National Newswatch

INAC split a ‘game-changer,’ Bellegarde calls for an independent national treaty commissioner

Sep 11 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — The splitting up of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is being called a “game-changer” for Indigenous relations in Canada, but former deputy minister Scott Serson says the government should first issue a royal proclamation to define its new relationship with Indigenous peoples. “They’re saying this is a reflection of an RCAP [Royal Commission on Aboriginal […]

Indigenous women’s representatives warn against ‘hard reset’ of MMIW inquiry

Aug 21 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Despite mounting criticism over the progress and process of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, some Indigenous women’s representatives warn that a “hard reset” could result in lost progress on this issue and perhaps be the death knell for the inquiry. “The many families who participated in the Whitehorse inquiry […]

Trudeau’s atypical media exposure pushed by ‘most image-conscious PMO in Canadian history’

Aug 14 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — From Rolling Stone magazine to CBS Sports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a point of engaging beyond the usual media suspects covering Canadian politics, and it’s all part of a media strategy of what is considered the most image-conscious, communications-driven Prime Minister’s Office ever, say strategists. “The Prime Minister’s Office has an innate understanding of […]

‘Fomenting misunderstanding for partisan reasons,’ Green Leader May slams ‘horrific’ Conservative response to Khadr’s $10.5-million settlement

Jul 17 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — While the Conservatives have rallied to criticize the Liberal government’s $10.5-million settlement with former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says the Conservatives’ response has been “horrific” and that it’s “fomenting misunderstanding for partisan reasons.” “It’s horrific. There’s a complete disconnect from the reasons that the apology and some level of […]

Grit MP Fry suggests misinformation led to PM’s quick rule-out of broadband tax

Jun 26 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Liberal MP and Canadian Heritage Committee Chair Hedy Fry has suggested that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t fully understand what the committee was recommending when he shot down the idea of new taxes on broadband distribution. That recommendation—to expand an existing five per cent levy on TV service providers, which gets put toward producing Canadian […]

Parliamentary Protective Service requests another $6.1-million in annual funding in 2017-18, wants $68.2-million total

Mar 8 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — With one new and one refurbished Parliament Hill building set to open up next year and higher visitor traffic expected for Canada’s 150th celebrations along with continuing efforts to enhance Hill security, the Parliamentary Protective Service wants a $6.1-million increase to its annual funding next year as well as almost $2.4-million in additional funding for […]

Canada’s former chief electoral officers eager for successor, laud proposed electoral legislative changes

Mar 6 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Canada’s former chief electoral officers Marc Mayrand and Jean-Pierre Kingsley are lauding changes proposed in new legislation, including moving the elections commissioner back under the authority of Elections Canada and removing restrictions on who can apply for the job of commissioner. But they also say there are other issues to be addressed, and with only […]

PMO’s new Canada-U.S. relations ‘war room’ unit seen as ‘smart,’ considered unprecedented

Feb 6 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — The PMO’s unprecedented new Canada-U.S. relations “war room” led by Brian Clow is being lauded by observers as a smart move, created to help coordinate the Trudeau government’s quick response and strategy to U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictable new administration. “There’s not been a unit like this set up within the PMO to the best […]

Harper’s Conservative Party fundraising role appears unprecedented, expected to mobilize base

Jan 23 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Former prime ministers have helped out party fundraising efforts in the past, but Stephen Harper’s role as a board member for the Conservative Party’s fundraising arm appears unprecedented in modern history, and his signature on appeals to party members is a boon to fundraising, say political insiders. “It speaks to the knowledge and connection that […]

Feds paid more than $40-million in 2016 to maintain vacant, partially vacant buildings

Dec 19 2016 — Laura Ryckewaert — Vacant and partially vacant buildings owned by the federal government in the National Capital Region cost more than $40-million in upkeep costs in 2016, including maintenance and repairs, according to documents recently obtained by The Hill Times. There were 22 vacant or partially vacant federal buildings as of November 2016 in Ottawa, listed in documents […]

Feds aim to get electoral reform bill tabled by May, despite ‘incredibly cynical’ response to committee report

Dec 12 2016 — Laura Ryckewaert — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is still “working towards” tabling legislation to change Canada’s federal voting system by May next year, Liberal MP Mark Holland, parliamentary secretary to the Democratic Institutions minister, told The Hill Times last week. The government’s online survey on democratic values is set to close at the end of this month, […]