National Newswatch

Stephen Harper’s political children poised for provincial takeovers

Sep 22 2017 — Don Martin — Here’s some interesting political trivia: No provincial premier has ever become prime minister of Canada. That’s what makes the phenomenon of Stephen Harper’s political children so bizarre. While even the best premiers have declined or failed in a bid move up the political pyramid to 24 Sussex Drive, federal Conservative backbenchers are lining up to […]

Liberals smart to push ahead with closing the tax loopholes

Sep 14 2017 — Don Martin — It’s time for the T4 taxpayers of the nation to rise up. With professionals rolling out sob stories of proposed changes cramping their ability to hide taxes through incorporation, the most influential group remains silent on the sidelines. I’m referring to the vast majority of us: Millions of Canadians trapped by a single T4 remuneration […]

Canada’s 150th birthday is a weekend for celebration

Jul 1 2017 — Don Martin — If there’s a signature Canadian character trait, it’s saying sorry all the time. We are a nation of apologists, be it just bumping into a stranger on the elevator to groveling forgiveness for scandals dating back generations. Even on the eve of our 150th birthday, some feel guilty at marking Canada’s official birth when our […]

Appointments paralysis shows internal dysfunction

Jun 15 2017 — Don Martin — A former prime minister’s wife once told me that the most irritating part of her unofficial role was to fend off government job-seekers. Everywhere she went, people lobbied her for appointments to the Senate, powerful public service positions or lucrative agency gigs, as if prime ministerial pillow talk gave them preferential access to platinum-level employment. […]

On the great pipeline divide, PM Trudeau must pick a side

Jun 1 2017 — Don Martin — The Great Divide is a towering mountain range which also serves as the southern boundary between British Columbia and Alberta. A raindrop landing on the eastern face flows to the Atlantic or Arctic oceans. If it lands a few metres west, it runs to the Pacific. Here endeth today’s geology lesson.

Will next CPC leader be a Liberal reign-ending nightmare?

May 26 2017 — Don Martin — It’s easy to ridicule Conservative fortunes as this baker’s dozen of leadership hopefuls prepare to sell themselves as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s worst political nightmare. Half of them have no business being on the stage tonight and their speeches are merely a self-promotional payoff for that $100,000 race entry fee. And there are no Trudeauesque […]

Trudeau government stacking up Alberta snubs

May 18 2017 — Don Martin — My lingering Albertan DNA has me wincing a lot lately. There’s been a sudden spike in the number of threats and slights against Canada’s hefty-horsepower economic engine. It started when the government’s Edmonton cabinet minister announced that all that Calgary lobbying was in vain and Cowtown would not be the location for the $33-billion infrastructure […]

Opposition shadows cloud PM Trudeau’s question period

May 11 2017 — Don Martin — Justin Trudeau hates Question Period. Stephen Harper, no fan of the inquisition either, at least seemed to relish the odd battle of wits and would uncharacteristically grin at his backbench when he gave back better than he got across the aisle. But because this prime minister is fixated on a message track from which no […]

Let’s hope common sense prevails on cross-border booze

May 4 2017 — Don Martin — Almost within sight of Parliament Hill on the Quebec side of the river, there’s a slightly-shabby but always-busy store where a law now headed for the Supreme Court is broken dozens of times every day. Hundreds of cases of cheap suds and wine pour out of Beer King in Gatineau into the open trucks of […]

Senate doesn’t have the constitution to oust Don Meredith

Apr 6 2017 — Don Martin — Conventional wisdom has it that Senator Don Meredith will soon be tossed out the Senate door with a “good riddance” sticker on his back. His disgraceful stalking of a teenage girl, who eventually and reluctantly succumbed to a sexual relationship under the heavy sway of his honorable title, is toxic to a Senate trying to […]

Pot penalties ahead of legalization could have long-term impact

Mar 30 2017 — Don Martin — Way back in the mid-1970s, when the first Trudeau government was dealing with a commission advocating marijuana decriminalization, I was busted for simple possession of pot while waiting to enter a high school dance. I tried to argue it wasn’t my dope, but nobody believed me – including the judge. But after a valiant legal […]