The Pandemic and the Untimely Re-Emergence of Canadian Federalism

Commentary There is nothing positive to say about COVID-19 and its impact on Canada. But the need for national mobilization and concerns about the safety of Canadians quickly pushed partisanship to the sidelines and convinced federal politicians and their provincial counterparts to cooperate. With the Trudeau government’s recent throne speech, however, the political interlude and the commitment to collaboration is clearly over—and much too soon. The throne speech delivered by the governor general and, equally, the response of the opposition parties and provincial governments to it, made it clear that partisanship and gamesmanship had re-emerged from the political fog of the pandemic. The process started with the prorogation of Parliament, ostensibly called because the federal government was planning for a major reset of national policy to lead the country through the post-pandemic recovery, but also clearly to forestall further discussion of the WE Charity controversy. The throne speech itself was …Read More