National Newswatch

Oil Crash Sent Canada Into First-Half Recession, TD Bank Says

Jul 6 2015 — Greg Quinn

Canada probably fell into a recession this year because of damage from the drop in crude oil prices, according to Randall Bartlett, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, who now predicts the central bank will cut interest rates next week. There are signs that output fell at a 1 percent annualized pace between January and March, […]

Jul 6 2015 — Jeffrey Jones

Hope for a mid-year recovery in the oil patch has been dashed. A confluence of bearish factors – from the Greek economic crisis to the delicate state of nuclear talks with Iran to worries about slowing Chinese demand – helped knock oil prices down nearly 8 per cent on Monday, burying a slow rebound that […]

Jul 6 2015 —

The governing Conservatives say questions surrounding Greece’s future in the Eurozone after that country rejected the terms of a bailout agreement are reason to re-elect the Tories in the fall vote. In a statement released Monday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper highlighted three-year-old comments from NDP Leader Tom Mulcair about his belief the […]

Jul 6 2015 —

Climate change, pipelines and flood mitigation were on the agenda Monday as Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Stephen Harper had their first formal meeting. If there was tension between the NDP premier and the Conservative prime minister, neither let on. In a photo opportunity before the meeting, Notley asked Harper about how his […]

Jul 6 2015 —

The federal Conservatives could suffer the biggest political hit if Ontario voters angry over the end of door-to-door mail delivery take their frustrations with community mailboxes to the ballot box this fall. Conservative-held ridings in the province are the most likely to be affected by the transition to the mailboxes and the end of home […]


Government abruptly drops Supreme Court appeal on overseas CSIS spying

Jul 6 2015 —

The federal government has abandoned its high-profile appeal to the Supreme Court on overseas spying by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The court agreed to take the case after federal lawyers argued for guidance on whether CSIS needed a warrant to seek allied help in spying on Canadians abroad. They said the spy service was […]


NDP whittles away at the Conservatives’ voting coalition

Jul 6 2015 — Eric Grenier

The voting coalition that propelled the Conservatives to a majority victory in 2011 was a formidable one. It combined the party’s traditional stronghold of the West with voters in rural and suburban Ontario, with a strong emphasis on new Canadians. It united the fastest growing parts of the country, leading many to argue that the […]

FILE -- Logs are piled up at West Fraser Timber in Quesnel, B.C., Tuesday, April 21, 2009. One of Canada's most protected industries ??? British Columbia timber ??? has been targeted by Japan in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, The Canadian Press has learned. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canada, Japan at odds over B.C. timber in TPP trade talks, documents show

Jul 6 2015 —

One of Canada’s most protected industries — British Columbia timber — has been targeted by Japan in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, The Canadian Press has learned. Japan is pushing Canada to eliminate or modify the controls it imposes on B.C. log exports — a practice that is heavily restricted by the federal and […]

Jul 6 2015 — Sean Silcoff

The federal government has softened tough anti-corruption rules for companies that want to do business with Ottawa. The move comes after intense lobbying from industry, which warned of spreading economic damage because of the regulations introduced just 16 months ago. The changes ease what were considered draconian standards for suppliers who sell products and services […]

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Jul 6 2015 — Abbas Rana

The powerful Senate Internal Economy Committee will hold meetings over the summer to examine in detail the recommendations from the auditor general’s report, choosing which ones to implement and how. Senate spokesperson Nancy Durning told The Hill Times the auditor general’s recommendations were referred to the subcommittees of the Committee on Internal Economy, with meetings […]

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Jul 5 2015 —

A Conservative commentator and relative of Ches Crosbie is baffled by the Conservative Party of Canada’s decision to reject Crosbie as a candidate in the upcoming federal election — especially because he doesn’t think Crosbie would have won the race. “I don’t think he was going to win, which makes this more infuriating,” said Tim […]

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Featured Ink


Political parties must be made accountable, because honesty is the only thing doing it now

