National Newswatch

Cannabis ‘backup plan’ in the works if provinces unable to regulate by deadline, Morneau says

Jun 19 2017 — Bill Curry — The federal government is preparing a backup plan that would see it regulate the distribution and taxation of legal marijuana in provinces that are not ready in time for Ottawa’s July, 2018, deadline. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau outlined the plan Monday following a two-day meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts. Some provinces are […]

No plans to amend Canada Infrastructure Bank legislation: Liberals

May 30 2017 — Bill Curry — Liberal MPs will not be proposing amendments to the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act even as they move to rewrite other parts of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget bill. After two weeks of hearings, members of the House of Commons finance committee began their line-by-line review of Bill C-44 on Monday, including debates over amendments. The […]

Senators discuss removal of infrastructure bank from omnibus budget bill

May 16 2017 — Bill Curry — Senators are privately discussing whether they should split the Liberal government’s omnibus budget bill to spend more time studying the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank. Independent Senator André Pratte has circulated an e-mail to all senators asking them to consider removing the section creating the bank from the budget bill so that it “can be studied […]

Cabinet to have final word on infrastructure bank projects: Morneau

May 16 2017 — Bill Curry — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says cabinet will have the final say on any projects approved by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a proposed $35-billion entity that the Liberal government describes as an arm’s length Crown corporation. The minister’s comments touch on one of the key points of tension surrounding the bank: Private investors – including Canadian […]

Canada Infrastructure Bank could fund high-speed rail in Alberta, Ontario

May 12 2017 — Bill Curry — High-speed rail lines in Alberta and Southern Ontario are the types of projects that could be funded through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the federal Infrastructure Minister said during a day-long debate over the government’s $35-billion plan. Amarjeet Sohi defended Ottawa’s approach on Thursday during a debate on the proposed bank triggered by an NDP motion […]

Infrastructure Bank risks slowing down projects, report warns

May 11 2017 — Bill Curry — An internal federal report warns of a wide range of potential problems with the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank, including that it could duplicate the work of provinces, slow down projects with new layers of bureaucracy and expose Ottawa to “public relations disasters and embarrassment.” While the report, commissioned by Infrastructure Canada, calls for careful study […]

NDP forces Commons debate on infrastructure bank

May 10 2017 — Bill Curry — The proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank will receive a full day of debate Thursday on the floor of the House of Commons amid concern the $35-billion bank is being rushed through Parliament. The opposition NDP announced it will use its opposition day to trigger a day-long debate on the bank and will also force a vote […]

Infrastructure bank to get short review as Ottawa rushes to pass bill

May 10 2017 — Bill Curry — Legislation to create a $35-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank is scheduled to receive just one day of dedicated committee scrutiny as the federal government rushes to complete all hearings on the budget bill before the end of next week. The Liberal majority is planning to divide the study of Ottawa’s more than 300-page budget bill among […]

Most Canadians think privatizing airports is a bad idea: poll

Apr 26 2017 — Bill Curry — Canadians aren’t sold on airport privatization, according to a new poll that found most people think it’s a bad idea. The federal Liberals continue to study options for privatizing Canada’s largest airports, based on the advice of two government panels that urged Ottawa to consider the idea as a way to raise billions in revenue […]

‘Canadians were not impressed’ by federal budget: survey

Apr 17 2017 — Bill Curry — Most Canadians are giving the Liberal government’s second budget a thumbs down, according to a new survey for The Globe and Mail by Nanos Research. Canadians are also expressing a strong desire for Ottawa to lay out a plan for eliminating the deficit after the budget made no mention of when the federal books will […]

Senate blocks Liberals’ plan to repeal ‘anti-union’ law

Apr 15 2017 — Bill Curry — In one of its first acts after winning the 2015 federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government moved to reverse two Conservative laws that Canada’s labour leaders viewed as an attack on unions. When the House of Commons passed the legislation last fall, Mr. Trudeau boasted of this accomplishment to a large and appreciative gathering […]

Bill raises doubts about independence of infrastructure bank

Apr 13 2017 — Bill Curry — New legislation creating the Canada Infrastructure Bank will hand power over some of the bank’s decisions to the federal cabinet, raising the issue of how independent it actually will be. C-44, an omnibus budget bill that Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled this week, outlines how the government will appoint a board of directors for the […]