National Newswatch

Trudeau screwing down message and intentions

Jun 4 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — When the late Jim Flaherty was the Harper government’s finance minister, and ticked off at the prime minister for occasionally muting his message, he used to curse “the kids in short pants” in the Prime Minister’s Office for being control freaks. It’s an old line. Former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, seen lately at the […]

Thanks, Mike, the cheque’s in the mail!

May 29 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — If there were any justice in the entitled world of the Senate, retired Liberal Senator Mac Harb, and Tory Senator Pamela Wallin, would be cutting cheques to Mike Duffy to put towards his legal fees. They owe him more than just a cheap bottle of plonk for being short-strawed and therefore the first and only […]

Sophie could learn from the Greatest Generation

May 19 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — When my mother was approaching her final days, the fact she was a war veteran allowed her to be moved straightaway into a long-term care facility. It was an unexpected entitlement that, if not for her local MP asking the question, would not have crossed our minds. It took our family days to come up […]

It’s OK now, Stockwell Day, all’s forgiven

May 15 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — Maybe Justin Trudeau is starting to get it, although it could be a case of premature evaluation. There was a certain wisdom, for sure, in staying away from Alberta when wildfires were their fiercest, gobbling up parts of Fort McMurray and forcing the city’s evacuation. “I think we are all aware that a prime minister […]

Justin Trudeau now a Kardashian-like spinoff

Apr 28 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — To get to the prime minister’s office in the Langevin Block, you enter the front door off Wellington Street, pass through security, climb the stairs to the second floor, and walk to the west end of the building. It’s the last office. The edifice itself was named after Hector-Louis Langevin, one of the Fathers of […]

These are the ‘good old days’ for Trudeau Liberals

Apr 20 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — If the Trudeau Liberals think the “good old days” lie ahead, they should slay their soothsayer. This is it. This is as good as it’s going to get. It is now six months and two days since Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister, shocking even those who voted for him when he came up with […]

The sucker call of ‘free’ Liberal party membership

Apr 10 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — A little “free” advice for the Millennial Generation, the obvious target in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent announcement to end his party’s members-only club of card-carrying dues payers: Don’t be suckered in. The Liberals, like all political parties, do not really want the hoi polloi of any age sticking their noses too deeply into policy, […]

Mulcair should survive, but not for long

Apr 6 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — Despite the fact Thomas Mulcair blew the election campaign, and was unable to make inroads with a very populist and compelling back story, the NDP will not be unloading him this weekend as their leader. They should, just not yet. There is still time before the next federal election to turn the page on Mulcair […]

Senate Stink Redux still fails the sniff test

Mar 31 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — Throughout the federal election, particularly when the Ol’ Duff was taking a grilling in Courtroom 33, an enraptured media, its union’s anti-Harper stance well documented, took every opportunity to reference the added stink emanating from the Senate. Canadians needed to be reminded that 30 greedy senators stood accused by Auditor General Michael Ferguson of inappropriate […]

Small town waits for the Godot of Syrian refugees

Mar 20 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — When the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach last September, the picture of him lying face down in the sand galvanized international attention on the Syrian refugee crisis like nothing else. If the Syrian refugee situation needed a marketing tool, and Liberal politicians needed a gut-twisting compassion component for their […]

If financing rail safety has no optics, is it worth it?

Mar 13 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — When Lisa Raitt was sworn in as Minister of Transport in the summer of 2013, it was less than two weeks after Lac Megantic, the oil train disaster that killed 47 people in a horrific inferno that all but razed the Quebec town. It was a daunting baptism into a new portfolio. To say that […]

Scott Brison and his magical deficit money tree

Mar 6 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — When the Trudeau Liberals bring down their first budget on March 22, artfully dodging the Ides of March by a week, the most powerful person in cabinet will ultimately be Treasury Board President Scott Brison. He will become the go-to money man, and no dosh can be dished out to any MP’s list of wishes, […]

Trudeau’s definition of Canadian is not mine

Mar 3 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” Justin Trudeau said on the road to becoming prime minister. It’s pretentious nonsense, of course. When I think of a Canadian, and the struggle to adapt in a new land, I think of the humble abode now standing derelict in a southern Saskatchewan wheat field as a […]

Bilingualism a barrier to millennials entering public service

Feb 28 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — To listen to Treasury Board President Scott Brison, if not for the toxic environment inflicted on the nation’s capital by the very Harperites he crossed the floor to escape, the federal civil service would have no problem attracting millennials into its ranks. Instead, the federal bureaucracy, and there are a quarter-million of them across the […]

Woodstock, conservatives and Bill Morneau

Feb 25 2016 — Mark Bonokoski — The annual Manning Centre conference, which still likes to tout itself as the “Woodstock for Canadian conservatives,” kicks off here today with a wide slate of speakers and panelists. The time has come, however, for organizers to think of a new billing, and I say this as someone who tried in vain to make it […]