In The News
► Trudeau Watch News/Analysis/Events ◄
- February 13, 2017: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: 500 Days of Trudeau’s Broken Promises, James Wilt
Reconcile with Indigenous peoples. Make elections fairer. Invest many more billions in public transit and green infrastructure. Take climate change seriously. Those are just a few of the things that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party committed to in the lead-up to the 2015 election, offering up a fairly stark contrast to the decade of reign by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. And on Oct. 19, 2015, almost seven million Canadians voted for that Liberal platform. In his victory speech, Trudeau spoke of 'real change' and 'sunny ways' and 'positive politics.'
- February 6, 2017: Trudeau abandons pledge on electoral reform
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is abandoning his long-held promise to change the way Canadians vote in federal elections -- an about-face his opposition rivals angrily characterized Wednesday as a cynical betrayal of trust. In a mandate letter for newly appointed Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, Trudeau makes it clear that electoral reform -- once top of mind for the Liberal government -- is no longer on the agenda.
- February 2, 2017: No plans to change refugee target in wake of U.S. travel ban: immigration minister
As MPs debate U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban in the House of Commons, Canada has already confirmed it will not hike its refugee intake target in the wake of a contentious immigration and travel crackdown in the U.S., says Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.
- December 26, 2016: Trudeau says First Nations 'don't have a veto' over energy projects
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in British Columbia Tuesday for the first time since approving a new $6.8 billion Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, said he respects the right of opponents to vigorously protest the project.
- December 5, 2016: Privatizing Canada's Ports An 'Invitation for More Conflict' on Fossil Fuel Exports
The federal government is considering privatizing Canada’s port authorities, a move that could further hinder public oversight and control over the export of commodities such as coal and crude oil.
- December 2, 2016: Justin Trudeau's B.C. blunder
There was a reason Justin Trudeau took pains, in a brief appearance announcing two pipeline approvals Tuesday evening, to spell out his B.C. bona fides. Greenlighting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion through the province was the day’s most significant announcement, by a long shot. In B.C., of course, it is also deeply controversial.
- December 2, 2016: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, Brad Hornick
The fresh new face Canada showed the world at the Paris COP21 climate meetings held out hope for many Canadian climate activists that a national course change was in the works. So far, Trudeau has not updated Canada's environmental assessment process as promised. The Liberals have sponsored a biased ministerial panel to assess both the Trans Mountain and Energy East pipeline expansions.
- December 1, 2016: Trudeau Just Sacrificed BC for Big Oil
Today is a dark, dark day for British Columbia, and it feels like we have been cast back in time a couple of centuries with the archaic decision to proceed with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Today, the government chose big oil over the environment and First Nations.
- November 29, 2016: Trudeau government tables bill that could reduce pension benefits
For those retired and working employees who could be impacted by the change, their retirement benefits could be drastically reduced even though they have paid into the plans for years and budgeted on the basis of what they expected to receive when they retire. Defined Benefit plans require employees to give employees a monthly payment regardless of their investment returns. Accrued benefits are legally protected and cannot be clawed back.
- November 27, 2016: 'Canada is back' to isolating itself from world opinion on Palestinian rights
How can you identify a Canadian Liberal? They talk to the left, but walk to the right. Under Justin Trudeau, "Canada is back" to isolating itself from world opinion on Palestinian rights.
- November 21, 2016: Snowden: 'Politics of fear' keep Trudeau from repealing Canada anti-terror law, Ashifa Kassam
Edward Snowden has waded into the simmering debate over Canada’s controversial anti-terror law, saying that Justin Trudeau was reluctant to repeal the law out of a fear of appearing soft on terror. Speaking to an audience in Toronto on Tuesday, Snowden pointed to a campaign promise by the Canadian prime minister to amend the sweeping legislation, which gives security forces heightened powers to apprehend suspected terrorists and disrupt their activities.
- November 14, 2016: Historic UN Vote on Nuclear Ban Treaty, Peggy Mason
The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security of the UN General Assembly today [October 27th] passed an historic resolution, mandating the launch in 2017 of negotiations for a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons. Such a ban would reinforce customary international law against the threat or use of nuclear weapons and pave the way for further negotiations on their verifiable destruction and ultimate elimination.
- November 7, 2016: Liberal fiscal plan scales back 'historic' infrastructure spending
The Trudeau government's fiscal plan as updated in the Fall Economic Statement meets a number of progressive commitments, but also raises a lot of questions about what can be expected of the federal Budget to be tabled next March.
- November 4, 2016: What the experts are saying on the government's dangerous move towards privatization
While the Finance Minister and his unrepresentative corporate elite advisory team make plans to sell off good public Canadian infrastructure to the highest bidder, voices from across the country are sounding the alarm in a major way.
- November 4, 2016: The great rentier give-away
With today’s fiscal update, the Trudeau government has really shown itself to be at the forefront of global left neoliberalism. Taking nearly all his cues from his business-dominated Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the Finance Minister announced a new Canada Infrastructure Bank as the centerpiece of the fiscal update and the Liberals’ economic strategy.
- November 2, 2016: Liberals redirect $15B to infrastructure projects
Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered his fall fiscal update Tuesday afternoon. The good news is Morneau announced the creation of a new "Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank" that will invest billions of dollars into infrastructure.
- October 28, 2016: Trudeau's promises, promises, promises
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who remains extremely popular after one year in office, is already creeping away from commitments that were either hasty, unimportant, or are now largely forgotten.
