National Newswatch

This is what’s wrong with Canada’s Left

Jan 11 2019 — John Geddes — If you had to single out just one Liberal MP for being tuned in to the dangers of his party coming off as too big-city, sometimes a little elitist, Marc Serré would be a likely pick. Not only does Serré chair the party’s rural caucus—yes, the Liberals have a rural caucus—he boasts a family political […]

Canada’s most polarized voters really, really hate Trudeau

Jan 11 2019 — John Geddes — Maybe it’s the meanness of social media or the low bar set by Donald Trump, but politics—as Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer have both warned—is feeling nasty in the run-up to next fall’s election. Figuring out how many voters really fall into camps of mutual loathing, though, is tricky. After all, even loyal partisans are […]

How NAFTA was saved: The bitter fight and the final breakthrough

Oct 1 2018 — John Geddes — The trade agreement finalized in the late hours of Sept. 30 between Canada and the U.S. amounts to a triumph of the desire to do a deal over what often seemed to be irreconcilable differences. From the outset of these renegotiations, the dissonance between the tough-talking American rhetoric and the soft-pedaling Canadian tone made it […]

Why a federal #MeToo law won’t be enforced any time soon

Jul 31 2018 — John Geddes — With a series of loud detonations over the past few months, the #MeToo era arrived in Canadian politics. Allegations, investigations and insinuations of sexual harassment swirled. It all made the Liberal government’s push to pass new legislation covering harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces—including Parliament Hill—feel perfectly timed. Yet key details on how and […]

The Trudeau Liberals are failing to turn economic success into votes

Apr 8 2018 — John Geddes — Figuring out what was the most important part of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s third federal budget, delivered at the end of February, started out as a multiple-choice test without an obvious right answer. Was it the new parental benefit, designed to nudge dads to become more involved in taking care of babies, and thus encourage […]

How the Trudeau Liberals stumbled into a fight with religious groups

Feb 2 2018 — John Geddes — This can’t be the fight the Liberal government thought it was picking. Late last year, Employment and Social Development Canada posted an updated application form for the annual Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program on its website. It contained a new wrinkle: groups applying for funding would have to “attest” that their “core mandate” respects certain […]

Could the Trudeau government change Canada’s extradition law?

Jan 17 2018 — John Geddes — Back in Canada after being held for three years in a French prison on terrorism charges that were finally dropped for lack of evidence, Hassan Diab said today that he doesn’t want a penny in compensation for his ordeal, but asked for a review of the “lousy law” that saw him extradited to France in […]

Who is Michael Wolfson?

Dec 13 2017 — John Geddes — How a one-time draft dodger and longtime data guru landed at the centre of the small-business tax war, the bitterest policy scrap in Canadian politics in 2017. At about the midpoint of the 2015 federal election campaign, in an interview with CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, Justin Trudeau hinted that his Liberals were prepared to cut the […]

Andrew Scheer’s Everyman image won’t be enough to beat Justin Trudeau

Dec 13 2017 — John Geddes — Andrew Scheer leaves no room for doubt about how he hopes Canadian voters see him. On the night of his upset win last spring in the Conservative leadership race, Scheer derided Justin Trudeau’s Liberals as a club for “connected Ottawa insiders,” while touting his Tories as the party of, quite simply, “taxpayers.” More recently, in […]

Andrew Scheer of the suburbs vs Justin Trudeau and his throngs

Nov 15 2017 — John Geddes — The new Conservative ad that shows Andrew Scheer wandering through a suburban idyll—folks perched on freshly painted park benches hailing him, desirable three-bedroom backsplits in the background—gets across a lot in a succinct 30 seconds. “Conservatives want to see every Canadian prosper,” the Tory leader says, neatly summing up the message “I’m Andrew Scheer” is […]