National Newswatch

The dark clouds behind Singh’s sunny ways

Oct 19 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh has a fuzzy understanding of the right to self-determination. Either that, or the trained lawyer sees a political advantage in leaving his position on the right to secession, and the ease with which it can be exercised, open to interpretation as he courts Quebec and Sikh separatists in his […]

Bombardier’s surrender of C Series an act of desperation

Oct 18 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — The only surprise about Bombardier’s move to surrender control of the C Series to one or the other member of the planet’s big-airplane duopoly is that it took this long. During this nearly two-decade-long saga, the odds were always stacked against Bombardier. Its decision to try to take on Airbus and Boeing on their own […]

Tax fight puts crass politics ahead of sound economics

Sep 13 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — Pity the lowly Canadian doctor, the Rodney Dangerfield of highly-paid professionals. We used to think lawyers got a bad rap, what with an entire category of jokes devoted to their sleazy excuses for racking up billable hours. They’ve been replaced by doctors as the wealthy professionals Canadians love to resent. Not only have doctors come […]

Trudeau muddles the message to asylum seekers

Aug 28 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume has an uncanny knack for encapsulating the public mood. Not one for hopping on soap boxes, the diminutive three-term mayor of the provincial capital owes his ongoing popularity to an ability to express the concerns of average voters in language they understand. No virtue-signalling tweets from him. In fact, he’s […]

Singh complicates the NDP’s Quebec quandary

Jul 13 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — The turning point in the 2015 federal election campaign in Quebec came in mid-September, a month before voting day, when the Federal Court of Appeal struck down a Conservative government ban on face coverings at citizenship ceremonies. For New Democratic Leader Tom Mulcair, it was the moment of truth that ended his party’s long run […]

To burst Trudeau’s bubble, Conservatives need a sharper edge

May 25 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — The best thing that can be said about the Conservative leadership race is that Kevin O’Leary dropped out. The Tories can thank their reality-TV stars that they won’t be led by a blustery Trump-lite populist with a political best-before date destined to expire well before 2019. The Conservatives need serious and substantive leadership and Canadians […]

No more business as usual at Bombardier

May 10 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — The jury is proverbially out on whether family-owned corporations perform any worse than those without a genetically entitled controlling shareholder. Despite all the family empires felled by the so-called third-generation curse, others make it all the way to the century club. The third generation of Bronfmans vaporized its Seagram’s inheritance by ditching the booze business […]

Provinces should be wary of Quebec’s daycare model

Apr 17 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — Proponents of universal child care take it as an article of faith that subsidized daycare “more than pays for itself” in higher labour-market participation rates among women, and kids who are better equipped for learning when they reach school age. Despite study after study casting doubt on these assumptions, the universal-daycare lobby has largely succeeded […]

Is Maxime Bernier too principled to win Tory race?

Mar 20 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — You’ve got to hand it to Maxime Bernier. The Quebec MP became a laughingstock after his premature turn as foreign affairs minister under Stephen Harper ended because his then-girlfriend turned out to have ties to a motorcycle gang and access to his classified briefing notes. By Canadian standards, that should have been the end of […]

Tone-deaf Trudeau misses the notes in Quebec

Jan 23 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — There is a well-established language etiquette that’s taken hold in Quebec in recent decades. It came after a century or more of struggle and only once the fundamental balance of power shifted from the province’s anglophone minority to its francophone majority. This etiquette is based on a generosity of spirit. A francophone majority, secure in […]

Trudeau’s divide and conquer strategy pays off

Jan 2 2017 — Konrad Yakabuski — A year ago, I made a prediction that actually came true. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was still insouciantly snapping selfies, I suggested the “difficult arbitrages” he faced in doling out federal cash transfers would bring his honeymoon to an end by setting up a nasty clash with the provinces before 2016 was out. Whether […]

Diversity yes, but don’t expect big changes on Supreme Court

Aug 4 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — If Justin Trudeau wants Canadians to associate just one concept with his government, it would seem to be diversity. The Prime Minister talks about it endlessly, as if inclusiveness alone confers a degree of moral superiority on his administration that overrides considerations of merit or competence. Make no mistake, diversity is Canada’s strength. And it […]

Dirty or clean, politics drive cross-border energy deals

Jul 4 2016 — Konrad Yakabuski — The U.S. President who infamously opposed one form of cross-border energy infrastructure is putting his weight behind another. But will Barack Obama’s support for more cross-border electricity transmission links rescue provincially owned utilities from the deep holes they’ve dug by spending billions on new hydro projects amid a flooded North American power market? The goal […]