The federal NDP had their biannual policy convention over the weekend, and Jagmeet Singh’s leadership was “reaffirmed” when some 90 percent of delegates voted not to have a leadership review. So they’ll keep giving him a chance despite his intransigence in not running for a seat, apparently. And while they got a new party executive, and talked about how they need to do better when it comes to dealing with the harassment allegations in their own ranks that went ignored (particularly around Peter Stoffer), they also decided it was time to return to “bold” policy ideas after a fairly timid electoral platform the last time around. Not so bold, mind you, as to embrace the Leap Manifesto, which went unspoken during the convention despite rumours that it would rear its head once again, but rather, they went for things like universal pharmacare, dental care, and free tuition – you know, things that are the ambit of the provinces. Oh, and re-opening the constitution, as though that’s not going to be any small hurdle. (The free tuition debate, meanwhile, took over Economist Twitter over the weekend because the NDP’s adherents have a hard time understanding how a universal programme actually disproportionately benefits the wealthy rather than applying targeted benefits that would benefit those who are less well-off).
Right after eliminating federalism? Otherwise it may be tricky. https://t.co/2DwlX0qoA4
— Paul Wells (@InklessPW) February 18, 2018
Chantal Hébert, meanwhile, finds the same core message of the NDP unchanged despite the changing slogans. There is some disagreement about that.
"the NDP will provide really competent public administration"
That was Mr. Mulcair's go-to line right through the election campaign about his ambitions for government.
Myself, I see a difference in Mr. Singh's rhetoric.https://t.co/kDRuUBeW7V
— Kevin Milligan (@kevinmilligan) February 19, 2018
- While in India, Justin Trudeau is trying to mend fences with the Punjabi politician there who is accusing Trudeau of harbouring Sikh separatists in his cabinet.
- Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, went on the record to talk about dealing with harassment culture on the Hill.
- Here is a look at the five pillars that the government will use for their “gender-based” budget, as fewer Canadians consider themselves to be “middle class.”
- The budget looks like it will also contain a “use-it-or-lose-it” paternity leave proposal.
- The federal government is appealing the BC Supreme Court decision that bans indefinite solitary confinement in prisons, citing a need for clarity.
- A Correctional Services memo says that restoring the prison tattoo and needle exchange programs would reduce HIV and Hepatitis C infections. No kidding.
- The Quebec Court of Appeal is beginning its hearings on the challenge to the royal succession law that the previous government passed.
- Canada is raising “concerns” about Israel’s planned mass deportation of asylum seekers, whom they are calling “illegal infiltrators.”
- The government is finally admitting to starting to look for a replacement for the Phoenix pay system while still trying to stabilize it for the time being.
- A former Canadian Press reporter talks about her sexual assault by a press secretary in the 1980s, and how not enough has changed on the Hill since.
- BC plans to challenge Alberta’s wine ban with the new interprovincial free trade agreement’s dispute settlement process.
- Andrew Leach looks at how the pipeline battle between BC and Alberta could undermine Trudeau’s climate plan, given the trade-offs involved.
- Kevin Milligan takes a look at the policy offerings to date of the Conservatives and the NDP, and evaluates what their challenges will be.
- Andrew Coyne has a fascinating look at how the votes on the left expanded rather than “split” between two parties, and wonders if that may work on the right.
- For Maclean’s, I wrote about how the Patrick Brown omnishambles is the culmination of our horribly broken leadership selection systems in Canada.
- My weekend column rebutted Senator Gold’s speech that allegedly “demolished the myths” about organized opposition in the Senate. Spoiler: I was not convinced.
Odds and ends:
Tristin Hopper looks at how ridiculous the BC-Alberta trade war could become.
Federal MP turned provincial Progressive-Conservative-turned-Independent MLA Steven Fletcher has decided he wants to run as a federal Conservative again.
Former NDP MP Paul Dewar is in treatment for brain cancer.