National Newswatch

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 […]

Trudeau says visit to China produced results despite failing to advance trade talks

Dec 7 2017 — Chris Hall — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he made substantial progress during his four-day trip to China even though he failed to secure an agreement to begin formal negotiations on a comprehensive trade deal with the world’s second-largest economy. Those talks, specifically the failure to advance past the exploratory stages, dominated both his meetings in Beijing with […]

Justin Trudeau’s great expectations clash with reality in China

Dec 4 2017 — Chris Hall — Charles Dickens wrote a classic when he penned Great Expectations. Political leaders, on the other hand, make the classic mistake whenever they create expectations they don’t meet. Justin Trudeau was no exception Monday as he left the Great Hall of the People in Beijing without an expected announcement that Canada and China would begin formal […]

Free trade talks with China will not yet begin

Dec 4 2017 — Chris Hall — Canada will not begin formal free trade talks with China — at least not yet. Prime Minister Trudeau met Monday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. A joint statement indicating talks would begin had been widely expected. But the first clues that it might not happen emerged […]

On Trudeau’s 2nd trip to China, time may be ripe to advance free trade

Dec 2 2017 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau lifted off for China late Saturday afternoon after spending part of the day in British Columbia to campaign with the Liberal candidate in a local byelection. The prime minister joined Gordon Hogg in South Surrey-White Rock, a riding the party hopes to take away from the Conservatives. The seat became vacant when former […]

Trudeau can always play Trump card on visit to China

Dec 1 2017 — Chris Hall — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in China this weekend with an unlikely ally in his bid to cement closer ties with the Asian powerhouse — unlikely because U.S. President Donald Trump’s on-again, off-again antipathy for China helps position Canada as a more attractive partner in North America.

Afghanistan appeals for more support from Canada to train troops, police

Nov 19 2017 — Chris Hall — One of the leading figures in Afghanistan’s national government insists his war-torn country must be put back at the forefront of NATO’s efforts to defeat terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia. Abdullah Abdullah, the government’s chief executive and one of the featured speakers this weekend at the Halifax International Security Forum, says […]

Trudeau sends a message, or three, on Asian summit tour

Nov 14 2017 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau received a lot of negative publicity in the foreign media and to a lesser extent here at home after refusing to sign an agreement in principle for a new trade deal with 10 other Pacific Rim nations on Friday. Whether he “sabotaged” the deal, as one Australian newspaper put it, or “screwed” the […]

Focus of fall economic statement was where Morneau wanted it: on the middle class

Oct 25 2017 — Chris Hall — April may be the cruellest month to a poet, but October has been anything but kind to the Liberal government — particularly Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Whether it was allegations of conflict of interest over his continued multimillion-dollar stake in the family business, or his heavily panned efforts at small business tax reform, the Liberals […]