National Newswatch

The immense challenge of the Northwest Passage

Aug 22 2017 — Margaret Wente — It’s 5 a.m., and we are at the eastern entrance to Bellot Strait – the heart of the Northwest Passage. We’re waiting for the right moment to make the run to the other side. These waters are not for the faint-hearted. The strait is 20 nautical miles long and one mile wide, and the current […]

Nerdy guy writes memo; world has nervous breakdown

Aug 11 2017 — Margaret Wente — A few months ago, a nerdy young Google engineer went to one of the company’s diversity workshops, where he was skeptical about what he heard. So he gave himself a crash course in the science of sex differences, and wrote a 10-page memo that set out his thoughts. Last week, someone sent it to the […]

How biased are hiring decisions?

Aug 8 2017 — Margaret Wente — Unconscious bias is the invisible enemy of workplace diversity. So goes the conventional wisdom. Unconscious bias explains why the higher echelons of government and business are still so pale and male. It explains why women are still so woefully shortchanged in STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It explains why we need to move […]

Minimum wages: The small-town view

Aug 1 2017 — Margaret Wente — In the summer, I live near a pretty little village in rural Ontario. The quaint main street is lined with little shops and restaurants, a bakery and a terrific place that sells locally sourced food. There’s even a bookstore. All these places are labours of love for the proprietors. Most of them are marginal businesses […]

The monarchs are back (so are the bees)

Jul 25 2017 — Margaret Wente — A lot of people have stopped reading the news because they can’t stand it any more. So here’s a happy story for a change. The monarchs are back! Three weeks ago, I saw one alighting on a milkweed plant in our field in rural Ontario. Since then we’ve had almost daily sightings. What a relief. […]

Kathleen Wynne rises from the dead

Jul 17 2017 — Margaret Wente — I have a soft spot for Kathleen Wynne. I like Christy Clark and Rachel Notley, too. I don’t like all their policies, to put it mildly. But in the nasty game of politics, they stand out as smart, tenacious and decent. They are great examples of how to succeed – no gender quotas required. But […]

Justin Trudeau’s rotten two weeks

Jul 14 2017 — Margaret Wente — Just last week it was all going so well. Justin Trudeau was strutting the stage in Hamburg with the world’s top leaders. So tall, so trim, so respected! Nothing happened at the G20, but the images were great. Then came the Khadr settlement, which was supposed to be quick, clean and low-key, but turned out […]

Why are some gender activists denying science?

Jul 10 2017 — Margaret Wente — Last November, Kori Doty, a B.C. parent, gave birth to a baby named Searyl. Kori Doty, who has a mustache and light beard, identifies as a non-binary trans person – neither male nor female – who prefers to be called “they.” They want to raise the child as gender-neutral, and are fighting to omit the […]

Is Seattle’s minimum-wage debacle coming to Ontario?

Jul 4 2017 — Margaret Wente — Everybody loves Seattle. It’s among the nicest, most progressive places on the planet. Three years ago, Seattle announced a bold new plan to hike the minimum wage from $9.47 (U.S.) an hour all the way to $15. The move was widely applauded. Since then, the “Fight for $15” movement has caught on. Ontario, Alberta, California […]

Canada’s coming of age – and mine

Jul 2 2017 — Margaret Wente — Canada’s 150th is a big meh for a lot of folks. But it brings back floods of memories for me. I was around for the Centennial in 1967. It was the year that Canada came of age – and so did I. That summer I took off for Expo 67, along with three or four […]

Liberals’ reverse discrimination comes at a cost

Jun 11 2017 — Margaret Wente — Kirsty Duncan, Justin Trudeau’s Science Minister, is on the rampage against Canada’s leading universities. She’s told them to improve diversity – or else. Unless they meet their gender quotas for new research chairs, the federal government will yank their funding. Despite a decade of concerted hectoring, Canada’s most prestigious researchers are still too non-Indigenous, too […]

B.C. lobs a bombshell at Mr. Trudeau

Jun 3 2017 — Margaret Wente — Sometimes the universe unfolds as it should. And sometimes, when you least expect it, the wheels fall off. The wheels fell off for Justin Trudeau this week. Just when he thought this pipeline mess had finally been resolved, along came Andrew Weaver to mess it up again. Mr. Weaver, the leader of B.C.’s Green Party, […]

Andrew Scheer’s best weapon: He’s relatable

May 29 2017 — Margaret Wente — Andrew Scheer is a relatable guy. It’s his best feature. The new Conservative Leader is even more relatable than Justin Trudeau, who’s so handsome and so buff that he could star in a Hugo Boss ad. Mr. Scheer, on the other hand, reminds you of the guy next door at the backyard barbeque. His suits […]

Don’t exhale just yet. France is still deeply divided

Apr 24 2017 — Margaret Wente — France has dodged a bullet. A fresh, young, pro-European Union candidate has beaten off the forces of reaction and will almost certainly win the election for the presidency. What a relief! The stock markets are happy. The Eurocrats are happy. The EU is safe, for now. Well, don’t relax just yet. The real news is […]

Trudeau needs to have a Merkel moment

Feb 27 2017 — Margaret Wente — In August, 2015, a young Somali man named Yahya Samatar jumped into the Red River and swam to Canada. He arrived wet and shivering, with nothing but the clothes on his back. “I’m really feeling like I’m at home – the hospitality I have met in the Canadian people,” he told the CBC.