National Newswatch

Philippines helicopter deal raises more questions about Trudeau’s human rights commitment

Feb 11 2018 — Tom Parkin — A $233 million deal to supply 16 Canadian-made helicopters to Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte may be dead after a human rights group intervened over concerns the Trudeau government may have tried to willfully ignore. Duterte, elected in 2016, is under investigation by the International Criminal Court for thousands of extra-judicial murders. He has bragged about […]

NDP outsider aims to pry open Ottawa’s secret ways

Jan 28 2018 — Tom Parkin — Before she was elected, Ruth Ellen Brosseau sometimes worked three part-time jobs trying to keep afloat, provide for her son and pay back her student loans. But as she says, hard work for low pay is common in her Quebec riding of Berthier-Maskinonge. Now that experience of hard work and long hours has put Brosseau […]

Canada’s jobs news is good, but the party is already winding down

Jan 7 2018 — Tom Parkin — Friday’s economic headline was good news—Statistics Canada reported December unemployment fell to 5.7%. No doubt Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau will be popping corks and patting each other on the back. Look deeper. Over two-thirds of December’s new jobs were part-time—55,000 part-time, just 24,000 full-time.

With no signature success, Trudeau’s popularity faltered in 2017

Dec 27 2017 — Tom Parkin — Jean Chretien held a net positive approval rating for almost six years. Stephen Harper for just two. Now, two years and two months into his mandate, more Canadians disapprove of the job being done by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau than approve. Why not? And with almost nothing to show after two years of government, why […]

Democracy Damaged When Reporters Get It Wrong

Dec 18 2017 — Tom Parkin — Last Wednesday at 4 a.m., the false news was ready to be launched into media networks, to be picked up by newsroom editors and producers and spread across the country dressed up as a fact. No, it wasn’t an early morning fake news tweet from Donald Trump. Or the latest bogus claim from some alt-right […]

Bill to start unrigging tax haven laws needs Canadians’ support

Nov 13 2017 — Tom Parkin — We’ve had cash-for-access. Billionaire island. French villas. Ethical loopholes. Conflict of interest. Now it’s tax havens and tax dodging. Until now, the Trudeau government has been able to ride out scandals without fixing problems—and the same depressingly rotten politics continues in Ottawa. Minister’s ethical fundraising rules go unenforced. Morneau’s conflict of interest loophole still isn’t […]

The not-shocking truth about Morneau’s pension and infrastructure plans

Nov 6 2017 — Tom Parkin — Anyone who thinks Bill Morneau might get dropped as Finance Minister is forgetting a key fact: he does what investors and CEOs want from a Finance Minister. Why shocked? From 2010 until the year before his election, Morneau was chair of C.D. Howe Institute—which has a board of directors including bank CEOs, insurance CEOs, investment […]

Justin Trudeau has met his match in Jagmeet Singh

Oct 1 2017 — Tom Parkin — The New Democrats have licked their wounds. And overwhelmingly they’ve decided they want back in the fight. On the first ballot, 54% of NDP members voted for Jagmeet Singh who is now leader of the federal New Democratic Party. Finally, Justin Trudeau will have a strong opponent on the left. Singh’s victory signals a big […]

Half way through this term, problems remain for Trudeau’s opposition

Sep 10 2017 — Tom Parkin — About two years before the next election, political parties are all polling at about the same place they were at last election day. That’s good news for Trudeau who, in an election today, would probably regain a slim majority. For the Conservatives, it’s not. Harper’s record on the economy, law and order, veterans and the […]

Wait—maybe Charlie Angus leads the NDP leadership race

Aug 14 2017 — Tom Parkin — A pair of polls suggest Charlie Angus and Guy Caron may have significant momentum in the NDP leadership race—at least among certain current members—even though Jagmeet Singh boasts the strongest fundraising and endorsement list. But Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, which did the survey, freely admits the poll has flaws. Maggi’s company did not […]

As Jagmeet Singh emerges as front-runner, NDP race gets chippy

Aug 7 2017 — Tom Parkin — There’s still almost two months until NDP members start voting and a lot can change. But by the only measures we have — fundraising and endorsements — Jagmeet Singh is the front-runner in the NDP leadership race. That perception has others launching attacks on Singh, not always fairly. One line of attack has come over […]

NDP leadership candidate Guy Caron’s jobs and growth plan is a political winner

Jul 31 2017 — Tom Parkin — Candidates in the NDP leadership race — rightfully — have had a good debate on anti-poverty and fair taxation policy. But social democracy isn’t capitalism and free markets with a redistributive tax policy wrap-around. It’s also about creating jobs, paycheques and bottom-up growth using active government policies and investment. That crucial piece hasn’t had a […]

Canada’s middle class shrinks — let’s talk about Trudeau’s socks

Jul 3 2017 — Tom Parkin — The average Canadian wage is falling behind inflation and the distribution of Canadian income is becoming more unequal. Isn’t that a news story? Statistics Canada reports the average Canadian wage in May 2017 was $25.88 an hour—just 33 cents up from May 2016, a paltry 1.3% increase. It’s below the inflation rate, which stands at […]