National Newswatch

On the first day of FINA

Dec 7 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Today is Tuesday, which means Cabinet is meeting and the prime minister will sit through QP. Playbook is watching the first committee meetings of the session, where Liberals are in a hurry to shovel their post-election priorities through to t

Putting the fun in dysfunction

Dec 3 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — The House leaders are at it again. A day after they agreed to whisk a conversion therapy ban bill to the Senate — a tour de force of parliamentary kumbaya after weeks of bitter post-election acrimony — the Commons scrounged out a way to debate CHRYSTIA FREELAND’s Covid relief bill and finally start the engines […]

How will the PM prioritize priorities?

Nov 23 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Today we get a Throne Speech, the highlight of the second sitting day of Parliament replete with arcane-but-entertaining Westminster custom that launches the government’s legislative agenda. The hitch: The clock is ticking and these crucial first weeks of the session will require cooperation — an oft-elusive concept in the House — if anything is to […]

Who’s running the show?

Nov 16 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — It’s Tuesday, which means we’re one day closer to a Speech from the Throne and the legislative sprint to the winter break. Every minister in a hurry needs a good chief of staff, and we’re closely watching the hiring spree. Also, Justin Trudeau and Jason Kenney agree about something (!) and have the billion-dollar plan […]

Hiring spree on the Hill

Nov 15 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Welcome to Monday. We’re a week away from a Speech from the Throne, a few days from a Three Amigos meeting in Washington, and smack-dab in the middle of a hiring spree in Ottawa. Also, Justin Trudeau is in Alberta to check off a big item on the post-election to-do list.

A front-row seat at COP

Nov 11 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Today is Remembrance Day, and thousands of Canadians will quietly observe ceremonies across Canada. We talk to the man who knows everything there is to know about CF-18 flypasts. Plus, the Tories won’t give up on their coalition claims. And ZI-ANN LUM gets MARY NG on the phone to talk Three Amigos.

The not-a-coalition that’s the talk of the town

Nov 9 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — It’s Tuesday, and Ottawa is in a frenzy — in a way only Ottawa frenzies about things — on the topic of a potential two-party governing coalition (spoiler: the c-word isn’t really what’s on the table). ERIN O’TOOLE wants to make it a thing, but he can’t quite seem to own the plot these days.

Happy Cabinet Day

Oct 26 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — THE BIG DAY — It’s possible Playbook overindulged in Cabinet speculation. We set the scene in the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia. (Ctrl-F those links for your favored contender. They’re probably in there.) But regrets? We have none. Cabinet is important. Everyone on the Hill was way too tired, after a pandemic […]

Why Trudeau’s Cabinet is due for an overhaul

Oct 25 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Jean Chrétien crafted cabinets on a blank piece of paper — in 1996 he started on a cocktail napkin in Kuala Lumpur — describing the work as “the most private and personal duty a prime minister has to perform.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a small group of trusted advisers may need an erasable, oversized […]

The countdown to ethics disclosures

Oct 25 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — WHEN IN DOUBT, DISCLOSE — You know that nervous feeling when you see a certain name on your call display? Say, your dentist? (“Have I flossed enough?”) Or the Canada Revenue Agency? (“Please be a scammer.”) LYNE ROBINSON-DALPÉ, the director of advisory and compliance in the ethics commissioner’s office, insists that’s the vibe her team […]

Vaccine passport, meet federalism

Oct 8 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Today, a mini-scoop from reporter Justin Ling on federal-provincial progress on a single, internationally recognized vaccine passport. Also, a final dose of cabinet speculation to send you into the weekend. And kudos to a record number of trivia respondents.

Scouting reporting: B.C.

Oct 7 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Today, unvaccinated MPs might be pondering new rules from Ottawa that will require plane and train travelers to be fully vaccinated. Plus, our final round of cabinet speculation shines a spotlight on B.C. And a senior New Democrat reflects on the campaign.

6 questions for Erin O’Toole

Oct 6 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — Today, a no-nonsense Tory caucus is moving on to a vital assessment of what went wrong on the campaign trail. Playbook polls insiders on the most burning questions facing the Conservatives. Also, today’s round of cabinet speculation focuses on the Prairies — where just getting elected is a fast-track to the front bench,

O’Toole faces caucus. Buckle up.

Oct 5 2021 — Nick Taylor-Vaisey — For Conservatives, this morning is one to be feared or anticipated or repressed, depending on how they feel about ERIN O’TOOLE’s Tory caucus. They’re assembling this morning at the John A. Macdonald Building for a 9:30 meeting of minds. Every Conservative insider canvassed by Playbook agrees on one thing: it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.