National Newswatch

Government ‘dropped the ball’ on WE Charity deal, Qualtrough says

Aug 11 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough conceded the government “dropped the ball” on its student volunteer grant program, and said she makes “no excuse or justification” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s roles in the resulting WE Charity controversy. Speaking at the House of Commons ethics committee Tuesday, Qualtrough said that, in the […]

Gutted by COVID-19, travel and tourism industry pleads for aid from Ottawa

Aug 10 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Representatives of Canada’s COVID-19-crippled travel and tourism industry are warning of mass layoffs and large-scale bankruptcies if the federal government fails to step up with aid for the sector. MPs on the House of Commons industry committee heard grim stories on Monday about the devastating toll the pandemic is taking on the travel and hospitality […]

25,000 Canadians hospitalized or killed by self-harm last year, research says

Aug 6 2020 — Kathleen Harris — New data shows thousands of Canadians were hospitalized or died after deliberately harming themselves last year, and experts fear the numbers will climb due to stress brought on by the pandemic. Research released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found that 25,000 people were admitted to hospital or died because of self-harm […]

Governments shouldn’t ‘scare’ Canadians, Liberal MP says as Ottawa threatens penalties for CERB fraud

Jun 10 2020 — Kathleen Harris — ‘Jail should not be hanging over their heads,’ says Liberal MP Adam Vaughan. The Liberal government is proposing legislation that would impose tighter rules for claiming the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) and is threatening to impose fines and jail time on those who deliberately lie on applications. The move prompted Toronto Liberal MP Adam […]

Virtual citizenship ceremonies coming for new Canadians whose dreams were crushed by COVID-19

Jun 4 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Citizenship tests and ceremonies have been cancelled for more than two months because of the global pandemic — but newcomers could soon be taking their oaths online through virtual citizenship events. On March 14, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said it would cancel the ceremonies “until further notice.” Dhiti Nanavati has been working hard for […]

Food inspectors could face sanctions if they refuse reassignment to COVID-19-infected meat plants, union told

May 11 2020 — Kathleen Harris — The union representing Canada’s food inspectors says Ottawa is threatening disciplinary action against employees who refuse to be reassigned to work at COVID-19-infected meat plants. The Agriculture Union, which represents about 1,000 inspectors at slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities, said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) wants to redeploy employees who normally work in other […]

Pressure mounts on federal government to help fix, build long-term care homes as pandemic takes deadly toll

May 10 2020 — Kathleen Harris — The catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on the long-term care sector likely was made worse by the outdated design and crowded conditions found in some facilities, experts say — and they blame governments for failing to fund renovations and new construction. Jodi Hall, chair of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC), said the pandemic’s […]

As provinces begin to reopen economies, Scheer says federal benefits deter Canadians from returning to work

May 4 2020 — Kathleen Harris — As provinces begin gradually to reopen their economies, the federal government is pleading with Canadians to continue respecting pandemic measures — while the opposition Conservatives are warning that federal emergency aid could discourage some people from going back to work. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said today that flaws in government support programs could “derail” provincial […]

MacKay accused of ‘dog-whistle’ politics after criticizing O’Toole for supporting trans ‘bathroom’ bill

May 1 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay is being accused of deploying “dog whistle” political messaging after he disparaged legislation to protect transgender rights as the “bathroom bill” in a bid to attack his chief opponent. In a letter sent to Conservative Party members Thursday night, MacKay cites the candidates’ latest fundraising totals and suggests rival Erin […]