National Newswatch

PMO to hold mandatory sexual-harassment training for staffers

Jan 8 2019 — Abbas Rana — The Prime Minister’s Office plans to hold a day of mandatory training sessions for all ministerial exempt staff and parliamentary staffers on the Hill while the House is in recess. The two sessions, one in each official language, will be held Wednesday, according to an email sent by the Liberal Research Bureau to all Liberal […]

Liberals should be ‘exceptionally concerned’ about potential recession in 2019, voters’ anxiety on ‘unrestricted immigration,’ says Nanos

Dec 17 2018 — Abbas Rana — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Liberals should be “exceptionally concerned” about the “very negative economic mood right now” in Canada, with potential for a recession in 2019, and the Conservatives’ attempts to paint Liberals as supporters of “unrestricted immigration,” as the combined effect could become a serious problem for the party in the next election. “There’s […]

Amid holiday festivities, Liberal leadership warns MPs, Hill staffers about ‘zero tolerance’ for harassment, confidential memo shows

Dec 12 2018 — Abbas Rana — ‘Jokes in bad taste, comments about a colleague’s physical appearance, sustained looks, etc. can constitute harassment,’ reads the memo sent out Liberal MPs, and staffers. With Christmas parties on the Hill and in constituency offices across the country underway, the Liberal leadership sent out a memo on Tuesday evening, warning MPs, Hill staff, including exempt […]

‘Alberta is angry,’ says political strategist who predicts big trouble there for Trudeau’s Liberals in 2019

Dec 10 2018 — Abbas Rana — The federal government needs to put in place a strategy to help retrain workers in the fossil-fuel industry to transition to the green-energy sector, says an Alberta NDP MP. But unless construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline starts now and with Albertans “super angry,” the Liberals should forget about winning any seat in the province […]

NDP MP Cullen wants Canada Elections commissioner to investigate Grewal’s April $600,000 fundraiser, Grewal’s lawyer says he did nothing wrong

Dec 6 2018 — Abbas Rana — NDP MP Nathan Cullen has asked Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Coté to investigate an April fundraiser organized by rookie MP Raj Grewal who is said to have raised $600,000 in one night. Mr. Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley, B.C.) said he sent a letter to Mr. Coté on Thursday morning, citing unanswered questions to the Liberal-turned-Independent […]

Instead of worrying about Scheer’s performance, Conservatives should be concerned about Bernier as a ‘disrupter’ in next election, says pollster Nanos

Dec 3 2018 — Abbas Rana — Even if Maxime Bernier and his newly launched People’s Party don’t make any significant electoral gains in the House in 2019, they’ll still be “disrupters and a nuisance” for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, whose party could lose some seats, especially in closely contested ridings if the vote is divided on the right, says leading pollster […]

‘The risk is there’: marijuana legalization unpopular in ridings with high Chinese-Canadian populations, says former Ontario Liberal minister Chan

Nov 12 2018 — Abbas Rana — Federal Liberal ridings with high proportions of Chinese-Canadians could be in jeopardy in 2019 if the party fails to do more to explain the rationale behind marijuana legalization, because Chinese-Canadians have deep-rooted apprehensions about drug use of any kind and some incorrectly see it as a “precursor to cocaine legalization,” say politicos. “They [Chinese-Canadians] don’t […]

MPs concerned about political polarization in U.S., some blame Trump’s rhetoric for emboldening alt-right extremists

Nov 5 2018 — Abbas Rana — MPs across party lines say they’re concerned about the increase in intensity and frequency of violent race- and religion-based incidents, condemning the Pittsburgh shooting, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history, and some, including the former U.S. ambassador to Canada, are blaming U.S> President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric, saying it’s emboldening alt-right […]

Trudeau, Scheer say next election campaign likely to be nastiest in Canada’s history, setting each other up to run nastiest campaign ever

Oct 29 2018 — Abbas Rana — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are both publicly saying the next election campaign will be the nastiest one ever because they’re strategically setting each other up to run the nastiest ever and signalling to their party bases to be prepared for campaign war, say Conservative and Liberal MPs and pollsters. But […]

Liberal officials threaten to dismiss Brome-Missisquoi riding association execs if they don’t stop demanding Paradis run in open nomination

Oct 22 2018 — Abbas Rana — Three federal Quebec Liberals officials are threatening to dismiss the Liberal riding association’s executive in Brome-Missisquoi, Que., if they don’t stop demanding that incumbent Liberal MP Denis Paradis, who’s already been nominated, face an open nomination contest for the 2019 election, say the riding association’s current and former presidents. “It is somewhat troubling to be […]

Former Hill staffer Wernick wants MPs to sign pledge to bring about ‘a long-term culture change’ on the Hill

Oct 15 2018 — Abbas Rana — Paul Wernick, the former Liberal staffer who attempted suicide twice earlier this year, including once on the Hill, and went public with his story in order to publicize the darker side of working in federal politics, is now urging all MPs to sign a pledge to create “greater transparency and accountability regarding working conditions” on […]

Nomination race spending limit doubles for 2019 campaign, creating barrier to recruiting new female candidates, say MPs

Oct 1 2018 — Abbas Rana — The spending limit for federal parties’ nomination contestants in the 2019 election cycle is almost double what it was in 2015, chiefly because of the long election campaign last time around, and some say the higher donation limit is a barrier to recruiting new female candidates. “There are so many barriers to recruit women candidates, […]

Conservatives, NDP dealing with internal feuds, upbeat Trudeau Liberals ‘excited’ for fall sitting

Sep 17 2018 — Abbas Rana — While the Conservatives and the NDP deal with internal unity issues, the federal Liberals say they’re “excited” to start the fall sitting and are ready to face the electorate in October 2019 or even earlier, despite major policy issues and challenges, including signing a new NAFTA deal and building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. “We’re […]