- October 25, 2016: Justin Trudeau gets rough ride from crowd at young workers' summit
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced off with a room of angry protesters today who were venting their frustrations over everything from pipelines to the failed federal payroll system. Some of the participants turned their backs on Trudeau in protest during the "armchair discussion" event at the Canadian Labour Congress National Young Workers Summit in Ottawa.
- October 25, 2016: Harper 2.0? Trudeau Says Canada Needs More Tar Sands Pipelines
Sparking outcry from environmentalist and Indigenous groups, Justin Trudeau took a pro-oil stance and argued for more controversial pipelines to carry Canada's dirty tar sands oil to coastal ports, in comments at a sustainability conference in Vancouver on Wednesday.
- October 24, 2016: Why is Trudeau Backtracking On B.C.'s Oil Tanker Ban?
Since the Liberals formed government last November, Enbridge and Northern Gateway Pipeline have lobbied Ottawa an astounding 86 times, federal lobbying reports reveal.
- October 24, 2016: Charlie Angus Blasts Feds On Indigenous Issues File After Liberal Government's 1st Year
NDP MP Charlie Angus marked the Liberal government's first year in power by blasting its track record on indigenous issues so far. During Wednesday's question period, the MP for Timmins-James Bay took aim at Justin Trudeau and some of his cabinet members, including Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who Angus criticized for reversing her stance on B.C.'s contentious Site C dam project.
- October 23, 2016: The Liberals' relationship with Indigenous communities sours
A year after a stunning majority win, Maclean’s adds up the stumbles and successes of Justin Trudeau’s government in our Trudeau Report Card. The hard work of delivering on more than 200 campaign promises—and breaking some along the way—has only just begun.
- October 21, 2016: Is Trudeau backing away from electoral reform?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have opened the door to maintaining Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system, despite having promised the 2015 federal election would be the last to use it.
- October 19, 2016: 'You said you'd be different,' federal union targets Trudeau in campaign
As contract talks drag on, Public Service Alliance of Canada are using Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s words against him in their new campaign scheduled to launch on Monday.
- October 18, 2016: The Trudeau Liberals on trade, climate, water and health care, Brent Patterson
The Council of Canadians campaigns for fair trade, climate justice, water protection, and public health care. With the Liberals now almost one year into their mandate, how are they doing on these files? During the election, the Liberals promised 'a full and open public debate in Parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted' on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
- October 7, 2016: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
The fresh new face Canada showed the world at the Paris COP21 climate meetings held out hope for many Canadian climate activists that a national course change was in the works.
- October 7, 2016: Liberals reject NDP motion to increase scrutiny of arms exports
The Trudeau Liberals voted down a motion to give MPs a key role in scrutinizing foreign exports of Canadian military goods, saying this level of parliamentary oversight was unnecessary.
- October 5, 2016: Trudeau government remains oddly Harperesque
When Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won last year’s election, many Canadians were ecstatic. Compared to outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Trudeau seemed -- to these voters at least -- a breath of fresh air.
- October 4, 2016: In September, Did the Liberals Out-Harper the Conservatives?
In September, the Liberal government took a hard line stance with a public union, held steady to the Conservatives’ greenhouse gas targets, approved a liquefied natural gas plant and pipeline assailed by environmentalists and Indigenous groups, and some say signalled it may extend, rather than curtail, powers to spy on citizens granted by the Harper government’s controversial Bill C-51.
- September 30, 2016: How serious is Trudeau about women's reproductive rights?
Trudeau’s feminism has been put to the test since day one of his election. Today, on the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, it’s time for the Canadian government to turn words into action.
- September 29, 2016: Canada's Silence On Illegal Israeli Settlements Is Acquiescence, Thomas Woodley
Last week, the world was informed of yet another expansion of Israeli 'settlements' by the Netanyahu government. Israel announced plans for 285 new units in the West Bank, and the retroactive approval of 178 units that were built in the 1980s. Part of an ongoing series of announcements, Israel has now advanced plans for 1,700 new units since July 1.
- September 28, 2016: Justin (sunnyways) Trudeau talks left wing, governs right, Mersiha Gadzo
Many celebrated Justin Trudeau's election, thinking the charismatic leader would turn a new page for Canada, especially for Canadian Muslims who overwhelmingly voted for the Liberals in 2015. Yet the Liberals who presented themselves as open and transparent while in opposition have proven to be anything but in government. While in opposition, the Liberals advocated for three innocent Canadian Muslims tortured in the Middle East with CSIS complicity.
- September 27, 2016: Justin Trudeau's Topless Body Politic
As an American, the oddest thing about the Trudeau cave-selfie incident was the reaction from the Canadian government: nothing. If anyone on Trudeau’s staff had words with him about being photographed shirtless, he didn’t listen, because a week later it happened again.
- September 15, 2016: Trudeau's fading relationship with Canadian labour, Teuila Fuatai
Remember when new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, met with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) in November? After a decade of hostility under Stephen Harper, the Ottawa meet offered a bit of hope for a beleaguered labour movement. But, nearly a year later, things aren't that much better. Teuila Fuatai reviews the Liberals' time in office.
- September 13, 2016: Canada's killer elite
While the docile media swooned over our shirtless Prime Minister, his government was quietly endorsing changes to the export rules that prohibited arms trade with dictatorships and human rights abusers.
- September 11, 2016: Justin Trudeau Is Not Your Friend
Everybody loves Justin Trudeau. But his policies are bad for workers, the environment, and struggling people everywhere.
