National Newswatch

Senators are being lobbied more than ever — and some are feeling overwhelmed

Nov 2 2018 — John Paul Tasker — As the Senate becomes increasingly active in amending government legislation, some Independent senators say they’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of requests they get to meet with lobbyists to discuss bills before the upper house — and they are promising a fix to better manage the volume. While lobbyists have long sought to influence government […]

Canada issues terse statement after far-right candidate elected president of Brazil

Oct 29 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland offered no words of praise today for Brazil’s new president-elect — far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro — choosing instead to congratulate Brazilians on exercising their right to vote in a contentious election in South America’s largest country. “Canada congratulates the tens of millions of Brazilians who exercised their democratic rights by […]

Tens of thousands of Canadians could soon be eligible for a pot pardon, but lawyers warn about limitations

Oct 18 2018 — John Paul Tasker — The Liberal government’s announcement that it will expedite the processing of pardons for people with minor cannabis-related criminal records is welcome news to tens of thousands of Canadians who have been convicted of possession offences. And while the Parole Board of Canada might soon be inundated with record suspension requests — more than 500,000 Canadians […]

Supreme Court to rule on Aboriginal rights case that could have sweeping implications for Parliament

Oct 10 2018 — John Paul Tasker — The Supreme Court of Canada will deliver a ruling Thursday on an issue that has become increasingly fraught: the Crown’s constitutional duty to consult with Indigenous peoples — and a decision in favour of the First Nation in question could have sweeping consequences for Canada’s legislative process. The Mikisew Cree First Nation, a band in […]

LNG Canada finally gives Trudeau the energy sector win he badly needed

Oct 2 2018 — John Paul Tasker — The energy sector hasn’t seen many outright victories over the last number of years under the Trudeau government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet approved the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, only to see the proponent cancel its $36 billion investment. TransCanada pulled out of the Energy East pipeline project over regulatory pressure and the Trans Mountain […]

Crude-by-rail sees massive increase since Trans Mountain was pitched in 2012

Oct 1 2018 — John Paul Tasker — With many new pipeline projects stalled and existing ones running at capacity, oilpatch producers are turning increasingly to rail to transport their product — resulting in an eight-fold spike in the volume of oil travelling on Canada’s railways since 2012. Proponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project first pitched the expansion in April 2012, […]

Canada, U.S. have reached a NAFTA deal – now called the USMCA

Sep 30 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Canada and the U.S. have announced a tentative new trilateral trade deal with Mexico that includes some key concessions on issues of import to both countries — and also a reworked name: the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA). “​USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will […]

What gun owners need to know about Ottawa’s new firearms bill

Sep 22 2018 — John Paul Tasker — The Liberal government is poised to pass new firearms legislation — changes to the country’s firearms regime that Ottawa says are “modest” but necessary reforms to reduce the frequency of violent gun crime. In the last election, the Liberal Party vowed to reverse a decade’s worth of Conservative changes to gun rules they claim bolstered […]