National Newswatch

The toxic politics of pipelines just got even worse

Oct 10 2017 — Margaret Wente — Depending on who you listen to, the demise of Energy East – the pipeline that would have shipped western crude oil to eastern Canada – is either a triumph or a disaster. For politicians in Quebec and environmental groups across the country, it’s a triumph. “An enormous victory,” crowed Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal, […]

Justin Trudeau’s Thanksgiving turkeys

Oct 7 2017 — Margaret Wente — The best intentions often go awry. Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug. These days, Justin Trudeau must be feeling like the bug. Someone in his government even screwed up the Holocaust memorial. For some inexplicable reason the plaque for the new memorial in Ottawa, which opened […]

Mr. Trudeau’s government declares class warfare

Sep 5 2017 — Margaret Wente — Is your family doctor a wealthy tax cheat? I don’t think mine is. She strikes me as a dedicated, overworked person who is by no means overpaid. But Bill Morneau, our federal Finance Minister, is here to set you straight. His new proposals for small-business tax reform – which will hit a wide range of […]

Margaret Atwood is a NIMBY – and so are most of us

Sep 2 2017 — Margaret Wente — Margaret Atwood’s most famous dystopian novel features an evil fundamentalist regime that enslaves women. Perhaps her next one will feature an evil cabal of luxury condo developers, plotting to take over leafy old neighbourhoods and defile innocent trees. Ms. Atwood, who happens to live in Toronto’s leafy old Annex, is currently fighting an eight-storey condo […]

I’ve had it with the monument wars

Aug 28 2017 — Margaret Wente — The monument wars have gone viral. They started as a repudiation of white supremacy, as people began to protest all those statues to heroes of the U.S. Confederacy. But now, nobody is safe. Next in line is Christopher Columbus, the heroic explorer of my childhood, who sailed the ocean blue and opened the west to […]

The immense challenge of the Northwest Passage

Aug 22 2017 — Margaret Wente — It’s 5 a.m., and we are at the eastern entrance to Bellot Strait – the heart of the Northwest Passage. We’re waiting for the right moment to make the run to the other side. These waters are not for the faint-hearted. The strait is 20 nautical miles long and one mile wide, and the current […]

Nerdy guy writes memo; world has nervous breakdown

Aug 11 2017 — Margaret Wente — A few months ago, a nerdy young Google engineer went to one of the company’s diversity workshops, where he was skeptical about what he heard. So he gave himself a crash course in the science of sex differences, and wrote a 10-page memo that set out his thoughts. Last week, someone sent it to the […]

How biased are hiring decisions?

Aug 8 2017 — Margaret Wente — Unconscious bias is the invisible enemy of workplace diversity. So goes the conventional wisdom. Unconscious bias explains why the higher echelons of government and business are still so pale and male. It explains why women are still so woefully shortchanged in STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It explains why we need to move […]

Minimum wages: The small-town view

Aug 1 2017 — Margaret Wente — In the summer, I live near a pretty little village in rural Ontario. The quaint main street is lined with little shops and restaurants, a bakery and a terrific place that sells locally sourced food. There’s even a bookstore. All these places are labours of love for the proprietors. Most of them are marginal businesses […]

The monarchs are back (so are the bees)

Jul 25 2017 — Margaret Wente — A lot of people have stopped reading the news because they can’t stand it any more. So here’s a happy story for a change. The monarchs are back! Three weeks ago, I saw one alighting on a milkweed plant in our field in rural Ontario. Since then we’ve had almost daily sightings. What a relief. […]

Kathleen Wynne rises from the dead

Jul 17 2017 — Margaret Wente — I have a soft spot for Kathleen Wynne. I like Christy Clark and Rachel Notley, too. I don’t like all their policies, to put it mildly. But in the nasty game of politics, they stand out as smart, tenacious and decent. They are great examples of how to succeed – no gender quotas required. But […]

Justin Trudeau’s rotten two weeks

Jul 14 2017 — Margaret Wente — Just last week it was all going so well. Justin Trudeau was strutting the stage in Hamburg with the world’s top leaders. So tall, so trim, so respected! Nothing happened at the G20, but the images were great. Then came the Khadr settlement, which was supposed to be quick, clean and low-key, but turned out […]

Why are some gender activists denying science?

Jul 10 2017 — Margaret Wente — Last November, Kori Doty, a B.C. parent, gave birth to a baby named Searyl. Kori Doty, who has a mustache and light beard, identifies as a non-binary trans person – neither male nor female – who prefers to be called “they.” They want to raise the child as gender-neutral, and are fighting to omit the […]