National Newswatch

Trudeau’s to-do list — and what’s in the way

Sep 20 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — The prime minister is under new pressure to bank some wins to gear up against Poilievre’s growing anti-Trudeau base. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces major headwinds. Parliament returns Tuesday, though Trudeau will be in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, a pit stop after attending the queen’s funeral in London. When the prime […]

Fear and ‘inflation-phobia’ in Ottawa

Sep 7 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — TIFF MACKLEM is poised to make a hike. CANDICE BERGEN is planning to take one for real. Plus, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ IHOR MICHALCHYSHYN offers Playbook a preview of what he’ll say to MPs about Russia and Gazprom at foreign affairs committee today. BEYOND THE BIG ONE — Bank of Canada Governor TIFF MACKLEM will […]

The watchdog days of summer

Aug 8 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Today, privacy experts tell us what they’re thinking as the House ethics committee launches its study of spyware used by the RCMP. Plus, a Playbook reader pitches an idea to improve Conservative leadership debates: Banish them altogether.

Something’s broken with leadership debates

Aug 4 2022 — Zi-Ann Lum — Today, we ponder the split between Conservative party rule followers and breakers after last night’s snoozer of a debate. Plus, Playbook chats with U.S. Ambo DAVID COHEN about the “ongoing discussions” around President JOE BIDEN’s promised trip to Canada.

‘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 […]