National Newswatch

‘Do not underestimate Erin O’Toole’

Nov 17 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — So, as I was flipping through the day’s news to write up this newsletter, I read my colleague Paul Wells’s column about how Erin O’Toole has gone extremely to ground, even with an attempted public knifing in the offing by Senator Denise Batters, who has publicly petitioned for a leadership review. Paul traces the similarities […]

How to make an entire country furious

Oct 6 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — Hyperbole and a Half is a slyly brilliant web comic in which author Allie Brosh uses manic, deliberately crude drawings to dismantle ordinary human experiences into shards of genius and madness. In one, she laid out the “sneaky hate spiral,” a toddler-level total meltdown that otherwise reasonable adults fall into from time to time. “Sneaky […]

The election that disappointed everyone

Sep 21 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — No one got what they wanted on Monday. Not Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who set all of this into motion for the obvious reason that he wanted a majority government, no matter how many times he claimed it was really because the electorate deserved to have a say in how the country emerged from the […]

The working class has had enough

Sep 14 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — How a once undervalued, ignored and politically silent group is fighting back. From Maggie’s vantage point behind the cash register at a chain grocery store in a small British Columbia city, the first several months of the pandemic were frantic oblivion; most customers rushing the picked-over shelves didn’t seem to notice the employees, unless it […]

Gerald Butts on the election so far: ‘A tie game with a lot of hockey left to play’

Sep 3 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — Shortly before the TVA leaders’ debate on Thursday evening, Maclean’s talked to Gerald Butts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former principal secretary and a key architect of the 2015 and 2019 Liberal campaigns. Now vice chairman and senior advisor to the Eurasia Group, Butts talked about whether he really is sitting on the sidelines, illusory public […]

Who’s really got Ottawa’s ear?

Apr 14 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — Last May, in what we now know was merely the opening chapter of the pandemic, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) posted one of the high-level help wanted ads that regularly go up on the federal government’s procurement website. ISED was seeking someone to analyze “key strategic industrial sectors,” model the impacts of COVID-19 for […]

A promise to Michael

Jan 13 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — Vina Nadjibulla and other family members have been waging a seemingly impossible fight to free her husband from a Chinese prison. After two torturous years, what does Canada owe ‘the two Michaels’? Michael Kovrig walks at least 7,000 steps a day in laps of his cell, along with doing push-ups and planks and practising yoga […]

Don’t fear the social conservatives

Feb 6 2020 — Shannon Proudfoot — The organized SoCon wing looms large over the Tory leadership race. A new report suggests it would tolerate a moderate leader. Televised political panels, almost always set up as a one-of-each-Skittles-colour partisan array, are often chippy, but it’s rare for them to descend into overt schoolyard baiting, as a recent edition of CBC’s Power & […]