Staying on top of Canadian politics.
March 31, 2017 1:54 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for resources for following and understanding Canadian politics. I read the news regularly but I would like to have a better sense of political news, specifically what is happening, why, and when. I am also looking for ways to be more involved.

I am a Canadian citizen living overseas with no solid plans to return in the next few years. I get most of my news from Google News,, and through Facebook posts from friends back in Canada. I have been following a lot of news stories from the US since the election and I feel as though my awareness of politics in my own country could be better. I would like to prevent Canada from leaning right if there is anything (small or large) that I can do from where I am.


1. Which news sites should I be following to stay up to date?

2. Is there a site that shares news and also gives background to help understand political issues? Perhaps a site that explains what kinds of things are being voted on and when and why, rather than just reading in the news that this thing passed or this thing did not.

3. What can I do as a non-resident of Canada While I don't consider myself loyal to any political party, I am very much a leftist and would like to see Canada stay leaning that way. I have been overseas for 4 years so I will soon lose my ability to vote. What else can I do to participate and help and understand?

I am focused more on things at a federal level but information about provincial politics and involvement is welcome too. My home province is Ontario if there are any Ontario-specific resources.

Thank you for any suggestions or guidance.
posted by gursky to Law & Government (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
It is BC focused, but I think you might like The Tyee. They are good at getting in-depth on the issues they cover. A little further east, out of Saskatchewan, there's Briarpatch Magazine, which I have never personally read; but I hear good things and the headlines today look fascinating.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:22 AM on March 31, 2017

The Canadaland podcast is helpful for me to stay somewhat on top of Canada and Canadian politics. It's definitely Ontario-focused which is super annoying for me but sounds like something you'd like. It is also very gossipy, meaning not a lot of concrete reporting, about Canada and Canadian media which is a positive and a negative. Positive because there just isn't the resources to get good reporting from across Canada even if you're CBC; negative because some of the stories seem thin or unsupported. You also have to enjoy or put up with Jesse Brown and his obsessions. I put up with him because he gets great people as co-hosts (except that one political cartoonist that works in the US who is Islamiphobic and should not get a platform).

Canadaland has a couple other newly revamped podcasts. I cannot listen to the culture one so I don't know how that's shaping up. The politics ones is okay so far with a gender- and racially-diverse group of hosts who only know about Ontario. I'll keep listening but I can't fully recommend it.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:49 AM on March 31, 2017 [1 favorite]
Ricochet has both English and French content
posted by zadcat at 9:17 AM on March 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

I tend to listen The House on CBC on Saturday mornings to keep on top of what's going on federally. I also read iPolitics pretty regularly. I also follow Kady O'Malley and Rosemary Barton on Twitter. Norman Spector (@nspector4) is also someone good to follow. Although he has a conservative perspective, he is very informed and tweets about just about everything important going on in politics right now.

I find the NP, the Globe and the Tyee too slanted in their political reporting. There are exceptions. Andrew MacLeod is about the only reporter working for the Tyee worth following. He does just excellent reporting on BC government policy, with a social justice slant.

Canadaland is also an indispensable podcast (the Shortcuts and Commons programs). It focuses mostly on media, but often covers topics the mainstream media doesn't cover that much, if at all.
posted by My Dad at 9:35 AM on March 31, 2017

I would suggest following @connie_walker on Twitter. She regularly covers or re-tweets various indigenous issues that aren't covered as much by more mainstream sources.
posted by Fred Wesley at 10:24 AM on March 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

Reddit/r/Canadapolitics is pretty good at pulling the major stories and the comments can be well-informed (as with all things reddit, there is a signal to noise problem)

Get involved by keeping in contact with your MP/MPP (from your last residence I guess, or the one that feels most like "home"?) on topics that are important to you. Non-profits in your area of interest will also welcome funding.

Personally, I follow Gwynn Dyer although he tends to talk about Canada in a global sense (around the last election he had a lot more Canada-centric posts, but for many of his articles he often tosses in a line about Canada's involvement in in the Global affairs he focuses on). He is Canadian but lives in Europe and has been a journalist for a long, long time.
posted by saucysault at 10:25 AM on March 31, 2017

CBC has great podcasts available through the iTunes store, including "The Current" which is generally excellent.

The Walrus is a good general-interest Canadian magazine with a fair amount of emphasis on politics.

You can always read the journal of the Canadian Political Science Association...
posted by sindark at 8:42 PM on March 31, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you so much for your responses. I am going to work through these over the next little while and see which ones are a good fit.
posted by gursky at 8:34 AM on April 1, 2017

These are helpful for keeping tabs on what is going on currently with government:

The Agenda with Steve Paikin (which airs on TV Ontario) covers issues affecting Ontario among many other topics.

I think the Toronto Star is fine for keeping up with what's going on in Toronto and Ontario.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:08 PM on April 2, 2017

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