National Newswatch

Liberal winners, losers to gather for first time since disappointing election result

Nov 6 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Re-elected, newly elected and defeated Liberal MPs will gather Thursday on Parliament Hill for the first time since Canadians clipped the wings of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government in the Oct. 21 election. The two-hour get-together is not a formal caucus meeting, just a chance to congratulate winners and commiserate with losers. Nevertheless, it will […]

After blackface scandal, Trudeau shuns photo ops of trick or treating

Oct 31 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always seemed to relish dressing up for trick or treating with his children but, in the wake of the blackface scandal, he's giving Halloween a miss this year — publicly anyway. A spokesman for the prime minister says Trudeau will "be trick or treating with the kids, but not going […]

Trudeau turns to political veteran McLellan on tips to form government

Oct 29 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is turning to two political veterans to provide advice on forming a minority government in the face of renewed talk of separatism in Quebec and the West. Anne McLellan, a one-time deputy prime minister and lone federal Liberal voice from Alberta, is among those providing tips to Trudeau as he ponders […]

Poll suggests plenty Canadians voted strategically to stop a party from winning

Oct 29 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — More than one-third of Canadians voted strategically in last week's federal election to stop another party from winning, a new poll suggests. Thirty-five per cent of respondents to the Leger poll said their decision about who to support took into account the chances that their vote would prevent another party's candidate from being victorious. And almost […]

Conservatives stoke fear of NDP-Liberal coalition as Scheer pushes for majority

Oct 14 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Andrew Scheer is raising the spectre of a reckless, tax-and-spend Liberal-NDP coalition government to urge Canadians to hand the Conservatives a majority on Oct. 21. The Conservative leader warned Monday that such a coalition would lead to out-of-control spending, "massive" new taxes and "endless deficits" that would drive away investment and throw thousands of Canadians out of work. Scheer played the […]

Re-elected Liberals would still run big deficits, despite new taxes

Sep 29 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau tried to make virtue out of red ink Sunday as he released a Liberal platform that promises to impose new taxes on wealthy individuals, large international corporations, foreign housing speculators and tech giants to help cover the cost of billions in new spending and tax breaks for the middle class. Even with the new taxes, the platform projects another four years […]

Beyak thumbs nose at Senate orders on racist letters about Indigenous Peoples

Sep 24 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Racist letters about Indigenous Peoples have finally been removed from Sen. Lynn Beyak's website — but only because Senate officials erased them after Beyak refused to do so herself. She is still thumbing her nose at Senate orders to apologize for posting the letters and to take educational programs on racism directed at Indigenous people. In early […]

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 […]