National Newswatch
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Inauguration to usher in a ‘ringmaster president’ and much uncertainty

Jan 19 2017 — Chris Hall — Donald Trump is a day removed from becoming the 45th president of the United States, swept to power on a wave of voter disenchantment with politics as usual in Washington and a staunch belief that Trump’s boast of making America great again is something real. The candidate who campaigned as the political outsider, the candidate […]

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‘Not a target … not an ally’: What Trump presidency could mean for Canadian economy

Jan 14 2017 — Chris Hall — There wasn’t much surprise when the United Steelworkers officially endorsed Hillary Clinton in last year’s U.S. presidential race. The Democrats had always been the party of organized labour, the party that authored protectionist policies that supported jobs and companies in the American heartland. But the Canadian who leads the United Steelworkers, one of the largest […]

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Trudeau tries to craft sturdier cabinet to withstand Trump

Jan 10 2017 — Chris Hall — The prime minister has renovated the cabinet he put together barely more than a year ago with an eye, it seems, to fashioning a sturdier version of the original to withstand the attention of a new, more bellicose neighbour. Tuesday’s shuffle was an almost solemn affair at Rideau Hall, with voices never rising above a […]

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Joe Biden drops in for a visit without any gifts

Dec 8 2016 — Chris Hall — He’s just a few weeks away from becoming just another ordinary Joe. But that’s not stopping U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden from making an official visit to Ottawa, where the Canadian government will roll out the red carpet. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will play host to Biden at a dinner on Thursday night that’s being billed […]

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Justin Trudeau boxed himself in on more than just pipelines

Dec 1 2016 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau had no choice. The prime minister had to approve the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline because of the many statements he’d made over the past year that boil down to this: protecting the environment can go hand in hand with finding foreign markets for Canadian oil. “One of the fundamental […]

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Is Trump’s tough talk on trade all bluster? Business leaders shouldn’t wait to find out

Nov 18 2016 — Chris Hall — Donald Trump’s language during his successful presidential bid always bordered on incendiary, whether it was calling his opponent “Crooked Hillary” or dismissing climate change as a Chinese “hoax.” So it should be no surprise that the president-elect’s choice of words when describing American trade deals resorted to the same excess, overkill and hyperbole. “When was […]

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSRJDZ

President Trump or President Clinton? Either one could be trouble for Trudeau

Nov 4 2016 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau has proven himself to be pretty darn good at the retail side of politics, selling Canadians on the virtues of his government’s progressive agenda even when it’s come with larger budget deficits than originally forecast. But when he responded Thursday to a question about the U.S. presidential election race, the prime minister was […]

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Trudeau should not give in to provinces on health care: Romanow

Oct 21 2016 — Chris Hall — Money can’t buy happiness. But it would sure go a long way in pleasing the provinces as their negotiations drag on with the federal government for a new health care accord. Provincial health ministers wrapped up meetings this week with their federal counterpart without much to show for all the hours spent talking behind closed […]

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National price on carbon is coming

Oct 8 2016 — Chris Hall, — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she has no qualms about the government’s move to impose a national price on carbon, despite some pushback from some provinces. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan walked out of this week’s environment ministers’ meeting in Montreal after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood in the House of Commons to […]

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Justin Trudeau signals he may override provinces’ wishes on health care

Oct 4 2016 — Chris Hall — Despite his government’s well-earned reputation for consulting at length on the big issues, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shown he won’t hesitate to act unilaterally once he’s made up his mind. In May, for instance, faced with opposition MPs who were delaying a vote in the House of Commons, the prime minister barged his way […]

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Expenses 101: Liberals get painful lesson in perception vs. reality

Sep 23 2016 — Chris Hall — A week into the fall session of the Commons and it’s already clear the Conservatives are on a mission to portray Justin Trudeau’s government as big spenders of other people’s money, namely yours. This mission has already won headlines, but the real focus is far down the horizon, to remind voters — over and over […]