National Newswatch

We need to rethink relations with China

Oct 8 2021 — Joe Oliver — Exhilaration and relief are subsiding following the two Michaels’ liberation from 1,020 days of inhumane imprisonment. They personally will have to cope with the psychological side effects for some time, in spite of their remarkable resilience. As a nation, we need to begin a hard-nosed rethink of our relationship with China, one consistent with our […]

Conservatives must persuade the electorate, not pander to the left

Sep 24 2021 — Joe Oliver — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s strategy to broaden the Tory base did not achieve the breakthrough he sought, so it is time for a deep rethink. Every progressive, and most of the mainstream commentariat, endlessly proclaim that the only road to victory for Conservatives is to embrace the values and policies of the centre-left. In their […]

Yes, a Tory minority could govern

Sep 16 2021 — Joe Oliver — Despite recent movement in the polls it’s still possible that when all the votes are counted Canada may have a minority Conservative government. The numbers are within the margin of error and the Tories tend to outperform poll predictions by a point or two. There is no possibility they would win a plurality of seats […]

Our bare-faced Teflon PM blunders merrily along

Jul 13 2021 — Joe Oliver — In May in these pages I wrote a column titled “Will Liberal failures and lapses never end?” Now as we near mid-summer, I’m sorry, but not surprised, to have to report: Not yet. New missteps appear every couple of weeks. In that column I focused on: the most profligate budget in Canadian history; the long-delayed […]

Will Liberal failures and lapses never end?

May 7 2021 — Joe Oliver — Will the Liberal government’s costly blunders and moral lapses never end? In the past few weeks Canadians have been subjected to assaults on their health, economic wellbeing and fundamental values. Yet by skillfully and cynically exploiting the pandemic, shifting blame to the provinces, claiming undeserved credit, never admitting fault and — especially — doling out […]

Progressive profligacy will bring prolonged pain

Apr 22 2021 — Joe Oliver — Sadly, it was predictable. Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland tabled a profligate, something-for-everyone budget, with scant attention to affordability, economic growth or intergenerational fairness. As I forecast in a recent column that it would, it contains “extravagant spending in the guise of investment, undeserved self-congratulation, wokeness on steroids, empty promises of fiscal rectitude and soak-the-rich […]

Waiting 25 months for Godot’s first pandemic budget

Mar 25 2021 — Joe Oliver — Last Friday marked two years since the last federal budget, the longest such gap ever, including during two world wars. So it is timely to consider the significance of the unprecedented delay, the parlous state of Canada’s finances and the possible content of the budget, all while waiting for Godot, who now apparently will show […]

Why devastating Texas power outages are unlikely in Ontario

Feb 23 2021 — Joe Oliver — A massive power outage in Texas during winter storm Uri produced state-wide shock and outrage. The electricity operator shut down more than a third of the grid, leaving up to four million people without power, with 30 deaths and economic damage estimated at US$18 billion. Bitter cold hiked demand for electricity and slashed the output […]

Trudeau paved the way for Biden’s rejection of Keystone

Jan 27 2021 — Joe Oliver — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a taste of his own medicine when on Inauguration Day, President Joe Biden dealt a body blow to the Canadian energy industry by cancelling the partly-built $8-billion Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. What Biden did to our country was hardly different from what Trudeau had inflicted on us before. And for […]

The slow arrival of vaccines is costing lives

Jan 7 2021 — Joe Oliver — The slow arrival of COVID-19 vaccines is the latest setback for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in confronting the biggest challenge of his political career. His overarching responsibility is to reduce the number of infections and mortality from the pandemic and mitigate its devastating impact on the economy. Tragically for the country, that delay extends the […]

Trudeau’s undermining of democratic traditions advances a socialist agenda

Dec 29 2020 — Joe Oliver — I would not lump Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with strongmen like Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Viktor Orban of Hungary or Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. They exploited the urgent need for government assistance caused by the pandemic to entrench executive power at the expense of personal freedom. Trudeau’s objectives aren’t that malign and Canadian […]

Should Canadians support a costly carbon tax?

Dec 15 2020 — Joe Oliver — Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he will hike the carbon tax over 10 years from $30 to $170 per tonne, just when a second COVID-19 wave is spiking and the economy is shuttered again, with terrible consequences for millions of Canadians, especially small business owners and their employees. Trudeau took that controversial action […]

Net-zero would be net-negative for Canadians

Dec 8 2020 — Joe Oliver — The long-heralded Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act sets out a radical target: remove or offset all manmade greenhouse gases by 2050. In spite of its vainglorious billing, Bill C-12 constitutes a betrayal of serious purpose to environmentalists, as well as a menacing assault on jobs and growth to economists, businesses owners and anyone else who cares […]

Down the rabbit hole we go

Dec 4 2020 — Joe Oliver — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Fall Economic Statement confirmed the Liberal government’s decisive move to the left. Hugely expensive social programs, another round of gigantic stimulus spending, a green revolution, endless deficits and vulnerability to credit downgrades will be the hallmarks of her tenure, resulting in a staggering $1.4 trillion debt in a few months and […]