National Newswatch

Why China isn’t an excuse for climate inaction

Jun 6 2023 — Max Fawcett — Canada’s conservatives have spent decades denying the fundamental scientific reality of climate change and disputing the central role human activity plays in creating and exacerbating it. But as those arguments became increasingly untenable with the public, they’ve had to retreat to attacking the proposed solutions for it, most notably carbon pricing. Now, it seems, they’ve […]

David Johnston is the right man for the wrong time

May 29 2023 — Max Fawcett — You almost have to feel sorry for David Johnston. After a lifetime of esteemed public service and achievement, which includes long stints at the head of key post-secondary institutions and a term as governor general, he’s now being dragged through the filthiest partisan mud for his role as Canada’s “special rapporteur” on foreign interference in […]

How the PBO is fuelling opposition to Canada’s climate policies

May 24 2023 — Max Fawcett — Stephen Harper is, without question, one of his generation’s sharpest political minds. But even he couldn’t have foreseen the Parliamentary Budget Officer role he created as part of his 2006 Federal Accountability Act would play a leading role in undermining support for climate policy in Canada in 2023. After all, its stated mission revolved around […]

Conservative outrage over Canada’s modernized passports is just more culture war chaos

May 15 2023 — Max Fawcett — Remember when the Canadian passport was just a boring government document? Yeah, me neither. Barely a year after processing backlogs and lineups at government offices turned them into a political hot potato, passports are back in the headlines thanks to a long-running redesign process that has culture war conservatives outraged over the changes. In other […]

This time, Danielle Smith is her own lake of fire

May 11 2023 — Max Fawcett — From the outset of Alberta’s provincial election campaign, the United Conservative Party’s strategy has been clear: hide the leader and hope for the best. That included not letting journalists ask Danielle Smith any followup questions and keeping her as far away as possible from their prying eyes and ears. For a little while, it looked […]

Rachel Notley is Alberta’s real progressive conservative

May 4 2023 — Max Fawcett — Peter Lougheed was Alberta’s 10th premier, the creator of its Heritage Savings Trust Fund, and the architect of a four-decade political dynasty that would see his Alberta Progressive Conservatives win 12 consecutive elections, most of them in a walk. He went to war with Pierre Trudeau, helped defeat the National Energy Program, and fought effectively […]

The uncomfortable truth about Alberta’s emissions cap

May 2 2023 — Max Fawcett — Truth and honesty are rare commodities in politics, and even more so when an election is in the offing. But when it comes to the pledges from the oil and gas industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, senior members of Alberta’s United Conservative Party government are in the process of offering up a long-overdue confession: […]

Pierre Poilievre wins a battle in his war against the truth

Apr 18 2023 — Max Fawcett — Score one for Pierre Poilievre. After tattling on the CBC to Elon Musk, who apparently spent $44 billion to become the world’s most powerful digital hall monitor, he notched a victory when the public broadcaster’s main Twitter account was tagged with the same label Twitter has recently stuck on the BBC, PBS and other public […]

The Liberals are losing the carbon tax communication war

Apr 4 2023 — Max Fawcett — Live by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, die by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. When it comes to the carbon tax and rebate, that’s a lesson the Liberal government is learning right now. It’s a lesson it personally invited, too. After using the PBO’s previous analysis, which said eight out of 10 Canadians get more back in […]

How Take Back Alberta is taking over the United Conservative Party

Mar 30 2023 — Max Fawcett — It took more than five years, two leadership races and one ongoing RCMP investigation, but there’s finally a clear winner in the 2017 merger between the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta. With Finance Minister Travis Toews announcing he won’t run in this May’s election and Danielle Smith ensconced as premier, the […]

Young people are about to get screwed by the budget — again

Mar 28 2023 — Max Fawcett — The days leading up to a federal budget are a feeding frenzy of op-eds, public statements and other interventions aimed at convincing the government of the day to support the policy preferences of dozens of different groups and organizations. This year has been no different, with everyone from oil and gas companies and clean energy […]

The Han Dong story may be more complicated than it looks

Mar 27 2023 — Max Fawcett — For most of his three-plus years in Parliament, Han Dong has been one of the dozens of mostly anonymous backbench MPs. Given what’s happened over the last few weeks, the representative for Don Valley North probably would have preferred it remain that way. But now, after he was accused in a Global News story of […]

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