National Newswatch

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 […]

Scrapping Safe Third Country deal may not lead to huge influx of asylum seekers

Jun 26 2018 — Mark Gollom — The Trump administration’s crackdown on asylum seekers has renewed calls by critics to scrap or suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA); arguing that the U.S. is no longer a hospitable destination for refugee claimants. But that raises the question about whether more asylum seekers would then come into Canada. “The answer is that […]

Elliott, Mulroney expected to snag key cabinet posts in Ford government

Jun 10 2018 — Mark Gollom — Vic Fedeli, Lisa MacLeod and Rod Phillips also among the names considered to be cabinet choices. When Doug Ford unveils his Ontario provincial government cabinet, it’s expected to be much smaller than the current team assembled by Kathleen Wynne. The current premier had expanded the number of cabinet ministers to 30, but with Ford’s focus […]

Russian diplomats interfered in Canada’s democracy, Ottawa says. Did they meddle in our election?

Mar 31 2018 — Mark Gollom — When the Canadian government announced it would expel four Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of an ex-spy in Salisbury, U.K., it raised questions as to whether Ottawa was accusing Moscow of interfering in Canada’s most recent election. In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the four had been identified “as intelligence […]

How Patrick Brown’s downfall reveals the challenges of vetting candidates

Jan 27 2018 — Mark Gollom — The allegations of sexual misconduct against former Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown raise questions about the vetting process for political candidates and whether enough scrutiny is being applied to those seeking office. But some political strategists say parties, with limited resources, can only do so much investigating, and that it often comes down to trust.