National Newswatch

Breaking down Canada’s latest Security Council election loss

Jun 20 2020 — Chris Hall — Reactions this week to Canada’s failure to secure a spot on the UN Security Council ran the gamut — depending on who you were asking, or your political stripe. Some (Conservatives, mostly) called it a waste of time and money — a failed vanity project for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Others (Liberals, mostly) argued the […]

Kevin Page isn’t buying the government’s excuse for withholding a fiscal update

Jun 13 2020 — Chris Hall — Canada’s first parliamentary budget officer says the Liberal government has no good reason to withhold a fiscal update — not even the economic uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview airing Saturday, Kevin Page told CBC’s The House that the British government has been providing monthly spending updates since tabling a budget in […]

Why the G7 summit could be a mess — and why Trudeau should go anyway

Jun 11 2020 — Chris Hall — In any ordinary year, the annual G7 summit would be in full swing this week, with leaders from that select group of industrialized nations conferring collegially on the biggest challenges facing the world and what they intend to do about them. This is no ordinary year, of course. And with U.S. President Donald Trump hosting […]

Senator says Canada has its own ‘pandemic of racism’ to deal with

Jun 6 2020 — Chris Hall — A Nova Scotia senator says Canada must confront its own “pandemic of racism” as demonstrators continue to flood city streets around the world to condemn the death of another unarmed black man in police custody in the United States. George Floyd died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pinned him to the ground for […]

This expert is alarmed by Canada’s failure to collect race-based pandemic data

May 30 2020 — Chris Hall — One of this country’s leading experts on the social causes of disease argues Canada’s failure to collect race-based data on COVID-19 infections amounts to discrimination by “neglect”. “Discrimination is is not necessarily about what you do. It’s often about what you don’t do,” Dr. Kwame McKenzie said in an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio’s […]

Our dismal relationship with China just got a whole lot worse

May 28 2020 — Chris Hall — Meng Wanzhou lost the first round in her bid to avoid extradition to the United States on Wednesday. But it’s clear the B.C. court ruling doesn’t help the Trudeau government much either. Relations between Canada and China are arguably at their lowest point since the prime minister’s father was prime minister and established diplomatic ties […]

Chris Hall: the pandemic recession is placing a new burden on women

May 9 2020 — Chris Hall — The April employment figures released on Friday were every bit as staggering as the experts predicted. More than two million people lost their jobs last month because of COVID-19 — the largest monthly drop ever — after another million jobs were shed in March. But those numbers give only a partial view of the devastation […]

Bill Morneau’s keeping his pandemic focus firmly on the near-term

Apr 18 2020 — Chris Hall — Canada’s finance minister says there was a point early in the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic when he realized this crisis was going to be different — and far more trying than most people were expecting. At that point, said Bill Morneau, Italy had just imposed a national quarantine. The stock market had tumbled. It […]

The economy’s on life support and Canadians need help now. What’s the holdup?

Apr 3 2020 — Chris Hall — As the COVID-19 caseload shows every sign of surging in Canada, the delivery of promised financial relief for people who’ve lost their jobs or closed their businesses remains maddeningly slow. The federal government’s emergency wage subsidy is at least three weeks away from being available. It could take even longer. The emergency response benefit for […]

Like everything else in the pandemic plan, Morneau’s economic package is chasing a moving target

Apr 1 2020 — Chris Hall — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic “unprecedented” and “the largest economic program in Canada’s history.” But he was far less conclusive Wednesday when asked just how long his government expects this package of wage subsidies and income support will be needed. Trudeau told reporters attending his daily […]

Bellegarde says Indigenous people need ‘allies’ – and blockades don’t help

Mar 7 2020 — Chris Hall — For weeks, supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs blocked rail lines and demonstrated on the steps of the B.C. legislature, many of them holding signs declaring that “reconciliation is dead.” Their anger, directed at a natural gas line through unceded territory in northern B.C., turned into a rallying cry for Indigenous title and governance — […]

Can net-zero and the energy sector co-exist?

Feb 29 2020 — Chris Hall — Chrystia Freeland says there’s nothing inconsistent about the federal government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting a thriving oil and gas sector on the Prairies. The deputy prime minister admits there is no national concord yet on how to reconcile the two.