National Newswatch

Is Andrew Scheer ducking the Ontario premier?

Sep 18 2019 — Mark Gollom — Where’s Doug Ford? That was one of the more persistent questions hurled at Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer during his mini-tour through Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area in the early days of the federal election campaign. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative premier was absent from all of Scheer’s appearances, including his Ontario kickoff in Vaughan-Woodbridge and Etobicoke, […]

Trudeau vs. Dion: How the PM and ethics commissioner differ on the SNC-Lavalin affair

Aug 15 2019 — Mark Gollom — The federal ethics commissioner released a damning report Wednesday about the SNC-Lavalin affair, finding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was guilty of violating Canada’s Conflict of Interest Act. According to Mario Dion, the prime minister had “directly and through his senior officials used various means to exert influence” over then justice minister and attorney general Jody […]

Bombardier job cuts raise questions on impact of Buy America Act

Jul 12 2019 — Mark Gollom — While Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the federal Liberal government were busy this week blaming each other for the financial woes of Bombardier, the company itself pointed its finger at another culprit. In a news release confirming it would be terminating 550 employees from its Thunder Bay, Ont., plant, the aerospace company claimed one of […]

AG David Lametti could be SNC-Lavalin’s last hope to avoid prosecution

Mar 10 2019 — Mark Gollom — If the corruption and fraud case against SNC-Lavalin proceeds to trial, then David Lametti may be the only person in Canada who can save the Montreal-based engineering firm from criminal prosecution. As attorney general, Lametti has the power to decide whether the company should be able to access a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), which would […]

Wilson-Raybould vs. Butts: Two versions of the SNC-Lavalin affair

Mar 7 2019 — Mark Gollom — It was hardly surprising that Gerald Butts, the former principal secretary for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, would offer a narrative about the SNC-Lavalin affair that conflicted with the one delivered last week by Jody Wilson-Raybould.​ Wilson-Raybould had testified before the Commons justice committee that when she was attorney general she had been pressured inappropriately by […]

Gerald Butts faces the heat over SNC-Lavalin scandal: Will he help or hurt the PM?

Mar 6 2019 — Mark Gollom — When Gerald Butts announced his resignation as Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary, his reasoning suggested he feared allegations springing from the then-burgeoning SNC-Lavalin controversy might be a distraction for the prime minister. “My reputation is my responsibility and that is for me to defend,” he wrote in a statement. “It is in the best interests of […]

How Gerald Butts’s combative use of Twitter brought him out of the shadows

Feb 22 2019 — Mark Gollom — Key aides to a prime minister generally prefer to stay in the shadows, perhaps providing background information to Parliament Hill journalists, but rarely giving interviews or generating much of a public persona. In some ways, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts carried on that tradition, rarely quoted, speaking to journalists only on […]

Banning Huawei from building new 5G wireless network won’t really hurt Canada’s big telecom firms

Dec 19 2018 — Mark Gollom — If the federal government moves to ban Huawei from working to build Canada’s new 5G network, it is unlikely to have a major financial impact on two of the country’s top communications companies who have partnered with the China-based firm, analysts say. Huawei’s equipment is already used in telecommunications infrastructure run by Canada’s major cellphone […]

Trans Mountain court ruling a ‘blow’ to Trudeau’s credibility, experts say

Aug 31 2018 — Mark Gollom — A federal court ruling suspending the expansion of the Trans Mountain project undermines the prime minister’s reliability and underscores the missteps made by the Liberal government in its handling of the file, some experts say. ​”It’s a big blow to Justin Trudeau’s credibility because he’s said repeatedly this pipeline will be built,” said UBC political […]

Canada had little choice but to play it cool in NAFTA talks, trade experts say

Aug 30 2018 — Mark Gollom — When U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. and Mexico had agreed to a bilateral deal on trade to replace NAFTA, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer swiftly rendered his verdict on the prime minister’s handling of the negotiations. “Canadians will pay for Justin Trudeau’s weakness and failure on NAFTA,” the Opposition leader tweeted.