National Newswatch

Ottawa seeks ‘shovel-ready’ projects for post shutdown stimulus plan

Apr 15 2020 — Bill Curry — Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna is preparing plans to rush out billions of dollars in budgeted – but so far largely unspent – infrastructure funds as a way to stimulate the Canadian economy once current pandemic restrictions are lifted. The immediate focus of cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office is on containing the COVID-19 health […]

Ottawa, provinces in talks to reopen economy in stages, Trudeau says

Apr 14 2020 — Bill Curry — Ottawa and the provinces are in discussions about reopening the Canadian economy in phases, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that Canadians should assume the current restrictions will be in place for weeks. The Prime Minister also said announcements are coming this week to address situations in which businesses and individuals don’t qualify for […]

Trudeau says talks preferable to retaliation in supplies dispute with U.S.

Apr 5 2020 — Bill Curry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is working with U.S. officials to resolve issues over cross-border shipments of medical supplies, but signalled a preference for avoiding retaliatory measures. During his daily news conference in Ottawa, Mr. Trudeau was asked Sunday whether he would consider banning nurses and doctors who live in Canada, but work […]

Scheer calls for increased parliamentary scrutiny of Trudeau and cabinet over COVID-19 response

Apr 3 2020 — Bill Curry — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling for the government to face greater parliamentary scrutiny of its decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking in Regina on Friday, the Official Opposition Leader said the daily pattern of news conferences by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet ministers should include a role for opposition MPs.

House backs Conservative motion calling on Auditor-General to audit federal infrastructure spending

Jan 29 2020 — Bill Curry — The House of Commons approved a Conservative motion calling on the Auditor-General to audit the Liberal government’s $188-billion infrastructure program. The motion was approved Wednesday in a 166-152 vote that followed a day of debate Tuesday. The Liberal government said it supported the request for an audit, but voted against the motion because of wording […]

Sudden spike in federal deficit projections blamed on accounting change, not big spending or economic issues

Dec 29 2019 — Bill Curry — Parliament’s spending watchdog is questioning why the federal government’s deficit projections have suddenly spiked and is blaming an accounting change last year related to public-sector pensions as a key reason driving the volatility in Ottawa’s bottom line. Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux said in an interview that it appears the primary cause of the sudden […]

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 […]