In 2017, hundreds of Ottawa business leaders were invited to a private retreat that asked them to leave their business cards. When they didn’t, they received an invitation for a conference at a church. On the wall, they discovered the “Pandora’s Paper.” It was an internal government document with a wanted poster of prominent Canadians. On each wanted poster was a name. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s was “Top Hat.”
On one page, the reference to top hats might be lighthearted, but it pointed to one of the central crises facing the country. The current Liberal administration’s argument is that the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper was deeply incompetent and failed to protect the country’s wealth when it was in power for eight years. When the Canadian government was renewed after the election of Justin Trudeau in 2015, it faced significant financial challenges, resulting in austerity that has placed the future of Canada’s social safety net in jeopardy. The recession hit hard on one hand and hard on the other, with both the European and American economies faltering.
Now, with November 30 – Canada Day – nearing, the world will know Canada will pay China for a 30-year, US$28 billion arms deal. Both Canada and China have agreed on the terms. Now the Canadian government and parliament have to agree on the details, and the new minister of defense is trying to have the discussion. So why hasn’t Canada agreed to a violation of Canadian military protocols, as has been suggested by at least one senior officer?
While leaders are being sought by governments or simply used to spook or punish them, former and current federal, provincial and municipal officials are all using their political, public service or private business experience in Canada and abroad to help their adopted country.
Romesh Mehta is a media commentator, reporter and commercial anchor. His international experience includes extensive experience of leadership in corporate strategy for business, academia and public policy. He served as a senior principal advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, government minister and Parliament of Canada.
National Editor John Lawrence’s roots are in notables such as Charlie Rose, Barbara Walters, Bob Fosse, Roger Ebert, Aaron Sorkin, Steve Martin, Jon Stewart, Martin Sheen, Dolly Parton, Claire Danes, Fred Durst, Edward Norton, Judy Conroy, Jane Fonda, David Brinkley, Paul McCartney, Jon Taffer, Mira Sorvino, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, Eddie Murphy, J.J. Abrams, Daniel Ek, Bill Ford, Martha Stewart, Alison Sweeney, Henry Kravis, and members of the Kardashian family.
Nathalie Atkinson and Line liamains are professional journalists who have worked together for 16 years. They became political advisers for the party at the 2011 federal election. They have since written three volumes on “Running for Canada” which have been published by Canadian writer Ray Arsenault.