By Susan Delacourt National Columnist Tues., May 14, 2019 Justin Trudeau is adding two new advisers to his inner circle — both with B.C. experience — as the Prime Minister’s Office shores up its ranks in advance of the fall election. Ben Chin, who has been serving as chief of staff to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, is being pulled in to serve as senior adviser to Trudeau, as has been widely expected for a couple of months now. Chin is a former journalist who has worked at Queen’s Park and as an aide to former B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark. He was also tight with Trudeau and his team right from the beginning of Trudeau’s campaign for the Liberal leadership in 2012, so this is in many ways a move back to where Chin started in the Trudeau orbit. Sarah Goodman, who has extensive private-sector experience in environmental issues, moves up in the PMO to director of policy. Before she went to work with Trudeau, Goodman was a founder … [Read more...] about Ben Chin moving to Prime Minister’s Office
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief Rob Ferguson Queen's Park Bureau Mon., May 13, 2019 Provincial auditor general Bonnie Lysyk is giving a thumbs-down to Premier Doug Ford’s new taxpayer-funding TV commercial that attacks the federal government’s carbon-pricing measures. The fiscal watchdog’s office said Monday the ad “would not have passed the auditor general’s review under the former version of the Government Advertising Act because it doesn’t include all the relevant facts.” Furthermore, “it criticizes another level of government while putting the Ontario government in a positive light,” said Christine Pedias, Lysyk’s director of corporate communications and government advertising review. Until former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne loosened the legislation four years ago, the auditor general had a veto over government advertising for factual accuracy, context and tone, to … [Read more...] about Auditor general pans Doug Ford’s anti-carbon-pricing ad
By Susan Delacourt National Columnist Tues., May 7, 2019 It takes a certain amount of nerve to rail against elites and privilege when your minimum salary hovers around $180,000 a year. Yet this is now the daily spectacle in Canada’s House of Commons, with MPs on all sides shaking their fists against millionaires, large corporations and pretty much anything that takes a few more dollars from the wallets of “hard-working citizens.” These would be the same citizens who presumably didn’t get a $3,300-a-year raise last month — unlike your members of Parliament. Thanks to a new report from the Samara Centre for Democracy, we now have a name for this phenomenon of the rich railing against the rich. It’s called “elite-led populism,” and while the Samara report is mostly reassuring about the current depth of populist discontent in Canada, it also warns that the political elites in Canada are sowing a lot of the anger … [Read more...] about It’s a little rich for MPs to criticize the affluent
By Susan Delacourt National Columnist Thu., May 2, 2019 Conservatives gave Justin Trudeau a demotion this week — a nominal one, at least. On Wednesday, one Conservative critic after another stood up and addressed their questions to the “Liberal leader” — not the prime minister, as is conventional practice in the House. It’s a small thing, perhaps, but it coincided with the unveiling of a new Conservative attack-ad campaign, featuring the same tag line in each of the five spots: “Justin Trudeau: Not as Advertised.” Casting Trudeau as a mere party leader, or a faulty product, gives us some idea of where the Conservatives believe the prime minister is vulnerable as the fall election looms. The idea, presumably, is to remind voters that Conservatives had warned people in 2015 that Trudeau was neither prime ministerial nor ready for high office. Remember “nice hair?” Trudeau, we’ll also recall, took the … [Read more...] about Is Trudeau the prime minister or just the Liberal leader?
By Susan Delacourt National Columnist Tues., April 30, 2019 The SNC-Lavalin saga appears to have been a real money-maker for the Conservatives. Fundraising totals released Tuesday by the federal political parties show the Conservatives pulled in about $8 million in the first three months of 2019 — more than double the $3.8 million raised by the governing Liberals. Conservatives are perennially better than any other party at squeezing dollars out of their supporters, but they were boasting this particular return as a “Canadian political fundraising record.” “After the SNC-Lavalin scandal, it’s clear Canadians want change,” Leader Andrew Scheer was quoted as saying in the news release. Liberals were putting the best face on their results, boasting that they had expanded their base of grassroots supporters, but the $3.8 million raised in the first three months of 2019 is also $2.6 million less than Justin Trudeau’s team … [Read more...] about Political donors are in the market for protest, not influence