Wilberforce revisited – a conflict resolution study

William Wilberforce

The faith-political approach of British politician William Wilberforce –- who fought the British slave trade in the early 1800s -– might have a 21st century counterpart in Langley MP Mark Warawa.Vancouver Sun Ottawa reporter Peter O'Neil figured that out when he wrote a March 28 story which … [Read more...]

OttawaWatch: Somebody’s place in Ottawa

Canadian Parliament Buildings Ottawa

From my perch, here in Ottawa, one can catch a glimpse of something new emerging in the field of faith-political interfacing. Its working name is "My Place-Chez Moi."It may well be Ottawa's best-kept secret and not because its encouragers are trying to keep it under wraps. Rather, it is because … [Read more...]

OttawaWatch: Van Loan, Mulcair and Christmas

Canadian Parliament at Christmas

"We are going to fight hard in all of these by-elections. It’s the only way I know how to do politics. I don’t concede anything to an adversary – ever." *  *  *Those were NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s words, as quoted in a Canadian Press story by Murray Brewster on October 21. They followed the … [Read more...]

OttawaWatch: An unlikely gold mine

Diane Finley

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley calls it a “gold mine.” Some opposition critics believe it to be little more than “budget cuts in disguise.”The “it” refers to what Heather Scoffield, writing for Canadian Press on November 9, reported as Finley’s “call for concepts”. That call, in effect, … [Read more...]

OttawaWatch: An E-book project

Lloyd Mackey in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

For some months, I have been weighing the idea of developing an e-book.The genesis of the idea came with the realization that there are now 360 OttawaWatch columns. The first was written in November, 2004, just a few weeks short of eight years ago. The columns have appeared weekly, with one … [Read more...]

Those other robocalls

Frank Valeriote and those other robocalls

Perhaps the most important part of today’s OttawaWatch appears in the latter part of the column. I would encourage readers – even more than usual – to read all the way through. The “robobcalls” subject has been of considerable interest around the Press Gallery in recent months. It has mostly … [Read more...]

Mark Carney and David Black

mark carney

Much has been made, in recent days, of the Canadian Auto Workers’ (CAW) invitation to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, to address the influential union’s annual gathering.Not the least of the exclamations of surprise was the report that Carney had received a standing ovation from the … [Read more...]

Church on a Hill

Flash mob Church on the Hill

There were few signs of religious demagoguery, when close to 200 United Church youth commissioners and Youth Forum members and some of their “elders” appeared on Parliament Hill Wednesday (August 16).The young people took a break from the General Council meetings, the church’s … [Read more...]

To torque the story

Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Peter MacKay at a function

It was fascinating to watch the little dustup between Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay and Charlotte Guardian reporter Jim Day last week, over what is sometimes called, in the journalistic trade, “the torque of the story.”Simply put, to torque is to twist the story from what subject initially intended … [Read more...]

Reflections on Jack Layton

NDP Leader, Jack Layton

It was a year ago (July 25), that Jack Layton’s cancer battle caused him to step aside from politics. Less than a month later, he was dead.Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered Layton’s family a state funeral, which was accepted.There were a number of unusual factors connected with Layton’s … [Read more...]


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