National Newswatch

Trump huffs and puffs but NAFTA proposals spark no fear

Jul 18 2017 — Tim Harper — I don’t know how most of our U.S. neighbours celebrated Made in America Day, but Donald Trump sure knew how to party. He sat with boyish glee in a big red fire truck. He tried on a cowboy hat. He swung a baseball bat. Then he launched into full bluster and bravado when it came […]

Ten days, two crises in Trudeau’s mid-term summer

Jul 11 2017 — Tim Harper — If we mark the beginning of our summer as Canada Day, Justin Trudeau may look back fondly on that day, realizing forgetting Alberta from the Ottawa stage was the highlight of his summer. This is shaping up as the antithesis of the shirtless selfie summer of 2016 for the prime minister. In the space of […]

Symbols will not meet Trudeau’s goal of Indigenous reconciliation

Jul 5 2017 — Tim Harper — When Indigenous activists symbolically reoccupied traditional Algonquin land by erecting a teepee on Parliament Hill last week, Justin Trudeau paid a visit and spoke with them for about 40 minutes. When Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began a six-week hunger strike on Victoria Island in the shadow of Parliament Hill in late 2012, the prime minister […]

A time for Canadian pride but also vigilance

Jun 27 2017 — Tim Harper — So we really hate Donald Trump. According to Pew Research, we are a nation of anti-Trumpers. Our virtues are sung on the front page of the New York Times and, worldwide, our diversity, tolerance and openness to new arrivals has given many a case of the Canada warm and fuzzies. But before we revert to […]

A hard NDP shift to the left in the Corbyn, Sanders era

Jun 23 2017 — Tim Harper — One thing for certain, we know they all promise to be bold. “I have put together a bold plan,” says Guy Caron. “I have a bold and unapologetic . . . social democratic vision,” says Jagmeet Singh. Peter Julian is also “bold and unapologetic,” in his social democratic platform. “We must be bold and progressive,” […]

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 […]