National Newswatch

Trudeau to offer formal apology for LGBTQ persecution on Nov. 28

Nov 19 2017 — John Ibbitson — Justin Trudeau will rise in the House of Commons on Nov. 28 to offer a historic apology to Canadians who were criminally prosecuted or dismissed from the military or public service because they were gay. The Prime Minister’s apology is expected to be the most comprehensive ever offered by any national government for past persecution […]

Governor-General Payette jeopardized her neutrality with secular spiel to scientists

Nov 6 2017 — John Ibbitson — Julie Payette’s transgression is more serious than some suppose. In a speech last week, she celebrated secularism and science over faith and superstition in tones so derisive that the Conservative Leader protested and the Prime Minister rose to her defence, which only made things worse. In presenting herself as an enlightened governor-general, did Ms. Payette […]

Wildcards abound for Canada’s national parties

Sep 7 2017 — John Ibbitson — As Liberals and Conservatives hold caucus retreats this week and New Democrats prepare to vote for a new leader, all three national parties face challenges that will define their brands. All three confront, as well, a political wildcard that could upend everything. Because they are the governing party, barnacles were bound to accumulate on the […]

Russia to probe Canada’s aid to gay Chechens fleeing persecution

Sep 6 2017 — John Ibbitson — A Russian official has warned that if Canada violated Russian law by bringing homosexual Chechens to Canada as refugees, there will be consequences. Kirill Kalinin, who is a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Ottawa, said of the Canadian underground railroad operating in his country: “Any legal irregularities, if proven true, shall be duly investigated.” […]

How Canada has been secretly giving asylum to gay people in Chechnya fleeing persecution

Sep 1 2017 — John Ibbitson — For three months, the federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world. The evacuations, spearheaded by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, fall outside the conventions of international law and could further impair already tense relations between Russia and Canada. But the Liberal […]

Trudeau’s shuffle reveals two truths about Liberal cabinet

Aug 28 2017 — John Ibbitson — Monday’s cabinet shuffle reveals two weaknesses in the Trudeau government: an indifferent, if reasonably stable, front bench outside its core team of top performers, and a real problem in Alberta. An enfeebled ministry is typical of modern governments everywhere. The ever-accelerating pace of events concentrates power in the leader’s office. Justin Trudeau had promised a […]

Trudeau should quit while he’s still ahead on federal-provincial relations

Aug 19 2017 — John Ibbitson — Justin Trudeau has been remarkably successful in handling federal-provincial relations. To cement that legacy, he might want to consider losing the next election. Whoever is prime minister after 2019 could confront a far less co-operative collection of premiers, should Alberta and Ontario voters choose to elect conservative governments. History tells us that when those two […]

The fascists are mobilizing in Donald Trump’s name

Aug 14 2017 — John Ibbitson — Almost lost in the tumult of the last few weeks – the collapse of the effort to repeal Obamacare, chaotic hirings and firings in the White House, cascading revelations over Russiagate, the escalating crisis with North Korea, and now the horror of white supremacists injuring and allegedly killing people in Charlottesville – was news that […]