National Newswatch

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. […]

Canadians were waiting to hear Trudeau’s full explanation on SNC-Lavalin – and they didn’t get it

Mar 7 2019 — Campbell Clark — Not an apology. Not really an act of contrition. Not a full-throated defence. Not a detailed accounting of events. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press conference on the SNC-Lavalin affair included an assertion that there were lessons learned although he wasn’t terribly specific about which ones. So what was that? The Prime Minister said that he […]