National Newswatch

It’s the provinces that will emerge from this crisis weaker, as power shifts to Ottawa

May 22 2020 — Campbell Clark — Remember the Resistance? The four small-c conservative premiers were lined up on a magazine cover alongside a pre-election Andrew Scheer and touted as the real counterweight to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. More recently, last year’s election left an apprehended national-unity crisis in its wake, with the revival of the Bloc Québécois and the seething rejection […]

Bring on the projections – and the caveats: COVID-19 models are a complicated truth

Apr 3 2020 — Campbell Clark — Once the White House’s coronavirus task force released its own model predicting that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19, it was inevitable that there would be more questions about what Canada’s projections say. If there’s one thing that social distancing and self-isolation have made common, it is wondering where all this is going. […]

Trudeau plays crisis role as lecturer-in-chief

Mar 24 2020 — Campbell Clark — “Enough is enough,” Justin Trudeau said to Canadians flouting self-isolation guidelines. “Go home and stay home.” That wasn’t all. He once again raised the prospect that if people don’t listen, the government can and will step in with tough measures to enforce the social-distancing rules. It doesn’t want to, but … Any parent will recognize […]

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 […]