National Newswatch

Chrystia Freeland is predicting a balanced budget — eventually. Here’s why she’s not bragging about it now

Nov 10 2022 — Heather Scoffield — Probably the biggest surprise in last week’s budget update from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was a trajectory towards a balanced budget — and that the minister didn’t make a big deal of it. Don’t expect that sliver of a surplus to last. The fall economic statement projected steadily declining deficits over the next few years […]

Chrystia Freeland’s mini-budget proposes some short-term solutions. But she’s betting a once-taboo strategy might save us all

Nov 3 2022 — Heather Scoffield — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is betting heavily that industrial strategy will save us all. The federal government’s fall fiscal update avoids forecasting a recession outright, but it does foresee some tough times ahead. Most likely, Finance officials say, the Canadian economy will eke out the tiniest bit of growth next year. If things go badly, […]

Ottawa sends a message to China, by rolling out the red carpet for Nokia

Oct 17 2022 — Heather Scoffield — The subtext of the $340-million Nokia-Trudeau-Ford announcement on Monday morning was far from subtle. Through more than an hour of speeches from six different dignitaries, we are meant to understand that Nokia’s expansion in the Ottawa suburbs is not just trustworthy, environmentally responsible and cutting edge. It’s also not Huawei, not Chinese, and therefore worthy […]

Ottawa has neglected some of Canada’s problems — and now we’re all paying the price

Sep 30 2022 — Heather Scoffield — Call it political slow-walking, or over-promising and under-delivering — this was the week it all caught up with us. Sluggish progress on confronting climate change left our infrastructure vulnerable on the Atlantic Coast. Years of hand-wringing on housing affordability has left our economy vulnerable to recession. And incremental progress on long-standing and well-known Indigenous wounds […]

Will Ottawa’s new affordability measures make inflation worse — or just easier to take?

Sep 15 2022 — Heather Scoffield — The indignation over this week’s Liberal-NDP affordability package was predictable, and came fast and furious. Some bank economists, some market players, and especially the new inflation-focused leader of the Official Opposition, Pierre Poilievre, were quick to say Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is “pouring more gas on the fire.” The main accusations? The $4.6-billion package exacerbates […]

Canada’s secret EV deal with German automakers sends a bad message

Aug 25 2022 — Heather Scoffield — There’s something odd about the shiny new agreements signed with great fanfare by the federal government and German automakers this week. Volkswagen’s CEO was there in Toronto in real life for the signing with Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, backdropped by none other than German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mercedes-Benz executives hovered. […]

Canada can talk clean energy all it wants — but the world also needs it to actually deliver

Aug 22 2022 — Heather Scoffield — Reliability is Canada’s new calling card. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is invoking it repeatedly this week in his elbow-rubbing with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and it’s the pitch we hear consistently from anyone seeking investment in Canada’s energy sector. Canada, says Trudeau, is the “reliable supplier of clean energy that a net-zero world requires.” He […]