National Newswatch

The COVID-19 pandemic will create winners and losers

Mar 30 2020 — John Ibbitson — When the pandemic subsides, priorities will change, creating winners and losers in both the private and public spheres. The losers could include schools and landlords, while incumbent politicians may emerge as winners. Canada’s reputation may emerge as a winner as well. Provincial governments spend about twice as much on health care – about 40 per […]

The politics of pandemics is grim news for Conservatives

Mar 19 2020 — John Ibbitson — Everything is political, even – especially – national emergencies. This is true of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left the federal Conservatives in desperate straits. This could change with time if the Liberals fail to deliver on their promise to protect Canadians from what could be a savage economic downturn. But it won’t be lost […]

Pay attention, Trump: Trudeau’s coronavirus response is a lesson in leadership

Mar 13 2020 — John Ibbitson — Those who crave efficiency sometimes complain about the cumbersome nature of Canadian federalism, with power divided between a relatively weak central government and strong provinces. Those critics should take note of how well the system is working during the coronavirus emergency. And the events of recent weeks prove another point: that in times of crisis, […]

Liberal impasse with Wet’suwet’en chiefs is a political opportunity for the Conservatives

Feb 21 2020 — John Ibbitson — As the Trudeau government struggles to resolve the impasse with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters over a gas pipeline, the federal Conservatives stand to reap the political benefit. Outgoing leader Andrew Scheer and front-running leadership candidates Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole are hammering their message: They support the elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs and the band […]

Andrew Scheer’s days are numbered

Nov 26 2019 — John Ibbitson — Leading the fractious Conservative Party of Canada is a challenge for any leader. Andrew Scheer does not appear up to that challenge. Within the party, people are asking whether he will step down now or draw out the agony until April’s leadership vote. Mr. Scheer’s supporters have good reason to be upset by this lack […]

Trudeau Liberals will turn on the spending taps to get, keep opposition support in minority parliament

Nov 17 2019 — John Ibbitson — Do you favour activist progressive government? Well you’re about to get one whether you like it or not. After cordial meetings with Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clearly has a green light to move on an agenda centred on fighting climate change, spending heavily […]

By skipping first debate, Trudeau gives rivals chance at warm-up round

Sep 13 2019 — John Ibbitson — While Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May fought for the title of Chief Progressive Alternative at the first leaders’ debate of this election campaign, Andrew Scheer focused on the phantom menace who wasn’t even in the room. The Maclean’s/Citytv national leaders’ debate, Thursday night, was defined by who wasn’t there: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. And the […]

With Parliament, the Ethics Commissioner and now the RCMP frustrated, Wilson-Raybould and Philpott must speak their truth

Sep 11 2019 — John Ibbitson — Did Justin Trudeau threaten to demote Jody Wilson-Raybould from the role of attorney-general unless she intervened to protect SNC-Lavalin from prosecution on corruption charges? The RCMP would like to know, and so would every Canadian. But this government refuses to release those involved from their oath of secrecy, frustrating the police inquiry and the public […]

Bernier’s vitriol toward Greta Thunberg showcases a wider trend of contempt by political figures

Sep 4 2019 — John Ibbitson — On Monday, Maxime Bernier sent out a string of tweets attacking Greta Thunberg, the student environmental activist. The leader of the new People’s Party seeks to bring to Canada a poison afflicting many democracies: the collapse of convention. That approach is working for politicians in other countries. We can only hope it fails here. Mr. […]