National Newswatch

Lower taxes, new RRSP rules and digital news tax credit among 2020 changes

Dec 31 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Federal tax changes coming into effect Jan. 1 will lower taxes for most Canadians and also impact retirees, recently separated individuals who want to use their retirement savings to buy a home and digital news consumers. The basic amount most Canadians can earn tax-free is going up on Jan. 1, resulting in slightly lower […]

Northern residents need bigger rebates to offset carbon tax: Nunavut premier

Nov 28 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Canadians living in the North should receive higher rebates to compensate for the federal carbon tax than people in Southern Canada, the premier of Nunavut said after meeting Thursday with the prime minister. The Trudeau government introduced the carbon tax in 2018 and gave itself the authority to implement a carbon-pricing system for […]

New Trudeau cabinet must prioritize Phoenix deal, ‘fair’ contract: PSAC

Nov 20 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — The country's largest civil service union isn't waiting for the prime minister to give marching orders to his new cabinet, offering up its own suggestions for government priorities in the coming months. The Public Service Alliance of Canada is set to release an open "mandate letter" of sorts to Justin Trudeau and his Treasury […]

Pallister says Canada can unite on climate action if partisan politics set aside

Nov 8 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Giving clear indications that he's prepared to broker a truce between the federal Liberals and his more disgruntled Prairie counterparts, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said he offered strategies to the prime minister Friday for uniting the country. "I came in peace," Pallister said after a 45-minute meeting with Justin Trudeau in his Parliament […]

Calgary mayor, former Alberta premier willing to help PM bridge western divide

Oct 27 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is willing to help bridge the current divide between western Canada and the federal government, but called speculation about him being appointed as a representative of — or adviser for — Alberta in federal cabinet "silly." "No job has been offered, nor no job has been contemplated," Nenshi told […]

Federal government walks away from bargaining, says union, prompting strike talk

Sep 7 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — The country's biggest public-sector union says it's preparing for potential post-election strike action after accusing the government of walking away from contract talks affecting more than 70,000 federal employees. The Public Service Alliance of Canada had gone back to the bargaining table on Sept. 1, and was sounding optimistic as late as Friday that […]

Union, federal government under pressure to reach a deal before election

Sep 6 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — The country's biggest public-sector union says it's prepared to stay at the bargaining table with the federal government to reach a new contract for more than 70,000 of its members as the clock ticks toward a general election campaign. The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents about 140,000 federal employees, returned to […]

Major parties rallying around telecom pricing issue as election nears

Aug 31 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Consumer advocates say a rare consensus is forming among the major political parties ahead of the federal election that Canadians need protecting from gouging by the country's big telecom companies. It's being called phone-bill populism, and it could be a make-or-break issue for the parties as they head toward the Oct. 21 vote. […]

PM’s official residence becoming a costly ‘debacle,’ say Conservatives

Jul 22 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Nearly four years after Justin Trudeau opted not to move into the prime minister's official residence over concerns about its crumbling state, the building remains vacant — except for staff who continue to use the kitchen to prepare meals for Trudeau and his family. And it appears no decisions will be made on the […]

Expert body calls for expanded rules to fix news-outlet tax credit status

Jul 18 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — The federal government should increase the scope of tax credits being made available to help small news-media outlets survive, an independent panel of experts recommended in a report issued Thursday. The tax credit program being offered by the federal Liberals will not be enough on its own to prevent the disappearance of some news […]

Panellists quit corporate responsibility panel citing ‘erosion of trust’

Jul 12 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — Citing an erosion of trust, civil society and labour representatives have resigned from a panel set up to advise the federal government on ensuring Canadian firms operating abroad are accountable for how they conduct themselves. The 14 members withdrew from the "multi-stakeholder advisory body on responsible business conduct" Thursday, complaining that a newly […]

Pay-worker retention deal expires, renewing concerns about Phoenix backlog

Jul 4 2019 — Terry Pedwell — OTTAWA — The lapse of an agreement that gave retention bonuses to federal pay centre employees could halt — or even reverse — progress that's been made in reducing a massive backlog of pay problems generated by the government's troubled Phoenix pay system, employees warn. "People are tired, they're frustrated, they're burning out," said Donna […]