National Newswatch

The elements of Marc Garneau

Mar 14 2023 — Paul Wells — He was trained to admit every error. Then he went into politics. A feature interview with the retiring MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount. When you resign your seat in the House of Commons, you get to keep your phone for 90 days. The deadlines for cleaning out your offices on Parliament Hill and in your riding are […]

A quite romantic vision: Peter Herrndorf, 1940-2023

Feb 18 2023 — Paul Wells — The notion that Canada constitutes a community whose attributes extend beyond its tax rate, its weather forecasts and the latest ledger of offences inflicted and endured has always rallied too many detractors and too few champions. The champions took a heavy loss overnight when Peter Herrndorf, one of the people I admired most in this […]

How we make health care – Welcome to clandestine federalism

Jan 23 2023 — Paul Wells — In hindsight, we should have known the serious talks began as soon as everyone started saying they were over. On Nov. 8, federal health minister Jean-Yves Duclos met his provincial counterparts in Vancouver for the first in-person meeting of federal and provincial health ministers since 2018. The meeting collapsed in acrimony. Provincial premiers blamed Duclos […]

The warning Michael Ferguson said Ottawa’s culture had to change. Things got worse.

Jan 16 2023 — Paul Wells — You’re forgiven if you haven’t heard that the Government Operations committee of the House of Commons will be investigating the Trudeau government’s increasing use of private consulting firms, including McKinsey & Co., in deciding government strategy and figuring out how to deliver programs. My piece here two weeks ago was part of a smattering of […]

Morneau on Trudeau: “sorely lacking”

Jan 7 2023 — Paul Wells — Chronic weaknesses in the Liberal government weren’t fixed, the former finance minister says in a new book, and Canada’s prosperity suffered. Justin Trudeau’s “management and interpersonal communication abilities were sorely lacking,” former finance minister Bill Morneau writes in a new book. Lingering challenges were “not managed on a daily basis at the highest level.” The […]

Shine a brighter light on contract government

Jan 4 2023 — Paul Wells — From Radio-Canada, and not yet translated into English at this hour, comes news that the Trudeau Liberals have paid 30 times as much to the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company as the Harper Conservatives did, even though the Liberals have so far spent less time in office than the Conservatives did. That’s $2.2 million […]

Upheaval at the National Gallery of Canada – Unions and a former director say Canada’s flagship art museum is in deep trouble

Nov 29 2022 — Paul Wells — Two unions representing four-fifths of the National Gallery of Canada’s employees wrote to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez in early November expressing alarm at the art museum’s management culture. The unions’ letter had already been sent before four experienced senior managers were dismissed on Nov. 18, a source familiar with the unionized employees’ concerns says. And […]