National Newswatch

Bowing to pressure, feds urge Senate to change access to information bill

Oct 10 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — After pushback from Indigenous groups and the information commissioner, the government is backing down on a number of changes proposed to the Access to Information Act, calling on Senators to make the friendly amendments during their study of the bill that critics have called “regressive.” Treasury Board President Scott Brison (Kings-Hants, N.S.) told a Senate […]

Saskatchewan NDP riding associations frustrated with party’s lack of communication: internal document

Oct 3 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — Some Saskatchewan NDP organizers say the party hasn’t responded to repeated calls to address provincial concerns, including requests for a visit from leader Jagmeet Singh, and that “better communication” is needed, according to a copy of June minutes from a meeting of riding associations sent to The Hill Times. Months later, that frustration hasn’t subsided, […]

NDP in midst of ‘complete overhaul,’ fixing broken fundraising system Singh inherited: party consultant

Sep 12 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The New Democratic Party’s fundraising program is undergoing “a complete overhaul,” according to its new fundraising consultant, as the party tries to rebound from internal neglect that has the party struggling to build a war chest a year out from the next election. “The system [NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh] walked into was broken,” said Josh […]

Departments dodging MP query on Facebook meetings, say critics

Jul 11 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — Some departments are “dodging” an MP’s question on government meetings with Facebook, revealing loopholes in the Lobbying Act that opposition critics say need fixing. Last month, in response to an Order Paper query about their meetings with Facebook, about half of the 50-plus government departments and agencies surveyed didn’t answer and instead deferred to the […]

‘Extraordinary’ Canada-U.S. trade spat brings lobbyists ‘out of the woodwork’

Jul 4 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The growing trade war between Canada and the United States prompted almost three-dozen new filings in the federal lobbyist registry over the last two months as Canada plotted its response to U.S.-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs. Even with Canada’s retaliatory tariffs kicking in July 1, lobbyists are predicting the uptick will continue in Ottawa as […]

Tory, NDP leadership candidates still owe thousands in campaign debts

Jun 6 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — A dozen former Conservative and NDP leadership contenders still owe money from their campaigns, according to Elections Canada, while the group’s biggest debtor, Tory competitor Kevin O’Leary, calls the rules around repayment “outrageous,” “unfair,” and “unCanadian.” The TV personality and businessman said he has paid off about $139,00 of the $529,00 he was reported as […]

Liberals risk new-Canadian vote with border-crossing response, say pollsters

May 16 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Liberals have switched to more hardline messaging around asylum seekers, say pollsters and observers, as the government’s response has left it open to attack in the face of increasing irregular border crossings and charges from the Conservatives that the Grits are soft on border security. Politically, the challenge and vulnerability for the Liberals is […]

Conservatives’ top first quarter fundraising reveals strong base, tap into frustration, backlash against Liberal gaffes, say strategists

May 7 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Conservatives pounced on message misfires by the Trudeau Liberals this last financial quarter, and crafting quick responses that resonated alongside strong donor microtargeting to pull in a whopping $6-million, nearly double the Grits’ haul for 2018’s first quarter, say Conservative strategists.

Brison’s $7-billion budget vote weakens parliamentary scrutiny of spending: current, ex-PBO

May 2 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Liberal government’s effort to align the budget with the main estimates has weakened an already broken system by creating a “massive central vote” that hands $7-billion to the Treasury Board with no scrutiny and nothing to compel promised spending, say Canada’s current and former parliamentary budget officers. Critics have said the “budget implementation vote” […]