National Newswatch

Five takeaways from a very cautious 2021 Throne Speech

Nov 23 2021 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Nothing to see here, folks. Well. Nothing surprising, anyway. While Speeches from the Throne are sometimes used to announce major new initiatives, that was not the case on Tuesday, as Liberals previewed their priorities for the new Parliament. We saw, instead, the repetition of promises from a couple of months ago, and statements of values […]

Who won the leaders debate? Everyone, and no one

Sep 14 2021 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The polling consensus is a shrug emoji. The running assumption, as neck-and-neck frontrunners lay out their final arguments, is still that this election could go any which way. Another piece of collective wisdom, with six days left in the campaign, is that last week’s debates must’ve had a favourable impact on the Liberal Party effort. […]

The war inside the Canadian Armed Forces

Jul 8 2021 — Marie-Danielle Smith — In the wake of multiple exits by senior leaders after untested allegations of misconduct, fixing its badly broken justice system is now the most important mission facing the beleaguered military It had been four months since the end of an investigation into a man she alleges was sexually harassing her. No charges had been laid.

This should be the NDP’s moment to shine. So, why isn’t it?

Nov 11 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — With an economic and health crisis raging and a progressive movement growing, NDP support should be on the rise, but it’s not. It’s time for Jagmeet Singh to draw his battle lines. They have a charismatic leader with good favourability ratings, an on-trend TikTok account and no history of ethical snafus. Their headline policies have […]

WE is leaving. The Liberals’ troubles are not.

Sep 11 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — After months of political controversy around the defunct Canada Summer Student Grants program, WE Charity announced this week it would shutter its Canadian operations. Citing the pandemic’s disruptions to its programming and “political battles and misinformation that a charity is ill-equipped to fight,” WE Charity said it is ending operations in Canada and selling its […]

Prime Minister, how much broccoli did your family eat? In detail!

Jul 30 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — It was the moment they’d all been waiting for, some of them with cackling anticipation, some of them with dismay, some of them stuck on “mute”: The first-ever testimony of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a parliamentary committee. Trudeau and his opponents were, as always, worlds apart. To him, his family’s dealings with a charitable […]

Three key takeaways from Justin Trudeau’s testimony

Jul 30 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The much-anticipated questioning of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his chief of staff, Katie Telford, finally played out on the country’s laptop screens and televisions Thursday afternoon. It was MPs’ first opportunity to grill Trudeau on an ethics scandal during his five years as Prime Minister. They would be able to hear him explain, in […]

Five takeaways from the Kielburgers’ testimony

Jul 28 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — There were no tough questions on the name of the charity itself, which could understandably cause confusion in how to read particular statements: “We (WE?) regret that WE (we?) didn’t recognize how this decision would be perceived.” Or: “WE (we?) wish that we (WE?) had never answered the phone.” But WE, and we, as it […]

60 MPs urge sanctions against Chinese officials

Jul 14 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Quoting Canada’s foreign minister as part of their justification, 62 MPs, four senators, a former House of Commons speaker and more than 20 community groups have signed a letter urging the government impose Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials. Organized by the Alliance Canada Hong Kong (ACHK), the letter made public on Tuesday morning asks Prime […]

Justin Trudeau is not the same. Let’s start with that hair.

May 7 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — The nation has already reckoned with the beard. The beard—to some a harbinger of a more-serious style of governance, or a more-mature prime minister, and to others just a goddamned beard—is here to stay. The beardless Justin Trudeau had been a Justin Trudeau of hope and colourful socks. A politician of close shaves, on his […]