National Newswatch

Expect mostly posturing in first round of NAFTA talks this week

Aug 14 2017 — Derek Abma — Round 1 of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) gets underway this week, with this initial series of talks expected to see all sides introducing their starting positions, with limited progress beyond that. A Canadian delegation of about dozen people will meet with similar-sized contingents representing the United States and Mexico in Washington, […]

‘We inherited the mess, but we’re committed to fixing it,’ hundreds of thousands of cheques still affected by Phoenix pay problems

Jul 17 2017 — Derek Abma — Pay problems for federal public servants caused by the problematic Phoenix system are still ongoing, with little reduction in the backlog of error-ridden paycheques in recent months. Public Services and Procurement Canada has stopped updating an online dashboard that broke out various statistics on how many paycheques were subject to corrections due to Phoenix issues. […]

‘British Columbians do not want this,’ Trudeau faces tough task on $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan pipeline with incoming B.C. government

Jul 10 2017 — Derek Abma — The Trudeau government is facing a difficult scenario with a pipeline project in British Columbia it supports now that a provincial government is coming in that’s firmly opposed to it, experts say. What’s at stake is the $7.4-billion expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline between Alberta and British Columbia. The project was approved by […]

Scheer’s social conservatism obvious target, but Liberals to lay off new leader at onset: insiders

Jun 5 2017 — Derek Abma — Liberal Party veterans say new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s reputation as a social conservative is an obvious target for politicking from the Justin Trudeau government, but some say the party in power is likely to avoid being overly aggressive against the new leader for the time-being. Reasons include not being sure, exactly, what direction Mr. […]

Liberal MP Eyking says government likely preparing for ‘fallout’ if NAFTA talks fail

May 22 2017 — Derek Abma — With the Donald Trump administration finally triggering the process for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), one high-ranking Liberal MP says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely considering contingency plans should talks fail and Canada ends up without a free trade agreement with the United States, or an arrangement that’s far less favourable.

Bains most lobbied cabinet minister since Trudeau won power in 2015, hands down

Mar 27 2017 — Derek Abma — Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, is, hands down, the most lobbied member of the Trudeau cabinet since the government came to office in 2015. Since the Liberals took over in November 2015 until earlier this month, a total of 245 communication reports outlining contact with Mr. Bains (Mississauga-Malton, Ont.) have […]

Raitt willing to serve in an O’Leary-led Conservative caucus

Mar 20 2017 — Derek Abma — Conservative MP and leadership candidate Lisa Raitt has a website dedicated to telling people that Kevin O’Leary is “wrong for the Conservative Party and wrong for Canada,” but says she’s willing to put all that aside and support him if he becomes leader. And that support includes serving as a critic in an O’Leary-led Conservative […]

‘Be patient, don’t prejudge,’ Trump presidency ‘positive’ for Canada, says Bush-era U.S. ambassador

Feb 6 2017 — Derek Abma — Relations between Canada and the United States are off to a “positive” start under new U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a former U.S. ambassador to Canada who served under George W. Bush. “There’s certainly been some pluses,” David Wilkins said of the cross-border relationship so far. “President Trump gave the green light to the […]

Trudeau government ‘concerned’ and ‘worried,’ but not ‘panicking’ over Trump administration, say political insiders

Jan 30 2017 — Derek Abma — Experts and political insiders say adjusting to the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has become a high—if not the highest—priority for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, and that he has avoided “panicking” and is instead dealing with “the new reality.” Most agree that Mr. Trudeau’s (Papineau, Que.) relationship with Mr. Trump will not […]