National Newswatch

Trudeau reluctant to reveal too much on Quebec’s face-covering law

Oct 21 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Over the course of three days this week, the prime minister was poked and prodded for a position on Bill 62. The Quebec law, passed by the provincial legislature on Tuesday, prohibits anyone delivering or receiving public services from covering their face. That again makes an issue of the niqab. On Wednesday, in the House […]

Bill Morneau tries to divest himself of a controversy

Oct 19 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Just before question period, the finance minister summoned reporters to a small media room in Centre Block’s basement to explain that he would be divesting himself of a million shares in his family business. In the House of Commons, the opposition would attempt to divest from Bill Morneau its pound of flesh. “The finance minister […]

Trudeau celebrates his second anniversary on the defensive

Oct 19 2017 — Aaron Wherry — As Justin Trudeau stood on a riser in a Montreal hotel ballroom on the night of Oct. 19, 2015, basking in the glow of victory, there was nothing to be said about the taxation of passive investment income, no questions about Bill Morneau’s stock portfolio or a villa in France. “Sunny ways, my friends,” the […]

Liberals turn to pasta to move past 3 months of fuss and fury over tax fairness

Oct 17 2017 — Aaron Wherry — When the prepared statements were finished and the floor was opened for questions, the first reporter in line wanted to question Bill Morneau, about not just the government’s tax changes, but also whether the finance minister’s personal wealth was being ethically managed. But Justin Trudeau, standing at the lectern, declined to give way and let […]

Julie Payette is unscripted and at ease on first day as GG

Oct 3 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Except for a card she referred to for the customary words of greeting that are required at these sorts of events, Julie Payette addressed her installation as the 29th Governor General of Canada without a prepared text. Perhaps being strapped to a 45-metre-long rocket and blasted into space changes one’s understanding of risk. But to […]

Jagmeet Singh brings something new to the NDP

Oct 2 2017 — Aaron Wherry — As the NDP was coming together between 1958 and 1961, it loosely existed as the New Party. Two candidates ran under the name in a pair of byelections in October 1960. Walter Pitman, victorious in Peterborough, Ont., became Parliament’s first and last New Party MP. The following summer, at the party’s founding convention, the word […]

Trudeau’s sunny Liberals trying to rain on Andrew Scheer’s day

Sep 27 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Andrew Scheer has now been leader of the Conservative party for a full four months. By this point in the life of the previous three leaders of Her Majesty’s opposition, disparaging video ads were already in circulation. Stéphane Dion was “not a leader.” Michael Ignatieff was “just visiting.” And Tom Mulcair was a man of […]

Bill Morneau’s tax reforms challenged by pizza-nomics

Sep 25 2017 — Aaron Wherry — In the kerfuffle surrounding the Liberal government’s deeply contested proposals to reform the tax system, possibly no number has loomed larger than 73 per cent. It is a figure that perhaps reached its political zenith last week when Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative finance critic, used a pizza to explain that an Ottawa pizza shop owner […]

In tax fight, it’s Scheer’s mechanic vs. Trudeau’s doctor

Sep 18 2017 — Aaron Wherry — This being the first day back at school, Andrew Scheer was obliged to stand and tell the class what he’d done with his summer. “Mr. Speaker, this summer I spent my time crossing the country talking to hard-working Canadians, job creators and entrepreneurs,” Scheer reported. “And I can tell the prime minister one very simple […]

Jagmeet Singh or not, nothing is ever easy for the NDP

Sep 16 2017 — Aaron Wherry — In the final debate of the campaign to finally replace Tom Mulcair as leader of the NDP there were, perhaps predictably, attempts to quibble with the presumed front-runner. Niki Ashton suggested the 47,000 party members that Jagmeet Singh claims to have signed up — a figure that would account for more than a third of […]

How Allan MacEachen mastered Parliament and left a mark on the country

Sep 15 2017 — Aaron Wherry — Near the end of his time in the Senate — capping a parliamentary career that spanned 38 years, eight months and nine days — Allan MacEachen was looking to hire researchers to go through his collected papers in preparation for a memoir. Peggy Butts, a Liberal senator from Nova Scotia, forwarded the name of her […]

While Liberals face fury over tax changes, Conservative leader picks a fight with an academic

Sep 9 2017 — Aaron Wherry — The fury surrounding the Liberal government’s proposals to change the tax rules for incorporated small businesses is already such that Andrew Scheer and his fellow Conservatives probably needn’t do much more than nod in agreement. But on Friday, speaking to reporters about the Liberal proposals after the Conservative caucus meetings in Winnipeg, Scheer decided to […]