National Newswatch

Doug Ford releases a Kathleen Wynne budget

Mar 23 2023 — Andrew Coyne — Leafing through the Ontario government’s latest fiscal plan, the thought occurs: What distinguishes this as a conservative, or at least Conservative, or even a Doug Ford budget? How is this different from anything, say, a Kathleen Wynne government might have produced? Answer: it isn’t, except for maybe spending more than she would have. It’s true. […]

Campaign-finance laws should strive for fairness between people, not parties

Mar 14 2023 — Andrew Coyne — You may have missed it in all the hubbub over foreign election interference, but last week a court struck down Ontario’s law restricting spending by unions and other “third party” advocacy groups in election campaigns: “foreign” election interference of another kind. This is an issue that has bedevilled Canadian politics for decades. Governments have wobbled […]

The Prime Minister could clear up the most important questions about China’s interference in our elections – simply by answering them

Mar 9 2023 — Andrew Coyne — Wednesday was a gruesome day for the Prime Minister. It began with a report by Global News citing two high-level memos to the Prime Minister’s Office warning, in highly specific terms, not just about foreign interference in our elections generally, but about infiltration and funding of Liberal campaigns by the government of China. The first, […]

The Prime Minister launches an investigation into everything but his government, his party or himself

Mar 7 2023 — Andrew Coyne — That was a neat trick the Prime Minister pulled off Monday evening. I don’t mean just the breathtaking change in communications strategy, on the issue that threatens to devour his government: foreign (specifically Chinese) interference in our elections. The sullen stonewalling of the last several weeks was instantly transformed into a dazzling pinwheel of apparent […]

Close the Roxham Road ‘loophole’ in the Safe Third Country Agreement? The whole agreement is one big loophole

Feb 16 2023 — Andrew Coyne — When it was reported that New York City was providing migrants with bus fare to upstate Plattsburgh, near the infamous Roxham Road border crossing into Canada, Canadians were properly shocked at the cynicism. This sort of opportunistic human-shuffling was supposed to be the stuff of troglodyte Republican governors in the South, not enlightened Democratic mayors […]

Israel’s legal reforms look awfully Canadian – and that’s not good

Feb 14 2023 — Andrew Coyne — Even by the standards of Israel’s fractious democracy, things are getting pretty cataclysmic. On Monday, tens of thousands of protesters besieged the Israeli parliament in defence of a democracy they fear is in jeopardy; inside, legislators accused each other of “fascism” and “anarchy.” Earlier, Israeli President Isaac Herzog had warned the country was on the […]

Should Ukraine be part of NATO? It already is

Feb 3 2023 — Andrew Coyne — One by one the lines have all been crossed. Patriot missile-defence systems. Bradley armoured fighting vehicles. Leopard and Abrams tanks. Weapons that NATO had previously balked at providing Ukraine, for fear of “provoking” Russia, are now being supplied in abundance, if not in haste. The latest Ukrainian request to give NATO pause is for F-16 […]

Everything isn’t broken. The government is

Feb 2 2023 — Andrew Coyne — Oh God they’re back. As the ritual shaking of jowls resumes in Ottawa, we are reminded again of how much the government and opposition are agreed: notably, in the belief that the government is responsible for every sparrow that falls, in the economy in particular. They have, indeed, a mutual interest in maintaining this fiction: […]

How Ottawa can help fix health care: first, send less money

Jan 27 2023 — Andrew Coyne — The early 2000s were a fertile period for health care reform. The deficit reduction battles of the previous decade had left their mark. Federal transfers to the provinces had fallen to just over 2 per cent of GDP, half what they were at their peak. Provinces had in turn been forced to curb spending across […]