Government House Leader Peter Van Loan invoked “time allocation” earlier today in the House of Commons, a parliamentary procedure which effectively limits parliamentary debate on a particular issue. The issue at hand this time is Bill C-25, legislation that would create registered pooled pension plans, a new kind of savings vehicle for those who are self-employed or whose employers do not offer company pension plans. Continue reading Daily Brief: Van Loan explains why he's shutting down debate
On Sept. 11, 2007, I filed a request to Industry Canada under Canada’s Access to Information Act, asking that department for any memos, briefing notes or presentation decks that had the issue of “lawful access” as their main topic. [Here is a Justice Department FAQ page on the issue and here’s a decent summary of where things stand about now on this issue] I got the response to this request — all 391 pages of it — more than four years or, to be precise, 1,578 days after asking. By law, departments are supposed to respond within 30 days. Continue reading For the record: Industry Canada and lawful access (c. 2006)
Some have observed that doom-and-gloom scenarios for our economy and the world economy provide the political cover for politicians to engage in initiatives, such as cutting public services, which might be politically unpopular. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech in Davos last week was a good example the kind of doom-and-gloom diagnosis for which the prescription is convincing enough Canadians they are no longer entitled to their entitlements. Continue reading Bad news for the deficit hawks: The storm clouds are parting
During daily Question Period in the House of Commons, the government is allowed to “ask questions” of itself. Usually, a backbench MP rises to tee up a softball which a Minister is supposed to hit out of the park. Sometimes, it’s a chance to bring up a topic a Minister wants to make a statement about. That happened today, for example, when a Conservative MP rose in QP to ask Justice Minister Rob Nicholson what he thought about the Shafia verdict.
But most times, it’s like the exchange below, when the Conservatives try to use their lob-ball to take play politics and take on the opposition. Continue reading Don't be fooled: The Tories just raised your taxes
At a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum:
The European Central Bank continued to draw praise for providing emergency cash to banks and avoiding a credit squeeze.
“There is not going to be a Lehman-style moment in Europe,” said Mark J. Carney, governor of the Canadian central bank, referring to the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, which helped set in motion the financial crisis. But he added, “That is different than having a well, fully functioning banking system.”
The minute Prime Minister Stephen Harper said this in Davos yesterday:
We have already taken steps to limit the growth of our health care spending…. We must do the same for our retirement income system. Continue reading PMO pushback on speculation to Old Age Security Changes
The federal government, you may have noticed, is frustrated at what amounts to filibuster of the Northern Gateway Pipeline review by individuals and groups opposed to the project.
This week, both Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Davos, Switzerland and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver here at home vowed to introduce legislation that would streamline regulatory review processes to avoid, in Harper’s words, “delay for the sake of delay.”
Ok, then: Does that mean the government will introduce legislation to short-circuit/streamline the Northern Gateway Pipeline review. Continue reading Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver avoids the key question on Northern Gateway
Kevin Milligan is an associate professor of economics at the University of British Columbia. I’m a journalist who bailed on his undergraduate minor in economics when I ran into too much math in ECON 2310 and 2410. So I approach this response to some math issues in Milligan’s excellent post on the state of our public retirement income system with a bit of trepidation.
But I’ll plunge in away. Continue reading A response to Kevin Milligan's pension post: A math issue
He doesn’t use the term “northern European welfare state” but anyone who’s followed Stephen Harper’s career will know that he’s not a big fan of the concept. Today, in Davos, Switzerland, in a speech at the World Economic Forum, Harper did not use the phrase “welfare state” but it’s pretty clear from this section of his speech that that’s what he’s talking about: Continue reading In Davos, Harper warns welfare states that the party's over
Today, in the newspapers across our chain, I take a look at the relationship between AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Crown-First Nations Summit: Continue reading Column: AFN politics and the Crown-First Nations Summit