National Newswatch

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 […]

Common interest will ensure Canada-U.S. trade conflicts get solved

Apr 29 2017 — Chris Hall — Canada remains confident a deal can be reached with the United States on softwood lumber without repeating the drawn-out trade litigation of the past. Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says reaching a new long-term deal is the best option, even as he repeats his warning that jobs will be lost in Canada as a result […]

A smile and arrest welcome asylum seekers to Canada

Mar 31 2017 — Chris Hall — Roxham Road is about as nondescript as any corner of the United States could be. Yet the country lane lined with trailer homes that dead-ends at the Quebec-New York border is an easily recognized thoroughfare for asylum seekers leaving the uncertainty of Donald Trump’s America for the welcoming unknown of Canada. It’s at the end […]

Bill Morneau’s budget caught between Trump and a hard place

Mar 22 2017 — Chris Hall — It’s safe to say that the budget Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveils today won’t be the one he originally intended as a second instalment of the Liberals’ plan to help the middle class — and all those seeking to join it. Part of the reason is that his first budget — with the billions dedicated […]

Border the big issue as a Trump official finally set to visit Ottawa

Mar 9 2017 — Chris Hall — Finally. A return visit. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is coming to Ottawa on Friday, the first member of President Donald Trump’s inner circle to accept an invitation to head north for meetings with his Canadian counterparts. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is. For weeks now, Canadian politicians have […]