National Newswatch

Senators strike deal to schedule final vote on 10 bills, controversial environmental assessment, tanker ban bills left out

Apr 5 2019 — Peter Mazereeuw — Senate leaders agreed April 4 on firm dates for the final vote on 10 government bills currently in the Upper Chamber, including several key government bills, but not the two that have drawn the staunchest opposition from the Conservatives, C-69 and C-48. The deal sets dates for the progression through one, two, or three stages—depending […]

Sen. Harder moves to put deadlines on 11 bills in Senate at once

Apr 3 2019 — Peter Mazereeuw — The government’s representative in the Senate is proposing to put deadlines for Senators to finish their debate, study, and voting on 11 bills now in the Senate, a move that opposition Conservatives say violates committee independence and amounts to a massive time-allocation motion. Senator Peter Harder (Ottawa, Ont.) gave notice of a motion to impose […]

Feds reject House committee advice to review no-ransom rule for kidnappings abroad

Apr 3 2019 — Samantha Wright Allen — The government’s response to calls for consular-service reform is being panned by critics as a “middle of the road,” “status quo” approach that skirts two fundamental problems in the current system. Critics say the current rules leave Canadians open to discrimination in terms of the support they get from their government abroad, and keep families […]

‘I want to be audited’: Seven years after expense scandal, some Senators say scrutiny still missing

Apr 3 2019 — Charelle Evelyn — Six years’ worth of Senators’ expenses have largely gone unscrutinized since the federal auditor general dug into the Upper Chamber’s books following the 2012 expense scandal, and the Upper Chamber is due for another comprehensive review, say some Senators. With progress stalled on a committee meant to oversee their spending, Senators will examine options to […]

‘Civil wars’ are ‘incredibly damaging’: Trudeau boots Wilson-Raybould, Philpott from caucus

Apr 3 2019 — Beatrice Paez — After weeks of being hounded with allegations of political interference in judicial affairs, sparked from within his own party, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday expelled former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus, citing a breakdown in trust. Speaking to the national Liberal caucus in an emergency meeting on Tuesday […]

Tories block some House committee travel, want to stay in Ottawa as election looms

Mar 27 2019 — — The Conservatives are blocking House committee travel, say some Liberal committee chairs, but Tory whip Mark Strahl suggested it’s only some trips. A number of committees have had travel budgets approved by the Liaison Committee’s Subcommittee on Committee Budgets, but have not made it to the next step to get travel authority from the House […]

Rural Liberal chair says he’s putting his faith in Blair as gun ban decision looms

Mar 25 2019 — Peter Mazereeuw — The chair of the Liberal rural caucus says he trusts Border and Organized Crime Minister Bill Blair to take the “right approach” as he prepares to announce whether the government will ban handguns and assault-style weapons following a lengthy consultation. Liberal MP Francis Drouin (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Ont.), who now chairs the Liberal rural caucus, said a […]

Lametti, opposition parties pledge to uphold Wilson-Raybould’s new rules for defending Indigenous lawsuits

Mar 25 2019 — Peter Mazereeuw — Attorney General David Lametti and the opposition justice critics say they will stand behind former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s instructions to government lawyers, telling them to give fair treatment to First Nations suing the government over treaty rights, after departing PCO clerk Michael Wernick warned Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s instructions could be “gutted” by a new government […]

‘We’re really getting important now’: in midst of ongoing SNC-Lavalin saga, Trudeau reaches out to caucus, sets up caucus relations office

Mar 22 2019 — Abbas Rana — After losing two cabinet ministers, his top adviser, and the country’s top bureaucrat over the SNC-Lavalin controversy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to be more accessible to his MPs, and has set up a caucus relations office amid griping from his backbenchers that he needs to do a better job of communicating with them.

Tory MPs push for loosening rules to allow more partisan mail-outs

Mar 20 2019 — Charelle Evelyn — It should be up to an MP’s constituents, not faceless bureaucrats, to decide if the messages they receive in their tax-funded mail-outs are too partisan, according to Conservative members of the House of Commons Board of Internal Economy (BOIE). Conservative whip Mark Strahl (Chilliwack Hope, B.C.) said that there is “an increasing frustration” among his […]

SNC-Lavalin affair capturing Canadians’ attention, but no sign of shifting votes, pollsters suggest

Mar 20 2019 — Emily Haws — While Canadians across the country are paying attention to the SNC-Lavalin controversy, it doesn’t seem to be shifting voting intention too much at this stage, pollsters suggest. But some of them and Members of Parliament say the issue could contribute to greater voter cynicism about politics, which may lead to some Canadians deciding to stay […]