National Newswatch
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Provinces should be wary of Quebec’s daycare model

Apr 17 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — Proponents of universal child care take it as an article of faith that subsidized daycare “more than pays for itself” in higher labour-market participation rates among women, and kids who are better equipped for learning when they reach school age. Despite study after study casting doubt on these assumptions, the universal-daycare lobby has largely succeeded […]

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Is Maxime Bernier too principled to win Tory race?

Mar 20 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — You’ve got to hand it to Maxime Bernier. The Quebec MP became a laughingstock after his premature turn as foreign affairs minister under Stephen Harper ended because his then-girlfriend turned out to have ties to a motorcycle gang and access to his classified briefing notes. By Canadian standards, that should have been the end of […]

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Tone-deaf Trudeau misses the notes in Quebec

Jan 23 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — There is a well-established language etiquette that’s taken hold in Quebec in recent decades. It came after a century or more of struggle and only once the fundamental balance of power shifted from the province’s anglophone minority to its francophone majority. This etiquette is based on a generosity of spirit. A francophone majority, secure in […]

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Trudeau’s divide and conquer strategy pays off

Jan 2 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — A year ago, I made a prediction that actually came true. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was still insouciantly snapping selfies, I suggested the “difficult arbitrages” he faced in doling out federal cash transfers would bring his honeymoon to an end by setting up a nasty clash with the provinces before 2016 was out. Whether […]

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Diversity yes, but don’t expect big changes on Supreme Court

Aug 4 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — If Justin Trudeau wants Canadians to associate just one concept with his government, it would seem to be diversity. The Prime Minister talks about it endlessly, as if inclusiveness alone confers a degree of moral superiority on his administration that overrides considerations of merit or competence. Make no mistake, diversity is Canada’s strength. And it […]

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Dirty or clean, politics drive cross-border energy deals

Jul 4 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — The U.S. President who infamously opposed one form of cross-border energy infrastructure is putting his weight behind another. But will Barack Obama’s support for more cross-border electricity transmission links rescue provincially owned utilities from the deep holes they’ve dug by spending billions on new hydro projects amid a flooded North American power market? The goal […]

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Brexit breathes new life into separatism

Jun 27 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — It’s been hard to tell, in recent weeks, whether the Parti Québécois has been holding a leadership race or a wake. The lacklustre candidates seeking to replace the unlamented Pierre Karl Péladeau seem to have been straining to keep their chins up in the face of their own irrelevance. This is as joyless as picking […]

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Big gambles on big energy projects

Apr 28 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — Big gambles on big hydro recently cost a couple of premiers their jobs, as huge cost overruns on massive hydro dams and collapsing prices for exported electricity combined to damn the projects said premiers had promised would generate carbon-free profits ad infinitum. Will British Columbia Premier Christy Clark be the next provincial leader to be […]

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Think LAVs are thorny? Wait for the missile debate

Apr 21 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — If you think the decision to sell arms to Saudi Arabia has inflamed old animosities between Liberal hawks and doves, realists and idealists, continentalists and anti-Americans, just wait until the debate about Canada joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence system gets fired up. It is a debate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would prefer to do […]

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Eventually, Trudeau will have to disappoint someone on pipelines

Jan 28 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — The Trudeau government’s move to add new hurdles to the pipeline approval process will go down as either the brilliant counterintuitive thrust that creates social licence for languishing energy infrastructure projects or the fatal blow that condemns them to the scrap heap. Such is the new government’s desire to please everyone that it’s impossible to […]