National Newswatch

Bill Morneau does the right thing two years too late

Oct 19 2017 — Tim Harper — “I don’t think I’ve been down here before,” Bill Morneau said as he strode to the podium Thursday afternoon, He was talking about a subterranean news conference room on Parliament Hill, but he might as well have been talking about his political fortunes. Morneau had been everywhere this week — Stouffville, Erinsville, and Markham, Ont., […]

Morneau walks himself into a political crisis

Oct 17 2017 — Tim Harper — There is nothing quite like the sight of opposition politicians circling when they smell political blood in the water. Particularly when the fish is as big as the federal finance minister. Tuesday, Bill Morneau swam away. It did nothing to slow the Commons feeding frenzy. This is not the way the Liberals envisioned celebrating Small […]

For the Trudeau Liberals, a mid-term malaise

Oct 10 2017 — Tim Harper — At mid-term, the Liberal government is stuck. A mid-term malaise is not rare, but no new government in recent memory had ascended to power with greater expectations than Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. Now, it needs to recast itself as the progressive government Canadians thought they had elected in 2015, or face significant political threats on both […]

Should Trudeau’s Liberals ask Trump for protection against missiles?

Oct 5 2017 — Tim Harper — When it comes to defending Canada from potential missile strikes, domestic politics has always muddied strategic defence considerations. Canadian sovereignty. Our role as “honest broker.’’ Our fear of sparking an arms race. Our relationship with the United States. And, more often than not, the popularity, or lack thereof, in Canada of the man in the […]

The danger of projecting our politics on professional athletes

Sep 27 2017 — Tim Harper — When Meryl Streep slammed Donald Trump’s bullying treatment of the physically challenged and immigrants last winter, she won acclaim for her courage and compassion. When Sidney Crosby said he was cool going to Trump’s White House as a Stanley Cup champion, he was vilified as a quisling who chose neutrality and aided and abetted the […]

On Trudeau’s tax reform, the well-heeled kick back

Sep 21 2017 — Tim Harper — On the eve of Parliament’s return, a quick drink with a prominent opponent of Justin Trudeau’s tax reforms brought consensus. It would be one of those political meteors, we decided. Canadians are not paying attention and the tax reforms controversy would burn out in a couple of days. A week later, we both have to […]

The NDP and the road back to relevance

Sep 17 2017 — Tim Harper — For federal New Democrats, this exercise is not about winning. Oh, there were lots of calls about winning in 2019 as leadership candidates delivered their final pitches here Sunday. First, they have to yet again find relevance. Loftier aspirations will have to wait. As online voting begins in the NDP leadership race Monday, it is […]

The long Liberal road to Indigenous reconciliation

Aug 29 2017 — Tim Harper — It was June 2015, and Justin Trudeau, then leader of the third party and struggling in the polls, made what was seen by many at the time as a rather impulsive promise. He quickly pledged to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that had been released that day by Justice Murray […]

Trump’s NAFTA bluster all about him, not us

Aug 27 2017 — Tim Harper — What do you do if you are the U.S. president and one of your major cities is under water? Well, you’d want to start your day promoting a book by a Milwaukee county sheriff who has called Black Lives Matter a hate group, is a known racial profiler and, naturally, a big Donald Trump supporter. […]

Is this the beginning of the end for Canada’s Rebel Media?

Aug 15 2017 — Tim Harper — These are (again) tough days for the Rebel Commander. But this time it feels different for Ezra Levant and his Rebel Media because the appalling scene which unfolded in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, threatens to wash away the house of sand his alternative media site is built upon. Levant this week disavowed the alt-right movement […]

Conservative hypocrisy more damaging than the message

Jul 25 2017 — Tim Harper — Let’s cast back a few years, to a long-forgotten episode in the life of the last Stephen Harper government. Tom Mulcair, then the country’s Opposition leader, landed in Washington for meetings, and in the course of his visit he outlined the NDP view of the Keystone XL pipeline. He told an American audience that his […]