National Newswatch

A wartime economy is a very particular thing

Mar 25 2020 — Andrew Coyne — Every day the wartime analogies seem more apt. Governments are borrowing massive amounts – as much as 10 per cent of GDP – to bankroll equally massive increases in spending. Central banks are pledging to buy all of that newly issued government debt, if necessary, and every other kind of debt besides, in whatever amounts […]

Trudeau plays crisis role as lecturer-in-chief

Mar 24 2020 — Campbell Clark — “Enough is enough,” Justin Trudeau said to Canadians flouting self-isolation guidelines. “Go home and stay home.” That wasn’t all. He once again raised the prospect that if people don’t listen, the government can and will step in with tough measures to enforce the social-distancing rules. It doesn’t want to, but … Any parent will recognize […]

Trump suggests U.S. should back off on social distancing measures as soon as next week because of economic toll

Mar 24 2020 — Adrian Morrow — President Donald Trump is suggesting the United States should back off on measures meant to control the spread of the novel coronavirus as soon as next week because social distancing is hurting the economy – a message that runs directly counter to the warnings of public-health officials and virtually every other top politician fighting the […]

Nearly half of Canada’s COVID-19 cases now acquired through community spread, Public Health Agency of Canada says

Mar 23 2020 — — Nearly half of Canada’s COVID-19 cases are now being acquired through community spread, a significant shift as the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths mounts across the country. Public-health experts say Canada faces a crucial few weeks during which hospitals will have an influx of severely ill patients that will strain their resources. On Monday, […]

Ontario, Quebec order non-essential businesses to close

Mar 23 2020 — — The Ontario and Quebec governments have announced the near-complete shutdown of their provinces’ economies in a bid to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus. Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced plans on Monday for non-essential businesses to close across the province, but said food, medicine and “essential products” would remain available. Urging all Ontarians to […]

Ottawa to intervene in lagging regions amid COVID-19 test backlog

Mar 23 2020 — — Ottawa says it will intervene to step up COVID-19 testing in regions experiencing delays as public-health experts warn that shortages of testing kits put Canadians at risk. Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Sunday that Ottawa wants a more uniform response across the country to diagnosing new cases after some provinces restricted who gets tested. […]

When does social distancing end? These graphs show where we’re heading and why

Mar 21 2020 — — With schools closed, public events cancelled, entertainment venues shuttered and many people either not working or working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of Canadians are now living with the reality of social distancing. But with the number of confirmed cases across the country topping 1,000 Friday, it’s clear that for decision […]

Ottawa to roll out foreign aid as part of the fight against COVID-19 spread

Mar 19 2020 — — The Canadian government will soon roll out millions in foreign aid spending to help combat the spread of COVID-19 abroad, particularly in refugee camps and developing countries, says International Development Minister Karina Gould. Last week, the government announced plans to pledge $50-million to the World Health Organization and other bilateral aid as a part of […]

Ottawa prepares multibillion-dollar bailout of oil and gas sector

Mar 19 2020 — — The federal government is preparing a multibillion-dollar bailout package for Canada’s oil and gas sector that is expected to be unveiled early next week, sources say. Federal and Alberta government insiders are saying little about the details – citing the sensitivity of the options under discussion – but the oil and gas sector can expect […]

The politics of pandemics is grim news for Conservatives

Mar 19 2020 — John Ibbitson — Everything is political, even – especially – national emergencies. This is true of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left the federal Conservatives in desperate straits. This could change with time if the Liberals fail to deliver on their promise to protect Canadians from what could be a savage economic downturn. But it won’t be lost […]

In normal times, universal basic income is a bad idea. But it’s the wisest solution for COVID-19 economic strain

Mar 19 2020 — Ken Boessenkool — The government of Canada has responded to the economic crisis facing Canadian families by proposing to spend $27-billion dollars, by making existing programs easier to access (employment insurance); designing a new program (a new Emergency Care Benefit); expanding existing programs for students, seniors and Indigenous peoples among others; and allowing Canadians to defer filing and […]