National Newswatch

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 […]

Justin Trudeau is going to have to buy himself a pipeline

Apr 13 2018 — Stephen Maher — As a practical matter, I don’t know whether it is good policy for Canada to invest billions of dollars in a bitumen pipeline, but as a political matter, I don’t see that we have much choice. The Alberta-British Columbia pipeline dispute is a Gordian knot, and there is no way to cut it, so Justin […]

Why it’s finally time to crack down on Facebook

Apr 10 2018 — Stephen Maher — Mark Zuckerberg is sorry again. The founder of Facebook—which had revenue of $40 billion last year based, thanks to its two billion regular monthly users—will humble himself, a giant on his knees, when he apologizes to a congressional committee today in his first ever appearance in front of lawmakers. Facebook, he will say, has allowed […]

A stumbling Singh could be Trudeau’s saviour

Apr 1 2018 — Stephen Maher — It was good to see NDP MP Charlie Angus up on his feet asking Justin Trudeau nasty questions this week and to watch the prime minister responding blandly to those questions, because it was good to see both teams with their best players on the ice. Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have had a great winter, but […]

Is it time to change up Team Trudeau?

Mar 9 2018 — Stephen Maher — The PM can’t afford more sloppy mistakes and he may not be getting the stern warnings he needs to rein in his worst impulses. On Feb. 6, the sneering British gasbag Piers Morgan wrote a column for the Daily Mail—the world’s biggest English language online newspaper—in which he mocked Justin Trudeau for a comment he […]

The last hours of Patrick Brown’s leadership

Feb 27 2018 — Stephen Maher — At 4:24 PM on Jan. 24, Glen McGregor, politics correspondent for CTV National News, emailed the assistant of Alykhan Velshi, chief of staff to Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown. McGregor, a hard-nosed veteran of the parliamentary press gallery, had often crossed paths with Velshi when Velshi was working for Stephen Harper. In Ottawa fashion, […]

Inside the explosive Conservative Party fight over Rick Dykstra

Feb 2 2018 — Stephen Maher — During the 2015 election campaign, Stephen Harper’s top aides exchanged tense emails about sexual assault allegations against MP Rick Dykstra, documents obtained by Maclean’s reveal. Dykstra was allowed to remain as a candidate over the objections of campaign manager Jenni Byrne, who angrily referred in an email to the sexual assault allegation against him. Dykstra, […]

The cautionary tale of Kellie Leitch

Jan 24 2018 — Stephen Maher — Today is a good day to wish Kellie Leitch all the best in her medical career and thank our lucky stars that her political career is ending with a whimper. Leitch, the pediatric surgeon who ran a populist campaign in the 2017 Conservative leadership race, announced on Wednesday that she is going back to healing […]

Justin Trudeau should read the Charter of Rights

Jan 20 2018 — Stephen Maher — The Liberals are choosing to play politics with summer camp funding, and taking a stupid legal risk in the process. At the Southern Alberta Bible Camp, on the shores of the Travers Reservoir, every summer kids canoe, sail, do arts and crafts and connect with their personal saviour. The camp’s mission statement “is to see […]

Trump’s presidency is the death rattle of a racist world view

Jan 16 2018 — Stephen Maher — The morning after Donald Trump said that the United States was getting too many immigrants from “shithole” countries, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs sent out a tweet to soothe hurt feelings: “The United States will continue to robustly, enthusiastically and forcefully engage in #Africa, promoting this vital relationship, and to listen […]