Columns

National Column: Ottawa has fumbled assisted-dying bill from start

This country’s highest court ultimately gave Parliamentarians 16 months to craft legislation on assisted dying. That apparently wasn’t enough.

Missing the court-imposed June 6 deadline will not plunge this nation into some type of chaotic constitutional abyss, but the past 16 months leading to that deadline have taught us a lot about our political system and the men and women who represent us. It tells us a lot about the perils of fixed election dates, a move to remove partisanship from the Senate, the management of the legislative agenda by a rookie government – but most of all it tells us a lot about the timidity of our elected representatives. […]

Columns

National Column: Deadlines undermine Liberal legislation

Deadlines can focus the mind and sharpen our work. For some, however, the ticking of the deadline clock can overwhelm the substance of our work.

This week, the Liberal government is expected to hand in its homework on two pieces of legislation that were expedited by deadlines imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada. […]

Local News

National Column: Will Alberta fires tip the pipeline debate?

After a week of debate over the link, or lack thereof, between climate change and the Fort McMurray wildfires, another reality emerges.

When the economic cost of this tragedy is tallied, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is going to be under renewed pressure to approve a pipeline and get oil to market from a province staggering under the weight of historic economic troubles. […]

Columns

National Column: Historic debate on death is silenced

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was telling a Senate committee this week that her government’s assisted-dying legislation was a “transformational shift” in this country. But she had to excuse herself.

She was needed down the hall in the House of Commons to explain why debate had to be cut off on this transformational shift. […]

Columns

National Column: Rethinking the missile defence issue

It was barely a decade ago, but much of the emotional debate on both sides of the border over Canada’s participation in a North American missile-defence program seems already forgotten.

It was an issue that pivoted on matters of Canadian sovereignty, bilateral relations and the weaponization of space, but for the prime minister of the day, Paul Martin, the decision to stay out of the American program was really about the toxicity of the U.S. president of the day, George W. Bush. […]

Columns

National Column: Day of vindication for delighted Duffy

Had he so chosen, Mike Duffy could have left his familiar courtroom perch Thursday, made a hard right and taken a step on the long road to redemption.

He could have marched down the wide expanse of Elgin St. toward the War Memorial, veered left and into the Centre Block’s east doors leading to the Senate chamber. […]