National Newswatch

Not such a happy Easter for Pierre Poilievre’s haters

Mar 21 2022 — Chris Selley — Would-be federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre faced a small but intense backlash on social media recently when someone unearthed an old newspaper advertisement he had taken out offering his Christian constituents best wishes for Easter: “He is Risen!” it read, with a photo of Poilievre’s mug attached and his contact information below.

A long leadership race will do the Conservatives some good

Mar 9 2022 — Chris Selley — Supporters of Pierre Poilievre’s bid for the Conservative leadership are said to be disappointed in the party’s decision to opt for a long race: Candidates have until April 19 to enter, then 20 more weeks to win over the party membership before a Sept. 10 vote. That disappointment is understandable. Out of the gate, Poilievre’s […]

And now for another hideously flawed Conservative leadership race

Feb 2 2022 — Chris Selley — If you told people unfamiliar with Canadian politics about the situation in which Erin O’Toole found himself Wednesday morning, they might well wonder how it took this long for caucus to pitch him over the side. To recap: Tory members elected O’Toole as the “true blue,” rock-ribbed conservative choice over arch-Red Tory Peter MacKay. O’Toole […]

Auditor General lays bare federal incompetence at the border

Dec 12 2021 — Chris Selley — Never let it be said that Canadian bureaucracies can’t learn on the fly. In a March 2021 report, federal Auditor General Karen Hogan found that from March to June 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) could only verify that one-third of people who were supposed to be quarantining upon arrival in Canada had […]

So much for Liberal ambition and the Great Reset

Nov 24 2021 — Chris Selley — Remember the Great Reset ? The theory, which reached its crescendo around a year ago, was that Justin Trudeau & Company planned to transform Canada’s society and economy, at the very least along dramatically more socialist lines — think Scandinavia — or, if you listened to the more bug-eyed prognosticators, into a totalitarian hellscape where […]

O’Toole’s hard line on dissent makes perfect sense, unfortunately

Nov 19 2021 — Chris Selley — Desperation is not a good look on a would-be prime minister, and Conservative leader Erin O’Toole is showing classic symptoms. Having successfully run for leader pretending to be the “true blue” alternative to Peter MacKay, then having almost instantly turned purple — accepting carbon pricing, sanding down his “defund the CBC” pledge, defenestrating social-conservative stalwart […]

Conservative ‘civil liberties caucus’ is its own worst enemy

Nov 9 2021 — Chris Selley — The federal Conservatives continue to suffer in the media for Leader Erin O’Toole’s refusal to fire his unvaccinated MPs out of a cannon, and more recently for tolerating the creation of a “civil liberties caucus” of Tory MPs who support the unvaccinated. “They say they should get special treatment because they’re MPs!” Prime Minister Justin […]

Fracas over our flag is a distraction entirely of Trudeau’s making

Nov 3 2021 — Chris Selley — Marie Wilson, one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s three commissioners, made a trenchant point in an interview with CBC News during the recent federal election campaign. Whatever the wisdom of lowering Canadian flags “until further notice” in memory of the children found and waiting to be found in unmarked gravesites on the grounds of […]

Erin O’Toole campaigned well — but it wasn’t nearly enough

Sep 21 2021 — Chris Selley — Erin O’Toole’s energy never flagged in the final days of the 2021 election campaign, which finished up at an enthusiastic Sunday-night in the Toronto riding of Don Valley West. But the campaign around him sure seemed to be losing steam. And on Monday afternoon, as reporters filed into Tribute Communities Centre — home of the […]

O’Toole is widening his base but risks alienating party members

Sep 13 2021 — Chris Selley — Conservatives may caricature Justin Trudeau as a vain narcissist who’s far too enamoured of his own voice. No one would deny that he likes the microphone. But Trudeau’s daily press conferences are far more a group effort than Erin O’Toole’s. Local candidates usually introduce Trudeau: Caroline Desrochers in La Prairie on Sunday, Sven Spengemann in […]

Masked O’Toole drives home message on Liberal recklessness

Aug 22 2021 — Chris Selley — The Conservative campaign clearly wants everyone to know it takes the fourth wave of COVID-19 very, very seriously. It bolsters leader Erin O’Toole’s position that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s election call was “reckless.” Except during photo ops with his wife Rebecca, daughter Mollie and son Jack, and when speaking into a microphone, O’Toole is always […]