Federal Feature Posts

Broadcasting report calls for CRTC to expand mandate to include regulation of internet based content.

The Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel released its much anticipated report last week. The report's recommendations call for substantially expanding the notion of what is considered broadcasting in Canada and consequently calls for a broader mandate for a renamed Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The expanded mandate of the renamed CRTC would include regulatory authority over internet based services such as Netflix, Facebook and YouTube - regulatory authority it does not presently have. The...

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Canada continues to be an international laggard in the fight against money laundering

In September, 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conducted an evaluation of the Canadian anti-money laundering regime and, while noting a number of minor shortcomings and some strengths, found two important features lacking. The first was a lack of transparency in who owns, controls and benefits from Canadian corporations and trusts. The second was that lawyers are exempted from Canada's anti-money laundering regime and do not have to report suspicious transactions. The FATF report...

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Why Donald Trump chose the most extreme option presented to him in dealing with Iran

On Wednesday, a Ukrainian jetliner crashed in Iran, killing everyone aboard. After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had shot down the passenger jet by mistake. Here is the sequence of events leading up to the missile attack that killed 56...

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Why the public has lost confidence in government: Too many government programs and policies just don’t work

Populism is on the rise and voters seem disenchanted with politicians and cynical about politics more generally. "Elites" who supposedly "look down on the common folk" have become punching bags for the populist right (think Doug Ford) and a general feeling of distrust of many institutions (media, government, the courts, financial institutions, etc.) seems to be pervasive. This article is the first in a series of Canada Fact Check posts that argue that many of...

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Revised NAFTA agreement imposes U.S. internet rules on Canada

On December 5, the Wall St. Journal reported that U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing to strip out sweeping legal protections for online platform giants such as Facebook and Google in the USMCA. USMCA is the name of the trade agreement replacing NAFTA. The Democrats control the House and the USMCA could not be ratified unless Democrats in the House passed it. The legal protections, codified in the U.S. in Section 230 of...

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The 2019 election: Canada resists right wing populism but fragmentation remains a real threat

On October 21, Canada had an election and our rather mild version of right wing populism lost. Andrew Scheer's Conservatives received 34.4 % of the vote and Maxime Bernier's People's Party 1.6%. That's only 36% of the vote for Canada's right wing, populist parties. Centre-left parties received over 63% of the vote with the Liberals receiving 33.1%, the NDP 15.7%, the Bloc 7.7%, and the Greens 6.6%. In contrast, U.S. President Donald Trump's "favourables" continue...

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Will NDP-Liberal co-operation produce a real pharmacare program for Canadians?

A consensus is developing that the new Liberal minority government needs to put the implementation of a national pharmacare program at the top of its to-do list. “We need to stop studying this issue,” says Carleton University political economist Marc-Andre Gagnon. “This issue has been studied way more than it should have been. And it is very clear in terms of which model is the most efficient and this is universal pharmacare. The NDP and...

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Trudeau rejects all options for negotiating a governing arrangement with opposition parties.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will swear in a new cabinet on Nov. 20 and move ahead with a promised cut to personal income taxes as its first order of business. Monday’s election returned the Liberals to power, but with a minority government. In his first public comments since his Monday night "victory" speech, Mr. Trudeau indicated he will govern on an issue-by-issue basis rather than negotiate a formal arrangement with...

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Canada elects a Liberal minority government

Canada has elected a Liberal minority government. As of this writing on Tuesday morning, the Liberals have 157 seats, the Conservatives 121, the Bloc 32, the NDP 24 and the Greens 3. 170 seats are needed for a majority so the Liberals are 13 short. This is a good outcome for Canada. Minority governments, in fact, have become common-place in this country. They’re certainly nothing to fear and have often been highly productive. It will...

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Liberals and Conservatives end up deadlocked in popular vote but Canada has a Liberal minority government

Canada has elected a Liberal minority government and it looks like all Prime Minister Trudeau needs is the co-operation of the NDP to govern. What form that co-operation will take remains to be seen but as of this writing, the Liberals have 160 seats with 170 needed for a majority. The NDP has 25 seats. How did this happen? Pollster Frank Graves and commentator Michael Valpy sees the emergence of two distinct blocks of voters...

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