National Newswatch

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.

Conservatives aiming to block payment for independent senator’s $15,000 poll

May 13 2019 — Bill Curry — Conservative senators will attempt this week to block a $15,000 payment for a public-opinion poll they say is being used by independent senators to support the Liberal Party’s 2019 election campaign. The Senate’s internal economy, budgets and administration committee is expected to decide on the matter Thursday. The committee’s vice-chair, Conservative Senator Denise Batters, said […]

Independent senator’s $15,000 poll finds many Canadians view the Senate as a pointless waste of money

Apr 12 2019 — Bill Curry — An independent senator is facing criticism for spending more than $15,000 from her office budget on a poll that found many Canadians view the Senate as ineffective and a waste of money. Independent Senator Donna Dasko,a nationally recognized pollster who was appointed to the Senate in June, 2018, commissioned the Nanos Research survey and released […]

Trudeau ‘has lost confidence with a majority of the native people,’ Grassy Narrows chief says

Mar 29 2019 — Bill Curry — Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle says he thinks most Indigenous people have lost confidence in Justin Trudeau and is calling on the Prime Minister to back up this week’s apology by visiting his community to see the effects of mercury poisoning first hand. Mr. Turtle said the Prime Minister’s dismissive remarks to protesters, Ottawa’s treatment […]

Liberals to table pre-election budget on March 19

Feb 20 2019 — Bill Curry — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Liberal government’s pre-election budget on March 19, as he faces calls from economic experts to keep provincial debt loads in mind as Ottawa updates its financial course. Mr. Morneau announced the budget date in the House of Commons Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with private sector economists […]

Morneau taking close look at return to 30-year insured mortgages, homebuilders’ association says

Feb 7 2019 — Bill Curry — The federal government appears to be considering a budget announcement that would allow first-time homebuyers to obtain 30-year insured mortgages, up from the 25-year limit now, according to the Canadian Homebuilders’ Association. Such a move would represent a change in direction after more than a decade of measures by federal Conservative and Liberal governments since […]