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Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive at the House of Commons to deliver the 2019 federal budget on Mar. 19. Mr. Morneau used the Liberals' last pre-election budget to propose $23-billion in new spending over the next five years. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Feds funnel another half-billion dollars into fixing public service pay in 2019 budget

Here are six takeaways for public servants, politicos, media, and policy wonks from the Liberals’ final, pre-election fiscal plan.

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

News|By Emily Haws
MPs and pollsters say the issue could contribute to greater voter cynicism, which could lead to lower turnout at the polls in October.

Ottawa allows Maduro loyalists to run Venezuelan Embassy despite calling his government ‘illegitimate’

Canada has also recognized a representative of interim president Juan Guaidó, who says the ‘complicated’ situation shouldn’t be ‘rushed.’

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

‘If it is slanderous or defamatory, then we will be held accountable for that, and we will be held accountable by our electorate, in whether they vote for us again,’ says Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen.

PSAC, Treasury Board inch closer in contract talks as election looms

News|By Emily Haws
Meanwhile, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers filed for binding arbitration March 11 in hopes of striking its own pre-election deal.

NDP ‘under the gun’ to name candidates, say politicos, as they trail Grits, Tories on campaign slate

Nearly a third of the NDP caucus elected in 2015 have opted not to return to Parliament, part of the reason the party has only named 12 per cent of the candidates expected to run in 2019.

Liberals speed up deficit reduction track with help of buoyant tax revenues

News|By Jolson Lim
Big-ticket items in the last federal budget of this majority Liberal government include more than $6.2-billion to expand federal financing of rental construction, $1-billion for increasing access to drugs for rare diseas

Trudeau Liberals’ final budget features measures for skills training, rural broadband, border security

News 10:14 AM ET
Whereas last year’s budget was largely pitched at women, this year, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s final budget is focused on skills training to help older workers and youth adapt to a rapidly changing workforce.

Feds pledge more than $4-billion in pre-election budget for Indigenous file

News|By Emily Haws
Advancing reconciliation was a key theme of the budget, which included money to forgive loans on comprehensive claim negotiations, to implement Jordan's Principle, and revitalize Indigenous languages.

PM Trudeau needs to ‘reset the tone,’ hire a PMO caucus liaison, and be more accessible to his Grit MPs, say Liberals

News|By Abbas Rana
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will informally consult MPs, former parliamentarians, and experts from a wide range of backgrounds on his caucus and cabinet management style, says a PMO official.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive at the House of Commons to deliver the 2019 federal budget on Mar. 19. Mr. Morneau used the Liberals' last pre-election budget to propose $23-billion in new spending over the next five years. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Feds funnel another half-billion dollars into fixing public service pay in 2019 budget

Here are six takeaways for public servants, politicos, media, and policy wonks from the Liberals’ final, pre-election fiscal plan.

On the credibility front, Wilson-Raybould is still eating the PM’s lunch

Opinion|By Michael Harris
On this file, Justin Trudeau has gotten the national character wrong. Canadians don't want to endorse the 'velveteen' treatment of a DPA for businesses just because they are 'too big to jail.'

Trudeau vs. Trudeau

Opinion|By Gerry Nicholls
The idea that Justin Trudeau would raise his voice in anger at one of his MPs, especially a female MP, is totally at odds with his sensitive public persona, writes Gerry Nicholls.

Big democracies get buried with little shovels, like last week’s House Justice Committee shutdown

Opinion|By Warren Kinsella
The dirt Francis Drouin and his pals shovelled onto democracy last week isn’t right, at all. And we won’t forget it.

Senate committee amends access bill, strikes key section in critic crosshairs

‘We have heard from the concerns of First Nations groups and the Information Commissioner about the potential for this clause to be misused,’ former minister Jane Philpott says in a letter to Senate Legal Committee.

Justice officials told Senators SNC didn’t lobby them to get remediation agreements in law

The SNC-Lavalin affair ‘casts a new light’ on the Senate Legal Affairs Committee study of remediation agreements last year, say committee members.

Senate’s plans to study C-69 stalled weeks after travel agreement struck

‘I think we have lots of time,’ says Conservative Sen. Michael MacDonald in response to charges of delay from Independent Senators.

The scourge of white racism

Opinion|By Les Whittington
Canadians need to be much more vigilant about anti-immigrant and racist dog-whistling in the public sphere.

Is Beto O’Rourke the rebound dude for a post-Trump America?

Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
Donald Trump’s obliteration of political norms has made plausible the anointment of an erstwhile hacker, punk rocker, and manny as his potential successor. Try not to be judgy.

Let’s not forget what sparked the SNC-Lavalin affair

Opinion|By Scott Taylor
The Quebec engineering company’s desire to gain lucrative contracts in Gaddafi’s Libya led to the fraud and corruption charges it sought to have dealt with through a deferred prosecution agreement.

Finance, innovation lead January’s slow lobbying start to 2019

January produced 1,237 lobby records, a slight uptick from December, but less than half of monthly averages in the fall.

Ex-DM ‘deeply disturbed’ by PCO clerk Wernick’s committee testimony, but others say it didn’t cross partisan line

News|By Emily Haws
Ex-parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, who used to work under Michael Wernick, says that 'when you look at just the facts, Michael didn’t sound partisan' to him.

Butts’ exit could help government wield more effective defence strategy in SNC-Lavalin affair, politicos say

News|By Beatrice Paez
Gerald Butts has removed himself from the daily political grind of strategizing how to keep the Liberals in power. But observers say it's unlikely he will be consigned to watch the campaign unfold from the sidelines.

In the spotlight: Senate Chamber makes TV debut

Plus, Libby Davies has penned a political memoir, former Mulroney PMO staffer Bill Fox is recovering from a health scare, and Globe and Mail assistant editor Chris Hannay is taking on a new assignment.

