National Newswatch

Welcome to Yet Another Minority House

Nov 5 2021 — Don Newman — The new Parliament elected on September 20th will meet for the first time on November 22nd. Already, even before the first session begins, speculation is starting about how long this Parliament will last. That is because this Parliament is a minority House. The Liberals have the most seats, but not enough to command a majority […]

A New Cabinet with Many Familiar Faces

Oct 27 2021 — Don Newman — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled a cabinet he says is the right team for the moment. The time when hopefully the COVID-19 pandemic is receding, the economy is recovering and Canada is about to come “roaring back” from the health and economic crisis of the last two years. The only problem with billing the […]

Election 2021: What Will and Won’t Change

Sep 21 2021 — Don Newman — If you look at the top line numbers it will be hard to disagree with the assessment that this is the election that changed nothing. The Liberals win the most seats and the Conservatives win the popular vote. The Liberals have a minority government with a caucus that is — at press time and without […]

The Home Stretch

Sep 14 2021 — Don Newman — The final week of this election campaign, like the home stretch of every campaign, will include a lot of interesting things to watch for as the cases made by all the leaders are crystallized and wavering voters find a home. That will likely include sparring between Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and New Democratic Party Leader […]

Leaders Frustrated by Lousy Debate Format

Sep 10 2021 — Don Newman — In the National Hockey League at playoff time, the referees assigned to the games are given one instruction: Don’t become part of the game. Let the players decide the outcome. That same instructions should have been given to the moderator and journalists taking part in the English-language debate Thursday evening. Instead of at least some […]

Erin O’Toole’s Leftward Gamble

Aug 26 2021 — Don Newman — The first week of the election campaign ended with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole climbing into a statistical tie with the Liberals. The second week began with him making not one, but two interesting policy suggestions on the campaign trail. Since both suggestions fly in the face of traditional Conservative solutions to the problems they are […]

There are Bigger Ballot Questions than Afghanistan

Aug 24 2021 — Don Newman — It happened the same day the election was called. Very few saw the impact it would have. But in the days since the writs were issued, it has become the news story overshadowing everything else. Even though in terms of relevance to Canadian voters, it would seem far down the list of potential ballot questions. […]

Debates Matter

Aug 19 2021 — Don Newman — The federal party leaders are now traveling the country, unveiling their election platforms and announcing or re-announcing programs they say they will implement if they form a government. Each will hope to score points for ideas, points for appearing genuine and style points for looking “prime ministerial.” All of this is important and it will […]

Justin Trudeau’s Majority Gamble

Aug 16 2021 — Don Newman — Almost two years ago Justin Trudeau lost his majority in the House of Commons. Sunday he began a 36 day campaign to get it back. Although under no pressure in Commons despite his minority government status, Trudeau has set the country on an election campaign that he hopes will re-establish the majority. That would let […]

The Oil Holdouts vs. Reality

Jul 1 2021 — Don Newman — Has reality finally hit the oil industry? And if it has, will the Alberta United Conservative Party, Premier Jason Kenney and the national Conservative Party follow suit? Will fighting a rearguard action to protect the oil patch from change and entrench the industrial status quo continue indefinitely? Over the years, oil and natural gas have […]

The Red and Green Budget

Apr 19 2021 — Don Newman — Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland gave us their vision of Canada Monday in the Liberal Government’s first budget since 2019. It is a Canada that is both green and red. Green because it will accelerate spending on a variety of environmental programs and create stronger targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Red because deficit spending to […]

Lessons from the Pandemic

Mar 4 2021 — Don Newman — As 2021 unfolds and the COVID-19 pandemic, hopefully, recedes, Canada will have to adapt and adjust to some of the lessons we have learned from the pandemic and other events of the past year. Some of the adjustments will be difficult. Some will appear contradictory. We will have to be more independent and assertive, both […]

Playing the Prediction Game: An Election in 2021

Dec 22 2020 — Don Newman — When Don Newman couches his predictions with qualifiers about how predictions are for suckers, we advise readers to recall that he predicted that Donald J. Trump would win the 2016 election. With all due respect to the theme of this issue of Policy, predicting the year ahead can be a mug’s game. One year ago, […]

Trump Takes the Low Road, Again

Nov 4 2020 — Don Newman — There was a moment Tuesday night, as the votes were piling up and being counted, that it was possible to forget. It was possible to get caught up in the moment and believe that what was unfolding was a traditional, exciting, close American presidential election where the outcome would not be known until sometime the […]