National Newswatch
Pat Martin

Martin calls for Toews to be removed from bench

Apr 21 2017 — Stephen Maher — Former NDP MP Pat Martin says that Justice Vic Toews should recuse himself from acting as a judge until the Canadian Judicial Council can determine if he is fit to continue in the role. Toews, the former minister of Justice under Stephen Harper, was found Friday to have twice violated the federal Conflict of Interest […]

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Happy 4/20, pundits. Try to relax.

Apr 20 2017 — Stephen Maher — The Canadian commentariat — worn down, no doubt, by decades of opining about disappointing and tedious Canadian political doings — have found little to celebrate in the legislation the Liberals tabled last week to legalize marijuana. Our wisest scribes were surprisingly glum about the whole thing. Chantal Hebert, noting the grim way the Liberals rolled […]

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A budget built for the 2019 election

Mar 22 2017 — Stephen Maher — There are a lot of words — but not a lot of numbers — in the 2017 budget. In the lockup in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, where hundreds of reporters, experts, spinners and hangers-on hunched over their budget books and laptops, everyone shrugged. “Not much in it,” they said. After years of Stephen Harper budgets […]

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Conservatives may pay a price for M-103 hysteria

Feb 17 2017 — Stephen Maher — On Wednesday night, hundreds of people gathered at the Canada Christian College in Toronto for a rally against M-103, a motion to deplore “Islamophobia,” the irrational fear or hatred of Muslims. Liberal MP Iqra Khalid tabled the motion after the murder of six men at prayer in Quebec City, which has badly rattled Canadian Muslims. […]

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Trudeau gets ready to walk a Trump tightrope

Feb 11 2017 — Stephen Maher — At some point in Washington on Monday, after his meeting with Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau will stand in front of a microphone and a reporter will ask him what he thinks about Trump’s Muslim ban. There is no good answer to that question. Trudeau can’t say that the ban is a malevolent political gesture — […]

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21st century pogrom: Islam and the alt-right

Feb 3 2017 — Stephen Maher — The fantasies that drove antisemitism in the last century are feeding Islamophobia today. In the hours after someone murdered six men in a Quebec City mosque on Sunday night, when nobody knew who was responsible, a witness told Radio Canada that there had been two shooters, that they spoke with Québécois accents, and that they […]

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Trudeau must speak for Canada

Jan 29 2017 — Stephen Maher — Donald Trump signed a far-reaching but unclear executive order at eight minutes before five on Friday, which led to chaos at airports on Saturday as officials detained Muslim travellers, including many with green cards. The State Department said the policy would apply to everyone from seven Muslim countries, even if they happen to have a […]

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The CPC race is about to get real

Jan 21 2017 — Stephen Maher — And don’t buy the hype — O’Leary’s more vulnerable than he looks. This week, the would-be leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada entered the home stretch, and it’s starting to look like it will be pretty tough for anyone to catch up to the three frontrunners. At the head of of the pack we […]

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If the Conservatives choose a unilingual leader, they’ll lose

Jan 14 2017 — Stephen Maher — In 1983, when Progressive Conservatives were looking for a champion to end Pierre Trudeau’s long run in office, John Crosbie, a brilliant and charming politician from St. John’s, NL, briefly looked like he might be the man for the job. Crosbie, for all his brains, had never taken the trouble to learn French. He kept […]

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Lay off the lynch mob tactics, Ezra

Dec 14 2016 — Stephen Maher — At the big anti-carbon-tax rally in Calgary on Sunday, about 1,000 Albertans gathered to register their opposition to the carbon tax, the NDP government … and the media. Haley Jarmain, a 23-year-old student and part-time reporter, was there to cover the rally for NewsTalk 770, the big talk radio station in Calgary. As one of […]

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Fighting over the graves of dead soldiers

Oct 22 2016 — Stephen Maher — A year ago today, just a few days after Canadians decided Justin Trudeau would take over as prime minister, Trudeau and Stephen Harper stood in front of the National War Memorial in Ottawa on the first anniversary of the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was gunned down on the site. It was a somber […]

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Stop jerking our chain on electoral reform, Trudeau

Oct 19 2016 — Stephen Maher — In June, 2015, when the NDP was ahead in the polls and Justin Trudeau was looking like he might be a dud, he held an event in the big ballroom at the Chateau Laurier to try to gain some traction, put some policy on the table and remind everyone that he was also an important […]

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Jim Prentice and the career that never was

Oct 14 2016 — Stephen Maher — What kind of prime minister would he have made? We’ll never know. It was one of those moments when everyone in Ottawa is suddenly reminded that the frantic daily battles over politics don’t matter nearly as much as we think they do. Jim Prentice and three others died Thursday night, minutes after the twin-engine Cessna […]