National Newswatch

Canadians want to know how bad this could get. Is anyone ready to tell us?

Apr 2 2020 — Aaron Wherry — Asked on Wednesday how this crisis might end, the prime minister insisted the story was still being written. Challenged to explain what the future might hold, Justin Trudeau directed everyone’s attention to the present. The prime minister’s language on Wednesday was particularly stark. “This is the largest economic program in Canada’s history,” he said of […]

When Canadians needed their MPs to act like adults, they delivered

Mar 25 2020 — Aaron Wherry — In the wee small hours of Wednesday morning, after a day of negotiations, members of the House of Commons met to discuss and pass emergency measures to address a global health emergency. The episode might someday serve as a case study in the politics of pandemic. The sitting and the dispute that preceded it were […]

This pandemic is redefining what qualifies as a political ‘crisis’

Mar 21 2020 — Aaron Wherry — It may be hard to believe now, but it was only a few weeks ago that some commentators were arguing over whether Canada was “broken.” Their concern at the time — a time that seems very distant now — was a series of rail blockades triggered by Indigenous peoples’ objections to a resource project in […]

Thinking the unthinkable: how Canada and the U.S. agreed on border restrictions in a hurry

Mar 19 2020 — Aaron Wherry — On Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called U.S. Vice President Mike Pence with a proposal: could Canada and the United States agree to ban all non-essential travel between the two countries? The idea of a Canadian official pitching new border restrictions with the United States would have seemed profoundly strange until very recently. […]

COVID-19 isn’t just testing governments, it’s testing citizens

Mar 18 2020 — Aaron Wherry — Appearing in front of Rideau Cottage on Tuesday, Justin Trudeau offered another update on the latest actions the federal government is taking to assist Canadians. He also spent a significant portion of his remarks stressing what Canadians themselves can do — emphasizing an appeal that has been central to the government’s message since the beginning […]

Ottawa can’t afford any more mixed messages on COVID-19

Mar 17 2020 — Aaron Wherry — If Friday seemed to offer a small moment of reassurance, the last few days reinforced the challenge now facing governments — to act quickly and intelligently in the face of a once-in-a-century global health emergency, and to do so while clearly explaining and justifying those actions. The first source of concern was the situation at […]

Trudeau says mining sector has a role to play in fighting climate change

Mar 2 2020 — Aaron Wherry — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the federal government will extend the business tax deduction for zero-emission vehicles and equipment to cover mining operations, as he argued that the sector will have an important role to play in the fight against climate change. Speaking in Toronto to a convention hosted by the Prospectors & […]