New faces join PMO, Liberal research bureau

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, NDP staffer James Smith has said goodbye to Ottawa for a new job with the B.C. government.

Name caucus reps to get MP input on Centre Block rehab, says Board of Internal Economy

One of the lessons learned from the West Block reno was that MPs weren’t consulted enough, says House deputy clerk Michel Patrice.

Veterans Minister MacAulay brings chief of staff Gallant to new office

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Alison Porter has been promoted to chief of staff in the agriculture minister’s office.

Everybody’s shuffling: Singh shakes up his House leadership and party critics

Feature|By Neil Moss
Plus, Kevin Vickers to seek leadership of New Brunswick Liberals, and a U.S. local news station tracks down a vacationing Justin Trudeau on a Florida island.

‘The feds recently released an interim report on its study into implementing national pharmacare. What stands out to you from it?’

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert

Trudeau team’s legacy on agriculture will be market access gains, says Minister Bibeau

News|By Neil Moss
In a wide-ranging interview, Canada's new agriculture minister talks trade deals, supply management, carbon pricing, China's canola import limits, and being the first woman in the post.

Making an equal WAGE: Monsef talks new department

As the last minister for status of women and the first for women and gender equality, Maryam Monsef says she’s cementing a path forged by her predecessors, but critics say the new mandate could 'dilute' the mission.

Canada must engage with China to resolve canola impasse, say trade observers

News|By Neil Moss
An ex-ambassador to China says the revoked export permit for one of the largest Canadian canola processors is the latest example of why Canada should diversify its international trading partners.

Bibeau a ‘surprise’ in ag role, but presents chance to ‘go to bat’ for sector, say observers

News|By Jolson Lim
Despite being seen as a bit of an unknown by the agriculture community, Marie-Claude Bibeau hails from a Quebec riding with a heavy concentration of dairy farms.

When it comes to our mental health, don’t forget the social media connection

Opinion|By Aidan Scott
Should we log off and put down our phones for the sake of our mental health? Sometimes. But, the power of connection and the information that can be accessed because of digital advancement in health can be lifesaving.
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Politics This Morning: Feds unveil almost $23-billion in new spending

Though there was talk of a potential delay in tabling the budget, with Conservatives attempting to filibuster the proceedings in protest over the Liberals' decision to end the Justice Committee's SNC-Lavalin probe, it was tabled at 4 p.m. without a hitch. 
Virtually all discussions and decisions about compensation or transition assistance in the event of economic disruption take place in reaction to strong lobbying, or based on political considerations.
Opinion|David Crane
Is the extradition request simply a cynical card that the Trump administration is playing as part of its negotiation of a new trade deal with China?
Opinion|Duff Conacher
How much longer do we have to wait for a law enforcement system that upholds the rule of law for everybody?
New strategies for communicating threats, responses, and obligations with a range of Canadian stakeholders are needed.
Bill C-69, which seeks to make changes to environmental assessments, contains measures that could hinder building new infrastructure by delaying project approvals and increasing risk.
Is it conceivable that the prime minister may just have made a good faith legal error in approaching the attorney general?
Opinion|Jim Creskey

Important questions for a Canada that’s ‘better than we know and worse than we think’

Mary Jo Leddy's Why Are We Here? A Meditation on Canada is a new book full of honest questions about Canada.
Feature|Sean Wilson

Privacy, productivity and the perils of the digital economy

Essentially, what the book conveys beautifully and powerfully is the idea that as long as we remain isolated in our newsfeeds and chose to interact exclusively through apps and screens, we risk losing the real connectivity that drives evolution and leads to happiness and prosperity.
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Ministers Duclos, Goodale, and Bains add to political staff teams

Plus, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett is in need of a new director of policy after Daniel Pujdak’s recent exit.

Justice Minister Lametti hires director of litigation

Lise Jolicoeur is back on Parliament Hill as director of communications to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen.
Feature|Neil Moss

Bernier passes on taking part in Justice Committee SNC-Lavalin hearings

Plus, a look at media moves on the Hill, and Grit MP Marc Miller and a Montreal reporter come to blows.
Feature|Neil Moss

Margaret Trudeau to debut autobiographical production, Certain Woman of an Age, in Chicago on Mother’s Day weekend

Plus, Brian Mulroney's celebrates his 80th birthday bash with Michael Bublé and David Foster, and the PPSC sends 'pre-written' tweet stressing prosecutorial independence.
Feature|Emily Haws

No snow pants allowed: here’s your guide to the hottest winter and spring shindigs

From a post-budget shindig to the exclusive Politics and the Pen gala, there are lots of opportunities to get out your fanciest suit or dress.

Party crashers: The Hill Times gets kicked out of a Liberal social, but it was fun while it lasted

If MPs were put off by our presence at their closed-to-the media social, they were too polite to say anything.

Tensions with China highlight need to work with Indo-Pacific states with shared values: analyst

But by boosting partnerships in the region Canada also risks alienating China, said academics and diplomats at a March 11 Ottawa talk.

Innovation, trade links top of mind for new Swiss ambassador

‘We’ve taken each other for granted, maybe a little bit too much,’ says Salome Meyer, looking for more active bilateralism between Canada and Switzerland.

Morneau to speak at Economic Club of Canada on Wednesday at the Château

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, pictured on Saturday March 16, 2019, partaking in Ottawa's St. Patrick's Day parade with one of her children. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

British Columbia MP Joyce Murray, pictured with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick on March 18, being sworn in as president of the Treasury Board. She replaces Jane Philpott, who resigned over a loss of confidence in the government's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair. In other related news, Mr. Wernick today announced his retirement from public service, citing 'recent events' that have led his impartiality as a civil servant to be called into question.
The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy
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