Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 3:23AM EST
It’s not quite Danny Williams’ five-alarm, scorched-earth campaign, but Newfoundland’s new premier is making it his business to tell people that Stephen Harper has reneged on a deal.
Paul Davis has a much more even-keel style, and it seems pretty clear that he’s still hoping to get the federal government to give. Still, he’s already said, bluntly, that he can’t trust Mr. Harper. Now he’s spreading the message.More »
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 2:55AM EST
Why won’t the United States approve the Keystone XL pipeline? It’s all because of one man, U.S. President Barack Obama, according to Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, Greg Rickford.
When he was asked about U.S. opposition, Mr. Rickford laid it at Mr. Obama’s feet. “I think importantly, it’s not Americans. It seems to be more the President himself,” Mr. Rickford said on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.More »
Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 8:00AM EST
When Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis strolled into a meeting with Stephen Harper at his Langevin Block office on Friday, Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne was getting a message, too.
After barely two months as Premier, Mr. Davis had a one-on-one to talk over a dispute. John Tory, Toronto’s new mayor, had a meeting on Thursday. But Ms. Wynne was sending letters while Mr. Harper declined to meet her.More »
Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 10:02AM EST
It is something on which strategists and communications experts with all of Canada’s political parties can agree: They need to get better at online advertising.
That’s because their favourite method for reaching voters for the better part of the past half-century, television advertising, is rapidly declining in effectiveness. With the notable exception of live sports viewers, for whose attention the parties fight tooth-and-nail, a good number of Canadians are now PVRing their favourite shows and skipping over the commercials. That’s assuming they have cable at all, which particularly in urban centres is becoming less of a given – mostly because younger Canadians are consuming more of their media online.More »
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 12:21AM EST
You’d never take James Moore, the button-down Industry Minister, for a modern-day Canadian Don Quixote. But his current mission, unmasking cross-border price discrimination, carries some of the same futility as tilting at windmills.
Still, let’s give him a cheer for his quest, aimed at one of those things that bugs us all: companies charging more for their products in Canada than they do in the United States. And a raspberry for promising a lot and delivering little.More »
Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2014 3:00AM EST
Five years ago, there was a short burst of political will to change the way prisons deal with inmates with mental illness. The Correctional Investigator had penned a report on the death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith, who was watched by guards as she strangled herself to death in 2007.
The Public Safety Minister of the day, Peter Van Loan, launched federal-provincial discussions, and steered a national strategy. But Ottawa’s attention drifted. Change moved slowly. Almost year ago, a coroner’s inquest issued another report on Ms. Smith’s death, with 104 recommendations. Correctional Service Canada has yet to respond.More »
Friday, Dec. 05, 2014 8:07PM EST
When Julian Fantino was handed the Veterans Affairs portfolio, some who had worked with him thought: this is perfect.
The former police chief spent his life in uniform. He tirelessly attended ceremonies. He’s passionate about service. He wants to fix problems. It fit.
Now, politically, he looks like a dead man walking.More »
Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2014 5:31PM EST
Why is Canada one of the only countries in the Western world that doesn’t routinely feed children at school?
If we are, as it is often said, building a ‘knowledge economy,’ shouldn’t we start with the most elemental step of all: Nourishing young brains?
The evidence of benefit is compelling: Healthier growth of children, less disruptive behaviour in class, better test scores, lower absenteeism, fewer dropouts, lower rates of obesity, and so one. School nutrition programs are also good for the beleaguered agricultural sector, especially if fresh foods are purchased locally.More »
Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 6:00AM EST
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice have some new and outspoken Keystone XL advocates who will tip the balance in the U.S. Senate come January, when a new effort to force U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the $8-billion export pipeline that will send Canadian oil sands crude south to Gulf Coast refineries is expected.More »
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 12:58PM EST
Canada’s Conservative government may not be known for its fondness of working with the United Nations, but that hasn’t stopped it from engaging with the multilateral body in a few areas Ottawa considers priorities.
Last week, the UN approved a landmark resolution on ending child marriage that was backed by the Canadian and Zambian governments. The resolution, which calls on governments to bring in laws banning the practice, was co-sponsored by more than 100 nations, raising hopes that it could help shift public opinion in countries where child marriage is commonplace.More »
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 6:00AM EST
Stephen Harper must feel like a ghost is returning to haunt him. It’s been years since Bill Casey was a thorn in his side.
He’s one of the few Conservative MPs who clashed publicly with Mr. Harper. Now he’s coming back as a Liberal.
Mr. Harper booted the former Nova Scotia MP out of the Conservative caucus in 2007 for voting against his own party’s budget because it unilaterally altered the Atlantic Accords – and that made Mr. Casey an icon in his home province.More »
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 3:05PM EST
Everyone knows the philosophical riddle: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
The equivalent thought experiment in Canadian policy-making circles is this: “If a report by a top adviser is published in such a manner that no one knows, does anyone in power actually want to hear sound advice?”More »
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 5:00AM EST
Nine months in jail. Michael Sona, a former Conservative campaign worker, will get that for trying to deceive and dissuade Guelph voters from casting ballots by placing misleading robocalls. The sentence is supposed to be a deterrent.
It is a relatively stiff sentence for an elections offence, which typically net fines, or probation. The judge decided Mr. Sona’s “moral blameworthiness” is high. This is a serious crime.More »
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.
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.