Karl Nerenberg has been reporting on federal politics from Parliament Hill for rabble.ca since September, 2011. In his long career, he has won numerous awards as a broadcaster and documentary filmmaker.
When there is a good chance that a Quebec election will produce a majority for a party whose ultimate goal is to take Quebec out of the Canadian federation, that has major implications for all federal parties.
The campaign in Quebec has just started and even if the Parti Québecois leads in all the polls (and by a huge margin among francophone voters), as Yogi Berra put it: it ain't over 'till it's over.
Without presupposing the outcome based on current polls, the federal parties will all be watching how things unfold in Quebec very closely.
The conventional wisdom in Ottawa seems to be that a Parti Québecois victory will be good for Trudeau and his federal Liberals and bad for Mulcair and the NDP.
The Harper government is making a show of pushing for greater transparency from Canada's mining companies -- but how serious is it really?
On Monday, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver used the occasion of a major mining industry convention to announce that, sometime in the future, Canada will require "extractive companies" to publicly report payments of $100,000 and over that they make to federal and provincial governments in Canada -- and, more importantly, to the governments of other countries.
This means that when a Canadian mining company pays royalties to the government of say Eritrea, the company will have to report those payments, even if the African country's government chooses not to.
Climate change is often portrayed as a matter of the environment versus the economy.
The more we move to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the argument goes, the more we will sacrifice growth and jobs.
The Harper government uses that argument in a somewhat sly way.
It claims to be working to limit the emissions that cause global warming, but only in such a way as to not harm "the economy." In practical terms, that means doing almost nothing about greenhouse gas emissions.
There is another view, however, which is that climate change is not only bad for the health of the planet; it is also bad for the economy -- and not just in the future, but right now.
When you hear folks expressing opinions on national television you may not be aware of who helps pay their mortgages -- or golf club memberships.
On CBC's The National, last week, the "At Issue" panel was discussing the recent leaders' meeting in Mexico where, yet again, Prime Minister Harper failed to convince President Obama to give his blessing to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Two of the panelists, the National Post's Andrew Coyne and pollster and "communications counselor" Bruce Anderson, agreed that the most recent U.S. State Department report on the pipeline had, in effect, given Keystone XL a green light.
If Obama still demurred, they both argued, it was for strictly "political reasons."
The Fair Elections Act, Bill C-23, is now before the House at the Committee stage.
The NDP wants the Committee considering the Act to cross the country and get the views of Canadians everywhere.
Conservatives say that would be "a circus." And they add, incongruously, that they have "already heard" from Canadians in the preparation phase of this proposed legislation.
But the NDP is soldiering on.
The Party had a resolution before the House that politely but firmly asked the Committee to take to the road and give the Fair Elections Act a full public hearing. The Conservatives used their majority to vote it down.
It is important to remember that the reason there is now a Fair Elections Act before Parliament is what Federal Court Judge Richard Mosely identified as widespread voter suppression tactics during the 2011 campaign.
Mosely was dealing with the now notorious robocall scandal that afflicted the last federal election.
The Judge described that voter suppression in his 100-page decision, in May 2013, on the suit brought by six Canadians who sought to have the elections in their ridings overturned.
Mosely said that "misleading calls about the locations of polling stations were made to electors in ridings across the country."