National Newswatch

Trudeau’s loyalties may be undercutting his hopes for a return to majority government

Jun 25 2021 — John Ibbitson — Recent polls have Jagmeet Singh’s NDP doing relatively well and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals likely still short of a majority government, despite the government’s solid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? The answer might lie in Mr. Trudeau’s loyalty to his friends. To everything there is a season, and we are entering the season of horse-race […]

Questioning government policy on China is not fomenting racism, Prime Minister

May 31 2021 — John Ibbitson — Last week, Conservative MP Candice Bergen asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau why scientists at the Winnipeg infectious-diseases laboratory had been collaborating with Chinese military scientists. Two Canadian scientists have been fired from the lab, so Ms. Bergen’s question was reasonable. Mr. Trudeau’s response was not. “The rise in anti-Asian racism we have been seeing over […]

Will the Conservatives follow O’Toole’s path to balance?

Apr 17 2021 — John Ibbitson — Erin O’Toole moved on two fronts this week to convince middle-class suburban voters in Ontario and British Columbia that his Conservative Party offers a credible alternative to the Liberals. The question is whether his own party will follow him. Reaction to the Tories’ new framework for fighting global warming has been largely positive among environmental […]

Erin O’Toole has a long way to go to prove he’s ready to be PM

Mar 6 2021 — John Ibbitson — Anyone involved in Canadian politics knows that being leader of the Official Opposition is hard, and that growing the fractious Conservative coalition is even harder. That doesn’t change the fact that Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole needs to do a better job. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are vulnerable. Canada’s performance in acquiring vaccines has been mediocre at […]

It’s absurd to conflate support for Tories with white nationalism – but Liberals will try

Jan 11 2021 — John Ibbitson — The Trudeau government is investigating whether the extreme right-wing group the Proud Boys should be declared a terrorist organization. That is a legal decision. But there’s politics in it as well. The Liberals are trying to discomfit Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives by linking the party to extremists. On the Proud Boys, “officials will be analyzing useful […]

Justin Trudeau puts hopes in Michael Sabia to cement his legacy with generation-defining infrastructure

Dec 7 2020 — John Ibbitson — Michael Sabia, who has instantly become the most powerful public servant in Ottawa, will advise Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on the rollout of the green infrastructure plan for the 2021 budget. That plan will involve far more than spending on windmills and public transit. Mr. Sabia, who is joining the Department of Finance as deputy […]

Liberal economic statement an act of deception

Dec 2 2020 — John Ibbitson — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s fall economic statement is an act of deception – or maybe self-deception. While this Liberal government promises to invest up to $100-billion over three years in stimulus, to move toward a new national child-care system and “national, universal pharmacare,” and to launch major new initiatives to fight climate change, combat systemic […]