National Newswatch

Prime Minister, how much broccoli did your family eat? In detail!

Jul 30 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — It was the moment they’d all been waiting for, some of them with cackling anticipation, some of them with dismay, some of them stuck on “mute”: The first-ever testimony of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a parliamentary committee. Trudeau and his opponents were, as always, worlds apart. To him, his family’s dealings with a charitable […]

Three key takeaways from Justin Trudeau’s testimony

Jul 30 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The much-anticipated questioning of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his chief of staff, Katie Telford, finally played out on the country’s laptop screens and televisions Thursday afternoon. It was MPs’ first opportunity to grill Trudeau on an ethics scandal during his five years as Prime Minister. They would be able to hear him explain, in […]

Five takeaways from the Kielburgers’ testimony

Jul 28 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — There were no tough questions on the name of the charity itself, which could understandably cause confusion in how to read particular statements: “We (WE?) regret that WE (we?) didn’t recognize how this decision would be perceived.” Or: “WE (we?) wish that we (WE?) had never answered the phone.” But WE, and we, as it […]

60 MPs urge sanctions against Chinese officials

Jul 14 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Quoting Canada’s foreign minister as part of their justification, 62 MPs, four senators, a former House of Commons speaker and more than 20 community groups have signed a letter urging the government impose Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials. Organized by the Alliance Canada Hong Kong (ACHK), the letter made public on Tuesday morning asks Prime […]

Justin Trudeau is not the same. Let’s start with that hair.

May 7 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The nation has already reckoned with the beard. The beard—to some a harbinger of a more-serious style of governance, or a more-mature prime minister, and to others just a goddamned beard—is here to stay. The beardless Justin Trudeau had been a Justin Trudeau of hope and colourful socks. A politician of close shaves, on his […]

Scott Reid’s confession, and the dream of honesty in politics

Jan 2 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The Tory MP is sorry he lied to me—and to Parliament. Let’s not waste his moment of truth. Politicians aren’t primarily in the business of truth-telling. Reporters fully expect partisans to lie to us, sometimes, in service to their cause, their leader or the preservation of their own political asses. Conservative MP Scott Reid recently […]

Trudeau’s top advisor accused Indian PM of trying to ‘screw’ Liberals during 2018 trip: book excerpt

Aug 1 2019 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Justin Trudeau’s longtime adviser Gerald Butts accused India’s government of trying to “screw” the Liberals to help his Canadian Conservative rivals during the prime minister’s controversy-ridden trip to India. Trudeau’s visit to India in early 2018 was widely panned because of his dressing in traditional garb; the invitation of a convicted attempted murderer to high-level […]

Canadian officials instructed to stop using ‘progressive’ to describe trade deals, documents show

Jul 4 2019 — Marie-Danielle Smith — When Canada signed on to a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal last year, the Liberal government faced some mockery for insisting on putting the term “progressive” in the title. A few months later, bureaucrats were quietly instructed to drop the word in favour of describing it as an “inclusive approach to trade” instead, newly released documents […]

Feds make cool $35k from warehouse surplus sale, but diamond bracelet, barber chairs and horse tack could still be yours

Jun 20 2019 — Marie-Danielle Smith — After making almost $35,000 from selling odds and ends such as mittens, headphones and chairs at an Ottawa sale Saturday, the federal government is considering opening the doors to more of its surplus warehouses. GCSurplus’s first “Cash and Carry” sale attracted more than 1,500 people, according to a spokesman for Public Services and Procurement Canada. […]

Conservatives zero in on Paris targets as ‘proof point’ for discrediting Liberal carbon tax: internal memo

Jun 12 2019 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Ahead of a climate policy announcement from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, the Tories are going all-in on attacking the Liberal government for its projected failure to meet emissions reduction targets, according to an internal memo obtained by the National Post. The memo to chief of staff Marc-André Leclerc, dated June 5, outlines the party’s communications […]

‘New Serene Dave’ not so zen after learning AG faces a funding crunch under Liberals

Jun 6 2019 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The auditor general and deputy minister of finance will be invited to a House committee next week, MPs decided Thursday, to explain a funding shortfall that’s causing cuts to the independent auditor’s work, including a planned performance review on government cyber security. The public accounts committee heard last month from the interim auditor general, Sylvain […]