National Newswatch

Erin O’Toole rejects national standards for long-term care

Feb 9 2021 — Alex Boutilier — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is rejecting the idea of imposing national standards on long-term-care homes as provinces struggle to address the industry’s crisis. O’Toole said the “Ottawa knows best” approach is the wrong one for dealing with the crisis in long-term care, which dates back decades but has been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

If there’s a federal election soon, Erin O’Toole says he won’t be the one who causes it

Feb 9 2021 — Alex Boutilier — Canada’s economic recovery after COVID-19 will be the ballot-box question when Canadians next go to the polls, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says. Just don’t expect him to force an election any time soon. Speaking with the Star’s editorial board on Monday, O’Toole framed the next election as a choice between which party voters will trust […]

Erin O’Toole says drug offenders deserve help, not stiff penalties

Jan 26 2021 — Alex Boutilier — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he opposes “serious” penalties for simple possession of illegal drugs, but that his party will not support further legalization. Speaking to reporters in Ottawa Monday, O’Toole said that Canadians struggling with addiction deserve assistance from the government — not harsh sentences. “It’s not appropriate to have very serious penalties for […]

The storming of the Capitol has Ottawa wondering: Are we ready?

Jan 8 2021 — Alex Boutilier — Could something like it happen here? In a way, something like it already has. After Wednesday’s riot in Washington D.C., where Donald Trump’s supporters desecrated the seat of American democracy, some have asked whether such a thing could happen in Ottawa. That question overlooks that Canada has seen an increase in the threat of political […]

Canadian government appears to have dodged massive SolarWinds hack

Dec 17 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Canada appears to have dodged the massive SolarWinds hack that officials in the United States are calling a “grave threat” to all levels of that country’s government. Canadian officials confirmed to the Star on Thursday that while numerous government agencies and departments use SolarWinds’ products, they had detected no compromises related to the hack. “None […]

‘I wasn’t planning on making any of that public.’ Tory MPP caught in ugly nomination battle

Dec 15 2020 — Alex Boutilier — A Progressive Conservative MPP says her own party has raised the stakes in her bitter nomination battle with a veteran political strategist in the federal riding of Thornhill. The fight has pitted Gila Martow, who currently represents the riding at Queen’s Park, against Melissa Lantsman, who worked on the PCs’ winning 2018 election campaign, for […]

Conservatives have ignored the climate crisis at their peril — and party insiders say Erin O’Toole knows it

Dec 9 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Erin O’Toole is expected to put significant emphasis on climate change and environmental policies in the Conservatives’ next election pitch in a bid to broaden the party’s appeal beyond its traditional base. Addressing the climate crisis has not been a central part of the modern Conservative Party’s electoral pitch. But two senior Conservative sources suggested […]

Conservative MP draws fire for George Soros comment that Liberals call ‘anti-Semitic’

Dec 9 2020 — Alex Boutilier — A Conservative MP is denying charges of anti-Semitism after someone yelled “George Soros” as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Barrie-Innisfill MP John Brassard refused to apologize after the Liberals called him out for allegedly invoking the billionaire philanthropist — who is the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories […]

As COVID-19 surges in conservative-led provinces, federal Tories save their criticism for Ottawa

Nov 26 2020 — Alex Boutilier — With COVID-19 surging and provinces struggling to contain the pandemic’s second wave, the federal Conservatives have a delicate political task of pushing the federal government on its response without placing blame on the provinces. Most of the provinces where the pandemic is resurgent — Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta — are governed by conservatives, […]