National Newswatch

The SNC-Lavalin scandal so far: plenty of drama, few facts

Feb 20 2019 — Chris Hall — In official Ottawa, some weeks feel longer than others. This one scarcely got started before the SNC-Lavalin affair exploded — again — leaving more questions than answers. And it’s only Wednesday. First, Gerry Butts stunned everyone Monday by abruptly resigning as the prime minister’s top adviser — even as he insisted that neither he nor […]

Canada’s in a corner over the Meng Wanzhou case, with no good options

Jan 30 2019 — Chris Hall — Scarcely 24 hours after U.S. prosecutors sent on the evidence they’d gathered in support of extraditing Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wasn’t even trying to put a gloss on the parlous state of Canada-China relations. “It is absolutely the case that we face a challenging situation with […]

John McCallum’s political skills failed both him and Trudeau

Jan 27 2019 — Chris Hall — John McCallum got the job as Canada’s ambassador to China because of his political background. The clear signal to the Chinese was that the former cabinet minister could pick up the phone and speak directly to the prime minister. In the end McCallum’s political skills failed both him and the man who sent him to […]

2 arrested in RCMP raids in Kingston, Ont., related to anti-terrorism probe

Jan 24 2019 — Chris Hall — The RCMP have arrested two people following raids on two homes in Kingston, Ont., in what officials are calling an anti-terrorism investigation involving multiple police forces. CBC News has learned the arrests included a minor and involved both Kingston police and the help of the FBI in the U.S. The RCMP will hold a news […]

Out in the cold: Canada’s year in foreign policy

Dec 20 2018 — Chris Hall — It’s increasingly evident, as 2018 limps to a close, that Canada is more isolated on the world stage now than it has been in decades — thanks in large part to an indifferent neighbour to the south and the rise of isolationist and populist leaders in other parts of the world. The challenges facing Justin […]

For Trudeau and Ford, General Motors’ timing could hardly be worse

Nov 26 2018 — Chris Hall — General Motors’ decision to stop assembling vehicles at its Oshawa plant a year from now was made, for all intents and purposes, by stealth. It caught politicians at all levels of government and of all political stripes completely off guard, despite their frequent conversations with the carmaker over the past year about the plant’s future. […]

The economy is running hot. So why is Morneau still stepping on the gas?

Nov 22 2018 — Chris Hall — Bill Morneau’s latest economic update is a total write-off. Which is exactly what he intended. The finance minister responded to Donald Trump’s corporate tax changes, introduced last December, by announcing Canadian businesses will be able to deduct, immediately, the full cost of any investments in new equipment for manufacturing and clean technology. It’s at least […]

Trump’s trade policies could survive Democratic victory

Nov 7 2018 — Chris Hall — Donald Trump kept telling Americans to pretend he was on the ballot Tuesday and it appears they did. Whether that mobilized more Republicans or Democrats to vote is tough to tell. The Democrats won back control of the House of Representatives, but oh so narrowly. The “blue wave” predicted by some polls was more of […]

How the Liberals hope to escape the ‘Green Shift’ curse in 2019

Oct 23 2018 — Chris Hall — The Trudeau government is moving ahead with its plan to put a price on carbon emissions. In the process, it’s directly taking on federal Conservatives and the four premiers who oppose carbon pricing by promising to give the money back to taxpayers in those provinces. “Starting next year, it will no longer be free to […]

MPs committee calling on Morneau to boost deduction for capital investments

Oct 19 2018 — Chris Hall — Wayne Easter answered the phone in the middle of a quick lunch. The chair of the Commons finance committee was in Winnipeg yesterday with other committee members, listening to submissions on what should be in the next federal budget. Wherever they stop, Easter said, the message heard by committee members is pretty much the same: […]

The U.S. congressional race that could signal a national shift

Oct 12 2018 — Chris Hall — Congressional hopeful Amy McGrath has no time to talk to a reporter from Canada when she arrives for a potluck campaign rally in a small park just outside Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky. The Democratic candidate in the state’s sixth congressional district is wearing blue jeans and sandals as she works through the partisan crowd. […]

Quebec’s election result was bad for Trudeau, good for almost everyone else

Oct 3 2018 — Chris Hall — François ​Legault hadn’t even delivered his victory speech after Monday’s Quebec election when he received a congratulatory phone call from Ottawa. It was federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on the line — and he wanted to be the first. ​Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec party doesn’t have formal ties to Scheer’s party. Conservatives still might have […]