PPGR Morning Briefing – October 27, 2016

Good morning and welcome to the PPGR Morning Briefing!

Are you are clinging to your final cozy moments in bed before dipping a toe out to face this cool, rainy October morning? Or maybe you’re sitting or standing on a crowded bus, trying to avoid elbowing everyone in your personal space, on your way to work (or to Ottawa)? Either way, welcome to the Thursday edition of the PPGR Morning Briefing.

Each week we will bring you a selection of relevant articles from the PPGR and other publications on policy issues unfolding across the Canadian media landscape.

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New from the PPGR: 

Something fishy is going on in the Great Lakes. Ian T.D. Thomson’s new Explainer takes you on a veritable magic carpet ride through the issues arising from Asian carp making Canadian lakes their home. For those previously ignorant to Asian carp, the piece shows you a whole new world: the history and proliferation of the species, their environmental impact, and policy approaches to addressing their presence in Canada.

Why are some countries experiencing a backlash against Muslims and refugees, while others have maintained a welcoming and tolerant attitude? The Munk School of Global Affairs held a panel earlier this month entitled “Banning Muslims? Explaining Xenophobia in the US and Europe” to explore different scholarly perspectives on this crucial question. Nalisha Asgarali reports in a new Seen+Heard.

It was a great week at the PPGR for getting informed on issues we knew very little about. In a second Explainer, Marvin JS Ferrer clarifies some common misconceptions on conception, calling for attention to evidence-based public policy when it comes to the contentious debate surrounding fetal rights.

Morning Roundup:

We have a deal! The PPGR’s Briefing team was up at dawn to break the news that Belgium and Canada have reached a preliminary deal to move forward on the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters that all regions had agreed to a common text that addresses earlier issues surrounding agriculture and the deal’s dispute settlement mechanism. The Globe and Mail has more on this developing story.

Fundamental changes to Ontario’s complex network of social assistance policies may be on their way. Yesterday, the National Post reported that a basic income pilot project could see some working-age Ontarians receive an annual income of $22,000 as early as April 2017. Next week, former Senator Hugh Segal will release recommendations for moving forward from a report the Wynne government has commissioned on the policy. In the meantime, get acquainted with the basics of the policy issue here.

In the latest on the cash for access saga, the Wynne government has tabled new amendments to Ontario’s campaign finance legislation that would ban MPPs from attending political fundraisers. Instead, provincial riding associations will now receive public money for political campaigns. This new policy will supplement the annual $2.71 per-vote subsidy that major political parties will begin receiving next year. Read about details from the new legislation here. Skeptical? That may be well-placed. The Globe and Mail’s Adrian Morrow reports that the new rules allow Cabinet ministers to continue raising money from their stakeholders–so long as they do it by phone or e-mail. Or, as the venerable Drake might put it, you (can still) call them on your cell phone.

Finally, we at the PPGR have chosen to include additional coverage in our Morning Roundup this week in the hope that as many people are exposed to this story as possible. On Monday, a Globe and Mail editorial denounced the deplorable conditions faced by Adam Capay, a 23-year-old man who has been held in solitary confinement for the last four years in an Ontario provincial prison without ever going to trial. Yesterday, the Toronto Star reported that Capay has been moved to a standard cell and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told MPPs that the Crown will move forward with trial proceedings “as quickly as possible.” Meanwhile, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé has announced an investigation into Capay’s treatment at the Thunder Bay jail.


“Reconciliation is about not saying sorry twice,” Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada Cindy Blackstock writes in a long-form historical account of the discriminatory treatment of First Nations children over the past century by Canada’s federal and provincial governments. Published in Policy Options, Blackstock’s piece outlines shocking evidence of the unequal provision of funds for both health and social services for First Nations children. Read the piece everyone is talking about here.

(Pierre) Poutine for breakfast, anyone? With issues of staff and party accountability back on the agenda for both federal and Ontario Liberals, iPolitics’ Michael Harris has a timely interview with Michael Sona, the only former Conservative staffer convicted of willfully preventing or endeavouring to protect an elector from voting under the Canada Elections Act in the 2011 Robocalls scandal. Sona has asked Prime Minister Trudeau to be proactive in delving further into the many unanswered questions surrounding electoral fraud.

One of the main chemical properties of carbon is that it can easily bond with other elements. That said, carbon may be breaking down the bonds between the Trudeau’s federal government and his provincial counterparts. The Economist has more on Canada’s new national carbon price.

That’s all for today! Look out for the next addition of the PPGR Morning Briefing on Monday, October 31st and until then, don’t forget to (Asian) carpe that diem.

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