National Newswatch

Trudeau’s Liberals reach the midway point amid booze-tax brouhaha and Senate suspense

Jun 22 2017 — Aaron Wherry — There were questions about the government’s overhaul of national-security laws, Chinese encroachment, and the decision to remove the name of Hector-Louis Langevin from the executive building across from Parliament Hill. But on the last day of the spring sitting — a sitting that began with questions about the prime minister’s Christmas vacation — what most […]

The messy reality of Justin Trudeau’s promise of ‘real change’

Jun 20 2017 — Aaron Wherry — At long last, the time for “real change” had apparently arrived. Three months after the government released a “discussion paper” on parliamentary reform — after the Liberals were accused of tyrannical intent, ​after the opposition flibustered, after the government finally backed down a bit, and after the Conservatives threatened to tie up the Commons anew […]

Liberals ready to move to change House rules on omnibus bills, prorogation

Jun 15 2017 — Aaron Wherry — The Liberal government is ready to move forward with several reforms to the rules of the House of Commons, with proposed changes covering prorogation and omnibus legislation. The changes won’t include new rules to codify a prime minister’s question period, but the Liberals are committing to continue the recent practice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau […]

Why Canada will pay to help places like the Solomon Islands fight climate change

Jun 12 2017 — Aaron Wherry — “Nice name,” said the president of the United States, perhaps deviating from his prepared text. While announcing his determination to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change, Donald Trump was lamenting that American funds had been committed to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to the impacts of a warming planet.

After Trump’s Paris pullout, MPs line up behind climate change accord

Jun 7 2017 — Aaron Wherry — If nothing else, Donald Trump has an ability to enliven the public debate. Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris accord on climate change “was hard on morale, for sure,” said Catherine Abreu of Canada’s Climate Action Network in an interview last week. “But having 24 hours to kind of sit with […]

Face-to-face for 1st time, Scheer and Trudeau exchange QP pleasantries

Jun 5 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Justin Trudeau arrived first, a few minutes before question period, walking to his seat with binders in hand. A minute later, Andrew Scheer came into the House of Commons from the opposition lobby, carrying a few pages of notes. As the new leader of the opposition arrived at his seat, he and the prime minister […]

Trudeau might have moved on, but some still dream of electoral reform

Jun 3 2017 — Aaron Wherry — The Liberal promise of electoral reform went out with a whimper on Wednesday afternoon. New Democrats had moved for a vote on the final report of the special committee on electoral reform, which was tabled in December. That report had recommended, with some qualifiers, that a referendum be held on abandoning the current first-past-the-post system […]

‘Pollution isn’t free’: Catherine McKenna makes her case for pricing carbon

May 18 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna arrived at the podium in the foyer of the House of Commons and promptly told reporters what is apparently already understood. “Canadians realize that polluting isn’t free,” she said. The minister has said this before: she made the observation last October, for instance, a day after the Liberal government dramatically announced […]

Rona Ambrose will leave Tories better off, but still playing catch-up

May 16 2017 — Aaron Wherry — “I’ve been asked, more and more lately it seems, what I think we’ve accomplished during my time behind the wheel of this incredible, exciting movement,” Rona Ambrose said Tuesday morning to an audience at the Chateau Laurier, about her time as interim leader of the Conservative Party, now nearing an end. “And my answer is […]

Justin Trudeau takes a lot of questions, but doesn’t always answer

May 7 2017 — Aaron Wherry — “The prime minister takes all the questions he wants,” Tom Mulcair said Wednesday as Justin Trudeau made his third go at taking every query during question period, “but he does not answer any of them.” The NDP leader was aggrieved at Trudeau’s response to a question from NDP MP Matthew Dubé. Dubé had asked why […]

Ethics commissioner cleared Trudeau’s fundraising in February

Apr 27 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson concluded in February that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not contravene the Conflict of Interest Act when he participated in two fundraising events last year that were the subject of opposition complaints. The Conservatives and New Democrats asked Dawson to investigate Trudeau’s participation in those events in December.