National Newswatch

How Andrew Scheer made an unlikely rise to the Conservative leadership — and then lost it two years later

Dec 13 2019 — Brian Platt — When Andrew Scheer entered the already-crowded Conservative leadership race in September 2016, few predicted he’d emerge triumphant. Scheer had made his career in Ottawa largely through the House of Commons Speaker’s office — a bastion for parliamentary procedure wonks, not partisan politics. He’d been a Conservative MP since the age of 25, but never a […]

Don’t tell the world ‘Canada is back’ without backing it up: Brian Mulroney hits out in foreign affairs speech

Nov 22 2019 — Brian Platt — In a speech that takes veiled shots at Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer and Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is calling for Canada to increase its foreign aid spending, re-engage with the United Nations, and stop telling the world “Canada is back” without taking action to back it up. “The world stage is the […]

Public servant charged over same leak probe as Mark Norman has case put on hold due to justice reforms

Nov 1 2019 — Brian Platt — The criminal case of Matthew Matchett, a public servant charged as part of the same leak investigation that ensnared Vice Admiral Mark Norman, is on pause while the courts grapple with the government’s justice reforms that scrapped most preliminary inquiries. The RCMP charged Matchett in February with breach of trust over allegedly leaking cabinet information […]

Saskatchewan judge rules sex assault trial reforms passed by Liberal government are unconstitutional

Aug 9 2019 — Brian Platt — A Saskatchewan judge has found the Liberal government’s sexual assault trial reforms are unconstitutional because they force defence lawyers to disclose too much of their evidence to the complainant ahead of time, potentially allowing the complainant to modify their testimony in response. The provincial court decision addresses reforms contained in Bill C-51, which took effect […]

Liberals gamble that bringing Gerald Butts back for election campaign is worth reviving SNC-Lavalin scandal

Jul 22 2019 — Brian Platt — Gerald Butts has returned to help re-elect the Liberals — but his reappearance has also ignited the flames of the SNC-Lavalin scandal. “Gerald Butts is back, the Lav-scamsters are reunited, and nothing has changed,” said Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre at a news conference at Ottawa’s National Press Theatre Monday. “If Trudeau and Butts are returned […]

Ontario judges reject two Charter challenges of Liberal government’s sex assault reforms, passed after Ghomeshi case

Jul 22 2019 — Brian Platt — Defence lawyers in two separate Ontario cases have failed to strike down the Liberal government’s overhaul of sexual assault trial laws, a package of reforms widely seen in the legal community as a response to the Jian Ghomeshi trial. Bill C-51, passed in December 2018, contained numerous sexual assault reforms. But the most controversial one […]

Architecture battle grips Canada’s capital amid fears the Chateau Laurier is about to be ruined

Jul 4 2019 — Brian Platt — Under normal circumstances, a three-year planning dispute in Ottawa wouldn’t make the national news. But when it involves the landmark Chateau Laurier hotel, the turreted jewel of the postcard landscape alongside the Parliament buildings and the Rideau Canal, the stakes get higher. “This is going to, as it currently stands, disfigure an iconic, famous, important, […]

Government backs down on attempt to force judges to disclose individual expenses

Jun 13 2019 — Brian Platt — The government has backed down on a plan to force federally-appointed judges to disclose their individual expenses, a move judges had warned was unconstitutional and would undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. The climbdown comes after judicial organizations voiced pointed objections in testimony at the Senate legal affairs committee. The committee then amended Bill […]

In new court filings, federal prosecutors say SNC-Lavalin misunderstands the AG’s role in criminal cases

Jun 5 2019 — Brian Platt — The federal prosecution service says SNC-Lavalin misunderstands the role of the attorney general in criminal cases, and should not be allowed to file new arguments as the company fights in the Federal Court of Appeal to avoid a criminal trial on corruption and fraud charges. SNC-Lavalin is challenging the decision of the Director of Public […]

‘We did it well’: Lametti defends Justice Department’s response to subpoenas in Mark Norman case

May 21 2019 — Brian Platt — Justice Minister David Lametti says he’s satisfied his department did the best job it could in finding, reviewing and disclosing thousands of government documents requested by Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s defence team. Norman’s lawyers argued the documents were crucial to his ability to defend himself, and they criticized the department for the lengthy, arduous process in […]