National Newswatch

MacKay, O’Toole lay out their post-pandemic economic plans. And neither is rushing to balance the books

May 28 2020 — Alex Boutilier — If you’re a Conservative voter who believes in balancing the budget above all else, you might want to avert your eyes for the next few years. Leadership front-runners Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole both released their ideas for Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery this week. And while both candidates stressed the need to stabilize federal finances, […]

Ottawa’s gun legislation will effectively allow cities to ban handguns

May 25 2020 — Alex Boutilier — The Liberals upcoming gun control legislation will allow municipalities to effectively ban handguns within their boundaries while setting national standards on how the weapons can be stored and used. While stopping short of a national handgun ban, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told the Star that new rules will allow municipalities to rule that handguns […]

Why CSIS is changing the way it talks about extremist threats, including ‘incel’ violence

May 20 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Canada’s domestic intelligence agency is changing how it talks about extremist threats, adopting a broader vocabulary to include violence inspired by “incels,” ethno-nationalists and other fringe groups. The move comes just a day after authorities laid Canada’s first incel-related terrorism charge against a 17-year old accused of fatally stabbing a woman at a North York […]

MacKay campaign boasts big membership sales as Conservative race enters next phase

May 16 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Peter MacKay’s campaign claims to have signed up the most new members eligible to vote in the Conservatives’ upcoming leadership contest in the party’s history. But strategists and party insiders say it’s not how many members a campaign signs up, it’s where those members live in the Conservatives’ riding-weighted leadership contest. If MacKay’s boast is […]

Canada’s COVID-19 research ‘a valuable target’ to foreign spies, intelligence agencies warn

May 14 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Canadian health researchers and organizations working on the national response to COVID-19 are facing a heightened risk of state-sponsored hacking and espionage, the country’s intelligence agencies tell the Star. In a rare joint statement, Canada’s two main intelligence agencies — the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment — said state-sponsored actors have […]

Canada stays quiet as China’s handling of COVID-19 comes under scrutiny

May 7 2020 — Alex Boutilier — As Canada’s closest allies call for a probe into China’s early handling of the coronavirus outbreak, Ottawa is steering clear of the issue — and for good reasons, experts say. The federal government is calling for a comprehensive “postcrisis review” into the COVID-19 pandemic, including the virus’s origins and how countries and the World Health […]

Federal Conservatives look at August 21 for leadership vote

Apr 29 2020 — Alex Boutilier — The Conservative Party is eyeing Aug. 21 as a possible date to select their next leader, the Star has learned. The party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) suspended the race to replace Andrew Scheer indefinitely on March 26. At the time, the committee said the vote, originally scheduled for June 27, was made impossible by […]

In emergency meeting, Ontario’s Conservative MPs demand leadership candidate apologize for attack on Dr. Theresa Tam

Apr 29 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Ontario’s Conservative MPs are demanding an apology from leadership candidate Derek Sloan after he questioned the loyalty of Canada’s chief public health officer. The party’s 36-member Ontario caucus held an emergency meeting Tuesday evening to discuss Sloan’s comments, and voted overwhelmingly to demand the rookie MP apologize to Dr. Theresa Tam, according to three sources […]

Conservative leadership front-runner Peter MacKay self-isolating after relatives’ vacation to Mexico

Mar 29 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Peter MacKay is self-isolating. The presumptive front-runner in the Conservative leadership campaign had sought to avoid this, keeping himself separate from his family after they returned from a holiday in Mexico and they then entered into isolation per Canada’s rules to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus. According to his camp, Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay and […]

Liberals should halt police and private use of Clearview AI, NDP says

Mar 2 2020 — Alex Boutilier — The Liberal government is being asked to impose a sweeping moratorium on police and private businesses’ use of Clearview AI until Parliament and privacy regulators can investigate the controversial facial recognition company. The RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, and more than a dozen private businesses and law enforcement agencies across the country have confirmed to […]