National Newswatch

Canada’s own (miniature) midterm election will be in Mississauga-Lakeshore

Nov 13 2022 — Aaron Wherry — While the United States was hurtling toward the dramatic conclusion of another round of national elections last week, Canada was quietly embarking on its own, smaller (much, much smaller) version of the American midterms: a byelection in the Ontario riding of Mississauga-Lakeshore. Unlike the recently completed U.S. elections, the balance of power and the future […]

Ford’s retreat notwithstanding, the fight over charter rights is far from over

Nov 9 2022 — Aaron Wherry — The events in Ontario over the last week offer only limited solace to those who worry that politicians are increasingly unafraid to use the notwithstanding clause to override judicial rulings on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But in a way, the system worked. Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government made questionable use of the notwithstanding […]

Duclos says he wants to be the provinces’ ally — but the health care debate is getting fractious

Nov 4 2022 — Aaron Wherry — Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the “main important objective” of a meeting next week with his provincial counterparts is to “continue building a strong relationship” between the people responsible for this country’s health care system. So whatever else can be said about the slow-moving and increasingly agitated conversation about the future of Canadian health care, […]

Mark Holland makes a case for a more human approach to politics

Oct 30 2022 — Aaron Wherry — The Liberal House leader let down his guard when he pleaded with MPs to see each other as people. “This place needs to be more human,” Government House leader Mark Holland told a House of Commons committee during highly personal testimony on Tuesday. In a narrow sense, Holland was making a case for the continued […]

Freeland is trying to get ahead of a recession — but EI reform might not come fast enough

Oct 25 2022 — Aaron Wherry — Stephen Harper’s experience proves recessions aren’t always government-killers. In an interview with the CBC’s Power & Politics earlier this fall, former Liberal finance minister John Manley warned that “recessions lead to changes in government.” That’s not entirely true. Manley’s maxim ignores the case of the Great Recession in 2008. But governing through an economic downturn […]

Canada needs a pandemic post-mortem — now, not later

Oct 9 2022 — Aaron Wherry — It would be unfair to blame anyone — doctors and nurses, political leaders and health officials, average Canadians — for wanting to never think about COVID-19 again. Even if the pandemic isn’t actually over, the desire to move on is evident in every dropped restriction, every maskless face. But it would be a mistake to […]

How to win while losing: private members’ bills and the virtues of going big

Oct 2 2022 — Aaron Wherry — There is something to be said for doomed efforts — like the ill-fated private member’s bill that would have lowered the federal voting age to 16. Bill C-210, sponsored by NDP MP Taylor Bachrach, was defeated in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon. The result was not particularly close. With most Liberals and all Conservatives […]

Parliament’s climate debate is stuck in the past

Sep 29 2022 — Aaron Wherry — Evidence of the cost of climate change is scattered across Atlantic Canada: downed trees, eroded shorelines and bits and pieces of what used to be houses and wharves. A report released on Wednesday by the Canadian Climate Institute put the full extent of the problem into cold, hard numbers — reduced GDP, lost jobs, lower […]

Parliament had a lively summer. It’s about to get louder

Sep 18 2022 — Aaron Wherry — Various factors are converging to make this fall a season unlike any other in Canadian politics. Parliament was strangely relevant this summer. But the past few months were merely a prelude to what could be one of the most consequential periods in Canadian politics in recent memory. The weeks between when the House of Commons […]

In Poilievre, Liberals face a leader who gets under his opponents’ skin

Sep 13 2022 — Aaron Wherry — Conservatives had contempt for Trudeau and underestimated him. Will Liberals make that mistake with Poilievre? A few days before he stepped into a boxing ring with Senator Patrick Brazeau in 2012, Justin Trudeau rose in the House of Commons and asked the Conservative government about its support for young people. James Moore, the heritage minister […]

What Queen Elizabeth’s lifetime of duty should mean to us now

Sep 9 2022 — Aaron Wherry — “Duty” and “service” might seem like odd words to apply to a queen or king. They are figures of power, privilege and luxury — people who live in castles with any number of assistants at their beck and call. But those words were foremost in the official statements that followed Queen Elizabeth’s death on Thursday. […]