National Newswatch

Hate crimes are on the rise as bigotry creeps into politics

Dec 10 2018 — Dan Leger — Bears might be prowling the stock indexes, but shares in hate are enjoying a bull market like we haven’t seen in generations. Western democracies, once justly proud of their openness and tolerance, are seeing the intolerant minority growing bolder and more violent. In Canada, federal statistics captured almost 2,100 hate crimes reported to police in […]

Parties not sure how to handle hot-potato immigration issues

Dec 3 2018 — Dan Leger — The next federal election won’t be fought over immigration and refugees, despite their temptation as targets for your friendly neighbourhood populists. No, the election in 2019 will be about everything but, because other than one splinter party, there’s little to gain from attacking immigration. That exception is Maxime Bernier, the culture front’s loud but short […]

Populism’s legacy: Brexit, Trump and global disorder

Nov 19 2018 — Dan Leger — So, how do you like populism so far? If you’re into broken norms, disorder and you think facts don’t matter, you’re probably enjoying it. But if you prefer stability, civil order and fact-based policy, you’re likely sick of populism and all of its shabby works. Populism is driving Britain’s determination to tear itself to pieces […]

Bernier, of all people, wants naked truth from his candidates

Nov 12 2018 — Dan Leger — As a professional newspaper columnist, it’s my job to detect and warn of malodorous currents threatening to despoil our political waters. It’s a time-consuming occupation. Take this Tony Clement mess, where he got kicked out of the Conservative caucus for his online lechery. Clement, 57, exposed himself to blackmail after he exposed himself in photos […]

From current vantage point, 2019 vote is Trudeau’s to lose

Oct 29 2018 — Dan Leger — With less than a year to go before voting day, themes are already emerging for the coming campaign. We’re told to expect either a dirty campaign or a decent one, which will be all about carbon tax grabs or saving the planet or perhaps more traditionally, about who can best steer Canada in these dangerous […]

Canada seeks escape hatch from Trumpism on trade front

Oct 8 2018 — Dan Leger — If there’s one lesson learned from scrapping with the United States over trade, it’s that Canada needs to find new partners and new places to do business. It’s time to move on, because America might never be cured of its malignant Trumpism. The talks for a new NAFTA exposed what President Donald Trump is doing […]

Language conflicts rear up again in once-peaceful N.B.

Oct 1 2018 — Dan Leger — One of my earliest political memories is of my late father kicking a politician off the front porch. This was in Moncton, in the 1960s. Dad respected almost everyone, but not that politician, Leonard C. Jones Jr. Jones was campaigning door-to-door. Dad shut ours. “I’m not talking to him,” he said, and stalked off down […]

Canada shouldn’t let itself be rushed or bullied on NAFTA

Sep 24 2018 — Dan Leger — Forget the midnight flights to Washington and the clumsy presidential threats, the phoney deadlines and blatant negotiating ploys. If Canada is to achieve a renewed continental trade agreement under viable terms, it has to shrug off American pressure tactics and stay focused. There is no rush to get a new NAFTA because there are no […]

LeBlanc aground on ethics amid fisheries controversy

Sep 17 2018 — Dan Leger — The federal ethics commissioner’s finding that cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc blundered into a conflict of interest over a fishing licence wasn’t much of a shock. Liberals are known for skating along the edge of rules designed to curb undue coziness between politicians and pals. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was taken to task for vacationing with […]

Greeks had the best words to describe Trump’s U.S.A.

Sep 10 2018 — Dan Leger — I challenge anyone to accurately and fairly describe the madness of politics in the time of Donald Trump. In the era of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” when “truth isn’t truth” in the “rigged witch hunt,” so little of it makes sense that words fail. But let’s try anyway. We could call the Trump presidency […]

Trudeau stuck in trade limbo with a pipeline to nowhere

Sep 1 2018 — Dan Leger — Justin Trudeau has had the political week from hell. Factors not within his control conspired to defeat his Western pipeline plan and foil the latest round of NAFTA talks in the U.S. The way things look now, despite Canada’s summer of trade frustrations, a new deal with the Americans will get sorted before the Trans […]

Diversity, immigration volatile ammunition for warring parties

Aug 26 2018 — Dan Leger — Canada’s two largest political parties are playing with fire when they spin diversity, immigration and border issues into partisan strategies. Driving votes, they risk driving social divisions and internal schisms, as the Conservatives learned last week. On culture and diversity, the increasingly angry, name-calling debate between Liberals and Conservatives echoes the 2015 election. The Conservatives […]

The Conservatives are coming! Halifax braces for alien invasion

Aug 20 2018 — Dan Leger — I don’t mean to sound alarmist, friends, but you need to know this. We are about to be exposed to Conservatives. Try not to worry. The Conservative Party of Canada assembles in Halifax this week for its pre-election policy convention and many members are far from home. The nearest Conservative seat is 800 kilometres away, […]