National Newswatch

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 […]

Ottawa makes the right call on Aecon takeover by China

May 28 2018 — Dan Leger — By necessity, Canadians have grown accustomed to living next to the United States, a situation a guy named Trudeau once described as “like sleeping with an elephant,” in which we are “affected by every twitch and grunt.” And until Donald Trump came along, the elephant mostly behaved as Pierre Elliott Trudeau described it: “friendly and […]

U.S. stalling on NAFTA could give Trudeau Liberals a windfall

May 21 2018 — Dan Leger — As the latest real or imagined deadline for a new North American free trade deal came and went last week, concern in Ottawa and Mexico City grew acute. Time is running out to put an agreement to the U.S. Congress and talks are stalled. Senior ministers from Canada and Mexico, while frustrated, suggested the bones […]

Will unelected Conservatives in Senate stymie legal weed?

May 7 2018 — Dan Leger — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his Liberal government will make marijuana legal this year and that’s a promise. Fair enough. But there’s a problem. The opposition Conservatives don’t want pot to be legal, apparently because they don’t approve of such pungent forms of euphoria. So if it isn’t legalized soon and if the Conservatives win […]

The pervasive cult of wealth and the poisoning of society

Apr 30 2018 — Dan Leger — For all of my sins, which are numerous, I feel blameless on one of the seven supposedly deadliest: that of envy, specifically money envy. I simply don’t care if the wealthy have more money than me, even when they get it just for being born. I’m just not interested in the rich. They bore me. […]

Why not call election in B.C. to resolve pipeline impasse?

Apr 23 2018 — Dan Leger — Could Jason Kenney be right? Is Canada broken? Or is it still “a great country,” as the prime minister insists? Kenney, who would be premier of Alberta, suggested the country’s been broken by problems getting a pipeline built to carry his province’s oil. It’s quite a call, considering everything that goes into making a country […]

Seeking political revenge: few rewards but many risks

Apr 16 2018 — Dan Leger — Existence must be a bitter trial for those grand figures who have reached for the golden ring of leadership, imagining themselves the stuff of glittering biography as they nearly grasped it, only to be stymied by a lesser light. It’s tragic to be sure, but politics abounds with such tragedies, although it’s uncool to complain […]

Plan to undercut democracy working quite well for Putin

Apr 9 2018 — Dan Leger — There must be days when Vladimir Putin wakes up in the Kremlin amazed at his good fortune. The New Czar of Russia is one of the world’s richest men, with an army to protect him. And his modest investment in undermining Western foes is paying solid dividends. Putin’s Russia literally gets away with murder, despite […]

Pray that Easter break brings humility to Trudeau’s team

Apr 2 2018 — Dan Leger — It being the holy Easter season, it’s time to adjourn, briefly, from the profane and political. Let us therefore take this time to pray that the federal Liberals will contemplate the error of their ways and earnestly strive for coherence in the land and in their government. I’m not much for praying, so I’ll put […]