National Newswatch

Government quietly appoints Guy Bujold interim RCMP watchdog

Oct 12 2017 — Alison Crawford — Canada’s national police force has a new watchdog — at least for the time being. While no formal appointment announcement has been made, Guy Bujold this month started serving as both interim vice-chair and acting chair of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, which handles complaints about the RCMP. Bujold, former president of the Canadian […]

Deradicalization must be tailored to Canadian cities, says expert

Oct 7 2017 — Alison Crawford — The radicalization of young Canadians is most often a local problem that requires programs tailored to specific cities, towns or even neighbourhoods. That’s one the preliminary findings by the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence. The federal government set aside $35 million over five years for the centre, which was announced in […]

Border agency reports big drop in number of long-term detainees

Sep 28 2017 — Alison Crawford — The number of people being held for more than 90 days in immigration detention centres has declined by almost a third this year over last year, according to statistics from the Canada Border Services Agency. The figures show that the number of detainees being held for three months or longer dropped by 29.9 per cent […]

Federal government challenges trade tribunal’s jurisdiction, with one eye on NAFTA

Sep 6 2017 — Alison Crawford — The Canadian government is hoping to convince the Federal Court of Appeal to stop a trade tribunal from hearing any more disputes involving big-ticket purchases covered by national security exceptions. Shared Services Canada, the federal government’s tech support agency, has asked the appeal court to review a ruling made by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal […]

Canada’s electronic spy agency to get new rules for sharing data with allies

Aug 29 2017 — Alison Crawford — The office of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is crafting a directive for how Canada’s electronic spy agency shares its foreign signals intelligence with its closest allies, the Five Eyes partners. The work follows a 2016 report from the oversight commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). In it Jean-Pierre Plouffe revealed how the agency had […]

RCMP to develop own email system because of government delays

Aug 28 2017 — Alison Crawford — After years of email crashes and outages, the RCMP had decided it can’t wait for a new harmonized email system for the entire federal government. The national police force was originally scheduled to be moved onto the long-delayed system in October 2014. Subsequent transition dates in October 2015, February 2016 and January 2017 have come […]

Trudeau heads to summit marked by widening Trump-Merkel rift

Jul 6 2017 — Alison Crawford — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives today in Hamburg, Germany for the G20 Summit having already staked out firm positions on free trade, migration and climate change that are at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump. All three issues top an ambitious agenda set by the summit’s host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “One shouldn’t expect any […]

Trudeau to meet Irish PM and the Queen ahead of G20 summit

Jul 3 2017 — Alison Crawford — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau departs this morning for Europe, where he has scheduled a couple of friendly courtesy calls ahead of what is expected to be a raucous G20 summit in Germany. Trudeau and his family are first headed first to Dublin for a meeting with Ireland’s new taoiseach (prime minister), Leo Varadkar. The Canada-EU […]

Time for civilian governance at the RCMP, watchdog says in harassment report

May 15 2017 — Alison Crawford — The RCMP has done so little to reform its dysfunctional workplace culture that the Mounties’ watchdog is calling for the federal government to introduce civilian governance of the national police force. “The RCMP will not be able to bring about the necessary change required to address its dysfunctional culture on its own,” wrote Ian McPhail, […]

Trade tribunal slams federal government on use of national security exceptions

Apr 21 2017 — Alison Crawford — The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has issued a scathing indictment of how the federal government’s IT agency has invoked national security exceptions on big ticket purchases. At issue was, among other things, a complaint from computer company Hewlett-Packard that Shared Services Canada had wrongly and arbitrarily invoked a national security exception on the $430-million contract […]

With 10,000 members, union files to represent Mounties

Apr 18 2017 — Alison Crawford — Mounties are one step closer to forming their first union. The National Police Federation filed an application for certification at the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board in Ottawa late Tuesday. The federation is seeking to represent 17,945 members of the RCMP under the rank of inspector. More than half that number have already […]