National Newswatch

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 […]

Trump is Trudeau’s secret weapon

Dec 18 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — “Good grief, Charlie Brown!” How else can one react to the news that has set the blogosphere aflutter — or, should we say, atwitter? The news: Justin Trudeau, our very own prime minister, has been named the Second Most Influential Person in the World. Wow! The honour was bestowed last week by LinkedIn, a Microsoft-owned […]

Dief-style attacks not working for Scheer

Dec 11 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — The most frustrated politician in Ottawa these days has to be Andrew Scheer. He has been leader of the opposition for six months, long enough to have moved out of the shadow of his predecessor, Stephen Harper, and long enough to put his own stamp on the Conservative party. It’s also been long enough to […]

Easy ride may be over for Trudeau’s Liberals

Sep 11 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — Justin Trudeau and his band of “sunny ways” Liberals have reached the political equivalent of the continental divide — two years in and two years to go before the next election on Oct. 21, 2019. They have had two years to enjoy the fruits of victory and to keep — or not — their campaign […]

Trudeau must sell Khadr deal before it drags him under

Jul 10 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — “We have a great neighbour in Canada and Justin is doing a spectacular job in Canada. Everybody loves him and they love him for a reason. So congratulations on the job you are doing.”— Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg , Germany, on Saturday. So there you have it — a ringing endorsement […]

Who will be next Tory leader? Look at Andrew Scheer

Feb 27 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — Today’s Conservative Party of Canada is not your grandmother’s Conservative Party. That much we know. But what kind of party will it become going forward? The answer will be determined in large measure by the outcome of the current leadership race. Candidates have one month left to sell party memberships in this one-member, one-vote competition, […]

O’Leary not as repugnant as Trump, but …

Jan 23 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — Arlene Dickinson, former star of CBC’s “Dragons’ Den,” wasted little time putting her former co-star in his place when she was asked what she thought of Kevin O’Leary’s entry into the Conservative leadership race last week. “For seven years, I sat shoulder-to-shoulder with Kevin,” she said. “We’d spend long hours together, listening to hardworking Canadian […]

A perfect ‘would-have-been’ Conservative leader

Jan 2 2017 — Geoffrey Stevens — This being a brand new year, why don’t we try something different? Imagine, if you can, gentle reader, that you are a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party of Canada. You are looking anxiously for a permanent replacement for Stephen Harper in the CPC leadership election this coming May. You have studied the swollen field […]

Wynne: When will the Liberal knives come out?

Dec 26 2016 — Geoffrey Stevens — Anyone who has made a career in politics will tell you that two of the most difficult decisions involve timing: When to get in and when to get out. Of the two, the getting-out decision is often the more difficult. Canadians saw evidence of that back in the 1960s when John Diefenbaker, a former prime […]