National Newswatch

Chrystia Freeland, warrior princess

Oct 2 2018 — Margaret Wente — Chrystia Freeland doesn’t take herself too seriously. Two weeks ago, she landed in Washington for another round of tough NAFTA negotiations. She wore a white T-shirt that her kids had given her. On the back it said: “Keep Calm and Negotiate NAFTA.” On the front it said: “Mama ≠ Chopped Liver.” Indeed she’s not. The […]

The downside of legalization: More potheads

Sep 29 2018 — Margaret Wente — I’ve known a couple of serious potheads in my time. They were not the amiable slackers of popular imagination. They did a lot of damage to the folks around them. One was a guy in his 20s who preferred to lie around smoking weed all day than go to work. Needless to say, he found […]

Doug Ford and the Charter: Don’t have a cow, man

Sep 14 2018 — Margaret Wente — The notwithstanding clause – that clause in the Charter the allows a government to legislate in spite of (“notwithstanding”) certain other clauses in the Charter – is one of the great fault lines in Canadian society. Some people believe that it should almost never be invoked, because mere political interests should not be able to […]

The Trans Mountain ruling was a fiasco

Sep 5 2018 — Margaret Wente — Just two days before the devastating Federal Court of Appeal’s decision last week that cast the Trans Mountain pipeline project into limbo, the federal minister of natural resources was sure that all was well. “We are very confident that we have done extensive consultation,” Amarjeet Sohi told the Calgary Herald’s Chris Varcoe. “We went beyond […]

How Maxime Bernier could play the role of spoiler

Aug 28 2018 — Margaret Wente — There are losers, and then there are sore losers. Maxime Bernier is the second kind. He’s always acted as if it was he who should have won the leadership race last year. He came so close! Andrew Scheer edged him out because Mr. Scheer was everybody’s second choice. Mr. Scheer is a colourless, diligent consensus-builder […]

Who’s playing identity politics? Everyone

Aug 17 2018 — Margaret Wente — Maxime Bernier’s controversial tweets are stirring up a storm. Just a few days before the Conservative Party policy convention begins next week, he wants everyone to pay attention to him. He’s trying to remind people that they should have made him leader of the party, instead of that nebbish, Andrew Scheer. In Mr. Bernier’s view, […]

Canada is right to stand up for Samar Badawi

Aug 8 2018 — Margaret Wente — Samar Badawi, 37, is an extraordinary woman with the courage of a lion. She fights for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most repressive regime in the world. She took her own father to court for refusing to allow her to marry the man she chose. He took her to court for disobedience – […]

The conservative case for a guaranteed income

Aug 3 2018 — Margaret Wente — Nothing could be less surprising than the Ford government’s decision to scrap Ontario’s universal basic-income pilot project. As liberals and anti-poverty groups reel in horror, Doug Ford supporters are cheering lustily. They think it’s ridiculous to pay people money with no strings attached, so that they can sit around drinking beer on the taxpayers’ dime. […]

Doug Ford is right about Toronto

Jul 30 2018 — Margaret Wente — I am sorry to report that last week barbarians sacked my city. Democracy as we know it lies in ruins. It says so in all the papers and on the CBC. The chief of the barbarians is Doug Ford, Ontario’s new Premier. Last week he decided – without consultation! – to cut the number of […]

Mr. Trudeau’s ‘negative interaction’

Jul 3 2018 — Margaret Wente — Selective amnesia can be handy. When confronted with some awkward incident, you can always claim you don’t remember. Memory loss enables you to cast doubt on whether the incident happened at all, without having to actually lie about it. It allows you to evade responsibility for circumstances you really do not want to explain. But […]

Gun fight at the O.K. Trade Corral

Jun 29 2018 — Margaret Wente — Payback time starts on Canada Day. That’s the day we get our own back on Donald Trump. That’s when we impose retaliatory tariffs on a raft of American imports – everything from steel to gherkins and Kentucky bourbon. That is our response to the ridiculous and punitive tariffs that President Trump has slapped on our […]

The dazzling deceit of big marijuana

Jun 22 2018 — Margaret Wente — Alex MacDonald is a grizzled old pothead. He has a cough from 50 years of smoking dope. He used to be a dealer, too, though he hasn’t done that for years. Today he remains a faithful consumer and a close student of the industry. He thinks a lot of the hype around legalization is ridiculous.

Donald Trump has finally made us mad. Really mad

Jun 12 2018 — Margaret Wente — We Canadians are a peaceable lot. But Donald Trump has finally made us mad. He came to Canada for the weekend, arrived late, left early … and slagged us on the way out the door. He called our Prime Minister “very dishonest and weak” and said he “acts hurt when called out.”That is not the […]

The barbarian has stormed Ontario’s gates

Jun 8 2018 — Margaret Wente — My Annex friends in Toronto are quaking in their Birkenstocks. Somehow they survived a Ford as mayor. But how will they survive a Ford as premier? Their objections to Doug Ford are, to some extent, class-based. They are secretly convinced that many of the millions of people who voted for him are ignoramuses. Or, as […]