National Newswatch
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Don Meredith would like your sympathy now

Mar 20 2017 — Martin Patriquin — By claiming to be the victim of racial persecution, he’s insulting the actual victims. Senator Don Meredith (Don Meredith would like you to know) is a victim of Canada’s prevailing and overwhelming racism. As a 52-year-old black man, he is seen as a predator, sexual and otherwise, who has risen too high in life for […]

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Snatching defeat – Marc and Jodie Emery are winning the battles in the war to legalize pot, but have lost the moral high ground

Mar 13 2017 — Martin Patriquin — Those who follow the often-fraught politics of marijuana in Canada are familiar with a few enduring realities. There are the ‘slippery slope’ politicians — step right up, Tony Clement! — who conflate the stuff with hard drugs, saying that legalizing it is akin to giving your child heroin, meth or whatever boogeyman narcotic is currently […]

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The Conservative Party leadership debate that didn’t matter

Jan 18 2017 — Martin Patriquin — First, let’s address the very English elephant in the room. Much like the first effort in Moncton just over a month ago, the second French debate in the Conservative leadership race was hamstrung by sheer numbers and too few tongues properly acclimatized to Canada’s French fact. The end result was akin to watching a terrifically […]

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Why should a PM speak French? Political reality.

Jan 13 2017 — Martin Patriquin — Before the advent of Stephen Harper, a remarkably successful conservative politician, there existed a fellow named Stephen Harper, plucky young conservative egghead. It was this Harper who, in 2001, wrote an oft-quoted column about official bilingualism. “As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produces no unity and […]

January 5, 2017 - Vancouver, BC - Nick Kouvalis at a coffee shop in Vancouver. (Photograph by Jimmy Jeong)

Inside Nick Kouvalis’s fake news strategy

Jan 12 2017 — Martin Patriquin — Leitch’s campaign manager calls it ‘Operation Flytrap’—his plan to root out anyone joining the Tories just to oppose his candidate. At 6:25 p.m. on Jan. 2, Nick Kouvalis sent out a tweet suggesting that the Canadian government was, among other things, directly funding known terrorist groups. Kouvalis, who is campaign manager of Conservative leadership candidate […]

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The Trump Side of Canadian Immigration

Oct 19 2016 — Martin Patriquin — The term “Canadian values” is normally a harmless cliché — a reminder that the planet’s second largest country by land mass is a Boy Scout-like bastion of tolerance and fairness. This trope regained some of its luster with last fall’s election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who might as well be the country’s Boy Scout […]

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Does Justin Trudeau risk being overexposed?

Aug 26 2016 — Martin Patriquin — It’s as though he never stopped campaigning. Nearly a year since Justin Trudeau was propelled into office on a near-narcotic wave of optimism, he remains the personification of “sunny ways,” the Liberal party’s de facto mantra, mode de vie and campaign slogan. It was on display last fall, when Trudeau was mobbed by civil servants […]

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On assisted dying, the Senate is a necessary evil

Jun 10 2016 — Martin Patriquin — Canadian senators sit in a lavish room coloured bordello red. Much like bordellos, the Senate doesn’t usually allow cameras to film the goings-on within its walls—for reasons of tradition, shame or discretion, no one is quite sure. The analogy is further fitting for many pundits and politicians alike. After all, senators rise to the top […]

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Electoral reform: The Fredo Corleone of campaign promises

May 20 2016 — Martin Patriquin — Electoral reform is the unloved dope amidst the feel-good clichés of the Trudeau government’s Sunny Ways. It lacks the immediate appeal of middle-class tax cuts or cabinet parity, and is about as sexy as infrastructure spending, without the nerdy zing of the long-form census. If “meaningful action on climate change” is the Michael Corleone of […]

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Why the anti-abortion movement is embracing gender equality

Apr 20 2016 — Martin Patriquin — In 2014, there were 81,897 abortions performed in hospitals and clinics in Canada. This statistic, from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, is encouraging. The number of abortions performed in 2014 is a full 22 per cent lower than in 2002, while the population has increased by 13 per cent during the same period.

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Philippe Couillard: Hostage to a scandal-plagued era

Apr 9 2016 — Martin Patriquin — Earlier this week, former Quebec premier Jean Charest was scheduled to give a talk at McGill University. Organized by Canada’s Public Policy Forum, the title of the chat was “Time for a Reboot: Nine Ways to Restore Trust in Canada’s Public Institutions.” Given Charest’s recent history in government, the title was surely ironic or an […]

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Why Quebec is fighting against its rights

Apr 7 2016 — Martin Patriquin — Like much of its brethren outside of Quebec, Yukon’s French population faces a constant demographic challenge. Less than five per cent of the territory’s population have French as a mother tongue, according to the most recent census data. Survival of the language is largely predicated on French institutions like École Émilie-Tremblay, Yukon’s sole French school. […]

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The angry, radical right

Jan 21 2016 — Martin Patriquin — Lawrence Witko doesn’t actually want Justin Trudeau dead, he swears. Nor does he really want to kill all Muslims, moderate or otherwise, or hope for the mass killing of Palestinian children. “I hate violence, period. I don’t want to have to be ranting on like this,” Witko says.