Mar 30 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Whenever the COVID-19 crisis is over, this will be the week likely to be remembered as when short-term hopes confronted the long-term reality. It wasn’t just Donald Trump over the weekend, adjusting his back-to-normal deadline well past Easter — though certainly that acknowledgment from the U.S. president would have hit home to many Americans.
Mar 25 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — As an early adopter of self-isolation, Justin Trudeau could choose to get out of his home as early as Thursday. But while public-health rules could set him free, political-communication rules will probably keep Canada’s prime minister grounded for at least a little while longer. How long? No one is saying.
Mar 24 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — The traditional distance between the government and opposition seats in the House of Commons is two swords’ length — roughly four metres — which just happens to be perfect for a Parliament sitting while the nation is in the midst of a pandemic. Political rivals, in other words, have been social distancing for centuries.
Mar 23 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — A Fox News host recently proclaimed Donald Trump the perfect U.S. president to take on this pandemic because “he’s a germaphobe who’s tough on China and is a border hawk.” Whether or not you agree with Fox’s Jesse Watters, it is true that the COVID-19 crisis threatens to bring out the inner Trump in all […]
Mar 19 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Carolyn Bennett, the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, is accustomed to being on call. For much of the first part of this year, Bennett was on standby, waiting to be called in to help negotiate an end to the Indigenous blockade crisis rocking the nation. But late in the evening of Wednesday, March 11, Bennett got […]
Mar 18 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Governments usually talk to their citizens through their wallets. But the immense package of relief that rolled out of Ottawa on Wednesday was aimed at Canadians’ nerves. Welcome to the working principles of the Canadian state under a global pandemic — peace, order, good government and anxiety relief.
Mar 12 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Ask not what the federal government is doing for you about the COVID-19 pandemic, but ask instead what you are doing to keep Canadians healthy. Justin Trudeau didn’t exactly borrow from John F. Kennedy’s immortal lines about civic responsibility at his news conference on Wednesday, but the prime minister also, very deliberately, cast the virus […]
Mar 10 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Life on Parliament Hill often resembles life on a cruise ship — hundreds of people from all corners, thrown together and forced to breathe the same air as they go through the rounds of scheduled activities. On Monday, the same day that Canada officially discouraged cruise travelling, the good ship House of Commons was similarly […]
Mar 8 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — A small, “not-again” shudder rippled through the federal political class over the past week when three Conservative leadership candidates said they were willing to tip the country into another election this fall. Peter MacKay, seen as a front-runner, tossed it out in a fundraising letter: “Canadians have lost faith in this government. Protests, shutdowns, economic […]
Mar 5 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Officially, Justin Trudeau doesn’t have any favourites in the U.S. Democratic race, but it’s a safe bet that the prime minister would be delighted if Joe Biden ended up as that party’s candidate for president. It was only a little over three years ago that Biden came to Ottawa and urged Trudeau to take up […]
Mar 2 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Voter turnout has been a good-news story in Canada for the past two federal elections, surging in 2015 and again last fall. But a closer look into that surge shows a marked difference in what was driving people to vote in the elections that led to Justin Trudeau’s first and second victories. It’s a tale […]
Mar 1 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Two months of rolling crises in Canada have been a challenge, to say the least, for the government. But all of the crises, in their own way, have been a powerful argument for the idea of government, too — specifically, that the state does have a role in the lives of Canadians.
Feb 26 2020 — Susan Delacourt — Toronto Star — Hope and fear are the most powerful emotions in politics. Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau hasn’t found himself in a position to dispense much of either through the past few crisis-laden weeks in Canada. If Canadians are feeling any slivers of hope right now about the state of federal politics, it’s mostly hope of the negative sort […]