National Newswatch
Suzanne Legault

Millions spent on consultants for access to information

Jan 29 2015 — Jordan Press

The federal government has spent approximately $57 million on outside consultants over the past nine years to help decide which government records Canadians are allowed to obtain. Most of that spending, on what are called access to information consultants, occurred during the last four years. The $57-million price tag is for spending starting in fiscal […]

Jan 29 2015 — Laura Payton

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s office invites MPs to session when they’re supposed to be in House. A briefing tomorrow for MPs regarding the government’s new anti-terror legislation is set for a rather inconvenient time: the middle of question period. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s office sent an invitation to MPs on Wednesday to tell […]

Jan 29 2015 — Adam Martin-Robbins

There’s been some buzz in the media recently that the Conservatives are putting Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife front and centre as a key component of the party’s campaign strategy heading into this year’s election, currently slated for October. But during a visit to Vaughan last Friday, Laureen Harper bristled at the suggestion her appearance […]

Jan 29 2015 —

A Toronto MP has apologized for comments he made over the weekend during a meet-and-greet with some members of the Iranian-Canadian community. Willdowdale MP Chungsen Leung attended an event hosted by the Association of North American Ethnic Journalists and Writers on Saturday. Approximately two dozen people were at the meeting, where Leung was asked about […]

Jan 29 2015 — Laura Payton

Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson says Canada’s special forces aren’t put into places where they expect to come under fire. Speaking to MPs at the House foreign affairs committee, Lawson said despite spending 20 per cent of their time near the front lines, the special forces have had to return fire only three times. […]


Canadian dollar continues slide to 78 cents

Jan 29 2015 —

The Canadian dollar continued its downward trajectory Thursday, falling to 78 cents a day after closing below 80 cents for the first time since 2009. The loonie was at 78.94 cents US at midday, down from its close of 79.87 cents US on Wednesday.


Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne agree carbon pricing should be left to provinces

Jan 29 2015 — Susana Mas

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met in Ottawa Thursday where they agreed the federal government should leave it up to the provinces to decide what carbon-pricing policy works best for them in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Provinces are stepping forward with solutions to price carbon and to reduce […]

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2015 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, joined by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington to discuss the status of the Keystone XL Pipeline bill. Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline say the privately-funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs and make the U.S. dependent on oil from friends, rather than foes. Critics claim it will be disastrous for the pollution blamed for global warming and put communities along its 1,179-mile route at risk for an environmentally-damaging spill, all for oil and products that will be exported anyway. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

US Senate poised to OK Keystone pipeline bill

Jan 29 2015 — Dina Cappiello

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate moved Thursday toward passage of a bipartisan bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat on the privately funded Canadian project and setting up the first of many expected battles with the White House over energy and the environment. The Senate planned to vote on the bill […]

Jan 29 2015 — Jordan Press

When the lead RCMP officer on the Mike Duffy investigation spoke publicly about the case, he caught his superiors by surprise. Normally, RCMP investigators in an active criminal investigation would refer reporters’ questions to the force’s media relations department. But on a morning in late April 2014, Sgt. Greg Horton stopped to talk with a […]

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Jan 29 2015 — Mike Blanchfield

The wife of the imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi says her husband can’t withstand another flogging. Ensaf Haidar, now a refugee living in Quebec, joined an all-party coalition of MPs on Parliament Hill today urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to intervene personally with his Saudi counterparts. They want the prime minister to push for the […]

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Jan 29 2015 — Terry Milewski

It was a grand affair — which is just as well. For $162,863, you want more than cheese dip and some dried-up carrots. But then, the plan called for “royal” treatment of the visitors. The Prime Minister’s Office had insisted on that when Herman Van Rompuy, then president of the European Council, and José Manuel […]

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Featured Ink


As election looms, Tom Mulcair’s NDP walks a fine line

Jan 29 2015 — Tom Walkom

Tom Mulcair is walking a careful line. The New Democratic Party leader wants to continue the work that his predecessor, Jack Layton, did in attracting new voters. But he’s also trying to hang on to the NDP’s traditional left-of-centre base. As the tribulations faced by Andrea Horwath’s Ontario NDP demonstrated last year, this is not […]

Bob Hepburn

Is Stephen Harper friend or foe of democracy?

Jan 29 2015 — Bob Hepburn

Back in 2006, Stephen Harper rode to electoral victory by promising the most sweeping package of democratic and parliamentary reforms the country had ever seen. Harper made the campaign pledge in the wake of a controversial series of political scandals and democratic abuses under successive Liberal governments. While his critics may have doubted his commitment, […]


More infrastructure, stronger economy

Jan 29 2015 — Scott Brison

Middle class Canadians are paying a hefty price for poor infrastructure. Canadian homeowners face expensive repairs when sewer systems back up under the pressure of “extreme” weather events that are becoming increasingly more common. Manufacturing workers lose wages when their assembly line shuts down because the parts they need are stuck in transit. Commuters regularly […]


Quebec corruption inquiry struggling for relevance

Jan 29 2015 — Chantal Hébert

There were high hopes at the time of its creation that a public inquiry into collusion and corruption in the province’s construction industry would provide Quebecers with a comprehensive picture of the situation. Three-and-a-half years later, those hopes have mostly given way to curiosity as to how the commission presided by Justice France Charbonneau will […]

Matthew Fisher

Allow Canadian special forces privacy to do necessary task in Iraq

Jan 29 2015 — Matthew Fisher

Unlike our allies who have kept a tight lid on the operational activities of their special forces in Iraq, the Harper government and the Canadian military made an uncharacteristic decision to permit details to be released about what Canada’s special forces are doing there. Hence the storm of criticism led by the opposition and the […]


Vancouver’s high housing costs mean less cash on hand to pay more taxes

Jan 29 2015 — Barbara Yaffe

Vancouver-area politicians still do not get it. Due to crushing housing costs, Lower Mainlanders have far less discretionary income than other Canadians. In such circumstances, it is not reasonable to ask them to finance additional fees and taxes — including more PST for transportation initiatives — no matter how urgent. Vancouver’s affordability crisis was underscored […]

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