National Newswatch

Inside the government’s $200,000 budget artwork

Oct 20 2017 — Alex Ballingall — Between Feb. 1 and March 13 of this year, functionaries in some of the most powerful corners of the federal government, including the finance department and Prime Minister’s Office, were seized with a series of pressing questions. Should the teenage boy on the cover of the upcoming budget, for instance, be really happy with a […]

Are Canadians open to voting for a turban-wearing Sikh?

Oct 6 2017 — Alex Ballingall — Most Canadians are open to voting for someone who wears a turban and a Sikh kirpan dagger, a new poll finds. The online survey of 1,477 people this week by the Angus Reid Institute found that 69 per cent of respondents would consider voting for a Sikh man who wears those religious symbols. But half […]

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ in U.S. decision to slap 220 per cent duty on Canada’s Bombardier jets

Sep 27 2017 — Alex Ballingall — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined the chorus of condemnation over a U.S. government decision to slap a 220 per cent duty on the sale of Bombardier jets, stating Wednesday that he’s “disappointed” by the move and vowing to fight for Canadian jobs. In Quebec, where the Montreal-based company employs thousands of workers, Premier Philippe […]

Canada’s top NAFTA negotiator says U.S. hasn’t proposed changes to thorny issues

Sep 25 2017 — Alex Ballingall — Canada’s lead NAFTA negotiator doesn’t expect the United States to make demands for the dairy sector during the third round of talks this week, and said American officials still haven’t proposed changes to some of the thorniest issues of the agreement, including on car manufacturing and dispute resolution mechanisms. Steve Verheul, chief trade negotiator with […]

NDP’s Charlie Angus leaves the door open for oil pipelines — with many strings attached

Sep 18 2017 — Alex Ballingall — NDP leadership contender Charlie Angus isn’t ruling out his support for future oil pipelines, but says new resource projects should only go ahead if they are approved under a more robust environmental review system that properly consults Indigenous communities and doesn’t make Canada miss its emissions targets. “The fact is, without social licence, projects are […]

Jack Layton led the NDP to a breakthrough, but can any of the four leadership candidates recreate the Orange Wave?

Sep 16 2017 — Alex Ballingall — Shortly before Christmas last year, Guy Caron travelled to Toronto and met Jagmeet Singh for breakfast. The race for the leadership of the New Democratic Party was barely a whisper in the national consciousness, but it was front of mind for these men. Caron, a friendly 49-year-old MP from Rimouski, Que., had heard stories of […]

Bromance begone: Gerald Butts must ‘disavow’ reported friendship with Steve Bannon, NDP leader says

Aug 16 2017 — Alex Ballingall — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is calling on the prime minister’s senior adviser to “immediately disavow” his reported friendship with Donald Trump’s controversial strategist and alt-right champion, Steve Bannon. In an article published online Tuesday, the New Yorker reported that Gerald Butts struck up a friendship with Bannon after they first met in the wake of […]

Meet NAFTA negotiator Steve Verheul — the most important Canadian you’ve (probably) never heard of

Aug 14 2017 — Alex Ballingall — Just weeks after Canada concluded the arduous, seven-year negotiation to ink a trade deal with the European Union, Steve Verheul boarded a plane for Washington, D.C. Verheul had recently been lauded in the House of Commons for his leading role in landing that agreement. Conservative MP Gerry Ritz, a cabinet minister in the Harper government […]