National Newswatch

Affable Green leader sets sight on potential P.E.I. election victory

Apr 23 2019 — Kevin Bissett — CHARLOTTETOWN — An affable dentist with a distinct Scottish accent, Peter Bevan-Baker ran nine times for the Green party —federally and provincially — before finally winning a seat in the P.E.I. legislature in 2015. The leader of the Island's Green party, Bevan-Baker could become leader of Canada's first Green government after Island voters cast their ballots in Tuesday's provincial […]

N.B. mayor extends welcome mat to Quebecers unhappy at new legislation

Apr 2 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — A northern New Brunswick mayor is rolling out the welcome mat for Quebecers upset with their province's move to restrict some people from wearing religious symbols. Cyrille Simard, the mayor of Edmundston, says there are opportunities for people who want to move to New Brunswick. "Looking at the way the situation was developing […]

Prince Edward Island’s Green leader keen to make electoral history

Mar 27 2019 — Kevin Bissett — CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island's Green leader is contemplating making history — as the party's first Canadian premier. Islanders will go to the polls April 23 in a provincial election announced late Tuesday. Recent polls have put the Greens out in front, and leader Peter Bevan-Baker believes his party can win a province that has only ever been […]

Liberal premier calls Prince Edward Island election for April 23

Mar 27 2019 — Kevin Bissett — CHARLOTTETOWN — P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan called an early election Tuesday night, announcing an April 23 vote that polls suggest could produce Canada's first Green Party government. "This is Prince Edward Island's time," MacLauchlan told a nomination meeting for a local candidate at a Charlottetown hotel. "We are experiencing a sense of opportunity like never before […]

Chief medical officer issues furanyl-fentanyl warning after New Brunswick death

Mar 21 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — As the opioid crisis continues across Canada, New Brunswick's chief medical officer is warning the public about furanyl-fentanyl following a recent death. Dr. Jennifer Russell says a toxicology report revealed furanyl-fentanyl was found in the system of a person who died recently in northern New Brunswick. "We are concerned that this most recent death may […]

New Brunswick Tory government budget offers surplus, debt reduction

Mar 19 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's minority Tory government tabled a budget Tuesday that makes a series of targeted cuts while offering the first net debt reduction in 13 years. Finance Minister Ernie Steeves said the province is at a crossroads, and it would be irresponsible to delay hard decisions. His $9.8-billion budget projects a $23-million surplus. He said […]

Governing P.E.I. Liberals face challenges in expected spring election

Mar 17 2019 — Kevin Bissett — CHARLOTTETOWN — The governing P.E.I. Liberals are expected to send Island voters to the polls as early as this spring, but despite a booming economy the party is likely facing a rough ride. The smallest province's economy is on fire — the Conference Board of Canada says it will lead the country in economic growth over the next […]

Kevin Vickers announces he’ll seek New Brunswick Liberal leadership

Mar 15 2019 — Kevin Bissett — NEWCASTLE, N.B. — Kevin Vickers, hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, is making a leap to politics with a bid for the leadership of New Brunswick's Opposition Liberals. The former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms made the announcement to a packed hall Friday in Newcastle, N.B. "My roots are here. […]

Kevin Vickers to announce Friday if he’ll seek New Brunswick Liberal leadership

Mar 13 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers is expected to announce Friday whether he intends to seek the Liberal leadership in New Brunswick. The retired ambassador to Ireland tweeted Wednesday afternoon that a news conference is set for noon in Newcastle on Friday. Vickers was hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 […]

Immigration expected to dominate talks on Atlantic Canada economy

Feb 28 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Building on Atlantic Canada's recent immigration successes will top the agenda as East Coast premiers and federal ministers gather Friday in Halifax for their latest Atlantic Growth Strategy summit. Internal Trade Minister Dominic LeBlanc said immigration was the first issue addressed when the strategy was launched three years ago, and it continues to help grow […]

Electoral reform: All eyes turn to tiny P.E.I. as issue put to voters

Feb 18 2019 — Kevin Bissett — CHARLOTTETOWN — Tiny Prince Edward Island has a chance to send a big message to the rest of the country about electoral reform when voters are asked to consider proportional representation in a referendum as early as this spring. Voters in British Columbia rejected making such a change in December, and while Prime Minister Justin […]

Federal Conservative leader looking to break Liberal hold on New Brunswick

Feb 11 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is on a campaign-style swing through New Brunswick as the party seeks to make gains in a province and region where it was shut out last time. The Liberals captured all 32 House of Commons seats in Atlantic Canada during the 2015 election, including 10 in New Brunswick. "There's […]

Report identifies negligence, abuse at New Brunswick mental health facility

Feb 7 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — A new report has found serious problems at New Brunswick's main mental health facility, with patients suffering negligence, abuse and unacceptable treatment. Charles Murray, the province's ombud, says the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton is chronically understaffed and failing to provide adequate care. "The number of incidents and the disturbing details thereof demonstrate that […]

Many N.B. Liberals hope Vickers readying leadership bid as he retires as envoy

Feb 1 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers says he is retiring next month as Canada's ambassador to Ireland, and many New Brunswick Liberals say they're hoping Vickers is preparing for a bid to become the province's next Liberal leader. Vickers, hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, said […]

New Brunswick premier vows to balance budgets and lessen federal reliance

Jan 31 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's Tory premier is vowing to balance the current books and next year's budget, without raising taxes, in an effort to get the province's finances under control and lessen reliance on federal transfers. Blaine Higgs made the commitment Thursday night as he delivered his first state of the province address to a business audience […]