National Newswatch

Peacekeeping myths and nostalgia die a quiet death under the Liberals

Nov 16 2017 — Tim Harper — When the federal Liberals released their own report card this week, they left out an important category. Had they included spinning broken promises, they would have earned an A+. That grade would have to be given for their peacekeeping announcement in Vancouver this week. It was a pledge built on the realization that technology and […]

To become known to voters, Scheer and Singh take different paths

Nov 9 2017 — Tim Harper — When voters head to the polls in four federal by-elections next month, Jagmeet Singh’s name will not be on offer in any of them. The new NDP leader says he is quite comfortable without a seat in the House of Commons. Meanwhile, another recently-minted federal leader, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, has been handed a series […]

Stephen Harper’s trade analysis is flawed but not fatal

Oct 31 2017 — Tim Harper — Stephen Harper as NAFTA bogeyman? Unpatriotic Canadian? No and no. But the former prime minister as trade guru? Definitely no. The drive-by smearing of Justin Trudeau and the government’s performance in the ongoing and excruciatingly difficult tripartite trade talks is vintage Harper, a reminder of his view on all things Liberal and his track record […]

A push for pension protection a legacy of Sears injustice

Oct 26 2017 — Tim Harper — We live in a time when our outrage daily bubbles and boils. And just as quickly we move on, taking aim at the next indignation. Which makes the enduring disgust over the treatment of Sears workers in this country so remarkable. It has proved to be enduring. Now, there are those seeking to surf that […]

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 […]