National Newswatch

Ontario holding public consultation on making spring bear hunt permanent

Jan 17 2020 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — A spring black bear hunt could soon be a permanent annual event in Ontario again, the provincial government suggested Friday as it launched a public consultation on the idea. The move would mark a form of departure for the Progressive Conservative government by seeing it formalize a pilot project initiated by the Liberals […]

RCMP creating DNA profiles to help identify Canadians killed in Iran plane crash

Jan 16 2020 — Michelle McQuigge — Canada's national police force is taking part in the massive effort to identify dozens of Canadians killed in last week's plane crash in Iran. While no RCMP officers are currently on the ground in Tehran, where the Ukrainian passenger jet was shot down by the Iranian military, a spokeswoman said the force is co-ordinating the crucial work of gathering physical material […]

New cannabis products may not eat into black market, experts say

Jan 5 2020 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — The arrival of legal cannabis edibles, vapes and other products in Ontario won't necessarily meet the government's stated goal of cutting into the black market, according to industry observers. The Ontario Cannabis Store, the province's pot distributor, has announced that a raft of new products is slated to start appearing in brick-and-mortar retailers […]

Ontario doing away with pot shop lottery system, looks to add more stores

Dec 12 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — Ontario's legal cannabis retail scene will become better equipped to compete with the black market starting next month, the government said Thursday as it announced it was doing away with the province's controversial licence lottery system. Attorney General Doug Downey announced details of the changes weeks after the government first signalled its intention […]

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from former Nazi death squad member

Dec 5 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — Jewish groups across the country hailed the Supreme Court's decision not to allow an elderly man who lied about his time working for a Nazi death squad to continue his fight to retain Canadian citizenship, while his family decried the move as a miscarriage of justice. The Supreme Court, as per its custom, did not provide reasons […]

Transport agency asks for public input on air travel for disabled people

Dec 3 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — Two separate federal agencies issued announcements Tuesday on life with a disability in Canada — one seeking greater input on hot-button issues and the other urging society at large to challenge its preconceptions. Statements from the Canadian Transportation Agency and Statistics Canada differed in scope and content, but both touched on issues that disabled Canadians […]

Ontarians with full and part-time jobs increasingly using food banks: Report

Dec 3 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — The organization overseeing Ontario's food banks says residents with full and part-time jobs are increasingly reaching out for help to put food on their tables. Feed Ontario says the number of food bank users with jobs has gone up 27 per cent over the past three years. The findings are contained in a report that tracked usage […]

Former federal minister Jane Philpott takes on role with Indigenous group

Nov 26 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — A former high-profile Liberal cabinet minister says the experience she gained overseeing the country's health system and Indigenous services has given her crucial background as she takes on a new role with a prominent Indigenous organization. Jane Philpott, who resigned her cabinet post earlier this year over the government's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair and […]

Conservative Leader Scheer dismisses two top staff in wake of election loss

Nov 23 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — Federal Conservative party Leader Andrew Scheer dismissed two of his top aides on Saturday as he and his party grapple with the fallout of what many see as a disappointing performance in last month's election. Scheer announced the changes in a morning letter to caucus, saying chief of staff Marc-Andre Leclerc and communications director Brock […]

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

Nov 18 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — Some Canadian universities are urging their exchange students in Hong Kong to consider returning home as the semi-autonomous Chinese territory is beset by escalating violence between government officials and pro-democracy protesters. Dozens of Canadians remained in Hong Kong on Monday, according to several institutions reached by The Canadian Press — many of which said it […]

Efforts to ditch seasonal time change gaining steam

Oct 31 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — The British Columbia government's effort to formally do away with seasonal time changes marks the most decisive move in a debate that's quietly raged across Canada for years. At least two other provincial governments have explored the notion of moving permanently to daylight time, eliminating the need to change the clocks by an hour twice a year. While those […]

Ontario government closes door on possible amalgamations following review

Oct 25 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — Municipalities should be allowed to decide how best to handle their own regional affairs, the Ontario government said Friday as it assured local leaders it was no longer considering forced amalgamations. Steve Clark, the province's minister of municipal affairs, said the results of a review that studied governance structures in 82 of Ontario's 444 municipalities concluded that top-down […]

Ontario government partially backtracks on expanded high school class sizes

Oct 24 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — The union representing Ontario's high school teachers described a proffered olive branch as a "poison pill" on Thursday, saying the government only told half the story when it offered to partially walk back a proposed increase to class sizes. The president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation confirmed that the Progressive Conservative government had offered to lower […]

Syrian restaurant owners filing complaint about hate messages, Toronto cops say

Oct 9 2019 — Michelle McQuigge — TORONTO — A Toronto family who said it was forced to close their popular Syrian restaurant after receiving a series of hate messages and death threats has filed a complaint with city police, the force said Wednesday. Const. Victor Kwong said investigators met with members of the Alsoufi family and are launching an investigation. He did not disclose details of […]