National Newswatch

‘Zero chance’ of a cabinet shuffle this summer, senior official says

Jun 24 2017 — David Cochrane — As cabinet ministers head back to their ridings this summer, a senior government official says they can do so secure in the knowledge that they won’t be shuffled out of their job before Parliament resumes sitting this fall. Despite rumours of prorogation as the Liberal government nears the midway point of its mandate, the official […]

Defence spending increase won’t boost deficit, Finance Department says

Jun 8 2017 — David Cochrane — Finance officials say Canada’s new defence policy — which boosts military spending by billions of dollars — won’t have a significant impact on future projected deficits. The multi-year plan released Wednesday calls for defence spending to increase by 70 per cent over the next decade, to reach $32.7 billion annually by 2026-27. None of that […]

Justin Trudeau faces next Trump test at NATO and G7 meetings

May 25 2017 — David Cochrane — When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Canadian Forces jet touched down in Brussels last night, he landed on a continent poised to host the NATO and G7 summits and bracing for the chaos that flew here on Air Force One. The multi-summit agenda will focus on defence, terrorism, trade and climate change. But much of the […]

Chrystia Freeland’s foreign policy speech to launch peacekeeping push

May 16 2017 — David Cochrane — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will use a speech to Parliament this month to outline the Trudeau government’s approach to international affairs and start a push to educate Canadians on the risks of modern peacekeeping. Freeland’s speech — and the announced June 7 release of the long-awaited defence policy review — will be followed by […]

How to legalize marijuana, without ever saying ‘marijuana’

Apr 14 2017 — David Cochrane — There is a superstition in the acting world that William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is cursed, so actors avoid saying its name inside a theatre to avoid bad luck. They refer to it instead as “the Scottish play.” On Thursday, you would have been forgiven if you thought there was a similar superstition around speaking the […]

Liberals want to move up pot legalization to avoid Canada Day anniversary

Apr 8 2017 — David Cochrane — With long-awaited marijuana legislation set to be announced next week, the federal government is having second thoughts about legalizing cannabis on Canada Day. The Trudeau government still plans to go ahead with its plan to make weed legal for recreational use. But a senior government source says the initial target of July 1, 2018 as […]

Liberals to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018

Mar 26 2017 — David Cochrane — The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018. CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne […]

Bill Morneau planning cautious budget for March 22 as he waits on Trump

Mar 7 2017 — David Cochrane — Bill Morneau’s second budget will be short on new spending and will include what amounts to a “down payment on the innovation agenda,” as the finance minister takes a wait-and-see approach over the uncertainty surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic agenda. A senior government source says this budget will set the stage for what could […]

Trudeau’s Europe trip dominated by trade and Trump

Feb 18 2017 — David Cochrane — Justin Trudeau ended his European visit with a keynote speech at a black tie dinner during which he warned an audience of Germany’s business and political elite that corporate practices had to change if future trade deals were going to be possible. Speaking to a sea of tuxedoes and ball gowns — and wearing a […]

Hopes low that dinner with PM will lead to health deal

Dec 8 2016 — David Cochrane — Sources think working dinner can be productive but doubt they can finalize a new health accord. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers will discuss the broad outline of a new health accord at a working dinner on Friday night, but multiple federal and provincial sources say it is unlikely to lead to a deal. […]

Ottawa open to long-term health accord with provinces: source

Dec 7 2016 — David Cochrane — The federal government is signaling a willingness to sign a longer-term health accord with the provinces in a shift that could help end the standoff in negotiations over transfer payments for health care. That means Ottawa may be willing to extend its offer of additional health care spending beyond the $3 billion over four years […]

Trudeau gives caucus long leash to voice discontent on Trans Mountain approval

Nov 30 2016 — David Cochrane — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made no effort during Wednesday’s caucus meeting to silence those Liberal MPs who oppose his decision to approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline. The prime minister did stress the importance of staying united on the pipeline issue, but caucus sources told CBC News there was no suggestion that MPs upset with […]