National Newswatch

Ontario’s Default Preference: Blue at Queen’s Park, Red in Ottawa

Jun 3 2022 — L. Ian MacDonald — As Ontarians proved in multiple elections during the years when Bill Davis ruled at Queen’s Park and Pierre Trudeau reigned in Ottawa, they have their own version of political checks and balances: Blue provincially and Red federally. And they’ve just done it again, re-electing Doug Ford’s blue Progressive Conservatives for a second consecutive majority mandate, […]

A Fond Farewell to the Kid From Thurso

Apr 22 2022 — L. Ian MacDonald — On the north shore of the Ottawa River, about one quarter of the way between Gatineau and Montreal, sits the long-time pulp and paper town of Thurso, Quebec, which, if Guy Lafleur hadn’t been born there, would’ve remained best-known for the classic Canadian aroma found downwind of all paper towns. But Guy Lafleur was born […]

A Budget for the World’s Next Chapter

Apr 7 2022 — L. Ian MacDonald — When Chrystia Freeland went for the finance minister’s traditional pre-budget photo-op of purchasing a new pair of shoes Wednesday at Ottawa’s Rideau Centre, the shopkeeper asked what she was looking for. “High heels,” she replied. At perhaps 5’3”, Freeland is accustomed to standing in heels that raise her height above podiums. But while looking for […]

The Dipper Deal—Not Just Words, but Signed and Sealed

Mar 23 2022 — L. Ian MacDonald — Okay, so it’s a not a coalition, strictly speaking. Call it the Dipper Deal. The power sharing deal between the Liberals and the NDP, is not an unusual occurrence in a minority Parliament. What is remarkable is how Justin Trudeau for the Libs and Jagmeet Singh for the Dippers successfully kept it to themselves and […]

A Gift to Trudeau from Another Prime Minister

Feb 14 2022 — L. Ian MacDonald — The Emergencies Act turns out to be Brian Mulroney’s Valentine’s Day gift for Justin Trudeau. It had never been invoked in all the years since its enactment by Parliament in July of 1988, which is a background story in itself. The House of Commons was sitting that summer only because the opposition Liberals, under John […]

What Garneau’s ouster says about Trudeau

Oct 29 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — The shabby treatment of Marc Garneau, leaving him out in the cold in the federal cabinet shuffle, is a reminder of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s sense of entitlement and the dynastic airs of the Liberal Party. It’s precisely the reason that once every generation, Canadians decide they’ve had enough of their arrogance as Canada’s natural […]

O’Toole shoots, and scores. But he needs to up the Tory game

Oct 6 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — There was a question at Erin O’Toole’s news conference following the Conservative caucus on Tuesday, the kind that tripped him up during the final days of the campaign, but which this time he turned into a leadership moment. The same leader who had declined to say how many unvaccinated candidates were running as Conservatives, now […]

Trudeau’s answer to the $600-million question

Sep 21 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — Once again, the Liberals have been returned to office with a minority government. Once again, the Conservatives lost despite having won the popular vote (this time by almost two percentage points). And once again, it appears that those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

Eventful federal campaign might settle nothing

Sep 16 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — Too close to call. For once, it’s not a cliché or cop-out by pollsters, pols and pundits. The fact of the matter is that with only a few days to go in Campaign 2021, nobody has a good sense of how it’s going to end. If there’s a consensus in the daily tracking polls, it’s […]

Area codes and other key election numbers

Sep 13 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — In the final days of the campaign, the area codes in which the leaders are appearing provide a look ahead to the battlegrounds of election night. Justin Trudeau began Sunday morning in 450, the suburban ring around the island of Montreal, where the Liberals hope to gain several seats from the Bloc Québécois. Then he […]