National Newswatch

Trudeau’s Senate rep takes issue with Scheer’s plans for the Red Chamber

Dec 23 2018 — John Paul Tasker — The Liberal government’s representative in the upper house is warning that the election of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer as prime minister would risk reverting the Senate to a body dominated by “a practice of partisanship that has not served Canada well.” And Ontario Sen. Peter Harder is touting legislative changes — which could take effect […]

‘Try it, you’ll like it’: Indigenous relations minister defends much-maligned Bill C-69

Dec 22 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett is calling for patience from jittery oilpatch proponents worried about the government’s controversial overhaul of environmental legislation — telling them to embrace better relations with Indigenous peoples or risk seeing even more energy projects held up by the courts. In a year-end interview with CBC News, Bennett, who counts Bill […]

Senate rejects calls for outside oversight of expenses

Dec 21 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Despite the pleas of Trudeau’s point man in the Senate, the Red Chamber has rejected calls for outside oversight of Senate expenses. The Senate committee on rules, procedures and the rights of Parliament is recommending that a new audit and oversight committee (AOC) be established — but that it be composed entirely of senators, at […]

Powerful Senate committee wants to meet in secret more often

Dec 6 2018 — John Paul Tasker — The Trudeau-appointed senator who chairs the Red Chamber’s powerful internal economy committee is asking his fellow senators to amend the rules to make it easier for the body to meet in secret — raising concerns about the Senate’s professed commitment to openness and transparency after a period of scandal. Independent Ontario Sen. Sabi Marwah, who […]

Alberta’s oil price gap ‘directly related to Justin Trudeau’s policies,’ says Scheer

Dec 3 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Monday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “directly” responsible for cratering oil prices in Western Canada — pointing the finger at federal energy policies he blames for leaving pipeline capacities constrained and Alberta producers scrambling to sell their product for pennies on the dollar. With the Trans Mountain expansion and […]

Trudeau vows to help get GM workers ‘back on their feet’ as automaker stands firm on Oshawa closure

Nov 26 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government will do what it can to help laid-off GM workers in Oshawa “get back on their feet,” while federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said Ottawa stands ready to assist those workers any way it can. But both federal and provincial governments are signalling there’s little they […]

Andrew Scheer pushes lifetime firearms ban for criminals, calls Liberal policies ‘lazy’

Nov 20 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled a series of firearms policies Tuesday meant to curb gun violence — and slammed the Liberal government’s plan to study a national handgun ban as a “lazy” effort that could punish lawful gun owners. While the Conservative caucus has attacked the tighter firearms inventory controls in Bill C-71 — legislation […]

‘I wish we had known’: Peter MacKay defends record over transfer of child killers to healing lodges

Nov 14 2018 — John Paul Tasker — Two former top Tory cabinet ministers said Wednesday they simply didn’t know so many child killers had been transferred to Indigenous healing lodges to serve out their sentences — even though some of those transfers happened on their watch while in government. The federal Conservative Party launched blistering verbal attacks on the Liberal government in […]

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 […]