National Newswatch

U.S. senator accuses Canada of ‘evading’ commitments on dairy amid heightened trade tensions

Jun 27 2020 — Jesse Snyder — The top-ranking senator in the U.S. Democratic Party is pressuring Ottawa over protections for its dairy industry, saying the Liberal government is “evading its commitments” under a new trade agreement set to come into force next week. Chuck Schumer, minority leader in the U.S. Senate, wrote a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on […]

Kenney considers legal action over firearm ban, says gun owners being used as ‘scapegoats’

Jun 4 2020 — Jesse Snyder — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province would be “seriously considering” legal action against Ottawa over its recent firearms ban, arguing that Albertan gun owners were being used as “scapegoats” as part of the federal Liberals’ political ambitions. Tapping into mildly separatist sentiments on Wednesday, Kenney announced a range of measures aimed at asserting more […]

Ottawa lacks financial capacity to withstand another economic lockdown, must look to rein in spending: report

May 26 2020 — Jesse Snyder — Canada cannot afford to completely shut down the economy in the event of a second wave of the coronavirus, according to a group of academics and executives headed by a former Bank of Canada governor. A new report by the C.D. Howe Institute warns the Liberal government against “turning one-off deficits into structural deficits” as […]

Soaring household debt leaves Liberals with ‘extremely complicated’ task of winding down COVID-19 support programs

May 20 2020 — Jesse Snyder — Rising household debts are set to heap even more strain onto the Canadian economy in coming months, leaving the Liberal government to grapple with the difficult question of how and when to unwind its massive support programs, economists say. Canada has for years held some of the highest household debt levels among developed nations, something […]

‘Incoherent’ Liberal firearm ban excludes several semi-automatics, potentially outlaws big-game hunting rifles

May 6 2020 — Jesse Snyder — The Liberal government’s “incoherent” firearm ban excludes several rifles that are nearly identical to the so-called “military-style” firearms that Ottawa intends to outlaw, gun retailers say. The ban, announced late last week, does not include the Chinese-made Norinco Type 97, for example, a semi-automatic version of the standard-issued rifles used by the People’s Liberation Army […]

Liberal government’s ‘almost humiliating’ posture toward China a missed opportunity: former top diplomat

Apr 16 2020 — Jesse Snyder — Two former diplomats are warning that the Liberal government’s recent silence on China could reinforce the country’s increasingly belligerent actions on the world stage, amid concerns Chinese officials actively misled the World Health Organization during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. David Mulroney, who served as Canadian ambassador to China in Beijing between 2009 […]

Federal health committee again calls on WHO advisor to testify amid concerns over false Chinese data

Apr 16 2020 — Jesse Snyder — A Parliamentary health committee on Wednesday repeated calls for the World Health Organization to explain its handling of the pandemic, amid mounting criticism that the United Nations’ agency relayed faulty Chinese data about the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The federal Standing Committee on Health passed a motion, put forward by Conservative MP Matt […]

Construction on Trans Mountain pipeline goes on, company says, as First Nations concerned over COVID-19 risks

Mar 30 2020 — Jesse Snyder — Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline has continued despite concerns over workers contracting and spreading COVID-19, the Crown corporation building the $12.6-billion project said Monday. Ian Anderson, the chief executive of publicly-owned Trans Mountain Corp., said the company is “continuously assessing this unprecedented situation” around COVID-19, as public-facing businesses across the country shut down in […]

‘Liberal-Bloc coalition’ has returned, Tories say, after MP blocks study of SNC-Lavalin scandal

Mar 10 2020 — Jesse Snyder — A parliamentary bid to further investigate the SNC-Lavalin scandal has been shut down with the Bloc Québécois being accused of making a “deal” with the Liberals. Conservative MP Michael Barrett, who was pushing to deepen an earlier ethics probe, said the move suggests the “return of the Liberal-Bloc coalition” was at hand. Marie-Hélène Gaudreau, a […]

Coronavirus fears, rail blockades could widen already ballooning federal deficit, analysts say

Feb 29 2020 — Jesse Snyder — The fast-spreading coronavirus, prolonged rail blockades and a lacklustre harvest season could widen Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s upcoming budget deficit, which is already running higher than initial estimates. The Canadian economy slowed to an annualized growth rate of just 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to Statistics Canada, the worst since […]

Pompeo cites ‘long arm of Beijing,’ reinforces hard-line stance against China as Ottawa’s 5G decision looms

Feb 10 2020 — Jesse Snyder — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reinforced America’s hard-line posture against China this past weekend, underscoring the already complicated decision facing Ottawa over whether it will allow Huawei Technologies to build its next-generation mobile networks. In a speech to state governors on Saturday, Pompeo warned of the “long arm of Beijing” and China’s increasingly ambitious […]