- September 2, 2016: Sunny ways make room for darker days
The World Bank recently revised its 2016 global growth forecast downward to 2.4 per cent from the 2.9 per cent it had projected back in January, a sizeable revision. The International Monetary Fund, meanwhile, confirmed global growth prospects "remained lackluster."
- August 31, 2016: Trudeau's not-so-subtle strategy to steal NDP applause
Sometimes it's not what you say, but how you say it that matters most. Anyone following the prime minister these past few weeks might just as easily conclude that it's not only what he says, but where he says it and to whom that matter most.
- August 29, 2016: Canada turns back on UN plan to ban nuclear arms
At the very moment Canadian leadership was once more needed, the country took a dive.
- August 27, 2016: Why Trudeau is no friend of labour
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was given a standing ovation at the 2nd Unifor convention in Ottawa yesterday. But not all Unifor members were cheering on the love-in between the Prime Minister and their national union president, Jerry Dias. There are plenty of Canadian workers already fed-up with business-as-usual and inaction during a crisis.
- August 15, 2016: Ottawa poised to ease rules for temporary foreign worker program
The federal government is setting the stage for a loosening of temporary foreign worker rules after vocal complaints from Canadian employers that recent Conservative changes went too far. A Liberal-dominated House of Commons committee has completed a report on options for altering the controversial program and will make the recommendations public next month when Parliament resumes.
- August 15, 2016: Liberal governments introduce nasty surprises in year two-here's how we stop them
This weekend saw two indicators of what’s to come in the second year of the post-Harper era in Canadian politics. The first was news that over 200 people travelling from all over the world to Montreal for the World Social Forum had their visas denied by immigration officials.
- August 15, 2016: On Saudi arms deal, the new boss in Ottawa is just like the old boss
Well. If further proof was needed that the sunny new regime in Ottawa is perfectly capable of behaving just like the un-sunny previous regime, we now have it, in a memo that was stamped "Secret," then rather inconveniently laid bare in the Federal Court of Canada.
- August 14, 2016: Trudeau Ignores Executions and Proceeds with Saudi Arms Deal
Dimitri Lascaris says Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion met with Adel Al Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and considered him an important ally days before the executions were carried out.
- August 10, 2016: Beyond Trudeau's Charm Offensive: a social movement guide to cooptation
Justin Trudeau is providing people in Canada with things to celebrate. For starters, he is temperamentally the anti-Harper. Trudeau was seen shaking hands with passersby in a Montreal metro station, took (gasp) unscripted questions from journalists, and announced the withdrawal of Canadian bombers from Iraq and Syria. He reiterated election promises, and there’s some decent stuff in there.
- August 9, 2016: F-35, the aircraft Trudeau said is 'far from working,' now declared ready for combat by U.S. Air For
The F-35 stealth fighter, described by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “far from working,” has been declared by the U.S. Air Force as ready for combat. In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, said the air force version of the aircraft has met all key criteria for reaching initial operational capability.
- August 3, 2016: CRA convicts a fraction of offshore tax evaders
As worldwide pressure grows to fight offshore tax evasion, new statistics obtained by the Star show the Canadian government has convicted only 49 people and levied just $13.4 million in fines for what it calls offshore activity since 2010.
- August 2, 2016: Ottawa rewrites mandate for screening arms exports
The Canadian government has quietly watered down its own mandate for screening the export of military goods, rewriting parts of the only substantive public statement available on Ottawa’s responsibilities for policing foreign sales.
- August 1, 2016: Trudeau's deafening silence on C-51
Thursday, June 21 passed with the usual run of crime, chaos and political lies we’ve come to know as “the news”. But it was an important anniversary — and it went almost unnoticed. A year ago, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), in partnership with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, launched a Charter of Rights challenge of Stephen Harper’s police state anti-terrorism act, Bill C-51.
- August 1, 2016: Trudeau continues Harper assault on human rights
There's something about Justin Trudeau and his PR-spinning Liberal Team that reminds me of the Tennessee Williams character Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Pollitt famously uttered the line: "What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice a powerful and obnoxious odour of mendacity in this room?... There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odour of mendacity... You can smell it. It smells like death."
- July 17, 2016: Progress — and missteps — in foreign aid plans
Global Affairs Canada is asking Canadians to participate in an International Assistance Review, which will inform future foreign aid and development policy. This review comes more than 10 years since the last policy statement on the subject, which was released in 2005.
- July 17, 2016: Canada isn't being totally honest about its plan to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia
New documents obtained by VICE News reveal that the Canadian government is providing military bases, staff, and resources to test-drive the heavily armored, and highly-controversial military vehicles being purchased by the Saudi government. They also prove that, despite what the government of Canada has said, this is not just a deal between a private company and a foreign country: It is a deal between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada itself.
- July 13, 2016: What is Trudeau's war strategy in Iraq?
In October 2014, the Harper government majority in the House of Commons voted in favour of a Canadian bombing mission in Iraq. The Globe and Mail reported at that time, "Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said he sees no reason to vote in favour of Canadian air strikes, using an innuendo to deride the eventual deployment of Canada's "aging warplanes." 'Why aren't we talking more about the kind of humanitarian aid that Canada can and must be engaged in, rather than, you know, trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are,' Mr. Trudeau said, with a flick of the hand, after a speech in Ottawa."
