National Newswatch

‘We have a responsibility to make sure all Canadians are safe,’ Justin Trudeau warns provinces

Feb 11 2021 — Tonda MacCharles — A feisty Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s willing to go it alone and bypass foot-dragging provinces when it comes to national long-term-care standards, the use of rapid COVID-19 tests, and tracking the vaccine rollout as a way to develop better health data-sharing. In an online roundtable with health-care professionals Thursday, the prime minister fielded […]

In public, Justin Trudeau was being slammed for not getting COVID-19 vaccines. Behind closed doors, Anita Anand was closing the deal

Dec 20 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — Rookie cabinet minister Anita Anand fumed as the Conservative leader of the Opposition accused the Liberal government throughout the fall of signing bad deals that “put Canada at the back of the line” for COVID-19 vaccines. From late October onward, Erin O’Toole had shifted from attacks over rapid tests to hammering what he said was […]

Why did Justin Trudeau preorder so much COVID-19 vaccine? He says he learned from his earlier mistake

Dec 16 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — Canada’s global scramble in the spring to buy personal protective equipment for front-line health workers taught the federal Liberal government a painful lesson — that it had to get a jump on buying vaccines, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In his first specific admission of where his government made mistakes during the pandemic, Trudeau told […]

Opposition parties signal they will not support the Liberals’ spending plans. Is an election next?

Nov 30 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — The federal Opposition parties greeted the long-awaited economic update with a big collective thumbs down. The initial reactions of Opposition leaders signal new spending measures, totalling $25 billion, may not find support across the aisle, which could trigger another crisis of confidence in the minority Trudeau government. The 237-page economic update, and Chrystia Freeland’s selling […]

Erin O’Toole wants China’s ambassador to Canada to publicly apologize to Canadians, or be kicked out

Oct 16 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — Canada’s Global Affairs officials summoned China’s top diplomat in Canada for a private dressing down Thursday after remarks he made warning Canada against offering political asylum to Hong Kong democracy activists. But Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says if Ambassador Cong Peiwu does not publicly apologize for his “belligerent” comments, which O’Toole called a threat to […]

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are confident they will avoid an election. Don’t count on it, Jagmeet Singh says

Sep 18 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — It’s a bit like speed-dating, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking for a dance partner. Trudeau is canvassing Opposition leaders about their priorities for a throne speech that kicks off a new legislative session next week and could tip Canada into an election without the support of one other major federal party. Yet Trudeau […]

Justin Trudeau’s government starts internal review of COVID-19 response

Sep 16 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — Health Canada has started an internal review of how the government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Health Minister Patty Hajdu. But Hajdu deflected questions about whether an independent review is warranted as a previous Liberal government did during the 2003 SARS crisis, telling reporters “We’re just at the beginning of this pandemic.” “We have […]

Ottawa to pump another $2B into safe restart of schools

Aug 25 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — The federal government is planning to transfer $2 billion more to the provinces to pump more money into the safe reopening of schools, the Star has learned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with the 13 premiers and territorial leaders on a conference call Tuesday, their first since July 29, and outlined his plan, which comes […]

Liberal MPs are happy to have Chrystia Freeland in finance — and to be rid of Bill Morneau

Aug 20 2020 — Tonda MacCharles — The mood was upbeat during a conference call that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held Tuesday night with Liberal caucus members just hours after he replaced Bill Morneau as finance minister and suspended Parliament ahead of a September reboot. “Surprisingly so,” said one participant who lamented that Morneau’s departure was “a significant loss” to the Liberals, […]