National Newswatch
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This isn’t the anti-Trump budget

Mar 22 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Nearly five weeks ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that citizens around the world were looking for leaders to “step up” and address their economic anxiety before it turned into populist anger. Budget 2017 is not the sequel to that speech. Though the forces that elected Donald Trump in the United States are acknowledged in […]

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Trudeau and Ottawa’s culture of secrecy

Mar 21 2017 — Susan Delacourt — He likes to talk about being ‘open’ and ‘transparent’ — but his backbench isn’t buying it. Budget day is like a big surprise party for politicos and finance geeks. The media is complicit in the surprise plotting beforehand — huddling for hours in the ‘lockup’, poring over the soon-to-be-announced numbers before the finance minister does […]

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What we should really test in immigrants (and citizens)

Mar 17 2017 — Susan Delacourt — National-identity testing is shaping up to be the political fashion trend of 2017. Extreme vetting and travel bans are feeding that trend in Donald Trump’s America. But here in Canada, too, a new poll this week showed that two-thirds of people were inclined toward the idea of “values tests” for would-be immigrants — as Conservative […]

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Phoenix failure eroding faith in system

Mar 14 2017 — Susan Delacourt — The Canadian government’s biggest enemy on the high-tech front isn’t some foreign power, many would argue — it’s a domestic, sleeper agent that goes by the name of Phoenix. While Russian intervention in the U.S. election keeps feeding the headlines south of the border, Canada’s largest, computer-borne threat is more home-grown — and sitting right […]

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Importance of knowing when not to shut up

Mar 10 2017 — Susan Delacourt — One of the best tweets of the past week came from a fake Barack Obama account. It featured a brief video, showing Michelle Obama grabbing a smartphone out of her husband’s hands, just as he is in the midst of tapping out a message. The tweet said: “The only reason I haven’t started a Twitter […]

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Stay off the campaign trail and get back to work, Trudeau

Mar 8 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen a novel defence for his decision to campaign openly in the current wave of federal byelections: He’s defending national unity. “We will not write off any corner of this country,” Trudeau said in Calgary last week. “That’s why I go to every byelection.” Now that’s a new twist on […]

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Ban travel? Half of U.S. may not mind

Mar 3 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Six weeks into his presidency, and Donald Trump has yet to leave the United States on a foreign trip. One might even be tempted to call it a self-imposed travel ban. Trump’s two immediate predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, were far quicker to leave American soil after their inaugurations. Less than a month […]

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For Trump and the Trudeaus, the past is back

Feb 24 2017 — Susan Delacourt — It is hard to imagine a better gift for Donald Trump than the one Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave him during that recent White House visit: a framed photograph of Trump and Pierre Trudeau on stage together at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in 1981. For Trump, who expertly played the politics of nostalgia in the presidential […]

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Trudeau’s season of contrition

Feb 21 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Every now and then, politicians will let us in on what’s keeping them up at night. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been dropping a lot of those hints lately — notably during a speech in Hamburg, Germany on Friday night. “Too many people around the world are anxious about what the future may hold,” Trudeau […]

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The two faces of the Conservative party

Feb 17 2017 — Susan Delacourt — On some significant foreign-policy matters this week, the federal Conservatives and Liberals were in harmonious agreement. Even before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to Washington for his first face-to-face meeting with Donald Trump on Monday, Conservatives declared that they were standing behind him. Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose sent Trudeau an official letter in advance […]

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The centre cannot hold: Canada faces a populist eruption

Feb 14 2017 — Susan Delacourt — Now that Justin Trudeau has taken the first steps into President Donald Trump’s circle of trust, he may want to turn his attention back to serious trust issues back here in Canada. A new, international “trust index” released today contained some troubling news for the prime minister and his Liberal brand: Canadians’ trust in government […]

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The feds love to consult us. But does anyone listen?

Feb 10 2017 — Susan Delacourt — A new voting system for Canada wasn’t the only casualty when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked away from his electoral-reform promise this month. The whole idea of consulting the public on difficult policy decisions may now be in doubt, too. And that’s a problem for a government so avowedly attached to consultations — at least […]

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We haven’t seen the last of Nick Kouvalis

Feb 3 2017 — Susan Delacourt — And don’t mistake his resignation for a rout of the alt-right in Canadian politics. If Nick Kouvalis didn’t exist in Canadian politics at this particular time in the country’s history, we might have had to invent him. The now-ex campaign manager for Conservative leadership contender Kellie Leitch had become the personification of Donald Trump-style politics, […]

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Trudeau won’t meet Trump this week — and not in Ottawa

Jan 31 2017 — Susan Delacourt — President Donald Trump won’t be coming to Canada for his first face-to-face meeting with Justin Trudeau — nor will that get-together be taking place this week, a source close to the prime minister has confirmed. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a tradition is being broken here — the one which usually sees new U.S. presidents […]