National Newswatch

Despite opposition pressure, lack of ambassador to China likely hasn’t made much difference, say ex-diplomats

May 15 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — Canada’s conflict with China has been so bad that being without a Canadian ambassador since late January likely hasn’t had much impact, say former diplomats, despite opposition MPs hounding the Liberals about the appointment. While it’s always better to have a high-ranking and high-profile diplomat in place, under the present circumstances, “it’s not urgent,” said […]

‘Veterans probably won’t vote Liberal for a very long time’: Norman case reflects Grits’ failed promises to vets, say advocates

May 15 2019 — — The Mark Norman affair serves as the culmination of the government’s poor performance on the veterans affairs file, veterans advocates say. During the 2015 election, the Liberals actively sought the vote of veterans, who typically have supported the Conservatives, vets’ advocates say, but they say election promises have gone unkept. The treatment of Vice-Admiral Mark […]

Scheer takes a page from Trudeau’s playbook with policy rollout

May 13 2019 — Peter Mazereeuw — Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer is using the same strategy employed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prior to the last election, say pollsters and politicos, by rolling out policy speeches on key topics well in advance of the election campaign. Mr. Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, Sask.) kicked off a series of planned speeches on policy with an […]

Trying to derail serious climate change action will someday be viewed as the crime it is

May 10 2019 — Les Whittington — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer kept joking at the press gallery dinner the other night about the persistent questions about his party’s lack of a climate-change plan six months before a federal election. Yes, yes, it’s coming, he chuckled. This while newly elected Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, now considered the leader of the right-wing “opposition” to […]

Public servants concerned by ‘insulting’ Phoenix damages deal, worried claims process could be emotionally taxing

May 8 2019 — Emily Haws — Some public servants are reacting strongly to the news the government struck a tentative deal with most unions on the Phoenix damages, saying they are concerned about the amount of leave proposed and are worried the claims process will be emotionally taxing on public servants who have already dealt with the pay nightmare for three […]

‘Clock ticking fast’ to next election, but Liberal support headed in ‘wrong direction at the wrong time,’ say veteran political analysts

May 6 2019 — Abbas Rana — With the “clock ticking and ticking fast” to the next election, support for the federal Liberals is headed in the “wrong direction at the wrong time,” bleeding a significant chunk of their support across the country, say veteran pollsters, and the governing party should be “very concerned” that they control the national agenda, get the […]

Tentative Phoenix deal reached, but PSAC rejects feds’ offer

May 3 2019 — Emily Haws — After two years of negotiations, the government and four federal public sector unions have reached a tentative deal to compensate bureaucrats for the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system. However, the government’s offer was rejected by the largest union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The Phoenix pay system was supposed to streamline pay, but instead, public […]

Proposed federal tool to ‘blacklist a country,’ stop visa processing alarms immigration lawyers

May 1 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Liberals’ omnibus budget bill gives the government a political tool to stop issuing some visas or permits to people from countries it deems difficult to deal with in deportation proceedings, a measure some immigration lawyers are calling “overly broad” and a “blunt instrument” without the necessary checks and balances. One of the measures in […]

P.E.I. election another sign Liberals should be concerned about Atlantic losses, say pundits

May 1 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — The Prince Edward Island election last week creates an opening for Conservatives and Greens to capitalize on the success of their provincial counterparts, while the Liberals that own all the current federal Atlantic Canada seats should be “wary” of a growing unfriendly sentiment toward them in the region, pundits say. While the Green Party could […]

Canada must ‘walk the talk,’ give corporate ethics watchdog power to compel evidence: UN expert

Apr 29 2019 — Peter Mazereeuw — The Liberal government’s new watchdog for corporate ethics is “disappointing” and “not in line” with what it has promised, says the chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The new office of the ombudsperson for responsible enterprise, as it is currently organized, essentially duplicates Canada’s OECD National Contact Point, which is […]

Liberals, Conservatives playing in politically ‘dangerous field’ by using racism as tool to mobilize their support bases, says Nanos

Apr 29 2019 — Abbas Rana — The governing Liberals and opposition Conservatives are playing in a politically dangerous field by using the divisive issue of racism as a tool to mobilize their support bases for the next election, which could backfire resulting in “mutually assured destruction” for both federal parties, says a leading political analyst. “We’re seeing an increase in weaponization […]