National Newswatch

Scheer promises coast-to-coast energy corridor as he outlines economic vows

May 16 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer pledged Thursday to pursue a coast-to-coast energy corridor, achieve Canadian oil independence within a decade and adjust mortgage rules with the aim of making home-buying more affordable. With the federal election less than six months away, Scheer used a speech Thursday in Toronto to share his economic pitch to voters. The address tried to sell the […]

Bank of Canada identifies climate change as important economic weak spot

May 16 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is highlighting its expanding concerns about climate change and, for the first time, is listing it among the top weak spots for the economy and the financial system. The central bank's financial system health report Thursday included climate change as an important vulnerability, elevating it to a category alongside its long-running worries […]

Canadian inflation rises in April; gas prices strengthen from carbon pricing

May 15 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada's annual inflation rate picked up its pace in April for a third-straight month due in part to stronger gasoline prices in provinces with new carbon-pricing systems. The consumer price index posted a year-over-year increase of two per cent last month, up from its reading of 1.9 per cent in March and 1.5 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said Wednesday […]

Alex Trebek in Ottawa to open Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s new HQ

May 13 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canadian "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek recently completed what he hopes will be his last chemotherapy treatment, he told the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Monday afternoon as he helped open the group's new headquarters in Ottawa. "That stuff really kicks the slats out of you," he told his audience. Trebek, 78, is the society's honorary […]

Visa rejections frustrate efforts to bring in more international students

May 11 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — At a time when Canada is attracting more students from around the world, there are concerns qualified applicants from certain countries are getting turned away because of its visa process. Most students have been coming to Canada in recent years from India and China. Fazley Siddiq, a University of New Brunswick professor who served as dean of the business […]

Canada’s labour market surprises with record-breaking employment gain

May 10 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada's labour market delivered a surprise Friday with its biggest one-month employment gain since the government started collecting comparable data in 1976. The country added 106,500 net jobs in April, the bulk of which were full time, Statistics Canada said in its latest labour force survey. The rush of new jobs far surpassed market forecasts and helped drop the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, down […]

Ex-Tory MP Del Mastro accuses Elections Canada of ‘personal vendetta’

May 9 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — A former Conservative MP who spent time behind bars for electoral offences is accusing Canada's elections commissioner of having a personal vendetta against him — and he wants a parliamentary investigation. Dean Del Mastro was convicted of failing to report a $21,000 contribution he made to his own 2008 re-election campaign, overspending and knowingly filing a false report. […]

Warawa bids emotional farewell to MPs, calls for more access to palliative care

May 7 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Conservative MP Mark Warawa used his emotional farewell address to the House Commons on Tuesday to call for changes that will ensure more Canadians have access to palliative care. Warawa, who is facing his own battle with cancer, also urged parliamentarians "to love one another, to encourage each other, because God loves us." Lawmakers from different political parties struggled to hold back tears as […]

Bank of Canada’s Poloz issues ‘call to arms’ for mortgage market innovations

May 6 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says it's time for fresh ideas when it comes to Canadians' mortgage options. Poloz used a speech Monday to call for more choice in the country's mortgage marketplace. He made arguments in favour of several possibilities such as encouraging borrowers to choose renewal terms longer than five years, the creation of a market for private, mortgage-based […]

Canadian firm WSP finding new work in Saudi Arabia despite diplomatic dispute

May 3 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — At least one Canadian-based company is optimistic about its prospects in Saudi Arabia, a bullishness that comes as businesses fret about their future in the kingdom following a diplomatic battle with Ottawa.  WSP Global Inc., an engineering firm headquartered in Montreal, has continued to land infrastructure work in Saudi Arabia even after a dispute erupted with Canada last summer, […]

To excel in the automated world Canada shouldn’t forget the liberal arts: study

May 2 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada can better prepare for a technologically disrupted future by producing more liberal-arts graduates, says a new report by the Royal Bank of Canada. The bank's study found that as more workplaces go deeper into automated labour there will be a growing need for people who have well-honed human skills in areas such as critical thinking, communications, active listening and curiosity. These […]

Morneau insists LNG export terminal shows Canada can deliver big projects

May 1 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a $40-billion operation to eventually ship liquefied natural gas to Asia from Canada's west coast shows the country can still get major projects done, despite corporate complaints about regulatory hurdles. The federal Liberals have been facing criticism from some political foes and business leaders over Canada's regulations, including those blamed for holding […]

Tensions with China ‘do not play out in our project at all’: LNG Canada CEO

Apr 30 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The head of LNG Canada says Ottawa's trade and diplomatic frictions with Beijing "do not play out" at all in the massive project that will one day ship liquefied natural gas from British Columbia to major Asian economies — including China. PetroChina, a state-controlled Chinese energy giant, owns a 15-per-cent stake in the $40-billion project, a Royal Dutch Shell-led joint venture that includes other Asian partners. The project […]

Scheer demands Canada pull funds from Chinese multilateral development bank

Apr 29 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to answer China's ban on Canadian canola shipments by pulling hundreds of millions of dollars Ottawa has committed to Beijing's multilateral development bank. Scheer held a news conference Monday to press Trudeau to address the canola feud by cutting off Canada's funding commitment to China's Asian Infrastructure […]

False vaccine claims spread online by bots, trolls: top public-health doc

Apr 26 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health officer says the fight against vaccine-related misinformation on social media is being further complicated by the emergence of online bots designed to sow mistrust. Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday in Ottawa that bots have been spreading false claims about vaccinations and increasing tensions on the issue. The misinformation on social media, she added, is at least partly to […]