National Newswatch

Why the Liberals’ single-minded obsession on free trade with China?

Oct 17 2018 — Andrew Coyne — Never mind whether we can strike a free trade deal with China: should we? Ever since the text of the renegotiated NAFTA was released, attention has focused on its notorious Article 32.10, and whether it precludes Canada from entering into a free trade agreement with an unnamed “non-market country.” Critics claim Canada has been pressed […]

Approaching carbon tax one reason now is a good time for broad-based tax reform

Oct 16 2018 — Andrew Coyne — Attempting to soften up public opinion for the fall economic update, the finance minister has been furiously signalling two contradictory messages. On the one hand, the government will address business concerns at the sudden deterioration of Canada’s position in the competition for international capital in the wake of sweeping U.S. tax reforms put into effect […]

Whatever concessions Liberals made in NAFTA, there’s plenty more they can’t blame on Trump

Oct 12 2018 — Andrew Coyne — When the revamped, Trumpified NAFTA was first announced, the general reaction here was relief. Disaster had been averted. The agreement had been saved. Maclean’s magazine featured Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on its cover by the headine, “You’re Welcome, Canada.” This was probably overstated. The worst-case scenario for the talks was never that Donald Trump […]

Stephen Harper comes across as banal in effort to claim mantle of populism

Oct 11 2018 — Andrew Coyne — That presumably settles that. Throughout his time as prime minister, theories abounded as to what philosophy of government, if any, could explain Stephen Harper’s apparently rudderless course. A few die-hards on the left persisted in describing his government as ideological or hard-right, even as it was borrowing billions, adding new regional development agencies and nationalizing […]

No improvement over NAFTA, but the damage appears to be slight

Oct 2 2018 — Andrew Coyne — As the song says, did I shave my legs for this? All that cross-border yelling, a solid year of bluster and petulance, dire rhetoric about “stabs in the back” and “special places in hell,” fake deadlines and all-night negotiations, and we end up with pretty much the agreement we started with? All that was required […]

The wolf is truly at provinces’ doors, PBO fiscal report warns

Sep 29 2018 — Andrew Coyne — At some point in the next 20 to 30 years, on current trends, one or more of the provinces is likely to default on its debts. That is the inescapable message in the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s latest annual “Fiscal Sustainability” report. It is by no means a certainty: these sorts of extrapolatory exercises necessarily involve […]