National Newswatch
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Special forces troops involved in two more firefights with ISIL fighters

Jan 26 2015 —

Canadian special forces troops have been involved in more firefights with Islamic State extremists. Navy Capt. Paul Forget says the elite troops, who were advising Kurdish fighters in battlefield planning, came under fire twice while visiting the front over the last week. He says in both cases the Canadian troops returned fire and “neutralized” the […]

Jan 26 2015 — Eric Grenier

If a federal election were held today, with the Liberals and Conservatives so close in national polling, predicting the outcome in the House of Commons would be little better than a coin flip. But that doesn’t mean we’re completely in the dark. As Canada’s political leanings differ from region to region so significantly, it is […]

Jan 26 2015 — Kady O'Malley

In the wake of Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s unexpected decision to delay his pre-election budget until April at the earliest, the New Democrats want him to update the House on the state of the nation’s finances. New Democrat Finance critic Nathan Cullen told reporters that his party intends to devote the first allotted opposition day […]

Jan 26 2015 —

While one federal minister says no major new spending cuts are coming, another is hinting that the Harper Conservatives could dip into a rainy-day fund to balance the government’s books. As members of Parliament return to work today, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan is spelling out his party’s priorities for the first Commons sitting […]

Derek Fildebrandt

Former taxpayers head running for Wildrose seat

Jan 26 2015 —

The former head of a taxpayer lobby group says he is getting public pressure to seeking the leadership of the Alberta Wildrose party, but he has yet to make his decision. Derek Fildebrandt, the former head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, held a news conference east of Calgary to announce he will seek the Wildrose […]

PMO advisers

PMO, Cabinet pushed off strategy, must keep tight communications, say former PMO advisers

Jan 26 2015 — Abbas Rana

Plummeting oil prices have pushed Prime Minister Stephen Harper off his important pre-election budget strategy and last week a disconnect emerged publicly between the PMO and Cabinet communications, but Mr. Harper and his Cabinet will have to stick to a disciplined, well-coordinated PMO communications strategy as the opposition parties will try to score political points […]

Stephen Harper

Harper government braces for grilling on oil price plunge, sputtering economy

Jan 25 2015 —

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is trying to set the tone for Monday’s resumption of Parliament by vowing his government will focus on jobs and economic security. He told Conservative party supporters in Ottawa today that despite global economic uncertainty, Canada is moving in the right direction. The Senate expenses scandal and the government’s treatment of […]

Jan 26 2015 — Colin Freeze

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will introduce promised new national-security legislation on Friday, including a provision that draws a line between free expression and endorsing terrorism. Highlighting the new bill in a speech on Sunday, Mr. Harper said he will protect Canadians from homegrown extremists by giving authorities new powers – including the […]

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Jan 26 2015 —

Premier Kathleen Wynne will meet with Elections Ontario officials this week in an investigation into claims of improper behaviour in a byelection. Wynne asked Andrew Olivier, the Liberals’ candidate in Sudbury, Ont., in last June’s general election, not to seek the nomination for the Feb. 5 byelection there because she had another preferred candidate. Olivier […]

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Jan 26 2015 —

Canadian diplomats feared Chinese troops would “invade” their embassy in Beijing in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, according to newly-released records. Dramatic Telex messages cabled by embassy staff back to Ottawa cite atrocities in the tumult after the mass shootings, including public executions and the retrieval of bodies from a Beijing canal.

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Jan 26 2015 — Laura Payton

Public safety and the economy will be the issues underlying most discussions on Parliament Hill over the next few months as MPs return today for the last few months of the 41st Parliament. The latest the election can be triggered is early September, meaning the last sitting of Parliament starts today. Much of what MPs […]

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Featured Ink

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Is our Iraq mission about politics?

Jan 26 2015 — Dan Leger

Just what, exactly, did people think would go on when Canada sent some of its most hard-core soldiers to the most dangerous place in the world? Did people really think that Canadian special forces operators would spend all their time in Iraq giving seminars and supervising target practice? Apparently, we did think that, judging from […]

Gerry Nicholls

Liberals Need a Cardboard Strategy

Jan 26 2015 — Gerry Nicholls

In case you haven’t noticed, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s entire strategy can be summed up in two simple words: photo op. OK, that’s more like one and a half words, but you get my point. Rather than focusing on hard to explain stuff like policies and platforms, Trudeau is using charming photo ops to convince […]

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The three pillars of Stephen Harper’s re-election hopes

Jan 25 2015 — Tim Harper

He left this place before Christmas with a bump in the polls and a potential road map to a fourth victory. When the House of Commons reconvenes Monday for a pre-election sprint, Stephen Harper will seek to recapture that combination in a political environment which has been radically reconfigured in six short weeks. How to […]

andrew perez

Ontario’s PCs and American Republicans Blinded by the Right

Jan 26 2015 — Andrew Perez

Ontario’s PCs and American Republicans have more in common than meets the eye. Ten days ago Rob Ford resurfaced to endorse the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership bid of Monte McNaughton – a little known ultra-conservative MPP from Southwestern Ontario who wants to lead the PC party into the next provincial election. Here was a Tory […]

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As MPs return to work, here’s what to watch for

Jan 26 2015 — Michael Den Tandt

MPs return to the Commons this week after a six-week break amid significantly changed economic circumstances, and a political dynamic that has been roiled by the precipitous, unexpected fall in the price of crude oil. With this in mind, here is a primer on some of the parties’ and leaders’ key tasks, challenges and opportunities, […]

solberg

What’s Trudeau’s vision for Canada?

Jan 26 2015 — Monte Solberg

Justin Trudeau has accused the Government of Canada of putting all its eggs in one basket, referring to how falling oil prices have hurt government revenues. Given that our young friend might be the prime minister of Canada in 250 days, perhaps we should examine this statement to see what he knows about the economy […]

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The problem with using wives as political ‘secret weapons’

Jan 26 2015 — Celine Cooper

I recently read in the news that the Conservatives are readying their “secret weapon, Laureen Harper” in preparation for the 2015 federal election. Last February, the Toronto Star reported on leaked internal Conservative party documents, one of which included a section on “tactical plans/strategies.” There were recommendations that the party should “leverage Mrs. Harper.” Last […]

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No matter how you spin it, we are fighting ISIS in Iraq

Jan 26 2015 — Scott Taylor

On Jan. 19, the National Defence Department hosted one of its routine technical briefings to update the media on recent developments in the allied military campaign against ISIS in Iraq. In the past, various commanders have detailed the number of sorties undertaken by our combat aircraft and the targets they had successfully engaged. We were […]

Entertainment Plus

"Eyes Wide Shut" Premiere

Documentary reveals Tom Cruise had Nicole Kidman’s phone tapped

Jan 26 2015 —

A former top official of the Church of Scientology says he ordered Nicole Kidman’s phones to be tapped at the suggestion of Tom Cruise and church head David Miscavige. Former Scientologist Mark “Marty” Rathbun, a member of the church for many years and a key aide to Miscavige (inset), makes the allegations in an explosive […]