Tagged Niagara_Independent

MPs’ Summer Plans (Not What You Might Expect)

The Niagara Independent, July 27, 2018 – When Members of Parliament recess for the summer, they don’t don shorts and sandals to hit a beach like quick-change artists; but instead, the first step they take is to meet their local constituency staff and schedule “the summer break.” The 2018 summer plans of Niagara West MP Dean Allison are a good example of what our elected representatives organize for themselves when they are not in the Nation’s Capital. He may have escaped his Ottawa office, however, Dean must plan time to attend to his various parliamentary duties. He is the International…

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga is a three-part series first printed in The Niagara Independent.   Part One In Ottawa, there are two prevailing threads of thought on what has become the never-ending saga of the Canada-U.S. Trade Talks. One is rallying behind Prime Minister Trudeau and supporting the Liberal Government’s attempt to reason with an unpredictable U.S. President. The second is highly critical, suggesting that the Liberals are purposely sabotaging the negotiations for their own domestic political gains. The next three columns will review the political gamesmanship between Canada and the U.S. and assess what all the public posturing may…

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga (Part Three)

The Niagara Independent, July 20, 2018 – This is the third of a three column series on the Canada-U.S. trade talks, reviewing our National Leaders’ political gamesmanship and assessing what it means for the outcome of the trade talks – and for the 2019 federal election. To recap the last six weeks: on June 1st, the U.S. imposed hefty levies on Canadian steel and aluminum imports, in response to China, South Korea and Vietnam dumping these products into our country. On July 1st, Canada retaliated by placing tariffs worth a total of $16.6 billion on U.S. goods from ketchup and candles to…

PM fine tunes his Cabinet with an “Election Shuffle”

The Niagara Independent, July 20, 2018 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet this week, bringing five new ministers to the table and creating a new portfolio for border security, an issue that has become a political vulnerability for the government over the past months. Political analysts view this shuffle as a political move in advance of the 2019 election. There are additional ministers from Ontario and Quebec, where the Liberals need to maintain and, if possible, grow their seat count. David Moscrop, a political scientist at Simon Fraser University explains “The shuffle gives Trudeau an opportunity to put his…

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga (Part Two)

The Niagara Independent , July 13, 2018 – This is the second of a three column series on the Canada-U.S. trade talks. This column reflects on the criticism that the Liberals have purposely sabotaged the trade negotiations for their political gain in an election year. Not all are supportive of the Trudeau Government’s trade negotiation tactics with the United States. With Canada’s national election only 16 months away, it is now anticipated that the fate of the trade agreement with our southern neighbor will be a central campaign issue. Lawrence Solomon, policy director for Toronto-based Probe International, suggests Trudeau is…

The Canada-U.S. Trade Talks Saga (Part One)

The Niagara Independent, July 6, 2018 – In Ottawa, there are two prevailing threads of thought on what has become the never-ending saga of the Canada-U.S. Trade Talks. One is rallying behind Prime Minister Trudeau and supporting the Liberal Government’s attempt to reason with an unpredictable U.S. President. The second is highly critical, suggesting that the Liberals are purposely sabotaging the negotiations for their own domestic political gains. The next three columns will review the political gamesmanship between Canada and the U.S. and assess what all the public posturing may mean for the outcome of the trade talks – and for…

The Inequity of Canada’s Equalization Payments

The Niagara Independent – June 29, 2018 – As Parliament recessed for the summer, news leaked out that the Trudeau Government quietly renewed the current federal equalization formula for provinces through the year 2024. In the 584-pages of 2018 budget documentation, Finance Minister Bill Morneau had buried a provision that extended the existing equalization formula, providing no formal notices to provinces or the public. With the passage of the omnibus budget legislation, stealthily, Morneau unilaterally assured the renewal of the federal-provincial equalization arrangement — to the huge benefit of Quebec, and over the vocal protests of Newfoundland and Labrador, and…

The most poignant moment of Parliament’s Spring Session

Chris George has begun writing a weekly news column for The Niagara Independent covering federal politics and happenings on Parliament Hill. Here is his third column which appears in the Independent on Fridays and reposted in this By George Journal on Sunday mornings. On Parliament Hill, time stood stand, or rather any sense of time was lost in the surreal tension of Wednesday, May 2nd. Members of Parliament were shocked. News travelled in whispers of disbelief. And then there was an oppressive sadness that enveloped the Nation’s Capital and left anguished MPs groping for words, as we all do when faced with…

Thursday’s vote was an affront to Canadian parliamentary tradition

Chris George has begun writing a weekly news column for The Niagara Independent covering federal politics and happenings on Parliament Hill. Here is his second column which appears on Friday in the Independent and Sunday mornings in By George. The rights of parliamentarians to oversee government spending dates back to 1215 and the signing of the Magna Carta. Since that agreement between the King of England and Lord Barons, parliamentarians have voted on the details of how a government will spend the tax dollars raised from the people of the land. In Canada, expenditure estimates for each of the government’s departments are…

For MPs, the Steady March to the 2019 Federal Election Begins this Summer

Chris George has begun writing a weekly news column for The Niagara Independent covering federal politics and happenings on Parliament Hill. Here is the premier column which will appear on Friday in the Independent and Sunday mornings in By George. There are only two weeks left in the House of Commons calendar before Members of Parliament break for their summer recess. Although they may soon be spared the cut and thrust of Parliamentary debates, there will be little relief as MPs are sure to feel the heat – both literally and figuratively. The recent national polls from Nanos Research and…