National Newswatch

Freeland calls China’s behaviour ‘a threat to all countries’ as federal cabinet meets with senior ambassadors

Jan 16 2019 — Bill Curry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his federal cabinet met privately with six senior ambassadors Wednesday evening as Canada mounts an international campaign to gain global allies in its escalating diplomatic battle with China. Calling China’s behaviour “a threat to all countries,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday that she welcomes the support Canada is […]

Six ambassadors to brief Trudeau, federal cabinet amid strained diplomatic relations with China

Jan 16 2019 — Bill Curry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his federal cabinet will receive a private briefing from six senior ambassadors Wednesday evening as Canada addresses its quickly deteriorating relationship with China. John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China and a former member of the Trudeau cabinet, is among the six ambassadors invited to brief cabinet. Federal ministers are gathered […]

Federal Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne ‘laser-focused’ on construction projects for 2019

Jan 2 2019 — Bill Curry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau built a successful 2015 election platform around a core promise: Short-term deficits will boost the economy through a massive increase in infrastructure spending. With less than a year to go before voters cast their judgment in the next federal election, the deficits have materialized. The promised return to balance by 2019 […]

Canadians expect economy will slow down in 2019: poll

Dec 27 2018 — Bill Curry — Canadians are in a pessimistic mood when it comes to expectations for the economy in 2019. According to a Nanos survey for The Globe and Mail, more than half of Canadians think the economy will worsen or somewhat worsen over the next year. Pollster Nik Nanos said the state of the economy will influence the […]

Federal budget will be balanced by 2040, Finance Department predicts

Dec 21 2018 — Bill Curry — The federal budget won’t be balanced until at least 2040, the Finance Department said Friday, providing fresh figures for parties looking to position themselves with voters as the best stewards of the public purse. Federal officials estimate it will take another 22 years to get a balanced budget – five years earlier than the Liberal […]

Cities seek permanent transit transfer ahead of 2019 budget

Dec 20 2018 — Bill Curry — Canada’s municipalities say the Liberal government’s transit funding should come with fewer strings attached so that projects get moving more quickly. In a report to be released Thursday, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will outline its recommendations for the 2019 budget. According to an advance copy provided to The Globe and Mail, the FCM will […]

VIA ‘confident’ Ottawa will support new passenger rail lines following $1-billion purchase of new trains

Dec 14 2018 — Bill Curry — After this week’s purchase of nearly $1-billion worth of new trains, VIA Rail President Yves Desjardins-Siciliano is setting his sights on the Liberal government’s 2019 budget in hope that it will green light a multibillion-dollar expansion of its passenger rail network. The Crown corporation’s plan has strong support at the federal cabinet table from Infrastructure […]

Quebec to receive $1.4-billion equalization boost while oil-producing provinces face deficits

Dec 9 2018 — Bill Curry — Quebec will receive $13.1-billion in equalization payments next year – a $1.4-billion increase – while Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador continue to be left out even though Canada’s oil-producing provinces are facing deficits and hard times. The three energy-producing provinces petitioned Ottawa last year to rework the federal transfer formula but Finance Minister Bill […]

Statistics Canada suspends credit searches, delays plan to obtain banking records

Dec 3 2018 — Bill Curry — Statistics Canada is suspending its practice of obtaining personal credit records from TransUnion and has written to Canada’s banks to delay its plan to obtain the banking details of 500,000 Canadian households. The moves come as the national statistics agency is under investigation by the federal Privacy Commissioner after concerns were raised over its plans […]

Conservatives challenge Finance Department’s role in plan to assess cost of campaign promises

Nov 24 2018 — Bill Curry — The Conservative Party says it has concerns about an arrangement between the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Finance Department that will see ministry officials pitching in to determine the cost of election promises in the run-up to the 2019 federal election. The Tories’ finance critic, Pierre Poilievre, is questioning whether his party will participate, arguing […]

A federal agency, created to fight poverty, spent $500,000 on a name, logo and branding

Nov 23 2018 — Bill Curry — The Liberal government spent $500,000 on outside advisers to come up with a logo, name and branding for a new agency that promises to alleviate poverty in developing countries, internal documents reveal. Its 2017 budget announced $300-million toward developing an institution that would support sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries by aiming to […]