National Newswatch

Shared Services Canada to begin talks on allowing federal departments to ‘opt out’ from centralized IT service

Jul 19 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Shared Services Canada is exploring transferring some responsibilities for federal information technology systems back to individual departments and agencies, in the wake of legislative changes weakening the agency’s monopoly on digital services. Pat Breton, director general of procurement and vendor relations with SSC, said the agency has started reaching out to the 43 federal departments […]

Liberal MPs call on PM to choose first indigenous governor general in name of ‘reconciliation’

Jul 12 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Indigenous Liberal MPs are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to nominate for appointment Canada’s first governor general of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit descent, which they say would honour the spirit of reconciliation with the country’s First Peoples. “I think if the next governor general was an indigenous person, it would be incredibly significant for […]

Coast Guard ship that underwent $9-million in repairs in 2009 sells for $373,000

Mar 22 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — A decommissioned Coast Guard ship that underwent $9-million in repairs in 2009 only to be permanently docked four years later has been sold for $373,000 after being offered for sale on the government’s surplus website. “It’s outrageous,” NDP MP and party procurement critic Erin Weir (Regina-Lewvan, Sask.) told The Hill Times. “The current Liberal government […]

CNN, Daily Caller seek press gallery membership amid growing global interest in Canadian politics

Mar 15 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s global advocacy for liberal pluralism in an era of growing right-wing populism is sparking renewed interest among international news outlets in covering Canadian politics, says columnist Andrew Cohen, as CNN rejoins the Parliamentary Press Gallery for the first time in two decades. “In a world in which some would say trends […]

Feds set aside $545-million to finance new contracts reached with big unions

Feb 22 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — After more than a year in office, the Liberal government has reached tentative agreements with several large bargaining units representing thousands of civil servants, though those without deals are signalling they won’t settle until they get exactly what they want. Alain Belle-Isle, a spokesperson for the Treasury Board Secretariat, said in an emailed response to […]

Liberals accused of backing away from EI break after pledge disappears from mandate letter

Feb 8 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Opposition MPs are accusing the Liberal government of reneging on a promise to temporarily waive employment insurance premiums for businesses hiring young workers after the pledge failed to appear on the revised mandate letter for the new labour minister. “It appears they have dropped this promise to small businesses and young people,” said Conservative MP […]

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson will not seek reappointment

Feb 3 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson will not seek reappointment when her mandate expires later this year, ending months of speculation about her future in the position. Marie-Danielle Vachon, communications and policy director for the commissioner’s office, told The Hill Times on Thursday night that Ms. Dawson would not seek another mandate when […]

Ministerial mandate letters to be revised following shuffle, says PMO

Jan 25 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — The six Liberal MPs that assumed new ministerial portfolios as part of an early January cabinet shuffle will receive revised mandate letters, The Hill Times has learned. The Trudeau government broke with tradition in 2015 by releasing to the public the mandate letters provided to cabinet ministers. Those letters lay out what the ministers are […]

Ex-Senate Liberal leader Cowan says Trudeau’s changes could radically transform Upper Chamber into passive advisory panel

Jan 11 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — As former Senate leader James Cowan prepares to leave the Upper Chamber, he’s warning that major reforms introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lessen partisanship threaten to transform the legislative body into a passive advisory panel. Sen. Cowan (Nova Scotia), who will step down on Jan. 22 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age for […]

Liberals look to edge out Conservatives in fundraising after failing to overtake Tories for most of 2016

Jan 11 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — The Liberals and NDP start 2017 looking to gain ground on the Conservatives in the race for donations, as the Tories’ well-oiled fundraising machine continues to outpace its rivals despite being relegated to the opposition ranks and lacking a permanent leader. In a year dominated by stories of high-priced, exclusive Liberal fundraisers, and allegations of […]

Twelve cabinet ministers and PM Trudeau dipped into exclusive gift bank in Liberals’ first year

Dec 16 2016 — Marco Vigliotti — Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould were the most frequent customers at the federal government’s high-end gift shop during the Liberals’ first year in power. Mr. Carr (Winnipeg South Centre, Man.) picked up 32 items valued at $3,567 from the official gift shop between November 2015 and […]

If Trans Mountain decision becomes ballot box question, Vancouver-area MPs Wilkinson, Beech could be vulnerable, says pollster

Dec 7 2016 — Marco Vigliotti — It remains too early to predict how the Trudeau government’s decision to approve the expansion of the contentious Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline will affect the popularity of Liberal MPs in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, though if it does emerge as a ballot box issue, Jonathan Wilkinson and Terry Beech could be the most vulnerable […]

Ex-PMO aide Bruce Carson fined $50,000 for illegal lobbying

Nov 4 2016 — Marco Vigliotti — Bruce Carson, a former adviser to prime minister Stephen Harper, has been fined $50,000 for illegal lobbying. Justice Catherine Kehoe with the Ontario Court of Justice delivered the ruling in an Ottawa courthouse Friday morning. Mr. Carson, who served in the prime minister’s office from 2006 to 2008, and briefly in 2009, was found guilty […]

Hecklers aside, Trudeau remains popular with younger votes, say pollsters, strategist

Nov 2 2016 — Marco Vigliotti — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to attract strong support from large stretches of the Canadian electorate, including younger voters, despite encountering a boisterous protest during a youth workers forum last week in Ottawa, pollsters say. “Leaving the incidents aside, his current approval level is solid across the demographics and he actually does better with younger […]