National Newswatch

Government pays $180K to run vacant office

Jan 28 2015 —

The Harper government spent more than $180,000 last year to run the office of a corporate social responsibility counsellor for the Canadian mining industry — even though there was no counsellor. The government says it cost $181,600 to operate the office from October 2013 to October 2014. However, the position of counsellor was vacant all […]

Jan 28 2015 — Kady O'Malley

New Democrat defence critic Jack Harris has lodged a formal complaint against Prime Minister Stephen Harper for providing “misleading information” to the House of Commons on the scope of Canada’s military efforts in Iraq. Shortly after question period wrapped up, Harris stood up to call Speaker Andrew Scheer’s attention to “a question of grave importance” […]

Jan 28 2015 — Tim Naumetz

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has referred directly to Canadian soldiers killing radical Islamic fighters in Iraq, and opposition MPs say his ramped-up tempo may actually be hazardous talk that could affect the security of the troops as well as the public in Canada. Mr. Harper’s (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) reference in the House of Commons on […]

Jan 28 2015 — Tonda MacCharles

The federal government has quietly amended the export law to permit Canadian shipments to Israel and Kuwait of prohibited weapons such as banned handguns or automatic weapons. According to two new regulations published Wednesday in the Canada Gazette, the Conservative cabinet approved the changes two weeks ago. They take effect immediately. The regulation pointed to […]

Jan 28 2015 —

Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers gather in Ottawa on Friday to talk energy, skills training, internal trade barriers and the need to get more infrastructure money from the feds. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has skipped these Council of the Federation meetings for years, isn’t attending this one either as the premiers meet just a […]


Loonie drops below 80 cents US

Jan 28 2015 —

The Canadian dollar has slipped below 80 cents US for the first time in almost six years. The loonie closed at 79.87 cents US on Wednesday, down about three-quarters of a cent from Tuesday’s close. The Canadian dollar’s tumble accelerated just after the U.S. Federal Reserve reiterated it will be patient in raising rates from […]


NAFTA environment watchdog won’t probe oilsands tailings ponds

Jan 28 2015 — Bob Weber

The three countries that run the North American Free Trade Agreement’s environmental watchdog have voted against an investigation into how Canada oversees Alberta’s oilsands. The unanimous decision by Canada, Mexico and the United States comes despite recommendations from staff at the Commission on Environmental Co-operation. They had concluded there were enough questions about how environmental […]

Jan 28 2015 — Kady O'Malley

A controversial anti-drug campaign that claimed marijuana use could lower IQ was seen as “informative and non-judgmental” by both parents and teens, according to Health Canada. But the full report on the reaction that the “creative concepts” garnered during cross-country focus groups conducted last fall won’t be available until later this year. That’s the gist […]

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Jan 28 2015 — Murray Brewster

The Harper government has spent almost $700,000 fighting a class-action lawsuit by disgruntled, wounded Afghan veterans. The figures are contained in a response to a written question posed by the opposition Liberals and tabled recently in Parliament. The ex-soldiers are challenging the government’s 2006 overhaul of benefits, claiming the new veterans charter is discriminatory under […]

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Featured Ink


The incoherent economics of Stephen Harper

Jan 28 2015 — Tom Walkom

Critics may not like Stephen Harper’s economic policy. But at least it has been coherent. That is, it has been coherent until now. Now it is flying on the proverbial wing and a prayer. The Conservative government says that it can spend billions more on tax breaks and expanded baby-bonus cheques without cutting other kinds […]


Truth and lies in politics

Jan 28 2015 — Graham Steele

During my first election campaign, in 2001, I knocked on a door in the constituency I was vying to represent. I did not know the lady who opened the door, and she did not know me. But that didn’t stop her from pointing her finger at me, before I could utter more than a few […]

Heather Mallick headshot.

Dean Del Mastro hides behind his baby in court

Jan 28 2015 — Heather Mallick

The sentencing of Dean Del Mastro, Stephen Harper’s former parliamentary secretary and the good city of Peterborough’s finest whatever, should have been a brisk swift thing. But like everything Del Mastro, it grew sodden, the legal works gummed up by whining and eccentric complaints by the new lawyer he has hired post-conviction. Del Mastro, former […]


A Sask. NDP MP not yet a sure thing

Jan 28 2015 — Murray Mandryk

It’s rather startling that it’s been more than a decade since an NDP MP from Saskatchewan last took a seat in the House of Commons, but there may be something even more startling: When Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls the election, there’s a chance the Saskatchewan NDP again will be shut out of the House […]


Middle-class concerns push environment to background

Jan 27 2015 — Tim Harper

If we don’t have an adult conversation about climate change and carbon pricing at the federal level this year, then when? The void should not be filled by the provinces. It demands federal leadership. But if there is timidity at the federal level right now, you can blame the tao of Stephen Harper. The Conservative […]


Joe Oliver, in a corner

Jan 28 2015 — L. Ian MacDonald

Joe Oliver’s got a starring role in an upcoming remake — Honey, I Shrunk the Surplus. It’s not a comedy. And he still doesn’t know when it might open. “Not before April,” he has said, when asked (and a lot of people are asking) when his first budget might come down. Over at Finance, they’re […]


Go hard left, then go hard right

Jan 28 2015 — Warren Kinsella

Either way, it’s veering all over the road. The anti-terror legislation isn’t tabled, yet, so no one outside a small circle within the government actually knows what is in it. Even though I – along with Lloyd Axworthy, Bob Rae, Gen. Romeo Dallaire and many other Liberals – support the international effort against ISIS/ISIL, I’m […]


The selective Conservative memory

Jan 28 2015 — Andrew Cohen

On February 15, 1965, 10,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill. They were there, in the shadow of the Peace Tower, to watch the raising of Canada’s new flag. At noon, amidst a muffled 21-gun salute, a gust of wind gave the flag “the first flutter of life,” Peter C. Newman observed. “If our nation by […]

Jan 28 2015 — Neil MacDonald

Two years ago, I sat in the hushed fortress of the Bank of England, listening to one of its secretive boffins, a languid fellow named Paul Fisher, explain the creation and meaning of money. He reached into his wallet and fished out a 10-pound note. This note is worth 10 pounds, he said, because you […]

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Jan 28 2015 — Paul Adams

The flag. Earlier this week, a Canadian Auschwitz survivor returned to the scene of her childhood horror, arm in arm with her daughter. The two women chose to drape themselves in a large Canadian flag. Literally half a world away, and in an utterly different context, the Aussie fanboys of glamorous Canadian tennis star Eugenie […]

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