National Newswatch

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, […]


Liberals take wait-and-see approach with federal budget

Mar 22 2017 — Campbell Clark — The unprecedented ratio of words to numbers in Bill Morneau’s second budget speech was a good hint about what was in this year’s blueprint. The Finance Minister’s whole 3,300-word speech had only two numbers that came with dollar signs. Mr. Morneau mustered the verbiage to reassure and to conjure nifty ideas about the economic future, […]


Trudeau front and centre in Privy Council’s running poll

Mar 15 2017 — Campbell Clark — For the first time, the federal government is commissioning a running poll of Canadians to be fed to the central department that advises Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Privy Council Office issued the $312,603 polling contract last month for Forum Research to conduct a telephone poll that samples 500 Canadians every week, a total of […]


U.S. allies shaken by Donald Trump’s wiretap tweets about Obama

Mar 6 2017 — Campbell Clark — Just when U.S. allies around the world from Canada to Europe to Asia were starting to be reassured about Donald Trump’s approach to the world, there’s a whole new gust of chaos coming from Washington. This weekend’s startling political drama of Twitter accusations of wiretaps, then denials, all following on swirling questions about the contacts […]


B.C. NDP race lays the groundwork for federal pipeline battle

Feb 26 2017 — Campbell Clark — The NDP finally has a leadership race, and now the candidates must decide how they’ll handle a divisive issue inside their party: pipelines. The only New Democrat in power anywhere in Canada, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, backs the construction of two major pipelines, Trans Mountain and Keystone XL, to help her province’s ailing oil industry. […]


Michael Chong’s pro-carbon-tax stance could make for a rocky Tory leadership bid

Feb 19 2017 — Campbell Clark — Michael Chong sometimes seems like he’s running for the Conservative Party leadership in the hardest possible way. Last week, while most Conservative MPs were struggling with Liberal motion M-103 on condemning Islamophobia, Mr. Chong supported it, saying that after January’s shooting at a Quebec City mosque, it’s time to study anti-Islamic prejudice. And the centrepiece […]