- July 7, 2016: NATO applauds Canada troop pledge
The head of NATO has singled out Canada with praise for agreeing to take a leadership role in the standoff with Russia. Speaking in Brussels on Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Canada’s promise to lead a 1,000-strong force in Eastern Europe sends a clear signal that the alliance is strong and united.
- July 4, 2016: Canada set to lead new NATO battle group against Russia
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canada will lead one of NATO’s four new battle groups being established on the alliance’s eastern flank as part of its stepped up deterrent against Russia. Sajjan tells The Canadian Press that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce the exact size of that contribution at next week’s NATO leaders’ summit in Warsaw, Poland.
- July 1, 2016: Sunny ways? First Nations leaders assess Trudeau's first session of Parliament
The confetti is long gone and the honeymoon is over. The Liberals have wrapped up their first session of Parliament and critics are nipping at their heels. The party made several significant promises during the campaign regarding Indigenous issues, but have they delivered?
- June 23, 2016: Do the Liberals have the nerve to fix the tax system?
It’s not often that the Business Council of Canada, the nation’s most important lobby for big business, sees eye-to-eye with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the left-leaning think tank. So this should tell you something about the sorry state of our tax system: Both groups are pointing to the need for sweeping reform.
- June 15, 2016: Canada now the second biggest arms exporter to Middle East
Canada has soared in global rankings to become the second biggest arms dealer to the Middle East on the strength of its massive sale of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, new figures show.
- May 30, 2016: Trudeau fails to deliver on election promise to support Indigenous post-secondary students
In the 2016 federal budget, Trudeau failed to deliver on his explicit election commitment to invest $50 million per year in the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP), a federal initiative that provides support to Indigenous and Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education. Instead, the Liberals invested no new funding in the program.
- May 16, 2016: 3 Promises Trudeau Will Break If He Approves The Kinder Morgan Pipeline
This weekend, hundreds of people will take to the water and march on the land surrounding the Kinder Morgan pipeline terminal in Burnaby, B.C. as part of a global wave of actions to "break free from fossil fuels."
- May 16, 2016: Trudeau cloaks continued attack on First Nations sovereignty with charm
The Anishinaabe prophecy of the 8th Fire, popularized by a 2012 CBC four-part television miniseries hosted by Wab Kinew, was a beginner’s course on the dark colonial origins of the country of Canada based upon the unjust treatment of First Nations.
- May 16, 2016: Electoral reform deck appears stacked by the Liberals to fail
Surely on a matter that affects the way Canada’s electoral life is governed, voters should be able to expect that MPs be allowed to weigh in on an equal basis, regardless of partisan affiliation.
- April 26, 2016: The Liberals are masters of misdirection
Last Tuesday, the Liberals shut down an NDP effort to review Canada’s role in the arms trade. On Wednesday, they invoked closure to ram through a bill moving Air Canada workers’ jobs offshore. On Thursday we learned they dropped a court case to require the Catholic Church to fulfill obligations to First Nations Canadians under the residential schools settlement.
- April 20, 2016: Internal Finance Canada document says Liberal 'middle class tax cut' actually benefits the rich
Does someone earning a $199,000 salary sound "middle class" to you? Internal documents obtained by PressProgress through access to information show even Finance Canada thinks the Liberal Party's "middle class tax cut" actually benefits much of Canada's richest 10 per cent.
- April 19, 2016: Liberals reopen debate 11 years after Martin government opted not to join U.S. ballistic missile def
The Liberal government has signalled its willingness to reopen one of the most contentious debates in recent Canadian military history: whether the country should participate in ballistic missile defence. And the results could be very different this time around.
- April 19, 2016: Justin Trudeau's Saudi sellout
There are lots of ways to record Stéphane Dion’s sad collapse in the few short months since he was handed real power. I guess the execution of 47 prisoners by Saudi Arabia — including dissident Shia cleric Sheik al-Nimr Nimr — tracks Dion’s moral arc as well as anything.
- April 18, 2016: Trudeau attacked from all sides over pipeline stance
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government was criticized from all sides on Tuesday in response to a published news report that alleged he had instructed key officials to prepare a strategy to approve major new pipeline projects.
- April 15, 2016: Trudeau convinced that pipeline strategy must be top priority
Justin Trudeau has told his senior lieutenants to draw up plans to make the Energy East pipeline and the Trans Mountain expansion in British Columbia a reality.
- April 14, 2016: Dion quietly approved arms sale to Saudi Arabia in April
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has quietly issued export permits for the bulk of the shipments tied to a controversial $15-billion sale of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a crucial green light for the deal that many thought had already been granted.
- April 12, 2016: Dion dithers on restoring support to Palestinian refugees
When Prime Minister Trudeau met UN head Ban Ki Moon in New York, UN officials were confident that Trudeau would commit to restoring Canada’s contribution to UNRWA. After all, Canada had announced that it wanted a seat on the Security Council, and Mr. Trudeau had made it clear that “Canada is back”.
- April 1, 2016: Trudeau continues to defend EI changes that left out Edmonton and area
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday it’s simply “cold, hard mathematics” excluding the Edmonton area from extended employment insurance benefits introduced by his government in last week’s federal budget.
- April 1, 2016: Chrystia Freeland's 'Public' TPP Consultations Are Anything But
On the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), International Trade minister Chrystia Freeland has claimed to be in “listening mode." And she says no decision has been made yet. It is widely reported that she is touring the country to hear Canadians on the TPP.
