National Newswatch

One in five Canadians think COVID-19 pandemic blown out of proportion: Poll

Mar 24 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — One in five Canadians weren't taking the deadly COVID-19 pandemic seriously as recently as last weekend, a new poll suggests. In a Leger poll conducted between Friday and Sunday, 16 per cent of respondents said the crisis was partly blown out of proportion and another four per cent believed it was blown way out of proportion. As […]

Premiers seek billions in federal aid to counter impact of COVID-19

Mar 12 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Concerns about his own exposure to COVID-19 forced Justin Trudeau to cancel a face-to-face meeting with first ministers but he'll still get an earful — over the phone Friday — from premiers demanding massive federal aid to confront the health and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus. That aid could run to tens of billions of dollars. Alberta Premier Jason […]

Labour, biz leaders urge federal-provincial common front on COVID-19 impact

Mar 12 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Canada's largest labour organization and the group that bills itself as the voice of business in this country have set aside their differences to jointly confront the economic fallout from the rampaging novel coronavirus — and they're hoping premiers can do the same when they meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The heads of the Canadian Labour Congress and […]

Liberal bill outlaws conversion therapy for kids, non-consenting adults

Mar 9 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The federal government has introduced legislation that would impose a blanket ban on causing a child to undergo therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill would also make it a criminal offence to cause an adult to undergo so-called conversion therapy against their will. It would not prevent a consenting adult from voluntarily undergoing the therapy, however. "Conversion […]

Former PM Jean Chretien scoffs at the notion Canada’s unity is under threat

Mar 3 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Jean Chretien scoffs at the notion that Indigenous protests and western alienation are a threat to Canada's national unity. The former Liberal prime minister said Tuesday that Canada has suffered worse threats in the past and has always managed to survive. He recalled the 1960s and 70s, when radical separatists with the Front de liberation […]

Lametti sows uncertainty over meaning of foreseeable death in assisted-dying bill

Mar 3 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Dr. Ellen Wiebe has helped 260 intolerably suffering Canadians end their lives over the past four years, including a few who likely would have lived up to another decade on their own. The current federal law, passed in 2016, allows medical assistance in dying only for individuals whose natural death is "reasonably foreseeable" — an ambiguous term that some […]

Assisted dying bill gets mixed reviews, raises fears of more restrictions

Feb 26 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Some experts fear that legislation intended to make it easier for intolerably suffering Canadians to receive medical assistance to end their lives might actually make it harder in some cases and will create confusion among doctors who provide the procedure. Bill C-7, introduced Monday, would remove a provision in the four-year-old assisted dying […]

Trudeau revisits blackface embarrassment during Black History Month

Feb 24 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau acknowledged his own past history of unconscious racism during a celebration Monday of Black History Month. The prime minister reflected on the "dumb choices" he made when he donned blackface and brownface multiple times in younger days. Photos and a video of Trudeau wearing makeup to darken his skin surfaced during last […]

Feds introduce bill dropping some restrictions on assisted dying

Feb 24 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has introduced legislation aimed at making it easier for intolerably ill Canadians to get medical help to end their lives. The bill would scrap a provision in the law that allows only those already near death to receive medical assistance in dying — as ordered by a Quebec court last fall. However, the bill […]

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Feb 23 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The ghosts of Indigenous protests past have hovered over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as his government struggles to bring a peaceful end to blockades that have disrupted traffic on rail lines and other major transportation routes across the country for more than two weeks. Oka. Ipperwash. Caledonia. Gustafsen Lake. Burnt Church. Those are just some […]

Top judge says judiciary must decide what training judges need

Feb 19 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Canada's top judge says the judiciary must be free to decide what training and education judges need to do their jobs well. Richard Wagner, chief justice of the Supreme Court, made the comments Wednesday in a speech to the Canadian Bar Association — just two weeks after the Trudeau government introduced legislation that would require new judges to commit to […]

Elections Canada reports no serious cyberthreats to last fall’s federal election

Feb 18 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Elections Canada can't let its guard down, says Canada's chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault, despite getting through last fall's federal election campaign with no significant cybersecurity threats. In a preliminary report to Parliament about the Oct. 21 election, Perrault says there was no cyber disruption to services to Canadians or to the administration of the […]

Trudeau caught in middle of clash over energy, environment, Indigenous demands

Feb 17 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The competing demands of natural resource development, environmental protection and Indigenous reconciliation appear poised for a head-on crash — with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's minority government caught in the middle as Parliament resumes Tuesday. The NDP is asking House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota for an emergency debate on anti-pipeline blockades that have shut down swaths of […]

Tories decry judicial appointment amid renewed scrutiny of MacKay’s record

Feb 7 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Conservatives are accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of stacking Canada's courts with Liberal partisans, pointing to a recently appointed judge who has donated almost $26,000 to the governing party over the past 14 years. But the accusation comes at an awkward moment for the Conservatives, amid renewed scrutiny of leadership contender Peter MacKay's own record of eyebrow-raising […]