National Newswatch

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

Aug 12 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election, Justin Trudeau's Liberals are hoping to remind Canadians about the benefits derived from one of their signature promises from the last election: investing billions in infrastructure. For the past week, Liberal MPs across the country have been popping up at events in their ridings aimed at showcasing projects […]

Opposition parties tying up work of Parliament with obstruction tactics

Jun 24 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Anyone watching the televised proceedings in the House of Commons one night earlier this month might have thought they'd mistakenly tuned in to a travelogue. One after another, dozens of members of Parliament — primarily Conservatives — stood to wax eloquent about the geography, history, culture and cuisine of Central and South America. Among other things, observers learned that Latin […]

Flurry of Liberal nominations signals start of marathon 2019 election race

Jun 22 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — And they're off. The next federal election is still 15 months away but governing Liberals are already gearing up. They will begin nominating candidates next week, starting Wednesday, with the acclamation of Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains in his riding of Mississauga-Malton. And lest anyone doubt this marks the start of the marathon race to the Oct. […]

Feds will make marijuana legal in Canada on Oct. 17, Trudeau says

Jun 20 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Canadians will have to wait until Oct. 17 — one month longer than expected — before they'll be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the date Wednesday during the last question period in the House of Commons before MPs departed for a three-month summer break. He said the government delayed […]

Pot to be legal by mid-September after senators pass pot legalization bill

Jun 20 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Canadians will be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana by mid-September at the latest after the Senate voted Tuesday to lift almost a century-old prohibition on cannabis. Senators voted 52-29, with two abstentions, to pass Bill C-45, after seven months of study and debate. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said the […]

Singh disappointed by NDP collapse in Quebec byelection, vows more effort

Jun 19 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he's reviewing his tour schedule and his party's policies in the wake of a federal byelection Monday in Quebec, in which the New Democrats' vote collapsed. The NDP finished a distant third Monday in a byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord, taking just 8.7 per cent of the vote in a riding […]

Marijuana bill goes back to Senate after House rejects 13 amendments

Jun 18 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — A federal bill to legalize recreational cannabis was bounced back to the Senate on Monday, where the government's representative argued it's time to get on with lifting Canada's almost century-old prohibition on marijuana. The House of Commons voted 205-82 to reject 13 amendments passed by Senate, including one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of […]

Ex-Tory Senate leader blasts former colleagues for gutting impaired driving bill

Jun 15 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — A former leader of the Conservatives in the Senate is blasting her erstwhile colleagues for spearheading a move to gut a bill aimed at cracking down on impaired driving. Marjory LeBreton, whose daughter and grandson were tragically killed by a drunk driver 22 years ago, says she's "appalled" that her former colleagues have succeeded in stripping […]

Embassy angered by Tory MP linking Mexican visitors to illegal drug trade

Jun 15 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The Mexican government is taking a Conservative MP to task for implying that many Mexican visitors to Canada are involved in the illegal drug trade. Sarnia, Ont., MP Marilyn Gladu made the suggestion Wednesday during debate on the Trudeau government's bill to legalize recreational marijuana. Her reference to Mexicans came as she was arguing that legalization will actually […]

Government rejects 13 Senate changes to pot bill, including ban on home growing

Jun 13 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The federal government set the stage Wednesday for a possible showdown with the Senate over legalization of cannabis after it rejected 13 amendments approved by the upper house — including one recognizing the authority of provinces to ban home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the occasion to call on Conservatives to cease […]

Feds invoke British wartime spirit as they stay on high road with Trump

Jun 12 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — As Canada teeters on the brink of a potential trade war with the United States, the Trudeau government has adopted the same motto invoked by the British as they braced for the Second World War: Keep calm and carry on. That was the message Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump continued to take personal shots at Justin Trudeau, blasted Canada's dairy […]

Senate defeats Conservative bid to impose blanket ban on homegrown marijuana

May 31 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — The Senate has rejected an attempt to prohibit Canadians from growing a small number of marijuana plants at home once recreational cannabis is legalized. Conservative Sen. Vern White proposed Thursday an amendment to Bill C-45 that would have banned home cultivation entirely across the country. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 40-33. […]

Tory senators lead opposition to random roadside alcohol testing

May 24 2018 — Joan Bryden — OTTAWA — Conservative senators are leading a charge to gut legislation aimed at cracking down on impaired driving — voting to delete a measure Conservatives have previously championed. The Senate's legal and constitutional affairs committee voted late Wednesday to delete a provision from Bill C-46 that would authorize police to conduct random roadside breathalyzer tests, without needing reasonable grounds […]