National Newswatch

As MacKay jumps in, Chong considering run for Conservative leader if there’s a ‘clear’ path to victory

Jan 25 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Michael Chong will only run for the party’s leadership if there’s a “clear path to victory,” a source close to the Conservative MP tells the Star. Chong, who placed fifth in the party’s 2017 leadership contest, is “still deliberating” on whether he’ll run a second time. “Last time he ran for leader, he proposed to […]

Poilievre says he’d let Conservative MPs introduce abortion legislation, but that it wouldn’t pass

Jan 22 2020 — Alex Boutilier — Pierre Poilievre says that under his leadership, Conservative MPs would be free to bring forward legislation on abortion and vote according to their conscience. But the Ottawa-area MP, who has yet to officially announce his bid to lead the party, told the Star that no such legislation would be adopted under a Conservative government led […]

Spy agency says Canadians are targets of foreign influence campaigns

Dec 19 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Canadians are more exposed to “influence” operations than ever before according to an internal assessment from the country’s electronic spy agency. A 2018 memo from the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) warned the rise of “web technology” like social media, along with Canadians’ changing habits for consuming media, make the population much more likely to encounter […]

Scheer facing an internal audit over use of Conservative Party funds

Dec 13 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is facing an internal audit over the use of party funds to cover his children’s private school tuition. Two sources told the Star Friday night that the Conservative Fund board, which manages the party’s finances and counts former prime minister Stephen Harper as a member, has ordered a forensic audit […]

Erin O’Toole and Peter MacKay are preparing to enter the race to replace Andrew Scheer

Dec 13 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Former Conservative cabinet ministers Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole are both putting together teams as they prepare to enter the race to replace Andrew Scheer. Conservative sources speaking on background confirmed that camps for both MacKay and O’Toole have been making calls to Conservative activists Friday, a day after Scheer announced he would step aside […]

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 […]