National Newswatch

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 […]

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 […]