National Newswatch

Pierre Poilievre’s lead spells trouble for Tories

Jul 4 2022 — Geoffrey Stevens — The hardest thing a political party has to do is to choose the right leader at the right time. If it were simple, the federal Liberals would not have burned through two “permanent” leaders, Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, and one interim leader, Bob Rae, before settling on Justin Trudeau. If it were easy, the […]

Pierre Poilievre’s pixie dust and snake oil

Jun 19 2022 — Geoffrey Stevens — Rt. Hon. Pierre Poilievre, Prime Minister of Canada. Dear Prime Minister Poilievre, This may be presumptuous, but I want to be among the first to congratulate you on becoming the 24th prime minister of Canada. As your website,, made clear from the get-go, you did not run just for the leadership of the Conservative […]

Trudeau’s clear path on priorities

Nov 29 2021 — Geoffrey Stevens — Although Justin Trudeau’s Liberals may have the thinnest public support of any federal government in Canadian history, a shade less than one-third of the two-thirds of the eligible voters who cast ballots on Sept. 20 — or roughly 20 per cent of the entire electorate — we should probably stop calling them a minority government. […]

Trudeau owes Joe Biden a favour (or two)

Jan 25 2021 — Geoffrey Stevens — Do not expect either leader to say so publicly, but Joe Biden did Justin Trudeau a favour when he cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline last week. Everyone knew this second cancellation was coming; Barack Obama killed Keystone on his watch, only to have Donald Trump revive it. Biden promised to kill Keystone on day one […]

What Joe Clark could tell Justin Trudeau NOT to do

Oct 27 2019 — Geoffrey Stevens — Justin Trudeau meet Joe Clark. You prime ministers have a few things in common, starting with your election outcomes. Conservative Clark became prime minister in 1979, following an election in which he, like Trudeau a week ago, failed to win the national popular vote, yet took enough seats to form a strong minority government — […]

It’s time to face carbon tax reality

Jul 2 2019 — Geoffrey Stevens — It is time that climate change deniers, doubters and skeptics — along with the provincial and federal politicians who seek to advance partisan agendas by playing bootless legal and constitutional games with the carbon tax issue — folded their tents. It is time they stopped wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on court challenges to the […]

Stormy weather ahead relations with provinces

Oct 8 2018 — Geoffrey Stevens — Doug Ford and Jason Kenney had a grand old time in Alberta the other night. Appearing together before an overflow crowd of 1,500 true believers in Calgary, the two provincial leaders — one in power, the other in waiting — pledged their mutual, undying opposition to carbon taxes, and they took turns swatting enthusiastically at […]

Justin Trudeau’s sunny days about to end

Sep 10 2018 — Geoffrey Stevens — Summer is usually the best of times for the party in power in Ottawa. With Parliament in recess, ministers have the stage largely to themselves, free to announce whatever they wish with as much spin — and as little explanation — as they choose. The opposition parties are left to whine about high-handed government while […]

A lesson for Trudeau: Never trust Donald Trump

Sep 3 2018 — Geoffrey Stevens — Justin Trudeau and his government were handed two painful and costly lessons last week. One lesson was not to take the courts for granted. Trudeau and his people were read that lesson in a Federal Court of Appeal decision that froze construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. The second lesson was never, ever again, […]

Coming soon from Ottawa: pharmacare and a handgun ban

Jul 30 2018 — Geoffrey Stevens — The next noise you hear from Ottawa will be the sound of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals rebooting. It is all but certain that they will prorogue Parliament when MPs return from vacation in September and present a new Speech from the Throne with an agenda designed to carry them through to the election in October 2019. […]

Has Trudeau’s honeymoon with social media come to an end?

Feb 26 2018 — Geoffrey Stevens — Social media is a faithless lover, as Justin Trudeau learned to his pain in India last week. From the moment he was elected in October 2015, the prime minister was the darling of the web. With a few churlish (and generally right-wing) exceptions, social media loved him. He was so handsome, so virile, so articulate, […]

Grandma would never recognize today’s Tories

Feb 19 2018 — Geoffrey Stevens — Words fail me,” a longtime Ontario Tory insider. This veteran of many campaigns is not alone. Many of his fellows — organizers, workers, candidates and rank-and-file members — are aghast at what is going on in the party they have supported through good times and not-so-good times. Remember, the Progressive Conservatives were the political dynasty […]

A taste of humble pie due Trudeau

Dec 26 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — John Diefenbaker waggled his finger sternly across the aisle as he instructed the Liberal government of the day in 1968: “It is a long road that has no ash cans.” While the provenance of Dief’s metaphor is obscure, his warning was clear. You think know what you are doing, but don’t get so full of […]