National Newswatch
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Anti-Islamophobia debate might define both Liberals and Conservatives

Feb 18 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Appearing before reporters earlier this week to explain that the Liberal government would be putting its authority behind a Liberal MP’s motion calling for a parliamentary condemnation and study of Islamophobia, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said a “question of leadership” was at hand. She returned to the theme Thursday as she explained why the Liberals […]

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With electoral reform off the table, minister defends first-past-the-post

Feb 7 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Seven months after her predecessor described the current electoral system as “antiquated,” and one week after the Liberal government abandoned its pursuit of reform, the new minister of democratic institutions defended first-past-the-post during an appearance before a House of Commons committee. “The first-past-the-post system may not be perfect — no electoral system is,” Karina Gould […]

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Dominic Barton, top economic adviser, encourages bold response to Trump

Feb 6 2017 — Aaron Wherry — The chair of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s council of economic advisers is calling on the federal government to redouble its efforts to reinforce and reform the Canadian economy in the wake of Donald Trump’s election in the United States. “We’re a small trading nation. We’ve got to take more control of our own destiny,” Dominic […]

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Bill Morneau’s experts focus on trade, innovation and getting more Canadians working

Feb 6 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s council of economic advisers is calling on the federal government to pursue trade with Asia, make it easier for new Canadian companies to expand and aim to increase employment rates among several underrepresented groups, including Indigenous Canadians and women with children. The expert panel, chaired by Dominic Barton of the global […]

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau carries his vote to the ballot box accompanied by his son Xavier on October 19, 2015 in Montreal. Canadians began voting in general elections Monday, with polls showing Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party positioned to end nine years of Stephen Harper's Tory rule. AFP PHOTO/POOL/PAUL CHIASSONPAUL CHIASSON/AFP/Getty Images

Liberal fears of proportional representation and a referendum killed Trudeau’s reform promise

Feb 3 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Fear of both proportional representation, including the possible emergence of fringe or even alt-right parties, and a potentially divisive national referendum led Justin Trudeau’s government to abandon his promise of electoral reform, according to a senior Liberal source. In the lead-up to the 2015 election, Trudeau pledged that a Liberal government would ensure a new […]

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Regardless of electoral reform, it might be time to change Parliament

Jan 29 2017 — Aaron Wherry — As the 42nd Parliament reconvenes on Monday, the outstanding matter of electoral reform will likely overshadow other questions of change. But beneath that headline item still lurks the sense that something is terribly amiss with the institution that is supposed to uphold democracy between elections. Regardless of whether the Liberals decide to make good on […]

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Canada, Netherlands discuss fund to counter Trump abortion order

Jan 26 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Canada’s minister for international development has spoken with her Dutch counterpart about a proposal by the Netherlands to fund abortions overseas in the wake of President Donald Trump’s move to ban American funding for such services. Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister of foreign trade and development co-operation, announced her desire to establish an international fund […]

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Trudeau names new parliamentary secretaries, promoting 9 Liberal backbenchers

Jan 26 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promoted nine first-term backbenchers in appointing a new roster of parliamentary secretaries. As previously announced, Andrew Leslie, who had been the chief government whip, becomes parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, with special responsibility for relations with the United States.

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Like Trump, Kevin O’Leary only needs voters to take him seriously

Jan 21 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Perhaps all prime ministers end up becoming television characters, but Kevin O’Leary is the first TV character to run for prime minister. His background is in business but his fame is based on his work as the tough-talking, unforgiving judge on Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank and as a business commentator. He’s what’s known as […]

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Trudeau challenged over carbon pricing on 2nd day of town hall tour

Jan 13 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pressed to justify the implementation of a federal price on carbon during a town hall forum on the second day of his whirlwind outreach tour on Friday. At a public meeting in Peterborough, Ont., Trudeau was asked by a woman struggling to pay her bills, amid high hydro costs in […]

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Asked about Trump, Trudeau promises to stand for feminism and diversity

Jan 12 2017 — Aaron Wherry — While maintaining that his priority in dealing with the Donald Trump administration will be the Canadian economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday night he would never shy away from proclaiming himself a feminist, defending immigration or extolling the contribution of Muslim Canadians. During a town hall forum in Belleville, Ont., Trudeau was asked about […]