National Newswatch

Budget a chance for Liberals to get back to good governance

Mar 18 2019 — Dan Leger — It is the season, once again, of potholes, dirty snow and fading playoff hopes, when March Break briefly frees the children and finance ministers everywhere blend reality and fantasy to come up with their annual budgets. It will be thus in Ottawa tomorrow when Finance Minister Bill Morneau presents his budget, with the overarching goal […]

Old, new politics clash in SNC-Lavalin scandal

Mar 4 2019 — Dan Leger — This Jody Wilson-Raybould fiasco might not have happened in the bad old days, not this way at least. There might have been pressure put on attorneys-general over the years, but back then, you wouldn’t have heard about it. Time was that ministers fought their fights behind the scenes and kept disputes in the family. For […]

SNC-Lavalin scandal feels, and smells familiar

Feb 18 2019 — Dan Leger — As federal scandals go, the rampaging furor over who said what to influence a decision by former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould feels familiar. The facts are only vaguely understood, subject to partisan and geographical interpretation and the whole thing is drenched in hypocrisy. It seems likely that some sort of pressure was indeed applied to […]

Alberta’s anger is misdirected; no one out to sabotage the West

Feb 4 2019 — Dan Leger — Pity the poor Westerners — besieged at every turn, struggling valiantly against adversity, generous to a fault yet unloved by their ungrateful fellow citizens. No wonder they’re alienated, again. More evidence of Western malaise, if we needed more, has emerged in research from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute suggesting that Canadians west of Ontario are […]

Race-tinged political rhetoric blowing up in parties’ faces

Jan 21 2019 — Dan Leger — The lie of the century, so far, is that facts don’t matter and that the line between truth and lies has been blurred into insignificance. All opinions are equally merited and anything goes, supposedly. You might even consider yourself entitled to a personal set of “facts,” to use the old-fashioned term. Some people further believe […]

Trump trap will torque Canadian federal election

Jan 14 2019 — Dan Leger — Justin Trudeau is lucky he’s facing voters this year and not in 2020, when the air will be so full of lies and fallout from the U.S. presidential campaign that political messages in Canada risk being obscured. For now, Trudeau’s Liberals are staying sunny. They’re leading the polls against lacklustre opposition, even while facing a […]

Canada does U.S. a favour and Trump turns it into a farce

Dec 17 2018 — Dan Leger — It is not an axiom of international diplomacy that “no good deed goes unpunished,” but perhaps it should be, especially deeds undertaken on behalf of our dear ally the United States under its bumbling leader, Donald Trump. Last week, two Canadians were detained by security agencies in China, questioned and thrown into gulags. As this […]

Hate crimes are on the rise as bigotry creeps into politics

Dec 10 2018 — Dan Leger — Bears might be prowling the stock indexes, but shares in hate are enjoying a bull market like we haven’t seen in generations. Western democracies, once justly proud of their openness and tolerance, are seeing the intolerant minority growing bolder and more violent. In Canada, federal statistics captured almost 2,100 hate crimes reported to police in […]

Parties not sure how to handle hot-potato immigration issues

Dec 3 2018 — Dan Leger — The next federal election won’t be fought over immigration and refugees, despite their temptation as targets for your friendly neighbourhood populists. No, the election in 2019 will be about everything but, because other than one splinter party, there’s little to gain from attacking immigration. That exception is Maxime Bernier, the culture front’s loud but short […]

Populism’s legacy: Brexit, Trump and global disorder

Nov 19 2018 — Dan Leger — So, how do you like populism so far? If you’re into broken norms, disorder and you think facts don’t matter, you’re probably enjoying it. But if you prefer stability, civil order and fact-based policy, you’re likely sick of populism and all of its shabby works. Populism is driving Britain’s determination to tear itself to pieces […]

Bernier, of all people, wants naked truth from his candidates

Nov 12 2018 — Dan Leger — As a professional newspaper columnist, it’s my job to detect and warn of malodorous currents threatening to despoil our political waters. It’s a time-consuming occupation. Take this Tony Clement mess, where he got kicked out of the Conservative caucus for his online lechery. Clement, 57, exposed himself to blackmail after he exposed himself in photos […]

From current vantage point, 2019 vote is Trudeau’s to lose

Oct 29 2018 — Dan Leger — With less than a year to go before voting day, themes are already emerging for the coming campaign. We’re told to expect either a dirty campaign or a decent one, which will be all about carbon tax grabs or saving the planet or perhaps more traditionally, about who can best steer Canada in these dangerous […]

Canada seeks escape hatch from Trumpism on trade front

Oct 8 2018 — Dan Leger — If there’s one lesson learned from scrapping with the United States over trade, it’s that Canada needs to find new partners and new places to do business. It’s time to move on, because America might never be cured of its malignant Trumpism. The talks for a new NAFTA exposed what President Donald Trump is doing […]