National Newswatch

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 […]

The dawn of an Ottawa-Ontario battle like none other

Jul 9 2018 — John Ibbitson — The photograph on Doug Ford’s Facebook page of last week’s meeting with Justin Trudeau said it all. On one side of the table sits the new Ontario Premier and his aides, grinning confidently. On the other side, the Prime Minister and his aides look seriously unimpressed. Brace yourself for a chapter like no other in […]

Tory by-election landslide in Quebec more than a local race

Jun 19 2018 — John Ibbitson — Yes, the Conservatives had a popular hockey coach as candidate, but their thumping of the Liberals in Chicoutimi-Le Ford, Monday night, should worry the Grits. Canadian voters are not rallying to the Liberals in solidarity as Justin Trudeau confronts Donald Trump over tariffs and trade. If that confrontation damages the economy, watch out. Next year […]