Jul 6 2015 — Stephen Maher

The first chapter of the Conservatives’ 2006 election platform was titled Stand Up For Accountability. Back then, the party needed to convince Canadians they had a plan to clean the stables, so they made specific, detailed promises about political reforms, some of which they kept. They limited political donations, toughened lobbying rules, created a parliamentary […]


The Harper government is marked by its mean streak

Jul 6 2015 — Gerald Caplan

There is something unique about Stephen Harper’s government, a uniqueness that stems from the Prime Minister himself. As articulated by his former adviser Tom Flanagan, Mr. Harper “can be suspicious, secretive and vindictive, prone to sudden eruptions of white-hot rage over meaningless trivia … he believes in playing politics right up to the edge of […]


Economic uncertainty could help Harper

Jul 6 2015 — David Akin

Canada’s economy is clearly wilting. But are things so soft that a change of government — and a change in the country’s fiscal policies — are required? That, of course, is the central question voters and politicians will grapple with over the next several weeks. Last week, Statistics Canada said Canada’s economy got smaller for […]


NDP momentum puts Mulcair in rivals’ crosshairs

Jul 6 2015 — Adam Radwanski

When Maclean’s magazine published a story last week about Thomas Mulcair’s past flirtation with the Conservatives, it marked the start of an open season on the NDP Leader that’s expected to continue into the fall, if his party remains high in the polls. Despite the NDP’s apparent momentum, Mr. Mulcair remains a little-known entity to […]

Frank Oberle

Food for Sober Second Thought

Jul 5 2015 — Frank Oberle

The Canadian Council of the Federation is scheduled to meet again in mid-July of this year, and no doubt the agenda will be crowded with critical issues begging for the most urgent attention. Of course it is a Council of the Federation in name only, in that no one among their federal counterparts appears to […]


Harper wants transparency — but not for his government

Jul 6 2015 — Dan Leger

It seems fitting, somehow, that the last act of the tragic 41st Parliament should play out on that theatre’s dilapidated second stage, the Senate. And how typical that the last law passed should be a Conservative measure to undermine their political opponents. More than a week after the House of Commons had shut for the […]


Election becoming NDP’s to lose

Jul 6 2015 — Geoffrey Stevens

From this vantage point, which is still too far out from Oct. 19, it appears the federal election will turn on the “soft” Liberal vote. In the May 2011 election, it will be recalled, the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff took a woeful 18.9 per cent of the popular vote and ended up in third place. […]

Michael Harris

“The party has gone to hell” Newfoundland Tories lament

Jul 6 2015 — Michael Harris

When former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney calls from Rome to express sympathy and outrage that Ches Crosbie was blocked from running as a Conservative candidate in the 2015 federal election, you know the Conservative Party of Canada has a big problem. Nor does that problem get any smaller, when former Conservative cabinet minister Jim McGrath […]


Bloc’s Gilles Duceppe returns to a changed political landscape

Jul 6 2015 — Celine Cooper

On Wednesday, Gilles Duceppe was confirmed as the leader of the Bloc Québécois at the party’s general meeting. Mario Beaulieu, the former divisive leader who had announced a few weeks ago he would voluntarily cede party leadership to Duceppe, officially stepped down. Duceppe — the man who steered the Bloc through six federal elections — […]

Jul 6 2015 — Alan Cassels

Amalgamation always seems like a good idea.  Greater Victoria has 13 municipalities, 13 councils, oodles of separate fire and police departments and multiple separate teams of garbage-persons, road fixers, parks maintainers and others that you need to keep our cities humming.  Which makes everyone ask:  Wouldn’t it be easier (and cheaper) if we just had […]

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Jul 6 2015 — Robin V. Sears

When Lester Pearson’s campaign team wanted to learn the tricks of political polling, they did what has become routine in Canadian campaigns: they secretly hired the best American expert. The Rainmaker, Keith Davey, star strategist behind nearly a dozen national campaigns, hired Lou Harris, one of the giants of the new profession. Canada and the […]

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