National Newswatch

The hole that Gerry Butts leaves behind

Feb 18 2019 — Stephen Maher — The second act of l’affaire SNC-Lavalin could be devastating for Trudeau, and it’s not clear he’ll be better off without his trusted advisor. Last week, I wrote here that Justin Trudeau needed a fall guy to take the blame in l’affaire SNC-Lavalin. Today, we learned who that fall guy is: principal secretary Gerald Butts, a […]

The incredible miscalculation by Trudeau and co.

Feb 13 2019 — Stephen Maher — Former attorney general Peter MacKay told the Toronto Sun this week that the police should be called in to investigate the SNC-Lavalin affair, because someone may have obstructed justice. “When I was prosecuting cases, if a politician had ever called me up, I would have put down the phone and called the police,” said MacKay, […]

For access to the Ford government, two names matter most

Jan 30 2019 — Stephen Maher — During the frantic, successful campaign to make Doug Ford premier of Ontario last spring, the three men who were responsible for Ford’s messaging often told subordinates that they were like a “three-legged stool,” indivisible and in charge. Six months later, Dean French is chief of staff to Ford while Chris Froggatt and Kory Teneycke, the […]

The real bad news in Burnaby South might be for Andrew Scheer

Jan 17 2019 — Stephen Maher — Usually, nothing puts a spring in the step of the leader of the opposition like a scandal hitting the governing party. Voters tend to continue supporting whoever it is they voted for, at least until a government’s misdeeds accumulate, which means that is hard for an opposition leader to attract new supporters unless the government […]

Why Andrew Scheer is spouting nonsense about GM

Nov 30 2018 — Stephen Maher — You can make a reasonable-sounding political argument that Liberals in Ottawa and Toronto are to blame for General Motors’ announcement on Monday that it is closing its plant in Oshawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks about the middle class at every opportunity, but what did he do to save that plant? Nothing. He has ignored […]

Tony Clement and the breakdown in Ottawa

Nov 12 2018 — Stephen Maher — The MP was privy to Canada’s national security secrets, and his scandal has exposed a failure by all parties to take risks seriously. A couple of weeks ago, when I was out with friends at a Thai restaurant in Ottawa, two of the women at the table started sharing stories about Tony Clement’s very online […]

The real problem with David Frum debating Steve Bannon

Nov 2 2018 — Stephen Maher — The biggest problem with Friday’s Munk Debate isn’t Steve Bannon. It’s David Frum. If you accept, for the sake of argument, that it is wise to invite onto the beautiful stage at the Roy Thomson Hall a racist rabble rouser who can’t fill a conference room at the Topeka Holiday Inn Express, you ought to […]

Why is Saudi Arabia still getting Canadian-made weapons?

Oct 28 2018 — Stephen Maher — The sickening murder mystery that has been unspooling ever since Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is an excellent proof of Joseph Stalin’s maxim: One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic. Since 2015, when Shia rebels in Yemen revolted against the Saudi-backed government, thousands of civilians have been killed, […]

Who belongs in the party of Maxime Bernier?

Aug 23 2018 — Stephen Maher — You have to hand it to Maxime Bernier. I am skeptical as to how many seats his new party will ever win outside of his own ancestral fiedom in the Beauce, but when he took a blowtorch to the Conservative Party on Thursday, he did so with intellectually consistent arguments, presented vigorously, and there are […]

How Doug Ford could help us get electoral reform

Jun 5 2018 — Stephen Maher — As this goat rodeo of an election comes to its chaotic and dismaying conclusion, it looks like 39 per cent of Ontario voters are about to hand the Progressive Conservatives a majority in spite of that party’s sustained and surprisingly creative effort to demonstrate that it should not be trusted to run a tractor pull, […]

Justin Trudeau delivers a borderline rebuke of Donald Trump

May 16 2018 — Stephen Maher — Justin Trudeau came as close as he should ever come on Wednesday to denouncing Donald Trump. Standing at second base of Yankee Stadium—where the U.S. president has box seats—Trudeau spent 20 minutes telling the 2018 graduating class of New York University to embrace diversity, to reject nationalism. Young New Yorkers like Trudeau, seeing him as […]

RCMP officer asks Trudeau to look into secret spying allegations

May 15 2018 — Stephen Maher — The Trudeau government is refusing to respond to allegations that the RCMP used invasive techniques to eavesdrop on a Mountie while he was suing the force for bullying and harassment. Sgt. Peter Merrifield was told by a veteran RCMP officer that national headquarters ordered the secret investigation after information about the private life of former […]

Memo to Alberta: Get a grip

Apr 23 2018 — Stephen Maher — Sit down, Alberta. We need to talk. The other provinces are—I don’t know if worried is the right word—let’s say concerned. You don’t seem yourself. We get that you’ve been through a lot lately. Three years ago, the prime minister was an Albertan, your premier was a Progressive Conservative, there was no carbon tax and […]