National Newswatch

‘Come to CRA before we go to you’: International deal designed to expose offshore tax cheats

Jul 18 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canadians with secret overseas bank accounts could soon find themselves at risk of being exposed by a new international agreement designed to help catch tax cheats. Under the Common Reporting Standard, dozens of countries will share information about bank accounts held by non-residents. Beginning in September 2018, the information will be sent to the Canada […]

Oh Canada? More than 70% of Canada 150 swag made outside the country

Jun 30 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — The Canadian government is spending more than $2 million on swag to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, but more than 70 per cent of it was manufactured outside of Canada, CBC News has learned. Pins made in China. Ball caps from Bangladesh. Even the 6,200 Canada 150 hockey pucks bought by the Canadian Heritage department were […]

Trudeau government leaves official languages office in legal limbo

Jun 21 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — The office of Canada’s official languages commissioner is in a state of legal limbo, with nobody officially authorized to make certain decisions or sign documents normally signed by the commissioner, CBC News has learned. If it drags on, the situation could have more serious consequences, such as affecting court cases involving the official languages commissioner’s […]

Access to Information law changes won’t open up PMO, cabinet offices

Jun 19 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is reneging on its election promise to make the Prime Minister’s Office and cabinet ministers’ offices subject to Canada’s Access to Information Act. Instead, in proposed changes to the act being introduced today, the government is promising to proactively release more information than it has in the past. For example, […]

Banking industry has lobbied officials, MPs hundreds of times

Jun 12 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canada’s big banks and the association that represents them have lobbied government officials hundreds of times since the last election – including the watchdogs charged with policing them and members of the parliamentary committee now examining their practices. An analysis by CBC News of reports filed with the Commissioner of Lobbying’s office found that there […]

Former staff to blow whistle to MPs about bank practices

Jun 1 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — The House of Commons finance committee will kick off hearings into the practices of Canada’s big banks on Monday with testimony from former bank employees ready to blow the whistle on some of the things they have witnessed. In an interview with CBC News Wednesday, shortly after the committee drafted its witness list, Liberal MP […]

Critics accuse Andrew Scheer of hiding policies after campaign win

May 30 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — A move by new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign has made it much tougher for average Canadians to consult the policy positions that won the hearts and minds of Conservative Party supporters. Finding Scheer’s policy positions used to be as easy as clicking on his website, where his thoughts on 26 policies were laid out […]

More than a million restricted, prohibited guns in Canada

May 25 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — A year and a half after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government came to office promising to tighten Canada’s gun laws, there are now more than a million restricted and prohibited firearms across the country. The number of restricted firearms in Canada rose 5.5 per cent last year, reaching its highest point in more than a […]

Big banks to face questions about banking practices

May 19 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canada’s big banks will be in the hot seat next month, facing questions about questionable banking practices revealed by CBC’s Go Public. Parliament’s finance committee has decided to hold hearing into reports that bank employees are being pressured to meet sales targets. Over the course of three meetings, the committee is expected to hear from […]

Trudeau under renewed attack for Bahamas vacation

May 16 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under renewed attack Tuesday in the House of Commons over his vacation on a private Bahamas island, following the revelation that the Aga Khan’s island is legally owned by a company with ties to corporations located in countries known to be tax havens. New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair led […]

Trudeau recuses himself from choice of next ethics watchdog

May 15 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is recusing himself from choosing Canada’s next ethics watchdog. In a brief announcement sent out late Monday afternoon, Trudeau said the decision was prompted by the probe into his Bahamas vacation currently being conducted by ethics commissioner Mary Dawson. “Effective immediately, the Prime Minister has recused himself from all matters related […]

Federal government spending tens of thousands at elite private club

May 8 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Federal Crown corporations and government departments are spending tens of thousands of dollars each year at Ottawa’s elite Rideau Club. According to documents tabled in the House of Commons, Crown corporations with business mandates topped the list of big spenders. Once the place to see and be seen by top Ottawa business leaders and government […]

Trudeau should recuse himself from choice of ethics watchdog, MP says

May 3 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should recuse himself from having anything to do with choosing Canada’s next ethics watchdog, says a Conservative member of Parliament’s ethics committee. Pat Kelly said he is concerned about the prospect of the prime minister helping to choose a new ethics commissioner while under investigation by that office for his trip […]