National Newswatch

Trudeau’s cabinet picks seem designed to project stability, seriousness

Nov 20 2019 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were shut out in Alberta and Saskatchewan last month, but the provinces got a shout-out in the cabinet choices the prime minister announced today. Lacking an MP from the region, Trudeau tried for the next best thing. He named two key ministers with ties to the two provinces, and positioned a former […]

Get ready for an unruly House of Commons divided along regional fault lines

Oct 22 2019 — Chris Hall — Justin Trudeau and the Liberals shook off a lacklustre campaign and his own uneven performance on the hustings to win another mandate. But it’s a minority mandate, one that requires him to work with at least one of the opposition parties to get anything done. If last night’s speeches were any indication, cooperation will be […]

New leader Blanchet steering Bloc back to relevance in Quebec

Oct 12 2019 — Chris Hall — The bus carrying Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet powers its way over the curb outside a seniors residence in Sainte-Julie, Que., as the driver steers towards the small crowd waiting for him. The village is in Montarville, a riding won four years ago by the Liberals. And it’s one of the many ridings around Montreal […]

Trudeau and Scheer trade barbs but make few points

Oct 8 2019 — Chris Hall — It wasn’t deliberate. But it was just as well that Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau wound up next to each other in Monday night’s leaders’ debate, because it became clear, right from the opening exchange, that each intended to undermine the other. Within the first few minutes the Conservative Scheer called his Liberal opponent a […]

Bernier’s in — and the federal election debates just got less predictable

Sep 17 2019 — Chris Hall — The stage is set for Maxime Bernier. His challenge now is to perform. The leader of the nascent People’s Party of Canada (PPC) yesterday got his coveted invitation to take part in the two televised debates organized by the independent Leaders’ Debate Commission. The debates — one in English and the other in French — […]

Who’s got the election message Canadians want to hear?

Jun 30 2019 — Chris Hall — As party leaders hone their platforms and messaging ahead of this fall’s election, the easy part is identifying the issues voters care about. The challenge is convincing voters they are the best choice for prime minister to deal with those same priorities. Case in point: while Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are talking about the issues Canadians […]

Why Trudeau’s Trans Mountain do-over might need Indigenous investment

Jun 19 2019 — Chris Hall — That the federal cabinet would (again) approve the proposed expansion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline was never really in any doubt. After spending $4.5 billion to buy the line last year, and with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s repeated assurances that the project would go ahead, the real question was how far the government would go to […]

Impeccable timing turns the fall election into a referendum on pharmacare

Jun 13 2019 — Chris Hall — Eric Hoskins says the time is right for Canada to create a universal pharmacare system. The timing of his report calling on the federal government to finally do that might not be so bad, either. “We know (pharmacare) is going to be part of the fall election campaign,” the former Ontario health minister said in […]