National Newswatch

A new Ford in the showroom window?

May 15 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Sneers ran through political insider circles this week, when it was revealed that Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford’s campaign team had so little confidence in him they demanded he could take cheat sheets with him to the debate. This must have stung Ontario’s deeply insecure premier. Like Donald Trump, Ford’s deepest angst is being viewed […]

Is an ‘abortion election’ looming in Canada?

May 8 2022 — Robin V. Sears — The stunning leak of the draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would endanger women’s right to choose bears reflection by Canadians. The news that the U.S. court might overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing the constitutional right to abortion was not surprising. That it leaked more than a month before […]

Where did Canada’s famed civility go?

May 1 2022 — Robin V. Sears — At the beginning of this century, former senator Hugh Segal — one of the few politicians with genuine friendships across all party lines — made a plea. He called it “In Defence of Civility,” a book published in 2000. Segal is the classic Red Tory, fiscally somewhat conservative, socially somewhat liberal, always courteous. His plea […]

We need to rebuild respect between politicians and public servants

Apr 24 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Former Ontario premier Bill Davis expressed astonishment with his usual restraint, saying only, “My goodness!” We were discussing changes in the province since he entered politics more than half a century ago. Our conversation was part of a large transition project that Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had commissioned to prepare a detailed plan for […]

Myanmar, the other nation being pounded by Russian military hardware, also needs international aid

Apr 17 2022 — Robin V. Sears — There were civilians only months ago. Now, these young activist soldiers have fled the cities for the countryside, where after scant military training they face the brutality of Russian attack helicopters, MiG fighter jets and heavy artillery. No, these courageous soldiers are not Ukrainians — they are citizens of Myanmar. In February, the acting president […]

Canada faces great challenges. We needs more independent, creative policy thinkers to address them

Apr 3 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Canada faces policy challenges today that are broader and more complex than perhaps ever in our history. Several are well-known: climate, health care and the next contagion, sliding productivity and widening inequality. Each will be expensive to tackle, and all will require great creativity to address. In the U.S., the U.K. and Europe much of […]

Liberal-NDP agreement is a sign of political maturity, in line with other advanced democracies

Mar 27 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Nearly all of the advanced democracies are governed by more than one party. The two notable exceptions are Canada and our troubled political neighbour. Most democracies concluded long ago that sharing power between two or more parties delivers more carefully considered policy, quickly and effectively. The Bloc and Tory hysteria at the NDP-Liberal agreement is […]

Ottawa is backsliding on refugees. We cannot return to the contemptible policies of our past

Mar 13 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Canada’s nakedly racist immigration policies are not ancient history. It was only in the 1970s that they were finally wound down as policy, though the colour blindness of some immigration officials was never believable. The department is currently under investigation for allegations of years of systemic racism. Canada had a racist screening system that was […]

Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine: No Deal with the Devil

Mar 11 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Many of the world’s foreign affairs pundit class – and some in the Canadian contingent – seem trapped in a time warp. Before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, they tut-tutted about how the West and NATO should not have provoked Putin into threatening his invasion, by welcoming new members 25 years ago. Within days of […]

The situation in Ottawa shows our police governance is broken

Feb 20 2022 — Robin V. Sears — Sandy Smallwood resigned in disgust just hours before Mayor Jim Watson’s coup seizing control of the Ottawa Police Services Board, stuffing it with his tame councillors. One of Canada’s most respected police oversight veterans and vice chair of the board, Smallwood said, “The police governance model is set up for failure. And I think what […]