National Newswatch

RCMP called to probe tale of two Liberal MPs, a suburban overpass, trip to India and multimillion dollar land deal

Nov 30 2018 — Tom Blackwell — The Toronto-area city of Brampton has asked the RCMP to look at a multimillion-dollar land deal after confidential information on the transaction was passed to local Liberal MPs Navdeep Bains and Raj Grewal, sources confirmed Friday. City council referred the matter to the Mounties at a special meeting Tuesday, sources confirmed to the National Post. […]

Once eager to help imprisoned ‘Jihadi Jack,’ Canadian officials suddenly turned away, emails show

Oct 30 2018 — Tom Blackwell — For the first several months, the messages suggested Canada was willing, even eager, to get Jack Letts out of a Kurdish prison in northern Syria. Global Affairs Canada discussed possible exit routes for the former resident of ISIL-controlled Raqqa. They asked the joint British-Canadian citizen’s jailers to provide him medical help, and said they were […]

Trump says Canada has treated U.S. farmers ‘very poorly,’ but most of them tell a different story

Sep 5 2018 — Tom Blackwell — As Canadian and American trade negotiators resumed their high-pressure talks in Washington Wednesday, one of Donald Trump’s favourite themes loomed large. For 17 months, the president has accused this country of giving U.S. farmers a raw deal, imposing 300-per-cent tariffs on their dairy products and committing other, unspecified injustices that would have to be remedied […]

Mexican negotiator suggests there is no need for Canada to rejoin NAFTA talks after U.S.-Mexico reach deal

Aug 23 2018 — Tom Blackwell — A top Mexican negotiator put a new question mark Wednesday over Canada’s participation in NAFTA talks, suggesting this country will not necessarily join in next week if the U.S. and its southern neighbour finish their own, two-way deal. And Jesus Seade seemed to indicate that any bilateral agreement with the U.S. could cover major trilateral […]

Trade talks with Canada proving ‘really, really difficult,’ with little progress: U.S. NAFTA negotiator

Aug 9 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Trade negotiations with Canada have been “really, really difficult,” achieving no substantial progress so far, says one of the United States’ top negotiators, offering a new glimpse at NAFTA-related tensions between the two countries. Gregg Doud, the chief U.S. agriculture negotiator, contrasted the Canadian stance with what he suggested was smooth sailing in talks with […]

Canada rejected in bid to be part of high-level NAFTA talks between Mexico and U.S.: sources

Jul 31 2018 — Tom Blackwell — American officials have taken the “highly unusual” step of rejecting Canada’s bid to take part in senior-level NAFTA talks between the U.S. and Mexico later this week, sources familiar with the trade negotiations said Monday. One person said attempts by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to get a seat at the table in Washington Thursday […]

Growing number of struggling U.S. dairy farmers look to supply management, as Trump urges Canada to kill it

Jul 25 2018 — Tom Blackwell — It’s a favourite grievance in President Donald Trump’s Twitter blasts at his northern neighbour: “Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. Farmers … Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly.” The source of Trump’s ire is the supply-management system that controls milk production in Canada and limits imports from the U.S.; […]

NAFTA appears headed into bilateral talks, with U.S. looking to strike quick deal with Mexico: experts

Jul 20 2018 — Tom Blackwell — The on-again, off-again NAFTA talks appear headed in a whole new direction, one that could see the United States strike a quick deal with Mexico first, then turn to Canada with potentially added leverage, experts suggested Friday. The scenario might even result in the States sparing Mexico further punitive tariffs on steel or possibly cars, […]