National Newswatch

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 […]

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 […]