National Newswatch

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 […]

Sikh-Canadian activists put on no-fly list after Trudeau’s India visit; critics say aim was to appease Indian government

Apr 22 2019 — Tom Blackwell — At least three Sikh-Canadian activists have been added to the Canadian no-fly list in recent months, more evidence the federal government may have changed its approach to advocates of Punjabi independence after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial India trip. Under the Secure Air Travel Act, the three have been told there are reasonable grounds to […]

Academic who blew the whistle on China’s influence on Australia says Canada is in even worse trouble

Apr 15 2019 — Tom Blackwell — Silent Invasion, Clive Hamilton’s ground-breaking book about China’s covert influence on Australian society, has been both applauded as an overdue exposé and criticized as an exaggeration of the problem. But when he finished the book, he received some unwanted validation of its central thesis: three Australian publishers declined to publish it, citing fear of retribution […]