- March 29, 2016: Decision time for Trudeau: climate commitments or LNG legacy, Barry Saxifrage
A Pan-Asian partnership, lead by the Malaysian government's Petronas corporation, is proposing to build a massive liquid natural gas (LNG) project on BC's north coast: Pacific NorthWest LNG. The decision whether to approve or reject this proposal is now in the hands of Prime Minister Trudeau. It will be his first major climate-vs-fossil test. And it is a doozy.
- March 22, 2016: CRA continues Harper's 'tax audit harassment' of charities, despite Liberal pledge to stop it
Should the Liberal government halt Stephen Harper's politically motivated audits of charities? After all – wasn't it the Liberals who themselves called the audits politically motivated in the first place?
- March 16, 2016: Trudeau quietly agrees to share info on Canadians with U.S.
When the hyperbole is cleared away, Justin Trudeau’s pilgrimage to Washington has produced one clear result. Canada’s new Liberal government says it will push through a long-delayed plan to share with Washington biographic and other information on Canadian citizens travelling overland to the USA.
- March 4, 2016: Trudeau says pipelines will pay for Canada's transition to a green economy
Steadfast in his commitment to getting Canadian oil to market, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said putting pipelines in the ground will pay for the country's transition to a greener future. Opening the Globe 2016 Leadership Summit in Vancouver on Wednesday — which deals with tackling climate change and sustainability in business.
- March 1, 2016: Liberal fiscal plans less transparent than under Harper
Canada's former parliamentary budget officer says the Liberal government is even less transparent on fiscal matters than the Conservative government it succeeded.
- March 1, 2016: Tax Loopholes For Rich Cost Canada $16 Billion A Year
Closing five tax loopholes that mostly benefit the wealthy would raise nearly $16 billion annually for Canada’s federal and provincial governments, according to a study from a prominent economist. Toby Sanger says these tax loopholes — which have grown more generous since the late 1990s — have increased inequality and led to greater financial instability.
- February 25, 2016: Remembering the Start of Canada’s 25-Year War, Matthew Behrens
Twenty-five years ago, some friends and I poured our blood on the executive office windows of Rexdale’s Litton Systems, which manufactured guidance systems for cruise missiles that were used for the very first time in Gulf War I against the Iraqi people. It was likely the first time Canadian media showed bloodshed in covering that one-sided conflict – Operation Desert Storm began on January 20, 1991 – and that was precisely the point.
- February 22, 2016: Liberals denounce and agree with Tory motion condemning Israel boycotters
So, the Trudeau government intends to join with the Conservatives next week and condemn the United Church of Canada and the Quakers, along with every other organization and individual participating to any degree in a boycott of Israeli goods and services.
- February 22, 2016: The Justin Trudeau Brand of Photogenic Austerity, John Clarke
Having replaced the crudely reactionary and rather charmless Stephen Harper as Canadian Prime Minister, the photogenic Justin Trudeau is being presented in the media as a breath of fresh air. However, millions of working class and poor people, impacted by an intensifying austerity agenda, have grievances that will not be solved with sound bites and selfies.
- February 22, 2016: One chart shows why the Liberal u-turn on the Canadian Wheat Board makes no sense
Despite the pleas of farmers, it sounds like the Canadian Wheat Board might not be coming back. Earlier this week the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, an organization that represents grain producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, called on the Liberal government to restore the board and its cooperative sale of wheat and barley.
- February 15, 2016: Feds won't change Harper-era mining ethics office
The Trudeau government won’t be making changes to the role of a controversial corporate social responsibility counsellor for the mining sector, according to a government spokesperson.
- February 11, 2016: With no end in sight, Justin Trudeau has expanded Canada's war against ISIS
Sly Justin Trudeau. Critics are still attacking the prime minister for pulling back from the war against Islamic State militants. What they haven’t noticed is that his Liberal government has, in fact, expanded Canada’s role in this conflict.
- February 10, 2016: Let's leave this ill-considered military mission altogether
The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State (ISIL) is in utter disarray. Things are going so badly that some Arab members of the coalition who left the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria to focus on Yemen now say they are ready to come back and provide ground forces.
- February 9, 2016: Trudeau backs away from election pledge on First Nation veto
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to back away Wednesday from an election pledge that First Nations would have a veto over natural resource projects on their territories. Trudeau was in Edmonton to meet with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley whose provincial economy has been crippled by plummeting oil prices.
- February 9, 2016: Largest public service union denounces Liberal sick leave plan
The Public Service Alliance of Canada is denouncing the Liberal government’s plan to reform sick leave for government workers, saying it mirrors the controversial plan put forward by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.
- February 5, 2016: Undoing the Tories: A complete guide to all the Harperisms that the Liberals might or have killed
n the 79 days Justin Trudeau has been in office, his government has announced plans to revoke or change many of the policies of his predecessor, Stephen Harper. So far, the Liberals have reversed at least four “Harperisms.” The latest to fall is Canada’s tougher pardons system.
- February 4, 2016: Appointment of Michael Wernick..., Russell Diabo
Canada has a newly appointed top federal bureaucrat: it’s the long-time Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs, who spent nearly a decade helping implement Harper’s agenda against Indigenous peoples. What does it say about Prime Minister Trudeau’s own plans on Indigenous issues that this man will now be coordinating the civil service? In a short press release from Davos, Switzerland on January 20, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that he was replacing the current Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet, Ms. Janice Charette with the appointment of Mr. Michael Wernick to that position.
