National Newswatch

The Trudeau government badly needs a reboot

Jan 16 2018 — Susan Delacourt — This time last year, the new U.S. President Donald Trump forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to press the reset button on his government. Isn’t it time for the Trudeau government to give itself another shakeup? How about a new Speech from the Throne? Maybe it isn’t all that surprising that Liberals are taking their sweet […]

Morneau Shepell’s government contract work plunged under Liberals

Jan 15 2018 — — Morneau Shepell’s contract work with the federal government has steadily dropped in value since the Liberals’ election win at the end of 2015. In 2016, the government signed contracts with Morneau Shepell totalling $746,292.79. In 2017, that figure dropped to $682,603.09. A yearly comparison of the sums earned by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s former firm […]

The Aga Khan explained

Jan 13 2018 — Janice Dickson — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found himself at the centre of an intensifying controversy in December when the departing ethics commissioner Mary Dawson said Trudeau broke a number of federal ethics rules when he went on a family vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas over the holidays in 2016.

Call centre swamped by bureaucrats reporting Phoenix overpayments

Jan 11 2018 — Kathryn May — Thousands of public servants have been trying to report overpayments issued by the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system before a looming tax form deadline — only to get a busy signal. The Phoenix call centre, which typically gets about 2,000 calls a day, was hit with 12,000 calls Wednesday, causing the overloaded system to drop most […]

Rempel calls on Trudeau again to close Safe Third Country ‘loophole’

Jan 9 2018 — Janice Dickson — The Conservative opposition is repeating its demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau close a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered 200,000 Salvadorans to leave the country by September. On Monday, Trump announced that his administration is ending a humanitarian program called Temporary Protected Status [TPS] for Salvadorans who […]

Files cast doubt on GG vetting process

Jan 9 2018 — Kelsey Johnson — The Canada Revenue Agency and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy say they have no records they were ever asked to do a background check on Governor General Julie Payette prior to her appointment. These are two of the four federal agencies responsible for vetting candidates for top government jobs. A third, the Canadian […]

Wynne double-doubles down on a risky wage war

Jan 8 2018 — Tasha Kheiriddin — Happy New Year? Not for Tim Hortons. The iconic coffee chain has been roasted recently for decisions by some of its franchise operators (including the children of its founders) to cancel paid coffee breaks and oblige employees to fund 50 to 75 per cent of the costs of their benefits. “These changes are due to […]

Is Trump a little crazy? We can only hope

Jan 7 2018 — Michael Harris — Sometimes, being a little bit crazy is what separates the great leaders from the rest. But what happens when someone is a little more than just a little nuts? It has probably been a while since you gave much thought to William Lyon Mackenzie King’s mental stability — or anything else about Canada’s longest-serving prime […]

Face it, Conservatives. Picking Scheer was a mistake.

Jan 5 2018 — Alan Freeman — CBC’s Power & Politics held one of those year-end political panels during the dead news week before Christmas and New Year’s to opine on the five biggest political blunders of the year. Their choices were predictable. Donald Trump’s dangerous Twitter habit and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s catastrophic election call took the honours for best […]

May 2018 be the year the Trudeau government grows up

Jan 5 2018 — Michael Harris — I want to begin my first column of 2018 with a tip of the hat to the only septuagenarian I know who makes his living prancing around in Spandex. You were right, Sir Mick: You can’t always get what you want. That said, here’s what I would like to see happen in the new year […]

Hartt remembered as Mulroney’s ‘irrepressible’ outsider

Jan 5 2018 — Kathryn May — Stanley Hartt came to Canada’s public service as an outsider with an “irrepressible mind” for ideas and the complete confidence of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, making him a key player in reforming the tax system, negotiating the free trade agreement and introducing the unpopular GST. The well-connected lawyer and veteran Bay Street deal maker came […]

Rempel triggers tiny tweetstorm over CPC internship program

Jan 3 2018 — Janice Dickson — Conservative MP Michelle Rempel was shooting down accusations of backhanded sexism on Twitter yesterday after she publicly encouraged women to apply to the Conservative party’s internship program. “I work with strong, competent, fearless women to drive a smart public policy platform that benefits all Canadians. Want to join us in Ottawa? Please share this internship […]

A choice of poison pills: NAFTA in 2018

Jan 2 2018 — L. Ian MacDonald — In an impromptu half-hour interview with the New York Times at his West Palm Beach golf club last Thursday, Donald Trump was not asked about the NAFTA renegotiation. So he brought it up himself. “I’m the big trade guy. I got elected to a certain extent on trade,” he said. “You see, I’m renegotiating NAFTA, […]