National Newswatch

Tax reform the first true test for Trudeau

Sep 6 2017 — Tim Powers — Is Justin Trudeau’s government truly vulnerable for the first time? Failure to deliver on electoral reform, a badly broken deficit promise, and even a $10-million payout to Omar Khadr have had to date no real impact on his team. But what looks like an ill-conceived tax-reform package—potentially drafted by officials who have never actually run […]

Why spending $30,000 on Broadway tickets could be smart federal policy

Aug 9 2017 — Tim Powers — Two weeks ago, I had the occasion to see the truly moving Broadway production Come from Away. Theatre reviews are not my specialty, but to say the show was emotionally powerful would be an understatement of gross proportions. Come from Away captures the stories of Newfoundlanders and stranded travellers in Gander, N.L. following the Sept. […]

Summertime no vacation for party leaders, MPs

Jul 5 2017 — Tim Powers — Summer is upon us and so is a new political season. It is one that matters a lot for different reasons to our biggest political parties. For the opposition Conservatives, the Andrew Scheer roadshow begins. The new leader will be trotted out in communities across the country to, first and foremost, build faith among supporters […]

Liberal nomination process: so much for openness and transparency

Mar 8 2017 — Tim Powers — Old habits die hard. Witness the Liberal Party of Canada’s nomination process, if you can call it that, in Markham-Thornhill, Ont. where a former senior staffer in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office is now the Liberal candidate. While I don’t know Mary Ng, the former director of appointments in Trudeau’s office and now the Liberal […]

The good and bad of family dynasties in politics

Feb 22 2017 — Tim Powers — While elements of the American and British electorate seem repulsed by elites in politics and empowered by their rejection the Canadian environment is still different. If anything, political dynasties remain very much alive in Canada. A second Trudeau is our prime minister and another man named LeBlanc is a senior minister in his government. We […]

The perils of political hypocrisy

Feb 15 2017 — Tim Powers — Hypocrisy is alive and well in our body politic. Is it any wonder carnival-barking outsiders like Kevin O’Leary get so much attention? By simply purporting not to be a standard politician, you can come across as a winner. In the past week we have seen some great displays of false moralizing: 1) the Liberals placing […]

Of politicians, vacations, and helicopters

Jan 18 2017 — Tim Powers — Politicians, vacations, and helicopters do not make a comfortable threesome. Now get your mind out of the gutter if somehow you ventured there. Justin Trudeau’s vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas is causing the prime minister and his government lots of grief. Most of it seems to be of their own […]

Raitt risks blood in her quest to sink the big fish

Jan 11 2017 — Tim Powers — Lisa Raitt has gone shark fishing! As someone who grew up in the era of the epic Jaws films, she knows it can be a pretty bloody endeavour to catch the big fish, but well worth the glory if you do. Last week, Raitt, who to date has had generally a quite uneventful Conservative leadership […]

A word of advice for Mr. Wonderful

Dec 14 2016 — Tim Powers — Kevin O’Leary, if he does read or study political history, ought to look at the chapter on Michael Ignatieff. Because if the self-described Mr. Wonderful does enter politics, he doesn’t want to suffer the same spectacular flameout that the former can’t-miss candidate and Liberal leader Ignatieff experienced. The putative political career of O’Leary has some […]

Leitch is more Clinton than Trump

Nov 16 2016 — Tim Powers — Donald Trump is now the president-elect of the United States. Whether you like it or not (I don’t), you have to accept the result. Democracies don’t always give us the verdict we want, and when they don’t, sulking isn’t the solution. Most of the world seems to be in a funk about Trump’s win, but […]

Shit disturbers play well in drab contests. Step forward Brad Trost

Oct 5 2016 — Tim Powers — Brad Trost the Conservative Member of Parliament from Saskatchewan appears to be having the time of his life in his role as menace-in-chief of the Conservative Party’s leadership race. Trost’s name may be new to many after his long years of glorious service on the Tory backbenches since 2004. But after 12 years, this lamb […]

Expense scandals undermine Liberals’ ‘we are different’ message

Sep 28 2016 — Tim Powers — Political scandals in Canada come from the strangest places. Who would have predicted the Liberal government would be in the midst of a storm over moving relocation expenses? The symbolism of this story is the most dangerous thing for the government. The Liberal proposition to the public during the 2015 election was they were not […]