National Newswatch

G7 summit cost tops $200 million in budget estimates

Feb 12 2018 — Elizabeth Thompson — Hosting top world leaders at the upcoming G7 summit in Quebec’s picturesque Charlevoix region is expected to cost Canadian taxpayers $224.6 million dollars. According to spending estimates tabled in the House of Commons Monday, the price tag for hosting the gathering of world leaders, and the meetings leading up to it, will be steep. Security […]

Trudeau government poised to overhaul environmental assessment process on energy projects like pipelines

Feb 5 2018 — Elizabeth Thompson — The Trudeau government is poised to introduce legislation this week to overhaul the way the federal government does environmental assessments on major energy projects like pipelines. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is to table a bill in coming days to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, as well as amend the […]

Top CRA executives pocket $35,000 a year in performance pay

Jan 30 2018 — Elizabeth Thompson — Top executives at the Canada Revenue Agency have been taking home substantially more performance pay than executives in other government departments, CBC News has learned. An analysis of numbers provided by the CRA reveals that officials in the EX-4 and EX-5 categories — the top two tiers — have been receiving twice as much “at […]

Lobbying commissioner drops investigation into Barry Sherman

Jan 25 2018 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canada’s lobbying watchdog is ending an investigation into whether former Apotex head Barry Sherman violated lobbying laws when he hosted a party fundraiser at his home for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party In a letter sent to Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch, Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger said she is halting the investigation in the […]

Bonuses, performance pay for government executives rise under Trudeau

Jan 18 2018 — Elizabeth Thompson — Spending on bonuses and other performance pay for top federal government executives increased by more than double the rate of inflation in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first year in office, CBC News has learned. The 3.2 per cent increase in spending for 2015-16, the most recent year available, was also more than twice the 1.25 […]

Aga Khan not subject to lobbying law, says commissioner

Dec 22 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — The Aga Khan can pitch projects and offer gifts to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other Canadian politicians without running afoul of lobbying laws because the multimillionaire isn’t paid to lobby for the foundation that bears his name, CBC News has learned. In a letter dated Sept. 21 and obtained Thursday by CBC News, Commissioner […]

Aga Khan could face lobbying probe for Trudeau trip

Dec 21 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — The Aga Khan could face an investigation into allegations he violated Canada’s Lobbying Act by giving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family free vacations on his private island in the Bahamas at the same time as he was discussing funding for projects. Democracy Watch sent a letter to the Commissioner of Lobbying late Wednesday, […]

Cash for passports: Canadians play key role in lucrative business

Dec 7 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canadians are playing a key role in the lucrative and rapidly growing worldwide business of cash for passports, an industry that Canada, the United States and the European Union have warned could threaten national security, a CBC News investigation reveals. Industry insiders paint a picture of a multi-million dollar industry that runs in large part […]

Secret documents shed new light on why Clark broke Jerusalem embassy promise

Dec 7 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Prime Minister Joe Clark’s government backed down on its controversial 1979 promise to move Canada’s Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in part over fears of possible economic fallout, according to secret cabinet documents obtained by CBC News. Behind closed doors, cabinet ministers like Finance Minister John Crosbie and Industry Minister Robert de Cotret were particularly […]

Trudeau government sets new record for vacant appointments

Dec 1 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has set a new record for the number of unfilled government appointments, with 585 jobs currently vacant or occupied by someone whose appointment is past its expiry date, according to an analysis by CBC News. A year after the Liberals assured Canadians their new open, merit-based appointment system was in […]

Charity with ties to Trudeau excluding Quebecers from contest

Nov 18 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — A high-profile Canadian charity with close ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife is excluding youth from Quebec, Trudeau’s home province, from a nationwide contest to win tickets to an event featuring former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. Plan International Canada (PIC) is organizing the contest to give away 373 pairs of tickets […]

Federal government blocking social media users, quietly deleting posts

Nov 9 2017 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canadian government departments have quietly blocked nearly 22,000 Facebook and Twitter users, with Global Affairs Canada accounting for nearly 20,000 of the blocked accounts, CBC News has learned. Moreover, nearly 1,500 posts — a combination of official messages and comments from readers — have been deleted from various government social media accounts since January 2016. […]