National Newswatch

Forgive and forget? That’s Trudeau’s hope now for the SNC-Lavalin affair

Aug 14 2019 — Aaron Wherry — The ethics commissioner’s report on the SNC-Lavalin affair says, most simply, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted contrary to section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act. It says a lot more about what was going on within Trudeau’s government. But beyond that is the question of what, if anything, this report says about Trudeau […]

Where the party leaders have been travelling this summer

Aug 13 2019 — Aaron Wherry — The outcome of this fall’s federal election is unlikely to hinge entirely on the Liberal-held riding of Kenora, the sizable chunk of territory in northern Ontario that runs along the province’s border with Manitoba. But in the heady days of summer it is possible for three parties to imagine a victory there, and so Kenora […]

Why Trudeau’s broken electoral reform promise could rebound back on him

Jul 26 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Four years after he made it, Justin Trudeau’s promise of electoral reform haunts him still. But while reform is a nagging headache for Trudeau, it is still the dream of proportional representation’s advocates, including Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats — even if it’s rather unclear how any leader could now promise to move forward with the […]

Butts returns – and Trudeau’s putting the band back together for October

Jul 20 2019 — Aaron Wherry — His participation suggests the Liberals aren’t all that worried about rehashing the SNC-Lavalin affair. Among the 60 people who gathered at a downtown Ottawa hotel for a day and a half this month to discuss the Liberal government’s campaign for re-election was Gerry Butts, the senior adviser and close friend of Justin Trudeau who left […]

Justin Trudeau says he’s made mistakes. Is that a mistake?

Jul 18 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Justin Trudeau never promised to be perfect. “When we make a mistake, as all governments do, it is important that we acknowledge that mistake and learn from it,” he wrote in an open letter to Canadians issued the day he was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister. “We know that you do not expect […]

Conservatives’ climate plan would do less, cost more, study argues

Jul 10 2019 — Aaron Wherry — A new analysis of the Conservative Party’s proposed climate plan concludes that its policies would lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions than current federal policies, and would leave Canada further away from meeting its emissions target for 2030. “The plan would result in Canada missing the Paris target of 513 Mt in 2030 by 109 […]

2015 redux: Scheer’s Conservatives are sticking with the Harper policy book

Jun 26 2019 — Aaron Wherry — “Stephen Harper with a smile” was the shorthand description embraced by both Andrew Scheer (while he was running for the Conservative leadership) and the Liberal Party, after Scheer became the second leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Two years and five “vision” speeches later, that description seems only more apt. That Scheer has so […]

Steven Guilbeault opposes pipelines. So why is he running for the Liberals?

Jun 22 2019 — Aaron Wherry — This was a particularly interesting week for Steven Guilbeault — one of Canada’s most prominent environmentalists — to announce that he hopes to be a candidate for the Liberal Party in this fall’s general election. It would be a notable development regardless of its timing: the recruitment of a star candidate by a government seeking […]

Andrew Scheer’s climate plan leaves a lot to voters’ imaginations

Jun 20 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Presenting the Conservative Party’s climate platform on Wednesday, Andrew Scheer exulted over the document’s length and weight. “Sixty pages,” he said, holding the document aloft. “Eleven thousand words.” It is, without question, a handsome document — in full colour and featuring many large photos. There are many words in it. Some of them are in […]

Like it or not, Trans Mountain is what a pipeline ‘compromise’ looks like

Jun 19 2019 — Aaron Wherry — Justin Trudeau has his pipeline, again — a pipeline he owns both politically and literally. Legal challenges will again be filed against the Trans Mountain expansion. The government of British Columbia will remain opposed to the project and committed to appealing its case to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, construction will resume. The proverbial […]

This isn’t Thomas Mulcair’s NDP anymore

Jun 18 2019 — Aaron Wherry — The socialist wing of the NDP should probably send Justin Trudeau a note of thanks. If Trudeau and the Liberals hadn’t trounced the NDP in 2015, and if they hadn’t done so while running on an aggressively progressive platform, the New Democrats would surely not have released the sort of platform they did on Sunday […]

Here’s what everyone seems to be missing in the PBO’s climate policy math

Jun 15 2019 — Aaron Wherry — The simple math of climate policy rarely makes for straightforward politics. Consider this week’s analysis by the parliamentary budget officer, and the respective responses of the Liberals and Conservatives. Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions are projected to decline to 592 megatonnes by 2030 — a significant reduction, but still 79 megatonnes above the target to which […]