National Newswatch

‘You’re on mute.’ Is it time to end the work from home House?

Jun 17 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — The debate over the fate of Canada’s hybrid Parliament — and the ability of MPs to work from home — is unfolding as a battle between traditionalists and progressives. Conservative House Leader John Brassard says remote work gives the Liberal government new avenues to duck accountability. Mute button blunders, headset problems and connectivity issues have […]

Trudeau Cabinet approves C$10B loan guarantee for TMX

May 10 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Trudeau Cabinet ministers recently approved a special C$10 billion loan guarantee to entice investment in the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a freeze on public funding for the TMX project in February. On April 29, Cabinet approved the new transaction, administered under the Canada Account at Export Development Canada, […]

Canada’s former top soldier gives up prestigious military honor

May 6 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Canada’s former top military commander has been stripped of one of the country’s highest military honors at his own request, amid questions about his eligibility for the award. A notice in the Canada Gazette posted Friday confirmed the removal of retired Gen. Jonathan Vance from the Order of Military Merit.

We don’t talk about Keystone

Apr 13 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) wrapped his two-day visit to Alberta yesterday with a call for Canada and the U.S. to “man up” to what each country’s responsibilities are to overhaul energy supply chains.

Soul searching at the U.N. and NATO

Mar 16 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — We start with a chat with BOB RAE, Canada’s top diplomat at the United Nations, and look at a burgeoning supply chain headache that could irritate cross-border trade. There’s some deep soul searching going on at the U.N. and NATO. What’s been challenging for U.N. members to agree on right now is deciding whether or […]

Erin O’Toole: Over and out?

Feb 2 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Conservative Leader ERIN O’TOOLE faces the music today — and we don’t mean the crescendo of convoy horns and honks every time a gaggle of people flow in and out of West Block. A leadership vote will be held this morning during the Conservatives’ caucus meeting. It comes after the Globe and Mail broke the […]

What’s eating Erin O’Toole?

Jan 26 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Funny how many times you can experience déjà vu during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Conservative Leader ERIN O’TOOLE must be feeling that way these days. Global News reports an Alberta riding association has put forward a formal petition for a leadership review. A petition led by Sen. DENISE BATTERS, who O’Toole removed from the party’s national […]

Crash course on the Hill

Jan 19 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Two former Cabinet ministers — Conservative and Liberal — share a preview of the not-so-subliminal message they’ll be passing onto rookie parliamentarians during a closed-door session today. NICK-TAYLOR VAISEY gets a call from JAMES CUMMING about the former Tory MP’s almost-finished review of the Conservatives’ election performance.

Advice from the Backbench

Jan 12 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — The weather is on the balmy side of cold in Ottawa, but Conservatives are bringing the heat to the Hill today for the finance committee’s first meeting of the year to discuss Canada’s red-hot housing market. Former PM JEAN CHRÉTIEN gives Playbook a call on his birthday and podcast host FATIMA SYED shares what’s on […]

How WFH MPs survive pandemic parenting

Jan 5 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Indoor dining is verboten again in Ontario. TV cameras will be on the PM and federal ministers today as businesses begin a 21-day staredown of new-again Covid-19 restrictions in a province where hospitalizations, and ICU admissions, continue to climb. Ottawa just announced the largest settlement in Canadian history. Now, a leading advocate is pushing the […]

A week of surprises in Ottawa

Dec 8 2021 — Zi-Ann Lum — Legislation banning conversion therapy in Canada could receive royal assent as early as today after senators passed a Conservative motion to fast-track the bill through the Senate yesterday — catching Liberals off-guard for the second time in a week. EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ — Inflation continues to be The Issue and the Bank of Canada rate decision this […]

Covid and political fatigue 5.0

Dec 1 2021 — Zi-Ann Lum — International Trade Minister MARY NG heads to D.C., her second trip to the U.S. capital in two weeks, and she’s bringing some cross-party company. The window continues to shrink for committees to be struck to help pass legislation and announce new parliamentary secretaries — which could change the results of the House’s PMB lottery

Trudeau’s big bet

Sep 17 2021 — Zi-Ann Lum — If Canadians elect a minority government next week, Liberal or Conservative, Justin Trudeau loses. The Liberal prime minister gambled on an election he did not have to call. If the Conservatives win, he’ll suffer the worst kind of bad beat. And if the Liberals scrape by, he’ll still take heat for Canadians calling his bluff.