National Newswatch

Trump appeasement a global recipe for political defeat

Jun 13 2017 — Tim Harper — This is a tale of a handshake and a hand hold. It is a caution for all politicians — including Canadian politicians — who must deal with U.S. President Donald Trump, the world’s oversized, real life, strutting and spewing campaign issue anywhere a vote is sought. British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel […]

Liberals mastering the craft of delicate Trump diplomacy

Jun 9 2017 — Tim Harper — It would be tempting to analyze the Chrystia Freeland-Harjit Sajjan two-step this week as a bit of a shell game, a break from Donald Trump’s world vision a day before Ottawa amped up defence spending to please our neighbour. After all, the first question directed at Sajjan after the defence minister outlined the government’s ambitious […]

Legalized pot and the hypocrisy of laying possession charges

Jun 6 2017 — Tim Harper — It’s long been apparent that the Liberal legalization of marijuana in this country is not going to provide the mellow buzz the government had sought. We’re more than a year out from promised legislation, but there’s smoke on the horizon. The Canadian Medical Association has condemned the legal age of 18 being set by the […]

Scheer, the man with the impish grin, will grow into his job

May 29 2017 — Tim Harper — In the hours and days after Justin Trudeau vanquished Stephen Harper in 2015, no less a pundit than Jason Kenney offered a trenchant analysis. Conservatives, he said, needed their own sunny and optimistic brand. “We got the big things right. We got the tone wrong,” he said. Kenney, of course, decamped for Alberta, joining a […]

On trade, Trump bellows but Canada keeps it cool

May 18 2017 — Tim Harper — No one can rest easy when the downstairs neighbours are bellowing and blathering and tossing furniture around all night long. And now you have to deal with them face-to-face. Canada is about to enter formal negotiations on a reopened NAFTA with a wounded Donald Trump, a president in desperate need of a big victory, anxious […]

Singh brings some style to a rumpled NDP

May 16 2017 — Tim Harper — Does the road to federal political success in this country run through the pages of GQ? It probably shouldn’t. But Justin Trudeau certainly understands the value of the glossy magazine spread and Jagmeet Singh also knows precisely how style can provide a foundation for policy and political prose. And if you are a New Democrat […]

What happened to hope, America?

Oct 31 2016 — Tim Harper — Eight years after Obama’s election, the U.S. seems bent on ripping itself apart. Eight years ago this week, I bought into a myth. I did so (I now realize) naively, but I bought into it honestly. I bought into it on a late night in northern Virginia, standing behind a stage, looking out at 100,000 […]

Trudeau party becomes self-styled Trudeau movement

May 29 2016 — Tim Harper — There was never any doubt, of course, that this had become Justin Trudeau’s party. But had there been any remaining question of that anywhere in the land, it was removed as the prime minister tightened that grip on the Liberal party here Saturday. It is, in fact, now a self-described Justin Trudeau movement. He deemed […]

The assisted dying elephant in the happy Liberal room

May 26 2016 — Tim Harper — Wendy Robbins called it the elephant in the room and she was not going to give up the podium before she aired her harsh criticism of her government’s assisted dying legislation. But her effort to get a full debate on the contentious Liberal legislation at the party’s first post-election convention led to only acrimony and […]

Parliament has fumbled assisted death from the beginning

May 25 2016 — Tim Harper — This country’s highest court ultimately gave Parliamentarians 16 months to craft legislation on assisted dying. That apparently wasn’t enough. Missing the court-imposed June 6 deadline will not plunge this nation into some type of chaotic constitutional abyss, but the past 16 months leading to that deadline have taught us a lot about our political system […]

Liberals had been elbows-up before Justin Trudeau got physical

May 19 2016 — Tim Harper — Strip away the contrition, the high dudgeon and the blinkered Liberal apologists suggesting we should just get past the sorry spectacle in the House of Commons this week and you are left with an unassailable truth. The Justin Trudeau Liberals have been treating the Commons as an annoyance, an inconvenient necessity that merely gets in […]

Transgender protection finally has government muscle

May 18 2016 — Tim Harper — It was a day rightly celebrated by the transgender community in this country, but it was also a day to remember the human rights pioneers who went before and the ghosts who defeated them. It was also a day for 10-year-old transgender girl Charlie Lowthian-Rickert to stand defiantly before the microphones in the House of […]