- February 4, 2016: Justin Trudeau's government-by-empathy
So you thought the election campaign ended last October? Think again. Justin Trudeau, with the backing of the CBC, marches his media-savvy Sunny Ways campaign onward through these bleak days of winter.
- February 3, 2016: Psst, Trudeau: IMF Now Pegs Our Fossil Fuel Subsidies at $46-Billion
Justin Trudeau has a problem. How can Canada meet our international climate commitments so recently inked in Paris with an increasingly empty economic larder? The International Monetary Fund may have the answer. Last summer, the IMF updated its global report on energy subsidies and found that Canada provides a whopping $46.4-billion in subsidies to the energy sector in either direct support or uncollected taxes on externalized costs.
- January 21, 2016: Trudeau's bombing carries on Canada's 25-year war against Iraq
For the past quarter century, the Iraqi people have served as a convenient geopolitical punching bag, used to justify unfounded racist fears and massive military budgets. The callousness with which successive Canadian governments have treated Iraqi lives as less than human is reprehensible and -- rhetoric aside -- Justin Trudeau is proving no different, waging an intensifying air war against that country with 47 separate air strikes since he won the election last October.
- January 21, 2016: Jim Carr, Natural Resources Minister, Says Liberals Will Get Oil, Gas To Tidewater
Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr acknowledges there's considerable urgency to building new Canadian pipeline capacity to tidewater, even as new roadblocks continue to appear. A BC Supreme Court ruling this week and discouraging signals from BC's provincial government have further undermined the prospects of two proposed oil pipelines to the Pacific coast.
- January 18, 2016: Trudeau government makes dubious appointments to Washington and the UN
The newly renamed Department of Global Affairs decided to bury the announcement of two of the government's key diplomatic appointments by making it on a weekend. This past Saturday, the Department issued a laconic news release saying that Minister Stéphane Dion had named a lobbyist to be the new Ambassador to the United States and the CEO of a big law firm to be Canada's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
- January 18, 2016: Trudeau owes us a far better explanation of the Saudi arms deal
A $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia has torpedoed early enthusiasm for the Liberal government’s foreign policy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to office with a mandate to rewrite the narrative on Canada’s place in the world.
- January 11, 2016: Canadian CF-18s ramp up air strikes against ISIS
Canadian fighter bombers ramped up air strikes against ISIS fighting positions and other targets near the ISIS-held Iraqi city of Mosul last week, with more attacks on any single day since last June.
- January 6, 2016: Canada 'will not cancel' Saudi arms deal, despite mass executions
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says the federal government "will not cancel" a private contract that sees military vehicles sold to Saudi Arabia, despite international criticism over 47 executions that took place in the Middle Eastern kingdom this weekend.
- December 30, 2015: Finance ministers will not move CPP reform forward
On Monday, Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial finance ministers announced they would take no action on enhancing the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) after their weekend summit in Ottawa. Instead, they said they would consider options in the upcoming year, including to “do nothing.”
- December 24, 2015: Trudeau government wimps out on Canada Pension Plan reform
Since coming to power, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal government has taken strikingly bold positions. It has promised a radically different relationship with Canada’s first nations. It has thumbed its nose at balanced-budget orthodoxy. It has vowed to fight climate change without nettling the provinces and pledged to fight the Islamic State without engaging in combat.
- December 23, 2015: Broken promises piling up for Trudeau
Stephen Harper ran on his record. Tom Mulcair had a program for governing. But the Trudeau Liberals had a plan to win an election. Now, with the election safely over, the broken promises are piling up.
- December 21, 2015: Tears are fine, but will Trudeau respect Indigenous rights to resources?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deserves full marks for his reaction to the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on residential schools. Indigenous Canadians can now hope that the new federal government will show them genuine respect.
- December 21, 2015: People's njunction
Prime Minister Trudeau and his party promised to include climate change and to respect community voices – especially First Nations – in pipeline reviews. Now, just weeks after taking office, they are breaking that promise and refusing to suspend or cancel the reviews of the Energy East and Trans-Mountain pipelines.
- December 20, 2015: Harjit Sajjan, New Defence Minister, Says Canadians Are Smart Enough To 'Call Bullsh*t'
Canada's defence minister will commit only to pulling out of the bombing mission against the Islamic State in Iraq within the next six months — despite a parliamentary motion that concludes airstrikes in Iraq at the end of March.
- December 18, 2015: Trudeau cuts taxes for six-figure members of the 'middle class'
Canada's new government is, so far, on the right track on climate change. Its role in Paris has been a huge contrast to what we got from Stephen Harper's series of passive-aggressive environment ministers.
- December 15, 2015: Liberals should stick to spending promises despite rising deficits
The recent federal election featured something of a debate on fiscal policy, with the Liberals promising to run modest deficits for three years in order to stimulate a sagging economy and finance needed long-term investments in infrastructure and social programs. This approach won wide support among both progressives and mainstream economists.
- December 9, 2015: Trudeau's climate rhetoric is riveting. So what about the reality?
The danger with the Liberal’s climate plan is the same as the emerging UN climate pact: a hugely insufficient agenda sold as positive change.
- December 7, 2015: Trudeaumania 2.0: Avoiding the trap of high hopes and low standards
On October 19, after the longest campaign in recent history, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau were elected to a majority government in a crimson haze of Trudeaumania 2.0; Jack-Layton-esque hope/change/optimism branding.
