National Newswatch

Trying to derail serious climate change action will someday be viewed as the crime it is

May 10 2019 — Les Whittington — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer kept joking at the press gallery dinner the other night about the persistent questions about his party’s lack of a climate-change plan six months before a federal election. Yes, yes, it’s coming, he chuckled. This while newly elected Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, now considered the leader of the right-wing “opposition” to […]

Liberals use budget to begin promised overhaul of Canada’s global posture

Mar 23 2016 — Les Whittington — As promised, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government took a stab in its first budget at overhauling Canada’s role on the world stage after a decade of Conservative foreign aid, defence and environmental policies. The Liberals announced a modest increase in international aid money, allocated cash to fund larger immigration quotas and provided about $10 million […]

Trudeau puts Canada in global spotlight

Dec 6 2015 — Les Whittington — Within a month of the swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived at the make-or-break Paris climate change talks with a new message, a new style and a new co-operative spirit. Canada, which had earned a reputation as a laggard in the effort to tackle global warming, was ready to “take on […]

Trudeau calls on voters to end the ‘Harper decade’

Oct 17 2015 — Les Whittington — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau urged voters to end “the Harper decade” as he began a cross-country sprint that will take him from Halifax to Vancouver in the last days of the election campaign. “I think Canadians just need to look back over the last 10 years to realize that we can’t afford another 10 years […]

NDP, Liberals demand Ottawa speed up inflow of Syrian refugees

Sep 13 2015 — Les Whittington — New Democrats and Liberals welcomed Ottawa’s plan to boost humanitarian aid for Syria but demanded immediate action by the Conservatives to bring in more Syrian refugees. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, who have been under fierce pressure to address the refugee crisis, sent out International Development minister Christian Paradis to announce Ottawa will match up to $100 […]

A decade of change under Harper

Aug 9 2015 — Les Whittington — Shortly after the Conservatives defeated the Paul Martin-led Liberals at the polls on the night of Jan. 23, 2006, a triumphant Stephen Harper stood before a cheering crowd of supporters in Calgary. “Tonight, our great country has voted for change, and Canadians have asked our party to take the lead in delivering that change,” said […]

Mulcair promises city housing costs reform

Jun 6 2015 — Les Whittington — NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says if elected he would help residents of Toronto and Vancouver cope with the crisis in skyrocketing housing costs by bringing in a tax break to encourage construction of 10,000 affordable rental units over the next 10 years. “Right across the country, Canada’s housing crunch is reaching crisis proportions,” Mulcair told […]

Justin Trudeau proposes closer co-operation with cities, new sources of funding

Jun 6 2015 — Les Whittington — Justin Trudeau is proposing a new day in Ottawa’s relations with Canada’s cities, with closer co-operation, new sources of funding for municipalities and a reinstatement of the long-form census to provide mayors with extra decision-making tools. “It’s time for a new arrangement between our municipalities, provinces and our federal government,” the Liberal leader told hundreds […]

The costs of ad blitzes by the Conservative government:

May 1 2015 — Les Whittington — The costs of ad blitzes by the Conservative government: $52.3 million. Stephen Harper’s government, having avoided a non-confidence vote in the Commons in late 2008, produced a budget in early 2009 with billions of dollars in spending to try to help Canada weather the global recession. The budget, labelled the Economic Action Plan, was promoted […]

Opposition mounts against ‘wasteful’ Conservative government ads

May 1 2015 — Les Whittington — Happy-looking families, soccer-playing children and friendly neighbours are a staple of prime time television these days as the Conservative government churns out post-budget advertising spots with the use of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it’s needed to make the public aware of Ottawa’s programs. But the government ad blitzes, […]