National Newswatch

The shadow of misogyny looms over new Parliament

Dec 1 2019 — Penny Collenette — When Jonathan Wilkinson, the recently appointed environment minister, was asked on CBC Radio’s As It Happens if he thought he would have an easier job in the portfolio as a man than former Minister Catherine McKenna, he answered that he “would love to say no — but I probably, in my heart-of-hearts say, yeah.”

A quieter PM emerges in aftermath of election

Nov 17 2019 — Penny Collenette — Justin Trudeau has never been the shy, retiring type. From his first national exposure when he gave the eulogy at his father’s funeral to his tenure as Canada’s prime minister, it’s clear he is a natural in the spotlight. Yet, it appears that Mr. Trudeau has changed since the October election. Gone are the photos […]

Minority government a chance for Trudeau to show leadership

Nov 3 2019 — Penny Collenette — Prime minister, this is your leadership moment. Indicating that he would “really reflect on how best to serve Canadians and work with other parties,” Justin Trudeau is prudently taking time to fashion a cabinet suited to a minority government; to reset his political priorities with an eye to a speech from the throne; to speak […]

Time for our political leaders to abandon the nastiness

Oct 20 2019 — Penny Collenette — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently noted that this election has been the “dirtiest, nastiest” campaign in Canadian history. Considering he had to wear a bulletproof vest at a recent rally, he may well be justified to make that assertion. Yet, the ugly tenor of the campaign should not have been a surprise to the leaders. […]

It’s 2019, where are the women?

Oct 6 2019 — Penny Collenette — Why was Elizabeth May, the only federal female leader who holds a seat in the House of Commons, excluded from the recent French language TVA/LCN language debate? And why did the other four leaders not object to her exclusion? Three of them describe themselves as feminists or at least progressives. Should they have refused to […]

Who will speak for Canada?

Sep 29 2019 — Penny Collenette — Recent warnings about increased Western alienation, rumblings about rising Bloc Québécois numbers and concerns about a minority government, may indicate stormy times ahead. An unstable federal government will not be helpful as Americans slip into a fractious presidential impeachment investigation and Britain rages over Brexit. Meanwhile, the world is facing unimaginable challenges with the pace […]

The necessary approach to national security oversight

Apr 28 2019 — Penny Collenette — The runway to this fall’s federal election is already portended to be divisive and nasty. Certainly, the attacks by the leaders on each other are heightening the rhetoric. Yet, surprisingly, in offices away from Parliament Hill, a historic, non-partisan Parliamentary committee on national security and intelligence oversight is working collaboratively. This unusual group, which includes […]

Yours to Discover: Welcome to Ford Nation

Apr 14 2019 — Penny Collenette — The runway to Ontario’s budget resembled a birthday bash for Doug Ford. He beamed with pleasure. He could not sleep the night before the transit announcement because he was so excited. His friends were gathered around. There weren’t balloons but there were slogans and stickers. It was pure marketing hype. Taking notes from the Donald […]

Unwelcome global spotlight shines on Canada

Mar 17 2019 — Penny Collenette — Despite focus on the upcoming federal budget, a pivot from the SNC-Lavalin (SNC) controversy is not yet in sight. If anything, the scope of the debate has recently widened, courtesy of an unusual press release from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its working group on bribery has publicly issued concerns about recent […]

Diplomatic challenges in an undiplomatic world — who do you trust?

Feb 3 2019 — Penny Collenette — If the art of traditional diplomacy hadn’t already faltered under the Trump administration, it was dealt a knockout blow when the president sarcastically called the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, “Little Rocket Man.” Megaphone diplomacy, where insults are hurled, has replaced serious negotiation and quiet discussion. Trump also thinks nothing of disagreeing with his […]