National Newswatch

‘Pent-up demand’: parliamentary travel slowly returns with first international trips since pandemic began

Apr 27 2022 — Neil Moss — With an end to the travel embargo for Parliamentarians, MPs are slowly returning to the normalcy of parliamentary diplomacy and international travel, as they say nothing can make up for in-person dialogue. The ban on House Committee travel ended in March, with the House Administration allowing for international trips, but the House Liaison Committee has […]

‘No time to lose’: Indo-Pacific strategy highly anticipated after absence from budget

Apr 12 2022 — Neil Moss — Absent from the latest federal budget were commitments to Indo-Pacific priorities as Canadians await the government’s much-anticipated strategy for engagement in the region. In the budget tabled on April 7, the Liberal government pledged an additional $8-billion in defence funding and to complete a defence review. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s (University-Rosedale, […]

Russia’s war in Ukraine forces foreign policy into Conservative leadership race spotlight, says Charest

Apr 6 2022 — Neil Moss — With Russia’s continued bombardment of Ukraine and reports of widespread human rights violations, a Conservative leadership candidate says the conflict has put a spotlight on foreign policy during the race. Unlike the last Conservative leadership race, the frontrunners don’t bring an abundance of foreign policy experience, but Jean Charest leads the pack with his international […]

As Conservatives decry end of accountability at committees, NDP MPs say nothing has changed

Mar 30 2022 — Neil Moss — As NDP MPs say their work on House committees will remain uninterrupted by a supply-and-confidence agreement with the government, Conservative MPs worry committees will operate as if the Liberals control a majority Parliament. House committees have been given renewed importance since 2019 as opposition parties in a minority Parliament have the plurality of votes, which […]

Canadian government faces ‘fraught’ situation with volunteers joining Ukraine’s defence

Mar 23 2022 — Neil Moss — With scores of Canadian volunteers in Ukraine to help resist the renewed Russian invasion, their presence creates a thorn for the Canadian government, especially with concerns that those with far-right extremist links might want to join the fight, as Ottawa has little means to help volunteers that may need consular assistance. As Russian forces bombarded […]

Moscow’s aggression brings about Putin’s worst fears of NATO expansion, says Latvian defence official

Mar 15 2022 — Neil Moss — Amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine, Ottawa has recommitted to its NATO deployment in Latvia—a move some are calling to be made permanent—with Moscow’s aggression empowering the military alliance whose future was in question only a few years ago. While in Latvia during a five-day European trip, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) announced on […]

Feds cited caretaker convention to justify delays even after it wasn’t in ‘strict application’

Feb 8 2022 — Neil Moss — In the weeks following the Sept. 20 election, the Liberal government cited the caretaker convention as a reason to delay releasing new policies or information, but, as the prime minister confirmed in information tabled in the House, the convention was not in “strict application” after election night due to results showing a Liberal re-election and […]

In a NAFTA renegotiation team reunion, Freeland’s Finance Department adds Steve Verheul

Jan 26 2022 — Neil Moss — The pair that is credited with saving Canada’s North American trade pact are reuniting in the Finance Department, as the chief negotiator of the new NAFTA, Steve Verheul, has joined Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s department. Widely praised across the partisan divide, Verheul has been called the “architect” and “brain” of Canada’s trade agenda. He left […]

‘We should respect each other’: South Africa says notification not given before travel ban imposed

Jan 19 2022 — Neil Moss — It’s not just the decision to implement a controversial travel ban on southern African nations, which since has been revoked, but the way in which Canada went about announcing the plan, that irked South Africa’s envoy in Ottawa. Outgoing South African High Commissioner Sibongiseni Dlamini-Mntambo said she learned that Ottawa was imposing the ban not […]

PMO spent $10.05-million in 2020-21, cabinet offices’ expenditures rose 10 per cent, PMO says own office increased spending due to pandemic

Dec 30 2021 — Neil Moss — The Prime Minister’s Office expenses rose by 6.9 per cent in the last fiscal year as spending for all ministerial offices, including the PMO, reached $68.21-million, according to the federal government’s public accounts for 2020-21. The great majority of ministerial office spending, including the PMO, was for personnel. Of the $68.21-million spent by ministerial offices, […]