- December 4, 2015: 'Change' not yet evident in Trudeau's policy toward Israel/Palestine
During the longest election campaign in Canadian history, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau seemed to have one objective with respect to the Israel/Palestine issue – keep it off the agenda.
- December 2, 2015: Canada's New Climate-Denying National Government
On November 10, newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Ottawa with the leadership council of the Canadian Labour Congress, the federation of trade unions in English-speaking Canada. Amazingly, this was the first meeting of a Canadian prime minister with a national labour body since 1958. The event was very cordial, according to a report published in the Globe and Mail. The CLC group numbered some 120 delegates.
- December 1, 2015: Canada backs U.S., saying carbon-reduction targets shouldn't be legally binding
Canada on Friday backed the U.S. approach to major climate change talks in Paris, saying any carbon reduction targets agreed to at the negotiations should not be legally binding. The announcement by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna could irritate host nation France, which wants any deal to be enforceable. That would be politically impossible for the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, however, since it is clear the Republican-dominated Congress would not ratify any treaty imposing legally binding cuts on the United States.
- November 25, 2015: Don't panic: What the deficit means for Canada and the Liberals
With under 24 hours' notice and released on a Friday, you could be certain the news from today's fall Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections (UEFP) wasn't going to be good. Nor was it surprising. The rosy picture painted in the April 2015 budget, the last time these figures were updated, was custom made to allow the Conservatives to claim they had slayed the deficit ahead of the October election.
- November 24, 2015: Keep transit public in the age of Justin Trudeau, Vincent Puhakka
Although the dust has only just settled on the longest election campaign in recent Canadian history; it's time we took stock of our Prime Minister-elect and his plans for public transit. On the surface, things look good: the Liberal Party's signature promise to run three years of deficits to fund infrastructure investment stands in stark contrast to the previous government’s record of piecemeal, project by project spending.
- November 23, 2015: Liberals will find key to undoing Harper's agenda in his infamous 'firewall' letter
It didn’t take long for the new Liberal government to start undoing the changes Stephen Harper made to the way the country was run over his nine years as prime minister. Many of these changes were in the tone and style of governance: Trudeau unmuzzled scientists, said nice things to public servants, promised more access and openness to journalists.
- November 20, 2015: Appeal to Justin Trudeau on climate and tar sands, John Riddell
The Liberal Party victory in Canada's October 19 elections posed an urgent challenge for opponents of the country's climate-destroying tar sands pipelines. Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister, has indicated support for such pipeline projects, like Enbridge’s Line 9 and Trans-Canada’s Energy East. Yet he is also committed to reforming the country’s pipeline regulator in ways favourable to indigenous and community opponents of these ventures.
- November 19, 2015: Mandated by the Liberal government: Conservative economics
In June 1966 I joined the Department of Finance in Ottawa where I was assigned to international programs. Canada had committed to spending one per cent of GDP on international development. GDP was growing so fast it was hard for federal government spending on foreign aid (as it was then called) to catch up, and in fact it never did. Successive governments changed the target, and then abandoned it, even as growth faded, and was replaced with the economic stagnation of today.
- November 16, 2015: Charting corporate connections in the new Liberal cabinet
Last week, there was widespread swooning over the newly appointed Trudeau cabinet, an amount of public adoration rather unsettling for those of us that remember the ugly days past of Liberal austerity. In addition to Liberal supporters, many progressives applauded Trudeau for appointing a diverse cabinet and practicing gender parity. While straight from the handbook of NDP Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, the gender parity move got Trudeau much public attention and praise.
- November 13, 2015: Trudeau government backs Energy East, supports tar sands expansion
On the same day that US President Barack Obama rejected the proposed 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL pipeline, highlighting that approving the pipeline would undermine efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out in support of the larger 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline.
- November 11, 2015: TrudeauMetre
On October 19th 2015, Canadians chose Justin Trudeau to be Canada's 23rd Prime Minister. The TrudeauMetre is a non-partisan collaborative citizen initiative that tracks his performance with regards to his electoral platform.
- November 11, 2015: Does Justin know? The virus that invaded the body of liberal thought is still there
It is legitimate to look for real change in economic policy under the new Liberal government. Instead what requires explaining is Justin Trudeau naming Bill Morneau -- a leading economic conservative -- as finance minister. Morneau who made millions working for his Father's firm told Eric Andrew-Gee of the Globe and Mail: "Most of the really smart people find jobs. Even when there's high youth unemployment. The reality is, it's 13 per cent. That means 87 per cent are employed."
- November 10, 2015, Bullet No. #1184: Will Justin Trudeau Change Canadian Policy in the Middle East?, Gregory Shupak
The election of Canada's Liberal Party is likely to mean a shift away from the hyper-belligerent tone Stephen Harper's Conservative Party used on issues pertaining to Middle East policy, but few concrete changes can be expected to take place. All signs point to the incoming government continuing to play a key supporting role in U.S.-led imperialism in the Middle East.
- November 4, 2015: Trans-Pacific Partnership: Corporate Power Unbound
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) sounds more like an international consortium of corporate law firms than a trade deal. That’s for good reason. TPP is less about trade than about corporate-dominated globalization.
- November 2, 2015: Rachel Notley's Alberta NDP embraces Trudeau economics
Throughout the federal election campaign, Tom Mulcair promised that his New Democrats would balance the budget no matter what. Provincial NDP governments, he boasted, had a proven track record of fiscal probity. His would be equally tight-fisted.
