National Newswatch

NDP continues court challenge against BOIE, but current, former MPs repaying money, Cleary says it ‘left a bad taste’

Nov 6 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — The NDP’s court challenge against the powerful House Board of Internal Economy’s 2014 order to repay almost $4-million in expenses continues and in the meantime current and former NDP MPs have paid the money back or are currently doing so by having their expense reimbursements docked. “Every time I ask for reimbursement [for expense claims], […]

Hill security officers’ labour dispute escalates, as union alleges ‘intimidation,’ ‘threats’ by management

Sep 29 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — House security officers have resumed protest actions amid an escalating labour stand between the officers’ union and the Parliamentary Protective Service, with the union last week filing dozens of grievances over what it’s deemed a “cocktail of intimidation, threats and disinformation” from the employer. “The agreement that we signed in order for us to stop […]

INAC split a ‘game-changer,’ Bellegarde calls for an independent national treaty commissioner

Sep 11 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — The splitting up of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is being called a “game-changer” for Indigenous relations in Canada, but former deputy minister Scott Serson says the government should first issue a royal proclamation to define its new relationship with Indigenous peoples. “They’re saying this is a reflection of an RCAP [Royal Commission on Aboriginal […]

Indigenous women’s representatives warn against ‘hard reset’ of MMIW inquiry

Aug 21 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Despite mounting criticism over the progress and process of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, some Indigenous women’s representatives warn that a “hard reset” could result in lost progress on this issue and perhaps be the death knell for the inquiry. “The many families who participated in the Whitehorse inquiry […]

Trudeau’s atypical media exposure pushed by ‘most image-conscious PMO in Canadian history’

Aug 14 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — From Rolling Stone magazine to CBS Sports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a point of engaging beyond the usual media suspects covering Canadian politics, and it’s all part of a media strategy of what is considered the most image-conscious, communications-driven Prime Minister’s Office ever, say strategists. “The Prime Minister’s Office has an innate understanding of […]

‘Fomenting misunderstanding for partisan reasons,’ Green Leader May slams ‘horrific’ Conservative response to Khadr’s $10.5-million settlement

Jul 17 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — While the Conservatives have rallied to criticize the Liberal government’s $10.5-million settlement with former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says the Conservatives’ response has been “horrific” and that it’s “fomenting misunderstanding for partisan reasons.” “It’s horrific. There’s a complete disconnect from the reasons that the apology and some level of […]

Grit MP Fry suggests misinformation led to PM’s quick rule-out of broadband tax

Jun 26 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Liberal MP and Canadian Heritage Committee Chair Hedy Fry has suggested that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t fully understand what the committee was recommending when he shot down the idea of new taxes on broadband distribution. That recommendation—to expand an existing five per cent levy on TV service providers, which gets put toward producing Canadian […]

Parliamentary Protective Service requests another $6.1-million in annual funding in 2017-18, wants $68.2-million total

Mar 8 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — With one new and one refurbished Parliament Hill building set to open up next year and higher visitor traffic expected for Canada’s 150th celebrations along with continuing efforts to enhance Hill security, the Parliamentary Protective Service wants a $6.1-million increase to its annual funding next year as well as almost $2.4-million in additional funding for […]

Canada’s former chief electoral officers eager for successor, laud proposed electoral legislative changes

Mar 6 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Canada’s former chief electoral officers Marc Mayrand and Jean-Pierre Kingsley are lauding changes proposed in new legislation, including moving the elections commissioner back under the authority of Elections Canada and removing restrictions on who can apply for the job of commissioner. But they also say there are other issues to be addressed, and with only […]

PMO’s new Canada-U.S. relations ‘war room’ unit seen as ‘smart,’ considered unprecedented

Feb 6 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — The PMO’s unprecedented new Canada-U.S. relations “war room” led by Brian Clow is being lauded by observers as a smart move, created to help coordinate the Trudeau government’s quick response and strategy to U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictable new administration. “There’s not been a unit like this set up within the PMO to the best […]

Harper’s Conservative Party fundraising role appears unprecedented, expected to mobilize base

Jan 23 2017 — Laura Ryckewaert — Former prime ministers have helped out party fundraising efforts in the past, but Stephen Harper’s role as a board member for the Conservative Party’s fundraising arm appears unprecedented in modern history, and his signature on appeals to party members is a boon to fundraising, say political insiders. “It speaks to the knowledge and connection that […]