National Newswatch

Politics is Not Science, But the Pandemic has made them Unlikely Bedfellows

May 21 2021 — — The pandemic has put “evidence-based decision-making” in the spotlight. Every day, we see medical experts standing at the dais, shoulder to shoulder with government leaders who openly defer to them and claim to be following their advice. Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s view is typical: “I will always listen to our health care professionals,” he says, “they […]

Will a Waiver on Patent Rights Speed Global Vaccination?

May 12 2021 — — Standing up to Big Pharma is good politics – especially for a progressive. Yet when US President Joe Biden announced his support last week for a temporary waiver on vaccine patents, the lack of commitment in Ottawa’s response left some people wondering if the government was opposed. Why the reticence? The idea of a waiver […]

Whose Mess Is It? How Cabinet Government Assigns Blame in the Vance Affair

May 6 2021 — — We’ve been avoiding the controversy around Jonathan Vance, the former chief of the defence staff. This is hardball politics and it’s a little outside our comfort zone. But two opinion pieces, back-to-back (here and here), convinced us to weigh in. They highlight a critical issue around cabinet government that we think needs further airing. While […]

Could “Vaccine-Resistant” Variants Turn North America and Europe into Gated Communities?

May 4 2021 — — Last Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared that if Pearson airport were under his control he would “shut it down.” Meanwhile, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu was talking up Ottawa’s plans to create “vaccine passports” so that Canadians can start traveling again. It’s a curious conjunction of deepening crisis and rising optimism. It may also be an early sign of a […]

Erin O’Toole vs. the Carbon Tax: It Looks like a Lonely Fight

Mar 29 2021 — — Erin O’Toole just can’t get a break. Around every corner, it seems, is a rock and a hard place. First, it was the tensions between so-cons and libertarians; then his own party kneecapped him on climate change; and now the Supreme Court of Canada threatens to ensure that his campaign to kill the carbon tax ends […]

Erin O’Toole’s Real Problem is His Party

Mar 23 2021 — — Last week, pundit panels were buzzing about what Erin O’Toole could say at the convention to attract new voters and rally the base. We now have the answer: nothing. Conservatives may be in trouble, but they don’t seem willing to do what they must to turn things around. The stark lesson from last week’s convention is […]

What Joe Biden’s “I Need You Speech” Says to Canadians About Democracy and Citizenship

Mar 16 2021 — — Following US President Joe Biden’s national address last Thursday, Scott Wilson of the Washington Post Tweeted that, in his view, Biden’s ‘I Need You’ speech was “the most memorable and unusual appeal in prime-time presidential speech making.” We’d add that the message is as relevant to Canadians – or Europeans or Australians – as to Americans. Here’s why.   Curing […]

Standing Up to the Bully: Can O’Toole Solve the China Problem?

Mar 4 2021 — — Canada’s relationship with China is in freefall. It’s not just the two Michaels: there’s the repression of the Uyghurs, unfair trade practices, industrial espionage, human rights violations in Hong Kong, and lots more. If Erin O’Toole is right, China is “the geopolitical challenge of our times.” The question is, does he – or anyone else – have […]