National Newswatch

In wake of reprimands, Trudeau says he’s open to strengthening ethics laws

Jan 12 2018 — Bill Curry — Justin Trudeau says he’s open to tightening federal conflict-of-interest laws and strengthening the powers of parliamentary watchdogs after a year in which both he and his Finance Minister were reprimanded by Canada’s ethics commissioner. The Prime Minister made the comments at the conclusion of a cabinet retreat in London, Ont., where the government drafted plans […]

Morneau cleared of insider trading, ethics commissioner’s office still reviewing pension bill case

Jan 8 2018 — Bill Curry — The federal ethics commissioner has dismissed opposition accusations that Bill Morneau benefited from insider trading, but has yet to rule on whether the finance minister was in a conflict of interest when he introduced pension legislation. A two-page letter from Mary Dawson to Mr. Morneau, dated Jan. 5, outlines her consideration of concerns raised by […]

Deficit on track for elimination by 2045, a decade earlier than last year’s projection

Dec 22 2017 — Bill Curry — The federal deficit is on track for elimination by 2045 rather than 2055 thanks to this year’s stronger-than-expected economic growth, according to new federal projections. Further, Finance Canada says it wouldn’t take much for the deficit to be erased as soon as 2023. The department released its annual 40-year projection of federal spending and revenue […]

Morneau to release small-business tax details as MPs break for holidays

Dec 13 2017 — Bill Curry — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release long-promised details of new small-business tax changes Wednesday, leaving business owners with just over two weeks to prepare before the new rules take effect on Jan. 1. Business groups and opposition parties have sharply criticized the federal government in recent weeks for failing to address the uncertainty and concern […]

Federal deficit at $5.9-billion for first half of fiscal year

Nov 24 2017 — Bill Curry — The size of the federal deficit was $5.9-billion at the halfway point of the fiscal year, representing an improvement over the same period a year before. The results of Finance Canada’s monthly fiscal monitor report also suggest that the government is on pace to beat its 2017-18 deficit target of $19.9-billion. Friday’s report shows Ottawa […]

Ottawa to offer direct subsidies to low-income tenants

Nov 22 2017 — Bill Curry — The federal government will announce direct rent support for low-income Canadians in addition to spending billions on traditional and new forms of social housing as part of the Wednesday release of its long-awaited national housing strategy. A new portable housing allowance will top up similar provincial and municipal programs that provide rent subsidies for people […]

Liberal government’s fiscal update prioritizes policy over deficit

Oct 24 2017 — Bill Curry — The Liberal government’s fall update will announce that Ottawa is using some of the fiscal room it has found thanks to stronger economic growth to approve new measures aimed at the middle class rather than simply posting smaller deficits. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is scheduled to release his fall economic update on Tuesday at 4 […]

Liberals drop capital-gains tax proposal amid family farm concerns

Oct 19 2017 — Bill Curry — The Liberal government is dropping one of the three key elements of its controversial small-business tax proposals in response to farmers’ concerns that it would harm the ability to pass on the family farm to the next generation. Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay made the announcement at a farm in the […]

Morneau hires former Christy Clark aide Ben Chin as a senior adviser

Oct 6 2017 — Bill Curry — Ben Chin, a former senior political aide with Liberal governments in B.C. and Ontario, is joining Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office as a senior adviser. Mr. Chin will report directly to Mr. Morneau’s chief of staff, Richard Maksymetz. The position is expected to include providing the Minister with strategic advice on how to manage hot […]