National Newswatch

The Gerry Ritzing of Catherine McKenna

Sep 22 2017 — Heather Mallick — Catherine McKenna, minister for environment and climate change and MP for Ottawa Centre, is a bilingual, internationalist human rights lawyer with degrees from the University of Toronto, McGill and the London School of Economics. Gerry Ritz, Conservative MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster, isn’t.

Closing tax loopholes a sure vote winner

Sep 11 2017 — Heather Mallick — Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s “tax fairness” move to close loopholes, including the shameless ones with feathers and sequins, are more popular than many realize. You may have been reading about the alleged backlash to the proposed reforms. But the backlash comes from the people using the loopholes. They include doctors, small business owners and, it […]

Beautiful Diana, trapped in a horror movie

Sep 4 2017 — Heather Mallick — Diana, Princess of Wales, was a good person. And look what happened to her. She was a wonderful parent, and beautiful, and athletic, with an esthetic sense that changed the look of an era and a talent for ambassadorship that served Great Britain well. Everything she touched she made better. Twenty years ago, she died […]

Defending Atwood in the great neighbourhood divide

Sep 2 2017 — Heather Mallick — Toronto is a homely city, whether by accident or design. Historic buildings are demolished. Cheap glass accretes, storey by storey, without detail, grace or interest. The cycle continues as ever, the infelicities of the 1960s replaced by the godawfuls of the 2010s, plus murals. The Twitter pile-on over Margaret Atwood defending her neighbours as they […]

Anti-abortion campaign an abuse of free speech

Aug 28 2017 — Heather Mallick — Small children find the world an alarming place, which it is when you’re short and underweight. You’re at a huge disadvantage. What is a trump? You can’t read the menu. If your mom orders green eggs and ham, how will you know? Knowledge is power. You have neither.

Extremists want Canada’s social norms to snap

Aug 26 2017 — Heather Mallick — What are social norms and why are they stretching until they snap? If they were never expressed aloud, did they even exist? Also, define snap. I always thought Ezra Levant and his little friends were beyond the pale, and wrote that. I always thought Sarah Palin was the thin end of an abhorrent wedge, and […]

How honey badger Bannon ate Trump for lunch

Aug 20 2017 — Heather Mallick — What is a Steve Bannon? And if so, why? I have never seen a spiky American political operative reduce so many commentators to making lists. Normally opinionators pick an angle and stick to it, but during the Bannon years, they floundered in a sea of possibilities. Bannon birthed President Donald Trump and worked as his […]

‘Emotional labour’ is taking its toll on workers

Aug 7 2017 — Heather Mallick — “Emotional labour” is on the way out in certain parts of the economy and roaring back in others. It is how we work now. Its most basic unit is the smile. It refers to jobs where the skill set is both the absorbing and displaying of emotion. It is ubiquitous. It is draining. In the […]

The high cost of flying on the cheap

Aug 5 2017 — Heather Mallick — Flying is harsh — it’s like a dose of naloxone without the initial high — but at least it’s cheap. It would cost me $1,256 to fly return to London next week on Air Canada, or $969 in September after vacation season ends. In exchange, I would get to London in under seven hours, which […]

Beer-toss incident was more than just a ‘weak moment

Aug 2 2017 — Heather Mallick — Feeling sorry for people is what I do, and what an exhausting business it is. A contrarian mindset makes things worse, in that I tend to leap to the defence of the person who seems to be most in the soup at any given time. Wretchedness attracts me. Those I feel sorry for: Kellyanne Conway, […]

Tories go all Mean Girls over Trudeau’s Rolling Stone cover

Jul 28 2017 — Heather Mallick — Watching Conservatives go into a sulk after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared in Rolling Stone magazine is kind of adorable. “Mean girls” is how I’d describe the Peter Kent and Andrew Scheer crowd lately, “crankypants” if I’m feeling generous. There’s a fair amount of petulance in the Conservative emotion cloud these days.

How Omar Khadr was caught in the American fog of war

Jul 24 2017 — Heather Mallick — The U.S. attitude to warfare is a puzzling thing. It has been so since the Second World War, which was a clear battle between armies with distinctive uniforms Then the clarity ended. It was the last time Americans fought a war that everyone, themselves included, fully understood. There’s something wretchedly appealing about that.

Self-hate and the actions of nations

Jul 17 2017 — Heather Mallick — Watching President Trump schlep around Paris in a perpetual state of faux pas — ignoring Melania Trump, manhandling Brigitte Macron, seizing and patting down President Emmanuel Macron, rendering the French air kiss as an Attack of the Wet Lips — was excruciating but amusing. Trump, famously insecure, must dimly grasp his own humiliation. When people […]

Here’s a dozen flashes of my finest Canada

Jul 1 2017 — Heather Mallick — I don’t want to offer platitudes to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday as we are all stuffed to the lid with those. Instead I’ll tell you about Moments in Canada, as opposed to the more sugary My Canadian Moments. Inside each moment very likely sits a platitude, if you are minded to pluck it out, but […]