National Newswatch

Can Canadian politics ever achieve a climate consensus?

Oct 7 2019 — Jennifer Ditchburn — We should demand that our political leaders stop trying to win partisan points on climate change, and reach a consensus on action as other nations have. In Germany in September, the coalition cabinet led by Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union announced a sweeping $74-billion climate policy package. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is working through […]

What do the media know about the ballot box question?

Sep 17 2019 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Every election, sans faute, much ink is spilled trying to declare the “ballot box question.” What is the burning issue that will decide how all Canadian voters make their choice? I was part of this quest to pursue and identify the ballot box question in elections I covered from 1997 to 2015. During the last […]

Does Canada’s Gen X election matter?

Sep 13 2019 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Canada is about to have its Gen X election – the three leaders of the largest parties were all born in the ’70s. Some Canadians in this cohort might feel a pang of triumph that smells like teen spirit. This narrow little generation is no longer languishing in the shadow of the Baby Boom. Our […]

Shouldn’t we want MPs who don’t conform?

Apr 5 2019 — Jennifer Ditchburn — With the expulsion of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus, I began to think back on the other so-called “maverick” MPs I’ve come across over the past two decades. Who were the folks who dared to challenge the party line, or speak out of turn, or were just a little oddball? The […]

This year, resolve to be a more intelligent reader online

Dec 31 2018 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Canada is not immune from the disinformation and misinformation campaigns that seek to polarize the public. Let’s be more careful about what we share. In 2019, an election year federally and in Alberta, what if we could we all resolve to be better consumers of online content? Could we train to become sommeliers of social […]

Better late than never for Parliament Hill consultation?

Dec 12 2018 — Jennifer Ditchburn — MPs were told that parliamentarians and the public will finally be consulted on the Centre Block rehabilitation. The details of the process are still hazy. There are lot of 11th-hour trips up the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill this month, a lot of group photos being taken in the halls and one-last-meals among colleagues in […]

Future of work isn’t just elite chatter

Jun 13 2018 — Jennifer Ditchburn — In the political honeymoon days for the Liberals following the 2015 election, CBC’s The National did a pretty cool TV experiment where they let individual Canadians interview Justin Trudeau. One of those interviews was done by a struggling worker from the London, ON area named Neil Piercey. Piercey told Trudeau that he had lost his […]

Indigenous rights aren’t a subplot of pipeline debate

Apr 11 2018 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Imagine if decades from now a student of Canadian political history is digging into the Kinder Morgan pipeline saga. What kind of picture would she get from scanning the news databases from April 2018? A frustrated project proponent, Kinder Morgan, puts the development of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on hold, amid a pitched jurisdictional […]

The coolest government org you’ve never heard of

Dec 28 2017 — Jennifer Ditchburn — Fart jokes are not quite the same when you hang out with the crowd at Policy Horizons, the federal government’s in-house strategic foresight think tank. It took me a while to figure out the lingo when I stopped by for a visit at its downtown Ottawa offices. (It turns out that “fart” — or rather […]

Go public and perish? Supporting the engaged scholar

Nov 27 2017 — Jennifer Ditchburn — As a front-line health care worker in Nova Scotia, Josephine Etowa noticed that what nursing schools were teaching students about evaluating a newborn’s health (did the baby have bluish skin? Or yellow skin, suggesting jaundice?) didn’t prepare them for the real world – which includes black mothers and their babies. Years later, the University of […]

Jagmeet Singh and the viral video Canada needed

Sep 11 2017 — Jennifer Ditchburn — In newsrooms, where I used to spend my time, there are some rare moments when you realize a particular story has penetrated the larger public awareness. Most of the time, things that reporters think everyone should care deeply about barely register in the real world. This becomes apparent at family gatherings or a kid’s sports […]