National Newswatch

A lesson in valour from Juno Beach

Jun 9 2019 — Jaime Watt — On the Normandy coast, the few remaining brave veterans gathered, their numbers depleted by the unrelenting ravages of time. They were joined by politicians from every nook and cranny of our country, military brass, and serving soldiers, sailors and airwoman and men.

Give our democracy the TLC it deserves

Jun 2 2019 — Jaime Watt — As spring gives way to summer, so too will the predictable rhythm of governing in Ottawa and the ever-so-predictable antics of question period give way to the high-energy, much less predictable, winner-takes-all stakes of a federal campaign. And, as the parties’ planes and buses start their engines, commentators like me will surely lament that the […]

Trudeau trying to navigate uncharted digital waters

May 26 2019 — Jaime Watt — This week, as more than 25,000 tech execs and entrepreneurs from around the globe descended on Toronto for the Collision Conference, the parallels between Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada and the companies that define Silicon Valley, and (increasingly) Toronto and Montreal were striking. Both are largely founder-driven. Both are searching for organic growth, and […]

The gift of social media helped Trudeau, but it can also take away

May 19 2019 — Jaime Watt — When Justin Trudeau took the stage in October 2015 to celebrate the Liberals’ majority victory, he spoke of his party’s “positive vision,” for Canada. Their campaign, he said, had “defeated the idea that Canadians should be satisfied with less, that good enough is good enough and that better just isn’t possible … this is Canada, […]

Norman case another blow to Canada’s justice system

May 12 2019 — Jaime Watt — Another year, yet another unsuccessful highly public prosecution. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced a stay of charges against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, ending a four-year circus that took an untold toll on the reputation, finances and family of a career public servant with an otherwise unblemished reputation.

Lt.-Gov. Dowdeswell using her bully pulpit to better society

May 5 2019 — Jaime Watt — In the cut and thrust of the increasingly divisive and polarizing way politics are being practiced today, one of the most worrisome developments is the loss of the bully pulpit. In some ways an old-fashioned notion, today’s practitioners seem to have forgotten its power of moral suasion, to forge consensus, to truly lead.

Blue conservative wave keeps rolling across Canada

Apr 28 2019 — Jaime Watt — Each new provincial election brings more evidence that the wave of conservative victories across the country is turning into a tsunami. And with that, the inescapable conclusion that the Liberal brand is, if not in crisis, certainly not what it was on Election Day in October, 2015. Last Tuesday, Prince Edward Islanders not only elected […]

The fragile façade of Confederation

Apr 21 2019 — Jaime Watt — Just as it is for most people who do what I do for a living, our office is littered with television monitors tuned to a variety of news channels from around the world. And like it is for most of us, we become inured to the onslaught of images that come our way. Some real. […]

Will Trump ever face a tipping point?

Apr 14 2019 — Jaime Watt — Among watchers of the Trump White House, it has become this season’s party game to speculate whether the latest reason for outrage will be the final straw in this quixotic presidency — something akin in significance to Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, or the Supreme Court decision compelling Nixon to turn over Oval Office tapes. History […]

The true cost of SNC-Lavalin: 53 lost days

Mar 31 2019 — Jaime Watt — Although it may feel like ancient history, and remembered about as clearly, it was just last week that Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced the Liberal’s final, pre-election budget, a 460-page basket of goodies titled “Investing in the Middle Class.” A government’s last budget before an election is usually its most strategic, and effective, opportunity to […]

A theory on Justin Trudeau’s lack of contrition

Mar 10 2019 — Jaime Watt — How different this week could have been if Gerald Butts’ testimony was a springboard and not a trial balloon. On Wednesday morning, the prime minister’s former principal secretary, who is among his closest friends and confidants, did exactly what was required to change the arc of the story. He established himself as a credible and […]

Wilson-Raybould testimony nothing if not a Roman spectacle

Mar 3 2019 — Jaime Watt — On Wednesday afternoon, in an event that exceeded its considerable billing, Canada’s former attorney general and minister of justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, filled in many of the contours of Bob Fife’s early-February reporting that thrust the prime minister, his closest advisers, and the Liberal Party of Canada into a political firestorm. Her testimony was as astonishing […]

Facebook users not yet ready to walk away despite troubles

Feb 24 2019 — Jaime Watt — Not all that long ago, certainly in my lifetime, Ma Bell, as she was affectionately known, was a communications powerhouse; ever-present with an absolute monopoly over our American neighbours’ telephone service. By the 1980s the American Bell System — which spawned our very own Bell Canada — generated over $70 billion US in annual revenues […]