National Newswatch

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 […]

A productive solution to the Senator Lynn Beyak problem

Jan 11 2018 — Stephen Maher — Thanks to Stephen Harper, who appointed her in 2013, taxpayers have no choice but to pay the bills of Senator Lynn Beyak until 2024, when she turns 75. Given that we must pick up her cheques, it seems to me we ought to make use of her. Since there is no constitutional mechanism for forcing […]

The Aga Khan trip and a glimpse into Trudeau’s bad judgement

Dec 27 2017 — Stephen Maher — Taking a billionaire’s hospitality is so obviously wrong, it makes you wonder: What else is the PM messing up? I have often tried to imagine the conversations that took place before Justin Trudeau and his senior officials when the prime minister was planning his family’s Christmas last year. Trudeau: “Well, I’ve decided that I’m going […]

Marc Emery was right; Julian Fantino was wrong

Dec 18 2017 — Stephen Maher — In September 2011, Conservative MP and former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino stood in the House of Commons to urge MPs to vote for the Conservatives’ Safe Streets and Communities Act, which, among other things, increased mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences, including six months for possessing six plants.