National Newswatch

Canada shouldn’t let itself be rushed or bullied on NAFTA

Sep 24 2018 — Dan Leger — Forget the midnight flights to Washington and the clumsy presidential threats, the phoney deadlines and blatant negotiating ploys. If Canada is to achieve a renewed continental trade agreement under viable terms, it has to shrug off American pressure tactics and stay focused. There is no rush to get a new NAFTA because there are no […]

LeBlanc aground on ethics amid fisheries controversy

Sep 17 2018 — Dan Leger — The federal ethics commissioner’s finding that cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc blundered into a conflict of interest over a fishing licence wasn’t much of a shock. Liberals are known for skating along the edge of rules designed to curb undue coziness between politicians and pals. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was taken to task for vacationing with […]

Greeks had the best words to describe Trump’s U.S.A.

Sep 10 2018 — Dan Leger — I challenge anyone to accurately and fairly describe the madness of politics in the time of Donald Trump. In the era of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” when “truth isn’t truth” in the “rigged witch hunt,” so little of it makes sense that words fail. But let’s try anyway. We could call the Trump presidency […]

Trudeau stuck in trade limbo with a pipeline to nowhere

Sep 1 2018 — Dan Leger — Justin Trudeau has had the political week from hell. Factors not within his control conspired to defeat his Western pipeline plan and foil the latest round of NAFTA talks in the U.S. The way things look now, despite Canada’s summer of trade frustrations, a new deal with the Americans will get sorted before the Trans […]

Diversity, immigration volatile ammunition for warring parties

Aug 26 2018 — Dan Leger — Canada’s two largest political parties are playing with fire when they spin diversity, immigration and border issues into partisan strategies. Driving votes, they risk driving social divisions and internal schisms, as the Conservatives learned last week. On culture and diversity, the increasingly angry, name-calling debate between Liberals and Conservatives echoes the 2015 election. The Conservatives […]

The Conservatives are coming! Halifax braces for alien invasion

Aug 20 2018 — Dan Leger — I don’t mean to sound alarmist, friends, but you need to know this. We are about to be exposed to Conservatives. Try not to worry. The Conservative Party of Canada assembles in Halifax this week for its pre-election policy convention and many members are far from home. The nearest Conservative seat is 800 kilometres away, […]

Are hopeful signs finally emerging from NAFTA talks?

Aug 6 2018 — Dan Leger — Is Canada being scorned at the NAFTA party? Are Canadians to be left sobbing on the sidelines while our erstwhile best friend forever, Mexico, makes a deal without us? Or is this just another twist from the Donald Trump regime? It’s possible for any of the above situations to be true. That’s how things work […]

Muslims easy whipping boys in Toronto shootings aftermath

Jul 30 2018 — Dan Leger — You probably weren’t wondering, but in case you were, the term “whipping boy” is an actual thing. Whipping boys’ fates could be cruel. In days far past, a designated friend of lesser status could be punished in place of a sinful prince. Even lords didn’t dare strike a God-appointed future monarch and they knew boy […]

Canada’s spy agency flies under the radar; maybe that’s good

Jul 23 2018 — Dan Leger — I have a nomination in the unsurprising headline sweepstakes of 2018: “Poll Says Few Canadians can name Spy Agency.” If the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is doing things right, that’s probably how it should be. Last week, CSIS released the findings of a public opinion survey conducted by EKOS Research that suggested Canadians don’t know […]

It’s time to rethink the whole idea of zero tolerance

Jul 16 2018 — Dan Leger — Do “zero tolerance” policies make us safer? Do they fight crime or make our communities more just? Does zero tolerance achieve anything positive at all? I think it achieves very little. In fact, I have become decidedly intolerant on the subject. Zero tolerance takes zero thinking, betrays zero insight and often produces zero positive results. […]

Brass should come clean on case of Admiral Norman

Jul 9 2018 — Dan Leger — If you’re wondering whether the road to hell really is paved with good intentions, ask Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, RCN. He knows all about it. Norman is the former commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces. He appeared to be destined for the biggest job of all: chief […]

Mr. Harper goes to D.C., but whose side is he on?

Jul 1 2018 — Dan Leger — Let’s just say right off the top that Stephen Harper can go where he wants, say what he wants and meet with anyone he wants in Canada, Washington or Timbuktu. It’s a free country, right? So if the former prime minister wants to muse publicly about the enduring appeal of American populism under President Donald […]

Just say no to Premier Moe’s machinations on equalization

Jun 25 2018 — Dan Leger — As if we didn’t have enough trouble around here: low-growth economy, debilitating taxes, aging population and migration of our young people, to name just a few. Then along comes Moe. Moe? I mean Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, reputedly the most popular premier in Canada. It’s likely few Nova Scotians know much about the square-jawed farm […]

Deftly handling Trump toxicity a survival skill in federal arena

Jun 18 2018 — Dan Leger — You really have to hand it to Donald Trump. It takes a figure of unique capabilities to unite Canadians from sea to sea in one great passionate cause: despising Donald Trump. Who would have predicted that national unity would be achieved through shared revulsion at the blundering president’s vandalistic actions on tariffs and trade? But […]

No more pan-Canadian dreams in nation of conflicting interests

Jun 11 2018 — Dan Leger — It has never been easy building things in Canada. For one, it’s a really big country, which makes everything expensive. It’s also cold, so everything must be heavily built. And Canada is diverse, with competing interests constantly at odds. In the 1880s, the Canadian Pacific Railway was built both to harness the country’s vast expanses […]