National Newswatch

Liberals bring in new rules for CSIS to make the spy agency more accountable

Nov 20 2019 — Alex Boutilier — The Liberal government has issued a broad new directive requiring more accountability from Canada’s domestic spy agency, the Star has learned. The updated rules require the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to be more upfront with its political masters on its operations and techniques, including informing the public safety minister before undertaking “high risk” intelligence operations. […]

CSIS ran ‘high risk’ spy operations without telling government

Nov 16 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Canada’s domestic intelligence agency repeatedly broke rules by authorizing “high risk” spy operations without the knowledge of its political masters. Documents obtained by the Star show then-public safety minister Ralph Goodale was informed in June 2018 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service failed to inform him of “human source operations assessed as posing a high […]

Scheer and Trudeau set for first post-election meeting

Nov 11 2019 — Alex Boutilier — The issue of Western alienation will loom large over the Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday as Justin Trudeau holds meetings with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. Trudeau and Scheer are scheduled to meet for the first time since October’s federal election, which returned Trudeau’s Liberals to power with a minority government. Moe, […]

Scheer hopes for ‘clear mandate’ from Conservative rank and file, so what does that mean?

Oct 29 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Andrew Scheer is hoping for a “clear mandate” when his party’s grassroots gathers in Toronto in April to decide the Conservative leaders’ political fate. But what’s not clear is what a “clear mandate” would actually look like. Scheer has faced a week of open speculation about whether he can continue as the Conservative party’s leader […]

Anti-choice group attacks Scheer for not defending social conservative values

Oct 25 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Beset by questions over whether his social conservative positions lost Andrew Scheer the election, the Conservative leader is being attacked by social conservatives for failing to stand up for them. The Campaign Life Coalition, an anti-abortion organization with clout, accused Scheer of “abandoning his principles” by failing to stand against equal marriage rights and access […]

Conservatives want Canadians to justify travelling to extremist ‘hot spots’

Oct 13 2019 — Alex Boutilier — A Conservative proposal to make Canadians proactively justify travelling to “terrorism hot spots” is raising eyebrows among experts researching national security and foreign fighters. The Conservatives said Friday they’d create a “reverse onus” for Canadians travelling to regions with known terrorist activity to justify that travel. The party said the idea is aimed at making

Conservative plan would cut $35.4B to balance books

Oct 11 2019 — Alex Boutilier — The Conservatives are promising $35.4 billion in spending cuts over five years to make good on their pledge to balance the federal books if they are elected to form Canada’s next government. Most of the big-ticket items in the election platform released Friday by Leader Andrew Scheer — a cut in the income tax, a […]

Conservative campaign pulls altered image of Liberals’ policy paper

Oct 7 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Andrew Scheer’s campaign says it altered an image purported to be a Liberal party policy proposal for the sake of “brevity,” but took it down after questions were raised about its authenticity. At a time when concerns have been raised about misinformation and falsehoods propagating online during the federal election, the Conservatives edited a leaked […]

Andrew Scheer completed one of four insurance broker courses, industry association says

Oct 1 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer completed just one of four required courses to become an insurance broker, according to the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan. Scheer has faced questions over suggestions that he sold insurance before being elected as the 25-year-old MP for Regina-Qu’Appelle. Scheer has repeatedly held up his time at a Regina insurance company, […]

Liberals outspend Conservatives nearly three to one on social media

Sep 20 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party are outspending Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives nearly three to one on social media advertising in the lead up to October’s federal election. Data compiled by, which comes from Facebook’s own ad library, shows that since July 1 the Liberals have spent $738,715 in advertising on Facebook and Instagram. The […]

Scheer travels in Ford country without Ford

Sep 13 2019 — Alex Boutilier — The Scheer campaign was somewhere around Mississauga when Premier Doug Ford’s absence became conspicuous. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer spent the early days of the federal election campaign stumping in Ford country — Vaughan and Mississauga, Etobicoke and Brampton. All places Ford’s Progressive Conservatives won big in 2018 on their way to a majority government. All […]

Poll shows Conservatives hold a slight lead as the campaign begins

Sep 12 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives maintain a slight lead over their Liberal rivals as the federal campaign kicks off, according to new data from Forum Research. In a survey of 1,001 Canadian voters Wednesday, Forum found that 36.3 per cent would support the Conservatives if a vote were held today, while 32.4 per cent would vote Liberal. […]

Scheer to launch Conservative campaign Wednesday

Sep 9 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will take the initiative Wednesday and officially launch his bid to become Canada’s next prime minister. Sources tell the Star the Conservatives will kickoff their election campaign Wednesday, rather than wait for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to head to Rideau Hall and officially call the general election. The Conservative move […]