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Trudeau to focus on economic agenda in 2018, hopes to put ethics flaps behind him

OTTAWA—Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are ushering out 2017 the same way they rang it in: in the midst of controversy over ethics and alleged elitism. But as much as the prime minister doubtless wants to turn that page, government insiders say he has no intention of hitting the reset button in the new year. He won’t …

Liberals win three of four byelections, including upset in B.C.; Tories hold one

OTTAWA—Justin Trudeau’s Liberals scored another byelection upset Monday, snatching the British Columbia riding of South Surrey-White Rock away from the Conservatives. Gordie Hogg won the riding with 47.5 per cent of the vote, just five percentage points ahead of Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay, a former Harper-era cabinet minister who represented a neighbouring riding for one term …

Elections Canada wants no part in organizing leaders debates during campaigns

OTTAWA — Canada’s independent elections watchdog wants no part in organizing leaders’ debates during federal elections. Elections Canada should not be involved in anything that could be seen as influencing the outcome of a campaign, acting chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault told a House of Commons committee Thursday. “I strongly believe that Elections Canada must be insulated from any decision-making …

Trudeau credits Liberal economic agenda for upset win in Quebec byelection

OTTAWA— A triumphant Justin Trudeau contends the Liberals’ stunning byelection victory in Quebec’s nationalist heartland is a vote of confidence in his government’s economic agenda. Implicit in the prime minister’s assertion is that it’s also a vote of confidence in the man who’s presided over that economic agenda, embattled Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Opposition parties …

Liberals score upset in Quebec byelection; Tories hang on in Edmonton

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have pulled off a stunning byelection upset, snatching the federal riding of Lac-Saint-Jean away from the Conservatives. A Liberal victory in Quebec’s nationalist heartland — where the party hasn’t won since 1980 and where it posted its worst result in the province in 2015 — would have been remarkable at …

Ethics watchdog says blind trust for Morneau’s assets ‘not required’

OTTAWA — The federal ethics watchdog confirmed Tuesday that she advised Finance Minister Bill Morneau there was no need to put his substantial assets in a blind trust. “I told him that it wasn’t required,” ethics commissioner Mary Dawson said, although she acknowledged it was ultimately up to Morneau to choose how to handle his …

Morneau’s credibility on the line as Liberals hit reset button on tax reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau hit the reset button on his government’s controversial small-business tax reforms Monday but the awkward spectacle of the prime minister sidelining his finance minister, along with mushrooming questions about Bill Morneau’s personal financial arrangements, suggests the political crisis roiling Liberal ranks isn’t over just yet. Indeed, the controversy has morphed into …

Changes to tax reform proposals aimed at clarifying wealthy are the target

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau will belatedly honour his campaign promise to cut the small business tax rate to nine per cent as his government scrambles to undo the damage from weeks of controversy over proposed tax reforms for private corporations. The prime minister is to announce the reduction Monday, along with some changes to the …

Morneau to unveil changes to controversial small business tax proposals

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will unveil changes Monday aimed at mollifying the many critics of his controversial small business tax reform proposals, hoping to tamp down a political wildfire that has scorched Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government. The damage control effort will begin with a special briefing early Monday morning for Liberal backbenchers, some …

Canada pushes inclusion of strong, progressive labour standards in NAFTA

OTTAWA — Canada is pushing for the inclusion of enforceable, progressive labour standards in a rewritten North American Free Trade Agreement, aimed at compelling Mexico to pay workers higher wages and do away with so-called “yellow” unions that represent employers rather than employees. Canada’s proposed chapter on labour standards also calls for an end to right-to-work laws …