National Newswatch

Duclos’s rise to Treasury Board vice-chair shows his ‘quiet competence’: observers

Feb 6 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — Observers say that among the few changes made to cabinet committee membership last week, the prominence given to Quebec ministers is most interesting, with one former cabinet minister highlighting Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos’s new post as vice-chair of the Treasury Board as a “significant” development. Of the seven cabinet committees, the powerful Treasury Board was […]

Brison’s Nova Scotia riding ‘difficult’ for Liberals to hold: ex-Grit minister Thibault

Jan 30 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — With seven-time MP Scott Brison out of the picture in Kings-Hants, N.S., this fall, the riding is “one to watch” in Atlantic Canada and a “difficult” win for the Liberals, says a former Chrétien-era cabinet minister. A well-liked representative for the riding north of Halifax, Mr. Brison’s longevity was a credit to his personal popularity, […]

Senate lobbying up 12 per cent in 2018, Sens. Grant Mitchell, Terry Mercer lobbied most

Jan 23 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — Lobbying of Canada’s Upper Chamber climbed 12 per cent in 2018, stretching past 2017’s already unprecedented figures. Last year, lobbyists logged 1,407 communications with the Senate, up 12.5 per cent from the 1,250 posted in 2017 and more than doubling 2016 numbers, according to monthly reports from the federal registry. It follows the trend set […]

It’s ‘vital’ feds name Conservatives to security committee soon, or it’ll ‘become problematic’: critics, experts

Dec 12 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — It’s “vital for the legitimacy” of Parliament’s National Security and Intelligence Committee that the government name Conservative MPs to sit on the body soon or the two Tory vacant seats will become “problematic,” say critics and intelligence analysts. The 11-person National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) is down two members after Conservative MP […]

‘Ambitious’ feminist aid targets potential victim of Liberal ‘gender washing,’ says report

Dec 5 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — A new report says Canadians should be skeptical if the Liberals meet their “highly ambitious” targets on increasing gender-focused international aid. It’s a concern echoed by opposition critics, who warn of the potential for the “feminist washing” of the country’s aid program. Canadian aid is “quite unfocused,” “spread too thin,” and vulnerable to the “danger […]

Fourth year of governing more crucial than first three combined, says Dalton McGuinty, tougher as partisanship spikes

Nov 28 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — Parliament’s challenge in the last year of the Liberal mandate will be “to govern despite ourselves” and avoid the “toxicity that has taken over much of political debate” as all parties turn to election readiness, says NDP MP Nathan Cullen. “Fourth years of Parliaments tend to exaggerate the differences because people are trying to make […]

Feds have spent less than half of controversial $7-billion budget fund, critics question lost oversight given ‘unchanged’ spending pace

Nov 14 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Liberals have allocated less than half of the budget spending from a controversial $7-billion fund that outraged opposition MPs, who argued it fundamentally undermined how Parliament scrutinizes government spending. They say the pace of the roll-out shows the revamped system didn’t justify the lost oversight. The government transferred $2.89-billion, or 41 per cent, to […]

Judges to testify in secret for Senate committee study of access to information bill

Nov 7 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Senate committee studying proposed changes to the Access to Information Act has invited judges to appear behind closed doors, a necessary move to access key information, according to the committee chair, but one a critic calls hypocritical for a transparency bill. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee will hold a private meeting to […]

Norman case will only get ‘uglier’ for Liberals already damaged by interference optics: politicos, experts

Oct 24 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — As the case against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, accused of leaking cabinet confidences, makes its way before the Ontario Court of Justice during the countdown to election 2019, the Liberals will be tarred by the perception of political interference in an ongoing drama analysts say will only get uglier. With the trial scheduled for next summer—during […]