National Newswatch

Families living with autism need more than photo ops, Mr. Trudeau

Jun 19 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — How should Canadian governments address the needs of individuals and families with autism? Earlier this month, the Ontario government reversed its much condemned (and factually incorrect) position that intensive behaviour therapy should end at the age of five, presumably because older kids wouldn’t benefit from it. Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau not […]

Scheer’s task: Channel Dief’s populism — without the vitriol

May 29 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — For someone who apparently deplores Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways, Andrew Scheer smiles an awful lot. The new Conservative leader radiates positivity, even when he bashes his Liberal foe — a sense of indefatigable optimism that helped push him to victory at the Conservative leadership event Saturday night. In short, Scheer is hard not to like. […]

Have the Liberals decided refugees make for bad politics?

May 16 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — Is the Liberal government backing away from its commitment to refugees? After campaigning on compassion, Ottawa is now facing a perfect storm of surging asylum claims, an overburdened system and political pressure. All three factors, refugee advocates say, have led the government to back down on its pledge to overhaul the way asylum claims are […]

Anyone taking bets on Sajjan’s job prospects?

May 9 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — So just how close is Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to changing his status from badass to backbencher? The high-profile minister is in hot water over having claimed to have been the “architect” of Operation Medusa, a pivotal battle in the Afghanistan war. “Stolen valour!” thundered Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, referring to the practice of taking […]

The Senate needs to solve its Meredith problem — fast

May 1 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — A new children’s book tells us that senators are the ‘wise old owls’ of Canadian politics. According to some former Senate staffers, one member of the Upper Chamber might better resemble a duck — a bird known for mating habits that are less than consensual. Don Meredith, named to the Senate in 2010, most recently […]

It’s probably too late for a crackdown on border-hoppers

Apr 25 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — It’s not a flood — yet — but the river of refugees coming to Canada continues to rise. Since January 1, the RCMP has intercepted 1,860 migrants crossing illegally into Canada from the United States: 315 in January, 658 in Feburary and 887 in March. Most of those have crossed into Quebec, near Lacolle, and […]

The problem(s) with a guaranteed annual income

Apr 18 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — From Italy to India, the basic annual income is back in the news. Around the world, eight jurisdictions — including Kenya, Finland, the Netherlands, Uganda and California — are conducting experiments providing regular payments to cover basic living costs, regardless of recipients’ economic situations. With welfare programs consuming billions of tax dollars without eliminating poverty, […]

Kevin O’Leary is dumping on the party he wants to lead

Apr 3 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — “That’s it. This is balls to the wall. I can’t do what I need to do in this country without a majority mandate. I can’t cast out the virus of Trudeau without a majority mandate … You have to go into the mandate with people understanding what you’re going to do.” Ah, that Kevin O’Leary […]

One law for border-hoppers, another for everyone else?

Mar 20 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — What should Canada do about our Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States? Part of the U.S.-Canada Smart Border Action Plan, the agreement states that refugee claimants must request protection in the first ‘safe’ country in which they arrive, unless they qualify for an exception (for family members, unaccompanied minors, certain document holders, and […]

Guess what Canada: we’re kinda racists, too

Mar 13 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — Still think there is no Islamophobia in Canada? Think again. A new poll commissioned by CROP-Radio Canada examined Canadians’ attitudes towards different minority and immigrant groups, and found that despite priding ourselves on our tolerance and openness, it does not extend equally to all groups. When it came to integration into Canadian society, only 12 […]

Leitch explained her values test. It makes less sense now.

Mar 7 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — In Europe, the United States and Canada, immigration is shaping up to be the hottest political issue of 2017. Across the pond, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is calling for the banning of all religious symbols, including Muslim headscarves, Jewish kippas and Sikh turbans. In the United States, President Donald Trump today issued his […]

By ignoring border-hopping, Trudeau is asking for trouble

Feb 27 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — For most of its history, America has been a beacon to the world’s huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. It was the destination of choice for those seeking to escape strife and tyranny, to enjoy equality of opportunity and to make a better life for themselves and their families. Today, however, many among the huddled […]

Time to let Bombardier crash and burn

Feb 10 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — Sometimes you can’t make anyone happy. This week, Ottawa announced that it will provide Bombardier Inc. interest-free loans amounting to $372.5 million to prop up its jet business — the latest installment in a billion-dollar stream of federal disbursements to the company dating back to 1966. Still, the news hit like a lead balloon in […]

Fake news or state news? It’s a false choice.

Feb 6 2017 — Tasha Kheiriddin — “Any negative polls are fake news.” That’s how Donald Trump reacted after CNN published a survey showing he now has the lowest approval rating of any newly-elected president in polling history. Just weeks into his presidency, only 44 per cent of Americans said they approve of the job he has done — making him the […]