• Canadian Political Landscape

    The federal election is expected and scheduled to take place in October, 2019, and analysts predict that the main contenders, the Conservative Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada will be faced with challenges such as a growing number of volatile voters and unpredictable results.

    The Liberal Party formed the current government and made 364 commitments, among which a balanced federal budget, ratification of the Paris Agreement, affordable postsecondary education, and others. According to the Mandate Tracker launched by the government to track progress, a total of 118 promises have been met, of which two have been modified. Actions have been taken to meet 258 promises, and progress has been made. The government faces challenges in meeting 20 commitments while 3 commitments are not being currently pursued. These include new investments not being subject to GST in the field of affordable rental housing, electoral reform, and businesses employing young workers benefiting from a 12-month break on EI premiums. Some promises have been kept, for example, introducing middle class tax cut and extended parental leave, ratification of CETA, and others. The Mandate Tracker is based on an approach called deliverology which emphasizes the importance of meeting commitments and measuring performance and outcomes. Data on different issues can be provided, including retirement readiness and security, affordable housing, child poverty, and others. Analysts point to the fact that this approach offers some benefits, one being that assessing outcomes shows which policies have been successfully implemented and actually make a difference. The approach is also beneficial in providing information about resource allocation and whether all efforts and resources result in meaningful policies. At the same time, some policies may take a long time to see whether they bring positive results.

    A recent poll reveals that the Liberal Party has a slight lead of 36.5 percent over the Conservatives and is projected to hold 174 seats. The Conservative Party trails with 34.7 percent and 135 seats. The poll shows that 14.7 percent of Canadians will vote for the New Democratic Party, 7.2 percent for the Green Party, and 3.6 percent for Bloc Quebecois. The Conservative Party is well-positioned in the Prairies and Alberta while the Liberals are expected to win in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario.

    The CIBC’s Poll Tracker shows similar results, with 37 percent of Canadians voting for the Liberals and 33.1 percent for the Conservatives. The New Democrats trail with 15.5 percent while the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens are expected to win 3.9 percent and 7 percent of the vote.

    The No Margin for Error Public Opinion Research was conducted by the Innovative Research Group to analyze voters’ attitudes by province and their opinions on issues linked to nativism, authoritarianism, and political alienation. In Alberta, for example, the New Democratic Party is expected to win 27 percent of the vote while the United Conservative Party is projected to win 41 percent. According to 31 percent of respondents, Jason Kenney would be the best Premier and for 28 percent of respondents – Rachel Notley. In East and North Ontario support for the New Democratic Party has declined to 10 percent while support for the Conservative and Liberal Party is relatively stable. The Green Party has gained 3 percentage points since 2015. When it comes to values, 29 percent of Canadians believe that the government’s main priority should be to redistribute wealth while 61 percent of respondents share that the main priority should be to create equal opportunities. Finally, 47 percent of Canadians view the profit system as beneficial while 36 percent object to this.

    Election Resources: https://www.elections.ca/homeGE.aspx

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  • Global Affairs Canada

    Global Affairs Canada

    The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development or Global Affairs Canada is a department that engages in consular and diplomatic relations.

    The department is led by the Minister of International Development, of International Trade Diversification, of Foreign Affairs, and of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. The Minister of International Development is mainly responsible for international assistance and development. The main goal is to help strengthen fragile states and aid vulnerable people. Gender equality and poverty reduction are key priorities. The current minister is Marie-Claude Bibeau. The Minister of International Trade Diversification has international trade as his main priority, and the main focus is on attracting businesses that create jobs and on trade diversification. The minister is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Trade Diversification Strategy. Implementation is assisted by Invest in Canada, Export Development Canada, and the Trade Commissioner Service. The goal of the strategy is to intensify and diversify trade, especially with countries in the Asia-Pacific region. To this end, the minister works in collaboration with the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. The current minister is James Gordon Carr. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the head of Global Affairs Canada and has international relations as his main responsibility. The current minister is the Canadian politician, journalist, and writer Chrystia Freeland. The Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie is tasked with promoting tourism, supporting the Canadian tourism industry, and safeguarding French and English as the two official languages of Canada. The current minister is Melanie Joly.

    One of the main priorities is to maintain productive and mutually beneficial relations in areas such as energy infrastructure, security, trade relations, and the environment. Implementing a progressive trade agenda is also a key priority with a focus on medium-sized and small enterprises, labor rights, transparency, and other areas. Global Affairs Canada also works to promote inclusion, human rights, and gender equality at home and around the world. Efforts are also made in areas that help solidify the role of international order, including climate change mitigation, gender equality, poverty elimination, enhanced trade arrangements, and global peace operations.

    Global Affairs Canada has a number of core responsibilities such as advancing the country’s values and interests through diplomatic channels, effective policies, and advocacy. The goal is to promote and advance values such as environmental protection, respect for diversity, democratic government, and human rights. While having constructive relations with the U.S. is a top priority, Global Affairs Canada also works to strengthen relations with European partners through diplomatic channels and advocacy as well as through implementing and supporting different agreements and partnerships. Examples are the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement and Canada-European Union Strategic Partnership. In addition, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development works in cooperation with different structures of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The goal is to strengthen international order and security. The department also works with the Lima Group and other multilateral and international partners to advance values such as human rights, democracy, and inclusive governance in countries across the Caribbean and Latin America. A key priority is to strengthen the role of international institutions to effectively deal with regional and international crises.

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