National Newswatch
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Conservative senators holding legislation ‘hostage,’ Trudeau’s point man in the Red Chamber says

Apr 11 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Relations between Senator Peter Harder, the prime minister’s point man in the Senate, and Conservative senators have reached a new low, with accusations of gamesmanship, “threats,” and legislative “ambushing,” being lobbed across the aisles. The government’s representative in the Senate told CBC News that Conservative senators are determined to stymie legislative progress through the routine […]

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Conservative senators defend Lynn Beyak, as media called ‘parasites’

Apr 6 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Some Conservative senators are standing by colleague Lynn Beyak a day after she was removed from the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples committee for defending the residential school system, with one senator branding media “parasites” for trying to ask Beyak questions. CBC News asked Beyak for reaction to her removal ahead of a meeting of the Senate’s […]

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Lynn Beyak removed from Senate’s Aboriginal peoples committee

Apr 5 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Senator Lynn Beyak has been removed from the Senate’s Aboriginal peoples committee, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose told CBC News in an interview Wednesday. Ambrose said she made the decision jointly with the newly minted leader of the Conservative caucus in the Senate, Larry Smith. “I have been very clear that I do not in […]

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Don Meredith faces ethics hearing as Senate blocks media access

Apr 4 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Senator Don Meredith appeared before the Senate’s ethics committee for the first time Tuesday to make the case for why he should stay on as a member of the Red Chamber after having sexual relations with a teenage girl. Members of the committee must now decide on an appropriate sanction for Meredith after the Senate […]

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Senators oppose ‘clunky, pedestrian’ gender-neutral changes to O Canada

Apr 4 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Some members of the Senate are determined to stop Parliament from changing the words of the national anthem, with one senator deriding the late Liberal MP Mauril BĂ©langer’s proposed amendments to O Canada as “clunky, leaden and pedestrian.” Liberal Senator Joan Fraser, a self-described “ardent feminist,” said the new phrasing is both grammatically incorrect and […]

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Lynn Beyak tells residential school survivors she wants audit of all First Nations spending

Mar 30 2017 — John Paul Tasker — After hearing testimony about the atrocities committed in residential schools, Senator Lynn Beyak asked survivors at the Senate’s Aboriginal peoples committee Wednesday what they thought about her plan for a national audit on all First Nations spending. Beyak asked John Morrisseau and Doris Young, two elderly Indigenous people who faced abuse in school, if they […]

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Senator Lynn Beyak says she has ‘suffered’ with residential school survivors

Mar 27 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Senator Lynn Beyak says she doesn’t need any more education about the horrors of the residential school system because she “suffered” alongside Indigenous people who were sent to the institutions. The Conservative senator from northwestern Ontario reiterated her defence of the schools in an interview with CBC News on Monday. “I made my statements, and […]

Candidate Lisa Raitt addresses a Conservative Party leadership debate Monday, February 13, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Lisa Raitt calls for Conservative leadership ‘cheaters’ to be expelled

Mar 20 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Conservative leadership contender Lisa Raitt is calling on the party to expel any candidate who has broken the party’s rules and levy “significant” fines on their campaigns. The call comes amid a flurry of allegations of membership fraud and vote buying and a series of barbs traded between the Maxime Bernier and Kevin O’Leary camps […]

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NDP calls on Trudeau to intervene in Senate’s dealings with Don Meredith

Mar 16 2017 — John Paul Tasker — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must put pressure on the Senate to strengthen its disciplinary rules in the wake of a damning report about Senator Don Meredith and his sexual relationship with a teenager, the NDP’s democratic reform critic says. In a letter written to the prime minister Wednesday, Nathan Cullen said it is unconscionable that […]