PPGR Morning Creeping – October 31, 2016


Good morning and welcome to a special Halloween edition of the PPGR Morning Creeping!

We imagine that today’s briefing finds you a little worse for wear after a weekend of candy bars, bobbing for apples, and costume parties jam-packed with the cast of Stranger Things and tributes to Harambe. Still, it’s important to remember that October 31st isn’t all fun and games for everyone. Our thoughts go out to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister this morning, as he wakes to face his least favourite day of the year.

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: 

Here’s Donny!

Where better to start our Halloween briefing than by checking in on Spraytan-kenstein’s monster himself, Donald Trump. With the US Presidential election only nine days away, the Trump campaign’s claims that the election is rigged against Trump by widespread voter fraud and liberal media bias have become a central element of their electoral narrative. Madeline Rowland’s commentary piece provides a compelling case for the lasting damage this messaging could have on American democracy.

Next up, we’ve got a tasty Wunderbar for all you trick-or-treaters, as Fiona Downey reports from the World Health Summit in Berlin. Fiona attended the “Conflict and Health” workshop, which focused on the complexities faced by humanitarian health workers trying to provide health services within regions in conflict.

When it comes to measuring a society’s well-being, many economists consider using GDP to be ghastly. Luckily, Christal Huang has the latest on Looking Beyond GDP: Measuring Prosperity in Ontario, a new report by the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity that relies on a monster mash-up of the OECD’s eleven indices of regional well-being. Click the link above for a summary of the report’s findings and its four key recommendations for growing Ontario’s economic prosperity.

Morning Roundup:

Even on Halloween, the Liberal government continues to work to sweep the cobwebs out of the Senate. The Trudeau government will announce the names of six new independent senators chosen to fill Ontario’s vacancies later today, selected via the new arm’s-length process introduced early in their mandate. Last week, nine new senators were selected to fill spots for Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces, and six openings still remain in Quebec. The Star helps us get to know Ontario’s new independent senators, including former Secretary of the Cabinet and current SPPG professor Tony Dean!

It’s the great trade deal, Charlie Brown! Well, almost. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Brussels yesterday to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union after last week’s negotiations brought the Belgian region of Wallonia on side. Still, European Union President Donald Tusk reminded reporters that CETA is not out of the cabin in the woods just yet. Canada and the EU’s 28 member states must now ratify the deal, a process which is sure to trigger discussions surrounding the treaty’s controversial Investment Court System for dispute resolution. The Globe and Mail’s Paul Waldie has more on ICS and the future of CETA here.

In an attempt to mitigate key gaps in key housing data, Statistics Canada has announced it will begin focusing attention on the factors driving demand in the market. As policymakers seek to better understand the issue of foreign ownership (of real estate–haunted and otherwise), Anil Arora, chief statistician at Statistics Canada, says that a feasibility study analyzing methods used to gather data, including on the relationship between location and housing prices, will be published next year. Stats Canada also plans to improve housing data by developing a residential real-estate price index within the next five years, which will track housing price trends.



We often read of Toronto’s overheated housing market and the accompanying reforms aimed at addressing it. Less common, however, are stories on the unintended consequences of the current real estate boom. A report from the Globe and Mail this weekend documents the challenges facing Toronto’s downtown hospitals as they struggle to keep up with the demands bought on by thousands of new patients. Health reporter Kelly Grant writes that emergency department visits have increased by as much as 60 per cent in some Toronto hospital,s and situates the issue within the context of broader policy reforms pursued by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

In news from the United States, federal investigators have obtained a warrant to search new emails from Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin. Prosecutors and FBI invesigators will now be working around the clock to identify any relevant information from this latest email cache before election day. For a comprehensive review of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails to date, we suggest this piece from Lawfare, a US national security law blog run in conjunction with the Brookings Institution.

That’s all for today! Look out for the next addition of the PPGR Morning Briefing on Thursday, November 3rd and until then, tweet at us if you find any of those”good houses” handing out full-size chocolate bars!

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