POL 4320 (Winter 2015)



Find course-related documents (Syllabus, Assignment Guidelines, etc.) on Blackboard. Current news stories related to our course below... (we will discuss these in class).

Here is a new and unique resource for students of Canadian politics: It's called Parli - a new online dictionary for Canadian political slang!

Here are two links to some good examples of captivating 3-minute presentations - use these to help model your own 3 minute presentation for the class Research Symposium:
- Canadian Association for Graduate Studies 2014 3MT finalists;
-  SSHRC Storytellers 2014 Top Five


(Recent) Course-Related News Stories:


April 2nd, 2015  - Canada is extending its military air campaign against ISIL to include operations in Syria. The CBC is reporting that by this time next year the government will have spent nearly half a billion dollars on its role in the Middle Eastern conflict. How has Canada's participation in this military operation impacted its role in the world community of nations? Does it mark a break in its historical position or continuity?


March 26th, 2015 - As pre-election campaign rhetoric builds we never fail to hear about what each party will do for "the middle class". Here's an example from earlier in January... In today's class - themed Canadian 'social policy' - we will talk a little more about this ever-illusive "middle class". And here's a link to our discussion 'slideshow'...

March 19th, 2015 - Here is a video about a recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal which claims there would be significant cost savings involved in implementing a national public prescription drug insurance plan. Worth chatting about in today's class, themed Health Politics in Canada.

March 12th, 2015 - The Paris climate talks are another nine months away, but by the end of this month countries are supposed to inform the UN of their planned 'national contribution'. As this news article reports, the provinces have recently been consulted for their perspectives. We will talk more about this in class today.

March 5th, 2015 - Here's a current news story which speaks to some of the themes of today's class on gender and sexuality politics: As the CBC reports, big corporations like Apple and Facebook have made a controversial announcement to cover the cost of freezing young female employees' eggs so that they can postpone their parental leave decades in the future. Yet as Fran├žoise Baylis, a professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University has argued, this decision is symptomatic of the failure of our society to truly value and promote the rights and abilities of mothers to the same degree that we do fathers...

February 26th, 2015 - In one of this week's readings, Banting and Kymlicka ask about the relationship between multiculturalism and radicalization. They point out that while in Europe it is often asserted that multiculturalism has given rise to radicalization, it is not evident that this has indeed been the case, although it is not clear to what extent the expression of multiculturalism in Canada - or certain iterations of it - have contributed to radicalization. Let's keep this week's theme in mind as we discuss the recent news story of radicalized youth in Montreal: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/syrian-jihadists-believed-to-have-recruited-6-young-quebecers-1.2973089

February 11th, 2015 - A high-level National Roundtable will be held later this month on the topic of murdered and missing aboriginal women. Delegates from the provinces, territories, the federal government and Aboriginal leaders will come together on February 27th to discuss the strategic dimensions of confronting and eliminating violence towards aboriginal women in Canada. Is this the next step towards a National Inquiry? Check out this recent news story here.

February 5th, 2015 - 19 Mayors from Canada's largest cities are meeting today at the 2015 Big Cities Summit in Toronto. In today's class we are talking about the distribution of powers (and wealth) between the provinces and the federal government - is the 21st Century one that will see a further round of devolution of powers and wealth to Canada's biggest cities? Read the news story here, and check out this video.

January 29th, 2015 - The theme of today's class is 'party and electoral politics'. With the House of Commons back in session, and an election on the horizon, this news story shows how all of the political parties are already positioning themselves for the long road of what is inevitably going to be a year of heavy politicking!


January 22nd, 2015 - The Bank of Canada "surprised everyone", reports the news, when it lowered its benchmark interest rate from 1% to 0.75%... meanwhile, the Minister of Finance says he was "not surprised" at the announcement. What's behind the interest rate cut? What are the likely outcomes? Why is it such a surprise, or not? Check out this video from CBC News:


January 15th, 2015 - New proposed legislation will allow the sharing of information between government agencies such as Passport Canada, Canada Customs and Immigration, CSIS and the RCMP - information which previously was considered private and thus not shared. It raises an interesting question: What is the right balance between ensuring public safety and guaranteeing the right to privacy? What do you think? Read the CBC news story here.

January 7th, 2015 - Canada has decided to allow 10,000 refugees from the crisis in Syria to resettle in Canada. The move comes after criticism that the government was not doing enough to help the hundred thousand refugees from the conflict that the UN is trying to resettle around the world. What do you think - is Canada doing enough? Read about the news story here.


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