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Context:

I don't participate in social media (besides SE) and was never educated about politics as a child; as such, there is a lot I don't understand.

It seems I'm only able to know what's going on politically from biased sources (i.e: other people (web or non-web)). The most objective source I have access to are news articles (and even then, sometimes the objectivity is questionable).

Question:

So where can someone with very limited political experience look to find out what politicians are working on? I'd like to be able to know about upcoming deadlines the Supreme court of Canada has for certain bills, as well as see the actual bill parties are trying to pass (not tangibly of course).

I'd like to know what's going on, and I'd like the information to come from the most unbiased source possible.

  • Unless I'm very confused by how the Supreme Court in Canada works, it doesn't have deadlines for bills but for cases. I tried googling to see if it was just an unfamiliar terminology, but it doesn't seem to be. Perhaps you meant parliament? – Brythan May 20 '16 at 8:38
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    @Brythan I read this line in a news article: "Tensions have been running high in the House after the Liberal government signaled its intent to take control of the House agenda in order to pass the bill by the Supreme Court of Canada’s June 6 deadline[...]". This is what I based my wording on. – 360ueck May 20 '16 at 8:43
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I think that someone with more knowledge of the Canadian system should provide a political answer—or edit this answer, to put this information in context—but here is a technical one.

The Canadian parliament posts all of its business on line in English and in French. Those links provide a lot of data on issues like committee meetings and scheduled hearings.

More directly related to the bills, there is a list of bills before parliament including a "progress tracker" on each bill. That page has XML and RSS feeds which will allow you to follow a variety of issues indirectly. As someone who doesn't use social media, but who apparently is interested in politics, you can either use the RSS or XML feeds directly to follow the bills before parliament or you can pair those feeds with IFTTT to create a digest e-mail, text alerts and so on as you like.

One word of warning: the more "raw" the data are, the more analysis they require to become information. It may be appealing to read "raw" data, without any interpolation, but at the same time, absent context it can be unhelpful and sometimes even deleterious to your understanding of the system. For example, bills are often proposed that will never, ever make it, and sometimes parliamentary procedure and other arcana will slip past a casual observers eye.

For this reason, it is important to fully understand the processes, and that is what analysts do. While all analysis is at least tinged with some bias, the best analysts are accurate in spite of their biases. On many issues, the bias won't matter either (e.g. That bill is dead in committee.) If you are truly interested in learning more about Canadian politics, this is an excellent start, but take the time to educate yourself about the larger political world well, and seek out reliable analysts.

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From a comment:

I read this line in a news article: "Tensions have been running high in the House after the Liberal government signaled its intent to take control of the House agenda in order to pass the bill by the Supreme Court of Canada’s June 6 deadline[...]".

That sounds like it is related to a very specific case. I don't know that that is answerable in the general. I doubt that there is a general listing of such deadlines. You might be able to find it by reading all decisions at something like Lexum which is linked from the Supreme Court of Canada's site, but it would probably be easier to search the case directly.

We could likely give you more specific help if you gave us a link to the relevant news article. For example, this article on assisted dying includes a link to a specific page on Lexum.

This article suggests the bill to meet that deadline is C-14. Presumably you could use the previously posted links to find that particular bill.

I don't see any more general way of getting there though. I did several internet searches and picked out what seemed likely results. In addressing the general problem, perhaps it will help you to know that Lexum seems to be the official storage place for Supreme Court of Canada decisions. You still may find yourself relying on less official sources to determine things like which court case or parliamentary bill is relevant. The official sites tend to operate based on case and bill numbers rather than descriptive names.

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