National Newswatch

Grits, Tories start election campaign in dead heat, NDP, Greens tied: Poll

Sep 11 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau's Liberals and Andrew Scheer's Conservatives were running neck-and-neck during warm-up laps for the start of the 40-day federal election campaign, a new poll suggests. The Leger poll — released just hours before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to fire the starting gun Wednesday — suggests Jagmeet Singh's NDP and Elizabeth May's Greens were also in a dead heat, […]

Ambrose disagrees with Scheer’s assertion that Trudeau caved to Trump on NAFTA

Aug 27 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The Conservatives' former leader doesn't agree with the current leader's assertion that Canada got taken to the cleaners by Donald Trump on the renegotiated NAFTA. Rona Ambrose, who was interim Conservative leader after the party's 2015 election defeat, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did make some concessions to get a deal — particularly offering up some […]

Liberals, Tories unveil campaign slogans and contrasting pitches to voters

Aug 26 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Canadians will be asked this fall to choose between moving forward with the Liberals or getting ahead with the Conservatives. But while they both seem to be urging voters to go in the same direction — onward — the messages underlying the two main parties' campaign slogans are very different. The ruling Liberals have settled on "Choose Forward" as their official campaign […]

Andrew Scheer calls on Liberal MPs to further probe SNC-Lavalin affair

Aug 16 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion says he's willing to testify about his scathing report on Trudeau's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair — if he's invited to do so by the House of Commons ethics committee. But there's the rub: the Liberals hold a majority on the 10-member committee and are unlikely to agree to an opposition attempt […]

Federal parties’ privacy policies meet bare minimum required by new law

Aug 16 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The main federal political parties have developed and published privacy policies, as required by a new law, but none has adopted the stringent measures Canada's privacy commissioner and chief electoral officer say are necessary to protect the personal information of voters. None of the parties requires individuals to give meaningful consent for the collection, […]

Report says why PMO wanted former Supreme Court judges to advise on SNC-Lavalin

Aug 15 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — After months of unrelenting news coverage, hours of oral testimony and reams of written submissions to a House of Commons committee on the SNC-Lavalin affair, the federal ethics watchdog has still managed to unearth some details that give new life to the controversy on the eve of an election campaign. Ethics commissioner Mario Dion's report released Wednesday […]

Trudeau breached Conflict of Interest Act, says ethics commissioner

Aug 14 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau refused to apologize Wednesday for intervening in the SNC-Lavalin affair, even after the federal ethics watchdog concluded that the prime minister violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt the criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering giant. Despite disagreeing with some of ethics commissioner Mario Dion's […]

PM won’t release McLellan report on SNC-Lavalin until ethics report released

Aug 13 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he's received what he calls a "great" report from former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan on the SNC-Lavalin affair. But the prime minister won't make it public until federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion releases his own report into the explosive affair that rocked the government last winter and sent Liberal popularity on a downward […]

More assertive Independent senators come close to defeating government bills

Jun 24 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — In the final hours of Justin Trudeau's four-year experiment with a less-partisan Senate, Independent senators came within a whisker of biting the hand that feeds them. On Bill C-48, which follows through on the prime minister's 2015 election commitment to ban oil tankers from the northern coast of British Columbia, senators voted 49 to 46 to […]

Elections Canada scraps social media ‘influencers’ to encourage youth vote

Jun 20 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Elections Canada has scrapped plans to use social-media "influencers" to persuade young Canadians to register to vote in this fall's federal election. Chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault said Thursday that a final vetting of 13 people chosen for the campaign — athletes, YouTubers and other television and social-media celebrities— turned up some past activities that […]

Trudeau promises to legislate implementation of UNDRIP if re-elected

Jun 19 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising that a re-elected Liberal government will introduce legislation to ensure federal laws are harmonized with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Trudeau made the announcement Wednesday through his government's representative in the Senate, where a private member's bill on the same topic, New Democrat MP […]

Canada needs to regulate social media giants: international report

Jun 18 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — An international report says Canada has taken "commendable" steps to safeguard this fall's federal election from foreign interference. But the report says this country needs to do more to regulate social media giants and should impose "major sanctions" on those that fail to control fake news and other forms of disinformation on their platforms. The report […]

Liberal bleeding after SNC-Lavalin affair seems to have stopped: Leger Poll

Jun 14 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — A new poll suggests the federal Liberals have stopped the bleeding from the beating they took in the SNC-Lavalin furor. The Leger poll suggests the Liberals have closed the gap slightly with the front-running Conservatives since April and dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government has eased a bit. More significantly, the poll also […]

Tory senators deny stalling private members’ bills on Indigenous rights

Jun 7 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Conservative senators are being blamed for running out the parliamentary clock on a number of bills, including several aimed at advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Conservatives' Senate whip says the Liberal government will have only itself to blame if the bills aren't passed before Parliament breaks for the summer and the subsequent fall […]

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations

May 26 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Tech giants will be in the hot seat this week as politicians from Canada and 10 other countries gather to consider how best to protect citizens' privacy and their democracies in the age of social media. The international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy is meeting in Ottawa for three days, starting Monday. […]