National Newswatch

A messy world once again intrudes on Canada’s tidy partisan debates

Sep 22 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Roland Paris, a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa and a former adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was testifying before a Senate committee studying Canada’s foreign service last year when a Conservative senator pressed him to agree with a long indictment of recent Canadian foreign policy. “Canada is not alone in […]

Will voter fatigue and inflation be Trudeau’s undoing?

Sep 16 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Eight and a half years ago, in January 2015, the Liberal Party’s 36-member caucus gathered in London, Ont. ahead of a new sitting of Parliament. There was some reason at the time to believe their leader, Justin Trudeau, would be the next prime minister of Canada. But some of the original shine had come off […]

If Trudeau wants to fix housing, London is a good place to start

Sep 14 2023 — Aaron Wherry — If you wanted to solve Canada’s housing problem, the city of London, Ont. — where Liberal MPs are meeting this week ahead of Parliament’s fall sitting — would be a good place to start. “The challenges facing London are indicative of some of the challenges that we experience in cities across this country,” Housing Minister […]

The strengths and limits of Pierre Poilievre’s ‘common sense’

Sep 9 2023 — Aaron Wherry — If an election were held tomorrow, polls suggest Pierre Poilievre would defeat Justin Trudeau and become the 24th prime minister of Canada. And if an election were to happen tomorrow, the Conservative leader says the choice would be quite straightforward. “Canadians will have only two options,” Poilievre told the Conservative party convention in Quebec City […]

Security concerns might finally solve the 24 Sussex conundrum

Aug 30 2023 — Aaron Wherry — To understand why successive governments allowed 24 Sussex to fall into a miserable state of disrepair — and why Justin Trudeau has spent nearly eight years avoiding a decision on whether to rebuild or replace what used to be the prime minister’s official residence — one need only consider what Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre had […]

The politics of housing now defines both Trudeau and Poilievre

Aug 24 2023 — Aaron Wherry — The issue of housing affordability has become a political crucible — a debate through which Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre are defining themselves and each other. There are, despite appearances, a few crucial points on which the prime minister and the leader of the Official Opposition agree. They both agree, for instance, that the cost […]

Can the Trudeau government revive its old ‘middle class’ message?

Aug 21 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Pierre Poilievre went to Charlottetown last week and stood in front of a gas station sign to restate his opposition to a pair of federal climate policies: the national price on carbon and new clean fuel regulations. After gesturing at the price of unleaded gasoline displayed behind him, the Conservative leader said he understood the […]

Housing might not be Trudeau’s sole responsibility, but it’s his problem

Aug 11 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Justin Trudeau’s recent observation that housing isn’t a “primary federal responsibility” was something of a Kinsley gaffe — the act of inadvertently telling the truth or inconveniently confessing some private thought. The prime minister was not wholly wrong, per se, when he said housing was not something the federal government has “direct carriage of.” Housing […]

Justin Trudeau begins a new chapter of his political life

Aug 4 2023 — Aaron Wherry — There was a play written about Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Sinclair — Maggie and Pierre: A Fantasy of Love, Politics and the Media, a one-woman play performed by Linda Griffiths. It premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto in 1980, toured the country and then played for five nights at the historic Royal Alexandra Theatre […]

Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau announce separation

Aug 2 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, have decided to separate, according to statements posted online by both of them. Trudeau, 51, and Grégoire, 48, were married in May 2005 and have three children together: two sons, Xavier and Hadrien, and one daughter, Ella-Grace.

The fight over C-18 isn’t about journalism — it’s about power

Jul 8 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says he won’t be pushed around by Google and Facebook in the ongoing fight over C-18, the Online News Act. “They’re superpowers. They’re huge. They’re rich, powerful. Lots of big lawyers. They can be intimidating,” Rodriguez told reporters this week at a news conference convened to announce that the federal government […]

Trudeau is leading an activist government — does Poilievre want to do the same?

Jul 7 2023 — Aaron Wherry — Poilievre’s statements on housing suggest he shares the Liberals’ enthusiasm for the ‘power of the purse.’ With little fanfare, the House of Commons passed legislation last month to formally establish a federal child-care program. The bill’s passage was never really in doubt. Between Liberal and NDP MPs, the government had more than enough votes. But […]

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