National Newswatch

Judge Bill Morneau for what he does, not what he owns

Oct 30 2017 — Tom Walkom — Like all politicians, Finance Minister Bill Morneau deserves to be judged. Elected legislators — particularly those appointed to cabinet — have a responsibility to voters. It makes sense that those voters keep an eye on them. Morneau is no exception. But if he is to be judged it should be for what he does, not […]

Bombardier jet giveaway hands Donald Trump another victory

Oct 18 2017 — Tom Walkom — Score another win for Donald Trump’s high-handed version of protectionism. Monday’s decision by Montreal-based Bombardier to give away control over its much-vaunted C Series jet virtually guarantees that the U.S. will get the lion’s share of any new jobs created. It also threatens to saddle taxpayers in Quebec and the rest of Canada with a […]

Why Bill Morneau’s tax reform plan is politically necessary

Sep 18 2017 — Tom Walkom — Justin Trudeau’s agenda has stalled. On issues ranging from peacekeeping to climate change, the prime minister’s Liberal government is treading water. It needs to show it can get more done. Hence the government’s stubborn insistence on pushing ahead with Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s modest — albeit controversial — tax reform plans. In the first months […]

Trump’s NAFTA hatred may do Canada a favour

Sep 4 2017 — Tom Walkom — In a strange way, Donald Trump’s disdain for the North American Free Trade Agreement may do Canada a favour. He may end up forcing this country to reduce its dependence on the United States. We know that the U.S. president doesn’t like NAFTA. It is one of the few consistent positions he holds.

Trump doesn’t hold all the cards in NAFTA talks

Jul 3 2017 — Tom Walkom — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ill-considered efforts to mollify Donald Trump continue apace. The decision to keep sending Canadian soldiers to the war in Iraq is just the latest version. The federal government’s entire defence posture and much of its foreign policy is focused on convincing the U.S. president that Canada is a loyal American ally.

Why I will celebrate Canada Day

Jun 30 2017 — Tom Walkom — I will celebrate Canada Day on Saturday. I will celebrate it although our history of nation-building includes the usual mixture of bad-faith dealing, intolerance and greed. I will celebrate it even if some of my compatriots among the country’s Indigenous peoples do not. On Wednesday, a group of Indigenous protestors began what they called a […]

A few clouds invade Justin Trudeau’s sunny skies

Jun 27 2017 — Tom Walkom — After 20 months as prime minister, Justin Trudeau isn’t quite as sunny as he used to be. He remains unfailingly polite. At an Ottawa press conference Tuesday to mark the end of Parliament’s spring sitting, he thanked reporters — as he often does — for what he called their contribution to democracy. At the end, […]

More questions cloud Ottawa’s plan to help media

Jun 19 2017 — Tom Walkom — A Commons committee charged with looking into Canada’s troubled media has suggested an implicit bargain. On one hand, through a series of tax changes and grants, the government would offer financial support to traditional and new media companies. On the other, the government would crack down hard on media mergers that far too often leave […]

Donald Trump, Paris and the melodrama of climate change

Jun 5 2017 — Tom Walkom — In practical terms, U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to formally withdraw from the Paris climate accord doesn’t much matter. Rather, it is a theatrical gesture that gives all actors in this drama a chance to strut their stuff. The accord itself is largely aspirational. According to the United Nations, even if all the pact’s signatories […]

Harjit Sajjan ‘architect’ fuss a scandal about nothing

May 3 2017 — Tom Walkom — In the end, Defence Minister Harjit’s Sajjan’s sin is grammatical. He has described himself as “the” architect of a 2006 Canadian-led mission against the Taliban during the Afghan War. He should have said “an” architect. For this, he is being pilloried in the Commons. Opposition MPs have called him a liar and demanded he resign. […]

What Donald Trump’s anti-Canada rant means

Apr 24 2017 — Tom Walkom — Donald Trump has discovered reasons not to like Canada. He is sure to find more. The U.S. president has realized belatedly that Canada, as part of its agricultural supply management program, discriminates against foreign dairy products — including U.S. milk. This miffs him no end. “We can’t let Canada or anyone else take advantage,” he […]

It’s time to end the Korean War

Apr 19 2017 — Tom Walkom — Here’s an idea for cooling nuclear tensions between North Korea and the United States. Why not start by negotiating an end to the Korean War? Technically, the war that began in 1950 when Pyongyang invaded South Korea is still ongoing. An armistice in 1953 halted the fighting, the idea being that the warring parties would […]