National Newswatch

Liberal ministers, MPs were ‘accosting’ senators to vote against amended budget bill, senator says

Jun 21 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Senior Liberal cabinet ministers and MPs with the party engaged in last-minute lobbying efforts outside the Senate chamber Tuesday evening, trying to fend off efforts to amend the government’s budget bill. Finance Minister Bill Morneau, House leader Bardish Chagger and various Liberal MPs pulled aside a number of Senate Liberals and Independent senators on their […]

Rona Ambrose ‘worried’ about Senate delays to sexual assault training for judges bill

Jun 19 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose is worried senators are sitting on her bill that mandates sexual assault training for judges, fearing further delays could threaten the bill’s passage as a possible prorogation of Parliament looms. “I am worried, but I’m still optimistic,” Ambrose said in an interview with CBC News. “Justin Trudeau gave me […]

Governor General apologizes for saying Indigenous Peoples were immigrants

Jun 19 2017 — John Paul Tasker — In a ceremony honouring leadership on Indigenous issues at Rideau Hall, Gov. Gen. David Johnston has apologized for calling Indigenous Peoples immigrants to Canada. Johnston was referring to his comment during an interview with CBC Radio’s The House Saturday. “We’re a country based on immigration, going right back to our, quote, Indigenous people, unquote, who […]

Canada enacts protections for transgender community

Jun 16 2017 — John Paul Tasker — New federal protections for transgender Canadians are about to become law after a strong show of support for the landmark legislation in the Red Chamber. Sixty-seven of the 81 senators in attendance voted in favour of Bill C-16 Thursday evening, finally disposing of a bill that has been before Parliament for more than a year. […]

Trudeau Senate appointees poised to split infrastructure bank from budget bill

Jun 13 2017 — John Paul Tasker — In a sign that Independent senators are continuing to assert that independence, some in the Red Chamber are attempting to force the government to split off the infrastructure bank from the budget implementation bill, threatening to delay not only the creation of the bank but the government’s budget plans. Independent Quebec Senator André Pratte, one […]

Life under the Indian Act a ‘horrible existence,’ Indigenous senator says, but there’s hope

Jun 11 2017 — John Paul Tasker — One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newest Senate appointees is condemning the Indian Act and calling for a fundamental rethink of First Nations governance, pointing to his own community’s success story as a model for other Indigenous peoples to follow. Independent Nova Scotia Senator Dan Christmas, the first Mi’kmaq member of the Senate, said the […]

Madeleine Meilleur faces Senate grilling over languages post as Acadians seek review

Jun 5 2017 — John Paul Tasker — The Liberal government’s controversial pick for official languages commissioner is facing questions from senators Monday as she looks to secure Senate support for her nomination even as a prominent minority-language rights group fights her posting in court. Madeleine Meilleur, a former cabinet minister in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government, has faced a barrage of […]

Conservatives trying to ‘kill the bill’ that would make O Canada gender neutral, senator says

May 31 2017 — John Paul Tasker — The late Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger’s dream of a gender-neutral national anthem by Canada Day is likely over. Conservative Manitoba Senator Don Plett has moved an amendment to the legislation that would dump Bélanger’s proposed changes — which would replace “in all thy sons command” with “all of us command” in the English version of […]

Tory senator wants to close ‘troubling’ election loophole that leaves Canada vulnerable to foreign actors

May 31 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Conservative Senator Linda Frum is determined to stop the flow of foreign money into Canada for fear the funding of third party groups is unfairly influencing federal election campaigns, and leaving the country vulnerable to election rigging. With the federal government expected to table legislation on party fundraisers today, the Ontario senator is pressing ahead […]

Caroline Mulroney hints at future run for federal politics

May 27 2017 — John Paul Tasker — The daughter of one of Canada’s longest-serving Conservative prime ministers says she is considering a run for federal office. Caroline Mulroney was picked by the party to serve as a master of ceremonies for the leadership convention in Toronto this weekend. The prime speaking gig for the scion of former prime minister Brian Mulroney raised […]

Conservatives kick senator out of caucus ahead of dinner with Justin Trudeau

May 16 2017 — John Paul Tasker — The Conservative Senate leadership has kicked Nova Scotia Senator Stephen Greene out of the Tory caucus just hours before he was set to have dinner with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Greene, who was appointed in 2009 by former prime minister Stephen Harper, said he was “ambushed” this morning during the Conservative Senate caucus meeting and […]