National Newswatch

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 […]

Seven-staffer army: Communications and the convoy commission

Nov 23 2022 — Paul Wells — Daniel Sanger’s 2021 book Saving the City: The Challenge of Transforming a Modern Metropolis is a history of Projet Montréal, the left-ecologist municipal political party that has governed Montreal since 2017. Sanger, a good reporter for many years, was a key participant in Projet Montréal’s success. Near the end he describes the arrival of a […]

Poilievre, Alberta and opioids: update

Nov 20 2022 — Paul Wells — Today Pierre Poilievre posted this Twitter video about opioid policy. The argument in the video is that British Columbia and Alberta are pursuing very different policies on opioids. As it happens, I wrote a detailed rebuttal of this argument last week. Since he’s pressing on with the argument, I’m going to re-share the rebuttal. And […]

The choice: Freeland and Poilievre on the economy

Nov 4 2022 — Paul Wells — Two families, both alike in dignity. Chrystia Freeland delivered her fall economic statement to the House of Commons on Thursday. Pierre Poilievre gave a keynote speech to the Empire Club in Toronto. Of course one of them couldn’t resist talking about cryptocurrencies. Although if you think you know which, you might be surprised. I have […]

Sloly Was In Trouble

Oct 29 2022 — Paul Wells — In Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s 2019 novel Fleishman Is In Trouble, which will soon be a miniseries starring Jesse Eisenberg and Claire Danes, most of the novel is about Toby Fleishman, a young physician, reeling after his estranged wife Rachel drops their children off at his place and vanishes. The kids cramp his style as a born-again […]

Have you summoned a Ford lately?

Oct 25 2022 — Paul Wells — It’s cops all the way down this week at the Public Order Emergency Commission over on Wellington St. I spent the morning listening to the testimony of Steve Bell, the Ottawa Police Service’s interim chief. To give you a sense of how unsettled things have been at the OPS, it’s worth recalling that Bell replaced […]

At Ottawa city hall, a convoy of solitudes

Oct 18 2022 — Paul Wells — As a warm-up act for one of the main attractions at the big convoy commission down on Wellington Street, you could do worse than Steve Kanellakos and Serge Arpin. First because the two Ottawa municipal officials have clout: Kanellakos is the city manager, essentially its top-ranking bureaucrat, and Arpin is the mayor’s chief of staff, […]

Who’s talking when Freeland is talking?

Oct 12 2022 — Paul Wells — In 2016 I started to notice increasing divergence between what Canada’s foreign minister was saying about Ukraine and what Chrystia Freeland was saying. So I got Freeland on the phone and she said a bunch of stuff the then-foreign minister, Stéphane Dion, would not have said. Soon enough Dion was not the foreign minister. It’s […]

Legault, Trudeau and what’s next

Oct 1 2022 — Paul Wells — A big Legault majority with a Montreal-shaped hole in it. François Legault and the Coalition Avenir Québec (centre-right, suburban populist) are going to win big. Poll analyst Philippe J. Fournier says they’re on track to win 92 seats, the biggest majority since Robert Bourassa’s comeback in 1985. This is mostly a trick of the electoral […]