National Newswatch

Chretien says rise of ‘unspeakable’ Trump marks end of the American empire

Oct 9 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Jean Chretien says Donald Trump is "unspeakable" and his rise to the U.S. presidency heralds the decline of the American empire. Chretien unleashes that unflattering opinion of Trump in a new book of anecdotes from his 10 years as Canada's prime minister. Although it's entitled "My Stories, My Times," Chretien, who retired from politics in 2003 after winning three majority […]

Chretien predicts common sense will prevail in debate over religious symbols

Oct 8 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Jean Chretien says Quebec's political class is "trapped" in a pointless debate over a non-existent problem: how to accommodate religious minorities. And the former prime minister predicts the furor over whether public servants should be banned from wearing religious symbols will eventually fade away as common sense prevails. "When you ask (Quebecers) the question, […]

Feds beef up bill to prevent foreign interference in Canadian elections

Oct 3 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is beefing up legislation aimed at making it easier for Canadians to vote and harder for foreign entities to interfere in federal elections. It has sponsored a number of amendments to Bill C-76, including one that would ban advocacy groups from ever using money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns. When the bill was introduced last […]

Canada can claim at least partial success of progressive agenda in USMCA

Oct 3 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Was Canada's pursuit of a "progressive" trade agenda a help or a hindrance during the marathon negotiations with the U.S. and Mexico on a new continental free trade pact? According to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, it was little more than "politically correct posturing" that served only to weaken Canada's negotiating position. But according to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia […]

Liberals hope relief at getting a deal will trump anger over concessions

Oct 1 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The united partisan front maintained in Canada throughout 14 months of tortuous negotiations on NAFTA evaporated the moment a new agreement was announced, with political opponents scrambling Monday to ensure Justin Trudeau gets no credit for reaching a new continental trade deal — and reaps the maximum political damage for the concessions made. Conservatives accused the prime minister Monday of "capitulating" to […]

Liberal brass say ruling party in good shape one year before election

Sep 13 2018 — Joan Bryden — SASKATOON — Federal Liberal officials say the ruling party is in good shape as it approaches the one-year countdown to the next election — even if the Conservatives have raised more money and nominated more candidates. Azam Ishmael, the Liberals' national director, and party president Suzanne Cowan gave a report on the party's election readiness Wednesday […]

PM says Liberals will always defend charter, as Ford prepares to override it

Sep 12 2018 — Joan Bryden — SASKATOON — Justin Trudeau kicked off a Liberal caucus retreat Wednesday with a distinct election flavour, including a ringing declaration that his party will always stand up for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The prime minister did not mention Ontario Premier Doug Ford, but his assertion came just as the Ford government reintroduced legislation to reduce […]

Guns, border crossers top list of concerns Liberal MPs bring to caucus retreat

Sep 11 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Liberal MPs are flooding into Saskatoon to plot strategy for the fall parliamentary sitting which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will not include resetting the government's agenda. Speaking to reporters in Winnipeg Trudeau said the government will not have a new throne speech this fall, instead continuing work on the promises he was elected […]

NDP veterans in Sask. challenge Jagmeet Singh over ban on Weir candidacy

Sep 6 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh won't allow scorned MP Erin Weir to run as a New Democrat in the next election — a decision that has caused a rupture between the NDP leader and the party's long-standing members in Saskatchewan. In a letter to Weir this week, Singh says he isn't confident the Saskatchewan MP won't repeat the harassing behaviour that got him kicked out of […]

PM determined to build pipeline, tackle climate change despite court ruling

Aug 31 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau is standing firm on his government's commitment to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and to its national climate-change plan — both of which were put in jeopardy by a bombshell court ruling that overturned federal approval for the project. The government intends to move forward to get the pipeline expansion built "in the right way," the prime minister […]

Trans Mountain pipeline ruling shakes central pillar of Trudeau agenda

Aug 30 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau painstakingly explained to students in Kapuskasing, Ont., how the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is a central pillar of his government's agenda. Less than 24 hours later, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the government's approval of the project, imperilling the pillar holding up Trudeau's signature promise to tackle climate change by balancing economic growth […]

Threat to exclude Canada from U.S.-Mexico trade deal may not be legal: experts

Aug 29 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Donald Trump's administration is giving Canada until Friday to sign onto a bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico or be treated as "a real outsider" against whom punishing tariffs on autos will be imposed. But trade experts are dismissing the take-it-or-leave-it threat as political theatre aimed at pressuring Canada to acquiesce, with some even questioning whether the president has the legal authority to […]

Liberals cautious about potential electoral impact of Bernier bombshell

Aug 23 2018 — Joan Bryden — NANAIMO, B.C. — Conservatives, from leader Andrew Scheer on down, are predicting that Maxime Bernier's decision to quit their party and start his own will end up helping Justin Trudeau's Liberals win re-election next year. But one notable person isn't taking that bet: Trudeau himself. The prime minister was careful Thursday, as he wrapped up a three-day cabinet retreat […]

Protest accuses Trudeau of fiddling on pipeline while climate change burns B.C.

Aug 22 2018 — Joan Bryden — NANAIMO, B.C. — Justin Trudeau's twin objectives to reduce Canada's carbon emissions and build a pipeline to carry oilsands bitumen to the coast collided Wednesday in a province ravaged by wildfires that the prime minister's own government attributes to climate change. Several hundred pot-banging, whistle-blowing pipeline protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Island Conference Centre where Trudeau and his ministers were holed up […]

PM to visit northern B.C. as cabinet holds retreat amid wildfire crisis

Aug 21 2018 — Joan Bryden — NANAIMO, B.C. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his newly shuffled cabinet gathered Tuesday for a retreat on Vancouver Island, under smoke-filled skies amid a province-wide wildfire emergency. Ministers are to discuss plans for the fall sitting of Parliament, including proposals to beef up measures aimed at protecting Canadian elections from foreign interference. But Trudeau's first order […]