National Newswatch

Make no mistake — Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle is his re-election kickoff

Jul 18 2018 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau kicked off his 2019 re-election campaign Wednesday with a cabinet shuffle that puts management of three of the most vexing challenges his government faces into new hands. Dominic LeBlanc becomes the prime minister’s point man with the provinces. It will be his job to deal with a more strident set of premiers than […]

Freeland announcing compensation for metals sector as she unveils list of U.S. products to be hit with tariffs

Jun 28 2018 — Chris Hall — The federal government will announce a compensation package for Canada’s steel and aluminum industries on Friday when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland releases the final list of U.S. products to be slapped with retaliatory tariffs starting Sunday. Freeland, accompanied by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Employment Minister Patty Hajdu, will make the announcement in Hamilton […]

Fix tax rate or risk business exodus, trade association warns

Jun 21 2018 — Chris Hall — Another of Canada’s largest business groups is warning that Ottawa needs to act now to lower corporate taxes or risk a continued exodus of investment and jobs to the United States. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, which represents 2,500 companies, released a report this week that paints a bleak picture of the business landscape in […]

As Ford Nation conquers Ontario, federal parties ponder what it means for them

Jun 8 2018 — Chris Hall — It’s time, Canada, to recognize the emergence of Ford Nation in the province known as Ontario. Doug Ford — the bombastic, blustering and populist former Toronto city councillor — is going to be the next premier of Canada’s most populous province. His victory, convincing as it was, came with an exclamation mark. He put an […]

Convince Americans that a trade war will cost them, says Paul Martin

Jun 6 2018 — Chris Hall — Former prime minister Paul Martin said this week he still hopes a global trade war over new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum can be avoided — but Americans themselves have to learn first that there’s a price to pay for starting one. “The United States has to understand the seriousness of it for itself,” […]

Between Trump, Iran and North Korea, Canada’s G7 has a high potential for chaos

May 18 2018 — Chris Hall — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carefully-planned agenda for next month’s G7 summit has taken one hit already from Donald Trump. It appears the U.S. president is about to deliver another. Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, caused a deep rift with fellow G7 members France, […]

The Liberals spent $233,000 to learn their budget messages aren’t getting through to Canadians

May 10 2018 — Chris Hall — Newly released studies done for Finance Minister Bill Morneau suggest the Liberals’ poltical messaging about help for the middle class and promoting gender equality isn’t getting through to ordinary voters. The studies, which cost taxpayers more than $233,000, are part of the Finance department’s efforts to gauge public reaction to signature spending initiatives worth billions […]

Trudeau gives his definition of ‘national interest’

Apr 16 2018 — Chris Hall — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his definition of the national interest on Sunday, and it begins with a hotly-disputed pipeline expansion that he’s determined to see built. Kinder Morgan’s proposed $7.4-billion project to triple the flow of Alberta bitumen through its Trans Mountain line is rapidly becoming a symbol of a new generation of constitutional […]

Stamping out sexual harassment in politics can’t be a partisan issue

Jan 27 2018 — Chris Hall — It’s not often that the obvious answers are the right ones. But past and present MPs and political staffers say this week’s sexual misconduct allegations against prominent male politicians just might be an exception. Their recommendations couldn’t be clearer: Guidelines on what constitutes sexual harassment. Training for everyone, including those people holding elected office. And […]

Canada’s dance with Pacific Rim trade partners came down to timing

Jan 23 2018 — Chris Hall — Well. It took awhile. But Canada is now ready to sign on to the Pacific Rim trade deal it turned away from in November, after three days of intense negotiations in Tokyo with the 10 other nations that resolved the Trudeau government’s concerns over protections for Canadians culture and access to new markets for its […]

Trudeau and his ministers seem to miss the Senate’s old rubber stamp

Dec 16 2017 — Chris Hall — Transport Minister Marc Garneau arrived at the Senate this week spoiling for a fight. And he got one. What the normally even-keeled minister didn’t expect was to lose his bid to get senators to move more quickly on his bill that, among other things, would strengthen the rights of airline passengers. Garneau is the latest […]