National Newswatch
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Canada set to renew Ukraine military training mission amid Trump fears

Feb 20 2017 — Robert Fife — Canada is set to renew a military mission training Ukrainian troops to confront Russia-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine, despite concerns in Kiev over delays in announcing the extension of the program. The Trudeau cabinet has not yet announced the extension of the two-year-old non-combat mission, dubbed Operation Unifier, which expires on March 31. […]

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Mulroney draws praise for Canada, Trudeau from Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Feb 19 2017 — Robert Fife — U.S. President Donald Trump expressed effusive praise for Canada and Justin Trudeau Saturday night after Brian Mulroney got a standing ovation for singing When Irish Eyes are Smiling during a cancer benefit at the U.S. President’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. It’s the same song the former Progressive Conservative prime minister sang together with […]

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Sarah Palin won’t be named U.S. ambassador to Canada: official

Feb 13 2017 — Robert Fife — The White House has assured Canada that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will not be appointed as U.S. ambassador to Canada. A Trudeau government official says that assurance was provided to Canadian officials during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the White House on Monday. “It isn’t Sarah Palin,” the official said. American officials have […]

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Trudeau to emphasize common ground in meeting with Trump

Feb 13 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will use his first face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday to propose broad areas of co-operation to boost jobs and continental security – ranging from joint infrastructure projects to cyber and energy security and possibly Canada joining the U.S. missile-defence shield. After the Oval Office meeting, Mr. Trudeau is […]

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NAFTA talks will be wide open, says Trump’s commerce nominee Wilbur Ross

Jan 18 2017 — Robert Fife — Every aspect of the North American free-trade agreement will be on the negotiating table, and any final agreement should contain an automatic measure to reopen the deal later to address further issues, Donald Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary said on Wednesday. Billionaire turnaround specialist Wilbur Ross told a Senate confirmation hearing that reopening the 1994 […]

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Canada given advance notice of Trump’s NAFTA demands

Jan 18 2017 — Robert Fife — Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, chosen by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to reshape U.S. trade policy, has informed Canada that rules of origin and independent dispute tribunals will be central to talks aimed at resetting the North American free-trade agreement. Canadian officials say the nominee for commerce secretary has indicated a formal-notification letter to open negotiations […]

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Trudeau promotes former general Andrew Leslie to forge closer ties with U.S.

Jan 17 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will name retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie to the cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations in an effort to forge closer ties with former military commanders that are playing leading roles in president-elect Donald Trump’s administration. A senior official told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Trudeau is also reassigning some of his […]

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Russia hints it could lift Freeland ban

Jan 11 2017 — Robert Fife — Russia has opened the door to lifting a travel ban on Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland if Canada removes economic sanctions and visa bans against Moscow over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. The Russian news agency Sputnik quoted an unidentified Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying the travel ban on Ms. Freeland will remain […]

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Freeland tasked by Trudeau to negotiate with Trump administration

Jan 11 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made Chrystia Freeland the new foreign affairs minister, giving her total control of U.S. relations and the challenge of stickhandling the America-first trade policy of incoming president Donald Trump. Mr. Trudeau shuffled his cabinet Tuesday in a move that saw him demote underperformers and promote a trio of rookie MPs […]

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Trudeau to shuffle cabinet before Trump inauguration

Jan 9 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in the midst of planning a cabinet shake-up as the Liberal government gears up for the challenge of dealing with an unpredictable Donald Trump presidency and his espousal of protectionist policies. Mr. Trudeau and top advisers have been meeting over the past week on the design of the new cabinet […]

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PMO held talks with Trump team to avert trade war

Jan 9 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted lieutenants have held talks with top advisers to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in an attempt to avert a costly trade war between the neighbouring nations. Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts, chief of staff Katie Telford and Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, have met several times […]

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Ottawa offers to renegotiate NAFTA in effort to warm ties with Trump

Nov 10 2016 — Robert Fife — The federal government has offered to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement, a gesture of goodwill to Donald Trump as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to work “very closely” with the incoming president to foster greater continental prosperity. Mr. Trump campaigned on upgrading the 1994 trade pact during the election and vowed to tear up […]