National Newswatch

Opposition parties call for improved support for transitioning military members in government’s new suicide prevention strategy

Oct 20 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — The Trudeau government’s recently unveiled mental health and suicide prevention strategy represents a move in the right direction by pledging resources to address what has become a serious issue for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), but more must be done to address gaps in care for service members transitioning out of active duty, says Conservative […]

End of blood ban for gay men could be on horizon in wake of new mandate letters

Oct 6 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked his new health minister to help end discriminatory blood donation policies, hinting that a long-standing ban on gay men giving blood could come to an end in the near future. In her revised mandate letter released Wednesday, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, N.B.) was explicitly tasked with developing […]

Most Canadians disapprove of Khadr deal, 44 per cent say it will influence their vote in 2019: poll

Sep 22 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — A clear majority of Canadians disapproved of the Liberal government awarding $10.5-million and apologizing to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr earlier this summer in a settlement over his imprisonment at the infamous U.S. military prison, with many saying the decision will affect their vote in the next federal election, a new public opinion poll […]

Liberals maintain double-digit lead despite Khadr payout, proposed tax reforms: poll

Sep 18 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — The governing Liberals opened the fall session of Parliament with a healthy 12-point lead over the Conservatives, maintaining robust advantages in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec, while flirting with supermajority numbers in Atlantic Canada, a new public opinion poll suggests. The latest survey from Campaign Research, conducted between Sept. 8-11 and released first to The Hill […]

Shared Services Canada to begin talks on allowing federal departments to ‘opt out’ from centralized IT service

Jul 19 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Shared Services Canada is exploring transferring some responsibilities for federal information technology systems back to individual departments and agencies, in the wake of legislative changes weakening the agency’s monopoly on digital services. Pat Breton, director general of procurement and vendor relations with SSC, said the agency has started reaching out to the 43 federal departments […]

Liberal MPs call on PM to choose first indigenous governor general in name of ‘reconciliation’

Jul 12 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Indigenous Liberal MPs are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to nominate for appointment Canada’s first governor general of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit descent, which they say would honour the spirit of reconciliation with the country’s First Peoples. “I think if the next governor general was an indigenous person, it would be incredibly significant for […]

Coast Guard ship that underwent $9-million in repairs in 2009 sells for $373,000

Mar 22 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — A decommissioned Coast Guard ship that underwent $9-million in repairs in 2009 only to be permanently docked four years later has been sold for $373,000 after being offered for sale on the government’s surplus website. “It’s outrageous,” NDP MP and party procurement critic Erin Weir (Regina-Lewvan, Sask.) told The Hill Times. “The current Liberal government […]

CNN, Daily Caller seek press gallery membership amid growing global interest in Canadian politics

Mar 15 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s global advocacy for liberal pluralism in an era of growing right-wing populism is sparking renewed interest among international news outlets in covering Canadian politics, says columnist Andrew Cohen, as CNN rejoins the Parliamentary Press Gallery for the first time in two decades. “In a world in which some would say trends […]

Feds set aside $545-million to finance new contracts reached with big unions

Feb 22 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — After more than a year in office, the Liberal government has reached tentative agreements with several large bargaining units representing thousands of civil servants, though those without deals are signalling they won’t settle until they get exactly what they want. Alain Belle-Isle, a spokesperson for the Treasury Board Secretariat, said in an emailed response to […]

Liberals accused of backing away from EI break after pledge disappears from mandate letter

Feb 8 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Opposition MPs are accusing the Liberal government of reneging on a promise to temporarily waive employment insurance premiums for businesses hiring young workers after the pledge failed to appear on the revised mandate letter for the new labour minister. “It appears they have dropped this promise to small businesses and young people,” said Conservative MP […]

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson will not seek reappointment

Feb 3 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson will not seek reappointment when her mandate expires later this year, ending months of speculation about her future in the position. Marie-Danielle Vachon, communications and policy director for the commissioner’s office, told The Hill Times on Thursday night that Ms. Dawson would not seek another mandate when […]

Ministerial mandate letters to be revised following shuffle, says PMO

Jan 25 2017 — Marco Vigliotti — The six Liberal MPs that assumed new ministerial portfolios as part of an early January cabinet shuffle will receive revised mandate letters, The Hill Times has learned. The Trudeau government broke with tradition in 2015 by releasing to the public the mandate letters provided to cabinet ministers. Those letters lay out what the ministers are […]