The messy dual role of Canada's justice minister

The term “bombshell” is overused when it comes to politics, but that is exactly the right word to describe Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony Wednesday before a Commons committee. The former justice minister and attorney general spoke for hours about how she felt pressured by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, top bureaucrats and Liberal operatives to stop prosecution of the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin on bribery charges. Today in The Conversation Canada, Randy Boswell of Carleton University and Jonathan Swainger of the University of Northern British Columbia look at the history of how and why the country’s attorney general and justice minister are the same person – and why that presents problems exactly like what’s happening with SNC-Lavalin.

Women who are working and studying the fields of science, technology, engineering and math face many challenges. Liette Vasseur of Brock University explains how mature female STEM students encounter discrimination and suggests ways they could be made to feel more welcome.

The people of Haiti are dealing with the aftermath of severe natural disasters and political upheaval. How can Canada help? Carlo Handy Charles of McMaster University explores the difference in immigration policies of the federal government and the province of Québec, which wants to attract more immigrants from Europe and fewer from poorer countries like Haiti.

And finally…today is International Rare Disease Day. Ian Stedman of York University and Ashwin Seetharaman and Kristin Kantautas of the University of Toronto write that so-called rare diseases don’t get the political attention they deserve and perhaps one way to correct that problem is to stop labelling serious diseases as “rare.”


Scott White


Today's Featured Articles

Sir John A. Macdonald was not only Canada’s first prime minister, he was the first justice minister and attorney general. Jody Wilson-Raybould has suggested the two roles should be split. National Archives of Canada/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Is Sir John A. Macdonald to blame for the Wilson-Raybould affair?

Randy Boswell, Carleton University; Jonathan Swainger, University of Northern British Columbia

Sir John A. Macdonald fused the jobs of justice minister and attorney general as Canada's first prime minister. So is he partly to blame for the SNC-Lavalin controversy?

Mature women students face additional barriers when enrolling in STEM programs. Shutterstock

Supporting mature female students enrolling in university STEM programs

Liette Vasseur, Brock University

With changing student demographics, STEM programs need to provide different supports to accommodate the needs of women returning to education after a break.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Québec Premier François Legault last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Québec’s Trump-like immigration policies contradict Canada’s welcoming image

Carlo Handy Charles, McMaster University

Canada's recent decision to temporarily stop deporting Haitians and Venezuelans reaffirms the nation's commitment to vulnerable people. However, Quebec's recent policies don't match with Canada's.

Rare diseases aren’t, in fact, all that rare. Yet they continue to be brushed aside by most politicians. Why? Rawpixel/Unsplash

It’s time to rethink what the medical profession considers a ‘rare disease’

Ian Stedman, York University, Canada; Ashwin Seetharaman, University of Toronto; Kristin Kantautas, University of Toronto

Despite the fact that rare diseases aren't actually so rare, it appears they suffer from a branding problem in Canada.

La Conversation Canada

Pourquoi les maladies cardiaques tuent plus de femmes que d’hommes? Car durant une attaque, les symptômes des femmes sont mal interprétés. Shutterstock

Les symptômes de crise cardiaque sont différents chez les femmes, mais les cliniciens le savent-ils?

Glen Pyle, University of Guelph

Le sexisme dans la recherche cardiovasculaire conduise à une méconnaissance de la crise cardiaque chez les femmes. Elles profitent moins des thérapies, interventions et possibilités de réadaptation.

Health + Medicine


Culture + Society

  • Mary, Queen of Scots is newly relevant in the age of #MeToo

    Rosalind Smith, University of Newcastle

    Was Mary Stuart a passionate and jealous failed queen, or a brave and complex woman? Opposing representations in a new film and play reflect modern anxieties about women's agency and leadership.