National Newswatch

Vaccine hesitancy spreads as provinces hit the AstraZeneca pause button

May 13 2021 — Don Martin — The original public health message from just five or six weeks ago was short, simple and effective. Vaccines are the gateway to a near-normal summer and the best vaccine is the first one available. But like everything else about COVID-19 in Canada, the only constant is inconsistency and the only consistency is confusion. So now, […]

Being Jason Kenney is the worst job in politics today

May 5 2021 — Don Martin — As former Alberta premier Ralph Klein used to say, the secret to being a successful politician is to figure out which way the parade is going and jump in front of it. So spare some pity for current Premier Jason Kenney as he tries to straddle two marching bands of public opinion, which are on […]

It’s time for adult supervision or a premier replacement in Doug Ford’s Ontario

Apr 20 2021 — Don Martin — Whenever Doug Ford puts on that feel-your-pain “folks, I’m being honest with you” face, his pandemic-fighting plan from yesterday is about to be slammed into reverse – and replaced by something even worse. I’ve been watching politicians since covering Calgary city council alongside a television reporter and future premier named Ralph Klein – yes, I’m […]

Folly green giant meets Big Brother in Conservative carbon scheme

Apr 15 2021 — Don Martin — For a few hours there, it looked like Justin Trudeau had something to worry about. After all, the prime minister wants a Neanderthal to fight in the next election and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole would’ve been dragging his knuckles around the campaign trail if he didn’t put a climate change plan on the platform. On […]

Forget the birth certificate. The job should dictate the jab, starting with teachers

Apr 8 2021 — Don Martin — Consider the Canadian teacher, now one of the most vulnerable professions in this pandemic. They’re surrounded by hundreds of rambunctious students infected with an energetic outbreak of spring fever. Masks regularly slip or get removed. Student groups soak up the sun between classes in close potentially-contagious circles. The youngest yearn to reach out and touch […]

Despite his denials, Trudeau seems to be budgeting for a spring election

Mar 24 2021 — Don Martin — With the Conservatives reeling, vaccines rolling and job creation rocking, the election plotting wizards in Justin Trudeau’s backrooms must be gleefully rubbing their hands with anticipation. The signs of a spring vote are everywhere, notwithstanding the prime minister’s public posture against calling an unforced election. Ads highlighting the merits of government relief programs are airing, […]

Travelling back to normal is going to require vaccine certification

Mar 19 2021 — Don Martin — Coming soon to an airport departure lounge near you: Boarding pass? Check. Photo ID? Check. COVID-19 vaccination certificate? Whaaat? With injections ramping up quickly, the federal government should be turning its attention to the fall of 2021 when vaccinated Canadians will be salivating to re-enter global travel and large-crowd hospitality venues.

The Canada-U.S. ‘partnership roadmap’ ignores many potholes ahead

Feb 23 2021 — Don Martin — The bromance bounced back Tuesday – and it’s almost too gushy for political distancing comfort. Still, after four years of holding our collective breath following every prime ministerial meeting with the mercurial former U.S. president, Tuesday’s summit afforded a welcome sigh of relief at the happy harmony of it all. President Joe Biden poured on […]

There is absolutely zero chance of a spring election, unless…

Feb 17 2021 — Don Martin — There will be no spring election. There can’t be a spring election. It’s ridiculous to even THINK there’s going to be an election in June with coronavirus variants spreading, the slow ramp-up of vaccines and ominous predictions of a third infectious wave on the horizon. But there was something in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s eyes […]

The provinces’ big fail as rapid testing moves at glacial speed

Feb 11 2021 — Don Martin — A few steps from the soft drink and candy vending machines at Oakland’s International Airport is one that kicks out $200 COVID-19 rapid-testing kits. This instant-access rollout is expanding by the day and will soon be in hundreds of locations across the United States. In Canada, by starkly inexplicable contrast, more than 95 per cent […]