National Newswatch

The inflation debate could preview the next big shifts in Canadian politics

Dec 2 2021 — Aaron Wherry — The most interesting battle of the 44th Parliament’s early days has been the recurring back-and-forth between Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre. This running debate between two of the most prominent figures in Canadian politics maps out some of the fault lines that might define the present and near-future of the […]

Those coalition government rumours came at the right time for Erin O’Toole

Nov 10 2021 — Aaron Wherry — What should Canadians worry about more — the COVID-19 skeptics in the House of Commons or a theoretical governing arrangement that might eventually exist between the Liberals and NDP? Facing persistent questions about the former, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole seems bent on redirecting attention toward the latter. O’Toole used the word “coalition” 19 times during […]

The oil and gas emissions cap is a dose of cold reality for a warming world

Nov 4 2021 — Aaron Wherry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s restatement this week of a promise to implement a declining cap on greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s oil and gas industry — coupled with some of the reaction his comments provoked — is reality setting in. Informed by rigorous science, the nations of the world have decided that global greenhouse gas […]

With his cabinet picks, Trudeau signals he’s a PM in a hurry

Oct 26 2021 — Aaron Wherry — Justin Trudeau described his new cabinet Tuesday as “a team of familiar faces and new faces that are ready to put all their strengths, all their hard work toward delivering for Canadians in the coming years.” “Delivering” may be the key word here. According to a senior Liberal source, the speed and urgency with which […]

Owning up to Canada’s ‘fair share’ of the climate burden

Oct 26 2021 — Aaron Wherry — In an interview before the publication of a new report he co-authored on how much developed nations are doing to help developing countries fight climate change, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson figured he had relatively good news to share. The early reviews were less inclined to look on the bright side. “This document is certainly not […]

The House of Commons vaccine rule puts O’Toole in an awkward spot

Oct 23 2021 — Aaron Wherry — The House of Commons is a workplace unlike any other. But the sandstone walls of Parliament are not immune to the reality of a global pandemic. So sooner or later, the House was going to face the same questions now confronting every other institution and establishment in the country: whether to require that its occupants […]

The reconciliation project is vulnerable to cynicism — and Trudeau’s Tofino trip didn’t help

Oct 20 2021 — Aaron Wherry — Justin Trudeau’s visit to the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc Nation in British Columbia on Monday was a moment of reckoning — over the prime minister’s latest vacation-related scandal and over his entire record on reconciliation. That trip to Tofino was further evidence that Trudeau has, at the very least, poor risk perception. Most politicians have or […]

The age of minority governments has arrived. Can the parties adapt?

Sep 22 2021 — Aaron Wherry — It’s always dangerous to assume that what has happened in politics will continue to happen. But with the results of the 2021 federal election now in (or nearly so), it seems reasonable to assume at least one thing: minority Parliaments are now the rule, not the exception. If so, political parties are going to have […]

The Trudeau era continues — for now

Sep 21 2021 — Aaron Wherry — It’s not a majority. It might not even be a stronger minority. It could, in fact, end up being an election that produces a House of Commons nearly identical to the one that was dissolved five weeks ago. But it’s a win for Justin Trudeau — which, for him, at least beats the alternative. “You […]