Commentary

On April 24th leaders from the Arctic nations met in Nunavut to mark the official transfer of the two year Arctic Council Chairmanship from Canada to the United States. While Canada's Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq used the opportunity to admonish Russia's aggression in the Ukraine, scientists and world leaders condemned Canada for drawing focus away from climate change mitigation in the Arctic, at the event but also over the course of Canada's entire Arctic Council Chairmanship. At the meeting in Nunavut, Minister Aglukkaq had the following to say in reference to Canada's accomplishments as Chair of the Arctic Council, "As a Canadian, born and raised in Canada's Arctic, I am proud Canada has advocated putting northerners at the forefront of the Arctic Council agenda." To be fair, Canada has rightfully put northerners at the forefront of Arctic policy development. But whether Canada was also able to bring focus to the daunting challenge of climate change mitigation in the Arctic is a hotly contested point. What is clear is that the United States will be making climate change its number one priority as Chair of the Arctic Council. With Secretary of State John Kerry leading the initiative, a well-respected authority on climate change matters, the US hopes to make headway on issues like black carbon emissions reduction in the next two years. Read more...

Building and strengthening infrastructure is a wise investment for all levels of government. Beginning with the Building Canada Plan in 2007, Canada has seen a sizable increase in federal infrastructure investments. The $33 billion Building Canada Plan provided the first long-term, stable federal funding program to support provincial, territorial, and municipal infrastructure projects, recognizing that over 95 percent of Canada's core public infrastructure is owned by sub-national governments. Read more...

Featured Research Articles

Land value tax (LVT) has been high on the political agenda for most of the past two centuries; in the three decades up to World War I it was backed by a widespread popular movement. Thus, in the broader perspective, its eclipse since about 1950 is exceptional. The flurry of fresh interest in recent years is due, amongst other things, to the realisation that tax systems have hit the limit to what they can raise, whilst expectations of government continue growing and attempts to cut large welfare bills consistently fail. Read more...

By August 3, 1914, most of Europe had committed to fighting what would eventually become one of the greatest wars ever known to man. But the world's greatest economic and military power, the British Empire, remained outside the fray. It was unclear how Britain would respond should Germany invade 'little' Belgium, who the British had sworn to protect nearly a century earlier. The Germans got their answer shortly after crossing the Belgian border in early August. In London, Parliament responded with an ultimatum to Kaiser Wilhelm II: leave Belgium or face the wrath of the mighty British Empire. Read more...

All successful organizations must evolve to meet a changing environment. Canada's Public Service is no different. It is adapting to meet Canada's needs, while respecting our code of values and ethics to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the federal Public Service. Over the past several years, our focus has been on renewing and transforming the federal public service, delivering on a dynamic policy agenda, and re-engineering many of our internal and external services. We have made significant progress in positioning our institution for the future. Read more...