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Trying to avoid the ‘extinction’ of Canada’s junior mining companies

SIMON DOYLE

Simon Doyle covers lobbying and the intersection of business and politics in Ottawa. He writes for Politics Insider, which is available only to subscribers of Globe Unlimited.

The mining industry is lobbying for government help for junior mining companies and northern infrastructure as more juniors have delisted from the TSX and the commodities rout has deepened.

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Doctors' group targeting swing votes for seniors issues

Simon Doyle

Simon Doyle covers lobbying and the intersection of business and politics in Ottawa. He writes for Politics Insider, which is available only to subscribers of Globe Unlimited.

The Canadian Medical Association says it is tapping into voter frustration about health care in close ridings as part of a digital campaign to generate public support for policies to help seniors.

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Weak economic indicators suggest Tories will lose votes

Paul Fairie

Paul Fairie is a political scientist at the University of Calgary, where he studies voter behaviour.

Economic indicators suggest that the Conservative government will likely suffer a loss in vote share compared to 2011, though they will likely avoid complete electoral disaster.

Ten months ago, various economic indicators suggested that the Conservatives’ vote share might drop by a handful of percentage points in the fall election. However, the economic outlook of Canadians has changed. In a July Forum Research poll, 58 per cent of Canadians said they thought that the national economy was in recession. Even if economists do not uniformly agree with this analysis, the strong public sentiment must concern party strategists.

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Why Harper’s chief of staff is so close to the PM – and why he might resign

JOHN IBBITSON

Ray Novak likes to tell about the time that Stephen Harper, who was then leader of the Canadian Alliance, decided to hold an event in the MP’s Calgary constituency office. One of Mr. Novak’s duties that day was to sweep the floors.

The Prime Minister’s chief of staff has become the latest lightning rod of controversy in the trial of Mike Duffy. As revealed in court this week, a police interview of Ben Perrin, Mr. Harper’s former legal counsel, suggests that Mr. Novak had been briefed about the personal cheque that former chief of staff Nigel Wright wrote to pay off Mr. Duffy’s expenses.

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Oil patch anxious for Alberta royalty review to be done quickly

SIMON DOYLE

The oil and gas industry hasn’t wasted any time lobbying on Alberta’s review of energy royalties.

Dave Mowat, the chief executive officer of provincially owned ATB Financial who was appointed in June to chair the Alberta government’s royalty review panel, says he’s already had hundreds of conversations, informal and formal, about the review.

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Voters care more about the economy in longer elections, research suggests

PAUL FAIRIE

Paul Fairie is a political scientist at the University of Calgary, where he studies voter behaviour.

Canada is currently in the midst of one of the longest elections in its history, and research suggests that this could be a good thing: it might result in better-informed voters.

So far, discussion about this unusually long campaign has focused on whether the Conservatives might use the more than $50-million spending limit to bankrupt their opponents in the final days of the election period, or if it might limit spending by outside groups.

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Forget Wynne and Notley battling Harper, and pay attention to Brad Wall

JOHN IBBITSON

The feuds this week between Premiers Kathleen Wynne of Ontario and Rachel Notley of Alberta and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper have been public and nasty.

But it’s Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall people should be listening to. If they did, this election might actually advance an important debate over a roadblock that threatens this country’s peace and prosperity.

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Conservative lobbyists join Harper’s war room ahead of election

SIMON DOYLE

Two high-profile Tory lobbyists have joined the Conservative war room in Ottawa to help work on tour management and campaign scripting.

Ken Boessenkool, a consultant who previously was an adviser to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and later chief of staff to B.C. Premier Christy Clark, has been working in Mr. Harper’s war room on scripting, while Ian Todd, a Calgary consultant and a former chief of staff to Harper government cabinet ministers, has been working on the tour, said people familiar with the campaign who asked to remain anonymous.

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Lobbyists target platform writers as parties hone campaign promises

SIMON DOYLE

For about the past eight months, some of the most influential people in Ottawa have been writers.

Not writers of flowery prose, but staffers holding the pens for party platforms. These are powerful gatekeepers helping to decide a party’s campaign promises.

The platforms can publicize big policy announcements and bolster a party’s credibility with opinion shapers. For industry associations and interest groups, political promises in platforms can be the first step toward enactment of a policy.

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