National Newswatch

Private lives, public scrutiny: Julie Payette and the media

Jul 19 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Messy divorces do not disqualify people from high office. It is 2017 — and we’ve come a long way from the days when people stayed in bad marriages for the sake of their political reputations. But when disintegrating marriages get tangled up in the courts, it’s harder to draw the line between the public and […]

America is now split on education, too

Jul 14 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Anti-intellectualism in the United States may have reached a new high with this week’s stunning finding from the Pew Research Center: most Republican-leaning citizens now believe that colleges and universities are bad for America. Higher education hasn’t traditionally been a partisan issue in the United States. In 2010, 58 per cent of Republicans and 65 […]

Are Trudeau’s travels making him vulnerable at home?

Jul 11 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Around this time of year, many Canadians decide they’re happier when they’re travelling outside the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be one of them. The past couple of weeks in Canadian political news have only served to underline what’s fast becoming a fact of life for Trudeau as he nears the mid-point of his […]

Happy 4th, Americans. Things could be worse.

Jul 4 2017 — Susan Delacourt — I suspect a lot of people felt the temptation this July 4 to send condolences — rather than congratulations — to our American friends. This is, after all, their first Independence Day in the bizarro political universe where Donald Trump inhabits the White House. But in the spirit of more congenial Canada-U.S. relations, I’m thinking […]

What can you say about Canada? Sometimes not much

Jun 30 2017 — Susan Delacourt — One of the unwritten rules about interviewing politicians is that the dumbest questions often get the smartest replies. Similarly, what may seem like the easiest questions can prove to be the most difficult to answer. This is what happened on the way to a Canada Day feature, when I set out to ask Canada’s former […]

Canadian pot ads? Think beer ads. Then think again

Jun 23 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Beer commercials have taught Canadians how to celebrate their weekends — and occasionally, their national identity. So what are we going to learn from ads for marijuana? Pot will be legal by July 1 next year, but don’t count on an accompanying flurry of patriotic, “Cannabis Day” advertising. Though lots of Canadians may greet this […]

Leave the cabinet alone, Trudeau. You’ve got other problems.

Jun 20 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Summer officially arrives in Ottawa this week, bringing with it the usual round of cabinet shuffle speculation. One thing always follows close on the other. As soon as political junkies start to envision a prolonged stretch of political inactivity around Parliament Hill, they begin to imagine ways to fill the vacuum. But this summer, Prime […]

Why this MP’s words should be etched in marble

Jun 16 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Arnold Chan, the member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt, has had a significant week. Chan turned 50 last weekend, introduced gun-control legislation on Monday and, in a powerful, 20-minute speech, forced the House of Commons to take a good, hard look at itself. With his wife, parents and brother looking down from the spectators’ seats in […]

Do big-tent political parties matter now?

Jun 12 2017 — Susan Delacourt — An Ontario judge has ruled that political parties in Canada play an important role in our democracy. Though that’s good news for fans of political transparency, Divisional Court Justice Ian Nordheimer may be slightly behind the times when it comes to political parties’ current relevance. In fact, belonging to a political party may carry a […]

Two Trudeaus, two ways of handling besieged presidents

Jun 9 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Justin Trudeau was not even 3 years old when U.S. President Richard Nixon resigned over Watergate in 1974. So this isn’t a prime minister who learned at his father’s knee how to deal with American presidents under siege and scandal. Just as well, perhaps. If you go looking through the historical records for how Pierre […]

A foreign policy manifesto — and a finger in Donald Trump’s eye

Jun 6 2017 — Susan Delacourt — The speech never once mentioned the U.S. president by name. Still, today Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland may have delivered her strongest statement yet on why Justin Trudeau’s government stands diametrically opposed to Donald Trump, at home and in the world. Will Trump notice that the nice man in Canada, the guy who has his […]

Conservative leadership convention gave us drama — and data

Jun 2 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Automation is expected to replace millions of Canadian jobs in the future, and for all we know, even political jobs could be carried out by robots. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; maybe some already are, especially the jobs that require mindless repetition of talking points or applauding on command. In fact, the robot revolution […]

B.C. and Ontario are giving us glimpses of 2019

May 30 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Four years ago, British Columbia served up a political surprise that turned out to be a sign of things to come in national politics. Defying all the polling and predictions, Christy Clark won another term in office in 2013 — likely to be her last, if (as seems likely) this new NDP-Green alliance can unseat […]

It’s Scheer’s party now. Can he hold it together?

May 27 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Andrew Scheer’s job used to be about forcing bickering politicians to behave themselves in the Commons. Maybe that’s why a slim majority of Conservatives ultimately decided the former Commons Speaker was the best man for the job of leading of the official opposition party — because this weekend’s vote has exposed some deep fissures in […]