National Newswatch

Alberta will study already ‘compelling case’ for its exit from CPP: Kenney

Nov 7 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says there's a "compelling case" to be made for his province to exit the half-century-old Canada Pension Plan — an idea sure to face increasing scrutiny over the coming months. With growing frustrations in his province about its place in the federation, Kenney has revealed that a deeper analysis is on the way to consider Alberta's potential withdrawal from the national pension plan.  […]

Youth not employed or in school face poorer mental, physical health: study

Nov 5 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — A new study is offering what it calls a rare look at the health and psychological impacts endured by Canadian youth who are not working, training or studying. The Statistics Canada research said 11.1 per cent of youth, aged 18 to 29 years old, found themselves without work, studies or training opportunities, putting them at risk of persistent social and economic challenges. The results were based on […]

Big business makes post-election pitch to incoming federal government

Oct 29 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Big business is adding its voice to a broader call for economy-lifting changes in Canada following an election campaign widely criticized for its dearth of deep policy discussion. The Business Council of Canada, a lobby group representing chief executives of the largest corporations, has released a report underlining its concerns around obstacles like the aging […]

Business leaders warn of glaring campaign omission: lack of economic game plans

Oct 27 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Business leaders want Canada's newly elected lawmakers to shift their attention to the economy following an election campaign that sorely lacked a critical conversation: how to secure the country's future prosperity. Much of the campaign's focus zeroed in on pocketbook commitments, which were designed to win individual voter support. Pledges emphasized redistribution of government money, with […]

Scheer, Singh campaign in their parties’ regions of relative strength

Sep 28 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh kept their campaign machines rolling Saturday — and they focused their efforts on their parties' historic strongholds. Scheer promoted the Conservatives' pledge to build a national energy corridor during a stop in Edmonton, where he took the stage with an old friend: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Scheer, […]

Canada’s top 1% saw fastest income acceleration, overall decrease in taxes

Sep 25 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — The incomes of Canada's top one per cent grew at a faster pace than everyone else in 2017 — and, overall, they saw their taxes edge down, a new study says. Statistics Canada has found that in 2017, the average total income of all tax-filers rose 2.5 per cent to $48,400 compared to the previous year. The average income growth of the bottom half of tax filers […]

Canada’s top 1% saw fastest income acceleration, overall decrease in taxes

Sep 25 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — The incomes of Canada's top one per cent grew at a faster pace than everyone else in 2017 — and, overall, they saw their taxes edge down, says a new study. Statistics Canada has found that in 2017 the average total income of all tax-filers rose 2.5 per cent to $48,400 compared to the previous year. The average income growth of the bottom half of tax filers […]

Federal government posts $14B shortfall in 2018-19

Sep 17 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — The federal government ran a $14-billion deficit in 2018-19, according to its latest annual financial report, the third year in a row with a shortfall bigger than $10 billion. The deficit for the fiscal year that ended March 31 was $900 million smaller than the government projected in last spring's federal budget, however. Revenues in 2018-19 expanded by $21 […]

Political parties urged to commit to policies for data-driven economy

Sep 11 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Chambers of commerce from Canada's biggest cities will release a campaign wish list Wednesday urging political parties to commit to establishing national data-governance standards, making government research more available for businesses and fully harnessing the value of intellectual property. These issues are likely to draw more attention from politicians than in the past. Experts, however, have doubts any party will go far enough to prepare Canada to compete […]

New book assesses Trudeau government’s record of living up to pledges

Aug 25 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal election campaign is offering policy geeks a comprehensive take on whether Justin Trudeau lived up to his 2015 vows. At the heart of the 237-page publication — the product of work from two dozen Canadian academics — is an analysis of 353 Liberal pre-election promises and an evaluation of how many have actually been fulfilled since Trudeau's team took office. In short, […]

Timing of Bank of Canada’s next statement gives it potential to tinge election

Aug 23 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Canadians last heard the Bank of Canada's take on the economy in the early days of summer — and the timing of its next update has the potential to tinge political debate during the federal election campaign. Since the bank's most recent public comments in early July, there's mounting evidence of a slowing global economy mostly due to the escalating U.S.-China trade war — including a fresh […]

SNC-Lavalin controversy tails PM to Quebec, where affair has different impact

Aug 19 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Questions about the SNC-Lavalin affair Monday trailed Justin Trudeau to Quebec — the seat-rich province at the centre of the controversy, and a place where the prime minister could conceivably limit the damage. A stinging report last week by federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion concluded that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop a criminal prosecution […]

EDC expresses regret for US$41M loan to back Bombardier sale to Zuma allies

Aug 14 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Canada's export credit agency says it regrets its 2015 decision to lend US$41 million to a South African company owned by members of a family facing corruption allegations related to their ties to former president Jacob Zuma. In the months and years that followed, the agency became increasingly concerned about the loan it provided to Westdawn Investments to backstop the sale of a […]

Prospect of U.S.-China trade deal creates access worries for Canadian farmers

Aug 13 2019 — Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — China's move to stop buying several Canadian agricultural products has punished some farmers, and now industry leaders are worrying about the prospect of a broader threat — an eventual U.S.-China trade deal. Canadian exports of beef, pork, canola and soybeans have largely been locked out of the massive Chinese market following the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Meng was detained on an extradition […]