National Newswatch

Khadr is to Trudeau what the census was to Harper

Jul 20 2017 — John Ibbitson — The Omar Khadr affair is for the Trudeau government what the census scandal was for the Harper government: a midsummer meltdown that permanently taints the reputation of the prime minister. There are important differences between the two imbroglios, and we should remember that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won the next election despite the census mess. But, […]

The economy can make or break a prime minister

Jul 17 2017 — John Ibbitson — Justin Trudeau’s Liberals enjoy the political benefit of strong economic growth, reflected in the Bank of Canada’s decision last week to raise interest rates. If things are this good in 2019, Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives won’t be able to use the economy as an election issue, leaving the Tories with an uphill fight to unseat the […]

In Jagmeet Singh, a unifying figure with divisive potential

Jul 11 2017 — John Ibbitson — Jagmeet Singh’s bid to lead the federal NDP offers bold new possibilities for the party. But the Ontario MPP faces serious opposition, which he believes may include agents working on behalf of the government of India. However, the greatest hurdle may be overcoming resistance from Quebec secularists uncomfortable with the prospect of a turban-and-kirpan-wearing Sikh […]

Scheer has doused the Conservative Party’s mini-rebellion

Jun 9 2017 — John Ibbitson — Partly out of genuine concern, partly out of sheer devilment, supporters of Maxime Bernier stirred up trouble for new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer over the past week. But the rebellion fizzled, in part because of a funny line. The Bernier camp insists it was someone from outside their ranks who first complained of voting irregularities […]

In Andrew Scheer, Conservatives elect Stephen Harper 2.0 – with a smile

May 27 2017 — John Ibbitson — Yowser. Conservative voters concluded, by the narrowest of margins, that Andrew Scheer’s sensible conservatism was a safer choice than the dogmatic libertarianism of Maxime Bernier. They are probably right. The genial former Speaker of the House of Commons, despite a seasoning of socially conservative policies, is likely to be more saleable against Justin Trudeau’s Liberals […]

Ottawa to apologize to those who suffered because of sexuality

May 17 2017 — John Ibbitson — Justin Trudeau will formally apologize this fall to the thousands of Canadians who suffered at the hands of the federal government because of their sexuality, The Globe and Mail has learned. The statement will most likely be delivered in the House of Commons after a summer of consultation with advocates who, for years, have been […]

The real wedges in the Conservative leadership race

May 16 2017 — John Ibbitson — There are several different kinds of conservatives: social, economic, geopolitical. Looking at where the 13 federal leadership candidates stand on key issues reveals the sort of challenge the winner will face in uniting these strands. Although, given the lead Quebec MP Maxime Bernier appears to enjoy, the real question may be how he merges his […]

Trudeau’s Liberals: A midterm report card

Apr 17 2017 — John Ibbitson — By now, you should have seen enough to decide whether you’re inclined to vote for Justin Trudeau in the next election. With the arrival Thursday of legislation to legalize marijuana use, with two of their four budgets behind them, and with most of the agenda implemented, imminent or abandoned, the Liberals’ first term has largely […]

Will voters notice Trudeau’s use of ‘ominous bills’?

Apr 13 2017 — John Ibbitson — When Stephen Harper, finally in possession of a majority government, began ramming omnibus bills through Parliament, he had been prime minister for more than five years. But Justin Trudeau is resorting to the tactic after less than two years in office. Which is why we can predict what is likely to come: Obstruction and delay […]