National Newswatch

Liberals battle problems mostly of their own creation

Sep 14 2017 — Chris Hall — For the better part of two days members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet met behind closed doors in St. John’s, plotting strategy for the fall legislative session, while outside their opponents, critics and interest groups declared open season on significant parts of the Liberal agenda. Instead of controlling the debate this week, instead of […]

Justin Trudeau, British PM Theresa May to discuss Boeing-Bombardier spat in meeting next week

Sep 12 2017 — Chris Hall — British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Canada on Monday as Canadian officials try to get U.S. aerospace manufacturer Boeing to continue talks to head off a potentially damaging trade dispute over passenger jets. Boeing asked the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate whether Bombardier is dumping planes into the American market, alleging government subsidies to […]

Liberal-friendly diplomat’s new job pays above scale, but is he worth it?

Aug 22 2017 — Chris Hall — Gerald Butts is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s top adviser, making him arguably the second most influential person in this Liberal government given his regular involvement with the PM on the most sensitive and important files. So when Butts took to Twitter on Monday to defend the government’s decision to pay his friend Rana Sarkar, the […]

On national security, Liberals stake out the middle ground

Jun 21 2017 — Chris Hall — To understand the Liberal’s new anti-terrorism measures introduced Tuesday, go back two years to when the party supported the then Conservative government’s hard-line anti-terrorism bill with a promise to amend the most controversial measures just as soon as they got the chance. The Conservatives were proposing to give this country’s national security agencies dramatic new […]

Justice system ‘in urgent need of reform’: Senate committee

Jun 15 2017 — Chris Hall — The Supreme Court of Canada is known as the court of last resort because its decisions are final. There are no more appeals to make, no more arguments to be heard on a case. But every so often the court of last resort gives itself a kind of do-over using a new case to clarify […]

Quebec constitutional talks risk opening Pandora’s box

Jun 2 2017 — Chris Hall — Philippe Couillard no doubt has his reasons for reopening the long-dormant constitutional debate in this country right now. But the Quebec premier doesn’t seem to have bothered taking into account how his plans will go over in the rest of Canada. Couillard’s government is kick-starting a cross-country dialogue aimed at cementing Quebec’s place within Canada […]

Auditor general’s complaint leads to cabinet order for release of Finance documents

May 18 2017 — Chris Hall — Michael Ferguson is entering his sixth year as Canada’s auditor general and, not surprisingly, his reports during that time have found numerous examples of government waste, excess and neglect. But his most recent batch of audits released this week exposed a significant hurdle to ensuring government programs provide good value for taxpayers’ money. In two […]

Taxpayers won’t be on the hook for infrastructure bank risks, Sohi says

May 13 2017 — Chris Hall — Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says taxpayers won’t be on the hook if projects financed through the proposed infrastructure bank don’t produce the kinds of revenues private-sector investors expect. The Liberals want to create the $35-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank to attract outside investors such as pension plans and international financial institutions for major projects that […]

Universities say they accept new rules to boost diversity of research chair candidates

May 9 2017 — Chris Hall — Universities say they welcome the challenge from Ottawa to improve diversity among the ranks of the Canada Research Chairs, under threat of funding cuts. The federal government issued new rules last week for the prestigious research program in an attempt to improve representation for women, visible minorities, people with disabilities and Indigenous scholars. Universities are […]