National Newswatch

IRS busts alleged multimillion-dollar tobacco-smuggling scheme in Akwesasne

Aug 21 2019 — Jorge Barrera — A three-year, multi-agency investigation led by the U.S. tax authority targeted a key “broker” in a smuggling scheme that allegedly moved millions of dollars worth of tobacco through a border-straddling First Nation and into the Canadian black market, U.S. court records reveal. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its investigative partners allege a man from […]

Former Harper-era minister doubles down on calling MMIWG inquiry report ‘propagandist’

Jun 2 2019 — Jorge Barrera — A former federal Aboriginal affairs minister under the Stephen Harper government is doubling down on his social media claim that the finding of “genocide” by the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and girls was “propagandist.” Bernard Valcourt, who was Aboriginal affairs minister from 2013 until the defeat of the Harper government in […]

Trudeau’s offer of Indigenous Services to Wilson-Raybould like ‘asking Nelson Mandela to administer apartheid’

Mar 6 2019 — Jorge Barrera — The prime minister’s attempt to move Jody Wilson-Raybould to the Indigenous Services portfolio was a ‘deeply humiliating’ proposal and shows a lack of understanding and disconnect from First Nations’ world view, say Indigenous leaders and analysts. Gerald Butts, the prime minister’s former principal secretary, testified before the House of Commons justice committee Wednesday that the […]

Wilson-Raybould battled Bennett, other ministers over Indigenous rights framework

Feb 22 2019 — Jorge Barrera — The federal government’s top bureaucrat revealed Thursday that Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former Justice minister, was locked in a fierce battle with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and other ministers over the direction of a promised piece of legislation central to the government’s reconciliation agenda. Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick said a Sept. 17, […]

Cabinet shuffle shows reconciliation dropping in priority for Trudeau, say Indigenous advocates

Jan 15 2019 — Jorge Barrera — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to break up the “dream team” that was leading the work of mending Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples is triggering concerns Ottawa is pulling back on its reconciliation agenda. Trudeau announced Monday he was moving cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs, and Jane Philpott from […]

Promised Indigenous rights recognition legislation won’t be in place before next election

Nov 14 2018 — Jorge Barrera — One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s key promises on Indigenous rights — delivered on Valentine’s Day — won’t come to pass before the next federal election, CBC News has learned. The federal Liberal government won’t be tabling legislation to create its promised Federal Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework this fall as previously planned. […]

Conservative senator accuses Indigenous senators of ‘capitulation’ on pot bill

Jun 6 2018 — Jorge Barrera — A Conservative senator accused Indigenous senators of “capitulation” on the federal pot bill Wednesday when they shelved plans to table amendments after receiving promises from two federal cabinet ministers for more consultation and a pledge to report back on the progress. Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas sent a letter to […]

Assembly of First Nations wants provinces, territories to butt out of First Nations marijuana sales

May 2 2018 — Jorge Barrera — First Nations chiefs on Wednesday called on the federal government to amend its marijuana legalization legislation to prevent provincial regulations from applying on-reserve. Chiefs passed a resolution at a Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau, Que., directing the Assembly of First Nations to lobby the federal government to make the amendment to Bill C-45, which is […]