National Newswatch

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 […]

Honouring Rona Ambrose, the House’s tireless worker

Nov 16 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — Rona Ambrose has heard all the stories her mother tells about how when her small daughter had only just mastered solid ground, she would scale door frames, scramble up walls and even find her way to the roof. “She just went crazy, because I would get up on top of things and just had no […]

Ottawa drops the hammer on carbon pricing. Now what?

Oct 17 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — One of Stephen Harper’s most consistent messages on climate change was that it made no sense for Canada to act alone. This country would be happy to be part of the solution when and if other nations did something, the former prime minister argued, but he would not put Canada’s oil and gas industry at […]

Jason Kenney on Kellie Leitch’s values test

Sep 29 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — ‘I don’t think she’s ever thought deeply about these questions,’ Kenney says of former cabinet colleague Leitch. Q: You’ve made a few pointed comments about Kellie Leitch’s immigrant values test proposal. With your cabinet experience, what’s your take on the screening people have to go through? Is there a problem she’s perceiving that needs to […]

Being Sacha Trudeau

Sep 8 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — When Alexandre Trudeau was in high school, a TV crew showed up one day to ask students their opinions on a political issue; he thinks it was the Meech Lake accord, but he can’t quite remember. Trudeau hadn’t been much in the public eye since he was a child—he was 10 years old when his […]

Selling a prime minister: The marketing of Justin Trudeau

Aug 11 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — When marketers are sorting out how to position a consumer product so you’ll want to buy it, one of the first questions they consider is whether they’re dealing with a dominant brand or a challenger. A dominant brand is the undisputed giant in a category, to the point that it almost occupies the generic role […]

Women in politics: We’re not as equal as we think we are

Jul 31 2016 — Shannon Proudfoot — One day when Penny Collenette was director of appointments for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, her executive assistant slunk into her office clutching a list. “You’re not going to like this,” she said. Collenette looked at it: 18 people recommended for an advisory group on a sensitive public policy issue. All of them were men.