National Newswatch

Major Conservative ad buy an ‘opening salvo’ for 2019 aimed at introducing Scheer to suburban men, female voters, say experts

Oct 22 2018 — Laura Ryckewaert — The Conservative Party’s reported $2-million national ad push is its “opening salvo” of the 2019 election, and pollsters and strategists say the two ads currently on airwaves are both aimed at introducing new leader Andrew Scheer and putting “pocketbook” issues in focus in the lead-up to the next campaign. “I would consider this the opening […]

Liberal officials threaten to dismiss Brome-Missisquoi riding association execs if they don’t stop demanding Paradis run in open nomination

Oct 22 2018 — Abbas Rana — Three federal Quebec Liberals officials are threatening to dismiss the Liberal riding association’s executive in Brome-Missisquoi, Que., if they don’t stop demanding that incumbent Liberal MP Denis Paradis, who’s already been nominated, face an open nomination contest for the 2019 election, say the riding association’s current and former presidents. “It is somewhat troubling to be […]

Elections debate commissioner coming before 2019 election, but not through legislation: Minister Gould

Oct 17 2018 — Charelle Evelyn — With less than a year before the 2019 writ drops, the Liberal government is abandoning any possibility of introducing legislation to establish an independent leaders’ debate commissioner before the next election, though it says a commissioner will be in place. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould (Burlington, Ont.) told the Procedure and House Affairs Committee (PROC) […]

Former Hill staffer Wernick wants MPs to sign pledge to bring about ‘a long-term culture change’ on the Hill

Oct 15 2018 — Abbas Rana — Paul Wernick, the former Liberal staffer who attempted suicide twice earlier this year, including once on the Hill, and went public with his story in order to publicize the darker side of working in federal politics, is now urging all MPs to sign a pledge to create “greater transparency and accountability regarding working conditions” on […]

Bowing to pressure, feds urge Senate to change access to information bill

Oct 10 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — After pushback from Indigenous groups and the information commissioner, the government is backing down on a number of changes proposed to the Access to Information Act, calling on Senators to make the friendly amendments during their study of the bill that critics have called “regressive.” Treasury Board President Scott Brison (Kings-Hants, N.S.) told a Senate […]

CAQ’s victory in Quebec, rise of conservative provincial parties, a ‘wake-up call’ for Trudeau’s Liberals, say Grit MPs

Oct 8 2018 — — The “restless electorate” has thrown incumbent Liberals out of power in four provinces in the last 16 months, which is “an alarming trend” and a “wake-up call” for the federal Liberals as they prepare for the 2019 federal election, say Liberal MPs and political insiders, and a leading pollster says federal parties should not overlook […]

Saskatchewan NDP riding associations frustrated with party’s lack of communication: internal document

Oct 3 2018 — Samantha Wright Allen — Some Saskatchewan NDP organizers say the party hasn’t responded to repeated calls to address provincial concerns, including requests for a visit from leader Jagmeet Singh, and that “better communication” is needed, according to a copy of June minutes from a meeting of riding associations sent to The Hill Times. Months later, that frustration hasn’t subsided, […]

Grits in unusual spot of being attacked on both sides for controversial Trans Mountain pipeline, say strategists, pollsters

Oct 1 2018 — — The federal Liberals are being attacked from all sides on the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and their support of the project could threaten their centre-left coalition, say pollsters and strategists. “It takes a certain amount of political skill to be shot from two different fronts,” said Robin Sears, former national director of the NDP […]

Nomination race spending limit doubles for 2019 campaign, creating barrier to recruiting new female candidates, say MPs

Oct 1 2018 — Abbas Rana — The spending limit for federal parties’ nomination contestants in the 2019 election cycle is almost double what it was in 2015, chiefly because of the long election campaign last time around, and some say the higher donation limit is a barrier to recruiting new female candidates. “There are so many barriers to recruit women candidates, […]

I have no ‘mechanisms of leverage over anybody’: Inside the Senate’s Government Representative Office

Sep 26 2018 — Charelle Evelyn — In an Upper Chamber that is increasingly inching towards greater independence, gauging support for government legislation is “not a science—it’s an art,” according to the man tasked with keeping score. As one of the three Senators who makes up the Government Representative Office—along with government representative Peter Harder (Ottawa, Ont.) and legislative deputy Diane Bellemare […]