National Newswatch

After ‘sabotage,’ big demands and flirting with China, how is trade under Trudeau shaping up?

Nov 23 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for Justin Trudeau’s progressive free trade agenda, with uncertainty looming over several existing and potential deals. Just weeks after the Canadian prime minister was lambasted for apparently “sabotaging” a major pacific trade deal, his office is planning a trade mission to China. Meanwhile, officials from Canada, Mexico and the […]

Canadian troops in Latvia warned their social media accounts and cell phones could be ‘manipulated or misused’

Nov 19 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Canadian troops in Latvia are being warned about their cell phones and social media accounts being co-opted, says NATO’s secretary general. Jens Stoltenberg said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is aware of many reports a Russian disinformation campaign is attempting to sow doubt online about its intentions. “We have strengthened the cyber defence capabilities of […]

Former Wynne staffer was involved in Meilleur’s selection as languages commissioner, documents show

Nov 17 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — A former staffer in the office of Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne who now works for federal heritage minister Mélanie Joly was involved in the selection of Madeleine Meilleur as official languages commissioner this spring, newly-released documents show. Joly jumped through hoops to hide her staff’s participation in the process, said NDP languages critic François Choquette, […]

World’s lonely hearts disappointed to discover ‘Women in Canada’ is a government department

Nov 10 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Some Facebook users have been mistaking Canada’s Status of Women ministry for a dating service offering Canadian wives, according to the government. Comments to the agency’s posts that propose marriage are regularly deleted by staff. Spokeswomen Léonie Roux told the Post generic examples of such responses include, but are not limited to, “Looking for wife […]

Liberals to vote on amendments to tighten arms exports bill, restrict potential Saudi deals

Nov 8 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The New Democrats will propose major changes Thursday to the government’s Arms Trade Treaty legislation, after critics warned of loopholes that would facilitate exports to human rights violators, . The Liberal bill, currently being studied at the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, has been scorned by civil society organizations that say it doesn’t go […]

Portnov’s complaint: Ukrainian man takes Chrystia Freeland to court over sanctions

Nov 7 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — After trying seven times to get the Canadian global affairs minister to remove his name from a list of foreigners subject to economic sanctions, a Ukrainian man is taking legal action in Canada’s federal court. Andriy Portnov, who served under Viktor Yanukovych before the Ukrainian president was ousted from power amid 2014 anti-government protests, remains […]

‘Real headway’ being made on Trans-Pacific Partnership excluding U.S., but announcement at APEC unlikely

Nov 3 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — A Trans-Pacific Partnership excluding the U.S. won’t be firmed up in time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Asia week, a Liberal government official familiar with the matter said. There is a worry within the Canadian government about putting the proverbial TPP cart before the NAFTA horse, in the official’s words, although one isn’t […]

Canada about to unveil first set of Magnitsky sanctions on Venezuelans, Russians, official says

Nov 2 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Canada will “quite soon” flex new legal muscles created by its recent passage of Magnitsky law to sanction individuals in both Venezuela and Russia, a Canadian government official confirms. A third, unnamed nationality may also be represented in this “first tranche” of sanctions against individuals accused of being human rights abusers, the official told the […]

As Trudeau supports ‘united Spain,’ Quebec nationalists nearly alone in backing independent Catalonia

Oct 27 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The Bloc Québécois appears to be one of very few groups in the world that is ready to recognize an independent Catalonia after its parliament declared independence Friday. Given its history of separatism, Quebec has closely watched as Spain devolves into chaos, with its national government ousting the Catalan president and calling the declaration Friday […]

Alberta court rules $1,000 deposit requirement for federal election candidates is unconstitutional

Oct 26 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — An Alberta court has nullified the requirement that candidates pay a financial deposit to run in federal elections, finding the rule violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is unconstitutional for Elections Canada to demand the $1,000 deposit from prospective candidates, a justice of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench found in a judgment […]

Senate national anthem debate reaches new heights with poem, defence of senator’s ‘gentle’ inner self

Oct 25 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Senators continue squabbling over a woebegone national anthem bill — what else is new? — with debate reaching new heights Tuesday as one leader made a rhyming statement in verse and a veteran senator deemed a notoriously blustery colleague “gentle” on the inside. The latest quarrel revolved around an argument over whether the bill’s sponsor […]

Canada decides who crosses our border, ‘not the Kremlin,’ says Goodale, amid Magnitsky spat

Oct 24 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The public safety minister says in no uncertain terms Canada will ignore Russia’s global arrest warrant if the advocate behind recent Magnitsky legislation shows up at the border. “Canada will decide admissibility to Canada, not the Kremlin,” Goodale said Tuesday. Bill Browder’s status is unchanged and Goodale can see “no reason” why he shouldn’t be […]