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Why this doctor and political outsider wants to lead the Tory party

John Ibbitson

Though attention focuses on Kevin O’Leary’s possible bid for Conservative Party leader, there’s another outsider making the rounds here at this weekend’s convention. His name is Daniel Lindsay, and he couldn’t be more opposite than the flamboyant business personality who’s getting all the press.

Dr. Lindsay is chief of staff at Manitoba’s Selkirk and District General Hospital. He is also the former president of Manitoba’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Four years ago he was named doctor of the year in Manitoba. And he served five tours as a civilian radiologist in Kandahar for Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

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On same-sex marriage, social conservatives’ time has long gone

JOHN IBBITSON

The room was packed, with delegates lining the walls, crowding the back, even reaching their arms through the doors from the outside, waving their voting cards, as the Conservative Party took a big step toward dropping its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Afterward, when the motion to strike “we support legislation defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman” from the party’s policy platform passed nearly two to one (279 for; 143 against), Marjory LeBreton’s grin stretched from ear to ear.

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Being cold and aloof may have worked in Harper’s favour

ADAM RADWANSKI

Conservatives had barely finished applauding his brief farewell address at Thursday evening’s kickoff to their national convention, and Stephen Harper was already on his way to the airport to catch a late-night flight back home.

It had been, by his own choosing, the most understated tribute to a departing party leader – let alone a three-term prime minister – in memory. No feting by a favourite singer; no parade of friends and colleagues paying tribute; no old war stories. Just an introduction by interim leader Rona Ambrose that itemized his party-building and electoral and policy-making achievements, a four-minute tribute video that did roughly the same thing, and the guest of honour pleasantly running through a list of thank-yous and an expression of confidence in the party’s future. The closest the evening came to entertainment or excitement was Mr. Harper taking the stage to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.

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Tories need a new take on climate change

JEFFREY SIMPSON

The word “conservative” derives from the Latin verb conservare, which means to preserve or conserve.

True political conservatives, if they understood the roots of their label, would be strong environmentalists. They would be determined to preserve and conserve the natural environment, consistent with living in an advanced industrial economy, unlike some on the far left who want to return closer to a communitarian state of nature, and some aboriginal leaders whose idea of the future is to have their people continue to exist as hunters and gatherers.

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Transport Canada mulls regulations for drone deliveries

SIMON DOYLE

Transport Canada is exploring possible regulations that would permit parcel deliveries by small aerial drones.

Companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and, north of the border, Drone Delivery Canada have said they want to use delivery drones, as unmanned vehicles can be more safely controlled remotely. Amazon, which has developed an aerial delivery service called Prime Air, has said the drones will one day be as common as today’s mail trucks.

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How Canada should rethink international assistance

COLIN ROBERTSON

A former diplomat, Colin Robertson is vice-president and fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

As the federal government rethinks its international assistance policies, it should heed the call from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for transformative change to global humanitarian relief.

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The Conservative challenge, post-Harper

Jeffrey Simpson

Canada’s Conservatives have been a remarkably quiescent lot since their electoral defeat seven months ago. No factions have appeared; no backstabbing has left blood on the floor. Anger has been bottled up and kept from public view.

It was not always so for the Conservatives’ predecessors.

The Progressive Conservatives (remember them?) always turned their guns inward and fired after defeat. They sometimes fired at themselves while in power.

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Oil and LNG: Why B.C. still isn’t open for business

JEFFREY SIMPSON

There might be more trying places in the world to build pipelines or a liquefied natural gas industry than British Columbia, but it’s hard to know where such a place might be.

The domestic obstacles to getting anything done in B.C. are numerous and formidable. Why companies bother is a mystery, when there are other, more welcoming places around the world.

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Why despair is growing among Democrats

DAVID SHRIBMAN

Who’s crying now?

For weeks it has been the Republicans, riven by factions, their establishment figures desperately unhappy with their putative nominee, their donor class holding back its support – and its dollars. Much of that despair and division persists, and earlier this week it became apparent that Donald J. Trump’s goal of raising $1-billion for the fall campaign was looming as a big challenge for the political organization known as the party of big money.

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Only a quarter of Canadians like the Senate. Here's what they want

Nik Nanos

Nik Nanos is The Globe and Mail’s pollster and chairman of Nanos Research.

The last few weeks have been a combination of vindication and vilification for Canada’s Senate. On the one hand, charges and probes into expenses have been dropped and on the other hand there is political unease about the Red Chamber and its future.

