National Newswatch

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

Jan 24 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending government legislation now that they're operating in a minority Parliament, the government's new representative in the Senate suggested Friday. Sen. Marc Gold noted that never before has a minority government had to function alongside a more independent, less partisan Senate. It's not yet clear how that will play out. […]

Liberals aim to find common ground when Parliament resumes next week

Jan 21 2020 — Joan Bryden — WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hoping to apply the same spirit of solidarity that saw Canadians pull together during recent disasters to get things done in a minority Parliament. Parliament returns next week for its first extended sitting since the fall federal election reduced the Liberals to a minority, forcing them to rely on support from opposition […]

Manitoba carbon tax a maybe, Pallister says after meeting Trudeau in Winnipeg

Jan 20 2020 — Joan Bryden — WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is holding out the possibility of imposing a carbon tax in his province as he tries to fashion a green plan that will meet with the federal government's approval. But he's simultaneously warning that Ottawa will have to show some flexibility if it wants him to continue playing the role of bridge-builder to the other two Prairie provinces, where […]

Trudeau cabinet tries to focus on domestic agenda amid unforeseen emergencies

Jan 19 2020 — Joan Bryden — WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet ministers are trying to concentrate on the Liberal government's domestic agenda and how to see it to fruition in a minority Parliament — but unforeseen emergencies continue to demand their urgent attention. The monster storm that buried eastern regions of Newfoundland and Labrador in snow and the trauma over the downing of a Ukrainian […]

Trudeau, ministers head to Winnipeg for cabinet retreat, western outreach

Jan 18 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reviving his practice of holding periodic cabinet retreats outside the nation's capital — an exercise in regional outreach that his office maintains is worth the added cost of ferrying ministers around the country. Beginning Sunday, he and his 36 ministers will be holed up in Winnipeg for three days to […]

Feds to delete near-death requirement but could impose new limits to MAID

Jan 13 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is launching public consultations today on how best to respond to a court ruling that concluded it's unconstitutional to allow only Canadians who are already near death to seek medical assistance to end their suffering. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the government accepts the Sept. 11 ruling of the Superior Court […]

‘All Canadians stand with you:’ Trudeau says crash families will get answers

Jan 13 2020 — Joan Bryden — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's been "gut-wrenching" to listen to stories from relatives of 57 Canadians who perished in the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner in Iran last week. Speaking at a memorial in Edmonton on Sunday, Trudeau said he has learned many of the victims came to Canada in search of new opportunities for their families, […]

Can Trudeau count on stable Liberal minority? Not necessarily, warns Bob Rae

Jan 1 2020 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Accidents happen. That's something Bob Rae advises all federal political parties to keep in mind as they enter a new era of minority government. The former interim Liberal leader knows a thing or two about minority governments. As a New Democrat MP, he moved the motion that brought down Joe Clark's fleeting Conservative government in 1979. […]

Trudeau to be lower profile, more business-like in second mandate

Dec 20 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he's taking a lower-profile, more businesslike approach to being prime minister, having concluded that the focus on him and his lofty talk of values during his first mandate obscured his government's concrete achievements on bread-and-butter issues. Trudeau's new approach is a big departure for a leader who vaulted the Liberal party from […]

Jody Wilson-Raybould chosen Canada’s newsmaker of the year

Dec 18 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The SNC-Lavalin affair cost Justin Trudeau two cabinet ministers, his most trusted aide, the top federal public servant and possibly a second majority mandate; and now the woman at the centre of it all — Jody Wilson-Raybould — is the 2019 Newsmaker of the Year.  The former justice minister was the runaway choice of news editors across the country surveyed […]

Ethics law forbids ex-minister Philpott from paid work for First Nation

Dec 12 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The federal ethics law has put a crimp in Jane Philpott's plan to put her experience as a former minister of health and Indigenous services to work for the benefit of a northern Ontario First Nation. Just two weeks ago, Philpott announced that she was taking on a new role as special health adviser to the Nishnawbe Aski […]

Liberal MPs won’t empower themselves to turf Trudeau, control caucus membership

Dec 11 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Liberal backbenchers declined Wednesday to give themselves the power to turf their leader, Justin Trudeau. They also passed up the chance to control who gets expelled from — or re-admitted to — the ranks of the governing party's caucus. The decisions were made at the first formal meeting of the Liberal caucus since the Oct. 21 election, […]

Trudeau’s minority Liberal government survives first confidence vote

Dec 10 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau's Liberals survived Tuesday their first test of confidence in the House of Commons but got a pointed reminder of how opposition parties can still make life complicated for a minority government. Conservatives mustered the support of other opposition parties to pass a motion calling for the creation of a special parliamentary committee to examine Canada's […]

Liberal throne speech pledges to work with opposition parties, welcome their ideas

Dec 5 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau ushered in a new era of minority Liberal rule Thursday with a throne speech brimming with humility, goodwill and promises of collaboration with opposition parties whose support he needs to ensure his government's survival. The effort worked, at least insofar as guaranteeing the government will win a vote on the throne speech. […]

Liberals to emphasize common ground in throne speech as Parliament resumes

Dec 4 2019 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The 43rd session of Parliament — and a new era of minority government — is to open Thursday with a speech from the throne emphasizing the issues on which Justin Trudeau's Liberals believe they can find common ground with opposition parties. The throne speech is penned by the Prime Minister's Office but read by Gov. Gen. Julie […]