National Newswatch

Quebec puts the heat back on Trudeau

Sep 21 2020 — Tom Mulcair — The Legault government has pushed the language file onto the front burner and it’s Justin Trudeau’s Liberals who have to be careful not to get singed. Any port in a storm. The abject incompetence of the Quebec government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has seen it search for any distraction and debating language laws […]

When not to pay a ransom

Sep 18 2020 — Shannon Gormley — I am generally pro-ransom. A large sum of money seems a small price to pay for a person’s life if she has been kidnapped abroad by small-town pirates, guerrillas or terrorists. Those opposed to ransom payments—an admittedly distinguished group that includes a number of researchers, the government of Canada, many of my colleagues, and (perhaps […]

Farewell to the Liberals’ easy green revolution

Sep 15 2020 — Paul Wells — I’m grateful to the excellent Toronto Star columnist Heather Scoffield for noticing some fascinating comments Gerald Butts made on Monday. Butts, of course, resigned in 2019 as Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary and has been working since then as a consultant, climate-policy opinion leader and Twitter scold. He was a member of the Task Force for […]

Bold solutions! Our big chance!

Sep 11 2020 — Paul Wells — The Prime Minister calls this a time of ‘unprecedented opportunity.’ Will Canadians agree? Welcome back to Parliament or, as we like to call it when no party controls a majority of seats in the House of Commons, Election Speculation Season. MPs will reconvene in Ottawa on Sept. 23 for another Speech from the Throne. After […]

WE is leaving. The Liberals’ troubles are not.

Sep 11 2020 — Marie-Danielle Smith — After months of political controversy around the defunct Canada Summer Student Grants program, WE Charity announced this week it would shutter its Canadian operations. Citing the pandemic’s disruptions to its programming and “political battles and misinformation that a charity is ill-equipped to fight,” WE Charity said it is ending operations in Canada and selling its […]

The rise and fall of WE

Sep 10 2020 — — An adolescent boy in a blue T-shirt, hosting a press conference on his first trip abroad, is sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with an Indian girl as she reads from a piece of paper. In front of Canadian reporters, the girl implores the Indian government to address the practice of child labour.

Another farce on Bill Blair’s watch

Aug 29 2020 — Paul Wells — How badly do things have to go for a government-appointed panel to shut down because it got no usable data and no help from the minister? I’ve got my journalistic obsessions, Lord knows. But the notion that Bill Blair, the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, is in way over his head was not […]

Erin O’Toole and the search for a new Canadian centre

Aug 24 2020 — Paul Wells — The Conservatives need to remake their movement for a new era. Is their new leader the person to do it? The 1996 Ontario Liberal leadership convention was an organizational fiasco. Sometime after 4 a.m. on the morning after voting began, Dalton McGuinty became the unknown new leader of a party that had lost the last […]

Allan Fotheringham was loved, revered and loathed but never ignored

Aug 19 2020 — — The Maclean’s icon who shook Canadian politics and media with a blast of post-’60s insouciance has died. He defined acerbic wit, but couldn’t hide how deeply he cared about his country. Allan Fotheringham was the king of nicknames. He fancied himself Dr. Foth, or the Great Gatheringfroth, but mostly he bestowed monikers upon others. The […]

Bill Morneau, melting away

Aug 17 2020 — Paul Wells — The PM is permitting his finance minister—the supposed incarnation of his government’s fiscal credibility—to be set up. It does not bode well. The lesson from Bill Morneau for all remaining Trudeau cabinet ministers is this: you cannot make yourself small enough to be safe. No amount of self-effacement will ensure you stay on as a […]

The Canada Student Service Grant’s unusual cabinet ride

Aug 8 2020 — Andrew MacDougall — Now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Chief of Staff Katie Telford have testified at length about the Memorandum to Cabinet (MC) approving WE Charity’s delivery of the Canada Student Service Grant, I wonder when we might be able to see a copy? Because anyone who’s been around the policy process in Ottawa knows […]

Try to see WE from 35,000 feet

Aug 4 2020 — Andrew MacDougall — Who knew Justin Trudeau was a handbrake on the ill-fated WE deal, as outlined in his testimony at committee last week, and not the facilitator, as so many suspected? A poor and conflicted handbrake, sure, given the deal went through unchanged only two weeks later on Trudeau’s say-so, but the only handbrake willing to stop […]

The Trudeau WE testimony: What, you wanted a micromanager?

Jul 31 2020 — Paul Wells — Nobody appreciates the subtlety of a light touch. We are pleased to take the Prime Minister at his word, as captured in Thursday’s virtual meeting of the Commons Finance Committee, and to report the sum of Justin Trudeau’s involvement in the development of the Canada Student Service Grant. (a) Amid a global public-health crisis there […]