National Newswatch

The Liberal caucus isn’t worthy of Jane Philpott

Mar 21 2019 — Don Martin — To know Jane Philpott is to understand the devastating impact her condemnation of the government’s SNC-Lavalin behavior registers on the prime minister and his foot soldiers. This medical doctor turned Liberal rookie MP is not a coattail-clinging, talking-point-reciting lightweight in the caucus. She was extremely popular and has consistently displayed lofty principle and public service […]

It’s about time, not truth, in justice committee showdown

Mar 14 2019 — Don Martin — It’s no longer about the truth, if it ever was. It’s about ameliorating or amplifying the consequences of a political poop that defies polishing. The crystallization of that reality came Wednesday at an emergency justice committee meeting. MPs were supposed to deal with former attorney general Jody Wilson Raybould’s willingness to re-appear and continue tormenting […]

SNC-Lavalin proves it’s still who you know in the PMO

Mar 7 2019 — Don Martin — The entire SNC-Lavalin mess, according to former Trudeau top aide Gerry Butts, was just the normal operations of government. If so, one image sticks in the mind from this week’s testimony to the justice committee. While attending a gala last October, Justin Trudeau’s powerful deputy minister took a phone call to his unlisted number.

Here’s an inconvenient truth, Trudeau’s brand is broken

Feb 28 2019 — Don Martin — So we now have two different truths on the SNC-Lavalin scandal — one altruistic, one inconvenient. The heroic version, rolled out by the prime minister and parroted by his ministers, is that political interference was all about saving jobs at the Montreal engineering giant. If spared a criminal conviction through a deferred prosecution deal, SNC-Lavalin […]

Keeping quiet means cover-up is the only conclusion

Feb 14 2019 — Don Martin — Here’s proof that a week can be a lifetime in politics. One week ago today, Jody Wilson-Raybould was the veterans affairs minister and prime ministerial interference meant limiting debate on a piece of priority legislation. Now Wilson-Raybould is gone from cabinet and seeking legal advice while Justin Trudeau reels under mounting pressure that his office […]

Until the byelection is over, no NDP news is good news.

Feb 7 2019 — Don Martin — If you believe there’s no such thing as bad news, the NDP had a banner day earlier this week. On the popular aggregator website, the party commanded four of the five banner stories. But the reality is that this rare single-party feat of newsworthiness reflected a devastating state of affairs for the once-mighty Orange […]

Forget sunny ways, here comes the mud

Jan 31 2019 — Don Martin — While there’s a new sunny way in the relocated House of Commons, thanks to that nifty glass ceiling overhead, it’s the same old fog on the floor. Election year dawned this week between the two main antagonists – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau verses Official Opposite Leader Andrew Scheer – and campaign narratives were being floor-tested.

The blockade that killed pipeline investment

Jan 10 2019 — Don Martin — This was the week international investment in Canadian energy transportation went palliative following multiple bouts of protracted suffering. The industry obit will detail how a few chiefs, bestowed with the ceremonial title by their ancestors, finally proved there’s no way to move oil, bitumen or natural gas from the ground to the ocean. TransCanada had […]

Former sergeant-at-arms Vickers would be a welcome change to political scene

Jan 3 2019 — Don Martin — In a Canadian political realm hardening into partisan divides dominated by promise-breaking, polling-directed and scripted-to-the-comma political leaders, a welcome change is musing about entering a leadership race. He’s not going to change the Canadian landscape immediately, but this candidacy would be a heartening sign that better and dramatically different personalities can still be enticed to […]

Don Martin’s story of the year: The plight of Alberta

Dec 13 2018 — Don Martin — The imminent rollout of Canadian news stories of the year will be predictable. The puff that was pot legalization; the dairy industry tweak that was the new NAFTA deal; the carbon tax resistance by premiers and perhaps the escalating Chinese retaliation for the Huawei CFO arrest. All important. All nation-defining. All second rate considerations to […]

Pre-election grandstanding behind federal francophone huddle

Nov 29 2018 — Don Martin — Consider the parliamentary emergency which rushed a handful of federal political party leaders, including the prime minister, into a huddle of five-alarm concern this week. Obviously it was General Motors abandoning its Oshawa base after 100 continuous years of car production, leaving 3,000 jobs in the departing dust, right? Nope.

A deficit of logic as the government goes squirrelly on spending

Nov 22 2018 — Don Martin — Squirrels came to mind when reading this week’s fiscal update. Those industrious rodents spent recent months in a frenzy of gathering and burying nuts because they know winter is coming which, unfortunately, has blitzed Central Canada a month before winter actually starts. But in terms of reflecting current federal fiscal policy, the squirrel has become […]