National Newswatch

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.

Canada-Saudi spat highlights perils of Twitter diplomacy

Aug 9 2018 — Mark Gollom — As the diplomatic crisis between Canada and Saudi Arabia continues to escalate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled that his government will continue to use Twitter and social media as a means of conducting foreign relations. But analysts differ on whether Twitter is a useful tool or a clumsy medium for what has been variously called […]

Saudi Arabia ‘allergic to criticism’, making example out of Canada, analysts say

Aug 8 2018 — Mark Gollom — Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic retaliation against Canada is likely the result of a combination of factors, analysts say, including Riyadh’s thin skin, its frustration with Ottawa, and its Crown prince’s penchant for a muscle-flexing foreign policy that seeks to make one thing clear: Criticism won’t be tolerated. In fact, the latter is why one analyst who […]

Ability to print guns ‘critical issue’ for law enforcement around the world: Goodale

Aug 1 2018 — Mark Gollom — As controversy swirls in the U.S. over downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, Canada’s public safety minister says the technology is a “critical issue” that’s causing concern for law enforcement around the world. Speaking to reporters in Regina, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said local police forces, the RCMP, their counterparts in the U.S. and […]