- November 2, 2015: Wage suppression and the Federal Balanced Budget Act
In the October 2013 Speech for the Throne, the Canadian government announced it would introduce balanced-budget legislation. At the time this vague proposal attracted little interest from anyone, although a year later the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) did produce a substantial document analyzing the benefits and costs of such a proposal.
- November 2, 2015: Japan's Abe, Trudeau agree to promote TPP
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canada’s prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau agreed to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both seeing the free-trade deal as beneficial to the region, Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The two leaders exchanged views on the pact during a 15-minute telephone call on Friday, Japan’s foreign ministry said.
- November 2, 2015: Plenty of room to raise taxes paid by Canada's wealthiest
A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says there is plenty of room to raise taxes on the richest one per cent of the population and still leave their tax rates lower than they were 40 years ago. The incoming Liberal government has proposed raising the top marginal income tax rate on those earning $200,000 or more.
- November 1, 2015: Will Justin Trudeau change Canadian policy in the Middle East?
The election of Canada’s Liberal Party is likely to mean a shift away from the hyper-belligerent tone Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party used on issues pertaining to Middle East policy, but few concrete changes can be expected to take place. All signs point to the incoming government continuing to play a key supporting role in US-led imperialism in the Middle East.
- November 1, 2015: Trudeau's big test in Paris
In just one month, the most anticipated United Nations climate summit in history will begin in Paris. With ominous signs of accelerating climate change already upon us, and negotiators pinning their hopes on a new binding international agreement, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change promises to be its most important gathering to date.
- October 28, 2015: What Your New Liberal Majority Government Means for the Climate
Holy smokes. Polls are in and Canadians across the country are expressing surprise at the strong win for the federal Liberal party.
- October 27, 2015: Trudeau will decide within weeks on nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron
The Council of Canadians is calling on incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject a plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste near Lake Huron.
- October 26, 2015: Tax the rich: How the Liberals outflanked the NDP
Political commentators say that the campaign turning-point was Justin Trudeau's late August deficit announcement. But Tom Mulcair was backed into a corner in the first week of May. Unfortunately for the NDP, they did not feel the knock-out blow because the pain was numbed by the Alberta NDP's surprise victory on May 6.
- October 26, 2015: Posties union to Canada Post: You can stop the mailbox conversion now
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is calling for an immediate halt to the door-to-door delivery cuts scheduled in the coming weeks prior to the Liberals forming the new government. “The postal cuts were driven by the Conservatives. Now they are no longer in power, it’s time to hit the brakes,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
- October 26, 2015: Trudeau's 'middle-class tax cut' is a mirage
Justin Trudeau portrays himself as a champion of the middle class. In the Liberals’ first campaign ad, Trudeau claimed he’s “ready to do what my opponents won’t: ask our wealthiest to pay more tax, so our middle class can pay less.”
- October 25, 2015: Trudeau's bold change pledge was a ruse. But Canada now has a fighting chance
On Monday night many Canadians breathed out a sigh of relief. Then they breathed in a whiff of apprehension. The ousting of the Conservatives was a victory, a rejection of Stephen Harper’s politics of fear and outright hatred. But Canadians now confront a Prime Minister gifted in the art of warm, fuzzy claptrap. They won’t be offered what they dreamed of: that was never an option in this election.
- October 23, 2015: In election devoid of class politics, Liberals won on the economy
There is no political rocket science to the Oct. 19th election result. Even with our slanted first-past-the-post system, it would have been difficult for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to squeak out a parliamentary majority, or even minority, given that more than two-thirds of the population wanted him out.
- October 21, 2015: Canada withdrawing fighter jets from Iraq, Syria, Trudeau tells Obama
Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he told US President Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. But he gave no timeline. "About an hour ago I spoke with President Obama," Trudeau told a press conference.
- October 21, 2015: Don't expect Justin Trudeau to challenge the status quo
Last night in Canada, the Conservative, the Liberal and the New Democratic parties competed in what was expected to be a tight contest for control of Parliament. But before polls had even closed, it was clear that the centrist Liberals swept the vote, and many Canadians are now celebrating the victory of the Liberals’ charismatic young leader, Justin Trudeau — the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, one of Canada’s best-known statesmen.
- October 20, 2015: Harper's gone. Trudeau is in. The struggle continues.
More than 68%, or over 16 million Canadian citizens voted in yesterday’s election, the highest voter turnout since at least 1997. The result: Stephen Harper’s decade of conservative, anti-immigrant, and racist rule comes to an end, and the Liberal Party’s Justin Trudeau is now Prime Minister.
- October 20, 2015: Prime Minister-Elect Justin Trudeau has many promises to keep
After one of his three majority victories, Pierre Elliott Trudeau quoted a line from New Hampshire poet Robert Frost’s Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening: "I have promises to keep / And miles to go before I sleep." At the late Prime Minister's funeral in 2000 his eldest son Justin paraphrased that quote: "He kept his promises and earned his sleep." It is Justin Trudeau who now has promises to keep.
- October 20, 2015: After Harper: Confronting the Liberals, David Bush and Doug Nesbitt
So there we have it. Harper is gone. The Liberals surged from third place to win in this marathon election. The NDP, which was leading in the polls in August, slowly lost steam after they promised to prioritize balancing the budget and refusing to tax the rich. Ever the opportunists, the Liberals seized on this opening and ran a campaign that rode of a wave popular discontent with the Harper government, drilled home the message that they would tax the rich and spend money on infrastructure to pull the economy out of recession.