National Newswatch
Apr.21126

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 —

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 — 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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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Ottawa relaxes integrity rules for firms doing business with government

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 […]

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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Jul 6 2015 — Kathryn May

A federal prosecutor is openly defying a Public Service Commission decision that denied her leave to become a candidate in the upcoming federal election and is seeking the NDP nomination in the riding of Ottawa-Vanier. Emilie Taman, a prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) and daughter of former Supreme Court Justice Louise […]

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Jul 6 2015 — Abbas Rana

A number of factors may have contributed to the Conservative Party blocking Ches Crosbie’s nomination in Avalon, from a local Senator’s ambition to a satirical theatre performance to legal work with residential school survivors to a Hill Times article, sources said last week. Mr. Crosbie, a prominent St. John’s lawyer and son of John Crosbie, […]

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Featured Ink

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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 […]

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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 […]

ADAM RADWANSKI

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 — […]

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How did NDP’s Joe Ceci end up at Harper chest-thumper?

Jul 6 2015 — Don Braid

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual Stampede barbecue is always held in a tent, but this year it sounded more like a locker-room, with hooting, cheering, backslapping and fierce calls to destroy the other team. And a lot of people wondered: what the heck was NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci doing there, in the core of […]

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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