National Newswatch

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Canada playing ‘political games’ with newly-adopted Magnitsky law

Oct 20 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Russian President Vladimir Putin is accusing Justin Trudeau’s government of playing “unconstructive political games” with its newly-adopted Magnitsky law. During a question-and-answer period at a conference in Sochi, Russia Thursday, Putin alleged events leading to the adoption of the law are part of a conspiracy to “blow up more anti-Russian hysteria,” according to a transcript […]

Conservative leader urged to help end Senate filibuster in neverending national anthem lyrics-change saga

Oct 19 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Parliamentarians are turning yet another page in the seemingly unending story of the short piece of legislation that would change a few words of the national anthem. In the saga’s latest development, the bill’s Senate sponsor, Independent Sen. Frances Lankin, is publicly challenging Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to help end a Tory filibuster — and […]

Europeans see Canada as ‘early warning system’ on U.S. after Trump’s election showed ‘necessity’ of relationship

Oct 12 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Canada can be an “early warning system” on the United States for Europe, European Union parliamentarians were saying as the American president and Canadian prime minister met in Washington, D.C. Wednesday. And despite mixed views on a free trade agreement with Europe — though one MEP said he received more public input on rabbit welfare […]

Former Liberal MP accuses party of ‘undemocratic’ — and illegal — nomination practices

Oct 4 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — A former Liberal MP is accusing his party and current government members of being involved in illegal nomination practices in the run-up to the last federal election. In a four-page letter sent to parliamentarians Wednesday, Paul Szabo alleges the Liberal Party condoned several breaches of Canadian election law leading to Sven Spengemann’s nomination as candidate […]

As Quebec separatists watch, Canada shies from criticizing Spain over police violence at Catalan referendum

Oct 2 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Canada has stopped short of criticizing the Spanish government after violent clashes and forced closures of polling stations during a Catalonia referendum Sunday. After 893 people and 33 police were injured Sunday in violence around the independence vote, a spokesman for Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said reports of violence are “concerning,” but the question […]

Liberal tax reforms to be debated in Senate committee, which senators say is not made up of ‘nitwits’

Sep 27 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The Senate voted Tuesday evening to have its finance committee study Liberals’ tax reform proposals and hear from witnesses about the issue, even though no bills have been tabled. Several senators also agreed, after a snitty exchange, that members of the finance committee are not in fact “nitwits,” though one Liberal felt the whole proposal […]

‘Bread and butter’ of NAFTA moving ahead but Canada still waiting for proposals on ‘contentious’ issues

Sep 25 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Canada’s foreign minister says she’s still waiting for key proposals from the Americans on an update to NAFTA, but the “bread and butter” of the deal is moving ahead in talks this week. On an accelerated timetable, “we’ve been making some good process,” but “we haven’t yet received proposals from the United States on some […]

Liberals paid headhunters $77K to help with botched appointment of a new languages czar

Sep 22 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — As part of the much-scrutinized process that led to Madeleine Meilleur being nominated as Canada’s official languages commissioner this spring, the federal government spent almost $77,000 on a headhunting firm, part of more than $2 million spent on “executive search” services this year alone. Much-delayed ethics, lobbying and information commissioner positions are also being supported […]

Other countries, security, refugees: Here’s what Trudeau didn’t talk about at the UN

Sep 21 2017 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech to the United Nations general assembly Thursday focused largely on domestic issues, even including his finance minister’s proposed tax reforms, but didn’t get much into geopolitics. A heavy focus on his Liberal government’s handling of Indigenous issues was expected in this, Trudeau’s second speech to the UN’s New York plenary […]