National Newswatch

On NAFTA, Ottawa struggles to keep its fragile peace

Feb 2 2018 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — When Donald Trump’s administration was still only threatening to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement in the spring of 2017, a bunch of Canadian parliamentarians on the House foreign affairs committee did the logical thing: they launched a study on Canada-U.S. relations that ended up taking a long look at NAFTA, including trips to […]

If Trump kills NAFTA, it could hit America’s Rust Belt hard

Jan 29 2018 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Whatever Donald Trump decides to do about NAFTA, his instinct to trash the trade deal may end up hurting his own country’s businesses more than he realizes. The president has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA too many times to count, but also more recently struck a slightly more conciliatory tone on the future of the […]

Maclean’s: The Duffy Ticker

Apr 8 2015 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — All eyes on #duffytrial. Nicholas Köhler will report daily to Maclean’s from his seat in the Ottawa courtroom. Watch for his files at the end of each court day. (His first dispatch is here.) We’ll also use this rolling ticker to track the essentials with help from our Canadian Press colleagues. The latest news is […]

Tom Mulcair, unofficial prosecution

Apr 7 2015 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Thomas Mulcair eschewed even a cursory preamble as question period commenced on May 28, 2013. Mulcair, the bearded New Democrat and opposition leader, faced Prime Minister Stephen Harper and posed a simple question: “On what date and at what time was the Prime Minister informed that Nigel Wright has made a payment to Conservative Senator […]

Suzanne Legault wants to end a culture of secrecy. Good luck.

Mar 31 2015 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Question period eats up everything the Auditor General recommends, mulls everything the Parliamentary Budget Officer concludes, and quotes everything a central banker warns during unsteady times. The information commissioner should be so lucky. Suzanne Legault’s 104-page attempt at comprehensive reform of Canada’s Access to Information Act, a report tabled this morning that claimed the right-to-know […]

Need to know: James Moore gets candid on child poverty

Dec 16 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — The Industry Minister should know better than to be so candid with a reporter. Yesterday, during a brief interview, James Moore started talking about who was responsible for addressing child poverty, and he pointed the finger at provincial governments. “We’re not going to usurp the province’s jurisdiction on that,” he said, sounding downright deferential. ”Empowering families with […]

The big news: By-elections don’t matter, except this time

Nov 25 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — By-elections don’t matter. They’re not significant. They’re no harbinger of the political future. Voters lash out against governments because the stakes are low, as is turnout. By-elections are isolated, local affairs that don’t have much consequence outside of the rigid borders of whichever riding is at stake. So, no, by-elections don’t matter. Except this time. […]

Why Jim Flaherty’s loss for words was important

Nov 8 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “At the end of the day, he has to make his own decision about what he ought to do.” — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s future Jim Flaherty is rarely overcome with emotion. He may get snippy, or even curmudgeonly, when challenged by the opposition in the House of Commons. For […]

Parliament can make us proud

Oct 29 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “Wait. There is even more.” —Sen. Mike Duffy, speaking in the Senate on Oct. 28 Parliament has sometimes been a place of pride. Stephen Harper knows that. The Prime Minister stood in his place in the House of Commons on June 11, 2008, and he apologized to generations of aboriginals. He apologized for residential schools, […]

Trudeau hangs out around the White House

Oct 25 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “The one thing I’m not going to do is air the many grievances I have with the Prime Minister when I’m on a foreign visit.” —Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, on a trip to Washington, D.C. Yesterday, Tom Mulcair had a field day in the House of Commons. Stephen Harper had a respectable day. The two […]

Duffy vs. Harper: Who’s telling the truth?

Oct 23 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “$90,000 seems just a little insignificant. But we can always trust media to lose perspective. can we not?” —Derek Patterson, of Burlington, Ont., in a letter to the National Post True believers don’t see what all the fuss is about. Sen. Mike Duffy claimed a primary residence in the wrong province. Who cares? He claimed thousands […]

Conservatives are masters of distraction

Oct 17 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “You won’t believe what the Press Gallery just did in Ottawa.” —Fred DeLorey, in a letter to Conservative supporters Fred DeLorey must love his job. The Conservative Party’s director of political operations, the man who signs many of its fundraising letters, need only give the press a whiff of his latest missive to supporters. Then, […]

Justin Trudeau’s beachhead in Nova Scotia

Oct 9 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “You can’t change the macro-economic climate of the province, the country or the world, but we can hopefully make positive steps towards our goals.”—Zach Churchill, a Liberal MLA in Yarmouth, N.S. who was re-elected with 82% of the vote Zach Churchill used to be a screaming maniac at St. Mary’s Huskies football games. Now, he’s […]

Justin Trudeau can’t catch a bad break

Sep 27 2013 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — “I’ve been listening to you. You need to listen to what I’m saying.”—Justin Trudeau “I entirely reject these allegations.”—Dean Del Mastro The last thing the prime minister needs is someone on his team arguing about ethics. Yesterday, Dean Del Mastro started arguing about ethics. The Conservative MP was, until a few weeks ago, Stephen Harper’s […]