National Newswatch

Backers of Ontario Conservative candidate used leaked police records to smear party rival, new report reveals

Jan 7 2020 — Tom Blackwell — A new report from Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director serves up more startling details of the law-enforcement-aided scheme. Supporters of a Progressive Conservative candidate in the last Ontario election helped run a smear campaign against a party rival using leaked police documents, with the politician’s business partner caught on video mailing out […]

Ontario Conservatives propose conduct code for every party member, sparking concerns over freedom to speak

Dec 10 2019 — Tom Blackwell — Ontario’s governing Progressive Conservatives are considering a code of conduct for all their members, part of a quiet trend in Canadian politics that has some party activists worried about unduly restricting the rank and file. The draft code, a copy of which was obtained by the National Post, contains non-controversial bans on racism, violence and […]

Ex-ministers Baird, Rock part of delegation that warned Beijing Canadians are souring on China

Nov 14 2019 — Tom Blackwell — A Canadian delegation that included former cabinet ministers John Baird and Allan Rock seemed to make headway with top Chinese officials last week by warning that public opinion about China here has “plummeted,” said the mission’s leader. The fact that Canadians have soured on their second-largest trading partner in the last year may have been […]

Conservative candidate apologizes ‘unequivocally’ for allegedly homophobic comments on Twitter

Sep 13 2019 — Tom Blackwell — Another federal election candidate’s social-media past has come back to haunt him, prompting an abject apology for allegedly homophobic comments and calls from his main rival to resign. Conservative Arpan Khanna was scheduled to campaign Friday evening in Ontario’s Brampton North riding with Tory leader Andrew Scheer, but Friday morning was in damage-control mode. Khanna […]

MPP’s ties to China raise questions about how close Canadian politicians should get to foreign powers

Sep 6 2019 — Tom Blackwell — In July 2013, several dozen ethnic Chinese people hand-picked from various countries visited China for a government-run workshop — eight days of lectures and speeches from an array of officials. The program would strive to help them “realize the Chinese dream and the common struggle,” a vice-chair of the state’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office told […]

Liberal backbencher accuses his own government of ‘pandering’ to Sikh separatists

Sep 3 2019 — Tom Blackwell — South Asia-related politics is again causing turbulence for the Liberal government, as one of its own MPs charges that his party has been “pandering” to Sikh separatists, threatening Canada’s relations with India in the process. Ramesh Sangha, who represents Ontario’s Brampton Centre riding, delivered the surprising critique of his caucus colleagues during a recent Punjabi-language […]

Liberal party membership forms distributed at pro-Beijing rally against Hong Kong protests

Aug 22 2019 — Tom Blackwell — As speaker after speaker criticized the mass protests in Hong Kong and defended the Chinese government at a Toronto-area rally recently, a different kind of politicking was quietly unfolding. Several members of the crowd of about 200 passed around and appeared to fill in Liberal membership forms, a striking juxtaposition between Canada’s governing party and […]

Her run for the Ontario PCs ended after she tweeted about Islam, but Ghada Melek is now a federal Conservative candidate

Jul 24 2019 — Tom Blackwell — A financial consultant running for the federal Conservatives in a Toronto-area riding was rejected as a candidate by the party’s own Ontario wing more than two years ago over social-media posts about Muslim extremism, sources say. Two people — a former provincial party official and a campaign organizer familiar with the situation — told the […]

Harper condemns Sikh separatists, predicts close Modi-Scheer ties in pro-India speech

Jul 11 2019 — Tom Blackwell — Harper’s comments raised questions about whether his party is moving closer to New Delhi on an issue that has long roiled the Indo-Canadian community. Former prime minister Stephen Harper condemned Canadians who promote Sikh separatism and predicted close ties with a controversial Indian government if the Conservatives win back power, underscoring in a recent speech […]

Leader of India’s Punjab calls for sanctions against Canada if it does not crack down on Sikh extremists

Jun 27 2019 — Tom Blackwell — Capt. Amarinder Singh has always made it clear he thinks Canada is soft on alleged Sikh extremists in this country. The head of India’s Punjab state government once alleged the Liberal cabinet harbours four “Khalistani” advocates of an independent Sikh homeland, publicly snubbed Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a list […]

Medicine shortages feared as Trump backs Florida, Colorado laws to import Canadian drugs in bulk

Jun 20 2019 — Tom Blackwell — It is a state with 21 million people, a huge concentration of medicine-consuming senior citizens and massive influence in the next U.S. election. And now, with President Donald Trump’s support, Florida is coming for Canada’s prescription drugs. New legislation that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last week will set up a formal, government-run […]

Bollywood actor who campaigned for Stephen Harper was granted Canadian citizenship by Conservative government

May 22 2019 — Tom Blackwell — In the thick of the 2011 federal election, Stephen Harper appeared in the Indo-Canadian heartland of Ontario with a ringer. At a campaign stop in Brampton, Bollywood mega-star Akshay Kumar praised the then prime minister, danced on stage with his wife, Laureen Harper, and thrilled the audience. It’s unclear if Kumar’s stumping had any impact […]