National Newswatch

We need to rethink relations with China

Oct 8 2021 — Joe Oliver — Exhilaration and relief are subsiding following the two Michaels’ liberation from 1,020 days of inhumane imprisonment. They personally will have to cope with the psychological side effects for some time, in spite of their remarkable resilience. As a nation, we need to begin a hard-nosed rethink of our relationship with China, one consistent with our […]

Conservatives must persuade the electorate, not pander to the left

Sep 24 2021 — Joe Oliver — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s strategy to broaden the Tory base did not achieve the breakthrough he sought, so it is time for a deep rethink. Every progressive, and most of the mainstream commentariat, endlessly proclaim that the only road to victory for Conservatives is to embrace the values and policies of the centre-left. In their […]

Yes, a Tory minority could govern

Sep 16 2021 — Joe Oliver — Despite recent movement in the polls it’s still possible that when all the votes are counted Canada may have a minority Conservative government. The numbers are within the margin of error and the Tories tend to outperform poll predictions by a point or two. There is no possibility they would win a plurality of seats […]

Not your ‘same old’ economic plan: Anne McLellan on the coalition that will use the lessons of COVID to plot the next 30 years

Aug 27 2021 — Kevin Carmichael — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole might be “the man with the plan,” but a couple of women who served in centre/centre-right governments are leading the most promising effort to re-establish a political consensus on economic policy. Anne McLellan, a cabinet minister in the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, and Lisa Raitt, a cabinet […]

Quebecor spectrum rigged?

Aug 13 2021 — Terence Corcoran — Ottawa 5G auction sparks conflict over Péladeau plans. The deadline is today — Friday the 13th — for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) bureaucrats to receive part of one of Ottawa’s easiest and sneakiest tax grabs. Figuratively, more than a dozen telco service minivans have been up at ISED headquarters this week bearing […]

Ottawa releases long-waited blueprint to usher in open banking in Canada

Aug 4 2021 — — The Canadian government released the belaboured final open banking report on Wednesday afternoon after months of delays that drew concern across the financial technology sector. The advisory committee’s review on opening banking — a regulatory framework that would allow consumers to determine how to share their banking data with financial service providers or move their […]

Our bare-faced Teflon PM blunders merrily along

Jul 13 2021 — Joe Oliver — In May in these pages I wrote a column titled “Will Liberal failures and lapses never end?” Now as we near mid-summer, I’m sorry, but not surprised, to have to report: Not yet. New missteps appear every couple of weeks. In that column I focused on: the most profligate budget in Canadian history; the long-delayed […]

Facing a demographic shift, Quebec doubles down on its language laws

May 17 2021 — Diane Francis — Quebec’s radical proposed language legislation, Bill 96, which was tabled last week, was predicted by a demographer who published an analysis in January that highlights the negative effects of immigration on French language in the province. “My results demonstrate that ethnic French-Canadians are declining, and demographer Marc Termote has pointed out on multiple occasions that […]

The budget’s intergenerational transfer of debt and risk is unprecedented, but to what purpose?

May 11 2021 — Kevin Lynch and Paul Deegan — Now that the hoopla has faded and the Parliamentary Budget Officer and others, including ourselves, have waded through the 9-megabyte, 724-page federal budget, it is much clearer what kind of beast it both is and is not. As a political statement, it should yield electoral dividends. As an economic statement, it favours short-term consumption over […]

Will Liberal failures and lapses never end?

May 7 2021 — Joe Oliver — Will the Liberal government’s costly blunders and moral lapses never end? In the past few weeks Canadians have been subjected to assaults on their health, economic wellbeing and fundamental values. Yet by skillfully and cynically exploiting the pandemic, shifting blame to the provinces, claiming undeserved credit, never admitting fault and — especially — doling out […]

Progressive profligacy will bring prolonged pain

Apr 22 2021 — Joe Oliver — Sadly, it was predictable. Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland tabled a profligate, something-for-everyone budget, with scant attention to affordability, economic growth or intergenerational fairness. As I forecast in a recent column that it would, it contains “extravagant spending in the guise of investment, undeserved self-congratulation, wokeness on steroids, empty promises of fiscal rectitude and soak-the-rich […]

Waiting 25 months for Godot’s first pandemic budget

Mar 25 2021 — Joe Oliver — Last Friday marked two years since the last federal budget, the longest such gap ever, including during two world wars. So it is timely to consider the significance of the unprecedented delay, the parlous state of Canada’s finances and the possible content of the budget, all while waiting for Godot, who now apparently will show […]

Why devastating Texas power outages are unlikely in Ontario

Feb 23 2021 — Joe Oliver — A massive power outage in Texas during winter storm Uri produced state-wide shock and outrage. The electricity operator shut down more than a third of the grid, leaving up to four million people without power, with 30 deaths and economic damage estimated at US$18 billion. Bitter cold hiked demand for electricity and slashed the output […]