National Newswatch

Where Canada should draw a red line with Donald Trump on NAFTA

Jul 19 2017 — Evan Solomon — When the United States released its NAFTA negotiation priorities, the first name that popped into my mind was Tim Donaghy. Donaghy was a former NBA referee who admitted to betting on NBA games and making money from giving tips to bookies. It was a massive scandal. “I can tell you that this is the most […]

Omar Khadr: a political inkblot test

Jul 15 2017 — Evan Solomon — Omar Khadr has become a political inkblot, a Rorschach test for Canadian politicians onto which they project their own agendas. Revelations about the government’s apology and reported payment of $10.5 million to Khadr sparked furious reaction that breaks down along political lines. There are the “Never Pay” Conservatives, the “Had to Pay” Liberals and the […]

Her majesty’s astronaut

Jul 13 2017 — Paul Wells — Picking a governor general is a challenge for any prime minister. (Yes, yes, it’s the Queen’s choice, but to say the least, she takes advice well.) Which is an odd thing to say, because the governor general’s formal role in the legislative process is pretty limited. The privy council offers up bills from Parliament for […]

Down on the border

Jul 11 2017 — — Twenty-four hours. Four provinces. Seven towns. What one day on the Canada-U.S. line says about refugees, Canadian tolerance and Trump’s America. It’s a Saturday mid-morning in Emerson, a town of 678 on Manitoba’s southern border. Vince’s dog barks at the front window of his home. A man, dark-skinned with bare feet sticking out of his […]

Protected nominations for MPs are an affront to our democracy

Jul 10 2017 — Dale Smith — As this parliament nears its halfway mark, and the next election date starts to loom larger and larger, incumbent Liberal MPs are starting to grumble a little about what might happen to them in the lead-up—that is, whether or not the fact that they are MPs means they’ve already locked up their riding’s nomination for […]

In the Khadr settlement, the Conservatives find their fight

Jul 10 2017 — Paul Wells — Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had already decided to treat the new Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, a little differently from the way a previous Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, had treated a string of Liberal leaders. The Harper Conservatives had released ads to “define” Stéphane Dion, Michael Ignatieff and Trudeau within weeks after each man became leader. […]

The Conservatives don’t show up for Pride, and that’s a problem

Jul 10 2017 — Scott Gilmore — The Conservative Party of Canada has a gay problem. If I’d written that sentence even 20 years ago, readers would assume backbenchers had been caught scrumming in a men’s bathhouse. But times have changed, thankfully. In 1996, we amended the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation. Seven years later, we began to legalize same-sex […]

What is Justin Trudeau going to do with his global goodwill?

Jul 10 2017 — Andrew MacDougall — What are the “deliverables”? This was always the question we in Stephen Harper’s PMO had to answer before scheduling an international visit for him. “Deliverable” is Ottawa-speak for an announcement: a trade deal or at least the start of negotiations; a new intelligence-sharing arrangement; a new consulate in an up-and-coming country; or, if you were […]

Donald Trump is making America consider what greatness really means

Jul 6 2017 — Bruce Anderson — Donald Trump was a most unconventional candidate when millions were desperate for a break from the conventional. Maybe, they hoped, his rough edges would be just what a political system calcified by convention needed. And Trump himself was determined to be the most consequential president ever: He promised to be a president who would matter, […]

What ever happened to Vox Pop Labs’ $600,000 Canada 150 survey?

Jun 22 2017 — — Last November, Mark Gilchrist was at the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg for a group sit-down with several dozen strangers to talk about what being Canadian meant to each of them. What made them proud to be Canadian? What made them embarrassed to be Canadian? Going into the gathering, Gilchrist thought he’d be in […]

Why Canadians are closer to losing their news than they think

Jun 22 2017 — Colin Horgan — The results of an Abacus poll published last week confirmed what most probably already suspected: if Canadian local newspapers were to disappear, few would care. When Abacus asked a cross-section of Canadians whether they’d still be able to get “the news you need” if their local paper were to go under, 86 per cent said […]

Is everything we thought about online political campaigns wrong?

Jun 14 2017 — Colin Horgan — On Saturday, Nick Timothy stepped down from his position as co-chief of staff to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and made his resignation letter public. His contrite message maintained that, as he saw it, May remains the best leader to address the frustrations Britons have about austerity, Brexit and a lack of opportunities to get […]