National Newswatch

Canadians are primed for some Trump-style populism

May 16 2019 — Shannon Proudfoot — Half of Canadian voters hold opinions that might make populism appealing to them, a new poll from Earnscliffe Strategy Group shows, and while Canadian populists lean distinctly to the right, they are not alienated outsiders but rather highly motivated politics watchers. In the report, the lobbying firm cautions that “in order to avoid unnecessary hysteria,” […]

The playing field is tilted against Jody Wilson-Raybould

Mar 5 2019 — Shannon Proudfoot — Each time something new drops into public view on the Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin affair, it seems to render the present version of the story virtually unrecognizable from that of the previous day or week. The former attorney general’s cooly thunderous testimony before the House of Commons justice committee last week had been arguably the […]

Jody Wilson-Raybould on her exit as justice minister

Jan 14 2019 — Shannon Proudfoot — Right after an unexpectedly eventful cabinet shuffle on Monday morning, the newly sworn-in Minister of Veterans Affairs, Jody Wilson-Raybould—who was replaced as justice minister and attorney general by David Lametti—spoke to reporters about her new post. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his newly tweaked cabinet took questions outside Rideau Hall on a January […]

This is what’s wrong with Canada’s Right

Jan 11 2019 — Shannon Proudfoot — During Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leadership race last winter, Bill Fox donated to Caroline Mulroney’s campaign. The party immediately began carpet-bombing him with fundraising messages denouncing the “downtown elites” they were going to take down. “When you live in a condominium in Leslieville at the corner of Dundas and Carlaw, it’s pretty hard not to take […]

Andrew Scheer’s choose-your-own-adventure for 2019

Dec 17 2018 — Shannon Proudfoot — Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books, where you’d read a chunk of narration starring you, then decide on a course of action and turn to the corresponding page to find out what happened next? Here is one for the Andrew Scheer of 2019: You are a Canadian politician who is plenty experienced but still […]

Nathan Cullen: The 2018 Parliamentarian of the Year

Nov 6 2018 — Shannon Proudfoot — Once in a while, in the home stretch of a speech in the House of Commons, Nathan Cullen will start to feel the themes from the beginning of his remarks effortlessly circle back to him. It feels less like he’s making that happen than simply witnessing it. “You’re sort of becoming an observer, watching the […]

Justin Trudeau on populism, the trouble with grand gestures and fear

Sep 18 2018 — Shannon Proudfoot — In a world roiled by Trumps and Fords, polarized electorates and often-toxic public discourse, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meditated on the nature of democracy and the reasons for its seeming fragility at the moment, in an interview on Monday. Trudeau sat down for an hour-long interview with senior writer Paul Wells for the Maclean’s Live […]

Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways won in 2015. Can his brand survive?

Jul 31 2018 — Shannon Proudfoot — President Donald Trump had already vamoosed early from the G7 summit in early June when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in front of a “Charlevoix” backdrop emblazoned with the silhouettes of an unmistakably Canadian Shield forest. It would be “with regret, but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness” that Canada would soon enact […]

Kathleen Wynne can feel your pain

May 24 2018 — Shannon Proudfoot — Kathleen Wynne has an interesting theory about the job of a politician. A few hours after dissolving the 41st Parliament of Ontario to launch her re-election campaign, she was discussing how she processes the public animosity toward her. She’s talked to thousands of people in her career, she says, and there are very few who […]

Why won’t anyone quit the Tory leadership race?

Mar 10 2017 — Shannon Proudfoot — There’s a low-grade peevishness in the air, as though everyone is sweating through their shirts at an overcrowded cocktail party where they’re positive everyone else has overstayed their welcome. At this point, the most relevant question hovering over the Conservative leadership race may not be about policy, future direction or winnability—none of which anyone can […]

Calm in the storm: The rise and rise of Ahmed Hussen

Feb 16 2017 — Shannon Proudfoot — It was the second week of the Trump administration, and the second consecutive Sunday the Prime Minister’s staff spent grinding it out in the office. President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries had just taken effect, stranding hundreds at airports, held back by customs officials who barely understood their marching orders. Furious protesters […]

Rona Ambrose, the Conservative ringmaster

Feb 9 2017 — Shannon Proudfoot — A couple of Rona Ambrose’s staff members emerge from the inner office of the Leader of the Opposition’s suite in Centre Block, fanning themselves and complaining it’s “like a sauna.” A few minutes later, a window has been propped open—with a scrap of wood, because the century-old panel won’t stay up on its own—to admit […]

Canada’s opposition parties seek leaders—and meaning

Dec 12 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — The Conservative and NDP leadership races, through to the end of 2016, were looking a bit like a bad art-house film: muddied plotlines, no recognizable names and an interminable running time. But in 2017, these races are all but guaranteed to heat up because the two parties find themselves in quite similar and somewhat dire […]