National Newswatch

Trudeau takes steps to insulate himself from political risk

Dec 15 2019 — Campbell Clark — Justin Trudeau has set up his second-term government like a leader who realizes he just had a narrow escape. He has created rows and rows of defensive barriers between the Prime Minister and political risk. During his first term, Mr. Trudeau made himself the face of virtually everything his government did. Everything, seemingly, came from […]

Liberal MPs still seem to think they operate like a private club

Dec 12 2019 — Campbell Clark — So much for parliamentary reform, and political transparency. Liberal MPs have no time for that stuff. They voted against giving MPs more power four times on Wednesday, and then tried to keep the whole thing secret. In their first official caucus meeting of the new Parliament, Liberal MPs held the votes on governance required under […]

Trudeau’s star roster has shrunk, while Scheer runs without one

Aug 11 2019 — Campbell Clark — The Foreign Affairs Minister is doing a lot of travel within Canada. When Chrystia Freeland goes to a steel-pipe manufacturer to talk about the new North American free-trade deal, as she did Friday, it is a way to send a message that the Liberals are concerned with lunch-box issues, industry and jobs. It also says […]

Carbon-tax court challenge backfires before election

Jun 29 2019 — Campbell Clark — The provincial premiers who took Ottawa to court over the carbon tax have seen it blow up in their faces. Just look at what Ontario’s Court of Appeal said on Friday, in crisp legal prose, and in black and white. First, the federal government’s carbon-levy “backstop” is perfectly within Ottawa’s jurisdiction. And second, it’s not […]

As election looms, Liberals tout a tough-guy Trudeau

Jun 26 2019 — Campbell Clark — Once he was the touchy-feely king of co-operation and co-operative federalism, but now Justin Trudeau is being sold as a tough guy. Particularly when it comes to dealing with premiers. The Liberal Party’s new French-language ads feature the Prime Minister looking straight into a camera saying “We stand up – for you” – in NAFTA […]

NDP climate policy is serious but not radical

Jun 3 2019 — Campbell Clark — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has had several different climate-change policies, but none of them were in the climate platform he released last week. Only last month, he was telling the country the NDP was moving in a bold new direction on environmental issues, opposing all new oil-and-gas infrastructure. That meant no new pipelines or major […]

Liberals want people to know Andrew Scheer is personally opposed to abortion, even if he promises he won’t change the law

May 30 2019 — Campbell Clark — What’s the opposite of a dog whistle? An air horn? Whatever it is, it is what Justin Trudeau was using to send a political signal when he complained about U.S. “backsliding” on abortion rights to Vice-President Mike Pence. This was no sly message designed to perk up the ears of a particular target audience without […]

Andrew Scheer’s diversity speech is personal, but short on immigration policy details

May 28 2019 — Campbell Clark — Andrew Scheer’s big immigration-policy speech was not about immigration policy, but about telling the country that he’s not a bigot. That section of the speech, laying out the Conservative Leader’s personal commitment to diversity and equality, and telling racists they have no place in his party, was personal, and it was important. Good thing, too. […]