National Newswatch

Maxime Bernier hires former ombudsman to prepare legal action against Warren Kinsella over racism claims

Dec 8 2019 — Bill Curry — Maxime Bernier is preparing a defamation case against political consultant Warren Kinsella for calling Mr. Bernier a racist and a bigot. The People’s Party of Canada Leader has hired lawyer and former Ontario ombudsman André Marin to represent him. Mr. Marin said the defamation case is focused on comments posted to Mr. Kinsella’s personal website. […]

New Minister of Middle Class Prosperity declines to provide clear definition of middle class

Nov 22 2019 — Bill Curry — Canada’s first-ever Minister of Middle Class Prosperity declined to provide a clear definition of the middle class, but she said having kids enrolled in hockey is a telltale sign. Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier was elevated to cabinet Wednesday with the new position of Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance. The title […]

Elections Canada contradicts Scheer’s claim that ruling was issued in support of Conservative advertising practices

Oct 9 2019 — Bill Curry — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says that Elections Canada issued a ruling in support of the party’s advertising practices, but the elections watchdog is contradicting that claim.The agency said it simply provided guidance to the Conservatives in an e-mail this week, including a suggestion that the party should consider how the public might perceive its advertising […]

Company co-founded by Scheer’s campaign manager receiving Tory and oil group contracts for election ads

Oct 9 2019 — Bill Curry — A company with ties to the federal Conservatives is receiving contracts to produce election ads for both the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Conservative Party.Records filed with Elections Canada show that One Persuasion Inc. – also known as One Persuades – has received four payments totalling $15,404 from CAPP, the industry group representing […]

Infrastructure Minister intervened in decision regarding performance pay for Canada Infrastructure Bank CEO

Sep 18 2019 — Bill Curry — Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne intervened in a decision by the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s independent board regarding the performance pay of the bank’s CEO, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail.The documents show that, rather than accepting the board’s recommendations, the minister applied his own “broader criteria” to assess Pierre Lavallée’s performance.How that intervention […]

Conservative Party using PBO to estimate cost of platform promises

Aug 29 2019 — Bill Curry — The Conservatives are using the Parliamentary Budget Office to help estimate the cost of the party’s election promises, in spite of concerns the new process creates a risk that their campaign announcements will be leaked. On the ninth floor of an office building just two blocks south of Parliament Hill, a team of economists and […]

Energy executives on organizing team for Conservative Party event with Andrew Scheer

Aug 2 2019 — Bill Curry — Several energy industry executives are listed as organizers for a federal Conservative Party fundraising event that featured Leader Andrew Scheer, providing another sign of how Canada’s oil patch is working to oppose the Liberal government’s record in an election year.During the June 4 event at Calgary’s Westin Hotel, Mr. Scheer chatted onstage with radio host […]

Municipalities call on federal parties to support permanent doubling of gas tax transfer

Jul 23 2019 — Bill Curry — Canada’s municipalities received a surprise $2.2-billion windfall in this year’s pre-election Liberal budget in the form of a one-time doubling of the federal gas tax transfer – and now they’re calling on federal parties to support making that boost permanent. In an announcement to be released Tuesday, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will make […]

Elections Canada hires social-media ‘influencers’ to get out the youth vote

Jun 6 2019 — Bill Curry — Elections Canada is launching a campaign this month that will see the independent agency pay YouTubers, musicians and other social-media stars to promote voter participation in this year’s federal election. The $650,000 campaign will target demographics with below average voter participation rates, particularly young Canadians. The challenge for the non-partisan agency is that the voting […]

Senate suspends sole-source contract with private security firm

May 30 2019 — Bill Curry — The Senate has temporarily suspended the use of a private security company as it examines a sole-source contract that quickly and quietly grew from $24,000 to $95,000. Senate finance and security officials appeared Thursday before the Senate internal economy committee – which is responsible for overseeing spending – to explain why they approved the contract […]

Ethics Commissioner’s report on PMO’s SNC-Lavalin actions coming in ‘next few months,’ says Mario Dion

May 17 2019 — Bill Curry — The Ethics Commissioner’s report into the SNC-Lavalin affair will not be finished before Parliament rises in June but could come out on the eve of the federal election, according to an updated timeline provided by the office. The office is working on the SNC-Lavalin probe and three other active investigations, MPs were told this week.