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With civil service shakeup, Trudeau brings youth, diversity to top jobs

SIMON DOYLE

Retirements of Ottawa’s highest-ranked bureaucrats have accelerated under the Justin Trudeau government as the Liberals shuffle the leadership of the public service after years of management under Stephen Harper.

The government has made a series of moves with its highest-ranked bureaucrats since coming into office last fall, most recently promoting senior officials who had worked on the Environment and Foreign Affairs portfolios.

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Trump will be the elephant in the room at Three Amigos summit

CAMPBELL CLARK

The North American bloc’s three national leaders have a special mission when they meet in June: sending a statement about Donald Trump without saying much about the man.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plays host to U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the North American Leaders’ Summit on June 29 and Mr. Trump’s campaign is anathema to all of them, separately and as the Three Amigos. In particular, it’s Mr. Trump’s broad assault on a North American trading bloc that clashes.

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After Trudeau’s scuffle: How strong are the Liberals, really?

NIK NANOS

Nik Nanos is The Globe and Mail’s pollster and chairman of Nanos Research.

The distance of two sword lengths, which is supposed to separate the government from the opposition, was no impediment to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau crossing the floor to “engage” the opposition directly the other day.

Although this is surely fodder for the opposition parties, the polling suggests that it usually takes more than one incident to shake the trend line. The incident, however, brings into focus an examination of what type of strength the Liberals truly have.

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Lessons from B.C.’s carbon tax experience

JEFFREY SIMPSON

British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in North America to impose a carbon tax.

The 2008 Carbon Tax Act set the levy at $10 a tonne of carbon emissions on all fossil fuel uses. The tax was increased by $5 a tonne each year until it reached $30 a tonne in 2012. Then, the provincial government of Premier Christy Clark froze the tax for five years.

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The Liberals’ slip into arrogance means all eyes are on Trudeau

Campbell Clark

“Arrogance is the Liberal Party’s kryptonite,” Justin Trudeau’s closest adviser, Gerald Butts, told party workers during last fall’s election campaign. On Thursday, his friend the Prime Minister, who had been flying high for six months in office, looked suddenly weakened. He had touched the kryptonite.

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Why Trudeau’s tussle will likely lead to a crackdown on cabinet

JOHN IBBITSON

Justin Trudeau took his medicine in the House Thursday morning, repeatedly apologizing for his physical aggression on the floor of the House the night before, and promising improved relations with the opposition parties.

“I look forward to working with all members in this House to move this debate forward in a constructive and productive way,” he said.

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Nuclear is the missing link in our climate debate

JEFFREY SIMPSON

An average-sized nuclear plant produces roughly the same amount of electricity from 4,000 wind turbines. So reports the International Energy Agency.

A few dozen windmills, let alone a few hundred, can often be counted on to create a public furor in the area where they are built. Just ask the mayors in eastern Ontario where the provincial government is approving windmills over furious local objections.

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Trudeau’s sunny ways image takes a major hit

CAMPBELL CLARK

This was the moment when the sunny ways were brushed aside in a mood of petulance. Left behind was the image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau striding across the Commons to grab the Conservative whip by the arm, bumping heavily into New Democrat MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau.

The promise of a new tone for Parliament seemed to snap suddenly. Mr. Trudeau was left to apologize: He realized, he said later, after a shaken Ms. Brosseau returned to the Commons, that his actions were inadvisable. Opposition MPs still lined up to express outrage. Liberal MPs looked shaken, too: Ontario MP Deb Schulte’s face appeared drawn as she stood up to say Mr. Trudeau had not intended to jostle Ms. Brosseau.

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Sanders still has life, raising questions about strength of Clinton campaign

David Shribman

He’s not going away.

Not after Tuesday night’s win in Oregon and his virtual tie in Kentucky. Not after he continued to deny Hillary Rodham Clinton momentum in the chase for Democratic convention delegates. Not any time soon. Bernie Sanders is not going away.

Ms. Clinton is still the prohibitive favourite to face Manhattan billionaire Donald Trump in the American autumn election, and she remains the presumptive nominee – a phrase Mr. Trump appropriated earlier this month as he pivoted from the bruising Republican nomination fight to his likely confrontation with Mrs. Clinton.

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Farewell, self-promoting government ads. Good riddance

jeffrey simpson

Do you remember them? A silly question, really, for who could forget the Economic Action Plan billboards all across Canada? Some of them are still around, believe it or not.

The billboards were placed everywhere, long after the Conservatives’ Economic Action Plan finished. An almost manic effort to log their presence was centralized in Ottawa, for the Harper government was nothing if not focused on advertising.

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