National Newswatch

Brian Pallister is Manitoba’s paradox premier

Aug 14 2018 — Jen Gerson — Brian Pallister figures it must have taken his father, a lifelong farmer and a man of few words, more than a week sitting on his tractor to formulate a response to his son’s first political win. It is 1992 and Pallister the younger has been elected to the provincial legislature. “He says, ‘Congratulations, boy. If […]

Don’t take Maxime Bernier’s bait

Aug 14 2018 — Scott Gilmore — Conservative provocateur Maxime Bernier lit up the lines today after he decried our “cult of multiculturalism.” He tweeted about his opposition to “Trudeau’s extreme multiculturalism and cult of diversity” which he fears will “divide us into little tribes.” As a Canadian columnist, this is the part where I take sides and either double-down by arguing […]

If Justin Trudeau loses, it will be because of Andrew Scheer’s secret weapon

Aug 7 2018 — Paul Wells — “What’s Hamish Marshall’s title again?” I asked a Conservative MP over after-work beverages in Ottawa in late July. “National campaign manager.” “And when does he start campaigning?” “He’s campaigning now. A bunch of micro-campaigns—messages to target audiences on several issues to test phrasing and collect email signatures.” On the Conservative party’s website, there’s a link […]

Toronto Mayor John Tory talks to Paul Wells

Aug 3 2018 — — Tory on Doug Ford’s plan to slash city council, taking on a new electoral opponent—and the difference between the premier and his late brother, Rob. The huge bay window of John Tory’s office looks out over one of Canada’s great public spaces, Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto. The view is one of the few […]

Doug Ford and a truly weird, bitter, team-building Question Period

Jul 31 2018 — Paul Wells — I was just noticing all the civilized touches in the Ontario legislature when it stopped being civilized. There’s a countdown clock on each wall so members can see at a glance how much time remains in a given part of the day—in this instance, question period. Question period itself is the first item of business […]

Why a federal #MeToo law won’t be enforced any time soon

Jul 31 2018 — John Geddes — With a series of loud detonations over the past few months, the #MeToo era arrived in Canadian politics. Allegations, investigations and insinuations of sexual harassment swirled. It all made the Liberal government’s push to pass new legislation covering harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces—including Parliament Hill—feel perfectly timed. Yet key details on how and […]

Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways won in 2015. Can his brand survive?

Jul 31 2018 — Shannon Proudfoot — President Donald Trump had already vamoosed early from the G7 summit in early June when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in front of a “Charlevoix” backdrop emblazoned with the silhouettes of an unmistakably Canadian Shield forest. It would be “with regret, but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness” that Canada would soon enact […]

Watching Doug Ford drive the bus

Jul 31 2018 — Paul Wells — I’ve lived in Ontario for 46 of my 52 years but every time I make a conscious decision to cover its provincial politics it seems as exotic as any assignment anywhere. The red sandstone legislature building at the top of Queen’s Park in Toronto is a repository of a people’s neuroses, a Fort Knox of […]

Bill Blair: Doug Ford’s enemy in the Trudeau cabinet

Jul 18 2018 — Paul Wells — In appointing Bill Blair, the MP for Scarborough Southwest, as minister of border security and organized crime reduction‬, Justin Trudeau has sent an experienced and controversial player into the political battles leading up to next October’s federal election. But what’s most striking about the new minister is the deep animosity between Blair and the new […]

Donald Trump is Canada’s best hope for solving its border crisis

Jul 17 2018 — — In retrospect, it was probably a mistake to try to enter Canada the proper way. A Palestinian mother and her two children fled Gaza last summer, landing first in the United States before starting a drive north to Canada. They planned to make a refugee claim, but when the family arrived at the official port […]

Stephen Harper’s own words: ‘I was never in the job to be liked’

Jul 12 2018 — Jason Markusoff — In mid-June, former prime minister Stephen Harper gave speeches to small chambers of commerce in Lloydminster, Sask., and Leduc, Alta. In keeping with his desire not to comment on what his successors are doing, his speech largely stuck to global political trends, trade and business opportunities. But the audiences wanted to know about his views […]

What on earth is Stephen Harper up to?

Jul 12 2018 — Jason Markusoff — The former prime minister is back—with a new book, a consultancy and a flurry of lucrative speaking engagements. He also took his one-man show to Trump’s doorstep. At the Lloydminster Exhibition’s Stockade Convention Centre, the stage’s black drapes are accented with a sash-like green curtain and a banner of logos for Reid Signs, Atlas Appraisal […]

Trudeau-Ford: The next chapter in Canada’s eternal campaign

Jul 6 2018 — Paul Wells — The Ontario Liberals (now in power in Ottawa) meet the Ontario Tories—it’s the latest chapter in a nasty fight that’s been going on for a decade. We now bring you exclusive footage of yesterday’s meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario not-quite-premier-yet Doug Ford: