National Newswatch

Justin Trudeau and Mike Pence: unlikely partners in an alliance of necessity

Jun 1 2019 — Chris Hall — The meetings in Ottawa this week between U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau produced a lot of warm words about friendship, shared history, leadership and the importance of the Canada-U.S. trading relationship. It also injected a note of cold reality: this Liberal prime minister is prepared to go a long way to […]

Why are politicians still terrified of taxing Netflix?

May 16 2019 — Chris Hall — Stephen Harper made it next to impossible heading into the 2015 election for any political party to propose a tax on Netflix, Google and other foreign online services. But two provinces are now charging sales tax on those foreign media companies, suggesting that at least some politicians now see the economic benefits outweighing the political […]

In Alberta’s election, everybody’s ‘standing up’ to Trudeau

Apr 13 2019 — Chris Hall — Andrew Scheer made a brief stop in Calgary late this week to campaign for former colleague and fellow Conservative leader Jason Kenney. Alberta is friendly turf for the federal party leader — even when the weather isn’t. The two stood on the back of a pickup truck in the middle of a baseball field Thursday, […]

An unusually eventful budget day sets the stage for the coming election

Mar 20 2019 — Chris Hall — Bill Morneau’s fourth budget is in the books, and that’s a good thing since he didn’t get a chance to deliver his speech in the Commons on Tuesday because of the din made by Conservative MPs determined to keep the public’s attention on the SNC-Lavalin affair. The Conservatives jeered. They pounded their desks and they […]

In the SNC-Lavalin affair, everyone seems to be entitled to their own opinions – and facts

Mar 6 2019 — Chris Hall — Gerald Butts intended his appearance Wednesday before the Commons justice committee to put an end to the SNC-Lavalin controversy that’s engulfed the federal Liberals for the past month. Whether he succeeded is far from clear. The former top adviser to Prime Minister Trudeau gave a measured and thorough presentation to committee members. His performance rivaled […]

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 […]