National Newswatch

Ortis arrest ‘unsettling,’ top Mountie says amid damage assessment

Sep 16 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — The Mounties are assessing and trying to mitigate the damage that might have been caused in light of the arrest of one of their senior intelligence officials, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Monday. In a statement, Lucki said last week's arrest of 47-year-old Cameron Jay Ortis, who is charged under three sections of the Security of […]

Russian election-meddling in Canada linked to Arctic ambitions: report

Sep 8 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — A new University of Calgary study is predicting Russian interference in the federal election campaign to serve what it describes as the Kremlin's long-term interest of competing against Canada in the Arctic. The study's author, Sergey Sukhankin, said in an interview that Moscow's ability to inflict serious damage is relatively low because Canadian society […]

Canada pushes China on canola at WTO as Beijing bristles over Trudeau criticism

Sep 6 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada has requested a formal meeting with China at the World Trade Organization to resolve a Chinese ban on Canadian canola shipments. International Trade Minister Jim Carr announced Friday that Canada is seeking a bilateral consultation at the WTO because the two sides have been unable to resolve the issue. China's decision to ban canola […]

Liberals tap economic adviser Dominic Barton as new ambassador to China

Sep 4 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Dominic Barton brings to his new job as Canada's ambassador to China the acumen of a savvy, globe-trotting business consultant with an enriched understanding of how to properly grease wheels and make profitable deals. Barton's success in the new job will be measured by his ability to negotiate one straightforward transaction: persuade Beijing's […]

Trudeau kept ‘back pocket’ G7 summit statement to guard against Trump

Aug 5 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept a "back pocket" closing statement at last year's stormy G7 summit in case U.S. President Donald Trump blocked the usual united communique, the top Canadian organizer has revealed. Sen. Peter Boehm was Trudeau's sherpa, the senior public servant who organized the Canadian-hosted G7 leaders' meeting at Charlevoix, Que., and describes the […]

No decision on Huawei and 5G before fall federal election call: Goodale

Jul 31 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canadians will have to wait until after this fall's federal election to find out whether Chinese tech giant Huawei can provide equipment for the country's next-generation 5G wireless network. Canada needs more information from the United States about the nature of the potential security threat the U.S. believes the company poses, Public Safety […]

U.S. House breaks with no new NAFTA tabled for ratification. Now what?

Jul 29 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canadians will likely enter a fall election with the new North American free trade deal hanging in the balance, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he's not rushing to ratify the pact in the face of U.S. political differences. The Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives began its five-week summer break on Monday without introducing a ratification bill — a scenario Trump and his […]

U.S. lawmakers decry ‘abusive’ imprisonment of two Canadians in China

Jul 25 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — U.S. lawmakers in the House of Representatives are being asked to condemn the "abusive" imprisonment of two Canadian men in China. China imprisoned former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor in December, little more than a week after the RCMP's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on an American […]

Canadian navy not asked to join British coalition to protect Strait of Hormuz

Jul 25 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada has no plans to contribute a ship to Britain's nascent navy coalition to defend international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, where its tense dispute with Iran is unfolding. But Britain is seeking Canada's vocal support for the deal Iran reached with other western powers to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, The Canadian […]

Canada urged to help special court for Central African Republic survive

Jul 24 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada is being urged to help plug a US$1-million funding shortfall that would allow the Special Criminal Court for war-ravaged Central African Republic to keep operating. That request comes with the release of a report on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch, which calls on Canada and several countries to help preserve the underfunded court, […]

Expert warns of Huawei monopoly in North, leaving residents vulnerable to China

Jul 22 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — Ottawa is creating conditions for the telecom giant Huawei to create a monopoly on high-speed internet in Canada's Far North, leaving its residents vulnerable to Beijing's will, says a leading analyst. Michael Byers, an Arctic-affairs expert at the University of British Columbia, said there's no immediate security threat to Huawei Canada's Monday announcement that it […]

Trudeau, Tusk take aim at Trump, and fixing WTO at Canada-EU summit

Jul 18 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Council President Donald Tusk ended a summit Thursday that was bathed in the symbolism of solidarity with critical words for U.S. President Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric towards female congresswomen. Trudeau and Tusk also pledged to find ways to preserve a World Trade Organization appeals panel that faces paralysis […]