National Newswatch

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 […]

To truly reinvent itself, the Senate must first prove its value

Apr 10 2017 — John Ibbitson — Later this month, Peter Harder will celebrate his first anniversary as Representative of the Government in the Senate, Justin Trudeau’s point person in the Red Chamber. Is he having fun? “That’s an emotion that’s eluding me,” he confesses. Canada’s Senate is struggling to reinvent itself, to shed its reputation as a refuge for party hacks, […]

Trudeau taking foreign policy cue from Tory playbook

Mar 8 2017 — John Ibbitson — What a splendid job Justin Trudeau is doing in carrying out Stephen Harper’s foreign policy. Both men should be so proud. There’s been a lot of Liberal rhetoric about Canada being back on the world stage after a decade of Conservative darkness. Some of us aren’t sure fighting wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, or […]

In Tory leadership, it’s O’Leary pizzazz vs. dull-but-worthy

Mar 1 2017 — John Ibbitson — Even though he boycotted Tuesday night’s debate in Edmonton, even though he was not even mentioned by name, Kevin O’Leary dominated the evening. The entrepreneur-turned-TV-star has emerged as the man to beat in the race for Conservative leader. Party members must choose between Mr. O’Leary’s pizzazz and the dull-but-worthy alternatives. Dull-but-worthy is better than it […]