National Newswatch

Frustrated Albertans want to see Jason Kenney get very aggressive, very quickly

Apr 24 2019 — John Ivison — The anger was to be expected; the hurt, less so. A new study of public opinion in Alberta by communications firm Navigator, based on eight post-election focus groups, suggests Albertans want premier-designate Jason Kenney to get very aggressive very quickly when it comes to taking on the federal government, environmentalists, intransigent provinces and anyone else […]

Scandal-plagued Liberals lagging in electoral preparedness

Apr 23 2019 — John Ivison — Political predictions are generally lucky or wrong. Anyone handicapping the 2015 Canadian election six months out might have given short odds on the Conservatives, who were eight points clear of the Liberals and 12 ahead of the NDP at the end of April. But those poll numbers masked deep unhappiness with the Harper government and […]

What Jason Kenney’s election in Alberta means for Justin Trudeau

Apr 17 2019 — John Ivison — Jason Kenney saved his vitriolic interventions in the Alberta election campaign for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rather than his opponent, NDP Premier Rachel Notley. This made sense — political attacks rarely work when the target is more popular than source and many voters held Notley in greater esteem than Kenney. But there was an edge […]

By resigning, Jane Philpott teaches Trudeau what doing politics differently really means

Mar 4 2019 — John Ivison — Jane Philpott just gave Justin Trudeau a lesson in doing politics differently. Resigning from cabinet on a matter of principle is so old-fashioned it evokes images of monocles, pocket watches and top hats. For many career politicians, their occupation is a substitute for a private life. They have accomplished little beyond politics and cannot contemplate […]

Wilson-Raybould’s convincing testimony may cost Trudeau his job

Feb 27 2019 — John Ivison — Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony was so much worse than the opposition could have hoped, or the government might have feared. Justin Trudeau has been hoist by his own petard, and it may cost him his job. Trudeau appointed as justice minister someone who said she is a “truth-teller,” an Indigenous person who said she has witnessed […]

The Liberals already had a plan B for SNC Lavalin, so why did they even bother risking a scandal?

Feb 25 2019 — John Ivison — There is no calm for the Liberals as the storm of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s upcoming appearance at the justice committee rumbles towards them. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons Monday he has waived solicitor-client privilege, freeing the former justice minister to talk about “relevant matters” as long as she does not touch on […]

Tough talk from a man with nothing to lose

Feb 21 2019 — John Ivison — Michael Wernick wandered into the justice committee like a sun-struck madman and gave real answers to the questions he was asked by MPs not used to such transparency. After two weeks of politicians citing “solicitor-client privilege” in the SNC Lavalin case, we finally got somewhere. The public service generally operates on the principle that if […]

Trudeau calms his MPs, but Wilson-Raybould is still threatening to ‘speak my truth’

Feb 20 2019 — John Ivison — The self-preservation instinct has kicked in for members of the governing Liberal party. Prior to the regular caucus meeting Wednesday, MPs warned darkly of a potential riot by unhappy backbenchers. But after former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould addressed the weekly gathering, MPs emerged to proclaim themselves satisfied with the situation. “It was immensely respectful,” said […]