National Newswatch

The national ripple effect of a western pipeline fight

Feb 20 2018 — Tim Harper — The pipeline battle between British Columbia and Alberta cannot be confined to western Canada. There are national ramifications to this unseemly trade war that bear close scrutiny from all Canadians. Monday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he would take Alberta to dispute settlement under the Canadian free trade agreement because Premier Rachel Notley has banned […]

Streamlined environmental approval rules do not purge politics from the process

Feb 8 2018 — Tim Harper — Thursday’s dawn brought more foreboding to the country’s climate change agenda. Ontario’s opposition Progressive Conservatives formally ditched support for a carbon tax. Pipeline battle lines between British Columbia and Alberta remained firmly drawn. And, oh my, Jason Kenney, a prospective Alberta premier and carbon tax opponent, was lurking in the corridors of Parliament Hill.

Brace yourself for the return of Brian Mulroney and his legacy

Feb 6 2018 — Tim Harper — Caroline Mulroney says the most important political advice she received was from her father. “Listen to me, and listen to me carefully,” he told her. “Your riding is big. Drive safe.” Well, there you have it. Brian Mulroney, concerned dad. A dad first and foremost, says his daughter. The former prime minister is a lot […]

The challenges mount for Andrew Scheer

Feb 1 2018 — Tim Harper — There must be days when Andrew Scheer longs for his robes and his official residence at Kingsmere. When the Conservative leader needs to be focused on becoming known to Canadians — a tough chore for an opposition leader outside an election cycle — the former Commons Speaker is being haunted by ghosts of politics past. […]

The misguided attempts to bar Donald Trump from Canada

Jan 18 2018 — Tim Harper — Last week, Donald Trump suddenly discovered he didn’t like the American embassy in London and cancelled a state visit there. He claimed to be upset that Barack Obama had sold the previous embassy “for peanuts” (never mind the deal was done by the George W. Bush administration) but his decision to stay home was really […]

Trudeau dons his Teflon suit at town hall meetings

Jan 12 2018 — Tim Harper — When we’re feeling a little lost, a bit off-kilter, we all like to retreat to our comfort zone. Justin Trudeau is doing just that this week. He is donning his Teflon suit once again. The Prime Minister staggered to the new year, it would seem, convicted of a serious ethics violation, shielding a finance minister […]

An ethical breach which should stick to Justin Trudeau

Dec 20 2017 — Tim Harper — We already knew of the private island, the private helicopter and a Christmas holiday steeped in the type of privilege and luxury unknown to all but the tiniest upper percentile of Canadians. That didn’t stick to Justin Trudeau. Now, we have four slam-dunk violations of the conflict of interest act and a public apology from […]

Jane Philpott will not take ‘no’ for an answer in 2018

Dec 19 2017 — Tim Harper — Jane Philpott has a lengthy to-do list for 2018. The federal Indigenous services minister has ambitious plans when it comes to ending water quality advisories in First Nations communities, closing the gap on Indigenous child welfare spending and reducing what she calls an “abhorrent” number of Indigenous children living in foster care. One thing not […]

How many political lives does Kent Hehr have?

Dec 13 2017 — Tim Harper — For weeks, the opposition Conservatives have been aiming high, trying to take down a sitting finance minister. It won’t work. The Conservatives may be scoring points in the Commons, if not byelections, but Bill Morneau isn’t going anywhere. While it is natural to go hunting for the big game, the Conservatives should aim a little […]

Liberal caution risks costing Canadian a voice in the Middle East

Dec 7 2017 — Tim Harper — In days of yore, there was a bit of an inside joke over at the Sussex Dr. headquarters of foreign affairs. It revolved around the sliding scale of diplomatic words used in official releases regarding the severity of a particular foreign atrocity that should have Canada in high dudgeon. It would start with an assurance […]