National Newswatch

Baloney Meter: Was the budget a political prop for the scandal-plagued Liberals?

Mar 22 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — "(Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) thinks today's budget will distract Canadians from all of this. He is using the budget — a critical element of any government's agenda — as nothing more than a political prop in an unprecedented cover-up." — Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, March 19 --- Andrew Scheer and his Conservative caucus members have […]

Senator tables bill with former UN envoy to spend seized assets of dictators

Mar 21 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — An independent Canadian senator has proposed a bill that would allow the government to take the frozen assets of dictators and their cronies to help refugees forced to flee their tyranny. Sen. Ratna Omidvar tabled the Frozen Assets Repurposing Act on Thursday with the support of Allan Rock, the former Liberal attorney general and justice minister […]

Liberal-dominated justice committee ends SNC-Lavalin probe amid opposition howls

Mar 19 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — The Liberal-dominated justice committee of the House of Commons pulled the plug Tuesday on its probe of the SNC-Lavalin affair, prompting fresh howls of opposition outrage and a walkout by Conservative MPs from the government's budget presentation later in the day. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of "thumbing his nose" at Canadians. New […]

Canada extends Iraq and Ukraine military missions to 2021 and 2022

Mar 18 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada has learned a lot about how to protect against foreign election meddling through its support of Ukraine in its ongoing battles with Russia, says Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Freeland described Ukraine as a "laboratory" for Russia's disinformation campaigns in cyberspace as she and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Monday that Canada is extending its […]

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Mar 18 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's newest cabinet minister says she wants to move on from the controversy that has resulted in her appointment to president of the Treasury Board.  "The past few weeks have been difficult, and I have expressed my confidence in our prime minister and our support for the work we are […]

Freeland thanks U.S. lawmakers for bipartisan support on Meng arrest

Mar 8 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland applauded Friday a bipartisan American political effort backing Canada in its fight with China over its detention of Huawei's chief financial officer. Freeland's remarks — in an email to The Canadian Press — came hours after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a Beijing news conference his country would take "all necessary […]

Trudeau dismisses China report anonymously accusing Kovrig, Spavor of espionage

Mar 4 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed reports in China that two imprisoned Canadians tried to steal state secrets from the People's Republic. Trudeau said Monday it is unfortunate China continues to push forward with detentions of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor. They were arrested in December by Chinese authorities and accused of […]

Canada, Mexico divided on Venezuela amid united push for new NAFTA

Mar 1 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada and Mexico may be united in wanting to bring closure to North America's unresolved trading future, but they are diametrically opposed on how to solve Venezuela's political and economic crisis. The cleavage between Canada and Mexico over the upheaval enveloping their broader hemispheric neighbourhood — the meltdown of once prosperous Venezuela that has spawned […]

Mexico threw Canada ‘under the bus,’ Liberal MP tells Mexican minister

Feb 28 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada and Mexico are dealing with lingering hard feelings over last summer's surprise Mexican trade deal with the United States as their new continental trade pact awaits a final stamp of political approval. Two weeks ago, the head of a visiting delegation of Canadian parliamentarians told the newly installed Mexican foreign minister his country threw Canada […]

Freeland, Hunt to host Canadian-British press freedom summit this summer

Feb 26 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada and Britain will co-host an international summit in London this summer on the growing threats to freedom of the press, and to promote better protection of journalists. Sources say Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland — a journalist before she entered politics — and her British counterpart Jeremy Hunt have worked on the idea for months. […]

Freeland wants Venezuelan sanctions with ‘bite,’ and long-term rebuilding plan

Feb 25 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada and its allies are well down the road to crafting a long-term, post-Maduro recovery plan for Venezuela's disastrous economic decline, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday night And she said Canada and its allies are looking at ways of ratcheting up sanctions on Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's socialist leader, so they will have […]

Canadian students urged to study in China despite Kovrig, Spavor arrests

Feb 22 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Eight days after Chinese authorities imprisoned Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, a senior Canadian foreign ministry official urged Canadian students to apply for a program to study in China. Sarah Taylor, the director-general of the north-Asia bureau at Global Affairs Canada, made the pitch for the 45-year-old Canada-China Scholarship Exchange Program during a Dec. 18 […]

Top Trudeau adviser Telford targeted in ex-Israel envoy’s lawsuit

Feb 21 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — One week after losing his right-hand man Gerald Butts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's top political aide — chief of staff Katie Telford — faces allegations she intentionally inflicted mental suffering on an ex-ambassador. The allegation is contained in a lawsuit filed by Vivian Bercovici, a former Canadian ambassador to Israel, who was appointed by the […]

Amnesty documents Venezuelan rights violations since start of democracy protests

Feb 20 2019 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — An Amnesty International report alleging human-rights abuses by Venezuelan forces loyal to President Nicolas Maduro represents one more example of a "despicable" regime, says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Amnesty accused Venezuelan police of hundreds of human-rights abuses following the start of pro-democracy protests in the last month. The abuses include 900 arbitrary detentions and six extrajudicial killings, the […]