National Newswatch

The Trudeau government promised to help Canadians balance their family and work lives. Navdeep Bains’s departure shows how hard that is to accomplish

Jan 14 2021 — Lori Turnbull — Earlier this week, there was a small but significant cabinet shuffle, triggered by Navdeep Bains’s decision to leave politics. His departure comes at a pivotal moment for the government and the country. As Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, he was poised to make an impact on Canada’s economic growth strategy in the months and […]

Maintaining Confidence in the Convention of Confidence

Dec 19 2020 — Lori Turnbull — On November 30, 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland delivered a long-awaited fiscal update to a skeptical House of Commons. In her statement, she proposed a range of measures aimed at economic stabilization and recovery in the short, medium, and long terms, including $100 billion in stimulus spending, extensions of the […]

The Politics of Prorogation

Sep 4 2020 — Lori Turnbull — During the COVID-19 lockdown, the political landscape was far less adversarial than usual. Governments announced financial aid packages and emergency measures, usually with the support of opposition parties, and political conflicts were generally put on hold as the country was focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19. The WE controversy brought a somewhat abrupt end […]

The Trudeau government faces a crisis of confidence

Aug 18 2020 — Lori Turnbull — Back in 2015, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party ran on an ambitious platform that promised to do government differently. They proposed a fresh, modern take on what they defined as antiquated institutions: cabinet, the Senate, the electoral system and the appointments process. The Liberals would go on to win a majority government, and in those early […]

The threat WE poses to Justin Trudeau and his office

Aug 1 2020 — Lori Turnbull — June 25 may have been a little more than a month ago, but it feels like a year has passed. That’s the day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, amid the pandemic, announced that WE Charity would administer a federal grant program designed to connect students with paid volunteer opportunities. That’s also when the alarm bells started […]

The Jody Wilson-Raybould tape highlights only that there are no heroes here

Mar 30 2019 — Lori Turnbull — n the latest development in the controversy around SNC-Lavalin that is captivating political watchers in Ottawa and beyond, we now have text messages and other files submitted by Jody Wilson-Raybould to the justice committee, including a recorded phone call between the former minister of justice and attorney-general, and Michael Wernick, the soon-to-be former Clerk of […]

In Ottawa politics, there’s pressure … and then there’s ‘pressure’

Feb 22 2019 — Lori Turnbull — In his testimony before the standing committee on justice and human rights, Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick gave us the clearest, most comprehensive account yet of what allegedly transpired behind closed doors between former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Prime Minister’s Office, SNC-Lavalin and Mr. Wernick himself. Canadian politics has been gripped for weeks […]

Gerald Butts is trying to be a martyr. Voters are smarter than that

Feb 18 2019 — Lori Turnbull — In the latest development in the story involving the Prime Minister’s Office, Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin, Gerald Butts has resigned. This is big news but not totally unexpected, given the magnitude of the political crisis. Someone had to go. In his departing statement via Twitter, the principal secretary to the Prime Minister denied that he […]

Why did the MP cross the floor? Opportunism or ideology

Sep 18 2018 — Lori Turnbull — Leona Alleslev just became Canada’s newest floor-crosser, giving federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer the best day he’s had since he won the leadership. A rookie MP representing Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, Ms. Alleslev came out swinging hard against her former colleagues in the Liberal government, voicing her deep concern for the country and criticizing the government’s […]

Is Rana Sarkar worth his salary?

Aug 23 2017 — Lori Turnbull — Earlier this month, the federal government announced a number of diplomatic appointments, including that of Rana Sarkar as the consul-general for San Francisco. Though the announcement didn’t exactly dominate the news at the time, Mr. Sarkar’s appointment made headlines this week due to the heft of his salary: He will earn between $221,300 and $260,000, […]

The MMIW inquiry is not doomed to failure

Jul 12 2017 — Lori Turnbull — This week, Marilyn Poitras announced her resignation as one of the five commissioners on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This is not the first resignation from the inquiry since its launch in September, 2016. Ms. Poitras explained that she felt unable to perform her duties as a commissioner “with […]