National Newswatch

Why aren’t Canada’s ethics rules keeping politicians out of trouble?

Sep 15 2018 — Chris Hall — Three senior members of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet have been found in violation of ethics rules in the past year — a list that includes the prime minister himself. And that’s raising questions about whether the conflict rules are tough enough, or effective enough, in elevating the public’s trust in politicians. Conflict of Interest Commissioner Mario […]

Why Trudeau’s willing to let Ford deploy the notwithstanding clause

Sep 11 2018 — Chris Hall — Doug Ford is nothing if not blunt. He also might be pretty adept at sparking a constitutional conflict. That the Ontario premier plans to use the notwithstanding clause for the first time ever in Ontario — to ignore a court ruling that blocked his plan to chop Toronto City Council in half — is proof […]

Bill Blair has a big new job. Does anyone know what it is?

Aug 9 2018 — Chris Hall — Bill Blair has been the cabinet minister in charge of border security for three weeks now — but it’s still not clear what he’s being asked to do. Questions about the extent of his powers, and who ultimately will be responsible for directing Canada’s response to a wave of asylum-seekers coming from the United States, […]

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 […]