National Newswatch

Donald Trump crashes the Canada Day party: Aaron Wherry

Jul 1 2018 — Aaron Wherry — “It is as difficult a moment as we have ever faced as a country,” Bob Rae wrote last week. So, uh, Happy Canada Day. Rae, the former NDP premier of Ontario and federal Liberal leader, refers here, of course, to Donald Trump. And the trade wars, tantrums and global instability the American president entails. It […]

Once, Trudeau had a plan. Then Trump happened

Jun 21 2018 — Aaron Wherry — “Canadians sent us to Parliament Hill with a clear mandate,” Justin Trudeau told a roomful of reporters assembled Wednesday to mark the end of Parliament’s spring sitting. Although that agenda has, in many ways, come to seem more timely — embracing diversity, growing the middle class, fighting climate change — Trudeau’s mandate did not include […]

How Max Bernier sacrificed his frontbench seat over a sacred cow

Jun 14 2018 — Aaron Wherry — Maxime Bernier’s dismissal from the Conservative shadow cabinet isn’t really about supply management — just as Donald Trump’s decision to launch a trade war with his country’s closest ally isn’t really about how Canada manages its dairy sector. In both cases, subsidized milk is just the pretext covering for a larger issue. For Bernier, the […]

Two MPs are locked in a Twitter brawl over race and identity. Time to talk?

May 31 2018 — Aaron Wherry — For months now, two MPs — Liberal Celina Caesar-Chavannes and Conservative Maxime Bernier — have been locked in a very public Twitter battle over identity politics. Liberal MP Greg Fergus thinks they should actually talk to each other. Face to face. “It sounds really personal now. And they do work about five metres away from […]

Doug Ford is a populist, but it’s not yet clear what kind

May 19 2018 — Aaron Wherry — Doug Ford is not Donald Trump. Whatever the controversies and criticisms he now faces, Ford has not promised to build a wall along any of Ontario’s borders. He has not suggested that Muslims should be banned from immigrating to the province. He has not been caught on tape bragging about sexual assault. But “not being […]

On Trans Mountain, Trudeau prepares to put public money where his mouth is

May 17 2018 — Aaron Wherry — The Liberal government offered this week to indemnify Kinder Morgan for any losses related to political opposition to the Trans Mountain project — but Justin Trudeau effectively bought us a piece of the pipeline five years ago. “It is in keeping with what I believe is a fundamental role of the government of Canada,” Trudeau […]

Why we’re still talking about the phantom threat of voter fraud

May 12 2018 — Aaron Wherry — After the Liberal government tabled its proposed changes to federal elections law, the Conservatives started issuing new warnings about the spectre of voter fraud. The Liberals, said Conservative MP Blake Richards, “are trying to force through changes in Bill C-76 that would make up to one million votes susceptible to fraud in the election.” That […]

Liberals nominate Stephane Perreault as next chief electoral officer

May 8 2018 — Aaron Wherry — Stéphane Perrault has been nominated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s next chief electoral officer. But New Democrats are demanding to know why the government put forward a different nominee just three weeks ago. Marc Mayrand, the previous chief electoral officer, announced in June 2016 that he intended to resign at the end of […]

When is a carbon tax not a carbon tax? When Jason Kenney’s pitching it

May 8 2018 — Aaron Wherry — Six people were called to testify Monday afternoon before the House of Commons finance committee on carbon pricing: an economist, a researcher, three individuals from prominent environmental organizations — and one politician. A few days after he and the other members of Alberta’s United Conservative Party boycotted a vote on creating ‘safe zones’ around abortion […]