National Newswatch

Gerald Butts defends new consul-general Rana Sarkar’s salary

Aug 21 2017 — Campbell Clark — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior aide Gerald Butts took to Twitter to defend the appointment of his friend to a diplomatic post in San Francisco at a pay rate nearly double the official salary scale, arguing his compensation is in line with others the Liberals have recruited from outside the government – and that they […]

Liberal-named consul-general Rana Sarkar to make nearly double office’s official salary

Aug 21 2017 — Campbell Clark — The well-connected former Liberal candidate who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to a plum diplomatic posting in San Francisco is being paid nearly twice as much as the job’s official salary rate. Rana Sarkar, a long-time Liberal who is close to Mr. Trudeau’s top aide, principal secretary Gerald Butts, was named consul-general to […]

The Liberals are talking about gender, and that will change Ottawa

Jun 26 2017 — Campbell Clark — Last week, Maryam Monsef, the Minister of Status of Women, announced a strategy to address gender-based violence. Two weeks earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a speech declaring that women’s rights are at the heart of Canada’s foreign policy, and a few days later, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced a “feminist” foreign-aid policy.

Conservative leadership race divides along new poles

May 15 2017 — Campbell Clark — The two ends of the Conservative Party used to be the Red Tories and Reformers. Now, the two poles in the party’s leadership race are libertarians and social conservatives. In one corner, there’s Maxime Bernier, the free-market libertarian who says he is fighting for individual freedoms, who promises to slash government, abolish untouchable policies like […]

Trudeau’s determination to stick to a script undercuts his message

May 11 2017 — Campbell Clark — “As the head of government, the Prime Minister represents all Canadians and should be directly accountable to all Canadians,” the Liberals’ 2015 election promised. “We will introduce a Prime Minister’s Question Period to improve that level of direct accountability.” So step right up, Canadians, and peer into that new wellspring of direct accountability. Take a […]

A dirty little secret about governments? No matter the party, they all like to avoid scrutiny

Apr 17 2017 — Campbell Clark — Here’s a political trivia question: Which prime minister, Stephen Harper or Justin Trudeau, ran on the open-government promise to strengthen the Access to Information Act, but then delayed and made lame excuses and failed to deliver? It’s a trick question, unfortunately. The answer is both. The difference between the two, however, is that Mr. Trudeau […]

Liberals to weed out positive spin to marijuana branding

Apr 13 2017 — Campbell Clark — In parts of North America that once had influential temperance movements, like Mississippi or Ontario, it’s still illegal to advertise happy hour. Long after prohibition became passé, governments haven’t lost the urge to express disapproval for the willy-nilly sale of intoxicants. And so, when the Liberal government moves Thursday to table legislation to legalize cannabis, […]