developments. The annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada has become a global attraction, drawing nearly 30,000 delegates and dozens of MPs.More »
Tuesday, Mar. 04, 2014 11:53AM EST
A recent poll suggests the number of Americans who don’t believe in global warming jumped significantly over six months of 2013, a shift that occurred even as climate experts around the world voiced near unanimous agreement that the phenomenon is both real and man made.
But other studies say Canadians take a different view – that the number of us on this side of the border who believe average temperatures are climbing has increased in recent years and that we are gradually accepting human activity as the culprit.More »
Tuesday, Mar. 04, 2014 6:00AM EST
Fifty-year mortgages are unheard of now, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s, that was how Ottawa paid for social housing.
In neighbourhoods like Vancouver’s Gastown and Winnipeg’s Willow Park, there was a flurry of construction meant to help Canada’s poor. The period produced about 200,000 projects and some successes, but also built some of the concentrated social housing that can ghettoize the people the government was trying to help.More »
Monday, Mar. 03, 2014 12:55PM EST
Only the keenest of eyes noticed the change, but the Liberal Party of Canada unveiled a “refreshed” logo at its biennial policy convention in Montreal last weekend.
To understand what the logo change means – both typographically and politically – The Globe spoke to Grant Gordon, whose firm Key Gordon Communications has done work for political parties, environmental groups and arts festivals.More »
Monday, Mar. 03, 2014 6:00AM EST
Thomas Mulcair has nearly tripled his daily output of questions in the House of Commons, going toe-to-toe with the Prime Minister for extended periods as part of an NDP strategy to boost the national visibility of its leader.
Mr. Mulcair typically asked three to five questions a day after he replaced Jack Layton as Leader of the NDP in March, 2012. He now uses his opportunity to dominate the first half of Question Period, using a strategy that started with the Senate scandal last year and has now extended to the major topics of the day. He always asks at least five questions a day, and regularly takes the first 14 questions allotted to the NDP when Stephen Harper is in the House.More »
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 2:09PM EST
Taseko Mines Ltd. could be forgiven if it is feeling a bit like a pawn in a chess match between the Harper government and British Columbia’s First Nations communities.
Ottawa this week rejected for a second time the company’s application to build the $1-billion New Prosperity gold and copper mine in the B.C. Interior. While defensible on its own merits, the decision was taken as the government works to build trust with aboriginal communities to win approval for resource projects like Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline expansion.More »
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 12:36PM EST
He’s from Alberta, a Conservative and a free trader.
So it’s no surprise that former prime minister Joe Clark backs the Keystone XL pipeline that would free Canada’s heavy oil sands crude from market isolation and deeply discounted prices and deliver them to the U.S. gulf coast where huge refineries and world prices could unlock future expansion of Alberta’s massive reserves.More »
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 9:41AM EST
When Andrea Horwath outlined a proposal for hiking Ontario’s minimum wage earlier this week, it came as a surprise.
Not the policy itself, which pitched raising the wage higher than the governing Liberals are currently planning, and adding some tax cuts to lessen the effect on small business. The surprise was that Ms. Horwath was taking a position at all.More »
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 4:46PM EST
It doesn’t seem that long ago Ontario’s public school system was in a state of chaos: There were large-scale walkouts across the province and all extracurriculars came to a grinding halt as teachers staged protests against the Liberal government’s legislation dictating the terms of their contracts.
A year later, with contracts set to expire at the end of the summer, Kathleen Wynne’s minority government already appears to be in for another bumpy ride. Voters are the last place where the government will find any sympathy after last year’s mess.More »
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 1:20PM EST
Do we get our money’s worth for all the money we pay doctors?
In a bid to answer that question – which is as important for the administrators of public funds as for the overseers of the health system – B.C. Auditor-General Russ Jones and his team produced a report entitled “Oversight of Physician Services.”More »
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 6:00AM EST
The NDP is stating its first order of business in the next election will be to oust Stephen Harper as prime minister, offering to work with the other opposition parties to make it happen in the event of a minority Parliament.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was against a merger with the Liberal Party during his 2012 leadership race, but he is now offering conciliatory words about future co-operation. To make his point, this week he repeatedly mentioned his role in the failed Liberal-NDP coalition agreement that had the backing of the Bloc Québécois in 2008.More »
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 11:41AM EST
With likely two months or less to go before an election is held in Quebec, opinion polls put Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois on track for a majority government. The performance of pollsters in Quebec over the last 16 years, moreover, suggests that might be right.
The most recent poll conducted in the province – by CROP for La Presse and surveying 1,000 Quebeckers online between Feb. 13-16 – gave the PQ the support of 40 per cent of respondents, with the Liberals under Philippe Couillard trailing at 34 per cent. François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec was well behind with 16 per cent support.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.