National Newswatch

Group mobilizing in swing ridings in bid to oust Conservatives

Sep 9 2015 — Chris Cobb — An organization created before the 2011 federal election by a group of young Canadians disillusioned by the Conservative government’s environmental policies is ramping up a social media campaign in an effort to prevent vote splitting in swing Conservative ridings. The Vote Together campaign by Leadnow.ca is essentially an Anybody But Conservative movement. Leadnow began among […]

Mike Duffy trial awaits witness who implicated PM’s top aide

Aug 19 2015 — Chris Cobb — Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, left the Ottawa courthouse Wednesday with his two personal lawyers and a look of relief, setting the stage for a potentially explosive testimony from the next witness at Sen. Mike Duffy’s trial: Ben Perrin, Harper’s former legal adviser. Perrin, set to begin testifying Thursday, is expected to […]

Early election call? Parties starting to look like they’re ready

Jul 22 2015 — Chris Cobb — If Prime Minister Stephen Harper decides to plunge Canadians into full election mode next month, his opponents are all more or less ready to leave the starting blocks with him. The Conservatives have nominated 291 candidates, the Liberals 294, the NDP 253 and the Greens 176. All are in the throes of completing their rosters […]

Kenney orders release of military health unit probe

Jun 30 2015 — Chris Cobb — Defence Minister Jason Kenney has ordered his department to release data it gathered during an internal investigation into the troubled military unit responsible for the care of ill and injured troops. The Ottawa Citizen revealed Monday that DND had quietly shelved its partially finished investigation into the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) system saying it […]

Military sparks ombudsman rebuke for delaying report on care for ill and injured troops

Jun 29 2015 — Chris Cobb — The Department of National Defence has quietly shelved an investigation into the much-criticized units created to help Canada’s most vulnerable ill and injured Afghan war veterans and other troops being transitioned out of the military. The military ombudsman’s office is calling the DND move both “surprising and disappointing” amid reports from within the Joint Personnel […]

Durham, Sudbury could be first teacher-strike targets

Apr 19 2015 — Chris Cobb — The fragile labour peace between the Ontario government and the province’s public school teachers appears on the verge of collapse. A strike is looming Monday at secondary schools in the Durham region, with a walkout planned in Sudbury a week later. And the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, which applied for conciliation in late March, […]

Canadians back bombing ISIL but less enthusiastic about extending mission, say pollsters

Apr 1 2015 — Chris Cobb — The majority of Canadians support the country’s involvement in bombing raids against Islamic State but are less enthusiastic about the government extending and expanding the mission, say two pollsters tracking public opinion on the topic. “You can pick your poll and all show strong support for the initial mission,” said Darrell Bricker, Global CEO of […]

Inquiry into veteran’s suicide cost taxpayers at least $3.5M

Mar 27 2015 — Chris Cobb — What began as a simple, unreturned phone call from a veteran’s parents inquiring about errors on their son’s death certificate grew into controversial public inquiry that has cost Canadian taxpayers more than $3.5 million. That will be the approximate final bill for the inquiry by the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) into the suicide of […]

Ministers vow to help laid off disabled workers find jobs

Mar 19 2015 — Chris Cobb — Two federal cabinet ministers are vowing to intervene to help find work for 50 developmentally challenged people whose jobs at a federally-funded paper-sorting facility have come to an abrupt end. Following an Ottawa Citizen story published Thursday, Pierre Poilievre, minister responsible for the National Capital Region and MP for Nepean-Carleton, began tweeting his support for […]

DND response to soldier’s suicide report deemed ‘secret’

Mar 5 2015 — Chris Cobb — In an unprecedented move, the Department of National Defence has slapped a “secret” order on its response to the high-profile Military Police Complaints Commission report into the 2008 suicide of Afghanistan war veteran Cpl. Stuart Langridge. But the commission is fighting to have the military’s attempt at secrecy overturned and has filed an application in […]

Q&A: Canadian Veterans’ Advocacy president Michael Blais

Jan 5 2015 — Chris Cobb — Canadian Veterans’ Advocacy president has been one of the more outspoken and high profile critics of the Conservative government’s handling of veterans issues. His group is part of the four-member Coalition of Canadians for Veterans. 2014 has been a busy and fractious year on the veterans front. It saw the number of suicides among serving […]

Soldier killed ‘could have been a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu’

Oct 26 2014 — Chris Cobb — For Imam Mohamad Jebara, it’s personal. He looks at his brother, Maher. “This brother of mine could have been killed,” he said Friday shortly before leading prayers at an east-end worship room. “He is the same rank and the same age. The person killed could have been a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu. He could […]

Harper’s former aide Bruce Carson to stand trial next year

Sep 11 2014 — Chris Cobb — Bruce Carson, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will stand trial on influence peddling charges beginning Sept. 8 next year. The charge against Carson, 68, relate to illegal lobbying and allegations that he promised an Ottawa-based water purification company to use his political connections to get them contracts with First Nations communities.