National Newswatch

Andrew Scheer’s long (humiliating) goodbye

May 20 2020 — Bob Hepburn — Like the last dinner guest who won’t go home, Andrew Scheer has stuck around far too long as Conservative leader. For Scheer, the party should have ended last Dec. 12 when he said he’d had enough and was quitting as Conservative leader. But instead of leaving right away, Scheer wouldn’t go until a successor was […]

Scheer, MacKay fail crisis leadership test during COVID-19 crisis

Apr 8 2020 — Bob Hepburn — With anxiety mounting among Canadians desperate for helpful information about the COVID-19 pandemic, news about Andrew Scheer, Peter MacKay and the federal Conservative party is no longer newsworthy. Rightly, they are being drowned out by important news of the deadly virus outbreak. And it’s a good thing for them that they are being largely ignored […]

The rise and fall of Wilson-Raybould

Apr 3 2019 — Bob Hepburn — Jody Wilson-Raybould seemed to have it all back in 2015. She was a successful lawyer, a Crown prosecutor in B.C., a treaty commissioner and regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. When Justin Trudeau asked her to run for the Liberals in the 2015 election she eagerly accepted, saying she entered politics because […]

Why Jody Wilson-Raybould is no hero

Mar 6 2019 — Bob Hepburn — Make no mistake about it, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts and the gang in the Prime Minister’s Office screwed up big time in the SNC-Lavalin affair. They mishandled the cabinet demotion of Jody Wilson-Raybould from attorney general to veterans affairs, which looked petty and vindictive; they mishandled the fallout from a news report that PMO officials […]

Where are you, Caroline Mulroney?

Sep 12 2018 — Bob Hepburn — There were high hopes for Caroline Mulroney as a progressive politician when she announced in the summer of 2017 that she wanted to run for the Ontario Conservatives. Those hopes remained strong despite her ill-advised decision to run for the Tory leadership when Patrick Brown resigned suddenly earlier this year.

Are Ontario Tories the real party of rot and corruption?

Feb 15 2018 — Bob Hepburn — For years the Ontario Conservatives have hammered away at Premier Kathleen Wynne for running what they call a “corrupt” and “scandal-ridden” government that will do anything to stay in power. They pointed at alleged scandals ranging from gas-plant fiascos, a Sudbury byelection bribery case, questionable budget-keeping and more as proof the government had lost all […]

Patrick Brown’s summer of discontent

Jul 27 2017 — Bob Hepburn — By most measures these should be happy times for Patrick Brown. The Ontario Conservative leader is riding high in the polls, his summer campaign-bus tour is operating smoothly, an experienced election team is in place and a wave of slick new ads has been released showing a smiling Brown talking earnestly and confidently into the […]

Why Patrick Brown will be our next premier

Jun 8 2017 — Bob Hepburn — There’s a well-known saying in politics that voters never “toss in” a new government; instead they “toss out” an old one. That’s what happened in 1995 in Ontario when voters tossed out Premier Bob Rae and the NDP and replaced them with Mike Harris and the Conservatives. It happened again in 2003 when voters tossed […]

Ontario election all about jobs, jobs, jobs

Apr 20 2017 — Bob Hepburn — As she tries to fight the impression that her Ontario Liberals are heading for a major defeat in the 2018 election, Premier Kathleen Wynne is working diligently on a stream of policy priorities. Indeed, she’s heavily involved in almost every policy initiative being undertaken by the Liberal government, from health care to education, infrastructure projects, […]

Patrick Brown is the man with no plans

Apr 13 2017 — Bob Hepburn — Patrick Brown is riding high as he nears the second anniversary of his election as leader of the Ontario Conservatives. His party is well ahead of the ruling Liberals and the New Democrats in the polls, he’s kept the party’s vocal right-wing fringe largely in check, and he’s succeeded in boosting the party’s fundraising efforts. […]

Why Kevin O’Leary still calls Boston home

Feb 2 2017 — Bob Hepburn — Kevin O’Leary may be running for Canada’s Conservative Party leadership, but his heart and soul live in Boston. Indeed, O’Leary’s a Bostonian to the core — and despite wanting to be Canada’s next prime minister he has zero plans to move back to Canada any time soon. He’s lived in downtown Boston for more than […]

Five questions for Kevin O’Leary: Hepburn

Jan 12 2017 — Bob Hepburn — Kevin O’Leary is a real tease, isn’t he? For more than a year, the multimillionaire entrepreneur has been tossing out hints that he will run for the federal Conservative leadership, a move that has many party loyalists salivating. Over that time, O’Leary, who became a national celebrity as a panelist on the CBC-TV program Dragon’s […]

A year of reckoning for Brown, Horwath

Jan 5 2017 — Bob Hepburn — It’s a widely held belief in politics that governments fall by defeating themselves rather than an opposition party seizing victory on the strength of a charismatic leader or a compelling election platform. That scenario is playing itself out in Ontario, where the Liberals under Premier Kathleen Wynne are feeling a lot of panic these days […]

Top 10 winners and losers of 2016

Dec 15 2016 — Bob Hepburn — As 2016 draws thankfully to a close, it’s time to look back on the people and events that made headlines over the last year. In that spirit, here’s my eighth annual list of the Top 10 Winners and Losers from the Toronto area, the province and across Canada. As in the past, many big names […]