National Newswatch

A year later, Trump election produces regret, blind loyalty

Nov 6 2017 — Dan Leger — There ought to be a law stipulating that disputation between contesting parties in an election may continue for a post-election period not exceeding 12 months. After that, the winner must knock it off, accept responsibility and run the province/state/country. Wednesday is the anniversary of Donald Trump’s election victory and a reminder why such a law […]

In politics, all that matters is the cherished middle class

Oct 30 2017 — Dan Leger — If anything is clear in the dirty fog of today’s politics, it is that the much-beloved “middle class” is still whom to woo for success and power. The very title of the government’s fall fiscal update, “Progress for the Middle Class,” reminds us of this indisputable fact. Every party imagines itself as the one true […]

Is Canada headed into a new period of national disunity?

Oct 23 2017 — Dan Leger — Few political situations are as tricky to manage as those involving what we used to call “national unity,” a vague concept more properly defined as “what Quebec wants now.” Managing is most difficult when Quebec has been frustrating the interests of other provinces for internal reasons that are baffling to non-Québécois. It happens to be […]

With NAFTA on the ropes, it’s time for drastic measures

Oct 16 2017 — Dan Leger — It would be worthwhile knowing if Stephen Harper has been consulted about the North American free trade negotiations now stumbling toward an uncertain conclusion. If he hasn’t, he should be. Harper happened to be in Washington last week at the same time Justin Trudeau was there for NAFTA-related talks with President Trump. Harper is now […]

Why don’t we all get a piece of that sweet tax-break action?

Oct 9 2017 — Dan Leger — I know what I’m going to do pronto if the Conservatives and the business lobby manage to stifle the Liberal government’s tax reforms. I’m going to incorporate and grab some of that sweet tax relief for myself. As a self-employed writer in the lucrative freelance journalism industry, I stupidly have been paying my full share […]

Some people don’t know how to handle their own free speech

Sep 25 2017 — Dan Leger — A few years back, I got schooled on the meaning of free speech. It came after I wrote something I felt strongly about but had not thought completely through. In a column, I argued that Roman Catholic priests and bishops should shut up about moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage because of their own […]

New navy ship is one that got away from Irving Shipbuilding

Sep 11 2017 — Dan Leger — Idlers on the shores of Halifax Harbour will no doubt soon notice the arrival of a new resident ship. Utilitarian in design and attired in a fresh coat of naval grey, Motor Ship Asterix will steam into a berth in the naval dockyard. From there, MS Asterix will be visible from the Irving Shipyard next […]

Scheer gives clearest signal yet of Canadians’ rejection of Trumpism

Sep 5 2017 — Dan Leger — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has issued a clear signal about where he expects Canadian Conservatives to stand on the race-and-class politics of the contemporary United States. He isn’t buying. In selecting his “shadow cabinet” last week, Scheer did more than just dole out critic titles and adjust the hierarchy of his parliamentary caucus. He demonstrated […]

Black hood, white hood: No, they’re not the same

Aug 21 2017 — Dan Leger — Anyone who has seen a swarm of masked, black-clad anarchists rioting and attacking police can’t help but feel repugnance at their violent tactics. But are they a threat to the civil order? Few would think so. The so-called Black Bloc started as an informal guard for left-wing protests in the 1990s. But it’s really a […]

Saudi deal creates problems for feds

Aug 11 2017 — Dan Leger — Here’s an idea. Let’s sell shiploads of heavy weapons to a repressive autocracy run by a single, stupendously rich family not accountable to anyone. What could possibly go wrong? Nevertheless, that’s what your Canadian government did, apparently thinking that powerful armoured vehicles could be sold to a regime like Saudi Arabia but not be used […]

Modern politics: I may be bad, but you are worse

Aug 7 2017 — Dan Leger — Sometimes it seems miraculous that democracy survives, given the threats: the Russians, Donald Trump, the alt-right, the alt-left, populism, authoritarianism, extremism, partisan polarization and the demise of trusted media, not to mention the idiotic notion that “my opinions are facts if I believe them.” If democracy and rationality rely on the forthright exchange of ideas, […]

American politics is sick, let’s not catch the virus here

Jul 31 2017 — Dan Leger — Pierre Trudeau said “America sneezes and Canada catches a cold” because disruptions in the U.S. caused frequent problems here. Allies, partners and neighbours, the two economies were so interconnected that America’s maladies inevitably spread north. The first Prime Minister Trudeau was speaking when the U.S. was still healthy, with robust democratic institutions. America could be […]

Better NAFTA must be fair, and not just to Americans

Jul 24 2017 — Dan Leger — No doubt David MacNaughton meant well when he said last week that a new NAFTA agreement will have to produce a “victory” for Donald Trump to dangle in front of his core supporters. I don’t disbelieve MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to Washington, when he says Trump successfully campaigned against NAFTA, so he therefore needs to produce. […]