National Newswatch

Commons law clerk challenges government’s redactions of WE Charity docs

Aug 26 2020 — Bill Curry — In an internal letter, Parliament’s independent law clerk says the thousands of pages of government documents released to MPs on the WE Charity controversy were excessively redacted by government officials. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Aug. 18 that the documents would be released, while also announcing that he was proroguing Parliament until Sept. 23. […]

Top civil servant pledges ‘expansive’ public document release on WE Charity contract

Jul 21 2020 — Bill Curry — The federal government’s top public servant pledged to release all relevant documents for a committee investigation into Ottawa’s decision to outsource the management of a $912-million student volunteer program to WE Charity. Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart also prompted questions from opposition MPs by stating that both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill […]

We Charity offers 450 ‘virtual volunteering’ positions at own organization while running $900-million grant program

Jul 2 2020 — Bill Curry — WE Charity is offering 450 online student-volunteer placements at its own organization as part of a $900-million federal grant program it is managing, raising questions about who decides which organizations will receive taxpayer-funded help this summer. The Canada Student Service Grant program is facing criticism from some in the voluntary sector who say it is […]

Fitch downgrades Canada’s credit rating as deficit grows due to emergency coronavirus spending

Jun 24 2020 — Bill Curry — Fitch Ratings has downgraded Canada’s triple-A credit rating to AA+ in light of “much expanded” 2020 deficits due to billions in emergency spending during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The decision reflects growing public debt at both the federal and provincial levels. The downgrade of Canada’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating is the first change […]

Trudeau rejects return to normal sittings, blames Parliamentary defeat on ‘political games’ by opposition

Jun 11 2020 — Bill Curry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected Conservative calls for a return to normal House of Commons sittings Thursday and blamed a Parliamentary defeat this week on “political games” by opposition parties. Speaking to reporters for nearly an hour Thursday morning after touring a printing shop in Ottawa, Mr. Trudeau singled out the Official Opposition Conservatives in […]

Ottawa planning fines, imprisonment for fraudulent CERB claims

Jun 9 2020 — Bill Curry — The federal government is planning to legislate fines and jail time for people who submit fraudulent claims under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, a $60-billion program that provides income support to workers affected by the pandemic. The changes are in a draft bill obtained by The Globe and Mail that has not yet been introduced […]

Four-hour limit on MPs to review pandemic spending ‘unfortunate, to say the least,’ PBO says

May 30 2020 — Bill Curry — Parliament’s spending watchdog told MPs it is “unfortunate to say the least” that a government motion approved this week to suspend regular House of Commons sittings will limit a review of billions in COVID-19 spending to no more than four hours. “It comes up as a very expensive four hours, potentially, for Canadian taxpayers,” Parliamentary […]

Singh says NDP won’t support $9-billion student aid bill unless changes are made

Apr 29 2020 — Bill Curry — The federal government will introduce legislation on Wednesday to adopt a proposed $9-billion package to support post-secondary students, but it is not immediately clear whether the Liberals have enough votes to approve the bill. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Wednesday that negotiations with opposition parties continue even as the government prepares to introduce the bill […]

Conservatives seeking legislative changes to Ottawa’s $9-billion student support package

Apr 27 2020 — Bill Curry — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his party is pushing for legislative changes to the federal government’s $9-billion support package for post-secondary students so that it includes incentives for them to accept available jobs. Over the weekend, opposition parties received confidential copies of draft legislation to implement the package, which was announced last week. The bill […]