National Newswatch

Canada’s mayors pushing federal government for housing, transit cash

Jan 17 2017 — Bill Curry — Canada’s mayors are pushing Ottawa to speed up the flow of federal infrastructure cash as signs mount that the billions in promised spending have been slow to enter the economy. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will call on the federal government to cover the cost of 50 per cent of […]


Morneau vows prudent budget as Canada awaits U.S. policy changes

Jan 13 2017 — Bill Curry — Finance Minister Bill Morneau is signalling that his 2017 budget will show a preference for “prudent” new spending over tax cuts as the Liberal government braces for major policy change from Canada’s top trading partner. Mr. Morneau met Friday morning with private-sector economists to hear their expectations for the Canadian economy, including the potential ramifications […]


Business leaders urge Morneau to set deadline for eliminating deficit

Jan 6 2017 — Bill Curry — Canada’s business leaders are calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to set a firm target for erasing the deficit after his department released figures showing Ottawa will not balance the books until the 2050s. Former Liberal finance minister John Manley, who is now president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of Canada, said […]


Ottawa projects decades of deficits as federal finances worsen

Jan 5 2017 — Bill Curry — The federal government is projecting decades of deficits as a new Finance Canada report shows Ottawa’s long-term finances have deteriorated considerably over the past two years. The government’s latest long-term fiscal forecast adds new context to the federal government’s reluctance to boost provincial health transfers. The decades of surpluses projected by Ottawa just two years […]

Finance Minister Bill Morneau answers a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld ORG XMIT: AJW503

Liberal pledges on innovation and tax credits pose conflict

Dec 26 2016 — Bill Curry — Liberal promises to tackle inequality and boost innovation are on a collision course in the run-up to the 2017 budget. For months now, officials at Finance Canada have been working with a panel of outside experts on a review of federal tax credits, with the stated goal of raising at least $3-billion a year in […]


Provinces irate over health funding talks with Morneau

Dec 19 2016 — Bill Curry — Provinces are fuming over Ottawa’s plans for a one-day-only, take-it-or-leave-it negotiating session Monday that will shape the direction of health funding for the next decade. While both levels of government say they want to improve Canada’s health-care system, they will each be focused on their bottom lines as finance and health ministers square off over […]


Ottawa takes hard line with provinces on health transfers

Dec 16 2016 — Bill Curry — The federal government is taking a hard line on health transfers ahead of a key meeting with the provinces and territories, warning that Ottawa is not willing to deliver on their requests for major increases. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Finance Minister Bill Morneau pointed to the federal government’s fiscal situation – […]


Doctors warn thousands could leave for U.S. over new federal tax hikes

Dec 1 2016 — Bill Curry — Canadian physicians are warning that thousands of specialists will pull out of group medical offices and many will ultimately leave for the United States because of new federal tax changes that will soon be approved by Parliament. An aggressive lobbying campaign by doctors, radiologists and other medical professionals has failed to sway Finance Minister Bill […]


Treat Alberta job losses as national crisis, MPs urge government

Nov 25 2016 — Bill Curry — Conservative MPs are pushing the federal government to view Alberta’s job market as a national crisis and want Ottawa to come up with a wide-ranging policy response. Calgary Shepard MP Tom Kmiec tried unsuccessfully this week to trigger an emergency debate in the House of Commons, and his party is now considering other options to […]


Conservative Senators move to re-write the tax code

Nov 22 2016 — Bill Curry — A Conservative-dominated Senate committee is moving to re-write the tax code with a surprise amendment to a government bill. Conservative Senator Larry Smith, who chairs the Senate finance committee, proposed an amendment to Bill C-2 that would make major changes to federal tax brackets. After heated debate, the motion passed 9-3. The amended bill will […]


Trudeau’s Senate appointments spark debate on political allegiance

Nov 21 2016 — Bill Curry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest wave of Senate appointments is bringing tensions to a boil in the Red Chamber as veteran Conservatives and Liberals accuse the government of trying to quash Senate opposition. The debate could come to a head Tuesday as Senator Peter Harder – the Government Leader in the Senate – has invited […]


Alberta strongly opposed to privatizing Canada’s airports, minister says

Nov 17 2016 — Bill Curry — The Alberta government is strongly opposed to selling off Canada’s airports and is calling for a national debate about federal efforts to court billions in private funds for major infrastructure projects. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Alberta Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said he questions whether public/private partnerships are in the best interests […]