National Newswatch

Gerald Butts testimony further ensures SNC-Lavalin mess will loom over Liberals till election day

Mar 6 2019 — John Ibbitson — At one level, Gerald Butts’s testimony before the House justice committee Wednesday was irrelevant. You either believe Jody Wilson-Raybould’s allegation that, as attorney-general, she was improperly pressed to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, or you believe the government’s defence that she’s wrong. At another level, the testimony of the former principal secretary to Justin […]

Brand Trudeau is not what it used to be

Feb 1 2019 — John Ibbitson — The 2019 election is shaping up to be a referendum on Justin Trudeau’s leadership, which is odd. After only a few years in power, the Prime Minister should not be such a polarizing figure that this fall’s vote is All About Him. Stephen Harper successfully skated through three elections before he was faced with a […]

Rising populism threatens LGBTQ in West and around the world

Dec 28 2018 — John Ibbitson — In Poland two months ago, more than 200 schools planning to hold a “Rainbow Friday” to promote tolerance for sexual minorities had to cancel the event, under orders from the increasingly authoritarian government’s Minister of Education. In the United States, as part of the Trump administration’s attack on transgender rights, the Department of Health and […]

The border just became an election issue

Nov 29 2018 — John Ibbitson — The problem of people crossing the Canada-U.S. border illegally and then seeking asylum just became a bigger headache for the Liberals, one they emphatically do not need less than a year before the next election. The situation at the border appeared to be improving. In 2017, more than 20,000 asylum-seekers crossed illegally into Canada from […]

Maxime Bernier goes to a dark place

Nov 12 2018 — John Ibbitson — Maxime Bernier wants to win the Canadian Trump vote. In a speech on Saturday at a conference hosted by the right-wing Rebel Media in Calgary, the leader of the new People’s Party of Canada questioned the science of climate change, pilloried the United Nations and insisted immigrants to Canada must embrace “Western civilization values.”

2019 federal election could be biggest brawl since 1988. Then: free trade. Now: climate change

Aug 28 2018 — John Ibbitson — The Conservative Party should forget about Maxime Bernier and concentrate on what matters: preparing for the first issue-based election in three decades. In most elections, voters either choose Leader X to mind the store, or Leader Y to bring change. But every now and then, there’s an issue election. Issue-based elections are fought more fiercely, […]

It’s time for the Trudeau government to move past its errors and post some wins in foreign policy

Aug 13 2018 — John Ibbitson — The painful confrontation with Saudi Arabia is yet another example of the continuity-of-error that defines much of this Liberal government’s approach to Canada in the world. “It’s a sad tale of unfulfilled promises and possibilities left unexplored and amateurish stumbling about,” says Daryl Copeland, a foreign policy analyst who spent three decades as a diplomat […]

Can Scheer take advantage of Trudeau’s troubles?

Aug 3 2018 — John Ibbitson — Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government faces a battle royale with provincial premiers that could leave Andrew Scheer the last one standing. Except that Mr. Scheer isn’t able to explain why he wants to be prime minister. The Conservative Leader needs to answer that question, if he is to capitalize on Mr. Trudeau’s travails. After a decade […]