National Newswatch

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 […]

Ottawa right to call out China on ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy

Oct 19 2020 — John Ibbitson — Another day, another cheap threat from a Chinese diplomat. The Trudeau government sharply rebuked the official, but went no further, which was the right thing to do. “Wolf warrior” diplomacy, as it’s called, was on full display Thursday when China’s ambassador to Canada warned Ottawa against accepting pro-democracy dissidents fleeing Hong Kong in the wake […]

Freeland’s appointment completes the centralization of power in Trudeau’s office

Aug 18 2020 — John Ibbitson — When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Chrystia Freeland as the first woman to become Canada’s finance minister, he also advanced her prospects for becoming the first female leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. The appointment tells us something else. The centralization of power in the Prime Minister’s Office is now complete. Replacing Bill Morneau […]

Conservative Party rule seems impossible right now

Jul 2 2020 — John Ibbitson — The lacklustre race for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is further evidence of the impossibility of conservatism in our time. A confluence of health, economic and political crises has rendered the right irrelevant. When asked for answers to the challenges we face, conservatism is mute. Former senior Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay and […]

It’s uncomfortable and complex, but Canada’s border with the United States must reopen as soon as possible

Jun 4 2020 — John Ibbitson — Canada and the United States will almost certainly agree to keep the border between the countries closed beyond the current deadline of June 21. With the U.S. struggling to contain COVID-19, even as demonstrations rock American cities, some Canadians may wonder whether that border should reopen anytime soon. Yes it should. This country’s economic survival […]